Keni'chiro Arai (新井 健一郎) (born July 7, 1972 in Nerima, Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese wrestler, currently works for Dragon Gate and[1] he is a second term graduate of Último Dragón's Toryumon Japan and his debut was originally in FMW.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Keni'chiro Arai, also known as AraKen, is a second term graduate of Último Dragón's Toryumon Japan group, and has been a mainstay on the roster ever since. He participated in FMW before joining Toryumon. He debuted as a heel, but turned face within the year and remained so for over a decade.[2] He is known for his love of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team, and for his very hard head. Arai frequently no-sells attacks to the head when wrestling. Earlier in his career, he played an alcoholic, and would spit beer in his opponent's faces, but this aspect of his character was quietly dropped.

Arai started as a midcarder, but gradually lost card position over the years, until he was fighting mainly in opening matches and rarely winning. However, his career changed for the better when he joined the cram school based stable Tozawa-juku in early 2007. It saw the first ever alteration of his character, and he formed a tag team with Taku Iwasa that gave his career a resurgence. The two won the Open The Twin Gate championship from inaugural champions Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino on February 8, 2008, successfully retaining the titles twice before dropping them to Ryo Saito and Susumu Yokosuka on May 5. However, he would find championship success again the following month, for on June 28, he – along with Iwasa and newest Tozawa–juku member Shinobu – would capture the Open The Triangle Gate Titles from Shingo Takagi, YAMATO and Gamma. Unfortunately for them, they lost the titles in their first defense on July 12, losing them to Yasushi Kanda, YAMATO and Gamma.

On November 16, he, Iwasa & Tozawa fought the Triangle Gate champions Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & Magnitude Kishiwada for the titles, but they had agreed to end Tozawa-juku if they lost. Arai ended up being pinned, bringing the stable to an end, and he and the others were given a graduation ceremony.

On January 18, 2009, Arai shocked everyone when he joined the heel group Real Hazard, turning heel for the first time since 1998. It came about when he came to the ring seemingly to assist Yasushi Kanda from suffering a beatdown from Real Hazard, after he lost a Real Hazard banishment match to Gamma, but instead, he joined the group, and then he joined Kanda and the other group members in beating down and ousting Gamma. He adopted a violent fight style and also re-introduced the alcoholic aspect of his character, carrying large amounts of alcohol bottles to the ring, which he used in his matches.

Since joining Real Hazard, Arai's career has been relatively uneventful. He has won matches on a semi-regular basis, usually via a low blow followed by a flash pinfall, but he has not been in title contention. In January 2010, during Real Hazard's disagreement on whether to fight clean matches or continue to cheat, Arai continued to team with the "cheat" side but didn't take a strong position on the issue. When the clean fight side of Genki Horiguchi, Susumu Yokosuka & K-ness left Real Hazard on February 10, Arai stayed with the heels, and with them became one of the founding members of the new Deep Drunkers stable a couple of weeks later.

Since the formation of the Deep Drunkers, Arai has been mostly absent from cards and losing matches in short order when he does appear.

On October 13, 2010, the Deep Drunkers lost a six-man tag team match to World-1 and were as a result forced to split up. However, following the match World-1 member Naruki Doi turned on his stablemates and joined the former Deep Drunkers and Takuya Sugawara to form a new heel group. They however decided that Arai was not needed in the new group and kicked him out.[3]

In wrestling[edit | edit source]

  • Finishing moves
    • 450° splash[1]
    • Hanshin Tiger Suplex (Tiger suplex)[1]
    • Kokyuuyama (Springboard double foot stomp)2007 - 2008[1]
    • Kubiyama (Kneeling reverse piledriver)[1]
    • Tobidashichuii (Swan dive headbutt)[1]
  • Signature moves
    • Seijin no Gishiki (Swan dive headbutt diving off of his tag team partner's shoulders)[1]
    • Standing moonsault,[1] sometimes from the top rope
  • Entrance themes
    • "BELIEF" by Shizuo "Siz" Wada

Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Profile at Puroresu Central . Puroresu Central. Retrieved on 2013-03-29.
  2. http://dgusa.tv/featurearticles7.htm
  3. Boutwell, Josh 2010-10-15. Viva La Raza! Lucha Weekly . WrestleView. Retrieved on 2011-03-01.
  4. アラケンがウルフ智也を下し、Asuka Project王座を奪取!24時間プロレスAsuka Projectで高橋匡哉vs.木高イサミが決定 (in Japanese). Battle News (2015-06-25). Retrieved on 2015-06-26.
  5. H27.3.5 新木場1stRing大会 (in Japanese). Freedoms (2015-03-05). Retrieved on 2015-03-05.
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