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Wrestling / Masahito Kakihara

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Masahito Kakihara (born April 29, 1972) is a Japanese former Professional Wrestler and Mixed Martial Arts trainer. He debuted in UWF Newborn as part of the shoot-style movement, and later became a bright rookie for the next incarnation, UWF International, under the teachings of Nobuhiko Takada. He had feuds and big matches against foreign members of the company, and was one of the few who got with his aura more or less unscathed out from the interpromotional matches with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but was left free when UWF-i folded. He had then a short tenure in the similarly short-lived promotion Kingdom, but unlike his partners who turned towards PRIDE Fighting Championships, he stayed in pro wrestling and joined All Japan Pro Wrestling. After some alliances with Mitsuharu Misawa and fellow shooter Mitsuya Nagai, Kakihara left for NJPW and became part of his junior heavyweight division, winning the Best of Super Juniors 2003. He competed for the company until he retired in 2006 due to a neck injury. However, he would make a return to wrestling from 2011 onwards for Satoru Sayama's Real Japan Pro Wrestling as "Miyama☆Kamen", a gimmick he had used before.

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

"Kaki Tropes":

  • A Day in the Limelight: His gret victory at the Super Juniors Tournament ended being this, as he never won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship from Tiger Mask IV as thought and was Demoted to Extra shortly after, just as he had been until that point.
  • The Apprentice: Worked as tsukibito or assistant for Akira Maeda and later for Kazuo Yamazaki.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After his former partner Mitsuya Nagai criticized him for being injury prone, Kakihara in turn asked him whether he was with New Japan or with Black New Japan, as Nagai was by then balancing his membership of BNJ with a tag team with common friend Masayuki Naruse. Kakihara's question turned into the Arc Words, as Nagai ended up turning on Naruse. (Ironically, it would be Nagai's last action in NJPW, as he got injured and left right after.)
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  • The Artifact: Even after the demise of UWF, Kakihara still wore leg pads with the three letters of the company's name for a long time.
  • Badass Family: His son debuted in wrestling at 5 years old (in a comedy match against Kikutaro, that is) and her daughter is not other than Ayano Kakihara from the idol band Backstage Soto Kanda Icchome.
  • Badass Teacher: Was appointed trainer of the Los Angeles Inoki Dojo.
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Bash Brothers: With quite a high number of people. Kazushi Sakuraba (in UWF-i), Mitsuya Nagai (in AJPW) and Masayuki Naruse (in NJPW) were the main ones.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Yoshihiro Takayama.
  • Finishing Move: Kaki Cutter/Miyama Cutter (a STO or osoto otoshi), Inazuma Leg Lariat (a jumping leg lariat kick) and cross armbar.
  • Friendly Enemies: With Masayuki Naruse after teaming with him.
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  • Friend to Bugs: A big insect lover and collector, especially stag beetles. He wanted to explore the jungles of Brazil and North Korea during NJPW tours there just to gain some piece more for his collection.
  • Glass Cannon: Was very injury prone during his 2000 run in NJPW, and it eventually was the cause of the end of his career.
  • Hero Killer: Submitted Kensuke Sasaki with a cross legbar during the UWF-i-NJPW matches. Actually, Kakihara was pardoned from Riki Choshu's vicious booking because he was a rising rookie and it could have damaged his career too much (and because he was going to be booked to lose to Choshu himself).
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: According to Masakatsu Funaki, the two had a close friendship back in UWF Newborn. Even after the promotion folded and the two went to different companies, Kaki and him still used to spar together in a park near Masahito's house.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Was considered UWF-i's best young fighter along with Kiyoshi Tamura, but he never took part in MMA, except a promotional fight as part of Antonio Inoki's entourage which might have been worked. According to his training partner Enson Inoue, he would have been great with a proper training, and given that Inoki assigned Kaki to teach MMA in Los Angeles, it must not be for joking.
  • I Know Judo: Some sources cite him as a 1st dan black belt since highschool. He also trained in Catch Wrestling with Billy Robinson and shoot-style with Yoshiaki Fujiwara.
  • The Jinx: Has joked about a possible Bad Luck Charm on him, as he gets injured easily and almost every promotion he has competed in ended folding.
  • Long Bus Trip: Actually lampshaded by Kaki. He told Misawa upon jumping from NOAH to NJPW that he was not leaving the promotion, but just going on a journey, like hoping to return someday. However, he never returned to NOAH, and did not even take part in the interpromotional matches between the two companies some time after.
  • Magnetic Hero: Although he has a renowned solo career, Kaki enjoys the interesting ability of making big amounts of close allies and friends around him. It became evident in real life when he announced his malignant lymphoma in 2014 and a buttload of wrestlers struggled to take part in an aid event created for him.
  • Masked Luchador: As Miyama☆Kamen.
  • Power Stable: Untouchables, in AJPW.
  • Red Baron: "Neppuji" ("The Child of the Hot Wind") or simply "Kakki".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Mitsuya Nagai's red.
  • Retired Badass: Was the 2003 Best of the Super Juniors, but was forced to retire after injuries to his spine.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: The straight man in his short-lived tag team with comedy wrestler Gran Naniwa.
  • Teen Genius: Made his wrestling debut at 18 years old.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: In 2006, he humorously appeared under his masked persona in a CTU-promoted show posing along the rest of the masked CTU characters.
  • ¡Three Amigos!:
  • Ur-Example: He used the STO as a finisher before Naoya Ogawa debuted it.
  • The Worf Effect: Was beaten by Kazuyuki Fujita in under two minutes in 2002 to show off how dangerous was the guy.
  • Worked Shoot: Competed in shoot-style promotions and kept it as his wrestling style until his retirement.
  • Worthy Opponent: His partner Minoru Tanaka. He and Kakihara clashed for the vacant IWGP Junior Heavyweight with Tanaka coming over, but they didn't lose their mutual respect.

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