Takashi Sugiura
Takashi Sugiura2
Sugiura in July 2018
Born May 31 1970 (1970-05-31) (age 48)[1]
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Santa Claus[2]
Takashi Sugiura
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Weight 104 kg (229 lb)[1]
Trained By AJPW Dojo
Yoshihiro Takayama
Tamon Honda
Akira Taue
Debut December 23, 2000[1]

  Takashi Sugiura (杉浦 貴, Sugiura Takashi) is a Japanese professional wrestler, currently working for Pro Wrestling Noah. Sugiura, an accomplished amateur wrestler, joined Noah's dojo in 2000, making his professional debut on December 23, 2000, and thus becoming the first wrestler to make his pro wrestling debut in Noah. He has also competed in mixed martial arts with a notable victory over Giant Silva. Sugiura wrestled as a junior heavyweight in his earlier pro career and is a former GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. Sugiura moved up to heavyweight and became the second longest reigning GHC Heavyweight Champion, having held the title for 581 days between December 2009 and July 2011. He is also a former four-times GHC Tag Team Champion. In September 2011, Sugiura was the chairman of Noah's Wrestler's Association and holded the concomitant position on the promotion's board of directors [3]until when he joined Suzuki-gun, Akira Taue demand him to leave his duties. In December 2016 he left Suzuki-gun by turning on Minoru Suzuki. In March 2018, Sugiura broke the record for most reigns as the GHC Heavyweight Champion, having held the title for four times.

Early lifeEdit

Sugiura was an accomplished judoka in high school and narrowly missed the cut representing Japan at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He then became a self-defense instructor and was recruited to the All Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo by Tamon Honda, who (along with Yoshihiro Takayama) oversaw all of Sugiura's training.

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Sugiura made his debut in December 23, 2000, when he partnered Masao Inoue and Takeshi Rikio in a tag team match against Takeshi Morishima, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Kentaro Shiga.[1] Initially a low-card wrestler, Sugiura's American-influenced style became popular with fans and eventually he formed an tag team with Kanemaru nicknamed "SugiKane". Within a few months the two defeated Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship ending the team's long & historic run. Sugiura owns the distinction of being the only wrestler in Pro Wrestling Noah to have been a double champion on two separate occasions. In recent years, he has made a name for himself in the heavyweight division receiving a title shot against then GHC Heavyweight Champion Takeshi Morishima in a highly regarded match and winning the GHC Tag Team Championship along with Naomichi Marufuji from the bigger & stronger team of D'lo Brown and Bull Buchanan. At NJPW Wrestle Kingdom III in Tokyo Dome he pushed New Japan Pro Wrestling representative Shinsuke Nakamura to his limit in a cross promotional tag team match with Mitsuharu Misawa and Hirooki Goto as their respective partners, but came up short and tapped out to Nakamura's Cross Armbar finish. Nakamura then stated that there would be a singles match between them soon, as he felt he was embarrassed by a wrestler below his standards. The two met again later in the year in a cross-promotional match, this time Sugiura teamed with blue-chip prospect Go Shiozaki & Nakamura teamed with then-RISE stablemate Milano Collection AT, who was also returning from injury. Shiozaki/Sugiura picked up the win & Nakamura demanded a rematch against the duo with Hirooki Goto as his tag team partner.

On July 20, he faced Hiroshi Tanahashi in the first ever NJPW vs. NOAH match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. After 24 minutes and two High Fly Flows, Tanahashi retained the Championship.

Sugiura also participated in the 2009 G1 Climax. With his rival Nakamura in his block, a long anticipated singles match came to pass. Although he lost the match he still managed to finish second in his block & advanced to the semi-finals losing to the tournament eventual winner Togi Makabe. On December 6, 2009, Sugiura pinned Go Shiozaki to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship. On January 4, 2010, at Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome Sugiura successfully defended the title against Hirooki Goto.On 28 February,he retained his title against Togi Makabe and then on 10 July against Yoshihiro Takayama.[4] On October 1, 2010, Sugiura travelled to Tamaulipas, Mexico to defend the GHC Heavyweight Championship, defeating Chessman at Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) event Héroes Inmortales IV.[5] Sugiura returned to New Japan on January 4, 2011, at Wrestle Kingdom V in Tokyo Dome, where he and Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Hirooki Goto and Kazuchika Okada in a tag team match.[6][7] On May 15, 2011, Sugiura defeated Claudio Castagnoli in Oberhausen, Germany[8] to make his fourteenth successful GHC Heavyweight Championship defense, breaking the record for most defenses, set by Kenta Kobashi. On July 10, Sugiura lost the GHC Heavyweight Championship to Go Shiozaki, ending his reign at 581 days. On January 4, 2012, Sugiura returned to New Japan at Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome, where he was defeated by Hirooki Goto.[9]

