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EVIL
EVIL
Birth name Takaaki Watanabe (渡辺 高章, Watanabe Takaaki)
Born January 26 1987 (1987-01-26) (age 33)[1]
Mishima, Shizuoka, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) EVIL
Takaaki Watanabe
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Weight 106 kg (234 lb)[2]
Trained By Animal Hamaguchi[1]
Debut May 13, 2011[1]

  Takaaki Watanabe (渡辺 高章, Watanabe Takaaki, born January 26, 1987) is a Japanese professional wrestler trained by Animal Hamaguchi. Watanabe has worked for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) since his debut in 2011, and has also competed in the United States for companies including Global Force Wrestling (GFW)[3] and Ring of Honor (ROH). He is currently working under the ring name Evil (stylized in all capital letters), where he is currently one-third of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion in his fourth reign, while also being a former one-time NEVER Openweight Champion, a former three-time NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion and the winner of the 2017 and 2018 World Tag League.[2]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2011–2013)Edit

Watanabe made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) on May 13, 2011,[1] wrestling primarily as a Young Lion and in the lower cards of shows and remained with the promotion until October 2013, when after King of Pro-Wrestling, announced that he was being sent on a learning excursion to the United States.[4]

Ring of Honor (2014–2015)Edit

At Global Wars '15 the first night May 15 he teamed with Silas Young in a losing effort against Gedo and Moose. The following night May 16, he was defeated by Silas Young.

On the June 27 episode of ROH Wrestling, he lost to Adam Page after Colby Corino attacked Watanabe. On the July 4 episode of ROH Wrestling Dalton Castle would defeat Watanabe. On July 23, ROH announced that House of Truth member Donovan Dijak will battle Watanabe in a singles match that will be taped exclusively for ROH's YouTube Wrestling Channel. This occurred July 24 at Death Before Dishonor XIII where Dijak defeated Watanabe.

On August 22 at Field of Honor, Watanabe qualified for a ROH World Television Championship match by winning a 9-man gauntlet match. September 18 at All Star Extravaganza VII he teamed with Will Ferrara to defeat Donovan Dijak and Greg James. On September 19, Watanabe received his shot at The Television Title facing Jay Lethal but was unsuccessful in his attempt.

Return to NJPW (2015–present)Edit

On October 12, 2015, Watanabe returned to NJPW at King of Pro-Wrestling, where he was revealed as Tetsuya Naito's associate during his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi. Watanabe's outside interfence in the match was stopped by Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata, leading to Naito suffering a loss.[5] In a post-match interview, Naito gave Watanabe the new name "King of Darkness" Evil.[6] Under the new name, Evil became affiliated with Naito's Los Ingobernables de Japón stable.[2] In December, Evil and Naito won their block in the 2015 World Tag League with a record of five wins and one loss, advancing to the finals of the tournament.[7] On December 9, Evil and Naito were defeated in the finals by Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma.[8] In early March, Evil took part in the 2016 New Japan Cup in which he was eliminated in the first round by Tomohiro Ishii.[9] On March 20, Evil unsuccessfully challenged Ishii for the ROH World Television Championship.[10] Throughout July 18 to August 14, Evil entered the 2016 G1 Climax where he finished his block with four wins and five loses, thus failing to advance. Despite his failure to advance, Evil scored two big wins by defeating IWGP Intercontinental Champion Michael Elgin and NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata on the last day.

On November 5 at Power Struggle, EVIL won his first title, when he defeated Katsuyori Shibata for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Ten days later, Evil lost the title back to Shibata in Singapore. At the end of the year, Evil took part in the 2016 World Tag League, teaming with stablemate Sanada. The two finished second in their block with a record of five wins and two losses, tied with block winners Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma, but failed to advance to the finals due to losing the head-to-head match against Makabe and Honma.[11] On January 4, 2017, at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, Evil, BUSHI and SANADA won a four-team gauntlet match to become the new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions.[12] They lost the title to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi the next day,[13] before regaining it on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka.[14] In March, EVIL made it to the semifinals of the 2017 New Japan Cup, before losing to Bad Luck Fale.[15] On April 4, L.I.J. lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ricochet and Ryusuke Taguchi in their second defense,[16] before regaining it on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2017.[17] During the 2017 G1 Climax on August 5, EVIL picked up a major win over reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, Okada's first singles defeat in nearly a year.[18][19] EVIL went on to finish third in his block with a record of six wins and three losses.[20] On October 9 at King of Pro-Wrestling, EVIL received his first shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but was defeated by Okada. In December, EVIL and SANADA won their block in the 2017 World Tag League with a record of five wins and two losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament.[21] On December 11, they defeated Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) in the finals to win the tournament.[22] Six days later, EVIL, BUSHI and SANADA lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Guerrillas of Destiny and Bad Luck Fale in their fourth defense.[23]

