Futa Nakamura (中村風太 Nakamura Futa, born October 19, 1991 in Sakura, Chiba, Japan) is a Japanese professional wrestler, best known by the ring name Ben-K (ベン-K Ben-Kei), where he currently signed to Dragon Gate, where he is a former two-time Open The Triangle Gate Champion, one-time Open The Dream Gate Champion, a former two-time Open The Twin Gate Champion and the winner of the 2019 King of Gate.
Nakamura was trained by the Dragon Gate Dojo and made his debut in April 2016. He would work mostly on the midcard, wearing all black gear and with no particular ring character, all part of the structured learning process in Dragon Gate. Later that year, Nakamura was repackaged as "Ben-K" (ベン-K Ben-Kei), with a completely new look. He would become known for his power and force as a powerhouse. In March of the following year, Ben-K along with Big R Shimizu and Naruki Doi won the Open The Triangle Gate Championship. Ben-K along with Shimizu formed a team dubbed Big Ben. In May, Ben-K, Doi, Shimizu, Masato Yoshino, and Kotoka formed a stable named MaxiMuM. Ben-K, Shimizu, and Doi held the titles for just three months. In April of the following year, Ben-K and Shimizu won the Open The Twin Gate Championship, which they would hold for three months. In September, Ben-K turned on MaxiMuM turning heel and winning the Open The Twin Gate Championship with Shimizu for the second time, holding it for four months.
In May of the following year, R.E.D turned on Ben-K and afterwards received a significant push as a main eventer winning the 2019 King of Gate and headlining Dragon Gate's biggest annual event, Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, defeating PAC to win the Open the Dream Gate Championship, holding it for four months, before losing the title to Naruki Doi.
Professional wrestling career[edit | edit source]
Dragon Gate (2015–Present)[edit | edit source]
Debut (2015–2016)[edit | edit source]
Nakamura trained for his professional wrestling career in the Japanese promotion Dragon Gate's wrestling school called "Dragon Gate Nex" and made his debut on April 22, 2016, at Dragon Gate Nex's Sanctuary.141 show in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, where he was defeated by T-Hawk. Before his official debut through the end of 2015 and the start of 2016 Nakamura wrestled some dark matches trials. On June 26 after Nakamura made some Dark Matches in the main roster he would wrestle his first televised when he teamed with Jimmyz (Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! and Ryo "Jimmy" Saito) and they defeated Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii, and Kaito Ishida. He would then win and lose some matches and debuted as a rookie wrestler who worked mostly on the midcard, wearing all black gear and with no particular ring character, all part of the structured learning process in Dragon Gate.
On July 7 it was announced that Nakamura was going to participate in the Summer Adventure Tag League with Masaaki Mochizuki on block B. On July 27 Nakamura debuted in his is first PPV in Dragon Gate the Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival where he teamed with Jimmyz (Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy K-ness J.K.S. and Ryo "Jimmy" Saito) and they lost to Big R Shimizu and Shachihoko BOY, Stalker Ichikawa, and U-T. During the Summer Adventure Tag League Nakamura and Masaaki Mochizuki forfeit their first, second and third match due to Nakamura getting injured on the first day by an attack by VerserK. In the end, Nakamura and Mochizuki end up losing the rest of the matches in the tournament losing to the teams of Over Generation (Dragon Kid and Eita) and VerserK (Cyber Kong and Shingo Takagi) finishing the tournament with 0 points losing and forfeiting all of their matches. On November 3, 2016, at Gate of Destiny, Nakamura had a big win when he and fellow rookies of his class Hyou Watanabe and Shun Watanabe defeated Over Generation (Kaito Ishida, Punch Tominaga, and Takehiro Yamamura).
Ben-K (2016–present)[edit | edit source]
On November 11 Nakamura renamed himself to Ben-K. The name is a play on the Japanese word benkei (弁慶 Benkei) which means powerful person. After that, the General Manager Takayuki Yagi gave Ben-K and Shun Skywalker who was fellow rookie classmate Shun Watanabe an opportunity to face the former Open The Twin Gate Champions Jimmyz (Jimmy Kagetora and Jimmy Susumu). During the match, Ben-K showed new moves such as the Backdrop Hold and an attempt of a German Suplex. Later that night CIMA advised Ben-K, Shun Skywalker and Hyou Watanabe and the rookies Yuki Yoshioka and Katsumi Takashima and welcome them to Dragon Gate then he challenged them to a 10-Man Tag Team Match where his partners would be the veterans Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii, Gamma, and Dragon Kid and the match was later officialized by Dragon Gate at December 1 at the Korakuen Hall. On December 1 Ben-K, Watanabe, Skywalker and the rookies Yuki Yoshioka and Katsumi Takashima ended up losing to the veterans CIMA, Mochizuki, Kid, Fujii, and Gamma. On December 25 Masato Yoshino, Kotoka and Ben-K failed to capture the vacated Open The Triangle Gate Championship losing to VerserK (El Lindaman, Cyber Kong, and Mondai Ryu) and Jimmyz (Jimmy Susumu, Jimmy Kanda, and Ryo "Jimmy" Saito).
