Minoru Suzuki: A Profile of the Most Brutal (and My Personal Favorite) Wrestler on the Planet.
Ring of Honor’s upcoming Pay-Per-View Death Before Dishonor XV on September 22, 2017 features a main event that pits Cody Rhodes against New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Minoru Suzuki for the Ring of Honor World Championship.
It was booked after Suzuki answered Cody’s open challenge. If you aren’t familiar with Minoru Suzuki, here’s why you should be!
At 49 years old, he may not seem like a threat, but everything about him is menacing and unique: his hairstyle, his entrance music, and his unconventional, hard-hitting in-ring style. There is something about his presence and aura that seems legitimately frightening and intriguing, even dangerous. It’s hard to look away.
He is the current NEVER Openweight Champion in NJPW and the leader of the Suzuki-gun faction. Minoru’s background in MMA helps add to the realness of his wrestling style. And he is actually one of the pioneers of mixed martial arts, co-founding one of the first mixed martial arts organizations in the world called Pancrase. He is known for his catch wrestling skills. His finishing move, the Gotch-style piledriver, is appropriate because his mentor was Karl Gotch. It is a dangerous-looking finish for such a dangerous-looking man. He is also known for attacking young lions before, after, and sometimes during his matches.
If you are looking to watch some of his matches, here are a few entertaining ones from NJPW. He has been a part of many other promotions, but these you can view on njpwworld.com if you have a subscription.
Most recently, he had two amazing matches against Kazuchika Okada. One was at NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo 2017 and the other (my favorite of the two) NJPW G1 Climax 2017 – Day 16. Another great match from that same G1 is his Day 2 match against Kenny Omega.
Other ones to check out include:
– Suzuki vs Togi Makabe (G1 Climax 24 – Day 8)
– Suzuki vs Okada (G1 Climax 24 – Day 11) – Suzuki vs Tetsuya Naito (G1 Climax 23 – Day 4)
– Suzuki vs Kota Ibushi (G1 Climax 23 – Day 8)
– Suzuki vs Tomohiro Ishii (Kizuna Road ’13 Day 8)
– Suzuki vs Okada (The New Beginning ’13) – Suzuki vs Yuji Nagata (Wrestle Kingdom 7)
– Suzuki vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (King of Pro Wrestling 2012)
My personal favorite is his G1 Climax 24 match against AJ Styles in 2014 (Day 7).
Many wouldn’t call that his greatest match, but that’s the one that made me love him and think to myself, “Who the hell is this guy!?” If his matches don’t do it for you, his entrance theme is more than enough to like him. It’s a beautiful, epic sounding theme sung by a popular Japanese female artist Nakamura Ayumi. During the theme, Suzuki walks down to the ring with a towel draped over his head. As it continues to play and he walks closer to the ring, the shadows of his face are highlighted by the bright lights, so that he resembles a ghost or reaper. The striking song along with Suzuki’s frightening glare is the perfect dichotomy, and it adds to his mystique.
It becomes even more electric when the crowd sings along to the most popular line, “Kaze Ni Nare.” It means, “become the wind.”
One of the most epic entrances ever was his Wrestle Kingdom 7 entrance when his theme song was performed live as he came down to the ring.
Don’t miss seeing his entrance and his brutality during the upcoming match against Cody at Death Before Dishonor.
Known as “The American Nightmare,” Cody may think he has no need to fear Suzuki.
But he is about to experience a new kind of hard-hitting nightmare, one that he may not be able to wake up from, the brutality and instability that is Minoru Suzuki: the scariest man in wrestling.