Kyosuke Mikami (三上 恭佑 Mikami Kyōsuke, born December 29, 1983) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently working under the ring name El Desperado (エル・デスペラード Eru Desuperādo). He is signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and former three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion.
He also worked for Pro Wrestling Noah as part of an interpromotional invasion storyline involving the Suzuki-gun stable, where he won the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. Mikami was trained by the NJPW dojo and worked for NJPW for two years as a low rookie while gaining in-ring experience. In 2012 he traveled to Mexico for an extended stay as part of his training regiment, working for NJPW's Mexican affiliate Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) as the masked character Namajague, a Spanish translation of Namahage, a Japanese folk demon. While in CMLL, he won his first professional wrestling title, the CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship in March 2013 and was later unmasked after losing a match. Mikami returned to NJPW in January 2014, repackaged under another mask as El Desperado.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 In wrestling
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
- 6 Luchas de Apuestas record
- 7 Refrences
Mikami was born and raised in Nagaoka, Niigata, Japan. He later attended Senshu University but dropped out before graduating. He pursued both a Judo and an Amateur wrestling career, both in Greco-Roman and in Freestyle wrestling.
Professional wrestling career
He attended New Japan Pro Wrestling's (NJPW) annual open try out test in May, 2009. He passed the test and was accepted into the NJPW Dojo. Mikami trained in the same class as King Fale and Hiromu Takahashi who all made their in ring debut around the same time.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2010–2012)
After training in the NJPW Dojo for almost a year Mikami made his debut on March 7, 2010, losing to Ryusuke Taguchi. NJPW traditionally requires their rookies (referred to as "Young Lions" in NJPW) to wear simple, generic black trunks and boots and pay their dues by helping to set up the ring etc. while they gain in -ing experience. Mikami would lose at least 31 matches in a row, not uncommon for NJPW dojo graduates, until he was able to beat fellow dojo trainee Hiromu Takahashi in Takahashi's debut match on August 24, 2010 ,at NEVER.1. He competed in the 2011 "Road to the Super Junior 2Days Tournament" on April 7, but was eliminated in the first round by Ryuichi Sekine. He would later team up with fellow "Young Lions" Hiromu Takahashi Takaaki Watanabe to compete in NJPW's "J Sports Crown Openweight 6 Man Tag Tournament". The team lost to Madoka, Shinobu ,and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi in their first match. Mikami's last match to date came on January 4, 2012 ,as he appeared in a dark match before NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome show, the biggest show in NJPW. The match saw Mikami and Tomoaki Honma lose to Tama Tonga and Captain New Japan. It was later announced that Mikami was injured to take some time off, a storyline to cover for his long term absence from NJPW.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2012–2013)
NJPW often sends their "Young Lions" on a learning excursion outside Japan, be it the United States of America, Europe or in particular Mexico where NJPW has a working relationship with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) which has seen a series of Japanese wrestlers work for CMLL for shorter or longer periods of time. Mikami's "learning excursion" took him to Mexico in early 2012, where he was given a new name, Namajague, and a mask that was inspired by the imagery of the Japanese folk demon Namahage. While Mikami had worked primarily as a "face" (wrestling term for someone who portrays the good guy) he was given a "heel" or Rudo character and teamed up with CMLL's resident Japanese worker Okumura. The two formed a tag team called La Fiebre Amarilla ("the Yellow Fever"). He made his debut as Namajage on February 2, 2012, teaming with Okumura and Misterioso, Jr., defeating the team of Black Warrior, El Sagrado and Sangre Azteca. The following month Mikami worked CMLL's major spring show Homenaje a Dos Leyendas where he teamed up with Misterioso, Jr. and Rey Escorpion to defeat the team of Fuego, Titán and Tritón in a Best two-out-of-three falls Six-man tag team match In September 2012 La Fiebre Amarilla unsuccessfully challenged for the CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship as defending champions Fuego and Stuka, Jr. were victorious. Only weeks later Namajague was part of CMLL's largest annual show as they celebrated the 79th Anniversary of CMLL as he teamed up with Okumura and Taichi, a trio billed as La Ola Amarilla ("The Yellow Wave"), La Ola was defeated by three of CMLL's top tecnicos, Ángel de Oro, La Sombra and Titán. In the months following the Anniversary show Namajague and Okumura developed a long-running storyline with Stuka, Jr. and Rey Cometa that evolved into the main event of 2013 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show contested under Luchas de Apuestas, or "bet match" rules where Namajague and Stuka, Jr. both risked their masks and Okumura and Rey Cometa would risk their hair on the outcome of the match. On March 3, 2013, Namajague and Okumura defeated Fuego and Stuka, Jr. to win the CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship, Mikami's first professional wrestling title. On March 15, 2013, Okumura and Namajague were defeated by Stuka, Jr. and Rey Cometa in the main event of 2013 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show, forcing Okumura to have all his hair shaved off and Namajague was unmasked and had to reveal his real name, Kyosuke Mikami, as per Lucha libre traditions. The storyline between Namajague and Rey Cometa did not end after the unmasking, instead, it switched to an individual storyline between the two, which included Namajague breaking a pane of glass over Rey Cometa's head during a one-on-one match. The conflict led to CMLL signing a one-on-one Lucha de Apuestas between with Cometa and Namajague's hair on the line, to take place on the April 26, 2013, Arena Mexico 57th Anniversary Show. Rey Cometa won the Luchas de Apuestas, two falls to one, to have all of Namajague's hair shaved off after the match. On November 3, Namajague and Okumura lost the Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship to Delta and Guerrero Maya, Jr.
