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Wrestling / Minoru Suzuki

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The lonely warrior.
"He choked me out, he heel hooked me, he beat the crap out of me for 30 minutes."
Ken Shamrock, about his first time training with Suzuki

"His technical ability and knowledge and coordination were beyond anything I could come up with."
Frank Shamrock

Minoru Suzuki (born June 17, 1968) is a Japanese Professional Wrestler and Mixed Martial Arts fighter, co-founder of the proto-MMA company Pancrase along Masakatsu Funaki. He debuted in 1988 for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, being a Yoshiaki Fujiwara trainee along with Funaki. When Fujiwara left for the shoot-style promotion UWF Newborn, Funaki and Suzuki got a permission to follow him, and they became part of the UWF roster. The promotion fell afterwards and his faction, led by Fujiwara, formed Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi, but it was short-lived as well. Funaki and Suzuki realized that Japanese crowds really would pay for see "real" matches with non-worked outcomes and launched Pancrase, the second MMA promotion in history. Using the catch wrestling roots they had learned from Fujiwara, which they called "hybrid wrestling", the two became the aces of Pancrase and had legendary fights with names like Ken Shamrock, Bas Rutten and Guy Mezger, with Minoru gaining the King of Pancrase title against Shamrock. While not as famous or successful as his partner Funaki, Minoru made himself known for his brutality and aloofness in and out of the ring, an aura he would keep the rest of his career. Nonetheless considered a great wrestler, Suzuki retired due to injuries making him lose fights and returned to pro wrestling, becoming a main eventer for All Japan Pro Wrestling and later New Japan Pro-Wrestling. In 2015, he'd win the GHC Heavyweight title in Pro Wrestling NOAH.


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

"The Tropes with the Worst Personality in the World":

  • Adam Westing: His post-Pancrase professional wrestling career is basically this trope turned into a full-fledged character. The staged Minoru Suzuki behaves exactly like the real Minoru Suzuki was reputed to behave (yes, that bad) back when he was a fighter.
  • Achilles' Heel: In MMA, striking. His kickboxing skills were very low, as he was never really interested in learning to hit and trade properly like some of his colleagues, and was also notoriously fragile overall. He often would crumble down to some well placed strikes after having dominated with his grappling up to that point.
  • Aloof Ally: In the Pancrase gyms, Suzuki was known to be better at punting people in the head than trying to help them. His pro wrestling persona isn't much better.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent:
    • Both his gimmick and his violent antics strongly reminisce of SUWA, another famous Ax-Crazy prone to thrash his opponents around and use illegal tactics (who might have inspired Suzuki had not Suzuki had his own reputation). In fact, Suzuki and SUWA teamed up in three special occasions before the latter's first retirement in 2007.
    • After leaving AJPW for NJPW, Suzuki started playing the role of TARU for the latter promotion, having a similar schtick of a psycho martial artist that attacks people at random and leads fearsome stables. The similarities among them actually increased around this time, given that Suzuki went from a wild card in AJPW to a straight out villain in NJPW like TARU was.
  • Always Someone Better
    • Every time somebody talks about Funaki and Suzuki, it's a matter of time that they mention Funaki as the best fighter of the two, which is not too illogic considering that Funaki was bigger, less injury prone and more open-minded about cross-training.
    • Also Manabu Yamada, a Satoru Sayama trainee who cleanly defeated both Funaki and Suzuki in their primes. He is pretty much the only Pancraseist who has managed to out-grapple Suzuki through pure skill and not by size or strength.
  • Anime Hair: After his return to pro wrestling, he likes to shave most in the front and leave spiky the back in a hairstyle that can best be described as "a mullet styled into Godzilla's dorsal fins."
  • Appeal to Force: NOSAWA won a game of jangen to determine who would be leader of GURENTAI, but it defaulted to Suzuki when he objected.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Maurice Smith, who defeated Suzuki in a different style fight in UWF Newborn, and later again in a kickboxing bout in Pancrase. It took a third match under mixed rules for Minoru to get his revenge. The thing was so personal that Suzuki admitted that their first fight left him traumatized. He seems to have gotten over it as they were recently seen hanging out together.
    • In pro wrestling, Yuji Nagata (in NJPW) and TARU and his Voodoo Murders (in AJPW).
