Line 1: Line 1:
{{Infobox wrestler
{{Infobox wrestler
|name= Masato Yoshino
|name= Masato Yoshino
|image= Masato Yoshino ME.jpg
|image= MasatoYoshino.png
|real= Masato Yoshino
|real= Masato Yoshino
|born= July 17, 1980<br />Higashi City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
|born= July 17, 1980<br />Higashi City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan

Revision as of 08:21, December 4, 2015

Masato Yoshino
Background Information
Real Name Masato Yoshino
Born July 17, 1980
Higashi City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Height 172 centimeters (5 ft. 8 in.)
Weight 75 kilograms (165 lbs.)
Career Information
Status Active in Dragon Gate
Trained By Ultimo Dragon
Jorge "Skayde" Rivera
Debut September 2, 2000
Billed From
Other Ring Names YOSSINO

Masato Yoshino is a 7th Term graduate of the Ultimo Dragon Gym. He actively wrestles in Dragon Gate Pro Wrestling.


Early Start

Prior to becoming a professional wrestling, Yoshino was an accomplished high school baseball player. Once he realized his passion was in wrestling, he participated in the "amateur" pro wrestling company JWA Kansai before entering venturing to Mexico and enrolling in the Ultimo Dragon Gym.

Originally debuting as part of the Toryumon 2000 Project (T2P), it was clear that Yoshino’s speed and chiseled physique were the things that would make him stand out. Indeed, as his original gimmick was modeled after that of Tarzan, he quickly gained the nickname Lightning in the Jungle, which is still used to this day. To go along with this gimmick, he also brought with him to the ring a pet gorilla named Venezia.


Within T2P he was considered the number two star, behind Milano Collection AT. When Milano began to form a unit, it was only natural that Yoshino would be the first one approached. Yoshino accepted Milano’s offer and changed his name to YOSSINO, to represent his (obvious) Italian background, to form the Italian Connection. As part of this new force within T2P, YOSSINO would play a major role in the ensuing T2P invasion of Toryumon, and more specifically the ItaConn feud with Crazy MAX.

The two factions would battle until the Italian Connection were able to win the UWA Trio Tag Titles from Crazy MAX at the Toryumon vs T2P PPV. This achievement cemented the dominance of the Italian Collection and proved that T2P were to be noticed with seriousness. After losing the titles back to Crazy MAX a few months later, YOSSINO entered into a feud with K-ness., which included many highly regarded matches and is still considered one of the Dragon System’s best feuds.

After Ultimo Dragon left the company, taking the Toryumon name with him, the newly formed Dragon Gate needed to create titles of it’s own. The trio titles were named the Open The Triangle Gate Championship and YOSSINO and fellow ItaConn members Milano Collection AT and Anthony W. Mori were able to become the very first champions. However, the Italian Connection, having already split in half once, were finally dissolved when Milano decided to leave the company. Now left to his own devices, Yoshino entered the the very first Open the Brave Gate tournament, though he lost to Second Doi in becoming the first Brave Gate Champion. The title would nevertheless be associated with him throughout his career.

Speed Muscle

Soon after this however, Yoshino would turn heel once more and join the newly formed Blood Generation. He reverted to his given name and dropped the Tarzan gimmick and cut his hair short. This would prove a new direction for Yoshino as he would also later leave BloodGen with Naruki Doi and Gamma to form Muscle Outlaw’z, the largest heel faction Dragon Gate had ever known.

During his time with MO’z, he would begin teaming with co-leader Naruki Doi (Gamma being the other leader) to form the tag team known as Speed Muscle. Speed Muscle would see unparalleled success on the tag circuit, both within and outside of Dragon Gate itself. They were also crowned the very first Open the Twin Gate Champions as well as winning the first Summer Adventure Tag League Tournament, which they would also win two more times. They even succeeded in claiming the GHC World Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship from Pro Wrestling NOAH, further exposing them as an elite tag team.

However, it was increasingly clear that Speed Muscle and the rest of the Muscle Outlaw’z were on different paths. Speed Muscle was seeing a great deal of success, and were able to win without resorting to dirty tactics, something MO’z certainly considered their mantra. This rift would continue to escalate until Speed Muscle would turn on MO’z, causing fellow member Yasushi Kanda to lose his hair. The two sides would part, with the MO’z remnants forming Real Hazard, and Speed Muscle forming WORLD-1 along with BxB Hulk, Naoki Tanizaki, and m.c.KZ.

Individual Success

WORLD-1 would turn out to be the new major babyface group in the company, and Yoshino played a big part in that. He would go on to win multiple Brave Gate, Twin Gate and Triangle Gate championships. He would also make his presence felt outside of Japan, displaying his breathtaking speed in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling during their World X Cup series as well as participating in the 2008 Battle of Los Angeles tournament from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Yoshino further played a role in developing Dragon Gate USA by appearing in nearly every show. His contributions would be recognized when he and PAC became the first Open The United Gate Champions to open 2011.

But it wasn’t until he faced YAMATO at the Kobe World PPV in 2010 that he finally tasted Dream Gate success. It was clear that Yoshino was truly, finally, considered number one. Soon after this, however, long time partner Naruki Doi had turned on Yoshino and left WORLD-1 to form the super heel group Blood Warriors with CIMA.

Yoshino had a fairly memorable run as Dream Gate Champion, successfully defending the title four times and holding it for 277 days. He would lose the title to Masaaki Mochizuki, who immediately invited Yoshino and WORLD-1, who had been forced to dissolve earlier the same night, to form a unit that would eventually become Junction Three and combat the growing threat of Blood WARRIORS.

Yoshino would take a bit of a backseat as Mochizuki was the clear leader and ace of the group, but his presence was still appreciated as he joined Gamma and YAMATO in claiming Triangle Gate. Much of Yoshino's battles were against his old partner Naruki Doi and the two would battle for the belts before Doi was successful in winning them teaming with Naoki Tanizaki and Kzy.

Speed Muscle Reunion

In February 2012, Junction Three lost an elimination tag match where the losing team was forced to disband. Following this, he noticed that Doi was not particularly pleased with the direction Blood WARRIORS was going since Akira Tozawa led a coup that forced CIMA out of the group. Not long afterward, Tozawa changed the group into MAD BLANKEY and they proceeded to assault Doi. Doi was saved by Dr. Muscle, who performed a Torbellino. It was clear Yoshino was under the mask and he asked Doi to reform their legendary tag team. Doi accepted.

At the same time, they brought in PAC, Ricochet, and Rich Swann to form a unit that would eventually be known as WORLD-1 INTERNATIONAL. The group would quickly make their presence felt by winning Triangle Gate, but suddenly Yoshino found himself having to carry the group's name alone for a short period when Ricochet had to return home to the United States for an extended period, PAC ventured to New Japan to compete in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, and both Doi and Swann were sidelined for a while with injuries.

Despite the group managing to come back together by the time of Kobe World in 2012, PAC would leave after signing with World Wrestling Entertainment, forcing WORLD-1 INTERNATIONAL to vacate Triangle Gate. Since Ricochet and Swann still needed to return home from time to time, Yoshino called upon his long-time peer and friend Shachihoko BOY to join W1i so that Speed Muscle would not represent the unit alone.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.