Taiyō Kea

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Taiyō Kea
Taiyō Kea.jpg
Taiyō Kea in 2010
Born (1975-11-18) November 18, 1975 (age 38)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Resides Japan
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Maunakea Mossman
Taiyō Kea
Agnes Kamen
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Billed weight 234 lb (106 kg)
Trained by AJPW Dojo
Giant Baba
Yoshinari Ogawa
Keiji Mutoh
Debut November 26, 1994[1]

Maunakea Mossman is an American professional wrestler, better known under his stage name Taiyō Kea (太陽ケア). Although he was born in Hawaii, he has spent nearly his entire career as a member of the Japan-based All Japan Pro Wrestling promotion. He is the only wrestler to have held the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, the World Tag Team Championship and the World Junior Heavyweight Championship.

Career[edit]

Mossman was a Hawaiian state amateur champion, and was scouted by Giant Baba during a trip to the islands. Debuting in 1994 as a junior heavyweight, Mossman was pushed immediately, winning the World Junior Heavyweight Championship in 1997. He vacated the title in 1998, as he graduated up to the heavyweight division. Following Baba's death in 1999, Misawa inherited the role as the booker and chose to postpone Mossman's push. With the massive exodus of Misawa and all but two native talent to form Pro Wrestling Noah in 2000, Mossman was one of the few who chose to remain in All Japan Pro Wrestling, aiding in the rebuilding process along with Toshiaki Kawada, Masanobu Fuchi, Hiroshi Hase, Stan Hansen, the returning Genichiro Tenryu, Nobutaka Araya and Shigeo Okumura. In order to identify him more with the audience, Mossman was given the semi-Japanese name "Taiyō Kea" (from taiyo, sun, and the Polynesian word kea). Kea was pushed as a strong loyalist and won the World Tag Team Championship with Johnny Smith.

In 2001, Kea also began appearing in New Japan Pro Wrestling where he became a member of Keiji Mutoh's stable: BATT and by October 2001 would form a successful tag team with Mutoh as they made history twice in one week by winning both the World Tag Team Championship and New Japan Pro Wrestling's IWGP Tag Team Championship, which made them the first team to not only win both titles, but also the first to hold them simultaneously.[2][3] The team also would win the 2001 World's Strongest Tag Determination League.[4] On June 16, 2002, Kea competed in the tournament to crown the first MLW World Heavyweight Champion, where he defeated The Wall in the Quarter-Finals, wrestled Vampiro to a draw in the Semi-Finals and lost in the Final to Shane Douglas in a 3-Way Dance (which also featured Vampiro). Kea would compete for Major League Wrestling again on September 26, 2002, where he defeated Sabu in a #1 Contender's Match for the MLW title, but Kea never returned to the promotion to claim his title shot.

In 2003, Kea joined Taka Michinoku's RO&D stable as second-in-command, and proceeded to win the World Tag Team Championship for a fourth time with Jamal. On April 20, 2006, Kea won AJPW's Champion Carnival, defeating Minoru Suzuki in the semifinals and Suwama in the finals. On July 3, 2006, he won the Triple Crown Championship by defeating Satoshi Kojima. He would only hold the championship for 2 months, as he lost to mixed martial artist/freelancer Minoru Suzuki on September 3. He participated in the World's Strongest Tag Determination League 2006 with Taka Michinoku as his partner, finishing fourth in the bracket with 5 points (two wins, two losses, one draw).

Taiyō Kea challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at NJPW's January 4, 2007 Tokyo Dome show, albeit in a losing effort, falling to Tanahashi's High Fly Flow. On February 17, Kea and Kawada defeated Suwama and RO'Z to claim the vacant World Tag Team Championship. On March 26 - March 30, Kea competed in Block A of the 2007 Champion Carnival, finishing with 4 points (one win, one loss, two draws).

In 2008, Kea and Suzuki formed a stable named GURENTAI with Tokyo Gurentai's MAZADA, NOSAWA Rongai, and TAKEMURA. He and Suzuki won the World Tag Team Championship during the Crossover tour on June 28.[1]

In 2009, Kea and Suzuki successfully defended the titles against Suwama and Shuji Kondo. The two proceeded to team mostly with Yoshihiro Takayama, before Kea injured his knee, taking him out of action for 5 months, before his return was announced in a tournament for the Taiwan Cup, where he lost to Masayuki Kono in the first round.

In 2010, Kea formed a tag team with Akebono. The team defeated Suwama and Ryota Hama for the vacated World Tag Team Championship on July 4.

On May 7, 2012, Kea won his second Champion Carnival.

On November 30, 2012, Kea announced that he was putting his wrestling career on hold to attend business school in his native Hawaii.[5] His farewell match, a ten man tag team match, where he, Keiji Mutoh, Masakatsu Funaki, Masanobu Fuchi and Taka Michinoku defeated Hiroshi Yamato, Manabu Soya, Ryota Hama, Suwama and Takao Ōmori, took place on January 3, 2013.[6] Kea announced his return to All Japan in a press conference on June 11, 2013.[7] Kea wrestled his return match on June 30, where he and Takao Ōmori defeated Joe Doering and Yasufumi Nakanoue.[8]

On March 2, 2014, Kea made a surprise jump to Keiji Mutoh's AJPW splinter promotion Wrestle-1 at Kaisen: Outbreak.

In wrestling[edit]

  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves
  • "The Hawaiian Tornado"
  • "Mr. H5O"

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #11 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2006[10]
    • PWI ranked him #416 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003[11]
  • Tokyo Sports
    • Best Tag Team (2008)-with Minoru Suzuki[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]