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: For what the words literally mean, his high-impact harite slaps make his opponents fall like they were hit by a shovel. Just ask Kensuke Sasaki, for example. For what the trope page describes, there was a time he tagged with and invited the "wrath" of the 57 kg AKINO...
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Well, Shoot Wrestling, but yeah.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He's the leader of and it's called Suzuki-gun for a reason; because he's the toughest and most dangerous of the entire group. In fact the group had originally formed on its own as Kojima-gun until he came back from a hiatus and outright took the stable from underneath Satoshi after deciding he wanted it for himself. No one in the group's history after that, from Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer to the All American standout Shelton Benjamin to the Ax-Crazy Takashi Iizuka has attempted to usurp leadership or try to betray him. In fact, he commands so much respect that his influence rubs off on them.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: As the co-creator of Pancrase, he was one of the best grapplers in the promotion, and is notably the only guy with a (partially) legit win over Ken Shamrock, a feat who not even Funaki could repeat.
  • Badass Teacher: In the Pancrase Yokohama dojo.
  • Bald of Evil: Was forced to shave his hair after losing to Hirooki Goto at Wrestle Kingdom 12, leaving him with this.
  • Bash Brothers: Was this with his recurrent partner Yoshihiro Takayama until the latter's retirement by injury.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Suzuki once ended up in the shorter end of his own violent antics when SUWA, his retiring predecessor and homologue at this field, decided to end his last match in NOAH in trademark way by attacking everybody, including those who like Suzuki were teaming up with him that night. Naturally, Suzuki wasn't amused at this, and when he recovered from the gear box shot KO he had received from SUWA, he ganged up on him and beat him up along with everybody. (It seems Suzuki didn't harbor ill feelings, however, as he still teamed up with SUWA one more time in Mexico in the latter's retirement match.)
  • Big Bad Wannabe: While he certainly has the aura of a major threat in NJPW (to the point where Kenny Omega is legitimately terrified of him), outright destroyed Hiroshi Tanahashi, arguably the babyface of NJPW at New Beginning in Sapporo for the IWGP Intercontinental title, leaving the latter too weakened to even stand on his own power, and was effectively the company's Knight of Cerebus upon his 2017 return, his track record has been consistently lacking as far as top title results, especially compared to the Big Bads of the other main factions. Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito, as well as Bullet Club aces AJ Styles, Jay White, and the aforementioned Omega, have all managed to claim victory over IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, and both LIJ and Bullet Club have all directly threatened the champion in several high profile programs against his CHAOS faction. In fact, before Okada became the top face of the company and turned CHAOS face with him, both he and Nakamura led the group in capturing said championship as the company's top heels, with Okada toppling Tanahashi while Nakamura knocked off Togi Makabe, his own predecessor as the Big Bad. Meanwhile, for all of Suzuki-gun's aura of terror and mid-card championship success, Minoru Suzuki has had only one program with Okada, which he lost. (TV Tropes wishes it to be known that the statements made here are merely those of the individuals who write them, and do not in anyway reflect the mindsets of TV Tropes as a whole. Please don't kill us Suzuki-sama.)
  • Big Damn Heroes: Done in a tag team grappling bout with Tsuyoshi Kohsaka against Caol Uno and Osami Shibuya for The Contenders event. Although Kohsaka had won the first fall for their team by submitting Uno, he had got in a bad position during the next scramble and was being attacked by Caol, but Suzuki saved the day by tagging in himself behind Uno's back and choking him out for the second and final fall.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Being a rather small wrestler for a heavyweight, Suzuki was noticeable shorter and lighter than his friend Takayama, who usually towered over most of his tag team partners anyways.
  • Big Guy Rodeo: Recurrent during his MMA career due to a combination of his small frame and his insistence to capture his opponents's back following his amateur wrestling credentials.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Pulling down a NOAH sign and holding it up for all the fans to see before throwing it to the ground and trampling it.
  • Boring, but Practical: Suzuki believes that using finishing moves as signature moves make the matches boring to the crowd, and thus he usually wrestles in a low pace with few heavy techniques. (Although it might sound like a Take That! to Dragon Gate, he has wrestled for them no problem.)
  • Breakup Breakout: Surprisingly, despite being always the second to Funaki, Suzuki got a return to pro wrestling far more successful than him. While Masakatsu has slowly faded to darkness during his AJPW and W-1 tenures, Minoru remains as a big draw for every promotion he works and is now considered one of the most populars wrestlers in Japan.