On January 18, 2017 Ben-K, Yoshino and Kotoka participated at the New Years Unit War 6 Man Tag Team Tournament where Ben-K scored the first win pinning Punch Tominaga later that night they came all the way into the finals were they were defeated by VerserK (T-Hawk, Shingo Takagi and El Lindaman) after the interference from the rest of the members of VerserK. After the match, VerserK attacked Ben-K, Yoshino, and Kotoka until Dr. Muscle who was later revealed to be Naruki Doi made the save and the four made an alliance against VerserK. Later, Masaaki Mochizuki and Big R Shimizu aligned to them. On March 4 Ben-K, Big R Shimizu and Naruki Doi challenged VerserK (Shingo Takagi, T-Hawk and Cyber Kong) for the Open The Triangle Gate Championship. However, Kong was injured and he was replaced by "brother" YASSHI and the match would be for the vacant titles. On March 20, 2017, Ben-K, Shimizu and Doi defeated VerserK to win the Open The Triangle Gate Champions. On April 7 Ben-K, Shimizu and Doi successfully defended the Open The Triangle Gate Champions against Jimmyz (Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy Susumu and Ryo "Jimmy" Saito). After the match, Ben-K, Shimizu, Doi, and Masato Yoshino formed a new unit. Later on May 4 Kotoka would join them and announced that the unit would be named MaxiMuM. In May Ben-K took of his first King of Gate tournament being placed at block B. Ben-K ended up losing almost all his matches defeating Yosuke Santa Maria finishing the tournament with 2 points. On July 1, Ben-K, Shimizu, and Doi lost the Open The Triangle Gate Championship to Takashi Yoshida, El Lindaman, and Shingo Takagi. On July 23 at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, Ben-K along with Kotoka and Shimizu would be part of a tournament to crown the 1# contenders to an Open the Triangle Gate Championship match later at the night, in which, they would reach the finals, losing to the tournament winners Jimmyz (Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy Susumu and Ryo "Jimmy" Saito). On September 18, after Shimizu and Kotoka failed to capture the Open the Twin Gate Championship, Ben-K and Shimizu challenged them to a match at Gate of Destiny, in which, they lost. Afterwards as part of MaxiMuM Ben-K and Shimizu formed a tag team named "Big Ben", unsuccessfully challenging CK-1 for the Open the Twin Gate Championship on November 3 at Gate of Destiny.
At the beginning of 2018, Ben-K stated that the future of Dragon Gate depended on him being at the top. He would then start having more wins, especially in singles matches, rarely losing matches with his partners being pinned. On February 11, 2018, Ben-K defeated Masaaki Mochizuki in a non-title match in just two minutes. After a brief confrontation between the two Ben-K challenged Mochizuki into a rematch but for the Open The Dream Gate Championship, in which Mochizuki accepted. Their match was announced to be part of the second night of the Champion Gate in Osaka. On March 4, at Champion Gate in Osaka Ben-K failed to defeat Mochizuki for the Open The Dream Gate Championship, after the referee was forced to stop the match. On April 1, 2018, Ben-K and Shimizu and their MaxiMuM stablemate, Naruki Doi defeated ANTIAS (Eita, T-Hawk and Takashi Yoshida) after Shimizu pinned Eita. Afterwards, Ben-K and Shimizu challenged Eita and T-Hawk to a title match for the Open The Twin Gate Championship. This led to them defeating Eita and T-Hawk to win the Open The Twin Gate Championship in their second attempt on May 6 at Dead or Alive. Following the Dead or Alive, Ben-K took part in the King of Gate, finishing the tournament with a record of two wins, one draw, and one loss, failing to advance to the semifinals after losing to YAMATO in their head-to-head match. They lost the titles to Tribe Vanguard (YAMATO and BxB Hulk) on July 22 at Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival.
