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Kantaro Hoshino (1943-2010)

Real Name - Takeo Hoshino

Lifespan -  10/9/1943 - 11/25/2010

5’7” 210 lbs. - Kobe, Hyogo, Japan

Athletic Background - Boxing

Teacher(s) - Rikidozan

Professional Background - JWA(`61-`73), Los Angeles(`67), Dallas(`67), Nashville(`67), New Japan(`73-`95), IWE(`79), New Japan()

Aliases - The Great Yamaha

Groups - MAKAI Club

Peak Years - `70-`77 

Finisher(s) - 

- Flying Bodypress

Favorites -

- Jumping Headbutt Attack

- Back Suplex

- Neckbreaker Lariat

- Dropkick

- Jabs & Haymaker

Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set7

Intangibles Rating - 


Place in History - For many, Kantaro Hoshino will be remembered as a the finger-pointing manager of the MAKAI Club in New Japan, prior to that however, he had an in-ring career that spanned four decades.  Kantaro Hoshino was an accomplished amateur boxer who broke into pro-wrestling under Rikidozan and spent much of his first decade in the sport in the JWA.  Although small, Hoshino was tremendously quick.  He was paired with Kotetsu Yamamoto who was a little older, but newer to the sport and they made a good little team.  Known as the Yamaha Brothers during their time in the US, they were never a top tag team and are mostly a romanticized pairing from that era.  When the JWA folded, both men followed Antonio Inoki to New Japan.  While Yamamoto became an invaluable asset to the company behind the scenes, Hoshino worked up and down the cards with all the up-and-coming stars.  Despite the fact he was not really pushed in a significant way after 1980, Kantaro Hoshino was no slouch in the ring.  His fast punches were a fun homage to his boxing past and gave him a unique weapon.  Otherwise, Hoshino was just another great talent on a loaded roster.  The two briefly held the IWE tag titles, but otherwise were not a prominent act or titleholders.  When Yamamoto retired, Hoshino continued to wrestle for another fifteen years.  The Yamaha Brothers revised their tag team several times while it was only a nostalgic reunion act, it was fun and probably bolstered their legacy.  When New Japan was catching fire in the 1980s, Hoshino was one of the true workhorses.  His work with the young lions, particularly those who would fill up the company’s junior heavyweight division, was crucial.  After his retirement, Hoshino eventually found a new role that seems unlikely.  As an elder statesman type in his black suit and white tie, Hoshino led an eclectic group of wrestlers and former MMA fighters against New Japan regulars.  Their main star was Tadao Yasuda, who the company got behind for a while, and when he left, the group dissolved.  Kantaro Hoshino made a few appearances and even had a last match in 2008.  A couple months later, he had a stroke and he passed away the following year.