  • Broken Ace: Very much like Funaki, Suzuki was the kind of fighter who looked to be the best and never gave up no matter what, which ultimately played against him at long term. His stubbornness to keep up with the grueling Pancrase schedule through injuries that weren't healed up (including a herniated disk) and against bigger opponents (it was an openweight competition, and he was one of the smallest guys in Pancrase) granted him a much worse MMA record than he would have probably had if he had fought in a more protective environment.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • In 1991, at the same event in which Koji Kitao famously shot on John Tenta, Minoru had a brawl against Apollo Sugawara when the latter got infuriated by a stiff slap and started hitting him for real. Suzuki being Suzuki, he came back with a storm of shoot kicks and Sugawara ended up leaving the ring to save his life. To be honest, Suzuki was actually very worried after the incident, as he feared it could get him blacklisted by the pro wrestling community like Kitao was.
    • The same year, Muay Thai fighter Lawi Nabataya was invited to PWFG to face Yusuke Fuke in a mixed rules shootfight, which he won after oiling up his legs between the rounds to avoid Fuke's takedowns. The thing was technically legal at the time, but was still considered a very dirty tactic, so the company threw Suzuki at him in the next fight. The result, as expected, was Minoru taking him down with oil and all and submitting him.
  • By the Hair: Did this to Aja Kong at the Oz Academy, though her latching onto his eyes got him to cut it out.
  • Captain Ersatz: Wrestled as Bruiser Minodie on NOSAWA Genome - The Final as part of the "AJPW 35th Anniversary Commemoration - Super Beast Revival" match, of which Takan Hansen, Jumbo Kikutaro and Terry Sanshiro were also a part of.
  • Character Tics: Sticking out his tongue for no reason (usually after a promo) and randomly beating up Young Lions.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Suzuki's presence on social media will either make him more endearing or all that much more frightening.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Basically his entire fighting style. His match with AJ Styles is possibly the crowning example of this, with Suzuki spending at least half the match sadistically twisting AJ's limbs in ways they should not bend
  • Combat Sadomasochist: As mentioned above, he loves inflicting pain, but he also loves receiving it. Often begging for people to hit him harder and then laughing when they do.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: In MMA, he was basically a submission hunter with good takedowns and control, which tended to become a problem for him if his opponent managed to neutralize him in those fields.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Several of his earlier mixed martial arts bouts, but also his publicized match against Jushin Liger, who had even volunteered to fight to replace an injured Kensuke Sasaki in a special Pancrase vs. New Japan challenge (which was a good thing for Sasaki, as he would have probably ended up the same way).
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After defeating his then enemy Funaki in AJPW's Champion Carnival, the normally grumpy Suzuki shook his hand and put the end to their feud.
  • Dented Iron: His body is really broken down after years of fighting and training nonstop, and you can note it on the second half of his MMA record, where there are several defeats to very low level guys. In fact, his battle wear is one of the reasons he takes his wrestling matches so easy.
  • Determinator: He didn't give up easily. His master Karl Gotch said that while Fujiwara and Sayama were his best students, Suzuki was the toughest one, and that he had "real guts and killer instinct".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Minoru was enraged when several NJPW no-showed for a press conference before the G1 tournament in 2005, and demanded seriously that they forfeited their matches as an expiation for such a sign of disrespect. Naturally, he was also trying to get some free passes in the tournament with it.
  • Distaff Counterpart: "The World Famous Kana" booking herself to fight Suzuki on her own show took on a new light after she formed a "Kana gun" and attempted hostile takeovers of JWP and REINA. It was basically a more extreme example of fans asking to be hit with the moves of their favorite wrestlers.
  • The Dreaded:
    • He was regarded as one to the people who trained with him during his prime in Pancrase. Paul Lazenby once stated that the Lion's Den members would refer to him as the "Evil Keebler Elf" (behind his back of course).
    • In pro wrestling, regarded in kayfabe as one of, if not NJPW's most feared wrestler due to the amount of pain he will put his opponents through.
    • He is one of the very few people.. and we mean very few people.. to make a badass like Jon Moxley shows an Oh, Crap! reaction.
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Suzuki Gun ("Suzuki's Army").
