Kazunari Murakami (村上 和成 Murakami Kazunari) is a Japanese freelance professional wrestler and a retired mixed martial artist, best known for his appearances in Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX and Big Mouth LOUD, of which he was a founding member. He was also part of the first fight in PRIDE history, defeating John Dixson by submission.
Professional wrestling (1998-present)Edit
Murakami entered professional wrestling in 1998 when he joined Antonio Inoki's Universal Fighting-Arts Organization along fellow judoka Naoya Ogawa. They were sent to New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he gained fame for viciously attacking wrestlers while sporting a white mask, becoming known as "The Terrorist of Heisei". One of his first matches was at Wrestling World 2000 teaming with Ogawa in a losing effort to Shinya Hashimoto and Takashi Iizuka when he submitted to Iizuka. On April 7, Murakami took on Iizuka in an attempt to avenge his loss but he once again fell to Iizuka by submission. On May 5 at Wrestling Dontaku 2000, Murakami teamed with Ogawa to challenge Fighting Club G-EGGS's members: Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi for the IWGP Tag Team Championship but lost when Murakami was pinned by Nagata.
In early 2001, Murakami would also wrestle several times for Pro Wrestling ZERO1. In August 2001, Murakami entered the 2001 G1 Climax. He finished fourth in his block with 5 points scoring victories over Nakanishi and Tadao Yasuda while going to a double countout with eventual winner: Yuji Nagata.
In the summer of 2002, Murakami joined the Makai Club. On December 10, 2002, Murakami challenged Yuji Nagata for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Despite making Nagata bleed and trapping him with his own Nagata Lock II. Murakami would still get pinned.
At Wrestling World 2003 Murakami and Yasuda lost to Michiyoshi Ohara and Shinsuke Nakamura. In February 2003, Murakami teamed with Yasuda in a #1 Contenders Tournament for the IWGP Tag Titles making it all the finals before losing Mike Barton and Jim Steele. However an injury to Jim Steele would give the title shot to Murakami and Yasuda who challenged Cho-Ten on February 16 for the Tag Team Titles but lost. On May 2 at Ultimate Crush, Murakami lost to Enson Inoue. In the fall of 2003, Murakami wrestled three bounty matches emerging victorious in all of them. He defeated Shinya Makabe at Road to Ultimate Crush on September 21 in a 1,000,000 Yen Bounty. Then Katsuyori Shibata at Ultimate Crush II on October 13 in a 2,000,000 Yen Bounty. Then Koji Kanemoto at Yokohama Dead Out on November 3 in a 4,000,000 Bounty Match. In Mid 2004, The Makai Club broke up and Murakami would briefly join Masahiro Chono's new stable: Black New Japan before leaving New Japan in January 2005.
In January 2005, Murakami helped formed the promotion: Big Mouth LOUD which lasted until the summer of 2006. In January 2006, Murakami returned to New Japan for the Toukon Shidou Chapter 1 show where he lost to Yuji Nagata. In the summer of 2006, Murakami took part in ZERO1's 2006 Fire Festival tournament where he made it to the semi finals losing to Shinjiro Otani. In 2006, Murakami also debuted for Pro Wrestling NOAH where he took part in a tournament for the GHC Tag Team Championship teaming with Ohtani. They would reach the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners: Takeshi Morishima and Muhammad Yone.
In 2010, Murakami returned to NOAH and on March 26, he teamed with Katsumi Usuda to challenge Takeshi Rikio and Yone for the GHC Tag Team Titles but they came up short. In early 2010, Murakami joined Kensuke Sasaki's promotion: Kensuke Office, where he wrestled as Big Murakami.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- "The Terrorist of Heisei"
- Entrance themes
- "The Moonlight Coming" (BML / Freelance; 2005–present)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Pro Wrestling History". Pro Wrestling History. http://www.prowrestlinghistory.com/. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- ↑ "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. http://www.puroresufan.com/njpw/results00.html. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- ↑ "Purolove.Com". Purolove.Com. http://www.purolove.com/njpw/history/g1climax01.php. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- ↑ "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. http://www.puroresufan.com/njpw/results/notes/triathlon02.html. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. http://www.puroresufan.com/njpw/results/fspirit03.html. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- ↑ "Strong Style Spirit". Puroresufan.com. http://www.puroresufan.com/njpw/results06.html. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Big Mouth LOUD Illusions". Puroresu Central. http://puroresucentral.com/BMLIllusions.html. Retrieved 2016-01-20.