Player Profile

El Desperado

El Desperado

Nationality :Japanese
Date Of Birth :December 29, 1983
Height :1.77 m (5 ft 9+1⁄2 in)
Weight :90 kg (198 lb)

El Desperado: A Brief Biography

El Desperado is the ring name used by Japanese professional wrestler Kyosuke Mikami (, Mikami Kysuke, born December 29, 1983). He is a four-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion with Yoshinobu Kanemaru and a former two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). Between 2014 and 2022, when the Suzuki-gun faction disbanded, Desperado was a member of the organization. Mikami served as a Young Lion for NJPW for two years after receiving training from the NJPW dojo. As the disguised Namajague, a Spanish translation of the Japanese folk demon Namahage, he worked for NJPW’s Mexican affiliate Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) while on a learning trip to Mexico in 2012. Together with Okumura, he captured the CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship in March 2013 while competing in the league. Mikami returned to NJPW in January 2014 and was repackaged under a different mask as El Desperado after being unmasked as a result of losing a match and briefly working without one.

Titles

  • Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
    • CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Okumura
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Yoshinobu Kanemaru
    • NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Minoru Suzuki and Ren Narita
    • Super Junior Tag League (2021) — with Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Ranked No. 39 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2022
  • Pro Wrestling Noah
    • GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Taka Michinoku

Height of El Desperado, Weight, and Body Stats

Height1.77 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Weight90 kg (198 lb)

All-time Career of El Desperado

He went to the annual open tryout test for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) in May 2009. Mikami trained in the same class as King Fale and Hiromu Takahashi, who all made their in-ring debuts around the same time. He passed the test and was accepted into the NJPW Dojo.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2010–2012)

Mikami made his professional wrestling debut on March 7, 2010, losing to Ryusuke Taguchi after nearly a year of training in the NJPW Dojo. The NJPW has a tradition of having newcomers (known as “Young Lions” in NJPW) wear plain, generic black trunks and boots and pay their dues by assisting with ring preparation and other duties while they gain ring experience. Typical for NJPW dojo graduates, Mikami lost at least 31 consecutive matches before defeating Hiromu Takahashi on August 24, 2010, at NEVER.1, in the latter’s debut match. Ryuichi Sekine eliminated him from the 2011 “Road to the Super Junior 2Days Tournament” on April 7. He later teamed up with fellow “Young Lions” Hiromu Takahashi & Takaaki Watanabe to compete in the NJPW’s “J Sports Crown Openweight 6 Man Tag Tournament.” In their first match, the team was defeated by Madoka, Shinobu, and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. Mikami’s most recent match was on January 4, 2012, when he participated in a dark match prior to NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome show, the organization’s biggest show. Mikami and Tomoaki Honma were defeated by Tama Tonga and Captain New Japan in the match. It was then revealed that Mikami had sustained an injury and needed to take some time off, serving as a plot device to explain his protracted absence from NJPW.

Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2012–2013)

When NJPW has a working relationship with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), which has seen a number of Japanese wrestlers work for CMLL for varying lengths of time, it frequently sends its “Young Lions” on learning trips outside of Japan, whether to the United States, Europe, or particularly Mexico. At the beginning of 2012, Mikami’s “learning excursion” took him to Mexico, where he was given the new name Namajague and a mask with designs modeled after the Japanese folk demon Namahage. Mikami, who had previously worked mostly as a face, was given a heel or rudo character and teamed up with Okumura, a local Japanese employee of CMLL. The two created a tag team known as La Fiebre Amarilla (“The Yellow Fever”). He made his debut as Namajage on February 2, 2012, teaming with Okumura and Misterioso, Jr., defeating the team of Black Warrior, El Sagrado, and Sangre Azteca. The following month Mikami worked CMLL’s major spring show Homenaje a Dos Leyendas where he teamed up with Misterioso, Jr. and Rey Escorpion to defeat the team of Fuego, Titán, and Tritón in a Best two-out-of-three falls Six-man tag team match In September 2012 La Fiebre Amarilla unsuccessfully challenged for the CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship as defending champions Fuego and Stuka, Jr. were victorious. Only weeks later Namajague was part of CMLL’s largest annual show as they celebrated the 79th Anniversary of CMLL as he teamed up with Okumura and Taichi, a trio billed as La Ola Amarilla (“The Yellow Wave”), La Ola was defeated by three of CMLL’s top tecnicos, Ángel de Oro, La Sombra and Titán. In the months following the Anniversary show Namajague and Okumura developed a long-running storyline with Stuka, Jr. and Rey Cometa that evolved into the main event of the 2013 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show contested under Luchas de Apuestas, or “bet match” rules where Namajague and Stuka, Jr. both risked their masks and Okumura and Rey Cometa would risk their hair on the outcome of the match. On March 3, 2013, Namajague and Okumura defeated Fuego and Stuka, Jr. to win the CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship, Mikami’s first professional wrestling title. On March 15, 2013, Okumura and Namajague were defeated by Stuka, Jr. and Rey Cometa in the main event of the 2013 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas show, forcing Okumura to have all his hair shaved off and Namajague was unmasked and had to reveal his real name, Kyosuke Mikami, as per lucha libre traditions. The storyline between Namajague and Rey Cometa did not end after the unmasking, instead, it switched to an individual storyline between the two, which included Namajague breaking a pane of glass over Rey Cometa’s head during a one-on-one match. The conflict led to CMLL signing a one-on-one Lucha de Apuestas with Cometa and Namajague’s hair on the line, to take place on the April 26, 2013, Arena Mexico 57th Anniversary Show. Rey Cometa won the Luchas de Apuestas, two falls to one, to have all of Namajague’s hair shaved off after the match. On November 3, Namajague and Okumura lost the Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship to Delta and Guerrero Maya, Jr.

