One Piece is the biggest manga property in Japan, and one of the most popular series worldwide, so it is no surprise when you find fans of the series in an unconventional place.
One such unconventional fan is the former NEVER Openweight Champion of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Minoru Suzuki, who showed his love of One Piece during his title match at Wrestle Kingdom 12.
Wrestle Kingdom 12 is the biggest event of the year for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, as it's the culmination of a year's worth of work for the wrestlers and Suzuki was in the middle of a huge feud with his opponent Hirooki Goto. The feud was so bad, the two had agreed to a "haircut match" in which the loser had to shave their head.
Legendary Pro Wrestler, OP super-fan, and personal friend of Oda; Minoru Suzuki, just lost a hair vs hair match a couple nights ago, so he had to shave his Devil Fruit haircut. :-( from OnePiece
Suzuki unfortunately lost the match and the championship, meaning that Wrestle Kingdom 12 was the last match to feature Suzuki with his now infamous haircut, where he shaved the One Piece's Devil Fruit pattern into his head.
Suzuki is an openly avid fan of the series, and a personal friend of series creator Eiichiro Oda, and his anime fandom even extends to his work. He once voiced the character Minoru Kazeno in episode 336 of the One Piece anime, and his current theme "Kaze ni Nare" is sung by notable anime songstress Ayumi Nakamura.
Suzuki wears his fandom on his sleeve, and is one of the many reasons fans around the world tune in for New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has been collected into 87 volumes, with a few chapters yet to be included. It has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author, and is the best selling manga series worldwide with 430 million copies sold worldwide.
Eiichiro Oda also revealed some upcoming news for One Piece's future at Jump Festa 2018. Not only will the manga see Wano sooner rather than later, the next villain of the series is "one of the legends which lurks in the One Piece world. The greatest enemy ever for Straw Hats will hinder their way...Can you believe Marineford Summit War will look 'cute' compared to that?"
One Piece is currently in the middle of the "Whole Cake Island" arc and is now streaming on Crunchyroll and FunimationNOW.