Mitsuo Yoshida (December 3, 1951), better known by his stage name Riki Chōshū(長州力 Chōshū Riki), is a semi-retired Korean-Japanese professional wrestler who is most known for his longtime work in New Japan Pro Wrestling as a wrestler and a booker. He is considered one of the most influential wrestlers in Japan in the 80's and 90's and known as the first wrestler to popularize Sasori-gatame, better known in English as Scorpion Deathlock or Sharpshooter.
After Mitsuo left New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002, he formed Fighting World of Japan Pro Wrestling(WJ), which is now known as Riki Pro as he is the promoter of the promotion. In October 2005, he returned to New Japan as a site foreman, a booker, and a part-time wrestler.
Championships and accomplishments
- PWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- PWI ranked him #30 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.
- He is of Korean descent, and participated in the 1972 Summer Olympics as a South Korean wrestling representative. His Korean name is Kwak Kwang-ung.
- The name "Riki Chōshū" means "Strength of Chōshū", the Edo Period name for Yamaguchi Prefecture.
- His nickname is "Kakumei Senshi(Fighter of Revolution)".
- Chōshū was the first "traitor heel" in a Japanese promotion. In 1983, upset at not being selected for the inaugural tournament for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, he turned on Tatsumi Fujinami during a match and formed his own stable, Kakumeigun (Revolutionary Army), which was the core for the later Japan Pro-Wrestling promotion that "invaded" All Japan Pro Wrestling.
- In recent, a comedian and Chōshū mimic Koriki Chōshū appeared and became popular in Japan. Since many young people, especially, don't know Riki Chōshū, he became famous again by appearance of Koriki. A DDT (Dramatic Dream Team) wrestler called Riki Sensyu also mimics Chōshū.