Friday, February 2, 2024

Wrestler Spotlight: Michio Kageyama - Versatility and Experience

Michio Kageyama has been in the pro-wrestling industry for 14 years, and during that time he has displayed a level of versatility that few others can match. Trained by Shadow Phoenix (who is most recognized from his appearances in the UK-based ASW), Kageyama focused his career displaying his technical skills, as well as the powerful kicks that Kageyama developed as a result of his background in karate.

As Michio Kageyama's career progressed, his moveset became further refined, as he developed counters, variations, and sequences that made his technical style even more intricate and unpredictable, while his ring awareness and psychology improved as well.

Although Michio Kageyama can usually be found in the Nagoya-based Sportiva Entertainment and Pro Wrestling Team DERA, he has also wrestled in many other promotions, including NOAH, DDT, AJPW, ZERO1, and the gifu-based Yanagase Pro Wrestling. But it was in BJW where he began to show that he was more than a technical wrestler, as Kageyama entered the company's Death Match division in 2021.

Matches in BJW's Death Match division features items such as chairs and lighttubes. It was a new and challenging world for Michio Kageyama, as he has bravely faced some of the best that BJW has to offer, such as Ryuji Ito, who has held the Death Match Heavyweight Championship more times and longer than any other wrestler. But Kageyama adapted to this style of match, as he blended technical wrestling with hardcore wrestling, showing quick-thinking and every move being executed for a reason.

A rare accomplishment that Michio Kageyama has made in BJW is getting an independent promotion's championship recognized in a major one. He is the current Team DERA Drazeger Champion, and he defended the championship against a BJW talent in the main event of a BJW show.

Defenses such as this one can potentially raise the image of the Team DERA Drazeger Championship, and Pro Wrestling Team DERA as well. And it will be interesting to see if Michio Kageyama becomes a touring champion, defending the championship in the many other independent promotions that he appears in. For example, both he and Kenta Kosugi wrestle in Yanagase Pro Wrestling, and have been on the same and opposite sides of the ring in tag team action, but never singles action. And also, Kosugi is a former Team DERA Drazeger Champion. A first time ever singles match between the two of them and with Team DERA Drazeger Championship on the line would be a great match, and Yanagase Pro Wrestling would be the perfect platform for it, especially since it broadcasts shows on TwitCasting, a livestreaming service based in Japan that has over 33 million registered users worldwide. That would provide a lot of exposure to the Team DERA Drazeger Championship from outside of Pro Wrestling Team DERA's regular audience.

Considering Michio Kageyama's versatility, it's anyone's guess what 2024 has in store for him. But no matter whether Kageyama begins putting more focus on BJW or continues to prioritize the independent scene, he will continue to be a standout.

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