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Mitsuo Momota is a Japanese professional wrestler and executive, known for his work in the Japanese promotions All Japan Pro Wrestling and later in Pro Wrestling NOAH. He is the son of Rikidōzan, a legend of Japanese wrestling often regarded as the "Father of Puroresu".

Career

All Japan Pro Wrestling (1972-2000)

In 1972, Momota helped establish All Japan Pro Wrestling.[1] Despite this and being the son of Rikidozan, Momota never enjoyed much success as a wrestler as he spent the majority of his career opening matches and working with young talent. In 1974 he showed up in Mexico's Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre as Rikidozan Jr., and learned the Tope Suicida maneuver, putting it into practice in Japan long before Gran Hamada from the rival New Japan Pro Wrestling became the first Japanese wrestler to use Lucha-inspired aerial maneuvers regularly in his matches.

His only title victory came on April 20, 1989 where he won the World Junior Heavyweight Championship defeating Shinichi Nakano, he would hold the title for over 2 months successfully defended it 2 times against Johnny Smith and Isamu Teranishi before losing it to Joe Malenko on July 1, 1989.[2] After losing the title, Momota returned to opening matches, by the 1990s his role began to change as he began wrestling mostly in comedic tag matches with fellow aging wrestlers. Despite not finding much success as a wrestler, Momota made a bigger impact behind the scenes as a co-Vice President and member of the All Japan directory.[1] After numerous years on the All Japan Pro Wrestling roster, he left in 2000 to join Pro Wrestling NOAH.

Pro Wrestling NOAH (2000-2009)

In June 2000, Momota, along with the majority of the All Japan roster resigned and joined Mitsuharu Misawa's new promotion: Pro Wrestling NOAH, in NOAH, Momota was appointed Vice President of the company.[3] Despite being in a new promotion, his spot on the card was the same. Like All Japan, Momota spent his time in NOAH in opening matches or low on the card wrestling against young up and comers and fellow aging wrestlers. Despite this Momota was given several title shots at various titles. His first title was for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship on December 11, 2003 when he teamed with Tsuyoshi Kikuchi to challenge Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA but failed to win the titles.[4] His next title shot was on February 15, 2004 when he challenged New Japan legend: Jushin Thunder Liger for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship hoping to bring the title back to NOAH but he came up short.[5] His last title shot was exactly 4 years later on February 15, 2008, when he challenged Kishin Kawabata for the GHC Openweight Hardcore Championship, despite another good effort he would come short again.[6] Following the death of Mitsuharu Misawa on June 13, 2009, Momota would finish the tour and resigned from NOAH as both wrestler and vice president in June 2009.

Freelancer (2009-present)

After leaving NOAH, Momota began wrestling in the independents specifically for Genichiro Tenryu's new Tenryu Project.[7] On June 9, 2010, Momota teamed with Tenryu and Koki Kitahara to face Yoshihiro Takayama, Tatsutoshi Goto, & Daisuke Sekimoto in a decision match for the Tenryu Project Six Man Tag Team Championship but lost.[7] On July 15, 2015, Momota and his son Chikara defeated Hikaru Sato and Masaaki Mochizuki to win the Tokyo Intercontinental Tag Team Championship.[8] They lost the title to Kikutaro and Stalker Ichikawa on December 1.[9]

Personal life

Momota is the son of Wrestling legend and the Father of Puroresu: Rikidozan. He also had an older brother: Yoshihiro Momota. Like his brother, Yoshihiro also was a wrestler but found little success. He found bigger success behind the scenes as served on All Japan and later NOAH's board of directors. Yoshihiro died in 2000 at age 54.[10] Momota has a son named Chikara, who made his professional wrestling debut on December 16, 2013.[11]

In wrestling

  • Finishing and signature moves

Championships and accomplishments

References


External links