Takeda is a Juarez legend, most notable in the late 90s and early 00s.
Takeda was born on August 29, 1969 in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, raised in military bases in the United States. He was adopted by a United States soldier. As a child, he lived in an American military base in Germany. His mother noticed, he was a very interactive child. A the age of 8, she inscribed him at a Kempo Karate Academy, with Roberto Nava in El Paso, Texas. He attended the academy for four years and by the age of 12, he earned a black belt 2nd dan. He also practiced boxing with Ricardo "Pajarito" Moreno at Boys Club in El Paso. He won a medal in a youth Golden Gloves tournament.
After his parents' divorce he moved to Ciudad Juarez. He did not know anyone and barely could speak Spanish. Helped his mother with the house expenses, he could not find a job in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. One night, there was a Lucha Libre event at Gimnasio Josué Neri Santos. He had no money, entered by an open window to see the show. The young man fell in love again of the sport he watched as a child. That experience made him decide to become a luchador to earn money and help his mother and little brother.
Went to train at Gimnasio Sajid where he met Babe Sharon, who was the instructor of Olympic wrestling and Lucha Libre. Still underage, he used a fake credential to donate plasma in El Paso and get money to pay his classes. He believed that telling to Sharon about his black belt in Karate would be an advantage for him to debut faster. Sharon on the other hand, believed his trainee was showing off and did not believe his trainee did not speak Spanish well. For this reason, he received a beating to not come back again, but he came back on the following day and received another beating even worse than the previous, and he kept coming back. After several days of enduring beatings, Sharon finally accepted him in his class.
Fortunately for him, Babe Sharon spoke English. Years later his maestro told him: "I charged you for the Lucha Libre classes, but I forgot to collect the fee for Spanish classes." Babe Sharon was regarded as a very strict instructor. The young wrestler passed his exam with Rocky Star to get his credential as professional wrestler.
In despite of working as a Karate instructor, he could not afford to make a mask and wrestling gear. Sharon introduced him Juan Salvador Campos (Chavita) a renown mask and gear designer. He saved money for a whole month to pay for the gear. When he received his ring name, Sharon made him study about his gimmick. His character's name and image were inspires on the historical character Takeda Shingen, a prominent daimyō in feudal Japan with an exceptional military prestige.
When Chavita and he saw the mask and gear design, they did not like it. They decided to make changes until they got the current design. Takeda's mask color is golden resembling the Asian color skin. The gold color would also represent the category of the famous Shingen Takeda. Moreover, the novice wrestler always wanted to use a golden mask. Unfortunately, Chavita ran out of golden cloth for the first mask and he used a mustard color instead. The hair resembling the samurai hair cut was made of real hair, in fact it was his mother's hair when she was young.
Enter The Ninja
Sharon presented him to Ing. Kuckle, the owner of Promociones del Pueblo. The promoter asked him to perform katas, and announced him in the main event on Thursday April 12, 1984 at Gimnasio Josué Neri Santos. However, the promoter did not like the name of Shingen Takeda and changed for El Ninja, because of the success of the American ninja movies like Enter The Ninja. He went with El Impostor & Rocky Star against El Terremoto, Babe Sharon & Crazy Boy 32. His debut was a success, but he ended injured with an apuestas challenge on that Sunday. The challenge was accepted by the rudos and the promotion. Julio Quiroga and Tony Barbeta were added to the match.
In his own words Takeda said: "La verdad esa noche dormi sentado por el dolor y pense muy serio en el retiro." Even with his injuries, El Ninja went victorious against the veteran Tony Barbetta on Sunday 15, 1984 at Gimnasio Neri Santos.
El Ninja spoke in English on TV interviews and was billed from Japan. Another important apuestas victory was alongside Príncipe Jaime against Mr. Krimen I & II (Maquina 45) on June, 1984 at Arena 2 Caminos, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. After his rookie year, he continued as Takeda for the rest of his career.