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • One of the things he does on a regular basis is kicking a rookie in the face as they hold open the ring ropes for him out of respect. He also comes through the ramp pushing away the hands of the fans who want to touch him.
    • He ripped up a Yuji Nagata T-shirt at the NJPW World Tag League finals of 2012, especially after he saw it worn by the announcer he loves to bully, Shinpei Nogami.
  • Evil Laugh: After no selling, such as Daisuke Harada's elbows.
  • Eye-Obscuring Hat: Doesn't wear a hat, but usually wears a black towel over his head while he walks to the ring, hiding his face and giving out a menacing feel. He initiated this custom in Pancrase and and it became so as well in his pro wrestling career.
  • Eviler Than Thou:
    • Generally speaking, this is Suzuki's penchant. When facing off against other heels, he will make it his personal mission to be more ruthless and dastardly than they are. A Lighter Shade of Black applies hard when facing him; Suzuki will either make his opponent a surprisingly sympathetic figure, or exact a heavy dose of Pay Evil unto Evil against others. When it comes down to being a villain, he simply cannot be outdone. Suzuki-gun as a whole is so reviled and despicable that other heel factions such as Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables de Japon are treated as faces by default when facing them.
    • He and Taichi pulled this on CHAOS by singling out and beating up its champion and co-leader, "Rain Maker" Kazuchika Okada.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • With in the CHAOS Suzuki-gun rivalry is Minoru Suzuki vs Toru Yano. The contrast between them being Minoru cares most about trashing his opponents, often in ways not allowed by the rule book while Yano mostly cares about finding the easiest ways out of matches, such as when he once beat Suzuki by count out after handcuffing him to a guardrail. It came to a head when both lead their groups from New Japan intent on conquering NOAH at the same time.
    • Ironically enough, Suzuki-gun's penchant for having constant interference was an issue in battles against other Heel stables. In the 2014 G1 Climax, TAKA Michinoku and Killer Elite Squad attacked AJ Styles in his match with Suzuki but were chased off by Styles' Bullet Club brothers Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. Three years later, TAKA, Taichi and El Desperado pounced on Kenny Omega before Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale made the save; ditto with Los Ingobernables de Japon's BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi when EVIL battled Suzuki. He lost all three of those matches.
  • Eye Scream: By accident in his title fight against Bas Rutten in Pancrase.
  • Fatal Flaw: Suzuki has often lost matches due to him wanting to inflict more pain on his opponents rather than go for the pin, as well as his obsession with hitting the Gotch-Style Piledriver. This usually ends up giving his opponent enough time to recover and win the match.
  • Feel No Pain: Part of why he's so scary. He'll deliver one of his signature lariats and send an opponent to the ropes. But if they try to return the favor, he'll just laugh and ask for them to Bring It.
  • Finishing Move: Gotch-Style Piledriver, heel hook and sleeper hold. Before his MMA career, he also used armbars and leglocks.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Did it for NOSAWA Rongai, who at the time was Mexican Amigos's "El NOSAWA Mendoza". Suzuki's way to do it consisted in infiltrating Mexican Amigos, capturing NOSAWA and dragging him away from competition to beat him until he came to his senses.
  • Glass Cannon: In mixed martial arts. Though endowed with awesome shoot wrestling skills and a tough heart, Minoru was low in defense and durability, especially against opponents with good striking and/or counterattack abilities. He was also very prone to injuries, and the company's schedule didn't help it.
  • Good Counterpart: To TARU in AJPW. They both were wrestlers with martial arts background (MMA in Suzuki's case, karate in TARU's) who had come to reinvent themselves in mainstream pro wrestling after other tenures (Pancrase and Toryumon Japan, respectively), who led factions (GURENTAI/Partisan Forces and Voodoo Murders), had good mic skills and violent personalities (Suzuki was a charismatic bully, TARU a psychotic yakuza), famously loved J-Pop singers (Ayumi Nakahara and Misato Watanabe) and enjoyed attacking ring crewmen at random (Suzuki for being a jerk, TARU for being evil).
  • Hate Sink:
    • He got booed against AJ Styles in New Japan. If that doesn't sound strange to you, AJ was the centerpiece of Bullet Club at the time.
    • The NOAH crowds cheered when Daisuke Harada jumped him from behind and beat Suzuki on the floor.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Loves fishing, and once was featured in a fishing TV show along with his then apprentice Hikaru Sato.
