Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (菊地 毅 Kikuchi Tsuyoshi) (born November 21, 1964) is a professional wrestler currently working as a freelancer. He has previously worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling NOAH. Kikuchi idolized and patterned his style to the Dynamite Kid.
Professional wrestling career
All Japan Pro Wrestling (1988-2000)
Kikuchi turned pro on February 26, 1988, his debut was against veteran wrestler Mitsuo Momota. Like many, Kikuchi spent his early years wrestling in opening and low midcard matches, paying his dues. By late 1990, Kikuchi began moving up the card and before long was becoming a Jr. Title contender. His first title shot was on July 12, 1990 when he challenged Masanobu Fuchi for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship but he would come up short. He would challenge for the title four more times between January 26, 1991 to February 28, 1993 coming up short each time. By 1991, Kikuchi also began teaming with future legend: Kenta Kobashi. The two first received a shot at the vacated All Asia Tag Team Championship on April 6, 1991 against The British Bruisers but lost. A few months later on June 1, 1991 they received another shot against then-champions Doug Furnas and Dan Kroffat but failed to win the titles. Kikuchi and Kobashi also entered the 1991 World's Strongest Tag Determination League but finished 11th place with 4 points.
On May 25, 1992 Kikuchi and Kobashi would once again challenge Furnas and Kroffat for the All Asia Tag Team Titles and this time would be victorious as Kikuchi would win his first title. Along with the title win, the match would win numerous honors as the Wrestling Observer Newsletter gave it 5 Stars and named it the 1992 Match of the Year. During the title reign, Kikuchi would also enjoy success in the Junior Division by winning the yearly January 3 Junior Heavyweight Korakuen Hall Battle Royal on January 3, 1993 and also won a Junior Heavyweight Tournament on January 31, 1993. After a year as champions, Kikuchi and Kobashi would finally lose the titles on June 2, 1993 to The Patriot and The Eagle. Following the title loss, Kikuchi and Kobashi broke up with Kobashi forming a successful team with Mitsuharu Misawa while Kikuchi would remain in the midcard.
From 1993-1996, Kikuchi would largely remain in the midcard with little to no direction, he would continue to receive shots at the Jr. Title and All Asia Tag Titles but would continully fail to win either. On July 24, 1996, Kikuchi would defeat Fuchi to finally win the World Junior Heavyweight Championship. He would go on to make two successful title defenses and hold the title throughout the remainder of 1996 before eventually losing the title to Yoshinari Ogawa on January 15, 1997.
After losing the title, Kikuchi's push would end as he spent the remainder of his All Japan tenure wrestling in opening and lowcard matches as he would wrestle young up and comers or aging legends. Also with the exception of a failed Jr. Heavyweight title shot on January 22, 2000, he for the most part was out of the title loop. In June 2000, Kikuchi would leave All Japan with the majority of the native roster and joined Misawa's new promotion:Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Pro Wrestling Noah (2000-2010)
Kikuchi debuted for Noah at their first show on August 5, 2000. For the most part, his time in NOAH was like the end of his All Japan tenure as he spent it in opening matches and in the low midcard. Despite this, Kikuchi did occasionally receive title shots as he entered a tournament to crown the first GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion in 2001 making all the way to the semi-finals before losing to eventual winner: Yoshinobu Kanemaru. In 2002, Kikuchi began teaming with Kanemaru as the two invaded New Japan Pro Wrestling and defeated Jushin Thunder Liger and Minoru Tanaka to win the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship. The two would hold on to the title for four months and made four successful title defenses before eventually losing the title to Liger and Koji Kanemoto on January 26, 2003.
After losing the titles, Kikuchi once again returned to opening matches, over the next few years, he would occasionally get title shots at the GHC Jr. Title, the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship and GHC Openweight Hardcore Championship but would come up short each time. In 2010, Kikuchi along with a few others were released from Noah.
After leaving Noah, Kikuchi became a freelancer doing shows for All Japan and Dragon Gate. On September 20, 2010, Kikuchi challenged Kaz Hayashi for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship but lost. In November, Kikuchi returned to All Japan to participate in the 2010 World's Strongest Tag Determination League teaming up with Tamon Honda. On January 3, 2011, Kikuchi and Honda challenged Seiya Sanada and Manabu Soya for the All Asia Tag Team Championship but lost. In January 2011, Kikuchi also debuted in DDT. In the spring, Kikuchi returned to New Japan for their NEVER brand by taking part in the Road to the Super Juniors tournament where the two winners would qualify for the 2011 Best of the Super Juniors. On April 7, Kikuchi defeated Ken Ohka in the first round. Then on April 8, he defeated Kazuhiro Tamura in the semifinals, but lost in the finals later that night to Daisuke Sasaki. In April, Kikuchi returned to All Japan to take part in the 2011 Jr. Tag League teaming with Masanobu Fuchi.
He defeated Craig Classic for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship on January 1, 2012 at the Korakuen Hall in a Zero1 show. Kikuchi lost the title to his tag-team partner Takuya Sugawara on March 2 at 11th Anniversary show.
- Finishing moves
- Fireball Bomb (Spin-out powerbomb)
- Signature moves
- Cradle suplex
- Cross armbar
- Diving headbutt
- Rolling German suplexes
- Running elbow smash
- Zero-Sen Kick (Running leg lariat)
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Apache Army
- Apache Opendivision Championship (1 time)
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Zero1
- NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Takuya Sugawara
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- ZERO1, NOAH, Osaka & 19pro Results for March 2, 2012 . Retrieved on 2012-03-02.
- Puroresu Central profile .