MMA Royalty: Minoru Suzuki

For many MMA is just great to watch, see the skill of the fighters, how they take their opponents down, for others it is just great sports betting odds. However, for either, there are fighters that really shine. 

They raise or dip the odds, they create one hell of a show, and they stun us. In much of MMA, there are many different fighting styles, however, we have to argue that one of these styles that is best, is wrestling. 

There is something about wrestling that is just captivating to watch, you can’t take your eyes away, and it becomes like your favorite TV show, or a good book, you cannot wait to see what happens next. 

This is what it is like for fans of Minoru Suzuki. While there are many great fighters out there, Suzuki has got something special. What might this be? Well, we won’t dilly-dally, there is just so much to talk about.

However, we will get started on why he gained the nickname ‘Murder Grandpa’.

‘Murder Grandpa’

Minoru Suzuki was nicknamed ‘Murder Grandpa’, you can probably guess why, but if you have seen him in action you will know why. 

He was trained in a combo of wrestling and MMA by Karl Gotch, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Billy Robinson, and Kotetso Yamamoto. 

He made a name for himself as being one of the more feared wrestlers, and the hardest in wrestling today. 

He began his career in New Japan Pro Wrestling and UWF, before he left to set up a MMA promotion in 1993. 

He spent a decade, almost, in the MMA world, and he made a handsome 29 wins, 19 losses, and 0 ties. He made victories against Shamrock, Smit, Fuke, and Thunder Liger from ‘93 and ‘02. 

He basically smashed people’s faces in for nearly a decade before he decided to return to his Pro wrestling roots in New Japan, as well as NOAH. 

He teamed up with Yoshihiro Takaya, and they got into the IWGP Tag Team Championships. 

Wrestling’s Hardest Man

Around the time he did this, he competed in NOAH, which most may remember him for his fight against Kobashi. Sure, he did lose to Kobashi, but he also formed a bizarre alliance with Marafuji as well, and they became champions of the GHC Tag Team.

Nigh on a decade later, he had a spell with the GHC, and he defeated his former partner. Suzuki definitely seems like one to hold a grudge. 

After all this, he did not stop trying to make a name for himself with many other companies worldwide. He even had a short go with CMLL, and he spent 4 years with the All Japan Pro Wrestling as well. 

Let us not forget he also played a role in the first ever cage fight in the history of All Japan when he did battle with Funaki. 

However, it was here, with All Japan, that he gained his seemingly bizarre nickname. He would fight like a mob boss, with his ‘Suzuki gun’ and would beat the living daylights out of whoever he crossed paths with.

Fun To Watch

Murder Grandpa was very fun to watch, he was merciless, if you were watching at the ringside, Suzuki would have no issue with teaching you a lesson from the outside, no matter what happened. 

He wore a menacing face, and it helped to cement the ‘strong’ style that New Japan was going for. As well as his signature chops, and chokeholds, as well as his deadly pile driver, as many will remember in his matches against Odaka, Ishii, and Kenta. 

Shamrock Vs Suzuki

However, while his moves were sweet, his fighting style moderately terrifying, and as Murder Grandpa was something of a legend already, nothing can quite compare to his fight against Shamrock. 

At the time Shamrock was still fairly new to submissions, however, he was a great wrestler, and he was probably one of the biggest guys in Pancrase. 

He had mounted and choked Funaki in his first match, and as he ran through all his opponents, making them submit, he entered a UFC tournament and got caught by Gracie. 

Eventually he looked at Suzuki, oops. 

He fought Suzuki, and while Suzuki fought off defense for a whole bout against Shamrock, he found himself in a bit of an awkward position and heel hooked Shamrock. 

Shamrock tried to turn with the hold, but Suzuki transitioned it into a knee bar, and extended his hips with full intent of ruining Shamrock’s leg. 

Shamrock was only just able to reach the ropes for a break, however, he was unable to go on. Which is probably one of the more fun although not entirely fair aspects of Pancrase in its early days. 

This was not the only time Suzuki bested his larger opponent, he bested him twice, which made him the only one in Pancrase to achieve this. 

However, the second match seems much more theatrical, more like a work. It seems lighter, with more flowing grappling, and it just felt a bit theatrical in comparison to the original fight. 

Nonetheless, we have to say Murder Grandpa is certainly royalty of the MMA, and well deserved of that title. 

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