Taiyō Kea

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Taiyō Kea
Taiyō Kea.jpg
Taiyō Kea in 2010
Birth name Maunakea Mossman
Born (1975-11-18) November 18, 1975 (age 41)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Residence 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 All Japan Pro Wrestling
Giant Baba
Yoshinari Ogawa
Keiji Mutoh
Debut November 26, 1994[1]

Maunakea Mossman (born November 18, 1975) 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.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Mossman was a Hawaiian state amateur wrestling champion, and was scouted to train as a professional wrestler by Giant Baba during a trip to the islands. Debuting in 1994 as a junior heavyweight under his real name, Mossman was pushed as a babyface almost immediately, and defeated Yoshinari Ogawa to win the World Junior Heavyweight Championship in August 1997.[2] He vacated the title in 1998, after graduating to the heavyweight division. Upon his graduation, he took part in a series of 7 matches designed to test his mettle as a heavyweight competitor, dubbed the Mossman Trial Series. Mossman won three of the matches, defeating Johnny Smith, Wolf Hawkfield and Giant Kimala, but lost to Toshiaki Kawada, Akira Taue, Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa. On October 25, 1999, Mossman and Johnny Smith unsuccessfully challenged for the vacant All Asia Tag Team Championship, losing to Masao Inoue and Tamon Honda.[3] Following Baba's death in 1999, Mitsuharu Misawa became the new head booker of AJPW and chose to postpone Mossman's push. In 2000, Misawa and all but two native talent left All Japan in a mass exodus to form Pro Wrestling Noah. 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 an effort to make him more marketable to Japanese fans, Mossman stopped using his real name and was given the semi-Japanese ring name "Taiyō Kea" (太陽ケア?) (from taiyo, sun, and the Polynesian word kea, also derived from the last three letters of his first name). Kea was pushed as a strong loyalist and won the World Tag Team Championship with Johnny Smith in January 2001.[4] In April, Kea took part in the 2001 Champion Carnival, finishing with 15 points and advancing to the final where he lost to Genichiro Tenryu.[5]

In 2001, Kea also began appearing in New Japan Pro Wrestling where he became a member of Keiji Mutoh's BATT stable, and by October 2001, he 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.[6][7] The team also would win the 2001 World's Strongest Tag Determination League.[8] 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 the opportunity.

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 semi-finals[9] and Suwama in the finals.[9] On July 3, 2006, he won the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship for the first time in his career after defeating Satoshi Kojima.[10] He made one successful defence, defeating Toshiaki Kawada on August 27.[11] He lost the championship to Minoru Suzuki on September 3 after two months. He participated in the 2006 World's Strongest Tag Determination League with Taka Michinoku as his partner, finishing fourth in their block with two wins and 5 points.

On January 4, 2007, Kea challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at NJPW's Tokyo Dome show, losing after falling to Tanahashi's High Fly Flow.[12] On February 17, Kea and Toshiaki Kawada defeated Suwama and RO'Z to claim the vacant World Tag Team Championship.[13] From March 26 to March 30, Kea competed in the 2007 Champion Carnival, finishing with 1 win and 4 points. In August 2007, Kea and Kawada lost the championships to the Voodoo Murders (Satoshi Kojima and TARU).[14]

In 2008, Kea and Minoru Suzuki formed the Gurentai stable along with Tokyo Gurentai's MAZADA, NOSAWA Rongai, and TAKEMURA. He and Suzuki defeated Joe Doering and Keiji Mutoh to win the World Tag Team Championship on June 28 during the Crossover tour.[1][15] On August 31, Kea wrestled Suwama to a time limit draw for the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship.[16]

In early 2009, Kea and Suzuki successfully defended the titles against Suwama and Shuji Kondo.[17] The two proceeded to team mostly with Yoshihiro Takayama, before Kea injured his knee, taking him out of action for 5 months. Kea returned during the Taiwan Cup, where he was eliminated in the first round by Masayuki Kono.

