Wrestler Spotlight – Takashi Sugiura

Wrestler Spotlight – Takashi Sugiura

The “Killing Machine” Takashi Sugiura made his debut on the 23rd of December 2000, at the age of 31. He was the first wrestler to make his debut in Pro Wrestling NOAH. Sugiura’s wrestling style is that he really is an all-rounder.  Sugiura is a tough and rugged brawler, who can trade strikes with the best of them. He is also a great technical wrestler who can do mat wrestling if the situation calls for it.

Sugiura never gained the western recognition of his peers Marufuji and KENTA. Maybe that was because they both appeared in Ring of Honor or because he wasn’t as flashy as them. However, wrestling skills and match quality was on par with the work of the two, and that is even with being much older than them at the time of his debut.

Sugiura is a grand slam champion in NOAH, having won all the belts available to him. He also holds multiple records with the GHC Heavyweight championship.  He has the joint number of reigns with the championship (alongside Go Shiozaki). Has the most days accumulated as champion with 1064 days. He also has the most defences in a reign with 14. For me, Sugiura has to be one of the most overlooked in Noah history from a western perspective.

He has now become a cornerstone in Noah. At 50 years of age, he is not only one of the best veteran wrestlers in the world, but one of the most consistent and best wrestlers in the world.

4th GHC Heavyweight Championship reign

Before I get to his honours I just want to talk about Sugiura’s 4th reign as GHC Heavyweight Champion.

Sugiura had heart surgery in 2017 before going on to win the GHC Heavyweight championship a few months after returning.  Sugiura would then go on to have one of the best reigns of the last decade.

Every match in his reign not only elevated himself and the title but also his opponent, which is quite hard to do. Every match had variety – not only in the opponent, but also the type of match. The endings of the matches weren’t all the same either. Some would end with different finishers followed by a pin or even a submission.

The reign had multiple match of the year contenders. Even the way it end was good. Sugiura lost to Kaito Kiyomiya and started Kiyomiya’s path to becoming the young ace of NOAH.

Many people believe that this reign carried NOAH and bring them back after a couple of dark years. With consistently great matches, it is (in my opinion) the greatest title reign of the 2010s

Sugiura after a title defence Credit (NOAH)

Championships held

  • GHC Heavyweight Championship (4x) (most defences in a reign: 14) (total days held: 1064 days).
  • GHC Tag Team (5x) (most defences in a reign: 4) (total days held: 571 days).
  • GHC National Championship (most defences in a reign: 4) (total days held: 189 days).
  • NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship (most defences in a reign: 6) (total days held: 397 days).
  • GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship(2x) (most defences in a reign: 2) (total days held: 316 days).
  • GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship(2x) (most defences in a reign: 2) (total days held: 420 days).

Tournaments won

  • Global Tag League 2014(NOAH)
  • Global League 2014(NOAH)
  • Furinkazan Tag Tournament 2014(ZERO1)
  • Global Tag League 2015(NOAH)
  • Global Tag League 2019(NOAH)
Takashi Sugiura with KAZMA SAKAMOTO after their Global tag league victory Credit (NOAH)

Signature moves

  • Olympic Slam
  • Ankle Lock
  • Seated corner forearms
  • German suplex into corner

Recommended matches

  • Minoru Suzuki vs. Takashi Sugiura (NOAH Great Voyage 2015 In Osaka).
  • Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Takashi Sugiura (NOAH Global Junior Tag League 2019 – Night 7).
  • Go Shiozaki vs. Takashi Sugiura (NOAH Vs. Kawasaki Festival 2018).
  • Takashi Sugiura vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (NOAH Pro Wrestling NOAH 10th Anniversary ~ Summer Navigation 2010 Part 1 – Night 9).
  • Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Takashi Sugiura (NOAH Global Junior League 2018 – Night 10).
  • Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. KAZMA SAKAMOTO & Takashi Sugiura (NOAH Global Junior Tag League 2019 – Night 8 & NOAH Global Tag League 2019 – Night 11).
  • KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Takashi Sugiura & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (NOAH Navigation with Breeze 2005 – Night 15).

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