Great Sasuke

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Great Sasuke
Great Sasuke at the Hustle event in Yokohama on May 4, 2009
Born (1969-07-18) July 18, 1969 (age 51)
Morioka, Iwate Prefecture
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)The Great Sasuke
Masa Michinoku
Ninja Sasuke
Black Ninja
Sasuke The Ram
Billed height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Trained byKotetsu Yamamoto
Gran Hamada
DebutMarch 1, 1990

Masanori Murakawa (born July 18, 1969) is a Japanese professional wrestler who is better known under the ring name, The Great Sasuke.

Career[change | change source]

He has also wrestled under the ring name, Masa Michinoku. He adopted the name Ninja Sasuke as well as the mask and outfit while on tour in Mexico. He is the founder and the current owner of Michinoku Pro Wrestling.

Michinoku Pro Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation agreed to have The Great Sasuke take part in a tournament to crown the first ever WWF Light Heavyweight Champion in 1997.[1]

Sasuke was being pushed to win the title but word got out to the WWF that Sasuke was bragging to Japanese media about how he would only defend the title in Japan if he won it and would refuse to lose the title on WWF television. The WWF fired him and terminated his working agreement. The tournament and title would eventually be won by Michinoku Pro Wrestling alumni, Taka Michinoku.

Along with Tiger Mask IV he began feuding with the heel clones of their gimmicks: Masked Tiger and Sasuke the Great. He won the NWA World Middleweight Championship in 1999 after he defeated Tokyo Magnum in tournament final to win the championship which was vacated by his old rival Último Dragón.

He swapped the red stripes on his mask for blue stripes and turned into a heel. He also started using the ring name SASUKE for a short time but turned back into a face when Jinsei Shinzaki "brought him back from the dark side" by "exorcising the evil out of him".

He currently competes for Michinoku Pro Wrestling.

Personal life[change | change source]

He is a member of the rock band Crazy Crew along with fellow professional wrestlers Ricky Fuji and Ken45°.

He ran in a Iwate governor election in 2007.[2] He lost in his bid to become governor of Iwate in a recent election.

He was arrested for assault after kicking a 36-year old man and grabbing him by the shirt collar on February 19, 2009. It was reported that he was angry because his picture was being taken with a cellphone camera. The incident happened on a JR Joban Line train at Minamisenju Station. All of the charges were dropped and he was released from jail on February 21 after he served 40 hours in jail and apologized to the man.[3]

Championships[change | change source]

  • Dramatic Dream Team
    • Big China Nakahara Unified Tag Team Championship (one time) (with Ricky Fuji)
  • Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling
    • FMW Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship (one time)
  • Michinoku Pro Wrestling
    • British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight Championship (two times)
    • Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship (three times)
    • Tohoku Tag Team Championship (two times) - with Dick Togo (one) and Yoshitsune (one)
    • Fukumen World League (2012)
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (one time) - with Jushin "Thunder" Liger
    • J-Crown (one time)
    • NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • NWA World Middleweight Championship (one time)
    • NWA World Welterweight Championship (one time)
    • UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • WWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • One Night Eight Man Tag Team Tournament (1994) (with Gran Hamada, Shinjiro Otani and El Samurai)
    • Junior Heavyweight Super Grade Tag League (1996) (with Black Tiger II)
  • Osaka Pro Wrestling
    • Osaka Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship (one time) (with Asian Cooger)
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • He was ranked #23 of the best 500 singles wrestlers by PWI in the PWI 500 in both 1996 and 1997.
    • He was ranked #92 of the 500 best singles wrestlers by PWI during the "PWI Years" in 2003.
  • Universal Wrestling Association/Universal Wrestling Federation
    • UWA/UWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship (two times) (with Gran Hamada (one) and Sasuke the Great (one))
    • WWF Light Heavyweight Championship (two times)
  • World Wrestling Association
    • WWA World Middleweight Championship (one time)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
    • 5 Star Match (1994) (vs. Wild Pegasus at Super J Cup)
    • 5 Star Match (1994) (vs. Jushin Liger on July 8)
    • Best Flying Wrestler (1994)
    • Best Wrestling Maneuver (1994) (The Sasuke Special)

References[change | change source]

  1. "The light history of the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
  2. "Wrestler to run for Iwate governor". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
  3. "The Great Sasuke arrested for assault". Japan Probe. Retrieved 2013-07-23.

Other websites[change | change source]