Birthdate: October 25th, 1957
FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Championship (Held 6 Times):
FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship with Mitsuhiro Matsunaga:
FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship with Mr. Gannosuke:
FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship with W*ING Kanemura:
FMW World Street Fight 6-Man Tag Team Championship with Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Hido:
FMW World Street Fight 6-Man Tag Team Championship with Koji Nakagawa and Kuroda:
NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship (Held 2 Times):
NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship:
Other Signature Moves:
In Puroresu, there are few wrestlers that had the impact and the overall presence of Atsushi Onita. Onita is often pegged as a "garbage wrestler," but he was much more then that. Onita had great charisma, a strong business sense, and the ability to get the crowd into any match. He had the passion to entertain, and he was one of the toughest individuals you will ever see wrestle. Many Americans think of Foley or Funk as the "Hardcore Legend." They are wrong. Atsushi Onita is the hardcore legend, and set the stage for all hardcore wrestlers and promotions to come after him.
Before the explosions, the burns, the cuts, the blood, and the hundreds of stitches, Onita was the best Junior Heavyweight that All Japan had to offer. When Inoki created Tiger Mask in New Japan, Baba knew that he had to counter with his own Junior Heavyweight to compete around the world. While Onita had success, including winning the NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship, he would suffer a broken leg which would force him to retire from the sport in 1984.
In 1988, against doctor's wishes, Onita decided it was time to return to the ring. Initially Onita attempted to go to UWF, but when he was turned away there, he decided instead to make his own promotion: Frontier Martial arts Wrestling. During the next few years, Onita would invent (and compete) in the sickest matches that the wrestling world had ever seen. In FMW, Onita had the first match where barbed wire covered the floor outside the ring. But he wasn't done. On August 4th, 1990, Onita had the first ever No Rope Explosive Barbed Wire Death match versus Goto. In 1991, Onita would compete against the sadistic Mr. Pogo in a series of matches, including a Explosive Landmines Death Match.
Onita continued inventing new Death Matches. On May 16th, 1992, he had a Ring of Fire Death Match... but it didn't last long as the fire got out of control. In 1993, he faced off against Terry Funk in a no rope explosive barbed wire time bomb death match in front of 41,000 fans. In August 1993, he faced off against Mr. Pogo in a electric bomb cage exploding ring time bomb death match. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Onita was the Innovator of Violence back when Tommy Dreamer only used a steel cooking sheet to bake cookies, and was the most successful independent promoter in Japan for many years.
In 1994, Onita lost a match against Tenryu in an electric bomb cage in front of 51,000 fans, and because of the loss he had to retire. Needless to say, he didn't retire, but he promised to do so one year later (May 1995). For his "retirement" match, he faced off against Hayabusa in a Electric Bomb Cage Exploding Ring Time Bomb Death Match in front of 58,000 fans. Hayabusa would come out victorious and Onita would fade out of the picture for the time being.
For the next stage of his career (he did come back and wrestle for FMW in a heel stable, but had a lesser role in general), he joined New Japan in 1999. At the Tokyo Dome show that year, he faced off against Chono in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. There was no winner. He also had a match against the Great Muta during this time period in a Explosive Barbed Wire Match which he lost. Meanwhile, he was still running an independent promotion on the side. In 2003, Onita wrestled briefly for Riki Choshu's new promotion, World Japan. Initially, Onita was a big part of World Japan and fought in a number of no-rope barbed wire death matches during the first tour. His senate duties began to interfere with bookings however and he did not take part in either of the title tournaments. He worked a few cards after the initial tour but was not an important part of the promotion.
While now Onita has mostly stopped wrestling (like Funk, he will never truly retire), he has already left his bloody and burned mark on the business. No one would have thought an event that had a death match main event could get 58,000 fans. But Onita did. Yes, his popularity was based on him being blown up and caught on fire, but it was much more then that to him and his fans. It wasn't just about the money to Onita - he wrestled much longer then he had to. And no one would have blamed him for quitting early, considering his injuries. But he didn't do that.... if he had, he just wouldn't have been Atsushi Onita.