Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa
Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa is a Dragon Gate wrestler who competes almost exclusively in comedy matches. He’s one of the most popular DG stars who competes more to entertain fans than win matches.
A member of Último Dragón’s Toryumon Dojo second class, Stalker’s matches don’t last very long, often within five to ten minutes tops. His offenses would have little to no effect on his opponents and they would simply side-step whenever he attempts any sort of high flying move. In some cases, just as Stalker is about to be hit by his opponent’s finisher some one, usually his wife Namiko, would throw in the towel to stop the match. The opponent would still hit him with his finisher shortly after. He is very good friends with CIMA and Don Fujii, though the two have no problem beating him up many times to the delight of the fans. When Stalker started out in Japan in 1999, he had a legendary rivalry with Crazy MAX member TARU, the two having many comedy-themed matches. Eventually, he began to occasionally team with TARU and was made an honorary member of Crazy MAX in August 2000. He was promoted to full member after gaining his first victory, scoring the pin in a Hair vs. Mask tag team match where he and TARU beat M2K’s Susumu Mochizuki and Yasushi Kanda. His affiliation with the group would not last, however, for he was booted out three months later on the grounds that he did not fit their heel image. In 2002, he became the first member of the Toryumon roster to marry when he married Namiko. Stalker would rejoin CIMA and Don Fujii after Crazy MAX ended in November 2004 in their new stable, Waku Waku Fuji Land, but when CIMA and Don Fujii renamed the stable to Blood Generation in January, Stalker was booted out for not meeting the strength principle set by the group.
Ichikawa retired in 2006 but it lasted only a week thanks to Namiko. In 2007, Stalker was invited to wrestle in the United States for the first time in his career. Joining CIMA, Don Fuji, and the Muscle Outlaw’z of Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino, he competed on the two-night Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament event for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla at the Burbank National Guard Armory in Burbank, California. On May 19, Stalker opened the first night’s show in a loss to Don Fuji. He would open night two on May 20 against one of the PWG Six in Top Gun Talwar, once again on the losing end though walking away with a greater fan base. Upon his return from the United States, it was announced on May 25 that he would change his name to “Hollywood” Stalker Ichikawa. He also introduced the Open the Owarai Gate Championship (“Owarai” means comedy in Japanese), with the idea that the title could only change hands from earning a particular set of laughter from the audience regardless if the champion lost the actual match itself. So the champion could be pinned or submitted but if he gets enough fan support he retains the title. Subsequently the champion could win the match but lose the title based on fan reaction. Ichikawa & Namiko divorced in late ’07. Today he continues to compete in comedy matches, often coming up on the losing end (sometimes in a few seconds then in immediate rematches) unless he’s facing perhaps his greatest rival-Jackson Florida-and occasionally defending or competing for the Owarai Gate title. One thing’s for sure about him, his matches often wind up being equally ridiculous and funny.
Stats & info:
Real name: Kanji Ichikawa
Weight: 92 pounds/42 kg
Experience: 10 years
Finishing move: 735, Kanchou (you don’t want to know)
Current affiliation: Dragon Gate
4-time Open The Owarai Gate Champion