Minoru Suzuki is one of the most feared men in wrestling. A genuine badass with MMA victories over Ken Shamrock, thirty years of combat sport experience, and a thirst for violence and deadly submission wrestling. Inside that ring, he is a no-nonsense assassin intent on inflicting as much punishment as possible.
Yet from time-to-time, the young boy killer surprises us with some truly weird antics, guaranteed to put a smile on all of our faces. So in celebration of both his 50th birthday, and his 30th pro wrestling anniversary, let’s look at the times when Murder Grandpa became Lovable Goofball Grandpa – here are 15 Awesome Out-of-Character Moments from Minoru Suzuki.
Going for a Little Bike Ride
Admittedly, he is using it as a weapon, which is classic Suzuki, but you have to admit you never thought you’d see Minoru riding a bicycle made to look like a space rocket bike. It is as weird as it is wonderful, so it should come as no surprise that it took place in DDT Pro Wrestling.
This ridiculous comedy match, which took place at Ryogoku Peter Pan in 2014, is a brilliant comedy hardcore match that displays a different side to Minoru from the serious grappler we see in New Japan. Sure, he’s still a murderous hunter in this bout, yet it’s refreshing to see him being so ridiculous too.
He Absolutely Adores One Piece
One Piece is one of Japan’s most prominent manga and anime franchises. It currently holds the world record for the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author, and is the best-selling manga series in history. Possibly the most terrifying fan of this pirate-themed adventure series is Minoru Suzuki, and I mean a huge fan.
Minoru Suzuki posts photos reading the manga, named his 30th anniversary show The Great Pirates Festival in tribute, attends official One Piece media events, and has even appeared in the anime as a character inspired by him, providing his own voice work. In the episode, Suzuki is commentating on a wrestling match (no surprise), before leaping into the ring and locking on an armbar. Minoru Suzuki is the most terrifying geek in the world.
He was in Tekken
The character King in the popular arcade fighting series Tekken is a Mexican wrestler that utilises pro wrestling inspired offence. First appearing in the debut game of the series, Namco decided to create a second iteration of the character for the brilliant Tekken 3, and wanted to bring in an experienced grappler to help make his moveset as realistic as possible – enter Minoru Suzuki.
That’s right, whenever you hit a suplex, or locked in one of those limb-breaking submission holds, you were actually channelling the spirit of this Pancrase legend. So now you know why King had the most awesome moveset of all in Tekken. If only they actually had Suzuki appear as a hidden character – I would love to see Suzuki vs. Heihachi. Murder Grandpa vs. Murder Grandpa.
Wrestling on a Baseball Field
In 2017, DDT put on a match inside the legendary Tokyo Dome, a building that can hold 55,000 people, the biggest indoor venue they have ever been inside of…..it’s just a shame that nobody else was there.
As you would expect from DDT, when they put on an empty arena match, they do it in style, so they chose the biggest damn arena in Japan. Minoru Suzuki faced Sanshiro Takagi on a baseball field, and yes, it was as ridiculous as it sounds.
They used the bases on the baseball diamond as ways to break submission (like you would use ropes traditionally), they battled all through the backstage with plenty of DDT talents showing up along the way, Minoru stepped through imaginary ropes as his entrance music played as he normally would in a standard ring, Meiko Satomura turned up at one point and started pitching (terribly) as Minoru tried to hit a home run, and much more.
It is SO weird, yet so wonderful.
Minoru Suzuki vs. The Mecha Mummy
So, believe it or not, one of Minoru’s longest-standing rivalries is against a silver teleporting robot. It’s a rivalry that started back in 2006, and things just carried on from there.
Mecha Mummy is a character mainly used in DDT that has a gigantic metal fist and a humongous drill to match. He is almost impossible to beat, with attacks bound to drop any competitor…except for Suzuki. Whilst most go down with one shot, Minoru just absorbed Mecha’s attacks like they were nothing because he is the toughest example of matter in the known universe.
From there, they transported to Brazil to have a match, they played badminton, Suzuki hit a piledriver on him in a lake, all sorts of strange goodness. The fact none of these bouts got five stars is truly a crime.
His Entire Instagram
When you look at Minoru Suzuki, you don’t expect him to be a lover of selfies and taking many photos of his various shoes, but he really is. Suzuki’s Instagram account is such a strange experience, you’ll find yourself scrolling endlessly in bafflement through a stream of pure moments. Also, he regularly updates his Instagram story, where he improves photos using multi-coloured writing (both in Japanese and English), as well as GIF stickers. He once posted a photo of his ceiling with “Good Morning” written in various colours, and a GIF of Alfonso Ribeiro doing the Carlton Dance. A true artist that deserves your likes and follows.
