The Bodyguard
Birth name Noboru Kurakawa
Born June 30 1968 (1968-06-30) (age 52)
Osaka, Japan
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) The Bodyguard
MACHO Samurai
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 100 kg (220 lb)
Debut January 24, 2009

  Noboru Kurakawa (倉川 昇, Kurakawa Noboru) is a Japanese bodybuilder and professional wrestler better known as The Bodyguard or simply Bodyguard (ボディガー, Bodigā) he's currently working as a freelancer making appearances in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) where he is a four-time World Tag Team Champion alongside Zeus. Through a working relationship between AJPW and Lands End Pro-Wrestling (Lands End), Kurakawa also makes appearances for the promotion, where he is a former one-time All Asia Heavyweight Champion.

Kurakawa is best known for the time he worked in Osaka Pro Wrestling for a long time in his career where he his a former two-times Osaka Pro Wrestling Tag Team Champion and the winner of the 2013 Osaka Tag Festival. It was in Osaka Pro Wrestling that Kurakawa formed The Big Guns with Zeus. In the Russian independent circuit, Kurakawa is a former IWF Heavyweight Championship in the Independent Wrestling Federation promotion.

History[edit | edit source]

Osaka Pro Wrestling (2009-2014)[edit | edit source]

The Bodyguard made his first appearance in Osaka Pro in the fall of 2008, assisting Tigers Mask in completing his heel turn. Originally called Kurofuku, his strength was evident from the start and immediately started to cause trouble by helping Tigers win matches. Soon, he began a long-running feud started with Zeus, which eventually led to him being outed as a former professional bodybuilder, Noboru Kurakawa, the winner of two Musclemania Japan competitions in 2002 and 2007. To build heat for their feud, Kurakawa (now known as The Bodyguard) and Zeus engaged in some power battles, including an arm-wrestling contest that had no clear winner. Bodyguard would make his official in-ring debut as The Bodyguard at Hurricane 2009 in a loss to Zeus.[1] In August 2010, Bodyguard turned on Tigers Mask, aligning himself with Asian Cougar and Orochi to form Joker. In January 2011, Bodyguard was kicked out of Joker by Kuuga after they attempted to illegally help in a match against Zeus, but Bodyguard refused, wanting to win the match fairly. After the match, Bodyguard was attacked and beaten down by Joker, but was saved by Zeus, who cleared everyone out of the ring and shook hands with Bodyguard after the match, signalling a mutual respect between the two and ending their long-running rivalry. Soon after, they formed a tag team. Known as the Big Guns, they won the Osaka Pro Tag Titles in February 2011, but lost them to Joker in March.[2] Various injuries kept him sidelined for a good portion of 2011, but he was able to return to active competition in the fall. A knee injury once again sidelined him in early 2012, but he returned for a Big Guns produced show in May. Shortly after that, he announced that other than for Big Guns-related matches, his new ring name would be "Macho Samurai".

At Hurricane 2012, Bodyguard aggravated his knee injury during a three-way Tag Title match,[3] and shortly after announced that he needed surgery. The surgery and recovery kept him out for 8 months. He returned to the ring in March 2013, announcing that he would become a full-time Osaka Pro roster member. The Big Guns began to achieve more success shortly after, winning the Osaka Tag Festival in June and the Osaka Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship for the second time in October.[4] At the same time, Zeus also won the Osaka Pro Wrestling Championship and the 2013 Tennozan Tournament. Bodyguard and Zeus faced each other in the finals, with Zeus coming out on top.[5] On March 1, 2014, it was announced that Osaka Pro would be folding due to financial difficulties and on April 20, all of its workers would become freelancers. Bodyguard and Zeus eventually vacated all of their championships, and on April 20 wrestled their last match in OPW to date, teaming with Quiet Storm in a loss to Billyken Kid, Bull Armor Takuya and Black Buffalo.[6]

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2014–Present)[edit | edit source]

On March 28, 2014, Bodyguard and Zeus made their debuts for All Japan Pro Wrestling, defeating Menso re-Oyaji and SUSHI.[7] On May 16, they received an opportunity at the World Tag Team Championship, but were unable to defeat defending champions Evolution (Joe Doering and Suwama).[8] Bodyguard and Zeus both participated in the 2014 Ōdō Tournament as singles competitors, with Bodyguard being eliminated in the first round by Takao Omori.[9] The Big Guns also participated in the 2014 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing with 8 points but not making it to the final.[10]

Bodyguard participated in the 2015 Champion Carnival Tournament finishing with 2 points in Block A. On May 31, Bodyguard and Zeus received another shot at the World Tag Team Championship, but were unable to defeat Xceed (Go Shiozaki and Kento Miyahara).[11] On August 15, Bodyguard and Zeus scored a big win, defeating former World Tag Team Champions Akebono and Yutaka Yoshie.[12] They once again participated in the World's Strongest Tag Determination League in 2015, losing their first two matches but managing to win the rest of their matches, and make it into the finals, finishing the tournament with 8 points. In the final, they were defeated by Kento Miyahara and Suwama.[13]

On December 23 Bodyguard and Zeus finally captured the World Tag Team Championship, defeating Wild Burning (Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori).[14] On February 21, Bodyguard and Zeus made their first successful defense of the World Tag Team Championship, defeating Nextream (Jake Lee and Kento Miyahara).[15] On June 15, Zeus and Bodyguard lost the World Tag Team titles to Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi.[16] On November 27, they defeated Sekimoto and Okabayashi to regain the championship.[17] The lost the titles to Kengo Mashimo and KAI on May 21, 2017. They regained the titles from KAI and Mashimo on June 11. Bodyguard and Zeus third reign as World Tag Team Champions ended on July 17 when they lost the titles to Jake Lee and Naoya Nomura. On February 25, Bodyguard and Zeus defeated Kento Miyahara and Yoshitatsu to regain the World Tag Team Championship. They lost the titles to Ryoji Sai and Dylan James on March 25. On July 29, Bodyguard defeated Sai to win the All Asia Heavyweight Championship. From November 13 to December 11, Bodyguard and Zeus took part in the World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing the tournament with a record of four wins and six losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament.

Acting career[edit | edit source]

The Bodyguard stars in the Emilio Insolera film Sign Gene, the first superhero film about deaf mutants who have superhuman powers through the use of sign language. The film will be released in September 14th. [18][19]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Kurakawa co-owns "King Gym", a power and strength gym in his hometown of Osaka, Japan with tag team partner Kensho Obayashi.[20]

In wrestling[edit | edit source]

  • Finishing moves
    • The Bounce (Military press into a falling powerslam)
    • Bodybreak (Argentine backbreaker rack into a Samoan drop)
  • Signature moves
    • Kirisute Gomen
    • Military press slam
    • Powerslam
    • Roundhouse kick
    • Short-arm lariat
  • With Zeus
    • Muscle Explosion (Doomsday Device)
  • Entrance Theme
    • "It's Time" by Rick Pier O'Neil (Osaka Pro)[21]

Championships and Accomplishments[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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