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In February 2019, NJPW re-established its partnership with the NWA and entered into a new partnership with The Crash Lucha Libre. On October 21, NJPW announced the creation of its American subsidiary named [[New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America]], based in California, with the goal of expanding in the American market. On December 27, NJPW ended its television deal with AXS TV. On February 10, 2020, NJPW established its own dojo in New Zealand with tryouts taking place on May 9 and 10.
 
In February 2019, NJPW re-established its partnership with the NWA and entered into a new partnership with The Crash Lucha Libre. On October 21, NJPW announced the creation of its American subsidiary named [[New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America]], based in California, with the goal of expanding in the American market. On December 27, NJPW ended its television deal with AXS TV. On February 10, 2020, NJPW established its own dojo in New Zealand with tryouts taking place on May 9 and 10.
   
On February 26, 2020, following recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health regarding the coronavirus outbreak, NJPW canceled the events between March 1 and March 15 including the promotion's Anniversary Event and the first and the second round of [[New Japan Cup]]. On March 23, NJPW also canceled the 2020 [[Sakura Genesis]] event, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 31. On April 8, NJPW canceled more events from April 11 through May 4, leading to the cancelation of both nights of 2020 [[Wrestling Dontaku]].
+
On February 26, 2020, following recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health regarding the coronavirus outbreak, NJPW canceled the events between March 1 and March 15 including the promotion's Anniversary Event and the first and the second round of [[New Japan Cup#2020|New Japan Cup]]. On March 23, NJPW also canceled the 2020 [[Sakura Genesis]] event, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 31. On April 8, NJPW canceled more events from April 11 through May 4, leading to the cancelation of both nights of 2020 [[Wrestling Dontaku]] and would also cancel the whole [[Best of the Super Juniors]] tournament as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on May 6. During this time, NJPW wrestlers and staff created the ''NJPW Together'' project in order to do bring content to NJPW World with interviews and old archived matches. On May 6, NJPW announced that their [[Wrestle Dynasty]] event would be postponed to 2021, due to the effects of the 2019-20 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On May 13, 2020, President and CEO of the promotion [[Harold Meij]] announced that the promotion would do empty arena shows after the end of State of Emergency in Japan on May 31, at Japanese and American dojos while he announced after that the promotion would go on do normal arena shows with fans, wrestlers and staff undergo under testing after the end empty arena shows.
   
 
==Contracts==
 
==Contracts==
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* The Wrestling Channel (2002–2005, UK & Ireland, dubbed and undubbed broadcasts of major shows)
 
* The Wrestling Channel (2002–2005, UK & Ireland, dubbed and undubbed broadcasts of major shows)
 
* AXS TV (2014–2019, United States, broadcasted ''World Pro Wrestling Returns'' and major shows, dubbed with English commentary)
 
* AXS TV (2014–2019, United States, broadcasted ''World Pro Wrestling Returns'' and major shows, dubbed with English commentary)
* The Fight Network (2016–present, Canada, broadcasting the AXS version of ''World Pro Wrestling Returns'')
+
* The Fight Network (2016–2019, Canada, broadcasting the AXS version of ''World Pro Wrestling Returns'')
 
* DSport (2017–2020, Indian Subcontinent, broadcasting the AXS TV version of ''World Pro Wrestling'', with Season 3-5)
 
* DSport (2017–2020, Indian Subcontinent, broadcasting the AXS TV version of ''World Pro Wrestling'', with Season 3-5)
 
* 1Sports (2020–present, Indian Subcontinent, broadcast the AXS version of World Pro Wrestling)
 
* 1Sports (2020–present, Indian Subcontinent, broadcast the AXS version of World Pro Wrestling)

Revision as of 13:20, May 17, 2020

New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co., Ltd.
Shin Nihon Puroresu Kabushiki-kaisha
新日本プロレス株式会社
ShinNihon logo
The logo of New Japan Pro-Wrestling
ShinNihonhq
NJPW headquarters in Tokyo, Japan
Acronym NJPW
Trading name New Japan Pro Wrestling
Native name 新日本プロレス
Romanized name Shin Nihon Puroresu
Type Private
Industry Professional wrestling
Sports entertainment
Streaming media
Corporate number 6010901005487
Founded January 13, 1972
Founder(s) Antonio Inoki
Owner(s) Bushiroad (85%)
TV Asahi (10%)
Amuse (5%)
Style Strong Style
Puroresu
Headquarters JR Tokyu Meguro Building, 16F, 3-1-1 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Area served Worldwide
Key people Takaaki Kidani
(President of Bushiroad)
Harold Meij
(President and CEO)
Naoki Sugabayashi
(Chairman)
Products
Television
Publishing
Films
Music
Merchandise
Streaming network service
Services Licensing
Revenue Increase ¥5.4 billion (2019)
Sister World Wonder Ring Stardom
Number of employees 83 (2019)
Divisions New Japan Pro Wrestling World
Team NJPW
Tokon Shop
NJPW Music Group
NJPW Dojo
Lion's Gate
Subsidiaries Lion's Break
NJPW LA Dojo
New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America
NJPW Music Group
NJPW New Zealand Dojo
Website Official Japanese Website
New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co., Ltd. (新日本プロレス株式会社 Shin Nihon Puroresu Kabushiki-Kaisha), operating as New Japan Pro-Wrestling (新日本プロレス Shin Nihon Puroresu) and sometimes referred to as NJPW or simply New Japan, is a major promotion founded in January 13, 1972 by Antonio Inoki. In 2005, Inoki sold the promotion to Yuke's, who later sold it to Bushiroad in 2012. TV Asahi and Amuse, Inc. own minority shares of the company. Naoki Sugabayashi has served as the Chairman of the promotion since September 2013, while Harold Meij has served as the President of the promotion since May 2018.

