Awards and Recognition
Tokyo Sports Grand Prix:
Outstanding Performance Award (2011)
Pro Wrestling Illustrated:
Highest Rank - #6 Wrestler of the Year in 2012
Puroresu Central Awards:
2nd Place - Wrestler of the Year (2011)
1st Place - Match of the Year vs. Suwama (2011)
Wrestling Observer Awards:
Five Star Match (x7)
Rookie of the Year (1993)
Match of the Year (1996 and 2004)
Tag Team of the Year (1996, 1997, and 1999)
September 6th, 1997 vs. Mitsuharu Misawa
July 24th, 1998 vs. Kenta Kobashi
December 5th, 1998 w/ Kenta Kobashi vs. Vader and Stan Hansen
July 27th, 2001 vs. Mitsuharu Misawa
July 10th, 2004 vs. Kenta Kobashi
January 22nd, 2006 vs. Akira Taue
March 1st, 2009 vs. Kensuke Sasaki
October 23rd, 2011 vs. Suwama
Akiyama with an Assisted Exploder
A regular Exploder by Akiyama
Akiyama makes his entrance, August 2007
Another Exploder, this one on Shiozaki
Akiyama and Rikio with the GHC Tag Team Championships
Jun Akiyama was born on October 9th, 1969, in Izumi City, Osaka, Japan. He was very active in school from swimming, amaresu, to even judo. Once he graduated High School he went on to college and he pursued amaresu in the University's team. He was spotted by the AJPW scouts and he was asked if he would like to train for them. He would prove himself in training and on September 17th, 1992, he would make his debut against Kenta Kobashi. Even though he lost the match he showed great skill for being a rookie and he was given the moniker "Supernova." He would continue to show great skill that seemed to only get better from match to match. Around 1994 he began to wrestle in tag team matches more often to the point that they started to become his specialty. He would though continue to wrestle in singles matches and won the Asunaro Cup on January 29th, 1994 when he defeated Takao Omori. On January 29th, 1995 he won his first championship, the All Asia Tag Team Title with Takao Omori. In 1996, Akiyama would have multiple 5 star matches, all with Misawa, including against Kawada and Taue on May 23rd; Williams and Ace on June 7th; and again against Kawada and Taue on Dec. 6th. The match on May 23rd would also be a title win for AJPW World Tag Team Title, and they would hold the titles until September 6th, when they would be beaten by Williams and Ace.
On September 6th, 1997, he would get a title shot against Mitsuharu Misawa. He would not win the match, but it showed that he would eventually be a top contender for a title run in the near future. Then on July 24th, 1998, he would again get another title opportunity this time against Kenta Kobashi. Yet again though, he would not walk out the victor. In 1998, Akiyama would find success in being aligned with the new group called Burning. On December 5th, Akiyama and Kobashi would win the World Strongest Tag League when they defeated Vader and Hansen. On January 7th, 1999, Akiyama and Kobashi won the AJPW Tag Team titles when they defeated Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue. They would hold onto the titles until they were defeated by Johnny Ace and Bart Gunn on June 9th. They added Kentaro Shiga to the mix and in 1999, they would win a One Night 6 Man Tag Team Tournament when they defeated Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa, and Masahito Kakihara when Shiga pinned Kakihara. Akiyama and Kobashi would not stay out of the title hunt for long and on October 23, they would win back the titles by beating Mitsuharu Misawa and Yoshinari Ogawa. They would hold onto the titles until February of 2000, when they would be one upped by Vader and Williams. Then on February 27th, 2000, Akiyama defeated Mitsuharu Misawa in one of his last big victories before he joined in the departure to pro wrestling NOAH.
