Ricky Fuji


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Ricky Fuji
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Ring name(s) Ricky Fuji
Calgary Tiger
Morimura
Black Tomcat
Tiger Mask (Calgary version)
Real name Morimura Masanori
Billed height 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Billed weight 95 kg (210 lb; 15.0 st)
Born 1965/9/27 (1965-09-27) (age 52)
Chiba, Japan
Shishō NJPW Dojo
Stu Hart
Mr. Hito
Debut 1988/6/28


Morimura Masanori (森村 方則?) is a Japanese professional wrestler, better known under his ring name Ricky Fuji (リッキー フジ?).

Contents

Training

Morimura Masanori started training for pro wrestling in the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dōjō in 1984. He left Japan in 1987/1 for a training expedition in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he was trained in the Dungeon by Stu Hart and his right-hand man, Mr. Hito. While in Calgary, he befriended many Japanese stars such as Hashimoto Shin'ya, Yamada Keiichi, and Hase Hiroshi.

Professional wrestling career

Early years in Canada (1988–1990)

On 1988/6/28, Morimura made his professional wrestling debut in Stampede Wrestling, against Stu Hart's son, Ross as the Calgary version of Tiger Mask. In 1988/9, he would join the North Western Wrestling Federation and started wrestling under the persona Black Tomcat. By the end of 1988, he would win the NWWF Junior Heavyweight Championship, defeating Steve Gillespie.

In 1989/3, Morimura would leave the NWWF for the Canadian Independent Wrestling Federation. It was in the CIWF that he began going by the name Ricky Fuji. In 1989/7, he would win the CIWF Junior Heavyweight Championship.

During this time, Fuji was scouted by the World Wrestling Federation. However, the WWF could not figure out how to bring him in, so no deal was ever finalized. In 1990/1, he returned to Japan, and was later offered a spot in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling by Ōnita Atsushi, which he accepted.

Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (1990–2002)

Upon debuting for FMW on 1990/5/12, Fuji became very well-received by the fans, particularly among female fans. In 1990/10, he took part in Japan's very first mixed tag team match, teaming with Kudō Megumi. In 1991/5, he won the AWA World Light Heavyweight Championship from Jimmy Backlund, which he held for several months before losing it to Mark Starr in August. In 1993/1, he formed the faction, Team Canada, with The Gladiator, Big Titan, and Dr. Luther, which feuded with Onita, Tarzan Gotō, and Mr. Gannosuke, among others, until disbanding in 1994.

In 1994/4, he took part in the Super J Cup tournament, where he defeated Negro Casas in the first round, but lost to Jūshin Thunder Liger in the quarterfinals. On 1994/12/20, he defeated The Great Sasuke to win his only Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship, which he held for a couple of months before losing it to Hosaka Hideki on 1995/2/6.

Soon after the title loss, Ricky Fuji formed a new faction called Lethal Weapon with Tarzan Gotō and Ōya Hisakatsu, although Goto would soon after leave FMW in 1995/4. Fuji and Ōya would later recruit The Gladiator, Mr. Pōgō, and Horace Boulder into Lethal Weapon. Fuji then began teaming with Ōya as The Love Guns, Lethal Weapon's resident tag team. With Ōya, Fuji would go on to win the FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship on 1995/5/5. They lost the title exactly four months later to Ikeda Daisuke and Fujiwara Yoshiaki on 1995/9/5.

Following Lethal Weapon's disbandment in 1996/9, Ricky Fuji aligned himself with Hayabusa, helping in his feuds with Mr. Gannosuke and Fuyuki Kōdō. He also began competing in singles and six-man tag team matches, eventually winning the WEW 6-Man Tag Team Championship twice between 1999/11 and 2001/5, one reign of which came about after reuniting with Ōya.

In 2000/4, Ricky Fuji participated in his second Super J Cup tournament. After defeating Sasuke The Great in the first round, he lost to Gran Hamada in the quarterfinals. He was also one of the few that helped Hayabusa when he suffered a career-ending neck injury in 2001/10. He remained with FMW until its closure in 2002/2, making him one of the longest tenured wrestlers in the promotion's history.

Freelance (2002–2012)

Since FMW's closing, Ricky Fuji has been wrestling as a freelancer for various Japanese independent promotions, including Wrestling Marvelous Future, Apache Pro-Wrestling, and FREEDOMS.

In 2010/5, Fuji became the final FMW Independent World Junior Heavyweight Champion after defeating Tou Masaru in a decision match to determine the final champion.

Kaientai-DOJO (2012-present)

In 2012/1, Fuji signed with the Chiba-based Kaientai-DOJO. In 2015, he has since split his time between K-DOJO and the newly-resurrected FMW.

Outside of wrestling

Aside from wrestling, Ricky Fuji also runs a gym in Chiba and is part of the rock band Krazy Krew with The Great Sasuke.

External links

Ricky of Magic (official blog in Japanese)



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