Return to NJPW (2014–present)

A new wrestler known as “El Desperado” would make his NJPW debut on December 9, 2013; Mikami returned to his home promotion on January 4, 2014, at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in the Tokyo Dome. After Kota Ibushi was crowned the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, El Desperado entered the ring and was presented with flowers. According to the plot, El Desperado is Mexican but has a Japanese father, so he can speak Japanese. El Desperado made his in-ring debut the following day, teaming up with Jyushin Thunder Liger in a tag team match. After a brawl following a six-man tag team match, Liger challenged El Desperado to a Mask vs. Mask match. On April 6 at Invasion Attack 2014, El Desperado teamed up with Kota Ibushi to unsuccessfully challenge The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. From May 30 to June 6, El Desperado took part in the 2014 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, where he finished with a record of three wins and four losses, failing to advance from his block. On July 4, El Desperado turned heel and joined the Suzuki-gun stable, while also setting his sights on the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. On September 23 at Destruction in Okayama, El Desperado and Suzuki-gun stablemate Taichi received a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, but were defeated by the Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and Kushida). On October 13 at King of Pro-Wrestling, El Desperado unsuccessfully challenged Ryusuke Taguchi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. El Desperado then began chasing Jyushin Thunder Liger for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship, leading to a title match between the two on January 5, 2015, where Liger retained his title.

El Desperado and Taka Michinoku won the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship on March 15 by defeating Choukibou-gun (Hajime Ohara and Kenoh) and No Mercy (Daisuke Harada and Genba Hirayanagi) in a three-way match as part of the Suzuki-gun storyline, which began in January 2015. El Desperado then competed in the 2015 Global Junior Heavyweight League in July. After a record of four wins and one loss, El Desperado entered the final day on August 5 with a chance to reach the finals, but a loss to Daisuke Harada meant that Harada instead advanced from the block. The following month, El Desperado and Michinoku made it to the finals of the 2015 NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League but were defeated there by Harada and Atsushi Kotoge. On October 4, El Desperado and Michinoku lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Harada and Kotoge. Following the loss, El Desperado was sidelined with a neck injury. After his return, El Desperado was forced to put his spot in Suzuki-gun on the line but managed to retain his membership by defeating stablemate Takashi Iizuka by disqualification on March 17, 2016. The Suzuki-gun Noah invasion storyline concluded in December 2016, which led to the stable returning to NJPW on January 5, 2017. In May and June, El Desperado took part in the 2017 Best of the Super Juniors, where he finished last in his block with a record of three wins and four losses. Because of his win over Kushida during the tournament, El Desperado was granted a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on September 16 at Destruction in Hiroshima but was defeated by Kushida. On March 6, El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in a 3-way involving Roppongi 3K and Los Ingobernables de Japón. First NJPW championship for Desperado. He participated in the Best of the Super Juniors competition in May 2018. He didn’t make it to the championship round after finishing the tournament with 3 wins and 4 losses. El Desperado was given a chance to defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on June 18 at Kizuna Road Show because of his victory over eventual tournament winner and new champion Hiromu Takahashi during the tournament, but Takahashi prevailed. From October 16 to November 1, 2018, Desperado and Kanemaru competed in the 2018 Super Junior Tag Tournament, where they finished first on the block with a record of five wins and two losses, making it to the finals but losing

For their cross-promotional Fantastica Mania tour with NJPW in January 2019, Mikami briefly brought back his Namajague character from CMLL. Namajague made his debut on January 11, 2019, teaming with Bárbaro Cavernario and Carstico in a six-man tag team match, where they defeated Kushida, Volador Jr., and Soberano Jr.

