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srossi

 

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Although not exactly on par with Omega and KUSHIDA leaving, NJPW has announced that 52-year old mainstay Takashi Iizuka is retiring at the Feb. 21 show. 

Iizuka has been in NJPW forever, making his debut in 1986 and once appeared at WCW's WrestleWar, teaming with Tatsumi Fujinami against the Steiners.  Iizuka is a 3-time IWGP Tag champion and won the G1 Tag League with Yuji Nagata in 2000.  He also won the GHC Tag title in NOAH with Toru Yano as guests due to the company's working relationship. 

In 2008, he turned heel and became famous for wearing an iron glove that he would use as a foreign object in just about every match.  He joined Minoru Suzuki's Suzuki-gun stable and has been affiliated with them for many years now.  He basically did nothing but throw punches and use the glove for the past 10 years.

Iizuka was around lost enough that's he's been in the ring with just about everyone: Muta, Hashimoto, Liger, Nogami, Chono, Sasaki, Tenzan, Kobashi, and even Owen Hart. 

Obviously he's a career undercard guy, but his loss will open up yet another spot on the card so hopefully they have some Young Lions ready to go. 

One Fan Gang



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I remember when he was known as Takayuki Iizuka and worked that Steiners match. Fujinami was his partner, and Rick and Scott seemed to use him as their personal crash test dummy,seemingly inventing moves as they want along. Talented regardless of how he was positioned on the cards, and someone deserving of accolades after 30 years.

freebirdsforever2001
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He will not be missed.



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