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Toshiaki Kawada

        

Real Name - Toshiaki Kawada
Birthdate - 12/8/63
6’ 240 lbs. - Shimosuga, Tochigi, Japan

Athletic Background - Wrestling (High School - Nat’l Champion); Sumo, Baseball (High School)

Teacher(s) - Giant Baba, Dory Funk Jr., Genichiro Tenryu

Professional Background - All Japan(`82-`05), TAW(`85), Stampede(`86), IWA(Montreal)(`86), HUSTLE(`04-`09), All Japan(`06-), NOAH(`09-), Zero-One(`09-)

AliasesKio Kawata, Black Mephisto, Mr. Toshiaki, Hustle K, Monster K

Groups - Revolution, HUSTLE Army, Monster Army, Hustle Union Army

Peak Years - `92 - `00


Finisher(s) - 
- Spin Kick
- Running Head Kick (Downed Opponent)
- Brainbuster
- Sliding Powerbomb
- Jump Front Kick
- Stretch Plum
- Dangerous Back Suplex
- Ganzo Bomb

Favorites -
- Yakuza Kick in corner
- Reverse Thrust Kick
- Head-stomping Half Crab
- Jumping Clothesline
- Face Kicks

Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set10 
 Science
 Aerial
 Power
 Strikes10 

Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment
 Selling10 
 Bumping
 Carrying9
 Heat
 Legacy


Place in History - Many people regard All Japan in the 1990s as the high point of pro-wrestling as a high workrate and simple booking led to a very lucrative period.  While the company had a good-sized roster and cycled in a number of foreign talent, it was primarily a group of four Japanese wrestlers that were the constant.  Toshiaki Kawada was, according to many, the best of four, meaning he was essentially the best in the world.  In his formative years, Kawada was an underling of Genichiro Tenryu and partner of Samson Fuyuki.  When Mitsuharu Misawa led a generational revolution against the All Japan established stars, Kawada was right at his side.  Eventually, the two became antagonists and had some the best singles matches in the world.  Furthermore, Kawada and his partner Akira Taue against Misawa and Kenta Kobashi had perhaps the greatest series of tag team matches in history.  Kawada, who had grown up a fan of New Japan, publicly questioned All Japan’s decision to not go the interpromotional route that had worked time and time again for New Japan and other promotions.  This and other factors led to years of Kawada never getting the type of push that Misawa and Kobashi did.  He was consistently excellent throughout the decade and shocked the world when only he and Masa Fuchi stayed with All Japan after Misawa and everyone else left to form Pro-Wrestling NOAH.  Kawada helped strike an interpromotional deal with New Japan that seemed unimaginable only a couple years prior.  Tenryu was brought back and Keiji Muto eventually took over as the head of All Japan.  Puroresu was largely on the decline and interpromotional dream match hotshotting became rampant.  In 2005, Kawada left All Japan for the new entertainment-based HUSTLE promotion.  The reputed tough guy with missing teeth and vicious kicks became almost a caricature of himself.  Since that time, Kawada has worked with basically every top star in Japan and practically every promotion.  Despite nearing fifty and having worked a physical style for decades, Kawada stands up better than most.  Taue aged and slowed down, Misawa became a chubby shelf of his former self, Kobashi was nearly crippled with knee injuries and Akiyama never quite reached individual success of his peers.  In terms of pure in-ring performances, probably few (if any) rank higher and especially in the television era where most of his notable matches are readily available.  Toshiaki Kawada will probably always be fondly remembered for the multitude of all-time classics he delivered and his role in one of the greatest eras of pro-wrestling ever.
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