Yosuke Watanabe (渡辺陽介 Watanabe Yōsuke, born December 14, 1991 in Itabashi, Tokyo) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently working for the Dragon Gate professional wrestling promotion under the ring name Yosuke♥Santa Maria (ヨースケ♥サンタマリア Yōsuke♥Santa Maria). He is a former Open The Owarai and Open The Brave Gate Champion.
Professional wrestling career
Watanabe trained for his professional wrestling career in the Japanese promotion Dragon Gate's wrestling school called "Dragon Gate Nex" and made his debut on January 26, 2011 at Dragon Gate Nex's Sanctuary.71 show in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, wrestling to a draw against fellow trainee, and future stable mate, Eita Kobayashi. He later "graduated" to the main Dragon Gate shows as a low ranking rookie. On April 19, 2012, Watanabe would become the third incarnation of Super Shenlong, he would also form -akatsuki- along Chihiro Tominaga, Shingo Takagi and YAMATO. On May 6, -akatsuki- defeated Mad Blankey in an eight-man tag team match. Super Shenlong teamed up with Takagi and Yamato to participate in 2012's Summer Adventure Tag League with their only win going against Mad Blankey's Cyber Kong, Kzy and Mondai Ryu. On August 1 2013, -akatsuki- was forced to disband, after losing to Mad Blankey in a five-on-four tag team match. Also part of the stipulation, Super Shenlong was forced to unmask revealing his true identity. During the Summer Adventure Tag League, Naruki Doi turned on Masato Yoshino, meaning that Watanabe would fill Doi's spot in the tournament. Surprisingly, the team managed to defeat Don Fujii and Masaaki Mochizuki.
No longer wanting to hide his true feelings, Watanabe joined the Millennials and renamed himself Yosuke♥Santa Maria, stating that she now used feminine pronouns. In keeping with the Millenials lucha libre style, Santa Maria is an exótico, man who fights in drag, incorporating dancing, feminine costumes and outrageous moves such as Sky♥Love and Zona Rosa. On February 22, 2014, Santa Maria debuted for Dragon Gate USA losing to Caleb Konley, the following night she defeated Ethan Page. On March 1, Santa Maria had her first championship match against Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! for the Open The Brave Gate Championship, which she lost. On November 2, Santa Maria teamed with the unaffiliated "Mr. High Tension" Kotoka and Yuga Hayashi to defeat Don Fujii, "Hollywood" Stalker Ichikawa and Super Shisa, teasing their eventual joining. Four days later, the Millennials defeated Team Veteran Returns forcing them to disband, had the Millennials lost they would have been deported. On November 30, Santa Maria was pinned during a hair vs hair match. Santa Maria was forced into the chair for her haircut and despite her rampant protests, Fujii said that the rules were the rules, and as such the show has to end with Maria having her head shaved. However, he had a change of heart after seeing how dejected Santa Maria was, and after offering to cut someone else's hair, decided to cut his own hair. Following Flamita vacating the Open the Brave Gate Championship, Santa Maria entered a tournament to crown a new winner but on January 1, 2015, she lost to Dr. Muscle in the first round. On February 4, Santa Maria defeated Jimmy Kanda and via fan support won the Open The Owarai Gate Championship, her first professional wrestling title. She lost the title to Akira Tozawa on March 29, 2015. On August 6, 2015, Millennials lost a three-way match and were as a result forced to disband. Despite this, Watanabe retained the Yosuke♥Santa Maria gimmick. On March 5, 2016, Watanabe defeated Kotoka to win the Open The Brave Gate Championship.
On May 28, Yosuke, along with BxB Hulk, YAMATO, and Kzy, formed a new unit named Tribe Vanguard. On June 19 VerserK attacked Yosuke Santa Maria and Lindaman made the save. On June 26 Lindaman claimed that he liked Maria and wanted to fight with and protect Maria. Then on July 2 VerserK attacked Maria again promoting a save from Lindaman. Five days later Lindaman was attacked by VerserK and then Maria made the save and the both formed a team named Marilyns. On July 24, Yosuke Santa Maria lost the Open The Brave Gate Championship to Eita at Kobe World Hall Pro Wrestling Festival. On August 6 Lindaman officially left Over Generation and asked YAMATO to join Tribe Vanguard and YAMATO said that it depends on his performance on the Summer Adventure Tag League. At the end of the Summer Adventure Tag League Maria and Lindaman finished their block with 2 points. It was fan decided that Lindaman would not join Tribe Vanguard with Maria slapping Lindaman, breaking up with him in the process.
- Finishing moves
- Neraiuchi (Crucifix driver)
- Signature moves
- Sky Love (jumping leg lariat)
- Spinning heel kick
- Entrance music
- "Santa Maria Walk" by Tsutomu Toya ft. Yuri Komuro