(b. 1966) is a Japanese Professional Wrestler
, trainer, promoter and actor best known for his work as Ultimo Dragon.
He debuted in 1987 for New Japan Pro Wrestling
but moved to the Universal Wrestling Association in Mexico
, where he won the UWA World Welterweight Title
in 1988. In 1990 he returned to Japan to work for the Universal Wrestling Federation and Universal Lucha Libre, the latter which was founded by his mentor Gran Hamada. He returned to Mexico in 1991, specifically to CMLL
, where he started the Ultimo Dragon gimmick. He went back and forth between CMLL and WAR, and got to win the New Japan IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
twice due to the companies having a cooperative agreement. He debuted in WCW
in 1996 as a Heel
, with WCW having changed his name to "Ultimate Dragon," though it actually means "Last Dragon," as his original gimmick was that he was supposed to have been the last student of Bruce Lee
. He made his PPV debut at WCW Hog Wild 1996
in a loss to Rey Misterio Jr. He would hold the WCW World Cruiserweight Title twice and the WCW World Television Title
twice. In 1998, he suffered a serious arm injury, which was made worse by a botched surgery which caused nerve damage and led to him having to retire. He became a trainer, with some of his early students including Dragon Kid, Magnum TOKYO, CIMA and SUWA, and was a co-promoter for IWRG in Mexico. He started his own promotion, Toryumon, with a roster made up mostly of his students. He parted ways with the promotion after it was renamed Dragon Gate
. He had a second, this time successful, surgery in 2002 and got back in the ring for his T2P (Toryumon 2000 Project) and Toryumon Mexico promotions. He debuted in WWE
in 2003 following the company's success with Rey Mysterio Jr
. However, his run was not successful, as apparently Vince McMahon had thought Dragon was the same kind of wrestler
as Mysterio, and proceeded to bury him as a result. Dragon left in 2004. He wrestled for Dragondoor, a promotion run by one of his students, but it did not last very long. He has continued to compete in Mexico, Japan, Canada and Europe ever since. Along with the ones mentioned above, he has competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
"The Last Tropes":
- Accidental Misnaming: His name was initially mistranslated as The Ultimate Dragon.
- The Ace: To reiterate, he was not just the most decorated pro wrestler of his era during his era was the most decorated wrestler of all time, perhaps not in total number of titles or variety of title but in that he held eleven titles and had to defend all but one of them.
- (in WCW): At first it was Psicosis. After that, his former manager Sonny Onoo and whoever his top client was (first Psicosis, then Yuji Nagata).
- Ascended Fanboy: Say whatever you will about his WWE run or what transpired after it, Ultimo Dragon can always say he lived his dream of competing at Wrestlemania. He also lived the dream of wrestling under the Tiger Mask, his chilhood hero.
- Badass Cape: Well, except when it snagged on his way to the ring for the Cruiserweight Open at WrestleMania XX.
- Badass Grandpa: He and Jinsei Shinzaki are the oldest wrestlers on the Michinoku Pro roster.
- Bash Brothers: With Atlantis, Negro Casas, El Dandy
- Evil Laugh: He may not have spoken much, if any, English but his ECW run could be used be used as the basis for the theory of haughty, boastful laughter crossing all language barriers.
- Finishing Move: Dragon Sleeper, Dragon Bomb, Cancun Tornado, Asai DDT.
- Foreign Wrestling Heel: Early in his WCW career.
- Game-Breaking Injury: As mentioned above, the arm injury and botched surgery that temporarily ended his career.
- Heel-Face Turn: He debuted in WCW as a heel under Sonny Onoo's management, then split with Onoo and turned face. He's been a face ever since.
- He did work heel in Michinoku Pro Wrestling as the Bigger Bad behind Kowloon, though.
- He was welcomed back into the Michinoku Sekigun after getting kicked out of Kowloon.
- I Have Many Names: Ultimo Dragon, "Ultimate Dragon," The Tiger II, Saigon Dragon.
- I Have the High Ground: His turnbuckle handstand. Also, he innovated the Asai Moonsault.
- Lightning Bruiser: A cruiserweight, but his kicks put him well into the Bruiser category and he's been known to use powerbombs against smaller cruiseweights.
- Masked Luchador: He was Japanese, but because of the brutality of the Japanese training system he trained to wrestle in Mexico.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Delivered one to Rey Mysterio Jr. On PPV. En route to winning the Cruiserweight Title.
- Panthera Awesome: Wrestled as "The Tiger II" for a time, or as "Tiger Dragon."
- Power Stable: Kowloon.
- Real Men Wear Pink: His entrance theme, "Separados" by Sergio Vargas, is a melancholic love song.
- Shout-Out/Homage: His name is one to Bruce Lee. At one point part of his gimmick was that he was Bruce Lee's final student.
- Too Many Belts: Just look at the pic at the top of the page. Yes, he really did hold that many titles all at once.
- Trope 2000: As a trainer, one of the groups of students he produced was called the Toryumon 2000 Project.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When he was praised by Tajiri during his Smackdown Yakuza gimmick.