  • Heroic BSoD: Had one after being beaten down by Maurice Smith in his first shootfight ever. According to Minoru, he left the ring terrified by Smith's punching power.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • With Masakatsu Funaki. According to Suzuki, however, their friendship is somewhat distant nowadays.
    • Also with Yoshihiro Takayama and NOSAWA Rongai.
  • Homage: His post-return wrestling attire is composed of the classic strong-style black tights and wrestling shoes, a la Antonio Inoki and friends. Also, his piledriver finisher is a nod to his master Karl Gotch.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Knocked himself out while trying a flying armbar on Guy Mezger out of desperation. He recovered afterwards, but the damage was already done and he was too groggy to save the match.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • He chose to fight entirely standing at his bout with Guy Mezger, a kickboxing virtuoso, which would have been a bad idea even if Suzuki was a good striker (he wasn't). Consequently, he was picked apart through the entire affair and ended up losing by knock out after the armbar accident mentioned above.
    • Similarly, as soon as Suzuki saw his opponent Yoshiki Takahashi not wearing his shin pads (meaning he was going to fight with his hands only), he wasted no time in taking off his own pads and goading Yoshiki to a slap-boxing duel in the ring. As everybody who knew their respective fighting styles would expect, Suzuki ate overhands and uppercuts left and right and was knocked out.
  • Hot-Blooded: Which unfortunately has a history of getting him in trouble.
  • I Know Karate: An Olympian amateur wrestler, who finished second nationwide and figured as an Olympic alternate (and also trained in kendo). Later learned Catch Wrestling under Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Karl Gotch and according to himself also took some sambo lessons under Victor Koga and a bit of Muay Thai under Singsak Sosiripan.
  • Jerkass: His gimmick is that of an intransigent, Ax-Crazy wrestler who attacks everybody. This character is arguably a Self-Parody, as he was mainly famous during his MMA days for being very short-tempered and prone to violence.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold: He organized charity events for the victims of the 2011 earthquake and other natural disasters in Japan.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • From abusing the Young Lions and New Japan staff, to mercilessly beating his opponents to a pulp. He also takes the trope to a very literal field with the Young Lions who hold the ropes for him to enter the ring.
    • According to Ken Shamrock, they took an agreement before his first fight with Suzuki in which Ken would try not to injury him, as the Japanese was already too fragile per se and the troupe had to host much more events that season. But once came the match, Suzuki ignored a rope escape from a leglock, cranked the hold deliberately and effectively injured Shamrock.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: At NOAH Great Voyage 2015, he beat Daisuke Harada with a sleeper hold, then gave him a Gotch-Style Piledriver anyways. Then he threw out medical aide coming to check on Harada.
  • Lame Comeback: He taunted Sanae Kikuta (over Kikuta's infamously boring fighting style) by doing the sleep sign and laughing right after Kikuta tapped him with an arm triangle choke.
  • La Résistance: As its name implies, Partisan Forces, a small stable of very capable wrestlers opposed to the enormous and evil Voodoo Murders faction.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Both in real life and kayfabe, Suzuki had always been a jerk and a somewhat antisocial person, but his partnership with NOSAWA Rongai and Tokyo Gurentai seemed to give him a more positive light. For a guy who was mainly known for hitting people backstage and getting frustrated for not being a better fighter, it was pretty heartwarming to see him having fun with those crazy guys.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Aside from his known dislike towards foreigners, Suzuki notoriously used to hate Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to the extent he once forbade his students to learn it. He also openly criticized Funaki and Shamrock when they went to the Machado school to spar, especially after they gave a poor performance against the brothers due to their unfamiliarity with Gi grappling. He probably got this from his master Karl Gotch.
  • Murderous Thighs: He once submitted Vernon White with a crook headscissors, a catch wrestling move in which the user presses the head or neck of his opponent with the legs while armlocking him. Not counting similar but different techniques, it appears to be the only time the move has been successfully used in MMA.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: During his childhood, he was a scrawny boy due to a neurological condition, so he was often bullied by other kids. However, his love for pro wrestling and its powerful figures like Antonio Inoki helped him to endure it, and he decided he wanted to become a fighter like them order to never be a victim again.
  • The Nicknamer: According to himself, he came up with Vernon White's nickname "Tiger".
