Riley Vigier (born October 24, 1986), otherwise known as El Phantasmo, in short ELP, is a Canadian professional wrestler currently working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he is a former two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion.
Phantasmo started his career in 2005 in Canada making his debut for Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling and later started working in the Canadian independent circuit. In 2012, Phantasmo he was set to perform and train in the United States, but he had border problems and he was involved in a serious motorcycle crash, which almost derailed, but in 2016, Phantasmo expanded his career in the United Kingdom working throughout the British independent circuit, most notably for Revolution Pro Wrestling, where in his third year at RPW, he won the British J-Cup and later the British Cruiserweight Championship.
During this time, Phantasmo began working for NJPW in May 2019, joining the villainous Bullet Club stable. Two months later, Phantasmo won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. Two months later, he would win the 2019 Super J-Cup, a feat that he replicated on the following December.
Professional wrestling career[edit | edit source]
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2019–present)[edit | edit source]
During the first night of the New Japan Cup 2019, a vignette was shown teasing new member for Bullet Club. On May 4, 2019, at Wrestling Dontaku, Phantasmo made his debut in NJPW being revealed as the newest member of Bullet Club, which had previously had been teased. In his debut match, Phantasmo teamed with Bullet Club stablemate Taiji Ishimori in a winning effort against IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Dragon Lee and Will Ospreay. Later that month, Phantasmo took part in the 2019 Best of the Super Juniors, finishing with a record of six wins and three losses, but failed to advance to the finals due to losing to Ryusuke Taguchi in their head-to-head match. During the tournament, Phantasmo started feuding with Bullet Club stablemate Robbie Eagles, where Phantasmo helped Eagles to defeat Will Ospreay, but Eagles didn't want it, while also challenging with Ishimori for the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship, despite Ishimori's being Eagles partner. On June 16 at Kizuna Road, Ishimori and Phantasmo defeated Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. The following day, Phantasmo along with Bullet Club stablemates Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi unsuccessfully challenged Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe and Toru Yano for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. Later that month, Phantasmo and Eagles feud culminated in Eagles turning on him and later joining CHAOS, after refusing to attack Will Ospreay. On August 22, Phantasmo entered the 2019 Super J-Cup tournament, defeating Robbie Eagles in his first round match. On August 24, Phantasmo defeated TJP, in the second round. On August 26, Phantasmo defeated Will Ospreay and then Dragon Lee, in the semifinals and finals, respectively, to win the 2019 Super J-Cup. After winning the tournament, Phantasmo challenged Ospreay to a match. On August 31 at Royal Quest, after Phantasmo and Ishimori lost to Ospreay and Robbie Eagles, Phatasmo challenged Ospreay again to a match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. He received his championship match on October 14 at King of Pro-Wrestling, unsuccessfully challenging Will Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. From October 16 until November 1, Phantasmo and Ishimori took part in the 2019 Super Jr. Tag League, finishing the tournament with a record of five wins and two losses, but failed to advance to the finals due to losing to Sho and Yoh in their head-to-head match. On January 5, 2020 in the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, Phantasmo and Ishimori lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship back to Sho and Yoh.
Since March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, Phantasmo along with several members of the Bullet Club were unable to work on NJPW events in Japan. Phantasmo made his return to the promotion on December 13, taking part in the 2020 Super J-Cup tournament. Phantasmo made into his second consecutive final, defeating ACH to win the tournament, becoming the third wrestler after Jushin Thunder Liger and Naomichi Marufuji to win the Super J-Cup on two different occasions and to win back-to-back finals. After winning the tournament, Phantasmo accepted Hiromu Takahashi's challenge to face him in a match. Leading to the match, NJPW announced that the winner of their match at Wrestle Kingdom 15, would face Taiji Ishimori in the second night of the event for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. On January 4, 2021 in the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 15 in Tokyo Dome, Phantasmo was defeated by Takahashi.
Meanwhile, following Wrestle Kingdom 15, Phantasmo and Ishimori and the Guerrillas of Destiny entered a rivalry with Suzuki-gun over both stables tag team championships. This led to on January 23, Phantasmo and Ishimori defeating Suzuki-gun members El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship for the second time, before losing the titles back to them on February 25.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Vigier grew up in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. He graduated from Westview Secondary School in 2004. He graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver with a diploma for digital film and video program in 2006. From 2010 to 2017, he was an animatic editor for Bardel Entertainment.
In 2012, Phantasmo was involved in a border problem, after patrol officer suspected he was trying to move illegally and believed he could not prove that he had any plans on returning to Canada once his trip ended, being banned from entering in the United States. Shortly after, he was involved in a serious motorcycle crash, which has caused problems with his hip and took a full year of rehabilitation to recover.
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- CRII - Canadian Revolution II (Double hammerlock inverted back to belly mat slam) – parodied from Milano Collection A.T.
- Thunder Kiss ‘86 (Frog splash)
- Greetings From Camwood Park (Double underhook piledriver)
- Senton bomb followed by a double jump moonsault
- Sudden Death (Superkick)
- Signature moves
- Ankle lock, sometimes followed by grapevining the opponent's leg
- Bicycle kick
- Canadian Destroyer (Somersault piledriver)
- Corner-to-corner missile dropkick, sometimes with a chair positioned on the opponent's face
- Escalera frankensteiner
- Stepping handstand senton
- Hurricanrana, sometimes from an elevated position
- Kenka kick
- Ropewalk Asai moonsault
- Sankakugeri (Step-up springboard enzuigiri to an elevated opponent)
- Sole butt followed by a rising kick followed by an enzuigiri
- Sleeper hold
- Spin-out straight-jacket torture rack neckbreaker
- Standing neckscissors snap
- Styles Clash (Inverted Belly-to Back Mat Slam) – adopted from AJ Styles
- Suicide dive
- Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker
- Tornado DDT
- Entrance themes
- "HDBNG Club (El Phantasmo Theme)" by David Grimason
- "HDBNG CLUB VIP" by David Grimason and ELP
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Revolution Pro Wrestling
- British Cruiserweight Championship (1 time)
- British J-Cup (2018)
[edit | edit source]