TARU, November 2010
August 23, 1964 |
Kobe City, Japan
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Fujiwara no Sumitomo
The Great Ruta
|Billed height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Billed weight||111 kg (245 lb)|
|Trained by||Koji Kitao|
Professional wrestling career
Taru trained in Koji Kitao's Buko Dojo and started wrestling in 1996 for Wrestle Yume Factory, Wrestle Association R and other independent promotions. He joined Toryumon shortly after it opened and formed a tag team with fellow Buko graduate Masaaki Mochizuki, but he betrayed him and joined Crazy MAX (Shiima Nobunaga, Judo Suwa and Sumo Fuji) after they spared him in an in ring attack. He became their manager and mouthpiece. For many years they were a powerful faction in Toryumon Japan and Dragon Gate but the group dissolved on November 2, 2004, and TARU left the promotion.
Taru soon showed up in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), where he started feuding with Taka Michinoku and his Roughly Obsess and Destroy (RO&D) faction. He proceeded to create his own faction, Voodoo Murders, composed of himself, Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo, as well as former Dragon Gate trainees Shuji Kondo and "brother" YASSHI. Giant Bernard also joined, becoming the monster of the group. Voodoo Murders became AJPW's main heel group and began an intense feud with RO&D, clashing with them on many occasions. They were also known for putting their victims in body bags and beating them senseless with baseball bats. The group suffered a major loss though when Giant Bernard left the team in order to join New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Taru wrestled one match against The Great Muta as The Great Ruta. Taru challenged Satoshi Kojima for the Triple Crown on January 8, 2006. However, Kojima successfully defended his title. in July 2007, however, Kojima shocked the All-Japan roster when he turned on them and joined the Voodoo Murders, where he was quickly made the group's co-leader along with TARU, whom he had defeated in the previous year in a vicious match for the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. Soon after joining, Kojima and TARU won the World Tag Team Championship. Along with Big Daddy Voodoo, he won the All Asia Tag Team Championship. Taru with Big Daddy Voodoo & MAZADA defeated Seiya Sanada, Manabu Soya & BUSHI.
TARU has recently been appearing in El Dorado as a general manager.
As of June 1, 2011, TARU has been suspended indefinitely by AJPW after an alleged attack on stablemate Nobukazu Hirai which left Hirai in the hospital with acute hematoma. All Japan later also suspended TARU's stablemates KONO, MAZADA and Minoru for not attempting to stop TARU's assault on Hirai and disbanded Voodoo Murders, while the promotion's president Keiji Mutoh took the blame for the incident and resigned from his position on June 7. On June 30, TARU's suspension was upheld, while his former stablemates were allowed to return to action. Meanwhile, Hirai remains in a coma. On January 22, 2013, Taru announced that he would be returning to professional wrestling for the Diamond Ring promotion on February 11. Taru's return match, where he and Kazunari Murakami faced Kento Miyahara and Taishi Takizawa, ended in a no contest, following run-ins from "brother" YASSHI and Kengo Nishimura. Afterwards, Taru, Murakami, YASSHI and Nishimura, reforming the Voodoo Murders, were defeated in an eight-man tag team match by Miyahara, Takizawa, Satoshi Kajiwara and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya. After the match, Miyahara and Takizawa turned on their partners and joined the new Voodoo Murders, with "brother" YASSHI positioned as the leader.
On January 3, 2015, AJPW announced that Taru would be returning to the promotion on January 31 to take part in Giant Baba's memorial event. This would mark his first match for the promotion in four years. In the match, Taru and Jinsei Shinzaki defeated Taiyō Kea and Yuto Aijima.
Taru is known for his bizarre entrance attires and behaviour as well as his sinister and vicious personality, often attacking bystanders to vent his aggression. He has also become notorious for using his stablemates to help him during his matches, despite losing by disqualification. His non-wrestling attire and personality could be classed as practically suave, complete with yakuza-like mannerisms and presence.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Headbutt drop, sometimes to the opponent's groin
- Kakato Otoshi (Axe kick)
- MoonTARUto (Moonsault)
- Spinning heel kick
- TARU Guillotine (Diving leg drop, sometimes to the back of the opponent's head)
- T-Crush (Chokebomb, sometimes as a counter to an oncoming opponent)
- "TARU Drill a Hole" by King-Show
Championships and accomplishments
- World Lucha Libre Martial Arts Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Tokyo Sports
- Tag Team Of The Year (2006) - with Suwama, Shuji Kondo, & "brother" YASSHI 
- The UWA Closed in 1995, since then various UWA titles have been used by promotions in Mexico and Japan, this title was promoted by Toryumon Japan at the time TARU won it.
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- "The history of Puroresu". Fighting Spirit Magazine. England: Uncooked Media. November 2006. pp. 38–46. Issue 8.
- PWI Staff. "Mid-Year Report: the top 50 stories of the half year (21) Suwama wins Triple Crown Title". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Kappa Publications. p. 80. September 2008 Edition.
- "AJPW Summer Impact tour results" (in German). PuroLove.com. Retrieved January 3, 2008.
- 武藤敬司が社長を辞任 暴行事件の責任取り＝全日本プロレス. Sports Navi (in Japanese). 2011-06-07. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "All Japan: Suspendierungen aufgehoben". Purolove (in German). 2011-06-30. Archived from the original on 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- "暴行Taru来月復帰 後楽園大会が有力". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "健介が126日ぶりの復帰戦で勝彦から勝利！宮原と滝澤がまさかのVM入りし、TARUは新リーダーにYASSHIを指名！". Battle News (in Japanese). 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "馬場さん追善興行に天龍、ＴＡＲＵ、ケアが参戦". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. 2015-01-04. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-03.
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- "All Japan Pro Wrestling - "Excite Series 2010"" (in German). PuroLove.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- "All Japan Pro Wrestling - "Real World Tag League 2010"" (in German). PuroLove.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
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- "長与壮絶に散る ＴＡＲＵの策略にはまり首輪監禁＆大爆破" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- "Cagematch" (in German). cagematch.net. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
- "The Great Hisa's Puroresu Dojo : Puroresu Awards: 2000s". Puroresu.com. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Universal Wrestling Association World Trios Title". Wrestling-titles.com. January 24, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010.