Yoshiaki Yatsu

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Yoshiaki Yatsu
Born (1956-07-19) July 19, 1956 (age 58)
Oura, Gunma, Japan
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Yoshiaki Yatsu
N'Tollah Yatsu
Akiyoshi Tsuya
Billed height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Billed weight 120 kg (260 lb)
Debut December 29, 1980
Retired November 30, 2010[1]

Yoshiaki Yatsu (谷津嘉章 Yatsu Yoshiaki) (born July 19, 1956) is a retired Japanese professional wrestler, amateur wrestler and mixed martial artist. He is known for being one-half of the first-ever World Tag Team Champions with Jumbo Tsuruta, having won the NWA International Tag Team Championship and the PWF Tag Team Championship, and unifying the two titles.

Amateur wrestling career[edit]

1976 Summer Olympics[edit]

At the age of 20, Yatsu competed in amateur wrestling at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. He did not place in the tournament.[2]

1980 Summer Olympics[edit]

He would have participated in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, but Japan chose to follow the American-led boycott.[1]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

In 1980, after Japan decided not to send their athletes to take part in the Summer Olympics in Moscow, Yatsu garnered a great deal of national attention, when he announced his intention of becoming a professional wrestler.[1] Within just a few years, Yatsu became a regular headliner for New Japan Pro Wrestling, before joining Riki Chōshū, when he left the promotion for All Japan Pro Wrestling at the end of 1984.[1] In All Japan Yatsu and Chōshū formed a tag team, which would go on to win the NWA International Tag Team Championship.[1]

In 1986 Yatsu took a hiatus from professional wrestling in order to one last time chase his Olympic dream. However, after winning a Japanese National Championship in the super heavyweight division in 1986 and while training for the 1987 Asian Wrestling Championships, the International Olympic Committee declared that Yatsu was a professional athlete and banned him from not only that competition, but also from the 1988 Summer Olympics.[1] The decision stunned many people, but Yatsu didn't file an appeal.[1]

While Yatsu was training for his Olympic dream, Chōshū left All Japan and returned to New Japan.[1] Upon his return to professional wrestling, Yatsu decided not to join his tag team partner in New Japan, but to stay in All Japan.[1] Afterwards, All Japan broke up the tag team of Genichiro Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta and made Tsuruta Yatsu's new tag team partner.[1] The tag team, known as "The Olympics", would go on to win the World Tag Team Championship five times, the PWF World Tag Team Championship once and in 1987 the team also won the World's Strongest Tag Determination League.[1] In 1990 the team broke up when Yatsu jumped to Super World of Sports.[1] In 1991, while working for the promotion, Yatsu unsuccessfully challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship.[1] When Super World of Sports folded in 1992, Yatsu formed his own promotion Social Pro Wrestling Federation (SPWF), but would wrestle himself only semi-regularly.[1] In 1994 he returned to New Japan to take part in the G1 Climax tournament.[1]

In recent years, Yatsu has been the president of a transportation company.[1] On November 30, 2010, he returned to the professional wrestling ring to wrestle his retirement match.[1] The match took place in front of 500 fans at Shinjuku Face in Tokyo, and saw Yatsu and Koji Ishinriki losing to Tatsumi Fujinami and Tiger Mask, when Yatsu submitted to Fujinami.[1]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

After spending multiple years out of the spotlight, Yatsu, aged 44, received a big money offer to fight for mixed martial arts promotion Pride Fighting Championships.[1] On October 31, 2000, Yatsu faced Gary Goodridge in Osaka.[1] Yatsu, who hadn't had any stand-up training at all and hadn't wrestled in 13 years, was defeated at 8:58 in the first round.[1] Despite being dominated, Yatsu received a standing ovation from the crowd.[1] The two were booked in a rematch on September 24, 2001.[1] Goodridge again dominated the fight, got Yatsu in a guillotine choke and asked for his corner to throw in the towel, which they did.[1]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Amateur wrestling[edit]

Professional wrestling[edit]

  • IWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Goro Tsurumi

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0-2 Gary Goodridge TKO (corner stoppage) Pride 16 September 24, 2001 1 3:03 Osaka, Japan
Loss 0-1 Gary Goodridge TKO (punches) Pride 11 October 31, 2000 1 8:58 Osaka, Japan

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj Meltzer, Dave (December 6, 2010). "Dec 6 2010 Wrestling Observer Newsletter". Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Campbell, CA): 20–23. ISSN 1083-9593. 
  2. ^ "Yoshiaki Yatsu". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Profile at Puroresu Central". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2013-10-15. 
  4. ^ http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/alljap/ajtourn.htm

External links[edit]