Atsushi Onita

Atsushi Onita

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Atsushi Onita

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Atsushi Onita (大仁田 厚 Ōnita Atsushi) (born October 25, 1957) is a Japanese former politician and active professional wrestler best known for his work in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling. He is credited with importing to Japan, as well as innovating, the deathmatch style of professional wrestling.

Professional wrestling career

All Japan Pro Wrestling (1974–1985)

He was the first true graduate of the All Japan Pro Wrestling dojo (Jumbo Tsuruta had debuted first, but he had trained in Amarillo, Texas, with Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk). In his early days he teamed with dojo classmate Masanobu Fuchi, who debuted only a few weeks after him. He was known as a loyal ring attendant to Giant Baba, who had accepted him into the dojo despite not having graduated from high school. In the late '70s and the early '80s, he and Fuchi toured Memphis, Tennessee, winning the AWA Southern tag team title three times.

When the junior heavyweight boom started in Japan under Tatsumi Fujinami and Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama, Onita was picked as the ace of AJPW's makeshift junior heavyweight division. Baba was able to get Chavo Guerrero, Sr., who had been an early rival of Fujinami, over to AJPW's side, and Guerrero brought the NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship with him, effectively establishing it as AJPW's junior heavyweight cornerstone. Onita and Guerrero's subsequent feud over the title spanned three promotions (AJPW, Jim Crockett Promotions and Empresa Mexicana de......
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