Masao Inoue is a 19-year veteran who started out in All-Japan, but like many NOAH veterans left the promotion as part of Mitsuharu Misawa’s mass talent exodus in 2000 to form NOAH. In All-Japan he was mainly an underling to Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue, but did win the All-Asia Tag Team Titles with Tamon Honda in the late 1990s and held them until vacating them due to the NOAH exodus.
Inoue was a founding member of the Dark Agents stable in NOAH along with Akitoshi Saito and Takashi Sugiura. He would be second-in-command to Saito. Inoue generally spent his time near the bottom card, not receiving very many high profile matches. After several years of struggling to make it up the card, Inoue and seven other NOAH wrestlers were given a huge opportunity to main event a Tokyo Nippon Budokan event. GHC Heavyweight Champion Jun Akiyama proposed a tournament to determine his next challenger. Masao Inoue shocked many wrestling fans by beating rookie Shuhei Taniguchi, Takuma Sano, and finally stablemate Akitoshi Saito to win the tournament. Inoue faced Akiyama in an emotional match and lasted over 23 minutes before falling to the wrist-clutch Exploder.
Inoue returned to action in February 2010 after missing almost all of the second half of 2009 (about 7 months total) due to injuries.
Stats & Info:
Weight: 233 pounds/106 kg
Experience: 19 years
Finishing move: Argentine Backbreaker
Current affiliation: NOAH
Ring entrance theme: “ONE MAN ARMY”
1-time All-Asia Tag Team Champion
1-time WEW Tag Team Champion
1999 All-Asia Tag Team Title Tournament
2006 GHC Heavyweight Title Contender Tournament