Milano Collection A.T.
Milano in June 2007, after winning the 2007 Best of the Super Juniors
|Birth name||Akihito Sawafuji (澤藤 章人 Sawafuji Akihito)|
August 27, 1976 |
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Milano Collection A.T.
|Billed height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Billed weight||85 kg (187 lb)|
|Billed from||Milan, Italy|
Rudy Boy Gonzalez
Texas Wrestling Academy
|Debut||May 13, 2000|
|Retired||January 18, 2010|
Akihito Sawafuji (澤藤 章人 Sawafuji Akihito, born August 27, 1976), is a Japanese retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Milano Collection A.T. (ミラノコレクションA.T. Mirano Korekushon A.T.). As Milano, Sawafuji adopted the gimmick of an Italian fashion aficionado/supermodel, reflected in his ring attire. Milano is also known for walking to the ring with an invisible dog known as Mikeru. After retiring from in-ring competition in 2010, Milano began working as a color commentator for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), a position he maintains to this day.
Professional wrestling career
Sawafuji made his debut in 2000 in Toryumon, and gained success. He later adopted the persona of Milano Collection A.T. (A.T. being his initials; compare Magnum T.A. in the United States) to achieve greater success and attract attention from many, and upon his landing in Japan, he was the ace of Toryumon's T2P class. His gimmick is that of an Italian fashion aficionado/supermodel, wearing lavish coats and trunks and showing his outrageousness with an invisible dog named Mikeru. In mid-2006, he surfaced at the Texas Wrestling Academy in San Antonio, Texas at the urging of World Wrestling Entertainment's Shoichi Funaki, and trained under Rudy Boy Gonzalez. During his tenure in the TWA, he held the Television Championship for 8 months. He has wrestled for many other American wrestling federations, including East Coast Wrestling Association, Ring of Honor, NWA Anarchy, and Chikara. His legitimacy as a wrestler was proven full-force in 2007 when he won New Japan Pro Wrestling's Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
He worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling as a part of the R.I.S.E. faction. He competed in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's World X Cup as a part of Team Japan, winning his first and only singles match for TNA against Curry Man, gaining 2 points for his team. He then competed at Victory Road in the third round, which was a four team triple elimination match, dominating early in the match before getting eliminated.
On January 18, 2010, Sawafuji announced his retirement from the professional wrestling because of inferior oblique muscle palsy, brought on by an excessively strong thrust kick to the eye by Gedo. A retirement ceremony was held on February 14.
Sawafuji remains with New Japan as a member of the IWGP Championship Committee and a color commentator.
- Finishing moves
- A.T. Lock (Headscissors kimura)
- IR – Italian Revolution (Cut-throat wrist-clutch bridging fisherman suplex)
- IR II – Italian Revolution II (Double hammerlock belly to back inverted mat slam)
- Paradise Lock (Over-rotated Delfin Clutch)
- Victoria Milanese (Bridging leg-hook saito suplex)
- Signature moves
- A-Dise Lock (Chickenwing cross-legged inverted Boston crab)
- Armani Shoe Exchange (Middle rope springboard corkscrew senton)
- Emporio Armani Shoe (Middle rope springboard moonsault)
- Bridging belly to back suplex
- Bridging evasion
- Elevated cutter
- Handspring back elbow smash
- Italian Stretch (Octopus chickenwing)
- Italian Stretch #8 (Straight jacket triangle choke)
- Italian Stretch #32 (Modified Koji clutch)
- Medulla Oblongata Cutter (Enzuigiri)
- Milan-Gatame (Snapmare floated over into a modified cradle)
- One-handed cartwheel back elbow to a cornered opponent
- Standing STF
- STFashion (Stepover toehold full nelson)
- Superkick to a kneeling opponent
- "Milano Fever + Europe"
Championships and accomplishments
- TWE Television Championship (1 time)
- ICW/ICWA Tex-Arkana Television Championship (1 time)
- 食いっぱぐれない技術に憧れた. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
- "ミラノコレクションA.T.". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
- "Milano Collection A.T. profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-02-03.
- "Profile at Puroresu Central". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
- Sokol, Bryan (2008-07-04). "Impact: Bad dates and Sting's return". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- Kapur, Bob (2008-07-13). "Main event mars Victory Road". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2009-04-06.