  • Noble Demon: Despite initially being led away by his cronies, he upheld the Hair vs. Hair stipulation in the match he lost against Hirooki Goto at Wrestle Kingdom 12. In his own prideful way, he chose to use his own chair and shaved his head himself.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • On the surface, his team with Naomichi Marufuji, an energetic high-flyer wrestler is this. On deeper inspection, Naomichi was also a high school amateur wrestler, received MMA training at the Super Tiger Gym, once took entrance exams for Pancrase and Kingdom, and even served as a training partner for Suzuki’s other friend Yoshihiro Takayama when he was doing MMA.
    • Also his alliance with Tokyo Gurentai, which is mainly composed by luchadores, garbage wrestlers and varied fellows.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He was one of the smallest wrestlers in Pancrase, if not the smallest, but also one of the slickest on the ground. He's also strong enough to piledrive Ryota Hama, a 450 pound wrestler.
  • Power Stable: Minoru Gundan, Mexican Amigos (as Ray Suzuki), GURENTAI, Partisan Forces and Suzuki-gun.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He is a fan of singer Ayumi Nakahara and uses an incredibly light and soft song of hers called "Kaze ni Nare" as entrance theme.
  • Red Baron: Many. "Sekaiichi Seikaku no Warui Otoko" ("The Man with the Worst Personality in the World"), "Hama no Keikaya" ("The Brawler from Hama"), "Kamisori Fighter" ("Razor Fighter"), "Seiaki Oja" ("The Ill-Natured Leader") and "Kaze" ("Wind"), "The Demon", the "Murder Grandpa".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Given their wrestling styles, Suzuki might look like the red to Masakatsu Funaki's blue, but in real life he was actually the most collected and levelheaded of the two. He is also the blue to NOSAWA's red.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: After winning the Triple Crown Championship in AJPW, Suzuki declared to go unambiguously face and founded Partisan Forces with his closest pals to defend the company from TARU and his Voodoo Murders. However, Kohei Suwama and other wrestlers naturally distrusted Suzuki taking such a crusade and founded their own stable, New Generation Force, to oppose him.
  • Ring Oldies: Able to go toe-to-toe with younger wrestlers and put on 4-5 star matches despite pushing 50.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: One of the reasons he became a pro wrestler and a shooter was to take revenge on Hulk Hogan, who had knocked out his idol Inoki at their famous match on June 2nd, 1983 by attacking him out of the ring. The incident was staged, but people in Japan didn't know it, and many, like Suzuki himself, took offense for it. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately), Suzuki and Hogan never shared a ring.
  • Sadist: The main trait of Suzuki's character is his love of inflicting excruciating pain on his opponents. During his match with Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Intercontinental title at New Beginning in Sapporo 2018, Suzuki repeatedly targeted Tanahashi's leg, which in kayfabe and real life had been injured for months, with several painful looking holds. Then, after planting Tanahashi with the Gotch-style Piledriver, Suzuki instead of going for the pin applied a heel hook to Tanahashi's injured leg for several more minutes. By the time the referee stopped the match, Tanahashi couldn't even stand and had to be stretchered out of the ring. And that's not counting what he does to the Young Lions on a daily basis...
  • Sadist Teacher: There are stories about Suzuki brutalizing Pancrase students just because, and while this is not an uncommon thing in Japan, he is said to have done it thoroughly.
    • According to Paul Lazenby though, during a training session Suzuki was aware that Paul had injured his arm and managed to stretch him for half an hour without hurting it. Then when Paul tried to slink off, feeling a bit defeated, Minoru made him sit and ask questions about improving his technique.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • He once was strangely declared victor by TKO after his opponent, Guy Mezger, accidentally kicked him in the groin. Apparently, they were forced to choose that result because downright DQ wasn't in the rules at the time, but the weird thing is that you did not lose a fight in Pancrase by a single foul (you were merely deducted a point)... unless your opponent had some influence, of course. The official result of the match nowadays is a win for Suzuki, but Mezger's personal record has it as the no contest he thinks it should have been.
    • He also won narrowly his tournament match against Matt Hume by a rope escape point, despite Hume (who had been outclassing Suzuki up to that point, which would grant him a decision win by the tournament's special rules) had simply fallen against the ropes and not grabbed them. Bas Rutten would later explain this was a way for the promoters to snatch points from a fighter they wanted to lose, as entanglements with the ropes happened all the day and rarely were counted as rope escapes except when circumstances demanded it (and Rutten himself suffered it constantly every time he fought Frank Shamrock).
