Makai Club

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Makai Club
Stable
Members Kantaro Hoshino (manager)
Tadao Yasuda
Kazunari Murakami
Ryushi Yanagisawa
Makai #1
Ryota Chikuzen/Makai #2
Makai #3
Katsuyori Shibata/Makai #4
Mitsuya Nagai/Makai #5
Ken Shamrock
Dai Majin
Debut 2002
Disbanded 2004
Promotions NJPW

Makai Club (魔界倶楽部, Makai Kurabu?), originally called Puroresu Kessha Makai Club (プロレス結社魔界倶楽部, Puroresu Kessha Makai Kurabu?, Pro Wrestling Association Hell Club), was a professional wrestling stable that competed in New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was led by Tadao Yasuda and managed by Kantaro Hoshino, and its gimmick was that of a group of mixed martial arts fighters and pro wrestlers who worshipped Antonio Inoki as a god.

It also had influence over All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, where it had an extension called Makai Majo Gundan (魔界魔女軍団, Makai Majo Gundan?, Hell Witch Army) which was led by Chiyo Obata.

History[edit]

Makai Club first formed in the summer of 2002 during New Japan's G1 Climax when Antonio Inoki's crown wrestler Tadao Yasuda sent three masked men against Masahiro Chono.[1] One of the masked men would reveal himself as MMA fighter: Ryushi Yanagisawa, while the other two were Makai #1 and Makai #2.

The group's first tour was the September 2002 G1 World Tour which they dominated and would go 13–3 on the entire tour and would also go on to add a new member: Kazunari Murakami.[2] Makai Club would continue to enjoy success as the group added another member: Makai #3. The group also would go on to win a three match 5 vs. 5 series against New Japan which gave Hoshino the chance to name challengers for the IWGP Titles.[3] Following the G1 World Tour, the Club would go on a slump for the remainder of the year. In November 2002, Yasuda, Yanagisawa, and Makai No. 1 entered the 2002 Triathlon Survivor League but finished in last place with 1 point.[4] Then on December 10, 2002, Yasuda and Yanagisawa challenged Cho-Ten for the IWGP Tag Team Championship but lost, later in the night Murakami challenged Yuji Nagata for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship but he too came up short.[5]

Makai Club bounced back at Wrestling World 2003. Yanagisawa won the Young Generation Cup defeating Kenzo Suzuki in the semi-finals and Yutaka Yoshie in the finals. Makai No. 1 and one night only member: Dai Majin defeated Hiro Saito and Tatsutoshi Goto. The new members Makai No. 4 and Makai No. 5 defeated Takashi Iizuka and Masahito Kakihara. The group would suffer one loss with Yasuda and Murakami losing to Michiyoshi Ohara and Shinsuke Nakamura.[6] On February 1, 2003, Makai Club entered the Teisen Hall Six-Man Tag Team Tournament with Yanagisawa, Makai No. 1, and Makai No. 2 forming one team and Kazunari Murakami, Makai No. 4, and Makai No. 5 forming another team. However neither team would win with both team losing to eventual winners Shinsuke Nakamura, Hiro Saito, and Tatsutoshi Goto.[7] Also in February, Makai Club entered a No. 1 contenders tournament for the IWGP Tag Team Championship. On January 30, Makai No. 1 and No. 2 lost an entrance match to Saito and Goto, Makai No. 4 and No. 5 lost in the first round to Iizuka and Kakihara on February 6, and Yasuda and Murakami would make it to the finals where they lost to Mike Barton and Jim Steele.[7] Despite the loss, Yasuda and Murakami would ultimately be granted the title match after Steele suffered an injury a few days later.[8] On February 16, 2003, Yasuda and Murakami challenged Cho-Ten for the IWGP Tag Titles but would fail to win the titles, in the main event Yanagisawa challenged Yoshihiro Takayama for the NWF Heavyweight Championship but lost.[7] By the spring, the group began a feud with the Crazy Dogs (Tatsutoshi Goto, Hiro Saito, Michiyoshi Ohara, & Enson Inoue) and Makai No. 5 began a feud with Iizuka who recognized him as Nagai (who injured Iizuka a year earlier) with Iizuka defeating him in a best of series (with Nagai even unmasking for the final match).[9] On April 23, 2003, Yasuda challenged Nagata for the IWGP Title in a rematch from a year ago (where Nagata won the title from Yasuda) but Yasuda lost.[10] At Ultimate Crush on May 2, 2003, Ken Shamrock joined the Makai Club for one night defeating Takashi Iizuka while Murakami lost to Enson Inoue.[11] Following Ultimate Crush, Makai Club for the most part went to the midcard and would only receive a few more title shots afterwards. On July 9, 2003, Makai No. 4 and No. 5 challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie for the IWGP Tag Team Championship but came up short, on July 13, Yasuda challenged Yoshihiro Takayama for the NWF Title but he also came up short.[12] Yasuda and Shibata entered the 2003 G1 Climax with Shibata finishing third while Yasuda finished last in their block.[13] In the fall of 2003, Makai No. 2, #4, and No. 5 unmasked and began going by their real names, also during this time Yasuda and Makai No. 1 entered the 2003 G1 Tag League finishing in 5th place with 7 points.[14]

At Wrestling World 2004, Makai No. 1, Yanagisawa, Nagai, and Chikuzen defeated The Crazy Dogs, Yasuda lost to Masayuki Naruse, and Murakami & Shibata lost to Josh Barnett and Takashi Iizuka. One of the group's last big moments occurred in February 2004 when Yasuda took part in a tournament for the vacated IWGP Heavyweight Championship but he would lose to Yuji Nagata in the first round.[15] The Club would remain for only a few more months until Yasuda left New Japan in the summer of 2004, ending the Makai Club.

Members[edit]

First incarnation[edit]

Makai Majo Gundan[edit]

  • Chiyo Obata (executive president)
  • Amazing Kong
  • Makai Majo No. 1 (Kaoru Ito)
  • Makai Majo No. 2 (Hiromi Yagi)
  • Makai Majo No. 3 (Hikaru)

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com (August 11, 2002). Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  3. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  4. ^ Pro Wrestling History. Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  6. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  7. ^ a b c Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  8. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  9. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  10. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  11. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  12. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  13. ^ Purolove.Com. Purolove.Com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  14. ^ Purolove.Com. Purolove.Com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.
  15. ^ Strong Style Spirit. Puroresufan.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2011.