|Born||December 20, 1956|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Junji Hirata|
Sonny Two Rivers
Strong Machine #1
Super Strong Machine
Black Strong Machine
Super Love Machine
Super Strong Azteca Machine
|Billed height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Billed weight||115 kg (254 lb)|
|Trained by||Tokyo Joe|
|Debut||August 26, 1978|
"September 7, 1984"
|Retired||June 19, 2018|
Junji Hirata (平田 淳嗣, Hirata Junji) (born December 20, 1956) is a retired Japanese professional wrestler currently working as a trainer for the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) promotion, known primarily by his ring name Super Strong Machine (スーパー・ストロング・マシン, Sūpā Sutorongu Mashin).
Hirata applied and was approved to the New Japan dojo on May 13, 1978, and made his debut for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) on August 26, against Yoshiaki Fujiwara. In November 1982, he left on an overseas training expedition to Mexico, and later Canada, where in Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling he would create the famous Super Strong Machine persona, as well as use a First Nations gimmick as Sonny Two Rivers (billed as the son of Billy Two Rivers, an actual First Nations chief). In April 1986, he left NJPW with Riki Choshu for rival wrestling promotion, All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW). In June 1987, he returned to NJPW and would soon capture the IWGP Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions with George Takano, Hiro Saito, and Shinya Hashimoto as his tag team partners.
In the fall of 1986, the World Wrestling Federation introduced a stable of wrestlers called The Machines -- "The Giant Machine" (André the Giant), "Big Machine" (Blackjack Mulligan), and "Super Machine" (Bill Eadie) -- based on Junji Hirata's popular Super Strong Machine gimmick. In 1984, Hirata had tried to make his own "Machines" stable with Korean wrestler Yang Seung-hi and veteran Yasu Fuji as Strong Machine #2 and Strong Machine #3 respectively, but this version of the stable did not have the exposure or push of their American counterparts. Hirata briefly turned face and became "Super" Strong Machine, feuding with his former partners. When Hirata left for Japan Pro, Fuji retired and Yang went back to South Korea.
In December 1994, after Masahiro Chono turned on him, he finally unmasked, dropping the Super Strong Machine character and wrestling under his real name. He revived the Super Strong Machine persona for the first time in six years in October 2000, having a brief feud with T2000 Machine (Tatsutoshi Goto). In 2005, Hirata, as the masked persona of Black Strong Machine, became a regular fixture on NJPW shows reconciled with Chono and part of his Black New Japan stable. He also had a brief stint in AJPW as Super Love Machine, the leader of the Love Machines, this time taking as partners Arashi as Love Machine Storm and Gran Hamada as Mini Love Machine. Whatever role he plays, Junji Hirata is a very respected veteran and is well liked by wrestlers, officials, and fans alike.
In the late 2000s, Hirata was a founding member of the Legend and Seigigun stables. He wrestled his final match on April 2, 2014, at Wataru Inoue's retirement event. He now works as a trainer at the NJPW Dojo. On April 12, 2018, it was announced that he was retiring from active competition. His retirement ceremony was held on June 19 at Korakuen Hall.
|1||Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori) defeat Kushida & Ren Narita||Tag Team match||8:35|
|2||Togi Makabe, Jyushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask defeat Toa Henare, Tomoyuki Oka & Shota Umino||Six-man Tag Team match||7:57|
|3||Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & Taka Michinoku) defeat Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero, Yoh & Sho)||Six-man Tag Team match||6:50|
|4||Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) defeat Suzuki-gun (Takashi Iizuka & Taichi)||Tag Team match||9:35|
|5||Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi) defeat Michael Elgin, Jeff Cobb & FinJuice (Juice Robinson & David Finlay)||Eight-man Tag Team match||14:51|
|6||Super Strong Machine Ace, Super Strong Machine Buffalo, Super Strong Machine Justice, Super Strong Machine Don & Super Strong Machine No. 69 (with Super Strong Machine) defeat Los Ingobernables de Japón (Tetsuya Naito, Evil, Sanada, Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi)||Super Strong Machine Retirement Commemorative Ten-man Tag Team match||15:33|
Hirata's son trained in the Dragon Gate Dojo and debuted for the promotion in 2019 under the name Strong Machine J.
(Shown: July 5) featured Vince McMahon interviewing Bobby Heenan in which he showed Heenan footage of Gene Okerlund finding the Machines in Japan, with the Machines saying they were coming to the WWF and would have Capt. Lou Albano as their manager
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)