Great Kabuki

Birthdate: September 8th, 1948
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 240 lbs
Debut: October 31st, 1964
Official Retirement: September 7th, 1998 (although he has made several appearances since then)
Also: Akihisa Takachiho
Background: Trained in the JWA
Promotion History: JWA (1964 to 1973), All Japan Pro Wrestling (1973 to 1990), World Class Championship Wrestling (1981 to 1986), Mid-South Wrestling (1981), National Wrestling Alliance (1982 to 1983), SWS (1990 to 1991), and New Japan (1992 to 1995)
Ring Attire:  Dark pants
Major Tournaments Won: None

Championship History:

NWA United National Championship:
- Defeated Johnny Valentine on 3/8/72 and Deactivated on 4/14/73

All Asia Tag Team Championship with Tomotsugu Kutsuwada:
- Defeated Jerry Oates and Ted Oates on 10/21/76 and lost to Great Kojika and Okuma on 7/16/77

NWA American Heavyweight Championship:
- Defeated Kerry Von Erich on 9/25/81 and lost to Bugsy McGraw on 12/26/81

WCCW Television Championship:
- Defeated Al Madril on 1/03/83 and lost to Tola Yatsu on 2/07/83

NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Championship:
- Defeated Jos LeDuc on 5/23/83 and lost to Charlie Brown on 11/24/83

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Jumbo Tsuruta:
- Defeated Terry Gordy and Steve Williams on 7/19/90 and Vacated on 7/30/90

Biggest Matches:
- October 21st, 1976 with Kutsuwada vs. Jerry and Ted Oates (title win)
- September 25th, 1981 vs. Kerry Von Erich (title win)
- July 19th, 1990 with Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Terry Gordy and Steve Williams (title win)
- June 15th, 1993 vs. Great Muta (title challenge)
- August 8th, 1998 with Great Muta vs. Ohara and Tatsutoshi Goto (retirement match)

- Kabuki on the night he retired in 1998
- Kabuki with the Claw on Jimmy Valiant
- Black and white photo of Kabuki posing
- Kabuki with New Japan Alumni in 2003
- Getting in the action again in BML, 2006

Signature Moves:
- Backdrop Suplex
- Lariat
- Nunchuck Demonstration
- Poison Mist
- Thrust Kick

Career History:

Akihisa Mera started his career wrestling under the name Akihisa Takachiho in the Japanese Wrestling Alliance (JWA). Takachiho wrestled in JWA until it closed, and achieved his greatest accomplishment of his young career when on March 8th, 1972 he defeated Johnny Valentine for the NWA United National Championship. Unfortunately, when Inoki and Giant Baba left to create New Japan and All Japan Takachiho originally stayed in JWA. JWA would close its doors in 1973 and Takachiho would leave to join All Japan Professional Wrestling.

In All Japan, Takachiho soon found success as on October 21st, 1976 he teamed with Tomotsugu Kutsuwada to win the All Asia Tag Team Championship. They would hold the titles for almost nine months before losing them to Great Kojika and Okuma. In the 1974 Champion Carnival, Takachiho would lose in the first round to Mark Lewin but in 1975 he defeated Mike George in the first round before losing to The Destroyer in the 2nd round. In the first ever Real World Tag League (then called the Open Tag League), Takachiho teamed with Mighty Inoue but they only picked up one point with a draw against Genichiro Tenryu and Rocky Hata. At this point Takachiho made a critical career move then he left All Japan as his main promotion and traveled to Australia and America to try to find more success then he had in All Japan.

After several years overseas, in 1981 Takachiho made the best decision of his career when he completely changed his character and became The Great Kabuki. As Great Kabuki, he wore face paint and kept his hair long in the front with the story being that he had been burned in a dangerous match in Japan and used the face paint to hide the scars. He also now spit the deadly Asian Mist, the first wrestler to do so. Great Kabuki immediately found success, as within the first two years in America he had won titles in the NWA, WCCW, and Mid-South. While in America he used a number of heel numbers as his mouthpiece, including Gary Hart, Skandor Akbar, and J.J. Dillon. Traveling from territory to territory, Great Kabuki main evented shows for NWA, WCCW, Mid-South, NWA Florida, Central States Wrestling, NWA Los Angeles, and NWA Mid-America. He also teamed with Mr. Saito (known in Japan as Masa Saito) to win numerous tag team championships.