On September 6, Ben-K turned on MaxiMuM and joined ANTIAS, reforming Big Ben with Shimizu who had previously had turn on MaxiMuM to join ANTIAS. Shortly after, ANTIAS renamed themselves to R.E.D. After turning heel Ben-K changed his gimmick and after his matches, Ben-K stopped talking. On September 24 at Dangerous Gate, after Masato Yoshino defended his Open The Dream Gate Championship against Naruki Doi, R.E.D came to the ring and attacked MaxiMuM and his R.E.D stablemate Big R Shimizu nominated Ben-K to challenge Yoshino for his title. Leading to the match, Yoshino wanted Ben-K to speak before their match, but he didn't talk and Yoshino also promised revenge for betraying MaxiMuM. On November 4 at Gate of Destiny, Ben-K unsuccessfully challenged Masato Yoshino for the Open The Dream Gate Championship. On December 23 at Final Gate, Ben-K and Shimizu defeated Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora and YAMATO), Speed Muscle (Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi) and MexaBlood (Bandido and Flamita) in a four-way elimination tag team match to regain the Open The Twin Gate Championship.
Since January 16, 2019, during a match between R.E.D and MaxiMuM, Shimizu accidentally attacked Ben-K on two occasions which caused some tension between them. Shimizu had previously cost R.E.D a match, with the rest of R.E.D leaving the arena without him. Shimizu's mistakes would repeat during R.E.D's matches, leading Eita to accuse him of doing it on purpose, and blamed Ben-K and Shimizu for the loses and accused them of being incompetent. On February 5, tensions would come ahead between R.E.D and the rest of the others stables in Dragon Gate except MaxiMuM, Eita would criticize each stable weak points and agreed to a match with each other on March 7. Eita would nominate himself, PAC, Kazma Sakamoto and Yasushi Kanda for the match, leaving Shimizu arguing that Ben-K and himself should be in the match due to holding the Open The Twin Gate Championship. Five days later, Eita would accidentally hit Ben-K with a chair, costing his match against U-T. Shimizu blamed Eita for Ben-K's loss and demanded an explanation, but he refused claiming they were the ones who lost the match. Ben-K and Shimizu errors led Eita to threat them that he would kick them out of the stable. Despite Big Ben, retaining the Open The Twin Gate Championship on March 3 at Champion Gate in Osaka, Eita warned them that he had no problems of kicking them out. On March 7, Tribe Vanguard won the four-way eight-man tag team elimination match, after Ben-K accidentally attacked Kanda. Shimizu would beg Eita to not kick them out of the stable, YAMATO would provoke Eita, leading him to berate the other units. General Manager Takayuki Yagi capitalized on the opportunity and announced the rules for the Steel Cage Survival match at Dead or Alive on May 6, as well multiple tag team matches between members of the respective units to decide, which member would enter in the match. Eita would select Yoshida as his partner and their opponents would be Big Ben. On April 10, Big Ben defeated Eita and Yoshida, with Shimizu pinning Eita, to represent R.E.D in the match. Afterwards, Shimizu dared Eita to kick him out of the stable. Yoshida declared that he was not on Eita's side causing tensions in R.E.D, leading Sakamoto and Kanda to choose Eita's side, dividing the stable. On April 28, Ben-K and Shimizu lost the Open the Twin Gate Championship to KAI and YAMATO, after Eita cost them the match. On May 6 at Dead or Alive, Ben-K and Eita lost to Kaito Ishida and Masato Yoshino. During the match, Ben-K refused to cooperate with Eita and later after some miscommunication, Ben-K attacked Eita, allowing Ishida and Yoshino to win the match. Later that night, after Shimizu lost the "Bonds" steel cage survival five-way match, Shimizu along with the rest of R.E.D turned on Ben-K, revealing that he was never planning on kicking Eita out, they were working together all this time, while also claiming that Eita was the leader. Later that month, Ben-K took part in the 2019 King of Gate, where he won his block with a clean record of five wins, advancing to the semifinals of the tournament. On June 6, Ben-K defeated Kzy to advance to the finals of the tournament. Two days later, Ben-K defeated his former R.E.D stablemate Eita in the finals to win the tournament. After the match, Ben-K challenged PAC to a title match for his Open The Dream Gate Championship. General Manager Takayuki Yagi announced the title match for the main event of the 2019 Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival on July 21. The following day, Ben-K would be attacked by R.E.D but Shun Skywalker made the save, with the two making an alliance against R.E.D.
On July 21, at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, Ben-K defeated PAC to win the Open The Dream Gate Championship for the first time in the main event of the show, establishing himself as one of Dragon Gate's leading figures. On August 7, Ben-K teamed with Shun Skywalker in a losing effort against YAMATO and KAI. Afterwards, YAMATO would sarcastically challenge Ben-K to a match for his title, which he accepted. On August 31 at Dangerous Gate, Ben-K defeated YAMATO to make his first successful title defense. Ben-K next challenger was Masaaki Mochizuki, who won a #1 contender battle royal match. Mochizuki was also impressed with Ben-K's recent victories over PAC and YAMATO. On October 8, Ben-K defeated Masaaki Mochizuki to make his second successful title defense. Afterwards, Ben-K called out Masato Yoshino and Yoshino challenged him to a match for the Open The Dream Gate Championship on November 4 at Gate of Destiny. At the November 4 event, Ben-K defeated Yoshino to make his third successful title defense. Afterwards, Yoshino's MaxiMuM stablemate Naruki Doi came to the ring and proclaimed as the next challenger for Ben-K's title, leading Ben-K to accept the challenge. Three days later, Ben-K and Shun Skywalker lost to Doi and Yoshino. After the match, Skywalker challenged Ben-K to match on December 4, in which Ben-K defeated Skywalker, after the match, Ben-K went for a handshake but Skywalker refused it, ending their partnership.