In early 2014, Sugiura formed the Dangan Yankies tag team with Pro Wrestling Zero1's Masato Tanaka. The duo worked in both Noah and Zero1, winning the GHC Tag Team and NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championships in May 2014,[10][11] the Furinkazan tournament in December 2014,[12] and the Global Tag League in both 2014 and 2015.[13] In addition, Tokyo Sports named Dangan Yankies the 2014 tag team of the year.[14] On December 23, 2015, Sugiura turned on Noah and joined the villainous Suzuki-gun stable.[15] On January 31, 2016, Sugiura defeated Naomichi Marufuji to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship for the second time.[16] He lost the title to Go Shiozaki on May 28.[17] Sugiura regained the title from Shiozaki on July 30.[18] He lost the title to Katsuhiko Nakajima in his third defense on October 23. On December 2, Sugiura turned on Suzuki-gun, after Minoru Suzuki had unsuccessfully challenged Nakajima for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.[19] On January 9, 2017, Coming of Age Day in Japan, Sugiura faced Kaito Kiyomiya in a singles match, were Sugiura won. Afterwards Sugiura, impressed with Kiyomiya, offered him a handshake and the chance to form an alliance, which Kiyomiya accepted. On February 24 Sugiura and Kiyomiya faced the GHC Tag Team Champions Kenoh and Masa Kitamiya. Sugiura and Kiyomiya won after Kenoh turned on Kitamiya to align himself with Sugiura and Kiyomiya.[20] This led to Kenoh and Kitamiya vancating their GHC Tag Team Champions which led into a match between Sugiura and Kenoh and Kitamiya and Muhammad Yone for the vacant titles at the Great Voyage in Yokohama. On March 12 at the Great Voyage in Yokohama Sugiura and Kenoh defeated Kitamiya and Yone to win the GHC Tag Team Champions. On April 14 Sugiura and Kenoh lost the belts to Naomichi Marufuji and Maybach Taniguchi. Sugiura was then sidelined for almost the rest of the year due to an arrhythmia. He would make his return match on October 28 teaming with Kenoh in a winning effort against Katsuhiko Nakajima and LEONA. On March 11, 2018 Sugiura defeated Kenoh to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time, breaking the record for most reigns as GHC Heavyweight Champion.

In wrestlingEdit

  • Finishing moves
    • Ankle lock[1]
    • Seated Front Neck Lock
    • Olympic Yosen Slam[1] (Olympic slam, sometimes from the top rope)
  • Signature moves
    • Spear[21]
    • Yonemitsu Lift[1] (Double leg slam transitioned into a jackknife hold)
  • Nicknames
    • "Killing Machine"[21]
  • Entrance themes
    • "When Love Comes to Town" by U2 and B.B. King[1]
    • "G.W.D by Thee Michelle Gun Elephant"[21]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Sugiura Takashi (profile)" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling NOAH. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  2. "Noahful Gift 2017 ~ファン感謝祭~" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  3. "新役員人事について (Appointment of New Directors)" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling NOAH. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  4. "January 4 New Japan Tokyo Dome report – legends, promotional wars". Wrestling Observer. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
  5. Carrillo, Omar (2010-10-02). "Resultados 1ro. de octubre – AAA "Héroes Inmortales IV" – Legado AAA, Mesías, Wagner, Aerostar y 187 ganan sus respectivos encuentros" (in Spanish). SuperLuchas. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  6. (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  7. Gerweck, Steve (2011-01-04). "1/4 TNA-NJPW Results: Tokyo, Japan". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  8. "NOAH Genesis in Germany – 15.5. – Results". Westside Xtreme Wrestling. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  9. "NJPW 40th anniversary Tour. レッスルキングダムⅥ in 東京ドーム" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Navig. with Breeze 2014" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "【Zero1】耕平vs鈴木の世界ヘビー戦、大谷&カミカゼvs田中&杉浦のICタッグ戦" (in Japanese). Battle News. 2014-05-06. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
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  13. 13.0 13.1 (in Japanese) Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "【プロレス大賞:最優秀タッグ賞】杉浦と田中の弾丸ヤンキースが海外進出宣言" (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports. 2014-12-09. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
  15. (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  16. (in Japanese) Pro Wrestling Noah. 2016-01-31. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  17. "infoNear inc. presents Great Voyage 2016 in Osaka" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  18. "日テレG+ presents「第10回日テレG+杯争奪ジュニアヘビー級タッグリーグ戦」" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved 2016-07-30.
  19. (in Japanese) Daily Sports Online. Kobe Shimbun. 2016-12-03. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 (in Japanese) Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  22. ""PWI 500": 1–100". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. 2011-08-09. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
  23. "Power Slam". What’s going down... SW Publishing LTD. p. 7. 132. 
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  25. (in Japanese) Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  27. (in Japanese) Pro Wrestling Noah. 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
  28. (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  30. (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. 2013-04-28. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  31. "2010 Tokyo Sports awards – New Japan involvement". Strong Style Spirit. 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  32. "Trios Tournament". Cagematch. Retrieved 2010-02-19.