On January 4, 2018, at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome, Evil and Sanada defeated the Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship for the first time.[24] They lost the titles to The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) on June 9 at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall. Later that night, EVIL saved his L.I.J. stablemate Tetsuya Naito from a post-match assault against Chris Jericho. From July 14 until August 11, EVIL took part in the 2018 G1 Climax, finishing the tournament with a record of five wins and four losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. On October 8, at King of Pro-Wrestling, EVIL was scheduled to face Zack Sabre Jr., but he was attacked by Jericho during his entrance. He unsuccessfully challenged Jericho for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship on November 3 at Power Struggle. From November 17 until December 7, EVIL and SANADA took part of the 2018 World Tag League, finishing the tournament with a record of ten wins and three losses, advancing to the finals. On December 9, EVIL and SANADA defeated reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) to win the 2018 World Tag League, becoming the second ever team to win the tournament in two consecutive years. On January 4, 2019 at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome, EVIL and SANADA defeated the Guerrillas of Destiny and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) in a three-way match to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship for the second time. They lost the titles to Guerrillas of Destiny on February 23, 2019 at Honor Rising: Japan. From July 6 until August 10, EVIL took part in the 2019 G1 Climax, where he finished the tournament with a record of four wins and five losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. Despite this, EVIL against Kota Ibushi during the tournament, resulted in EVIL challenging Ibushi for his Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship match contract. On October 14 at King of Pro-Wrestling, EVIL unsucessfully challenged Ibushi for his Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate. From November 16 until December 8, EVIL and SANADA took part in the 2019 World Tag League. EVIL and SANADA entered the final day with a chance to win the tournament, but a loss against Juice Robinson and David Finlay cost them the chance to win the tournament.

On January 5, 2020, in the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, EVIL, BUSHI and Shingo Takagi won a four-team gauntlet match to become the new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions.

In wrestlingEdit

  • Finishing moves
    • Banshee Muzzle (Arm trap facelock)[25][26]
    • Everything Is Evil (STO)[2]
    • Darkness Scorpion (Sharpshooter)
  • Signature moves
    • Darkness Falls[2] (Fireman's carry spinebuster)[27]
    • Discus Lariat
    • Double arm suplex[28]
    • Fisherman buster
    • German suplex[28]
    • Half & Half suplex
    • Running elbow[28]
    • Standing modifed indian deathlock surfboard stomp
    • Uppercut[28]
  • With Tetsuya Naito
    • Double-team finishing moves
      • Out of Control (Double-team gorilla press slam)[29]
  • With SANADA
    • Double-team finishing moves
      • Magic Killer (Aided snap swinging neckbreaker)[30]
  • Nicknames
    • "King of Darkness"[2]
  • Entrance themes
    • "Go for Broke" by Yonosuke Kitamura[31] (2011–2013)
    • "Black Deeds" by Yonosuke Kitamura[32] (2015–present)