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: Played an antiheroic example to Taiyo Kea, who he convinced to join GURENTAI after seeing him stuck in a bad losing streak.
  • Shout-Out: His violence-loving shooter gimmick echoes his master Yoshiaki Fujiwara's old NJPW persona, even featuring the same signature attack shenanigans only replacing headbutts with slaps. The similarities are probably unintentional, as Suzuki's character mostly comes from his own fame of being an aloof guy, which is not little.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Ayumi Nakamura's "Kaze ni Nare" is hardly the tune you would expect to hear announce the arrival of a black-clad, ill-tempered, ruthless fighting shogun. At the very least you would expect the guy to be a Bishōnen. Sure, it's J-rock, but it also has piano, a female singer, occasional melodic reference to "Eye of the Tiger", and lyrics about being a lonely warrior and (per its title) becoming like the wind. But Minoru Suzuki, being a fan, makes it work so it just adds to how frightening he is.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: This is at least Ken Shamrock's interpretation on Suzuki, as after his experience in Pancrase he came to believe that Minoru was resented with everybody for not being at Funaki's level or as strong as he would like to be.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: The straight man to NOSAWA's wise guy. Our friend Minoru has quite of a patience.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Although never a power wrestler, Suzuki was able to perform a piledriver on the freaking Ryota Hama, who weighted more than twice than Minoru himself.
  • Surprisingly Good English: One of the few natives in New Japan that can hold a reasonable conversation in English.
  • Theatrics of Pain: Is regarded as one of the best sellers of his time.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Suzuki-gun won all of NOAH's title belts in 2015.
  • The Slacker: Upon witnessing how slow Mecha Mummy moved, he took it as an opportunity not to gain any advantages through his superior maneuverability but as an excuse to lounge.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: He caught Ken Shamrock in a heel hook and twisted his leg to a sick degree, but as he knew that the damage wouldn't take out the tough Shamrock, Suzuki transitioned into a kneebar and twisted further the leg. And then again, seeing that Shamrock had grabbed the ring rope and it forced Minoru to abandon the hold, Suzuki decided not to rush himself to release it and instead cranked it up to produce the maximum effect despite the referee's protests. The Japanese finally freed Shamrock, but as a result of the accumulated measures, Shamrock was rendered injured and had to give up.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Shelton Benjamin slowly became more and more like Suzuki as he hung around him in NJPW and NOAH.
  • Training from Hell: After declining to join "Los Mexico Amigos" in All Japan, he finally became "Ray Suzuki" when they retooled themselves into "Mexico Amigos Black", but then unmasked and kidnapped Kazushige Nosawa, who had invited him in the first place, for the purpose of re-training him into the good ways and to get the group to disband.
  • Villain Respect: After his match with Jushin Thunder Liger at King of Pro Wrestling 2019, rather than bash him with a chair after the match, he bowed to him in a full dogeza, completely against his usual psychotic character.
  • Villain Team-Up: With the Killer Elite Squad when the National Wrestling Alliance returned to Japan under new owner Bruce Tharpe's ownership to invade former member NJPW.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In MMA, he was small-sized and not very durable, but had excellent wrestling and submissions.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: On special occasions and big matches he'd dye his hair white for the event, he'd be just as nasty and brutal with it as he is with his usual hair color.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: His Minoru Nagayo getup, a parody of Chigusa Nagayo he did for the "Crush Girls 25th Anniversary Memorial Match" at NOSAWA Bom-Ba-Ye #5 Rongai One Night Stand
  • Worked Shoot: His loss against Funaki and his second win against Ken Shamrock are generally known to be works, as well as rumoredly one of his losses to Frank Shamrock. However, being Pancrase, we will probably never know for sure.
  • Worthy Opponent: He considered Jon Moxley this, as he said that he is " a lot of fun " and Suzuki had been waiting for them to fight.
  • Would Hit a Girl: If a woman wants to legitimately step into the ring with him, he'll steamroll them without a second thought. Just asks Kana.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: He acts like he is beat up, can barely stand and staggers back toward the ropes... then puts his opponent in an illegal armlock when they approach.

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