VIEW FROM THE RISING SUN
by Masanori Horie

"Dangan" Masato Tanaka

Masato Tanaka
Masato Tanaka

FMW's Masato Tanaka will have a very tight schedule this month. He will leave Narita Airport in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture in Japan in a day or two, and appear at the ECW on TNN TV taping at Burt Flickenger Athletic Center in Buffalo, New York on Friday, September 10 (it takes 13 hours to fly to New York). He will leave New York on Saturday, September 11, and return to Japan on Sunday, September 12. Then, Tanaka will wrestle on three FMW shows:

September 16, 1999---Fukui City Gym, Fukui Prefecture
Ladder Elimination match
"H" (Eiji "Hayabusa" Ezaki), Masato Tanaka, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, and Hisakatsu Oya vs. Kodo Fuyuki, Impostor Hayabusa (Mr. Gannosuke), Yukihiro Kanemura, and Koji Nakagawa

September 17, 1999---Kumagaya City Gym, Saitama Prefecture
"H", Masato Tanaka, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda vs. Kodo Fuyuki, Imposter Hayabusa, and Yukihiro Kanemura

September 18, 1999---Twin Messe Shizuoka, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture
"H" & Masato Tanaka vs. Kodo Fuyuki & Impostor Hayabusa

Tanaka will leave Narita Airport again on Sunday, September 19, and go straight to O'Hare Field International Airport in Chicago, Illinois on the same day (it takes 11 hours 30 minutes). He will challenge for Taz' ECW World Heavyweight title on ECW's PPV "Anarchy Rulz" at the Odeum Expo Center in Chicago. He will leave Chicago on Monday, September 20, and return to Japan on Tuesday, September 21.

September 23, 1999---Ishikawa Prefectural Industrial Hall, Kanazawa City
World Six-Man Tag Team title match
Kodo Fuyuki, Koji Nakagawa, and Gedo vs. Masato Tanaka, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, and Hisakatsu Oya

September 24, 1999---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
1 on 3 match
Masato Tanaka vs. Kodo Fuyuki, Yukihiro Kanemura, and Jado

Masato Tanaka with Masanori
Masato Tanaka with Masanori


Masato Tanaka was born in Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture on Wednesday, February 28, 1973. He trained his mind and body through rugby football and bodybuilding. He became Atsushi Onita's disciple and debuted as a pro wrestler against Ricky Fuji on Friday, July 23, 1993. His career and personality overlap All Japan Pro's Kenta Kobashi's, in that he was just one of the Mr. Nobodies who didn't have any famous sports background. He has trained very hard and wrestled very hard with rivals such as The Gladiator (Mike Awesome) and Yukihiro Kanemura. His efforts are rewarded now. His nickname is "Dangan" (Bullet); take a look at his six years in the ring!

Flash Back Masato Tanaka

1993

July 23, 1993---Saga Sports Center, Saga City, Saga Prefecture
Ricky Fuji (6:48) Masato Tanaka

August 22, 1993---Hankyu Nishinomiya Baseball Stadium, Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture
Masato Tanaka (5:29) Mr. Ching---the late Mr. Ching, 60 years old, was the oldest active wrestler in Japan in those days. They had been curtain raisers almost every night. Their match was a comedy, but Tanaka learned professionalism and timing from him. Main event: Atsushi Onita beat Mr. Pogo to win the FMW World Brass Knuckles title in a Barbed Wire / Electric Current / Mine Explosion / Time Bomb Death match (12:45), and Terry Funk & Tarzan Goto beat The Sheik & Sabu in a Stretcher Death match (6:30 Terry KO Sabu).

1994

May 5, 1994---Kawasaki Baseball Stadium, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Six-Man Tag Team match
Battle Ranger Z, Koji Nakagawa, and Masato Tanaka beat The Great Sasuke, Hanzo Nakajima, and Shiryu (Kaz Hayashi in WCW) (18:49 Battle Ranger beat Nakajima). Main event: Gen-ichiro Tenryu beat Atsushi Onita in a No-Rope/ Barbed Wire / Cage / Electric Current Explosion Death match (23:55).