On December 15, at Final Gate, Ben-K lost the Open The Dream Gate Championship to Naruki Doi, in his fourth title defense, ending his seven months undefeated streak. Three days later, Ben-K began an alliance with YAMATO to form the Dragon Gate stable in order to unite all Dragon Gate generation of wrestlers against Toryumon and R.E.D in a "Generation War". In January 2020, Ben-K and YAMATO took part in a tournament to crown the new Open The Twin Gate Champions, losing to the R.E.D duo of BxB Hulk and Kazma Sakamoto in the finals of the tournament on January 15. On February 29 on the first night of the Champion Gate in Osaka, Ben-K, Strong Machine J, and Dragon Dia defeated Toryumon's Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, and Kenichiro Arai to win the Open The Triangle Gate Championship. From May 17 until May 24, Ben-K took part in the 2020 King of Gate, losing in the second round to eventual winner Eita, eliminating him from the tournament. On September 21, at Dangerous Gate, Ben-K, Dia and Machine lost the Open The Triangle Gate Championship to R.E.D's Diamante, Kazma Sakamoto and Takashi Yoshida. On November 15 at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, after Shun Skywalker won the Open The Dream Gate Championship, Ben-K challenged him to a title match. On December 20 at Final Gate, Ben-K unsucessfully challenged Skywalker for the Open The Dream Gate Championship. Following the match, it was announced that Ben-K had suffured a concussion during the match. Seven days later, after R.E.D forced Toryumon to disband, YAMATO decided to disband the Dragon Gate Generation stable, ending the "Generation War".
Ben-K made his return from injury on January 31 taking part of the Open the Twin Gate #1 Contender's One Night Tournament alongside Shuji Kondo. Ben-K and Kondo made into finals of the tournament, losing to Masaaki Mochizuki and Takashi Yoshida. On February 5, Ben-K formed a stable with Keisuke Okuda, Dragon Kid, and YAMATO, with the name of the stable being revealed on March 4. At the event, the new stable was named High-End.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Factions[edit | edit source]
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- Ben-K Bomb (Deadlift gutwrench powerbomb)
- Sodegarami (Grounded full nelson sleeper)
- Signature moves
- Argentine backbreaker rack, sometimes dropped into a facebuster
- Ben-K Crush (Headbutt)
- Gutwrench slam
- Multiple suplex variations
- Back to belly, sometimes while bridging
- Belly to belly
- Missile dropkick
- Running shoulder tackle
- Sitout swinging side slam
- With Big R Shimizu
- Double team finishing moves
- Pop-up (Shimizu) into a spear (Ben-K)
- Belly to Belly Suplex (Ben-K) followed by an OTAKEBI (Shimizu)
- Double Spear
- Double team finishing moves
- "Soul Shouter"
- Entrance themes
- "Dragon Storm 2007 (Instrumental Version)" by JAM Project
- "Oriental Weapon" by TUSK
- "1st FINGER" by 21g (used as part of MaxiMuM)
Championships and Accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- Dragon Gate
- Open The Dream Gate Championship (1 time)
- Open The Twin Gate Championship (2 times) – with Big R Shimizu
- Open The Triangle Gate Championship (2 times) – with Big R Shimizu and Naruki Doi (1) and Dragon Dia and Strong Machine J (1)
- King of Gate (2019)
- Ashiyanikki Cup 6 Man Tag Team Tournament (2020) – with Dragon Dia and Strong Machine J
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Luchas de Apuestas record[edit | edit source]
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|Naruki Doi (member)||Big R Shimizu (member; Ben-K)||Aichi, Japan||Dead or Alive||May 6, 2019|||
References[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
<gallery columns="3" spacing="small" widths="200" captionalign="center" bordersize="medium" bordercolor="black" captionsize="small"> Ben-Kbomb.jpg|Ben-K preforming the Ben-K Bomb on T-Hawk Ben-KSpear.jpg|YAMATO preforming a Spear on T-HawkBen-KArgentine.jpg|YAMATO performing an Argentine Backbreaker on T-Hawk