Mitsuharu Misawa (June 18, 1962 - June 13, 2009) was a Japanese professional wrestler. Best known for being one Japan's biggest stars in All Japan Pro Wrestling, leading a massive talent exodus from AJPW to form his own promotion Pro Wrestling NOAH and having the largest amount of recognized five star matches in history. Sadly, he passed away after being injured in a tag team match just days before his 47th birthday.
Tropes associated with Mitsuharu Misawa:
- The Ace: Misawa almost never lost, and he was booked as a wrestler who could do anything and everything, to be fair, he is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time who really do anything and everything.
- Alliterative Name: Tiger Mask excepted.
- Badass Beard: Every other year he seemed to alternate on whether he was going to shave or not. Pretty much always shaved when wearing the mask.
- Captain Ersatz: Fire Pro Wrestling has them both for him and for his Tiger Mask gimmick. Misawa has been named a few times though.
- Casualty in the Ring: His effort to keep his company going strong ended up costing him his life, but despite its decline NOAH did continue.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Emerald green, as evidenced by his ring gear and the color of the NOAH ring mats.
- Cool Mask: During his tenure as Tiger Mask II.
- '80s Hair: It wasn't ever too big but up till the mid nineteen nineties he had what was frighteningly close to a mullet.
- Finishing Move: Several, including the Emerald Flowsion, Tiger Driver '91 and the Rolling Elbow (sometimes known as the "roaring elbow" by way of Japanese language, which would still fit him given his time as Tiger Mask II.)
- Hard Head: Hard enough to ignore headbutts from Samoans like Joe.
- Lightning Bruiser: While he got his start as the high flying Tiger Mask II, Misawa was a talented heavyweight whose primary finishers were a Powerslam variant and a Powerbomb. Ironically, this change in style made him closer to the original manga character then all the other Tiger Masks before and after him.
- No-Sell: Including no selling moves that had spectacularly taken him down earlier in the match, though usually it's explained as Misawa seeing it coming the second/third/fourth time and plowing through it, rather than just arbitrarily ignoring offense.
- Ominous Fog: Preceding his entrances, especially in NOAH.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Giant Baba's death in 1999, conflicts with Baba's widow, seen as the real power behind the throne in AJPW, led to Misawa leading an exodus of wrestlers out of AJPW and to Misawa creating Pro Wrestling NOAH.