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By Matthew Macklin on 2014-11-21 08:45:44

Minoru Suzuki

Minoru Suzuki is one of the most legit performers in the world of professional wrestling due to his background in MMA, freestyle wrestling and catch wrestling. Suzuki is revered for his excellence in shoot grappling and submission wrestling. Suzuki is the leader of the Suzuki-Gun faction and at 46 years old is still a top performer and considered by many as one of the finest in the world.

In some ways he is comparable to Terry Funk, in that he stands out as being real and legitimate and has an unpredictable aura of danger surrounding him when he is in the ring. Suzuki’s entrance music “Kaze Ni Nare” might even be considered the best theme in pro wrestling. When it hits and Suzuki marches to the ring with his towel on his head, Suzuki looks like an unstable badass. The towel that Cesaro wears on his head on the way to the ring? That’s not a tribute to Taz, it’s a tribute to Minoru Suzuki.

Suzuki spends most of his time floating around the midcard in a seemingly endless feud with Toru Yano, NJPW’s resident comedy performer. However he is the kind of performer that can believably challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from time to time. Suzuki has had several outstanding matches in recent G1 tournaments, most notably his match with AJ Styles, which might very well be the NJPW match of the year. Also, his match with Kazuchika Okada was equally outstanding.

Suzuki is set to clash with fellow MMA and shoot fighter, Kazushi Sakuraba at Wrestle Kingdom in a match that can only be won by knockout or submission. This match is sure to be a unique attraction, as Suzuki’s immense ability will carry something special out of Sakuraba.

What to look out for?

Obviously due to his background Suzuki does a lot of grappling, submissions and MMA influenced maneuvers such as cross armbars, heel hooks and sleeper holds. Suzuki is also known to simply slap his opponent in the face. His finisher is a gotch style/cradle piledriver. It’s the little things that Suzuki does that make him special.

Watch out as Suzuki is known to kick a ring boy in the face from time to time.

Minoru Suzuki vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – IWGP Heavyweight Championship – King of Pro Wrestling 2012

This match has been heralded as pro wrestling perfection and with good reason. Suzuki challenges Tanahashi for the championship in one of the finest matches seen anywhere all decade. Watch it here.

Minoru Suzuki vs AJ Styles – G1 Climax Block B Match

This match felt like it came out of nowhere and blew people away. It had everything that makes NJPW special and thanks to Suzuki’s part, it was the match that made the NJPW crowd accept Styles. Enjoy one of the top matches from what has been called the greatest tournament in pro wrestling history. Watch it click here.

Minoru Suzuki vs Kazuchika Okada – G1 Climax Block B Match

This match took place on the final day of regular G1 matches, and with Okada one win away from the final, Suzuki was out to play spoiler just for his own amusement. It turned into another one of the best of the tournament, that gets forgotten behind Styles vs Suzuki. Watch it all happen here.

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