Takeshi Rikio

Takeshi Inoue, known by his stage name , is a Japanese professional wrestler, who works for Pro Wrestling NOAH. He is also a former sumo wrestler.

Sumo career

He made his sumo debut in March 1988, after leaving junior high school. He joined at the same time as future yokozuna Takanohana and Wakanohana. He initially trained at the same stable as these two, Futagoyama-beya, but when former yokozuna Takanosato branched off to set up Naruto-beya in March 1989, Inoue was one of the young recruits to follow him to the new stable. He also changed his shikona, or fighting name, from Futagozakura to Rikio. In July 1993 he was promoted to the second highest juryo division, becoming the first wrestler from Naruto stable to reach elite sekitori status. He was demoted from that division after just one tournament, but returned to juryo in May 1994 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in July 1996 after winning his second juryo yusho, or tournament championship. In September 1997 he was promoted to his highest rank of maegashira 4, but he did not take part in the tournament. This was initially said to be due to a liver disorder, but it was later revealed that relations with his stablemaster had broken down, and Rikio was forced to retire from sumo. Due to the dispute he was unable to have a formal retirement ceremony, but some of his friends in the sumo world organised an informal one for him in early 1998, with Akebono and Konishiki among the attendees.

Professional wrestling career

After leaving sumo he was soon spotted by All-Japan Pro Wrestling. After training in their dojo, he made his debut. However, before he could build any momentum, Mitsuharu Misawa left AJPW and in the process, took most of the native talent. Rikio was among this talent. In Pro Wrestling NOAH, he has seen much success. He dethroned Kenta Kobashi for the GHC Heavyweight Championship (at the end of this match Rikio can be seen sobbing as he accepts the title from Kobashi.), ending his two year reign, before losing the title to Akira Taue some time later. His title reign was largely regarded as rushed and not well-developed, as some portions of the crowd were not enthusiastic about his defenses. He captured his second GHC Tag Team Championship with Jun Akiyama when he pinned Mohammed Yone after a waist-lifted side slam.

In wrestling

  • Finishing and signature moves

*World Musou (Choke lift dropped into a side slam)
*Musou (Waist-lifted side slam, sometimes while using a pumphandle for additional leverage) - Innovated
*Bear hug transitioned into a vertical suplex
*Back suplex side slam
*Mongolian chop
*Diving splash
*Inside leg hook belly to back suplex
*Spinning Samoan drop
*Running headbutt

Championships and accomplishments

*GHC Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
*GHC Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Takeshi Morishima and Jun Akiyama

Sumo top division record


External links

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