Return to NJPW (2014–2015)
On December 9, 2013, NJPW announced the upcoming debut of a new masked wrestler named "El Desperado". Mikami returned to his home promotion on January 4, 2014, at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome. Wearing a new white mask and a black suit and carrying a guitar case, he entered the ring after Kota Ibushi had become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and gave him a bouquet of flowers. In storyline, El Desperado is Mexican, but has a Japanese father and can therefore speak Japanese. El Desperado made his in-ring debut the following day, teaming with Jushin Thunder Liger in a tag team match, where they defeated Ibushi and BUSHI, with him pinning Bushi for the win. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match between El Desperado and Ibushi took place on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka and saw Ibushi retain his title. On March 6 at New Japan's 42nd anniversary event, El Desperado started a new feud with Jushin Thunder Liger. After a brawl following a six-man tag team match, Liger challenged El Desperado to a Mask vs. Mask match. On April 6 at Invasion Attack 2014, El Desperado teamed up with Kota Ibushi to unsuccessfully challenge The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. From May 30 to June 6, El Desperado took part in the 2014 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, where he finished with a record of three wins and four losses, failing to advance from his block. On July 4, El Desperado turned heel and joined the Suzuki-gun stable, while also setting his sights on the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. On September 23 at Destruction in Okayama, El Desperado and Suzuki-gun stablemate Taichi received a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, but ere defeated by the Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA). On October 13 at King of Pro-Wrestling, El Desperado unsuccessfully challenged Ryusuke Taguchi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. El Desperado then began chasing Jushin Thunder Liger for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship, leading to a title match between the two on January 5, 2015, where Liger retained his title.
Pro Wrestling NOAH (2015–2016)
In January 2015, Suzuki-gun entered a storyline, where the entire stable invaded the Pro Wrestling Noah promotion. As part of the storyline, El Desperado and Taka Michinoku won the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship on March 15 by defeating Choukibou-gun (Hajime Ohara and Kenoh) and No Mercy (Daisuke Harada and Genba Hirayanagi) in a three-way match. In July, El Desperado entered the 2015 Global Junior Heavyweight League. After a record of four wins and one loss, El Desperado entered the final day on August 5 with a chance to reach the finals, but a loss to Daisuke Harada meant that Harada instead advanced from the block.The following month, El Desperado and Michinoku made it to the finals of the 2015 NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League, but were defeated there by Harada and Atsushi Kotoge. On October 4, El Desperado and Michinoku lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Harada and Kotoge. Following the loss, El Desperado was sidelined with a neck injury. After his return, El Desperado was forced to put his spot in Suzuki-gun on the line, but managed to retain his membership by defeating stablemate Takashi Iizuka by disqualification on March 17, 2016. The Suzuki-gun Noah invasion storyline concluded in December 2016.
