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Wrestling / Kensuke Sasaki

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Kensuke Sasaki (born August 4, 1966) is a retired Japanese Professional Wrestler, famous for his work in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and other promotions. Trained by Riki Choshu, Sasaki followed him to NJPW and became one of the hottest prospects of his time, and after a long excursion abroad he formed a proverbial tag team with Hiroshi Hase. It ended prematurely when Hase left due to a dojo incident, and Sasaki ended up being more known for being part of The Road Warriors in Japan. After some matches in World Championship Wrestling and a solid reign as IWGP Champion, Sasaki was already a respected member of the business, and although he had a part on his mentor Choshu's Fighting World of Japan debacle, it only allowed him to play a traitorous heel upon his return to New Japan. However, some animosity with Choshu moved him to leave, this time for good, and Sasaki landed on All Japan Pro Wrestling, which became his new home. He then diversified into his own company, Kensuke Office (later known as Diamond Ring), and Pro Wrestling NOAH. Thus, Sasaki is one on the only two men (along with Yoshihiro Takayama) to win the major heavyweight titles of the three top promotions in Japan, NJPW, AJPW and NOAH.
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"Power Tropes":

  • '80s Hair: Had a mullet in his early career, he shaved it off when he started training for MMA.
  • Action Dad / Papa Wolf: Supposedly, he actually adopted Katsuhiko Nakajima, who debuted in the business in his teens, to act as this both in physical presence and through the Kensuke Office organization, which is essentially a "brand name" for their family (He and his wife, female legend Akira Hokuto also have two biological sons) and affiliated wrestlers.
  • Battle Couple: He and real life wife and former wrestler Akira Hokuto. Akira often accompanied to his matches, and she even came out of retirement for a 10 man tag match.
  • The Big Guy: In Dragon Gate, he was this to the Florida Bros. Really, he dwarfed just about everyone on the roster.
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  • Breakup Breakout: He was successful teaming with The Road Warriors, but he eventually held all three major Japanese World Titles.
  • Charles Atlas Super Power: Has a background in weight lifting
  • Cool Teacher: Trained Katsuhiko Nakajima, KENSHIN, Kento Miyahara, Manabu Nakanishi, Ryuji Yamaguchi and Takashi Okita.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Had an epic chopfest in Pro Wrestling Noah with Kenta Kobashi.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In Dragon Gate, after repeatedly losing to the Florida Bros via their trickery, Sasaki gave up on pulping them and joined them.
  • Double Knockout: Once had one with Yuji Nagata, via lariat and enzuigiri respectively.
  • Expy/Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He was a member of the Road Warriors (known in New Japan as the Hell Raisers) as Power Warrior taking the place of an injured Animal.
  • Facial Markings / Shoulders of Doom: As Power Warrior to match with the look of the Road Warriors.
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  • Fan Nickname: "Kenskee" in Dragon Gate. It became in-universe when the Floridas started calling him that too.
  • Finishing Move: Northern Lights Bomb, King Buster, Lariat and Strangle Hold variations.
  • I Know Muay Thai: He trained it in 1997, although rarely used it on the ring. He also did Mixed Martial Arts afterwards. He also trained in Judo before his wrestling career.
  • It Will Never Catch On: In Dragon Gate with the Florida Bros, Akira Hokuto was originally adamantly opposed to the whole angle and gimmick, thinking that it would ruin Sasaki's legacy. Instead it revitalized his career, and she decided the Florida Bros routine was Actually Pretty Funny - she could often be seen at ringside first corpsing and then looking irritated at herself.
  • Lame Excuse: He left NJPW claiming they impeded his promised MMA fight against Minoru Suzuki (in which Jushin Thunder Liger replaced him due to Sasaki being injuried). Actually everyone knew he was leaving to join his mentor Riki Choshu's new promotion.
  • Lightning Bruiser: About 250 ibs with a power based wrestling style and capable of pulling of top rope rolling sentons and frankensteiners.
  • Love at First Sight: Sort of. He proposed to Akira Hokuto on their first date.
  • Minored In Ass Kicking: Had two MMA fights and won them both in the first round by submission.
  • No-Sell:
    • It is part of his shtick. In Dragon Gate, a big part of Florida Bros comedy was the weakness of Michael and Daniel contrasted to the badassery of Sasaki.
    • The Floridas did several variations on the spot where Sasaki would forget to sell, so they'd do the spot over again and Sasaki would oversell horribly.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: When he was working in Canada, for whatever reason, Sasaki was being really stiff with jouneyman wrestler Mike Lozansky. Unfortunately for Sasaki, Lozansky was a protege of "Bad News" Allen Coage, who came charging at him like a mad bull in the dressing room. He looked at Sasaki and pointed his finger in his face, shouting, “You try that with ME!”. He then slapped Sasaki twice in the face, though luckily it didn't get further than that. Dan Kroffat was also a friend of Lozansky and is said to have gotten even with Sasaki back in a dressing room in Japan.
  • Red Baron: "Muscle Volcano".
  • Sadist Teacher: Has a reputation of being one for the NJPW Dojo. He supposedly killed a trainee named Hiromitsu Gompei by suplexing him too hard.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tended to cause this in other wrestlers in Dragon Gate. One time five guys at him, and he no-sold four of the kicks and caught the fifth (Magnum TOKYO's). The other four bailed leaving Tokyo to get killed. Another time K-Ness hit him with a series of chops that he utterly ignored - so K-Ness turned around and went back to the ring apron.
  • Start My Own: Kensuke Office, later renamed Diamond Ring.
  • Ur-Example: The first wrestler to hold all three major Japanese World Titles (New Japan's IWGP, All Japan's Triple Crown, and Noah's GHC).
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: In Dragon Gate, after joining the Floridas, he started wearing American Flag pattern shorts.
  • Wrestling Family: Husband to joshi wrestler Akira Hokuto.
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