The Current Era of Michinoku Pro Wrestling

TOKYO, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 28: The Great Sasuke enters the ring during the Pro-Wrestling Masters at the Korakuen Hall on February 28, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 28: The Great Sasuke enters the ring during the Pro-Wrestling Masters at the Korakuen Hall on February 28, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

Founded in 1993, Michinoku Pro Wrestling is popular all over Japan, with their DVDs are sold in stores across the country.  Most of their live events take place in the  Tōhoku region, where the company is based.

Korakuen Hall is the preferred venue for Michinoku Pro to have Tokyo events in, especially after their December 13, 2019 event successfully sold out. The event had a standing-room-only attendance that totaled 1,890. This is the highest attendance for a pro-wrestling event at the venue since April 2015.

When most fans hear Michinoku Pro Wrestling mentioned, they usually remember names such as TAKA Michinoku, Sho Funaki, and the Kai En Tai faction, a big part of Michinoku Pro during the 1990s. However, the current era of Michinoku Pro Wrestling is a very different landscape, featuring a newer roster and new titles.

Michinoku Pro Titles

The Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship is Michinoku Pro’s singles title, and in August 2002, the company crowned Dick Togo as its first champion. Since that time, other notable wrestlers have become a part of the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship’s legacy, including The Great Sasuke, TAKA Michinoku, the longest-reigning Champion (553 days) Rui Hyugaji, and the current Champion, MUSASHI.

In July 2004, Michinoku Pro crowned its first Tohoku Tag Team Champions, Jinsei Shinzaki & Último Dragón. Since then the Tohoku Tag Team Championship has also been won by other standout teams such as Dick Togo & The Great Sasuke, Yapper Man 1 & Yapper Man 2, and current Champions Jinsei Shinzaki & The Great Sasuke

The teams with the most outstanding records as Tohoku Tag Team Champions are the teams of Ikuto Hidaka & Minoru Fujita, and Brahman Shu & Brahman Kei. Brahman Shu & Brahman Kei hold the record for the team with the most reigns as champions, with 4 reigns under their belts.

During their first reign, Hidaka & Fujita held the title for a record length of 725 days. During that reign, they unified the Tohoku Tag Team Championship with the UWA World Tag Team Title, a title that has a very historical past that began in the Mexico-based Universal Wrestling Association.

The UWA World Tag Team Title’s roots began in 1982 in Mexico’s Universal Wrestling Association, but its first holders of the title were the Japanese team of Riki Choshu and Gran Hamada. The title eventually permanently made its way to Japan after the company closed, becoming active again in El Dorado Wrestling in 2008.

The UWA World Tag Team Title eventually began being defended in many Japan-based promotions, held by teams including The Brahman Brothers, and Ikuto Hidaka & Minoru Fujita. It was during Hidaka & Fujita’s first reign that they unified the UWA World Tag Team Title with Michinoku Pro’s Tohoku Tag Team Title, defeating The Brahman Brothers in June 2016 for the UWA World Tag Team Title while they were already the Tohoku Tag Team Champions.

Michinoku Pro Roster

Michinoku Pro has a lot to offer, from legendary talent and experienced veterans to young new talent. The Great Sasuke and Jinsei Shinzaki are cornerstones of the company.

The Great Sasuke is the founder of Michinoku Pro. He has 31 years of in-ring experience and was the original holder of the J-Crown, a unification of eight different titles from eight different companies in Japan, America, and Mexico. The Great Sasuke also increased the legitimacy of the NWA World Middleweight Championship. When he became Champion in 1999, Sasuke often defended it at Michinoku Pro events in Japan and was the longest-reigning NWA World Middleweight Champion.

As a competitor in Michinoku Pro, The Great Sasuke is a 3-time former Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion and has won the Tohoku Tag Team Championship four times.

Michinoku Pro commissioner Jinsei Shinzaki has had a very accomplished career in the company as a tag team wrestler, winning the  Tohoku Tag Team Championship five times with four different partners.

The Great Sasuke and Jinsei Shinzaki don’t put the spotlight on themselves. Although Sasuke is a former Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion, he usually stays far away from the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship scene, instead of wrestling in the mid-card  (along with Shinzaki) with newer, less experienced talent, which helps them learn what to do and not to do in the ring as they continue to progress in their careers.

Trained by the Michinoku Pro Dojo, Rui Hyugaji has been wrestling for 14 years and has had three reigns as Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion, with his third reign being the longest in Michinoku Pro history.

The main theme in recent months has been the younger talent of Michinoku Pro versus the established veterans.  MUSASHI is a member of a group of young wrestlers collectively considering themselves to be the new generation of Michinoku Pro. With MUSASHI recently winning the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship, the balance of power is currently in their favor. The other members are Yasutaka Oosera, Koji Kawamura, Yasuyoshi Ogasawara, and Ayumu Gunji.

Although Ayumu Gunji has not captured singles gold, he has held the Tohoku Tag Team Championship on two occasions, as well as the UWA World Tag Team Championship. With no title wins under their belts yet, Yasutaka Oosera, Koji Kawamura, and Yasuyoshi Ogasawara are hungry for championship victories.

Along with young wrestlers who make up Michinoku Pro’s bright future, there are still legends and veterans of the pro-wrestling industry who contribute and earned their places in their company.

As the first Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion in Michinoku Pro Wrestling’s history, Dick Togo was one of the first wrestlers to cement his spot in the company as a notable member of the roster. Outside of Michinoku Pro, Togo has been wrestling for three decades for many major promotions in Japan, the US, and the UK.

Before Rui Hyugaji broke the record this year, Manjimaru was the longest-reigning Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion in Michinoku Pro history, a record which he held for 4 years.

One of the best tag teams in Michinoku Pro history, Yapperman #1 & Yapperman #2 has been with the company since 2009. They are the longest-reigning UWA World Tag Team Champions and have held the championship a record five times.

Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei are a crazy and untamed tag team, but also are very successful. They have held the  Tohoku Tag Team Championship a record four times, and are the fourth-longest reigning  UWA World Tag Team Champions. As members of the “Muno Taiyo” faction, They often team with The Great Sasuke, the leader of Muno Taiyo.

Taro Nohashi is a former Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion who has been with Michinoku Pro for 14 years and is one of the favorites of Michinoku Pro fans.

GAINA’s 2018 reign as UWA World Tag Team Champion with Taro Nohashi is the eighth-longest reign in the history of the championship.

Ken45 has been a  co-holder of the Tohoku & UWA World Tag Team Title, and although he is a freelance wrestler, Ken45 has wrestled in Michinoku Pro more than any other promotion during his 18-year career.

Michinoku Pro YouTube Channel

Michinoku Pro has its own YouTube channel, which features matches from earlier decades as well as matches that are presented live from the Michinoku Pro Dojo.