Wrestling / The Great Sasuke

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"Giving him a ladder is letting him commit suicide."
Shu Sato about The Great Sasuke's wrestling style.

The Great Sasuke (b. 1969, real name Masanori Murakawa) is Japanese Professional Wrestler, promoter and politician best known for his work in New Japan Pro Wrestling and his own promotion Michinoku Pro Wrestling. A Gran Hamada trainee, he debuted in 1990 for lucharesu promotion Universal Lucha Libre as MASA Michinoku, but after a trip to Mexico, he went to form Michinoku Pro Wrestling, giving birth to one of the most legendary wrestling companies. He changed his name to The Great Sasuke and adopted the persona of a fearless masked ninja, becoming known for his high-risk wrestling, revolutioning the Japanese cruiserweight scene and having legendary matches with Jushin Thunder Liger, Ultimo Dragon and other names. Sasuke was the first wrestler in winning the eight titles J Crown championship, and figures as the most decorated wrestler in Michinoku Pro's history. Known for his love of crazy stunts and his outspoken demeanor, Sasuke has been one of the solidest babyfaces in puroresu, only wrestling as a heel during his SASUKE age and his most recent Mu no Taiyo angle, and has worked in almost every promotion in Japan.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"Tropes Fire Powerbomb":

  • The Ace:Of Michinoku Pro, in his old times.
  • Arch-Enemy: Super Delfín, Jinsei Shinzaki, Jushin Thunder Liger (those two in a Worthy Opponent light) and Ultimo Dragon.
  • Ass Kicks You: Mu no Taiyo's tag team finisher is the Messiah Korin, a move in which the Satos lift a cross-legged Sasuke and slam him butt-first onto the opponent.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Half of Sasuke's moveset follows this, but he does not care.
  • Battle Strip: A gradual example. His first wrestling attire was a full body ninja jumpsuit, but he changed in mid-2000s to just pants, and recently switched to wrestle in short tights.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Back in El Dorado Wrestling, Sasuke was once put in the infamous testicular claw by "brother" YASSHI, but the Voodoo Murders member underestimated Sasuke's craziness, as he retaliated biting YASSHI's crotch.
  • Big Bad: Currently.
  • Big Good: Was the hero of Michinoku for years, before progresively tilting towards the Retired Badass field in comparison with younger wrestlers. This changed in 2014.
  • Boring, but Practical: His Thunder Fire Powerbomb.
  • Bullying a Dragon: During a match against Sasuke in the Fukumen World League 1999, American pro wrestler Dirtbike Kid broke the script by refusing to wear his mask (it was a masked league) and no-selling the spin kick which was supposed to end the match. Infuriated for legit, Sasuke brutally kicked him down and submitted him with a neck crank to end things.
  • Butt-Monkey: Due mostly to his own silliness, Sasuke continiously falls in the shorter end of failed spots. He also tends to receive all kinds of comical attacks whenever there is a Garbage Wrestler in the match.
  • The Cameo: He had two televised matches in the Attitude Era World Wrestling Federation against TAKA Michinoku.
  • Captain Ersatz: Great Sasuke types started showing up in Fire Pro Wrestling during the new millennium.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Both in and out character, take our word. He is known for his reticence to taking off his mask in his private life, to the point he takes showers and walks in the street with it on, and even shot a pornographic film in 1999 while wearing it. In fact, he became the first masked politician ever when he won the election to the Iwate Prefectural Assembly and insisted to appear with his mask on. Leaving mask affairs aside, he also tends to dip in comedy wrestling by simply showing off how crazy are the things he is willing to do on the ring.
  • Cool Mask: Of course.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Every time he faces a similar legend like Jushin Liger or Último Dragón, this is enforced.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Michinoku Pro DVDs from the time in which he wrestled unmasked have his face blurred.
  • Cult: Mu no Taiyo is ostensibly based in a shinshūkyō or Japanese new religion cult.
