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El Samurai


Real Name - Osamu Matsuda

Birthdate - 9/19/66

5'11" 205 lbs. - Hanamaki City, Iwate, Japan


Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - Yuji Funaki (Ofunato Gym); (New Japan Dojo)

Professional Background - New Japan(`85-`08), UWA(`91-`92), Free(`08-)

AliasesOsamu Matsuda, Edo Samurai

Groups - Samurai Gym

Peak Years - `93-`99

Finisher(s) - 

- Samurai Bomb (Thunder Fire Powerbomb)

- Samurai Buster (Reverse Brainbuster)

- Inverted Swinging DDT

- Samurai Clutch (Reverse Side Roll Cradle)

- Kimura with Head Scissors


Favorites -

- Swinging DDT

- Top Rope Rana

- Flying Headbutt

- Seated Reverse DDT

- German Suplex



Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set9
 Science6
 Aerial3
 Power7
 Strikes7


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment6
 Selling9
 Bumping6
 Carrying6
 Heat8
 Legacy5


Place in History - In the 1990s, New Japan developed a junior heavyweight division that has never been rivaled in terms of depth, quality and support.  Among the most underappreciated in that crew during that time period was El Samurai, who was a really backbone to the division.  Osamu Matsuda had toiled in the New Japan undercard for years before going under the hood as the division began to grow under Jushin Liger.  Samurai was certainly given his due with a some IWGP Junior Heavyweight and Junior Tag title reigns, he won a Top of the Super Juniors tournament and was one of the few to hold the J-Crown.  Despite these accolades, El Samurai is often overlooked in the larger picture by more charismatic, more dynamic and more prominent performers.  In the ring, he had few peers.  Samurai had the look and hot moves that anyone would expect in a junior, but more significantly, he had an exceptional ability to sell a beating and elevate opponents.  The rise of people like Shinjiro Otani, Koji Kanemoto and others was enhanced by opposition like El Samurai.  He grew increasingly frustrated with New Japan as the company and product declined.  He finally left the company to begin freelancing in 2008, but was decidedly past his physical prime.  Like others of his generation, he had the name value and know-how to do one night stands around the independents.  El Samurai leaves behind an impressive body of work, yet just as during that time is overshadowed by many of his peers.  While not the highflying or hard-hitting star that people tend to hold up, El Samurai was the sort of consistently excellent performer that every company needs and the top stars need.

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