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Wrestling / Masato Tanaka

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Masato Tanaka (born February 28, 1973) is a Japanese Professional Wrestler trained by Atsushi Onita and Tarzan Goto. Tanaka is best known for his work in FMW and, by extension, on-and-off in the U.S. in ECW from 1998-2000. He debuted in 1993 and quickly adapted to the promotion's hardcore style, getting Covered with Scars as a result. He made his U.S. debut with ECW in 1998 and quickly became very popular, as ECW brought his long-running feud with Mike Awesome (known in FMW as the Gladiator) to American audiences and great acclaim. He made his PPV debut with a win over Doug Furnas at ECW Living Dangerously 98. Following the demises of FMW and ECW, Tanaka would compete for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance (particularly Pro Wrestling ZERO1), All Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling NOAH, Dragon Gate, Fighting Opera HUSTLE, MLW, Ring of Honor, Jersey All Pro Wrestling and many other promotions in Japan and the U.S. and even had one last battle with Awesome at WWE's ECW One Night Stand PPV on June 12, 2005. Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former ECW World Heavyweight Champion, a former 2x ECW World Tag Team Champion, holding the belts 1x w/Balls Mahoney and 1x w/Tommy Dreamer, a 2x Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE World Heavyweight Champion, a former FMW World Brass Knuckles Champion, the second-ever IWGP Intercontinental Champion, and the inaugural NEVER Openweight Champion.


  • Cool Sword: Carries one in ZERO-One.
  • Cool Teacher: He gave further training to American Dragon, who was initially trained by Shawn Michaels.
  • Covered in Scars: His face remained in good shape but the rest of his body gradually accumulated scars as his FMW career proceeded. He had noticeable forehead scars in the 2010s too.
  • Crossover: A regular fixture of Pro Wrestling SUN whenever it did shows alongside Zero 1(SUN was otherwise supposed to be an all women's promotion).
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Was the first to kick out of the Dudley Boyz' 3D finisher.
  • Determinator: Tanaka was known for his ability to absorb punishment. He no-sold chair shots and was the first ECW wrestler to kick out of the Dudley Boys' 3D.
  • Finishing Move: Rolling/Roaring Elbow note , Tornado DDT, Diamond Dust (Top-rope rolling Stunner), Sliding D.
  • Garbage Wrestler: He certainly worked that style in FMW and ECW, and was really good at it, but he is also excellent at regular wrestling as well.
  • Hard Head: Cracking him on the bonce with a chair doesn't seem to faze him.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Especially against Mike Awesome, as they would constantly have to raise the bar for the finishes. At MLW Revolutions, May 9, 2003, Awesome beat Tanaka by countout after hitting an Awesome Bomb through a table on the floor. In their match at ECW One Night Stand, Awesome put Tanaka through a table on the floor and splashed and pinned him on the floor.
  • Humiliating Wager: He and Hayabusa defeated Kodo Fuyuki and Bad Boy Hido in a mask versus hair match involving the FMW Brass knuckles tag team titles. That being Hayabusa's mask versus Hido's hair.
  • Loser Leaves Town
    • One sided example. Once Kodo Fuyuki became the FMW commissioner, he promised to fire Tanaka as soon as he lost a match in any way shape or form.
    • At FMW's 10th Anniversary show called Judgment Day, which was held on November 11th, 1999 as their November PPV, FMW WEW Singles Champion Masato Tanaka d. Kodo Fuyuki in a "Loser Leaves FMW Electrical Thunderbolt Cage Death Match."
  • No One Could Survive That!: He was the first guy to kick out of The Dudley Boys' 3D finisher, doing the deed during the match where he and Balls Mahoney defeated the Dudleys for the ECW World Tag Team Titles at ECW November to Remember 98, November 1, 1998.
  • No-Sell: Or rather, delayed sell. He rolled right back up after a release German suplex from Kodo Fuyuki during their Judgment day match and floored him with an elbow...and then hit the floor himself.
  • Power Stable:
    • (in FMW): Team Phoenix
    • (in AJPW, FMW, MPW and NJPW) The Complete Players
    • ECW Japan (no actual connection to ECW)
    • (in HUSTLE): HUSTLE Army
    • (in ZERO-ONE MAX): Sword Army
    • (in Zero 1 and NOAH): Dangan Yankees
    • (in New Japan): CHAOS
  • Red Baron: Dangan (Japanese for "Bullet"), FMW's Number One Son.
  • The Rival: Mike Awesome, Daisuke Sekimoto
  • Screaming Warrior: In his ECW matches, often his opponent would hit him over the head with a chair and he would No-Sell it while screaming.
  • Tag Team: Emblem, with Shinjiro Otani
  • Traumatic Haircut: Attempted in 2010 when he jumped restrained Hiroshi Tanahashi for Toru Yano but Yano only took some of Tanahashi's hair.
  • The Unintelligible: A variant - he would cut promos in ECW in which he spoke nothing but Japanese. The Mutants still ate it up.