The Musasabi Warrior and King of Pancrase

Posted: October 14, 2014 in Entertainment, Life, Professional Wrestling, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I had the honor of participating in my old tag team partner Akira Nogami’s 30th pro wrestling anniversary show in Tokyo this past Friday, October 10.  I wrestled the main event of the evening, a triple threat match between myself, Akira and Masakatsu Funaki.  It was memorable, let me assure you!

My former Synapse teammates -- Syuri congratulates Akira on 30 years in the game.

My former Synapse teammates — Syuri congratulates Akira on 30 years in the game.

As anyone out there worth their stock in Puroresu and MMA knowledge knows, Masa Funaki is one of the founders of Pancrase, along with Minoru Suzuki.  The man is a fighting sport legend in his own lifetime, and one of the hardest, if not THE single most hardest kicker that I have been in the ring with in the last 20 years.

In our match, I found myself fighting an overwhelming 2-on-1 attack from both Akira and Funaki for the first half of the match, before things between them became strained and they turned their focus on fighting each other.

Locking an STF on Akira (photo by Kenji Yamaguchi)

Something incredible happened during the match that I have never encountered before in all my years: I spike piledrove Funaki to cut off the 2-on-1 assault I was under, and moments later, he just popped back up and began lacing into me with knees and kicks!  It was downright scary.  The man is almost not human, and most definitely is one of the toughest opponents I have ever been in the ring with.

Masa Funaki kicking like a government mule! (Photo by Hidekazu Tsuge)

Finally, after several altercations with both opponents, I was able to capitalize on a fortunate intervention by Akira’s and my former Synapse teammate Syuri, who saved Akira from near-defeat by Funaki.  As Masa Funaki’s attention was diverted at ringside on Syuri, I was able to hit my trademark spike piledriver in the ring to score the elusive win.

StarBuck piledrives Akira (photo by Corbata Japón)

It was surreal, as the understanding of StarBuck defeating Akira sank in on my esteemed opponent’s 30th anniversary card.  I am sure this outcome was also a shock to many in the media on hand, as well as the rabid fans on hand at Shinjuku Face arena that night.  As wrestling legend Masahiro Chono got in the ring and raised my hand in victory, I realized once again, these are the grand moments that we live for in this business.  Moments that live on vividly in our memories, that one day we tell our grandchildren about.

Masa Chono and StarBuck (photo by Michihiro Tomita)

At the end of it all, everyone that wrestled on the card got into the ring to pay homage to our great brother-in-arms, Akira.  All of my respect to the man, who is one of the kindest individuals and kindred warrior spirits that I have gotten to know in this tumultuous game we call professional wrestling.

lineup Akira 30th anniversary

In closing, I dedicate this video to my brother and friend, Akira Nogami, the Musasabi Warrior!  Live long and prosper!

 

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