Hitoshi Kumano (熊野 準 Kumano Hitoshi, born in November 22, 1991) is a retired Japanese professional wrestler who is best known for his work in Pro Wrestling Noah (Noah), where he is a former one-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Through NOAH's working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Kumano competed at the Lion's Gate Project shows.
In elementary school, Kumano played PlayStation 2 playing the game "King of Colosseum", we would then became interested in wrestling. Later in High School Kumano entered in wrestling at his school also he was going for business management at this time.
Professional Wrestling Career
Pro Wrestling Noah (2013-2020)
After graduating from high school, Kumano tried to earn a training spot in the Pro Wrestling Noah (NOAH) dojo and passed the introductory test. He was formally announced as a trainee on December 24, 2012, by an in-ring introduction by Takeshi Morishima. Kumano would make his pre-debut on January 6, 2013 in a battle royal. Kumano would compete in a couple battle royal type matches until his first singles match on February 9, 2013 against Atsushi Kotoge. Kumano would lose to his senior, but he would be the first wrestler to make his professional debut in NOAH since Shuhei “Maybach” Taniguchi debuted in 2005.
Later in 2013 Kumano would compete at the Hakata Star Lane Cup Battle Royal but the winner would be Genba Hirayanagi. On May 18 Kumano lost to Daisuke Harada. On August 24 Kumano and Harada nominated themselves as the next challengers for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. However, on September 16, Harada Kumano and Harada failed to capture the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship from Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask.
Kumano wrestled several opening matches during the rest of the year but, as is customary for a rookie in Japanese professional wrestling, lost all of his matches to gain more experience in the company. In 2014 Kumano participated at the NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League alongside Mitsuhiro Kitamiya, with the two finishing last in their block with just one win and two points after they defeated Jinzo and Rocky Lobo. In 2015 following the Suzuki-gun feud with Pro Wrestling Noah, Kumano and Genba Hirayanagi unsuccessfully challenged Suzuki-gun members Taka Michinoku and El Desperado for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship due to Hirayanagi accidentally attacking Kumano. Kumano would then entered in the Global Junior Heavyweight League competing at block A. Kumano would then end the tournament with no points losing all of his matches. On August 19 Kumano participated at the Arukas Cup Six Man Tag Tournament with Katsuhiko Nakajima and Naomichi Marufuji. The three would make into the semifinals losing to Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, and Takashi Iizuka). Later in September Kumano participated at the 2015 NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League with Super Crazy. The two would finish the tournament with two points only defeating Kaji Tomato and Shiori Asahi on the first day of the tournament. On February 25, 2016 through NOAH's working relationship with the New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Kumano competed at the Lions Gate Project 1 show defeating Hirai Kawato. Back in NOAH on May 4 after Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Hajime Ohara to retain the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship, Kumano confronted the Kanemaru, which led to NOAH granting him his first-ever shot for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship. However on May 28 Kumano unsuccessfully challenged Kanemaru for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship. In June Kumano would take part in a tournament to enter in the NJPW Super J-Cup but he lost to Yoshinari Ogawa at the first round. On July Kumano and Andy Dalton would take part in the 2016 NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League. Kumano and Dalton ended up finishing the tournament with 2 points.
On January 21 Kumano challenged Hajime Ohara into a title match for the Junior Heavyweight Championship. Kumano would later defeat Ohara in a predule match. On March 12, Kumano, for the second time in his career, unsuccessfully challenged for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship losing to champion Hajime Ohara. Following the match's conclusion, Ohara stated in a backstage interview that the two would also be joining forces in the tag team division. In this night Kumano debuted a new attire and a new nickname "Growing Bear". On March 25 Kumano and Ohara teamed up the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions XX (Taiji Ishimori and Hi69) face RATEL'S in a two out of three falls eight-man tag team match. During the final moments of the match, Kumano and Ohara had miss communication with XX which lead them to lose the match. After the match, Kumano and Ohara attacked XX member Taiji Ishimori and challenged them for their titles. Later Noah announced the title match to be on April 22 during the first day of the Global Tag League. On April 7 Kumano and Ohara announced that their team name would be Back Breakers. On April 22 Kumano and Ohara unsuccessfully challenged XX for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. In July Kumano and Ohara took part of the Global Junior Heavyweight Tag League. They would finish the tournament with four wins and three losses, they lost to MAO and Shunma Katsumata on the final day of the tournament costing them a place at the finals.
From July 7 to July 31, 2018, Kumano and Ohara took part of the Global Junior Heavyweight Tag League, finishing the tournament with a record of four wins and two losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament. On August 5, Kumano and Ohara were defeated by YO-HEY and HAYATA in the finals of the tournament. From September 8 to September 29, Kumano took part in the Global Junior League, finishing the tournament with a record of three wins and two losses. On December 16 at Great Voyage in Yokohama vol.2, Kumano and Ohara defeated Hi69 and Minoru Tanaka to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, winning Kumano's first professional wrestling championship. They lost the titles to Yoshinari Ogawa and Kotaro Suzuki on February 24, 2019. On May 4, 2019, Kumano and Ohara faced each for the last time, with Ohara defeating Kumano effectively disbanding Back Breakers. From June until July, Kumano took part in the 2019 Global Junior League, finishing the tournament with a record of one win and four losses, failling to advance to the finals of the tournament. In the following years Global Junior League, Kumano finished the tournament with a record of one wins and two losses, failing to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. In 2020 Kumano announced that he would retire on July 19, 2020 after an eye operation due to worsening his vision problems which he had since he was a trainee at Noah dojo. His retirement match took place on July 19 and saw him team up with Takashi Sugiura to take on Naomichi Marufuji and Kinya Okada. Kumano's career ended with Marufuji pinning him for the win.
- Finishing moves
- Kumagatame/Flash Package (Rolling Small Package Hold)
- Fisherman's Suplex Hold
- MN (Argentine backbreaker)
- Torture Camel Clutch - 2013
- Kumano Lock (Cut-Throat Argentine Backbreaker Rack)
- Bear Bottom (Lifting Side Slam)
- Signature moves
- Jumping Crucifix Hold
- Small Package Hold
- Missle Dropkick
- "Growing Bear"