Owing to its TV program aired on TV Asahi, NJPW is the largest wrestling promotion in Japan in terms of attendance and revenue. From its creation in 1972 until 1986, it was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance. NJPW is known for openly engaging in working agreements with various MMA and professional wrestling promotions around the world, including WWE, World Championship Wrestling, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, WAR, UWFi, Ring of Honor, Pride Fighting Championships, and Jersey All Pro Wrestling. NJPW's biggest event is the January 4th at the Tokyo Dome show, held each year since 1992 and currently promoted under the Wrestle Kingdom banner.

The promotion is currently owned by Japanese card game company Bushiroad, which parlayed its entry to the world of professional wrestling into a best-selling trading card game, King of Pro Wrestling, and appearances from NJPW stars in its various franchises.

Overview

History

The promotion was originally founded by Antonio Inoki in 1972 after he left the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance promotion. The first card took place on March 6, 1972, in Tokyo. Inoki was president of the promotion until 1989 when he stepped down to pursue a political career as a member of the Japanese House of Councillors. The promotion was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) from 1975 to 1985 and once more from 1992 to 1993. NJPW was briefly reaffiliated with the NWA in the late 2000s to the early 2010s as well.

Also known as "Shin Nihon Puroresu", is considered the top promotion in Japan and is comparable to WWE in the United States in terms of popularity in the country. They promote events throughout Japan with their biggest event being their annual blowout show held every year on January 4 at the Tokyo Dome, currently billed as Wrestle Kingdom, which is Japan's version of WWE's annual WrestleMania event.

In the past, NJPW has worked with WWE, World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), among others. The company currently has working agreements with the Mexican Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) promotion, the American Ring of Honor (ROH) promotion, and the European Revolution Pro Wrestling (RPW) promotion. Occasionally, NJPW hosted cross-promotional matches with other Japanese promotions, such as All Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling NOAH.

The promotion is currently owned by Japanese card game company Bushiroad, who parlayed their entry to the world of professional wrestling into a best-selling trading card game, King of Pro Wrestling, and appearances from NJPW stars in their various franchises.

The promotion also has its own governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix, shortened as IWGP. They currently have seven titles: the IWGP Heavyweight, IWGP Intercontinental, IWGP United States Heavyweight, IWGP Junior Heavyweight, IWGP Tag Team, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team, NEVER Openweight and the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships. They also hold several tournaments each year, including the G1 Climax, World Tag League, New Japan Cup and Best of the Super Juniors.

The promotion debuted a new series called NEVER in August 2010, designed to be a series of events spotlighting younger up-and-coming New Japan talent and feature more outsider participation in the promotion. The final NEVER event was held in November 2012.

On January 4, 2011, officially announced the NJPW Invasion Tour 2011: Attack on East Coast, the promotion's first tour of the United States to be held in May 2011. The tour featured shows in Rahway, New Jersey on May 13, New York City on May 14 and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 15, as well as cross-promotion with American promotion JAPW. As part of the tour, NJPW introduced a new title, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. On January 31, 2012, Yuke's announced that it had sold all shares of to card game company Bushiroad for ¥500 million (6.5 million) of dollars or (4.4 million) of euros.

New Japan aired its first internet pay-per-view, the fourth day of the 2012 G1 Climax, on August 5, 2012. The October 8, 2012, King of Pro-Wrestling pay-per-view marked the first time viewers outside Japan were able to order a pay-per-view by the promotion through Ustream. On October 5, 2012, New Japan announced the creation of the NEVER Openweight Championship, which would be contested for on the NEVER series. A two-day tournament to determine the inaugural champion was held between November 15 and 19, 2012.

