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Masato Tanaka


Real Name - Masato Tanaka

Birthdate - 2/28/73

5'9" 225 lbs. - Okinawa, Japan


Athletic Background - Rugby (High School)

Teacher(s) - Atsushi Onita

Professional Background - FMW(`93-`01), ECW(`98-`00), Indies(`01-), BattlARTS(`01), All Japan(`01), Zero-One/Zero1-MAX/Zero1(`01-), Onita FMW(`02), WEW/Fuyuki(`02-`04), HUSTLE(`04-`06), WMF(`04), Apache(`07), New Japan(`09-)

Aliases - none

Groups - ECW Japan, Complete Players, Emblem Army, Dangan Yankees, Erotic Textile, Sword Army, Chaos

Peak Years - `97-`03

Finisher(s) - 

- Complete Dust (Canadian Backbreaker into DDT)

- Roaring / Rolling Elbow

- Diamond Dust

- Tornado DDT

- Dangan Bomb (Reverse Slam)

- Sliding D (Seated Elbow to Sitting Opponent)

- Reverse Superplex


Favorites -

- Super Fly (Frog Splash)

- Brainbuster

- Back Suplex

- Lariat

- “Dangan” Elbow




Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set8
 Science2
 Aerial3
 Power8
 Strikes8


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment8
 Selling8
 Bumping8
 Carrying7
 Heat7
 Legacy6


Place in History - When Atsushi Onita formed FMW in 1989, it marked a significant change in the Japanese landscape.  The company, although modest in size and talent, was able to blossom into one of the most influential of its era with rapid fan base.  It was into this promotion that a young Masato Tanaka found his true home.  FMW was a melting pot of different generations, different styles and different characters.  Tanaka earned his stripes working the company’s infamous death matches and emerged as a fan favorite with his incredible durability.  He looked like any other salaryman with boyish looks, fleshy build and short stature, yet he channeled his “fighting spirit” and could do battle with anyone.  He will forever be linked to “The Gladiator” Mike Awesome whom he battled in FMW, ECW and even in the WWE.  Tanaka was a staple in FMW throughout the company’s highs and lows.  He was always a top player and was consistently successful within the FMW structure.  His shocking departure shortly before the company’s death, allowed him to establish himself as a freelance talent and secure a spot in the new Zero-One promotion.  The promotion, which inherited the super independent role of FMW, was a curious hodge-podge of talent and Tanaka was very comfortable with that scene.   His partnership and later rivalry with Shinjiro Otani was a focal point of the promotion.  They were an excellent tag team, had a great feud, invaded companies and warded off invasions together.  Masato Tanaka, in his mid-30s and a survivor of a decade of battles, transformed himself physically.  His lean, muscular build was just what he needed.  Tanaka continued to be a top star in Zero-One, but he was also able to secure a regular midcard spot with New Japan.  Tanaka’s appeal of being tough-as-nails helped him establish himself and he was getting major exposure as New Japan was becoming a force again on the puroresu landcsape.  Masato Tanaka, while not exactly a shell of his former self, is past his best years.  His signature story of overcoming inhuman pain and suffering can no longer be told night after night.  He has his talents, but he has his limitations as well.  Tanaka is now a curious relic of a dead promotion that left a huge imprint on the Japanese pro-wrestling scene and fans still enjoy seeing him (as few of those FMW stars are still around) and he can still perform at an acceptable level.

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