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Takaaki Watanabe's New Japan Pro Wrestling profile . Archived from the original on 2015-10-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Evil's New Japan Pro Wrestling profile .
  3. Global Force Wrestling profile .
  4. King of Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2015-10-12.
  5. Meltzer, Dave 2015-10-11. NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 10-11: Kazuchika Okada vs. A.J. Styles for IWGP heavyweight title . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2015-10-12.
  6. ja:注目の“内藤のパレハ”の正体は元ヤングライオン渡辺高章=新日本 (in Japanese). Sports Navi. Yahoo! (2015-10-13). Archived from the original on 2015-10-13. Retrieved on 2015-10-13.
  7. NJPW World Tag League Results & Standings . Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on 2015-12-09. Retrieved on 2015-12-06.
  8. World Tag League 2015 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2015-12-09.
  9. New Japan Cup 2016 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-03-20.
  10. Road to Invasion Attack 2016 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-03-20.
  11. ja:戦国炎舞 -Kizna- Presents World Tag League 2016 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-12-08.
  12. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega . Wrestling Observer Newsletter (2017-01-03). Retrieved on 2017-01-04.
  13. ja:戦国炎舞 -Kizna- Presents New Year Dash !! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-01-05.
  14. Rose, Bryan 2017-02-10. NJPW New Beginning in Osaka live results: Naito vs. Elgin . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-02-11.
  15. Rose, Bryan 2017-03-19. New Japan Cup semifinals results: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-03-19.
  16. ja:戦国炎舞-Kizna- Presents Road to Sakura Genesis 2017 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-04-04.
  17. Rose, Bryan 2017-05-02. NJPW Wrestling Dontaku live results: Okada faces Bad Luck Fale . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-05-03.
  18. Rose, Bryan 2017-08-05. NJPW G1 Climax 27 night 14 results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-08-05.
  19. ja:【新日G1】オカダついに連勝ストップ Evilに敗れリング上で大の字 (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2017-08-06). Retrieved on 2017-08-06.
  20. ja:ローソンチケット Presents G1 Climax 27 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-08-12.
  21. 鉄拳Presents World Tag League 2017 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-12-08.
  22. 鉄拳Presents World Tag League 2017 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-12-11.
  23. JRA presents Road to Tokyo Dome (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-12-17.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Renner, Ethan 2018-01-03. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 live results: Okada-Naito, Omega-Jericho . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2018-01-04.
  25. 鉄拳7 Presents Best of the Super Jr.24 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-06-26.
  26. Kizuna Road 2017 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-06-26.
  27. Rose, Bryan 2016-05-03. NJPW Wrestling Dontaku results: Super Juniors lineups; IWGP champ Naito vs. Ishii . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-01-07.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Evil . Cagematch. Retrieved on 2016-07-27.
  29. NJPW Presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2016 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-01-19.
  30. ja:鉄拳Presents World Tag League 2017 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-11-19.
  31. Titantron music list . RMLabel. Retrieved on 2017-01-20.
  32. ja:新日本プロレスリングテーマ曲集CD『NJPWグレイテストミュージックIV (Vol.4)』が発売決定!1.4東京ドームでの先行販売を実施! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling (2015-12-10). Retrieved on 2016-01-08.
  33. Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2016 . The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved on 2016-09-01.
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New Japan Pro Wrestling
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Wrestlers
Heavyweight Bad Luck FaleChase OwensDavid FinlayEVILHirooki GotoHiroshi TanahashiHiroyoshi TenzanHiroyoshi TenzanJuice RobinsonJay WhiteKazuchika OkadaKENTAKota IbushiLance ArcherMinoru SuzukiSANADASatoshi KojimaShingo TakagiTama TongaTanga LoaTetsuya NaitoTogi MakabeTomoaki HonmaTomohiro IshiiToru YanoToa HenareTaichiWill OspreayYoshi-HashiYuji NagataYujiro TakahashiZack Sabre Jr.
Junior heavyweight Alex CoughlinBUSHIClark ConnorsEl DesperadoEl PhantasmoGedoHiromu TakahashiJadoRobbie EaglesRocky RomeroRyu LeeRyusuke TaguchiShota UminoShoTaka MichinokuTiger MaskTaiji IshimoriYoshinobu KanemaruYohYota TsujiYuya Uemura
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Staff
Red Shoes UnnoHarold MeijHiro SaitoKazuo YamazakiKuniaki KobayashiKatsuyori ShibataMilano Collection A.T.Seiji SakaguchiSuper Strong MachineTakaaki KidaniWataru Inoue
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Championships
Active IWGP HeavyweightIWGP IntercontinentalNEVER OpenweightIWGP United States HeavyweightIWGP Tag TeamIWGP Junior HeavyweightIWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag TeamNEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team
Inactive Asia HeavyweightAsia Tag TeamIWGP Provisional Tag TeamIWGP U-30 OpenweightJ-CrownNWA North American Tag TeamNWA International Junior HeavyweightNWF HeavyweightNWF North American HeavyweightThe Greatest 18 Club
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Tournaments
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Defuncted World LeagueMSG LeagueIWGP LeagueWorld Cup TournamentTop of the Super JuniorsSuper J CupMSG Tag LeagueJapan Cup Tag LeagueSuper Grade Tag LeagueG1 Tag LeagueJ Sports Crown Openweight 6 Man Tag TournamentG2 U-30 ClimaxKarl Gotch CupYoung Lion Cup
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