After over a year as champions, Kea and Suzuki lost the titles to Masakatsu Funaki and Keiji Mutoh on January 3, 2010.[18] Later in 2010, Kea formed a tag team with Akebono known as Partisan Forces. The duo defeated Suwama and Ryota Hama to win the vacant World Tag Team Championship on July 4.[19] On January 10, 2011, Kea unsuccessfully challenged Suwama for the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship.[20] On February 6, Kea and Akebono lost the championships to the Voodoo Murders (Joe Doering and Kono).[21] In November, Kea travelled to Pro Wrestling Noah, where he unsuccessfully challenged Jun Akiyama for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.[22]

On May 7, 2012, Kea won his second Champion Carnival, defeating Suwama in the final.[23] In July, he unsuccessfully challenged Jun Akiyama for the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship.[24]

On November 30, 2012, Kea announced that he was putting his wrestling career on hold to attend business school in his native Hawaii.[25] His farewell match, a ten-man tag team match, took place on January 3, 2013 where he, Keiji Mutoh, Masakatsu Funaki, Masanobu Fuchi and Taka Michinoku defeated Hiroshi Yamato, Manabu Soya, Ryota Hama, Suwama and Takao Omori.[26] Kea announced his return to All Japan in a press conference on June 11, 2013.[27] Kea wrestled his return match on June 30, where he and Takao Omori defeated Joe Doering and Yasufumi Nakanoue.[28]

On March 2, 2014, Kea made a surprise jump to Keiji Mutoh's AJPW splinter promotion Wrestle-1 at Kaisen: Outbreak.[29] For the next few months, Kea, billed as a freelancer, worked only sporadic Wrestle-1 events, spending most of his time in Hawaii. Kea returned to AJPW on January 31, 2015, to take part in Giant Baba's memorial event.[30] In 2016, Kea joined Akebono's Oudou promotion.

In wrestling[edit]

  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves
  • "The Hawaiian Tornado"
  • "Mr. H5O"
  • Theme songs
  • "Hold Out Sun" by Osamu Suzuki (AJPW; 2001–2002)
  • "TKO" by Eigenkreation (AJPW, NJPW, Wrestle-1, Oudou; 2002–present)

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Hawai'i Championship Wrestling
  • HCW Kekaulike Heritage Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Jamal
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #11 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2006[32]
    • PWI ranked him #416 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the PWI Years in 2003[33]
  • Tokyo Sports
    • Best Tag Team (2008)-with Minoru Suzuki[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Taiyo Kea". Puroresucentral.com. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  2. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Summer Action Series II 1997 - Tag 5 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  3. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW October Giant Series 1999 - Tag 13 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  4. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW New Year Giant Series 2001 - Tag 9 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  5. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Champion Carnival 2001 - Tag 13 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  6. ^ "AJPW World Tag Team Title". Purolove.Com. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  7. ^ "IWGP Tag Team Title". Purolove.Com. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  8. ^ "Real World Tag League 2001". Purolove.Com. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  9. ^ a b Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Champion Carnival 2006 - Tag 10 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  10. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Crossover 2006 - Tag 6 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  11. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Pro-Wrestling Love in Ryogoku Summer Impact 2006 - Tag 5 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  12. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "NJPW Wrestle Kingdom In Tokyo Dome « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  13. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW 2007 Excite Series - Tag 5: Pro-Wrestling Love in Kokugikan Vol.2 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  14. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Pro-Wrestling Love in Ryogoku Vol. 3 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  15. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Crossover '08 - Tag 4 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  16. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Pro-Wrestling Love in Ryogoku Vol. 5 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  17. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Pro-Wrestling Love in Ryogoku Vol. 7 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  18. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW New Year Shining Series 2010 - Tag 2 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  19. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Cross Over 2010 - Tag 9 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  20. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW New Year Shining Series 2011 - Tag 6 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  21. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW Excite Series 2011 - Tag 1 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  22. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "NOAH Great Voyage 2011 In Tokyo Vol. 4 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  23. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW 40th Anniversary Year Champion Carnival 2012 - Tag 12 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  24. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "NJPW/AJPW New Japan & All Japan 40th Anniversary ~ Summer Night Fever In Ryogoku ~ We Are Pro-Wrestling Love « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. 
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  28. ^ "2013 プロレスLove in 両国~an abiding belief~". All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Wrestle-1「開戦~Outbreak~」". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. March 2, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  30. ^ 全日本プロレス「ジャイアント馬場 十七回忌特別大会」. Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. January 31, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 3, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Taiyo Kea « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Cagematch.net. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 

External links[edit]