Second return to New Japan (2017–present)
The entire Suzuki-gun returned to NJPW on January 5, 2017, including Desperado, attacking the CHAOS stable with Suzuki laying out IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. In May and June, El Desperado took part in the 2017 Best of the Super Juniors, where he finished last in his block with a record of three wins and four losses. Because of his win over Kushida during the tournament, El Desperado was granted a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on September 16 at Destruction in Hiroshima, but was defeated by Kushida. On March 6, Desperado won his first title in NJPW the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, teaming with Suzuki-gun stablemate Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeating Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) and Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi in a three-way match. In May, Desperado entered the 2018 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, finishing the tournament with a record of three wins and four losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament, finishing almost in the last place. From October 16 until November 1, Desperado and Kanemaru took part in the Super Jr. Tag League, finishing the tournament with a record of five wins and two losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament. On November 3 at Power Struggle, Desperado and Kanemaru were defeated in the finals by Sho and Yoh in a three-way match also BUSHI and Shingo Takagi. On January 4, 2019, at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome, Desperado and Kanemaru lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to BUSHI and Takagi in a second three-way match also involving Sho and Yoh, ending their reign at 304 days. From October 16 until November 1, Desperado and Kanemaru took part in the 2019 Super Jr. Tag League, finishing the tournament with a record of five wins and two losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament. On November 3 at Power Struggle, Desperado and Kanemaru were defeated in the finals by Sho and Yoh.
In June 2020, Desperado took part in the 2020 New Japan Cup, being eliminated from the tournament by Tomohiro Ishii in the first round. In August, Desperado took part in a tournament to crown the provisional KOPW 2020 Champion. In the first round, Desperado proposed a no finisher rule match as part of the KOPW 2020, which he won after a fan vote. In the match on August 26, Desperado defeated Satoshi Kojima, after he used his finishing move to advance to the finals of the tournament. Three days later, at Summer Struggle in Jingu, Desperado failed to become the inaugural and provisional KOPW 2020 Champion, after Toru Yano won the four-way match to crown the provisional champion. On September 11, at New Japan Road tour, Desperado and Kanemaru defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi) in the finals of a tournament to win the vacant IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. From November 15 until December 6, Desperado took part in the 2020 Best of the Super Juniors, finishing the tournament with a record of seven wins and two losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament. On December 11, Desperado was defeated in the finals by Hiromu Takahashi.
In January 2021, following Wrestle Kingdom 15, Suzuki-gun entered a rivalry with the Bullet Club over both stables tag team championships. On January 23, Desperado and Kanemaru lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Bullet Club members El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori, before regaining it on February 25. Three days later at Castle Attack, Desperado won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship by defeating El Phantasmo and BUSHI in a three-way match. Later that night, as part of the annual non-title match at NJPW's 49th anniversary event between the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontiental champions, Desperado challenged Kota Ibushi to a match, but for his titles, instead of being a non-title match. At the event on March 4, the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontiental Championships were retired and replaced with the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, with both wrestlers competing for it in a match; Desperado was unsuccessful in capturing the new title. On April 4 at Sakura Genesis, Desperado and Kanemaru lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh).
On May 25, 2021, Mikami revealed on Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19 amid its pandemic in Japan.
- Finishing moves
- As El Desperado
- Diving splash – 2015
- Guitarra de Angel (Double underhook overhead gutwrench backbreaker rack transitioned into a powerbomb)
- Pinche Loco (Lifting spinning sitout double underhook facebuster)
- Guitarra de la Muerta (Back-to-back double underhook piledriver)
- Numero Dos (Arm trap over the shoulder single leg Boston Crab)
- El Es Culero (Leg hook half nelson rolled forward into a crucifix cradle)
- Angel de Rojo (Leg tap sunset flip powerbomb)
- As Kyosuke Mikami/Namajague
- As El Desperado
- Signature moves
- Loco Mono (Right-handed hook)
- Jumping neckbreaker drop
- Shoulder tackle
- Entrance themes
- "Roughness" by Yonosuke Kitamura
- "Aguja de Abeja" by Yonosuke Kitamura
Championships and accomplishments
- Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
- CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Okumura
- Pro Wrestling Noah
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
Luchas de Apuestas record
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|Stuka, Jr. (mask) and Rey Cometa (hair)||La Fiebre Amarilla
(Okumura (hair) and Namajague (mask))
|Mexico City, Mexico||2013 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas||March 15, 2013|
|Rey Cometa (hair)||Namajague (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||Arena Mexico 57th Anniversary Show||April 26, 2013|
- Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ja:【ノア】鈴木軍撤退で方舟マットどうなる？ (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2016-12-05). Retrieved on 2016-12-05.
- ja:鉄拳7 Presents Best of the Super Jr.24 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-06-01.
- Rose, Bryan 2017-09-16. NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima results: Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-09-16.