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Hirata made his debut in New Japan on August 26, 1978 against Yoshiaki Fujiwara. In November, 1982 he left on an overseas training expedition to Mexico, and later Canada, where in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling he would create the famous Super Strong Machine persona, as well as use a Native American gimmick as Sonny Two Rivers. In April, 1986 he left New Japan with Riki Chōshū for rival wrestling promotion, All Japan Pro Wrestling. In June, 1987 he returned to New Japan and would soon capture the IWGP Tag Team Title on three separate occasions with George Takano, Hiro Saito and Shinya Hashimoto as his tag team partners.
In December, 1994, he finally unmasked, dropping the Super Strong Machine character and wrestling under his real name. He revived the Super Strong Machine persona for the first time in six years in October, 2000, having a brief feud with T2000 Machine (Tatsutoshi Goto). In 2005 a wrestler by the name of Black Strong Machine, resembling Hirata, became a regular fixture on New Japan shows as part of Masahiro Chono's Black New Japan. He also had a brief stint in AJPW as Super Love Machine, the leader of the Love Machines. Whatever role he plays, Junji Hirata is a very respected veteran and is well liked by wrestlers, officials, and fans alike.
In the fall of 1986, the World Wrestling Federation introduced a stable of wrestlers called The Machines -- "The Giant Machine" (André the Giant), "Big Machine" (Blackjack Mulligan), and "Super Machine" (Bill Eadie) -- based on Junji Hirata's popular Super Strong Machine gimmick.
Finishing and signature moves
Championships and accomplishments
- 1-Time All-Asia Tag Team Champion, with Ashura Hara
- Other titles
- 1-Time Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Champion (as Sonny Two Rivers)