Desperado and Kanemaru defeated Bushi and Hiromu Takahashi to win the IWGP Jr. on September 11, 2020. Once more winning the Tag Team Championship Desperado took part in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament in November and advanced to the finals with a score of 14 points. He competed against Hiromu Takahashi in the finals; during the match, Takahashi tore off half of Desperado’s mask, which prompted Desperado to remove the remaining portion and show his face for the first time since 2010. Desperado would eventually lose the fight. On January 23, Kanemaru and Desperado were defeated by Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori and El Phantasmo), but they later won them back. On February 28, at Castle Attack, Desperado won his first significant singles title when he defeated Bushi and El Phantasmo in a triple threat match to win the vacant IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, making him a double champion. The following day, NJPW revealed that El Desperado would compete against Kota Ibushi to become the first-ever IWGP World Heavyweight Champion on their 49th Anniversary show on March 4. Desperado ultimately lost the match. At Sakura Genesis, Roppongi 3K defeated Desperado and Kanemaru for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, ending his reign as a double champion. At Dominion, he finally made his first successful defense of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title after a title match against YOH was postponed because of a COVID outbreak in the locker room. El Desperado’s 147-day reign as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion came to an end on July 25 at Wrestle Grand Slam in the Tokyo Dome when he was defeated by Robbie Eagles by submission. El Desperado won the Junior Heavyweight title back at Power Struggle on November 6 after defeating Eagles at the G1 Climax, though. In November, Desperado competed in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament and finished with just 13 points, just missing a spot in the finals. In January, at Wrestle Kingdom 16, Desperado defeated tournament victor Hiromu Takahashi to retain the title.

Desperado defeated Master Wato to win the Junior Heavyweight Championship at NJPW New Year’s Golden Series in February. The following month, Desperado competed in the New Japan Cup despite being a junior heavyweight but was defeated in the first round by Kazuchika Okada. In April, Desperado defeated Sho to win the Junior Heavyweight Championship once more at Hyper Battle. However, Desperado fell to Taiji Ishimori in May at Wrestling However, in the finals, Desperado once again lost to Hiromu Takahashi. At Dominion 6.12 in Osaka-jo Hall, Desperado, and Kanemaru teamed with Suzuki-gun stablemate Zack Sabre Jr to take on NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions Evil, Yujiro Takahashi, and Sho, for the titles, but failed to win. Desperado made a special appearance on the June 15th special Road Rager episode of Dynamite, where he and Lance Archer represented Suzuki-gun aiding the Jericho Appreciation Society, by attacking Jon Moxley, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Wheeler Yuta, Eddie Kingston, and Ortiz, promoting stable leader Minoru Suzuki and the JAS teaming at AEWxNJPW: Forbidden Door. At the show, Desperado and Kanemaru teamed on the Buy-in, losing to Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. Desperado returned to the US the following month, making his NJPW Strong debut, defeating Hiromu Takahashi and Blake Christian in a three-way match. At Music City Mayhem, Desperado lost to Jon Moxley in a No Disqualification match.

Suzuki-gun would be disbanded by the end of the year, he said in December at the World Tag League & Best of the Super Juniors finals. The final match between the faction took place on December 23, and the team of Taichi, Sabre Jr, Kanemaru, and Douki defeated Suzuki, Archer, Desperado, and Michinoku. Following the game, each Suzuki-gun participant shared their memories of the group and expressed gratitude to leader Suzuki. All of the members posed with the Suzuki gun flag at the conclusion of the night, but Takashi Iizuka, a former member, interrupted them, forcing all nine men to take a picture in the ring with the Suzuki gun flag.

Desperado lost in a four-way match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on January 4, 2023, at Wrestle Kingdom 17 against Master Wato, Hiromu Takahashi, and champion Taiji Ishimori. Later that month, Desperado made an appearance at Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 17 in Yokohama Arena, where he defeated Pro Wrestling Noah’s Yo-Hey.  Desperado then continued to work with Minoru Suzuki The trio defeated House of Torture to win the Never Openweight 6-man tag-team championships in February at The New Beginning in Osaka. Suzuki formally dubbed the trio Strong Style after the match.

The next day, Desperado competed at Pro Wrestling Noah’s Noah Great Voyage in Osaka, where he defeated Yo-Hey and Yasutaka Yano with the help of Nosawa Rongai. Meanwhile, in NJPW, Strong Style successfully defended their titles against House of Torture in a follow-up match in April. Desperado appeared at Capital Collision, losing to Tomohiro Ishii. In May at Wrestling Dontaku, Strong Style lost the Never Openweight 6-man tag-team championships, to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, and Tomohiro Ishii. The following week, Desperado competed in the B block of the 2023 Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Desperado finished joint top of his block, advancing to the semi-finals. In the semi-final round, Desperado lost to Titán.