One year after his debut, Babe Sharon made a phone call to Bronco Billy and Takeda to tell them there were tryouts for new talent in UWA. Sharon asked them if they were interested on participate, he would help them to find a place. Both accepted the opportunity. Bronco Billy and Takeda were announced in local newspapers and wrestling magazines about their tour to Mexico City. After an odyssey, he met with Babe Sharon, Rudy Reyna, Yan Kan, Bronco Billy, and "his brother" Brontes. Takeda passed his tryout and made his debut in UWA at the age of 17. He had short stints in AAA and IWRG in 2007.
In 1988, Takeda had a feud against his maestro Babe Sharon. During a match Sharon tried to rip Takeda's mask off but Sharon put his fingers in Takeda's eye socket making his right eye coming out. Takeda lost his right and had to use an artificial one. For this reason, he had to retire inmediately and move back to Ciudad Juárez.
In 1990, Takeda returned to UWA, but many people did not know it was another person. The history behind this, is that Takeda was retired and recovering of his eye injury. Brontes and Takeda were best friends; one day, Brontes asked Babe Sharon about his friend's health. Sharon told him that his trainee was retired believing that he would never come back, he decided to give his permission and blessing to Brontes to use the name and image of Takeda. and many people believed they were the same person.
When Takeda made his comeback, he learned there was another wrestler using his name and image. Infuriated, he complained with the Commission and the National Syndicate without knowing who was behind the mask. When he finally discovered it was friend Brontes, he gave his blessing. They shared the Takeda persona, but following different paths. There is a relationship of mutual respect between both. One different between them is that Takeda's mask color is golden while Bronte's is yellow-mustard.
Takeda has an impressive championship and apuestas record. All of his apuestas matches are well documented. There are also other hairs wins of corrupt referees such as Chilo Florez (twice), El Catrin (3 times), Papi Chulo, El Cholo, (3 times), and Osito Ramírez.
According to Takeda's myspace page, and Facebook he held championships which are not listed above and are generally ignored. It's only a small part of his career, but is a reoccurring on this page.
He lists the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship, explaining he won the a match for the title against El Dandy but was never recognized due to a problem with the commission. El Dandy was champion in 1995 and 1996, but there's no record of a title change, and it's be unlike CMLL at that time to have a unaffiliated luchador to win one of their championships. There was a championship match between them and Takeda won in the ring, due to personal problems between the then commissioner Pedro "El Bombero" Nuñez and the promoter stripping him from the title one week later and giving it back to El Dandy.
Takeda also claims having won the Mexican National Atomicos Championship with Maravilloso, Enigma and El Samuray, which he then lost to Los Vatos Locos and Los Vipers in a cage match for AAA TV taping. That cage match does appear to have taken place on the March 21, 1999 in Chihuahua. However, detailed histories of this championship have been published, and there is no record of Takeda's team defeating Vatos Locos for this championship, as claimed. Vatos Locos are recorded as defending the titles as recently as two weeks before that cage match, which would leave only a little time for a title match. Takeda's team being included in the match suggests they were involved with the titles during that period at that time (none of them were AAA regulars), but there's no record of them being champion. The title reign of Takeda's team would of a week, he produced a picture of his team against Los Vatos Locos.
Takeda is regarded as one biggest fan favorite wrestlers in Ciudad Juárez. He is well known for training new generations of wrestlers and a very strict trainer. There is El Hijo de Takeda who has been continuing with his name.
|Year||Title||Winner(s)||Type||Loser(s)||Arena and/or Place|
|1995.??.??||NWA WORLD LH||Takeda||Change||El Dandy||Gimnasio Josué Neri Santos - Ciudad Juárez|
|1999.03.14||MEX ATOMICOS||Takeda, Maravilloso, El Samuray & Enigma||Change||Los Vatos Locos||Gimnasio Josué Neri Santos - Ciudad Juárez|
|1999.03.21||MEX ATOMICOS||Los Vatos Locos||Change||Takeda, Maravilloso, El Samuray & Enigma
|Gimnasio Josué Neri Santos - Ciudad Juárez|
Luchas de apuestas record
Los Vatos Locos vs Los Regionales de Juárez for the Mex Atómicos Titles, 1999
mask vs mask against Brazo de Platino
winning Brazo de Platino's mask
Takeda & Maravilloso with Titanic's mask
getting El Signo's hair
winning Coco Amarillo's mask