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Akebono

      

Real Name - Akebono Tarō (born Chadwick Haheo Rowan”)

Birthdate - 5/8/69

6'8" 517 lbs. - Waimanalo, HI


Athletic Background - Sumo (Yokozuna `93-`01), MMA/Kickboxing (K-1), Basketball (Hawaii Pacific University)

Teacher(s) - Keiji Muto

Professional Background - All Japan(`05), New Japan(`06-`07), NOAH(`06), HUSTLE(`07-`09), Dragon Gate(`08-`10), Zero1(`09-`13), All Japan(`09-`15), Wrestle-1(`16), Odo(`16)

AliasesThe Great Bono, Monster Bono, Bono-chan, Brazo de Bono

Groups - Monster Army, Legend-Gun, Chou Zetsurins, Sword Army,
Partisan Forces, ZERO64

Peak Years - n/a



Finisher(s) - 

- Yokozuna (Running) Splash

- Yokozuna Final Impact (Package Piledriver)

- Magnificent 64 (Falling Hip Throw)

- Banzai Drop (Corner Seated Splash)

- Muso (Waistlock Side Slam)

- Japanese Drop (Samoan Drop from the 2nd Turnbuckle)

- Flying Splash from the 2nd Turnbuckle

- Chokeslam


Favorites -

- Avalanche

- Lariat

- Sleeper

- Shoulder Block

- Chest Slap



Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set6
 Science2
 Aerial1
 Power8
 Strikes6


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment6
 Selling5
 Bumping4
 Carrying5
 Heat8
 Legacy6


Place in History - For those outside of Japan, it is difficult to grasp the level of fame that the top competitors in sumo acquire.  While the sport has since dwindled, the last great era saw a great rivalry between a mammoth Hawaiian known as Akebono and a pair of legendary brothers, Takanohana and Wakanohana, that made all three national superstars.  Akebono’s immense size and amazing power led him to climb the ladder quickly becoming the 64th yokozuna in 1993.  He ranks highly on many lists of the greatest of all-time in a sport that has a long recorded history going back centuries.  Akebono was exceptionally tall and heavy, which afforded him great reach and power, but not without frequent injuries.  After a long and successful reign, injuries were taking their toll and Akebono retired.  He pursued a lucrative career with K-1 and while no rikishi-turned-fighter had been successful, Akebono’s aggressive style and monstrous size set him apart from others.  Between 2003 and 2006, he had thirteen fights, although between kickboxing and mixed martial arts, Akebono has only ever won a single fight.  In 2005, he debuted in pro-wrestling.  While the sport was at a nadir in Japan, the ability to manipulate results was ideal for Akebono.  He made his start working with Keiji Muto in All Japan, but soon began working for everyone.  Akebono was the most successful combat athlete to ever transition to pro-wrestling in Japan and he was a national celebrity, so he had value that few others did.  Akebono was often kept in tags to protect him and yet he improved and learned.  He captured the Triple Crown from Suwama in 2013 and again from Go Shiozaki in 2015 and while the title does not carry the prestige it once did, it was still a notable accolade.  He went freelance after losing the title and decided to try fighting again (he lost another big fight) and start a new company (Odo, backed by Motoko Baba).  There are many athletes with backgrounds in combat sports that have made the jump to pro-wrestling, while some were Olympians or world champions, Akebono’s impact in sumo and fame within that sport far surpass that of anyone who had a significant career in pro-wrestling after becoming a legend within a combat sport.
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