1995

May 5, 1995---Kawasaki Baseball Stadium, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Street Fight match
Masato Tanaka & Katsutoshi Niiyama beat The Gladiator (Mike Awesome) & Horace Boulder (Hogan) (10:25 Niiyama beat Boulder)---Tanaka really improved through a lot of brutal death matches as Onita's tag team partner in those days. Main event: Atsushi Onita beat Hayabusa in his "Retirement Match," a No-Rope / Barbed Wire / Cage / Electric Current Explosion / Time Bomb Death match (18:11).

"Young of Independent League" Round Robin Tournament:
July 18, 1995---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Masato Tanaka (11:49) Koji Nakagawa

July 23, 1995---Ishikawa Town Gym, Fukushima Prefecture
Masato Tanaka (9:58) Tetsuhiro Kuroda

July 27, 1995---Nagareyama City Gym, Chiba Prefecture
Masato Tanaka (21:40 Double Knock Out) Tetsuhiro Kuroda

July 28, 1995---Kimitsu City Gym, Chiba Prefecture
Masato Tanaka (9:38) Hido
W*ING Kanemura (10:44) Masato Tanaka

July 30, 1995---Multi-Purpose Plaza, Hachioji City, Tokyo
"Young of Independent League" Round Robin Tournament Final
Masato Tanaka (12:47) W*ING Kanemura---Tanaka won the tournament.

World Brass Knuckles Championship Tournament:
August 22, 1995---Seaside Park, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Hayabusa (8:20) Masato Tanaka

Masanori with The Gladiator (Mike Awesome)
Masanori with Mike Awesome (The Gladiator)

August 25, 1995---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
The Gladiator (10:52) Masato Tanaka

August 29, 1995---Azumigawa Sports Center, Shiga Prefecture
Super Leather (Corporal Mike Kirchner) (11:11) Masato Tanaka

September 5, 1995---Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center, Hokkaido
W*ING Kanemura (9:47) Masato Tanaka

September 20, 1995---Marugame City Gym, Kagawa Prefecture
Mitsuhiro Matsunaga (13:14) Masato Tanaka

September 21, 1995---Saijo City Gym, Ehime Prefecture
Katsutoshi Niiyama (10:50) Masato Tanaka

September 23, 1995---Nakamura Sports Center, Kochi Prefecture
Hisakatsu Oya (12:34) Masato Tanaka

September 26, 1995---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
World Brass Knuckles Championship Tournament Final
The Gladiator (23:38) Hayabusa---Gladiator won the tournament and became the ninth champion.

1996

May 5, 1996---Kawasaki Baseball Stadium, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture
No-Rope / Barbed Wire / Electric Current / Mine Explosion / Double Hell / Time Bomb / Tornado Tag Team Death match
Terry Funk & Mr. Pogo beat Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka (19:01 Terry beat Hayabusa) ---Terry Funk had a high opinion of Tanaka's potential ability.

May 19, 1996---JR Shinagawa Station East Exit Open Space
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Super Leather & Head Hunters A & B beat Masato Tanaka, Katsutoshi Niiyama, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda (18:55 Leather beat Niiyama)---Leather & Head Hunters kept the title.

June 28, 1996---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Masato Tanaka, Koji Nakagawa, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda beat Super Leather & Head Hunters A & B (13:59 Tanaka beat B)---Tanaka, Nakagawa, Kuroda became the second champions.

July 21, 1996---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Independent World Heavyweight Championship Tournament
Masato Tanaka (20:31) Hisakatsu Oya

July 31, 1996---Multi-Purpose Plaza, Hachioji City, Tokyo
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Masato Tanaka, Koji Nakagawa, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda beat The Gladiator, Hisakatsu Oya, and Ricky Fuji (13:10 Nakagawa beat Ricky)

August 1, 1996---Hamamatsu-cho, Tokyo
Independent World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final
W*ING Kanemura (14:47) Masato Tanaka---Kanemura became the first champion.