He Once Cried on Camera
This out of character moment is awesome for a completely different reason from the rest. Whilst others are examples of Suzuki being a little ridiculous or showing off how much of a nerd he actually is, this is a display of pure emotion from one of the toughest men in Japanese combat sports.
On May 4th 2017, legendary wrestler and MMA fighter Yoshihiro Takayama suffered an in-ring injury which left him paralyzed from the neck down, abruptly ending his career. Suzuki was practically a brother to Takayama, so of course when this tragic incident occurred, it crushed Minoru. In September of that year, DDT Pro Wrestling announced they had set up a charity in Yoshihiro’s honour called Takayamania.
At the press conference, whilst speaking about his newly paralised friend, Minoru could not hold back his emotion, and began openly weeping for the press to see. As horrible as this whole situation is, seeing this much emotion from such an emotionless performer is oddly heartwarming. You instantly get a sense of just how important their friendship is. What’s more, since the accident, Suzuki has been tirelessly raising money to help his ally with medical bills. It seems that not only does Minoru have a heart, it’s nowhere near as black as you would expect.
A Rather Adorable Photoshoot with Meiko Satomura
Meiko Satomura is one of the best wrestlers in the world today. With over two decades of experience and a feared set of strikes and holds, she is deadly within the ring, and has amassed a big following in promotions such as Sendai Girls, Stardom, ProWrestlingEVE, Fight Club Pro, and CHIKARA. If there was a female equivalent to Suzuki, it would be her, which is what makes this photoshoot they once had both unexpected and charming.
Whilst there are some rather badass photos of these two in-ring destroyers together, there are some really playful ones too. You can really get a feeling for their friendship. Warmth isn’t something you really associate with Suzuki, but this is bound to put a smile on your face.
Yes, although entirely associated with New Japan Pro Wrestling currently, Suzuki did actually attend WrestleMania 34 as a fan. With a massive can of bud in hand, Suzuki sat and watched the action high up in the stands. All the better he wasn’t close to the developmental NXT talents sat on the floor seats.
To see such a terrifying competitor sat in a crowd rather than in a ring is surprising enough as it is, let alone when it’s at a WWE show, sporting his best dad jeans. Although not the best overall Mania to attend, the fact Suzuki didn’t destroy everything in his path suggests he still had a pretty good time.
He Loves Christmas
This is a photo of a drunk Minoru Suzuki wearing a reindeer hat. That’s all you need to know. Merry Christmas.
Suzuki Riding a Ripstik
This is a photo of a possibly drunk Minoru Suzuki riding a Ripstik. That’s all you need to know. Radical, dude.
He Once Battled Gigantic Monsters Along with Kota Ibushi
Daikaiju Mono is a 2016 Kaiju Japanese film about a scientist that discovers a way of growing humans to gigantic sizes in order to defeat a 250 year old Godzilla-esque monster. And guess who are the ones that are in charge of beating up those grotesque gargantuans? That’s right, Kota Ibushi and Minoru Suzuki.
As you can expect, there are plenty of wrestling moves and a whole heap of weirdness in this one. If Suzuki striking with a gigantic monster sounds like entertainment to you, this is the only Kaiju movie for you.
Charlie Brown Crossover
For Suzuki’s upcoming 30th anniversary show, he’s created some exclusive merchandise which parodies the iconic cartoon strip, Charlie Brown. As unexpected as this crossover is, it’s also charming. It gives us an insight into Suzuki’s love for what we can assume was a big part of his childhood, and how he’s not afraid to hide away his interests, despite his persona.
Minoru Being Nice to Young People
After seeing him violently beat down Young Lions on countless occasions in New Japan, it’s just so weird seeing him in the midst of a group of students without destroying them. How can he stand people trying to learn without erupting into a flurry of blows?! Suzuki being nice to young people is weird. Put any of these kids in a red tracksuit though and I’m sure he’d kick them straight in the face.
Minoru the Mark
Genichiro Tenryu is a Japanese wrestling legend. A hard-hitting brawler with a passion for chest-chopping, Tenryu was naturally a big influence for Suzuki, and a hero to many in Japan. So during the aforementioned Empty Tokyo Dome Match, where Tenryu was acting as a baseball coach, Minoru decided to take time out to get a fistbump from this legend (which is weird enough as it is), yet it’s his wholesome reaction that truly makes this moment great.
After exposing yourself to so much out-of-character Minoru, you should now be feeling far better than you were about three minutes ago. There’s nothing better than seeing a thirty-year veteran tough guy in so many random yet amazing situations you would never expect from him.
And just in case you need more content to make you smile, here’s a photo of Suzuki riding a tiny bicycle – enjoy.