Akira Taue (田上 明 Taue Akira) (born May 8, 1961) is a retired Japanese professional wrestler, and former Advisor of Pro Wrestling Noah. He is also a former AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, a former GHC Heavyweight Champion and has had fourteen 5 Star Matches as awarded by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Sumo wrestling career
Before becoming a professional wrestler, Akira Taue competed as a sumo wrestler, debuting in January 1980 and coached by former ozeki Daikirin (his shikona was Tamakirin, based on his stablemaster's). He fought in the second highest juryo division for seven tournaments before retiring from sumo in July 1987.
Professional wrestling career
All Japan Pro Wrestling (1988–2000)
He debuted in a tag team match for All Japan Pro Wrestling on January 2, 1988, teaming with the legendary Giant Baba against Buddy Landel and Paul Harris. As with Genichiro Tenryu, Hiroshi Wajima and Arashi before him, his debut was much hyped. Throughout the years he became one of AJPW's top stars, by winning titles such as the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship and the 1996 Champion Carnival.
However, he became better known for tag team wrestling. He won his first championship, the All Asia Tag Team Championship, with Shinichi Nakano on June 5, 1990. He won the World Tag Team Championship for the first time on March 4, 1992, teaming with Jumbo Tsuruta. He formed a tag team with Toshiaki Kawada, called The Holy Demon Army, a team which ended up holding the World Tag Team Championship 6 times. The team split when Taue left AJPW for Mitsuharu Misawa's new Pro Wrestling Noah promotion in August 2000, while Kawada decided to stay.
Pro Wrestling Noah (2000–2019)
In Noah Taue continued tag team wrestling, teaming mostly with Takuma Sano. On November 5, 2005, Taue was able to defeat Takeshi Rikio with his Ore ga Taue finisher to capture the GHC Heavyweight Championship, which he held into the new year before losing it to Jun Akiyama on January 22, 2006.
On June 27, 2009, following the June 13 death of Mitsuharu Misawa, Akira Taue was appointed as the new president of Pro Wrestling Noah. On May 12, 2013, Taue announced that he would be officially retiring from the ring in December. On December 7, 2013, Taue wrestled his retirement match, where he, Takeshi Morishima, Takashi Sugiura, and Genba Hirayanagi defeated Genichiro Tenryu, Tatsumi Fujinami, Masao Inoue, and Kentaro Shiga, with Taue pinning Inoue for the final win of his career.
- Finishing moves
- Dynamic Bomb (Sitout powerbomb with theatrics)
- Multiple chokeslam variations
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
- "Runner" by Bakufu Slump (AJPW, 1988–1991)
- "Eclipse" by Yngwie Malmsteen (proceeded by an intro from "Faultline" by Yngwie Malmsteen since 1993) (AJPW/NOAH, 1991–1998, 2000–2013)
- "Thruster" (AJPW, 1998–2000)
- "Jingi Naki Tatakai" by Toshiaki Tsushima (NOAH, 2000)
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- All Asia Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Shinichi Nakano
- Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Tag Team Championship (7 times) – with Jumbo Tsuruta (1) and Toshiaki Kawada (6)
- Champion Carnival (1996)
- World's Strongest Tag Determination League (1996, 1997) – with Toshiaki Kawada
- January 2 Korakuen Hall Heavyweight Battle Royal (1992)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #115 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
- Pro Wrestling Noah
- Tokyo Sports
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- 5 Star Match (1990) with Jumbo Tsuruta and Masanobu Fuchi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi on October 19
- 5 Star Match (1991) with Jumbo Tsuruta and Masanobu Fuchi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi on April 20
- 5 Star Match (1992) with Jumbo Tsuruta and Masanobu Fuchi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi on May 22
- 5 Star Match (1993) with Toshiaki Kawada and Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi and Jun Akiyama on July 2
- 5 Star Match (1993) with Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi on December 3
- 5 Star Match (1994) with Toshiaki Kawada and Masanobu Fuchi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi & Giant Baba on February 13
- 5 Star Match (1994) with Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi on May 21
- 5 Star Match (1995) with Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi on January 24
- 5 Star Match (1995) vs. Mitsuharu Misawa on April 15
- 5 Star Match (1995) with Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi on June 9
- 5 Star Match (1995) with Tamon Honda and Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi and Satoru Asako on June 30
- 5 Star Match (1996) with Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama on May 23
- 5 Star Match (1996) with Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama on December 6
- 5 Star Match (1997) with Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama on December 5
- 田上 明 (Taue Akira) (profile) (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling NOAH. Retrieved on 2012-02-04.
- Great Voyage 2013 in Tokyo vol.2～田上明引退記念大会～ (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved on 2013-12-07.
- 「方舟新章」5月12日(日) 後楽園ホール大会 田上社長会見の模様 . Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
- Akira Taue . Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
- Akira Taue . Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
- Akira Taue - OWW (2014-04-28). Retrieved on 2016-05-12.
- Archived copy . Archived from the original on 2011-01-03. Retrieved on 2015-04-09.
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 Wrestlers of the PWI Years . Wrestling Information Archive. Retrieved on 2010-09-15.
- The Great Hisa's Puroresu Dojo: Puroresu Awards: 1990s . Puroresu Dojo.
- 【プロレス大賞：功労賞】田上「三沢さんが安心するノアにする」 (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2014-12-09). Retrieved on 2014-12-09.