September 20, 1996---Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center, Hokkaido
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Masato Tanaka, Koji Nakagawa, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda beat Terry Funk, The Gladiator, and Horace Boulder (16:30 Tanaka beat Boulder)

November 16, 1996---Seaside Sports Center, Takaishi City, Osaka Prefecture
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Hisakatsu Oya & Head Hunters A & B beat Masato Tanaka, Koji Nakagawa, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda (15:23 A beat Kuroda)

December 10, 1996---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
10-Man Tag Team match
Terry Funk, The Gladiator, Hisakatsu Oya, and The Head Hunters A & B beat Mr. Pogo, Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda (18:45 Terry beat Tanaka)

December 11, 1996---Komazawa Olympic Gym, Tokyo
Eight-Man Tag Team match
Atsushi Onita, Mr. Pogo, Masato Tanaka, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda beat Terry Funk, Hisakatsu Oya, and The Head Hunters A & B (23:04 Tanaka beat A)

1997

February 18, 1997---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Double Crown (World Brass Knuckles & Independent World) Heavyweight title match
The Gladiator (15:25) Masato Tanaka---Gladiator kept the title.

February 19, 1997---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Hisakatsu Oya & The Head Hunters A & B beat Masato Tanaka, Koji Nakagawa, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda (14:12 Oya beat Nakagawa)---Oya & Head Hunters kept the title.

April 29, 1997---Yokohama Arena, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Six-Man Street Fight
Atsushi Onita, Masato Tanaka, and W*ING Kanemura beat Terry Funk, Cactus Jack, and The Gladiator (20:20 Kanemura beat Gladiator)---Terry formed F.M.W (Funk Masters of Wrestling) with Victor Quinones, The Gladiator, Super Leather, The Head Hunters, and Hisakatsu Oya in those days.
Terry Funk and Taz
Terry Funk and Taz

June 22, 1997---Multi-Purpose Plaza, Hachioji City, Tokyo
World Brass Knuckles Tag Team title match
W*ING Kanemura & Hido beat Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda (19:43 Kanemura beat Kuroda)---Kanemura & Hido kept the title.

August 31, 1997---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka, and Koji Nakagawa beat The Gladiator, Hisakatsu Oya, and Mr. Gannosuke (12:09 Hayabusa beat Oya)---Hayabusa, Tanaka, Nakagawa became the sixth champions.

September 11, 1997---Tri-State Fairground, Amarillo, TX
Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki), Hayabusa, and Masato Tanaka vs. Jake Roberts and Head Hunters A & B (11:12 Hayabusa beat A)

September 28, 1997---Kawasaki Baseball Stadium, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Double Crown (World Brass Knuckles & Independent World) Heavyweight title match
Masato Tanaka (15:18) The Gladiator---Tanaka became the Double Crown champion.

October 14, 1997---Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Atsushi Onita, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, and Hido beat Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka, and Koji Nakagawa (18:05 Onita beat Nakagawa)---Onita, Kuroda, Hido became the seventh champions.

October 19, 1997---Miyagi Prefectural Sports Center, Senday City, Miyagi Prefecture
Double Crown (World Brass Knuckles & Independent World) Heavyweight title match
Masato Tanaka (13:29) Hideki Hosaka---Tanaka kept two belts.

November 28, 1997---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
World Brass Knuckles Tag Team title match
Mr. Gannosuke & Yukihiro Kanemura beat Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka (15:39 Gannosuke beat Hayabusa)---Gannosuke & Kanemura won the vacant title and became the 15th champions.

December 5, 1997---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Double Crown (World Brass Knuckles & Independent World) Heavyweight title match
Masato Tanaka (14:20) Tetsuhiro Kuroda---Tanaka kept two belts.

December 19, 1997---Komazawa Olympic Gym, Tokyo
Atsushi Onita (20:00) Masato Tanaka

December 20, 1997---Seaside Sports Center, Takaishi City, Osaka Prefecture
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka, Hisakatsu Oya beat Atsushi Onita, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Hido (17:52 Oya beat Hido)

1998

January 6, 1998---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Double Crown (World Brass Knuckles & Independent World) Heavyweight title match
Mr. Gannosuke (17:12) Masato Tanaka---Gannosuke became the Double Crown champion.

January 16, 1998---Australia Memorial Hall, Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture
World Street Fight Six-Man Tag Team title match
Mr. Gannosuke, Yukihiro Kanemura, and Jado beat Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka, and Hisakatsu Oya (20:01 Jado beat Oya)---Gannosuke, Kanemura, and Gedo became the ninth champions.