In 1983, The Great Kabuki returned to All Japan and over the next several years would wrestle in both America and Japan. On December 12th, 1983, he wrestled the great Ric Flair for the NWA Heavyweight Championship, but Kabuki would lose when he was disqualified. On October 21st, 1985 he wrestled a wrestler with a similar gimmick, Killer Khan, but again Great Kabuki was disqualified. Great Kabuki wrestled in three Real World Tag Leagues during his stint back in All Japan, in the years 1987, 1988, and 1989 (there were not Champion Carnivals those years). His best year came in 1988, when he teamed with Hiroshi Wajima to come in 8th place out of 12. His greatest accomplishment in All Japan came on July 19th, 1990 when he teamed with Jumbo Tsuruta to win the All Japan United World Tag Team Championship at the young age of 41. He would only hold the title for two weeks however when Great Kabuki would leave with Tenryu to the newly formed Super World of Sports.

Great Kabuki kept a relatively low profile in SWS but he did team with Tenryu a number of times and generally stayed towards the main event. After SWS folded, Great Kabuki went with Tenryu to WAR but for the first time in his career began wrestling for New Japan as well. In New Japan, Great Kabuki did not have a major role as by now he was in his mid-40s. He did have one major feud, however, and that was with his son (in storyline) Great Muta.

In 1988, Keiji Mutoh had gone to America on a excursion and there he also began wearing face paint and using the Asian Mist with Gary Hart as his manager. Billed in America as Great Kabuki's son, the Great Muta shared a lot of his mannerisms and wrestling style. Now, in 1993 they were both in the same promotion for the first time and the "Father and Child Confrontation" soon commenced. They would meet twice in 1993, most significantly on June 15th when they battled for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship where Great Muta would win by disqualification (a common theme during Great Kabuki's career). They also met in WAR on May 25th, but this time Great Muta would be disqualified.

With the feud over, Great Kabuki over the next four years would wrestle in a number of promotions. He continued wrestling in New Japan, mostly wrestling in large multi-man matches. He also wrestled for WAR, Tokyo Pro, and IWA Japan during that time period. He even made an appearance in the WWF, wrestling in the 1994 Royal Rumble. In the summer of 1998, Great Kabuki announced that he would soon be retiring. On July 20th, for the first time Great Kabuki teamed with Kendo Nagasaki against Keisuke Yamada and Shigeo Okumura in IWA Japan, making it the last time that Great Kabuki would main event Tokyo Korakuen Hall. On August 8th, 1998, Great Kabuki would team with his son Great Muta for the first time in his (first) retirement match, defeating Ohara and Goto. In the match Great Muta and Great Kabuki would both perform the Asian Mist, one red and one green, in a touching moment for the father and son pair.

After his New Japan retirement, Great Kabuki wasn't quite done as on September 7th he went to IWA Japan for another series of retirement matches. The grand finale was a six man tag team match, pitting The Great Kabuki, Terry Funk, and Doug Gilbert vs. Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, and Metalface. Great Kabuki scored the pinfall, sealing a victory in his retirement match. After that, Great Kabuki stayed part of IWA Japan both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. In 2002 he re-surfaced in New Japan as a manager for the new GREAT MUTA and Joanie Laurer (Chyna in the WWF). When GREAT MUTA went down with an injury, on October 27th, 2002 Great Kabuki stepped into the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match with Laurer, but they would lose to Chono and Tenzan. In the spring of 2003, he participated in a New Japan Alumni Battle Royal, but Kantaro Hoshino and Kotetsu Yamamoto would win the light hearted event.

Now almost 60 years old, Great Kabuki still makes his presence felt in Japan. In 2006 he would appear in Big Mouth LOUD, managing different wrestlers under his image as they feuded with Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Great Kabuki even gave Fujiwara the Asian Mist! In 2008, it was announced that Kabuki would be part of Showa Pro Wrestling, but he would only be managing and not wrestling. From the JWA to America back to Japan, Great Kabuki had a long and storied career. His use of face paint and Asian Mist had a permanent effect on wrestling as it heavily influenced other wrestlers in both Japan and America. While he doesn't have any major tournament wins or any major singles titles, Great Kabuki was a pioneer and unforgettable wrestler, entertaining well into his 50s and misting anyone that would stand in his way.

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