Taku Iwasa is a 9-year veteran who has mostly been a mid-carder and a bit of a comedy character in Dragon Gate. A graduate of the T2P, he quickly was sidelined by injuries and became a jobber when he returned. Before too long he went on an excursion to the US, and when he returned he changed his first name to Michael and proclaimed himself to be an American along with partner Raimu Mishima. Their routine involved spoofing American southern style wrestling, and winning matches by DQ. Iwasa carried a folding chair painted in a stars and stripes pattern to the ring, and the Floridas would throw the chair to their opponents, then fake having been hit with it. The referee would then DQ their opponents, and the Floridas would leap to their feet and put their hands over their hearts as The USA Nation Anthem played. Later, they would add Takayuki Yagi to their shtick. Yagi portrayed a partial referee, dressing in an American Flag motif shirt and wearing oversized sunglasses that he required to see. After losing the gimmick to Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa in 2006, they split up and Iwasa joined Akira Tozawa’s Tozawajuku faction. Iwasa was one of his first recruits.
The character change greatly improved Iwasa’s rank within Dragon Gate. Instead of returning to the submission style he used as Takamichi Iwasa, he became a power wrestler and renamed himself Taku Iwasa. Later, when Keni’chiro Arai joined Tozawa-juku, he and Iwasa began teaming regularly. The two managed to win the WAR I-J Heavyweight Tag Team Titles on September 22, 2007 from Ryo Saito & Susumu Yokosuka, but lost them on October 12 to Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino in a match that was also to determine the inaugural Open the Twin Gate Champions. On February 8, 2008, Iwasa & Arai would beat Doi & Yoshino for the Open the Twin Gate Titles, and they successfully defended them twice before losing them to Ryo Saito & Susumu Yokosuka on May 5. He would find championship success again the following month, when he, Arai, and newest member Shinobu defeated Shingo Takagi, YAMATO and Gamma on June 28 to capture the latter trio’s Open the Triangle Gate Titles. Unfortunately, they lost the titles in their first defense the month after that, to Yasushi Kanda, YAMATO and Gamma. On November 16, Tozawa selected him and Arai to challenge Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & Magnitude Kishiwada for the Open the Triangle Gate titles, but agreed with the champions to end Tozawajuku if they failed to beat them. Mochizuki and company got the win, bringing about the end of the unit, and he and the other stablemates were given a graduation ceremony.
Afterwards, Iwasa continued feuding with Mochizuki while becoming a part of KAMIKAZE with Tozawa & Shingo Takagi. He even got an Open The Dream Gate Title shot against champion Naruki Doi despite never really having won anything. He lost, but did win the Open The Triangle Gate Titles a week later with Takagi & Dragon Kid. Their reign lasted 2 months.
Iwasa abruptly retired in mid-2009, but after his stablemates protested and others encourage him not to Iwasa changed his mind. He did, however, decide to take an extended period of time off to heal with no timetable set for his return. He remains inactive as of March 2010.
Iwasa made a surprise return to Dragon Gate on March 1, 2011 and it appears he will return to active competition on March 20, 2011.
Stats & Info:
Weight: 207 pounds/94 kg
Experience: 9 years
Finishing move: Noshigami
Current affiliation: Dragon Gate (Inactive as of summer 2009)
Ring entrance theme: “SPIDER THREAD” performed by Billy And The Sluts
1-time Open The Twin Gate Champion
2-time Open The Triangle Gate Champion
1-time I-J Heavyweight Tag Team Champion
Official website (Japanese):