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|Ring name(s)||Kitao Kōji|
|Real name||Kitao Kōji|
|Billed height||199 cm (6 ft 61⁄2 in)|
|Billed weight||138 kg (300 lb; 21.7 st)|
Kitao Kōji (北尾光司) is a retired Japanese professional wrestler, sumo, and mixed martial artist.
After being the first yokozuna ever to be expelled by the Japanese Sumo Association in 1988, Kitao Kōji decided to become a professional wrestler, after rumors of joining the National Football League in the United States. He was trained for pro wrestling in the NJPW Dojo, especially by Sakaguchi Seiji and by Lou Thesz in the United States.
His unofficial debut took place in 1989 in the American Wrestling Association, teaming with Masa Saitō as the masked Monster Machine. In early 1990, he returned to Japan to prepare for his official debut.
New Japan Pro Wrestling
Kitao made his official debut as a professional wrestler on 1990/2/10, at the joint New Japan/All Japan supershow Super Fight '90 in the Tokyo Dome, where he defeated Crusher Bam Bam Bigelow. During his time in NJPW, Kitao would wrestle the likes of Bigelow, Punisher Dice Morgan, Larry Cameron, Scott Hall, Mike Kirschner, Big Van Vader, Steve Williams, and Vladimir Berkovich, among others. In tag team compeition, he was teaming up with the likes of Saitō, Chōshū Riki, Kimura Kengo, and Hashimoto Shin'ya, among others. However, in 1990/7, Kitao was fired from NJPW, due to disrespectful conduct towards Chōshū, using ethnic discrimination.
Super World Sports
Kitao then moved to SWS in 1990/11, where he joined Tenryu Genichiro's Revolution stable. In 1990/12, Kitao took part in a SWS/WWF Tournament, where he lost to Tenryu in the finals. On 1991/3/24, he teamed up with Tenryu to defeat Demolition at WrestleMania VII in Los Angeles. Six days later on 3/30 at the Tokyo Dome, Kitao lost to John Tenta. Two days later on 4/1 in Kobe, he had a rematch against Tenta. During the match, Kitao decided to shoot on Tenta. The match ended when Kitao was disqualified for kicking the referee. After the match, he immediately grabbed the microphone and announced to the crowd that wrestling was fake. Three days later on 4/4, SWS held an emergency board meeting to formally fire Kitao for his actions. After his firing, he decided to take a hiatus.
Return to puroresu
After taking a hiatus to learn martial arts, Kitao returned to puroresu for the shoot-style UWF International in 1992/5. On 1992/5/8, he defeated Yamazaki Kazuo in his first match back. Five months later on 10/23, he fought Takada Nobuhiko in a Different Style Fight, in which he lost in the third round. Although it was originally scheduled to be a draw and Takada knocked him out, the fight proved that he was back in puroresu. He would form his own promotion Kitao Pro-Wrestling, which evolved into a stable called Bukō Dōjō, when he joined Wrestle Association R in 1994. Among the wrestlers he had in his stable included Mochizuki Masaaki and Okamura Shigeo. In 1997, he changed his ring name to Kitao Mitsuharu. He would hold only one championship in his entire career: the WAR World Six-Man Tag Team Championship, before retiring on 1998/10/11.
After retiring, he returned to sumo in 2003 as a coach for his former stable.