Thursday, December 14, 2023

Wrestler Spotlight: MUSASHI - A Veteran Leading the New Generation of Michinoku Pro

In the ever-evolving landscape of Michinoku Pro, few wrestlers embody both tradition and innovation as effectively as MUSASHI. A seasoned veteran with 13 years of experience, he has not only been a champion but also a leader, inspiring the next generation with his excellent skill and unwavering dedication.

MUSASHI's journey began at the renowned Michinoku Pro Dojo, a breeding ground for some of the most respected wrestlers on the Japanese wrestling scene. This is where he learned the Japanese style of wrestling, but MUSASHI has also wrestled in Mexico, where he worked from April 2018 to February 2019, absorbing the essence of the lucha libre style. This is also when he began wrestling as, “MUSASHI” (he originally wrestled as, “Daichi Sasaki”).

MUSASHI's dedication and talent have been rewarded with numerous accolades. He has captured the prestigious Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship two times, cementing his position as a top star and a force to be reckoned with in Michinoku Pro.

And during MUSASHI's second reign, he represented the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship in ways rarely seen. MUSASHI not only defended the championship in Michinoku Pro but also outside of it, successfully defending his title in December 2021 against former AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Champion Kaz Hayashi at a GLEAT event in Tokyo. Michinoku Pro is based in the Tohoku region of Japan, where their Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship matches usually take place, meaning that MUSASHI was a touring champion of sorts. He was even willing to defend the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship against allies. On March 6th, 2022 at a Michinoku Pro event in Tokushima City, MUSASHI successfully defended it against Koji Kawamura. At the time, both of them were members of a group of young wrestlers who represented the new generation of Michinoku Pro, appropriately named New Generation. And MUSASHI's championship pedigree extends beyond the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship, as he has also held the Tohoku Tag Team Championship two times, demonstrating his adaptability and success both as a singles and tag team wrestler. Along with Michinoku Pro and GLEAT, MUSASHI has wrestled in other Japan-based companies, including DDT (where he defeated former DDT Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion Kazuki Hirata in 2011), NJPW, NOAH, AJPW, ZERO1, and WAVE.

MUSASHI's influence goes beyond what he has done in the ring. As a veteran of the industry, he has served as a mentor and role model to the new generation of wrestlers in Michinoku Pro. Also, MUSASHI has put what he learned during his time in Mexico to good use in Japan, providing lucha classes to adults and children.

On July 2nd, 2022, MUSASHI defended the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship in a historical match against Fujita Jr. Hayato, which I'm glad I was able to witness live. It was only the seventh time in the decades-long history of the championship that it was contested at a Michinoku Pro event in Korakuen Hall, the Madison Square Garden of Japan. MUSASHI and Hayato's match was 30 minutes of action consisting of stiff chops, kicks, headbutts, forearm strikes, near-falls, and more, incomparable to the extent that it was declared the winner of pro-wrestling channel Samurai TV's 2022 Japan Indie Award for Best Bout.

With his talent, dedication, and leadership qualities, MUSASHI is undoubtedly a driving force in the future of Michinoku Pro, with a legacy in the making. He represents a new generation of wrestlers who seamlessly combine tradition with innovation, captivating audiences with their athleticism, charisma, and commitment to the industry. As he continues to pave the way and inspire others, MUSASHI is well on his way to cementing his legacy as one of the greatest wrestlers of his generation in Michinoku Pro.

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