There is no doubt that, despite being over 50, Minoru Suzuki is one of the best wrestlers in the world. From his beginnings in mixed martial arts to his professional wrestling career, Suzuki is a man that creates fear in all of his opponents. He has travelled the world and isn’t known as the King of Professional Wrestling for no reason with his speciality lying in submission, freestyle and catch wrestling.
Here are five matches from the last decade which prove just how amazing Minoru Suzuki is and the fact that he shows no signs of slowing down.
5. Minoru Suzuki vs. Sanshiro Takagi – DDT Empty Arena Match (June 2017)
The match that Suzuki had with DDT against Sanshiro Takagi back in 2018 was unlike anything we’ve seen from the King of Pro-Wrestling during his long career. Not only was it a DDT (Dramatic Dream Team) match which already spells chaos, but it was set in an empty Tokyo Dome Arena with falls count anywhere.
Both men made their ring entrances and Suzuki even went as far as to kick an imaginary Young Lion just for added impact. Aja Kong even sang the Japanese National Anthem before the match started. From then, it was a series of twist and turns that had fans both on the edge of their seats and laughing. The match itself started reasonably with some smack talk and trading of submissions on the pitch where bases were rope breaks.
The duo then managed to make their way up to the seats where they were greeted by the likes of Super Sasadango Machine, Muscle Sakai, Gota Ihashi, Saki Akai and Danshoku Dino to name a few DDT wrestlers. We even saw the famous Hiroshi Tanabota and Chinsuke Nakamura having their match. This was all combined with Suzuki’s usual offence of submission styled wrestling and the strength of Sanshiro Takagi.
In the end, after 33 long and crazy minutes, Suzuki hit his Gotch-Style Piledriver on Home Base to get the win. This match proved that not only is Suzuki amazingly talented but can also let himself go and have a bit of fun. Watching this match will make you see one of the scariest men in wrestling in another light.
4. Minoru Suzuki vs. Yuji Nagata – Summer Struggle Tour (July 2020)
In one of Suzuki’s more recent matches, he earned himself the title of one of the most brutal and strongest wrestlers in the world. After losing to Yuji Nagata in the 2020 New Japan Cup, the animosity between two of the oldest members of the New Japan roster was stronger than ever. With both men unable to stay away from each other, their main event match was set for a Summer Struggle show.
As expected, the match started as powerfully as fans expected. Within the first few minutes, both made their way to the outside with Suzuki utilising everything around him from chairs, barriers and wires. Once the two got back into the ring, it stopped being a wrestling match and became a fight. Nearly half of the time was made up of the two men stood in the centre of the ring just hitting it each other whether with forearms, elbows and even head butts. Yet, no matter what the two threw at each other and whether it knocked them down, they just got back up without any hesitation.
The entire match rarely left the centre of the ring. It was a battle of will and mental strength. However, in the end, after one delayed Package Piledriver, Suzuki got the win and retribution for the loss a month before. Although it wasn’t a flashy affair for those wrestling fans that love style and flash, it was impressive from start to end.
It was a match between two men whose careers have been linked for over 20 years. However, this is a feud that is far from over. It was a match that secured Suzuki’s place at the top of New Japan and the fact that age is just a number. As Suzuki has aged, he has only got scarier.