On NOAH's 1st Show Jun Akiyama and Kenta Kobashi defeated Mitsuharu Misawa and Akira Taue in a 2 out 3 Falls Tag Match after Akiyama choked out Kobashi. Akiyama completely changed his look when he arrived in NOAH, as he got rid of his classic blue attire for a new white attire and died his hair. With it came a little bit more of an attitude and cockiness. On July 27th, 2001, Akiyama became the second GHC Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Mitsuharu Misawa. He would defend the title against a few notable opponents including Vader and New Japan's Yuji Nagata. He would though lose the title to Yoshinari Ogawa on April 7th, 2002. Soon after Akiyama took charge of his group, known as STERNESS, that included Akitoshi Saito and Makoto Hashi. STERNESS would gain ground as a faction when on September 23rd, 2002, Akiyama along with Saito defeated the Team of the Wild II, Takeshi Rikioh and Takeshi Morishima. They would be successful at defending the titles against such opponents as Kobashi and Shiga, Vader and Scorpio, as well as Zero-1's Masato Tanaka and Shinjiro Ohtani. They would not be beaten until June 6th, 2003, by Kobashi and Honda. Coming in to 2004 Akiyama started to seem overlooked a bit and his attitude would start to kick in. It would lead him to creating the GHC Hardcore Openweight Title. This title had a special stipulation that if you can manage to last for more than 15 minutes with the champion you would become the new champion. Akiyama would claim himself as the first champion and he would be successful at keeping it around his waist till he would face Naomichi Marufuji on October 16th, 2004, when Marufuji would win the title by countout.
Jun Akiyama could be called many things... Cocky, Arrogant, and most notably Stern. He is also a very strong wrestler with his devastating Exploder Suplex, which has knocked out his competitors as well as himself. He has found much success in his career, but he has always seemed to have gotten the short end of the stick when it has come to letting him truly shine above everyone else. He has though had some great matches over the years involving Kobashi, Misawa, Nagata, and Marufuji. It is yet to truly be seen if NOAH will ever let him get another title run in the future, but regardless he has already left his mark in puroresu.
One of the most gifted wrestlers in NOAH, Akiyama started channeling the grumpiness in 2005 as he attempted to get back the GHC Heavyweight Championship. First, he went for the GHC Tag Team Championship with Sugiura, but lost to Suzuki and Marufuji. Throughout the year, every time he paired up with Suzuki, it would escalate into a heated exchanged. Besides feuding with Suzuki, Akiyama also took part in the World-1 Tournament. While he defeated Shibata in the first round, he lost to Sapp in the second. Akiyama was also pinned by Taue in a September tag match, one of the few times that Akiyama's shoulders were against the mat in 2005. Akiyama plans to get his revenge on Taue though by taking the GHC Heavyweight Championship from him in 2006.
2006 was a very up and down year for Akiyama. It started great, as on January 22nd he defeated Akira Taue to win his second GHC Heavyweight Championship. Akiyama would injure his ribs in February however, and his March 5th match versus Suzuki was a bit lackluster due to the injury. He would come out victorious however, and on April 23rd he would beat Masao Inoue in his second defense of the title. Akiyama scored a big pinfall in a tag match over the returning Takayama on July 22nd, but on September 9th he would be upset by Jr. Heavyweight Naomichi Marufuji and lost the GHC Heavyweight Championship. After that Akiyama began teaming with the healed-up Hashi once again to try to help him get to the next level.
In 2007 Akiyama had a solid year but never got a chance to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Championship that he lost the year before. Akiyama started the year with a hot streak, easily beating Hashi in January and Yone in March. On June 8th, Akiyama would team with Rikio to challenge D-Lo Brown and Buchanan for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They would win, bringing the titles back to the promotion and giving Akiyama his first GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Championship since 2003. They would successfully defend the titles three times before they would be forced to vacate the titles due to an injury to Rikio. In the GHC Heavyweight Title Next Challenger Tournament, Akiyama defeated Shiozaki, Honda, and Sugiura but lost to Takeshi Morishima in the semi-finals. On December 2nd, Akiyama teamed with Misawa to battle the returning Kobashi and Takayama, with his team coming up victorious.
2009 was an up and down year for Akiyama, as he had title success but also saw the death of a friend and injuries slow him down. On March 1st, Akiyama defeated Kensuke Sasaki to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship for the third time, and he successfully defended the title against Shiozaki in April. In the Global Tag League, he teamed with Shuhei Taniguchi and the pair came in 7th place (of eight), but Akiyama was never pinned. Akiyama was set for a title defense on June 14th against Rikio, but Akiyama pulled out of the fight after Misawa's death and he forfeited the title. Akiyama returned in mid-July to a full schedule and on October 3rd he teamed with KENTA to take on the reunion of the Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue) with KENTA taking the fall. Akiyama took a leave of absence in December due to personal reasons but returned in 2010.