  • Dark Messiah: His current character as the leader of Mu no Taiyo is a mystical, Knight Templar guru who aims to protect the world from puroresu dark forces to any price.
  • Diving Kick: One of his signature moves is Kamen Rider style flying side kick, usually to the outside. He uses it even if it entails cracking his skull.
  • Diving Save: Parodied in HUSTLE when Sasuke dove in to save Hitomi Kaikawa from a kiss from Yuji Shimada, kissing himself the heel referee instead. Again, Sasuke being Sasuke, it was not big deal.
  • Determinator: See above.
  • Epic Fail: Invoked against him by Jushin Liger. Sasuke went for a springboard, slipped and belly-flopped painfully into the ring. Instead of trying to cover up the botch, Liger decided to work it into the match and drew attention to it by applauding and then mocking Sasuke's twirly-finger 'I'm going to the top rope' taunt. This of course gave Sasuke a chance to roll him up...
  • Evil Costume Switch: As the evil SASUKE, he changed his red and black mask to a blue and black one.
  • Face: A great one.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Only two in his career.
    • The first one was in 1998, when he and his promotion were in economic trouble. He snapped and became the wicked SASUKE, using the typical heel custom of writting his name in Western caps, and formed the SASUKE Gundan along Super Delfín's old henchmen and Toryumon Japan's Crazy MAX. Eventually, Sasuke got the evil exorcized out of him by Jinsei Shinzaki and returned to his old personality.
    • Later, in 2014, he caused the loss of his team in the Great Space War (Uchū Dai Sensō, a Michinoku periodic storyline in which over-the-top characterised wrestlers face evil fiends in order to protect the world) and snapped again, joining the Brahman Brothers in the Mu no Taiyo stable to ensure such a defeat didn't repeated.
  • Feel No Pain: Wrestling history has seen some true painless people, but probably none of them cast a shadow over Sasuke on the terrain of ignoring physical pain and injuries. Sasuke's style is highly self-harmful and features the most suicidal spot wrestling conceivable.
  • Finishing Move: Thunder Fire Powerbomb, Senton Atómico, Sasuke Special X Version 10.2 Segway (a painful missile dropkick to the shoulder) and Octopus Hold.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: His gimmick originally was a ninja, but he stopped pretending to be stealthy.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • I Have the High Ground
  • Lightning Bruiser: Although his style is mostly aerial, he is good on the mat as well.
  • Made of Iron: Pretty much the only reason he still alive. A less tough person doing the things he does would have died a long time ago.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Cracked his skull doing a Diving Kick during a match with Último Dragón in 1996, but continued wrestling the bout as if nothing.
  • Masked Luchador
  • Large Ham
  • Power Stable:
    • SASUKE Gundan (SASUKE, Sasuke the Great, Masked Tiger, CIMA, SUWA, TARU, Don Fujii and Masayoshi Motegi.
    • HUSTLE Army (several incarnations)
    • Mu no Taiyo (The Great Sasuke, Brahman Kei and Brahman Shu).
  • Red Baron: "Tohoku no Eiyu" ("The Hero of Tohoku"), "Michinoku no Hoshi" ("The Star of Michinoku"), "The Great One", "Messiah".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He is the red to every tag team partner of his, especially Jinsei Shinzaki, Jushin Liger and Yoshitsune.
  • Shout-Out/Homage: Several.
    • His mask design is very similar to Mach Hayato's, the first Japanese luchador.
    • After the release of The Wrestler, Sasuke started imiting Randy "The Ram" Robinson, wearing similar tights and using the Ram Jama headbutt finisher. Though he stopped doing the imitation, he occasionally still busts the move.
    • The Mu no Taiyo leader persona strongly echoes Bray Wyatt, albeit in a completely different light.
  • Spot Monkey: In recent times, his in-ring work has been limited to this, mainly due to injuries. His aerial stunts frequently involve ladders, furniture and crash landings.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Afte returning from Mexico.
  • Ur-Example: He innovated the rarely used Michinoku Driver, the Sasuke Special and possibly the Thunder Fire Powerbomb.
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