March 1, 1998---Convention Center, Asbury Park, NJ
ECW Living Dangerously '98
Masato Tanaka (5:46) Doug Furnas

April 17, 1998---Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center, Hokkaido
World Brass Knuckles Tag Team title match
Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka beat Kodo Fuyuki & Hido (25:24 Hayabusa beat Hido)---Hayabusa & Tanaka became the 17th champions.

April 30, 1998---Yokohama Bunka Gym, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Bam Bam Bigelow (15:10) Masato Tanaka

May 19, 1998---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Double Crown (World Brass Knuckles & Independent World) Heavyweight title match
Hayabusa (26:00) Masato Tanaka

May 27, 1998---Hakata Star Lanes, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture
World Brass Knuckles Tag Team title match
Kodo Fuyuki & Yukihiro Kanemura beat Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka (19:39 Kanemura beat Tanaka)---Fuyuki & Kanemura became the 18th champions.

Dreamer, Heyman, and Arai
Tommy Dreamer, Paul (E. Dangerously) Heyman, and Shoichi Arai (President of FMW)

June 27, 1998---ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Masato Tanaka beat Balls Mahoney

July 18, 1998---ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Masato Tanaka & Jerry Lynn beat Justin Credible & Mike Awesome (Lynn beat Credible)

August 2, 1998---Hara Arena, Dayton, OH
ECW Heat Wave '98
Masato Tanaka (11:49) Mike Awesome

August 8, 1998---ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Masato Tanaka beat Mike Awesome

August 29, 1998---ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Masato Tanaka beat Bam Bam Bigelow

September 19, 1998---ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Masato Tanaka beat D-Von Dudley

October 10, 1998---ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Masato Tanaka no-contest Balls Mahoney

November 1, 1998---Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, LA
ECW November To Remember '98
ECW World Tag Team title match
Masato Tanaka & Balls Mahoney beat The Dudley Boyz (15:01 Balls beat D-Von and Tanaka beat Buh Buh)

November 6, 1998---New York, NY
ECW World Tag Team title match
The Dudley Boyz beat Masato Tanaka & Balls Mahoney

November 21, 1998---ECW Arena, Philadelphia, PA
Justin Credible and Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley beat Tommy Dreamer, Masato Tanaka, and Balls Mahoney

*****Tanaka came back to Japan for Sabu's wedding in Tokyo in December.

1999

March 19, 1999---Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center, Hokkaido
All Asian Tag Team title match (All Japan Pro's title)
Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki beat Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda (30:35 Hayabusa beat Kuroda)---Hayabusa & Jinsei kept the title.

May 3, 1999---Aichi Prefectural Budokan, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture
World Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship Tournament Final
Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda beat Hayabusa & Kodo Fuyuki (24:54 Tanaka beat Fuyuki)---Tanaka & Kuroda became the 20th champions.

May 30, 1999---Kamisu Town Gym, Ibaraki Prefecture
World Brass Knuckles Tag Team title match
Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda beat Yukihiro Kanemura & Hido (20:31 Tanaka beat Hido)---Tanaka & Kuroda kept the title.

June 13, 1999---Oroshi Center Orange Hall, Okayama Prefecture
World Brass Knuckles Tag Team title match
Koji Nakagawa & Gedo beat Masato Tanaka & Tetsuhiro Kuroda (10:43 Nakagawa beat Kuroda)---Nakagawa & Gedo became the 21st champions.

August 20, 1999---Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Independent World Heavyweight title match
Masato Tanaka (20:51) Mr. Gannosuke---Tanaka became the ninth champion.

August 25, 1999---Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center, Hokkaido
Independent World Heavyweight title match
Masato Tanaka (13:42) Yukihiro Kanemura---Tanaka kept the title.
Van Dam, Masanori, and Kanemura
Rob Van Dam, Masanori, and Yukihiro Kanemura


Masato Tanaka is scheduled to face FMW's top heel / booker, Kodo Fuyuki, in a singles match on FMW's biggest show this year, at Yokohama Arena on Tuesday, November 23 (Japanese Labor Thanksgiving Day).

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