In February 2014, New Japan announced a partnership with ROH, which saw the promotion return to North America the following May to present two supershows; Global Wars in Toronto and War of the Worlds in New York City. During the tour, New Japan wrestlers also took part in an event held by Canadian promotion Border City Wrestling (BCW). A year later, NJPW and ROH announced another tour together to produce four more supershows; War of the Worlds '15 on May 12 and 13 in Philadelphia and Global Wars '15 on May 15 and 16 in Toronto.

In June 2014, New Japan announced a partnership with the new American GFW organization helmed by Jeff Jarrett. In November 2014, GFW announced that it would be broadcasting NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome on pay-per-view in the United States as a four-hour event. Also in November 2014, the American AXS TV network announced it had acquired rights to rebroadcast a series of thirteen episodes of NJPW matches from TV Asahi. The series premiered on January 16, 2015, airing weekly on Fridays. Averaging 200,000 viewers per episode, the show was considered a success, leading to AXS TV and TV Asahi signing a multi-year deal to continue airing the show In June 2016, the show was also acquired by the Canadian Fight Network. On December 1, 2014, NJPW and TV Asahi announced NJPW World, a new worldwide streaming site for the promotion's events.

On July 18, 2015, NJPW announced the "New IWGP Conception", a global expansion strategy centered on their international partnerships with CMLL, GFW, NWA, ROH, RPW, and wXw as well as holding more shows in Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan. Also announced was the Lionsgate Keikaku ("Lionsgate Plan"), which would feature up-and-coming outsiders working trial matches in an effort to earn a spot in the promotion. Finally, it was announced that there were plans to take the company public with a listing on the stock market within three to five years.

On December 21, 2015, NJPW announced the creation of its seventh active title and the first six-man tag team championship in the promotion's history, the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. On January 5, 2016, NJPW announced a partnership with the Amuse talent agency with the goal of making the promotion's wrestlers internationally recognized stars in the vein of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

In March 2017, NJPW partnered with the New Zealand-based Fale Dojo, a pro wrestling training facility run by NJPW performer Bad Luck Fale. NJPW utilized the partnership as an opportunity to scout talent from Oceania until 2020 when it become their New Zealand-based dojo with Fale serving as a head trainer. The following month on April 24, 2017, it was announced that NJPW would co-present the Japanese qualifiers for What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW)'s Pro Wrestling World Cup tournament. On May 12, 2017, during the third night of the War of the Worlds tour, co-produced by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and Ring of Honor (ROH), NJPW United States Ambassador George Carroll announced the creation of the IWGP United States Championship. The following day, NJPW revealed the title's official name as the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. On May 16, NJPW held a press conference to announce plans to establish a subsidiary company, including a dojo, in the United States. A Los Angeles office is scheduled to be opened before the end of 2017, with a dojo to be opened at the start of 2018. NJPW's second American event was Strong Style Evolved and took place on March 25, 2018, in Long Beach. In November 2017, NJPW signed a television deal with Discovery Communications, which would see the company's programming brought to 70 million Indian homes through DSport.

In January 2018, NJPW announced its inaugural Fallout Down Under tour, a four-show tour of Australia spanning from February 16–19. In March 2018, NJPW opened the New Japan LA Dojo, with Katsuyori Shibata serving as a head trainer and ROH wrestler Scorpio Sky serving as an assistant trainer. On May 13, 2018, New Japan hired its first foreign President, Dutch businessman Harold Meij. On July 6, it was announced the Lion's Break Project a counterpart of the Lion's Gate Project shows in Japan, which would feature NJPW Young Lions trained in the USA dojo.

In February 2019, NJPW re-established its partnership with the NWA and entered into a new partnership with The Crash Lucha Libre. On October 21, NJPW announced the creation of its American subsidiary named New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America, based in California, with the goal of expanding in the American market. On December 27, NJPW ended its television deal with AXS TV. On February 10, 2020, NJPW established its own dojo in New Zealand with tryouts taking place on May 9 and 10.

On February 26, 2020, following recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health regarding the coronavirus outbreak, NJPW canceled the events between March 1 and March 15 including the promotion's Anniversary Event and the first and the second round of New Japan Cup. On March 23, NJPW also canceled the 2020 Sakura Genesis event, which was originally scheduled to take place on March 31. On April 8, NJPW canceled more events from April 11 through May 4, leading to the cancelation of both nights of 2020 Wrestling Dontaku and would also cancel the whole Best of the Super Juniors tournament as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on May 6. During this time, NJPW wrestlers and staff created the NJPW Together project in order to do bring content to NJPW World with interviews and old archived matches. On May 6, NJPW announced that their Wrestle Dynasty event would be postponed to 2021, due to the effects of the 2019-20 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On May 13, 2020, President and CEO of the promotion Harold Meij announced that the promotion would do empty arena shows after the end of State of Emergency in Japan on May 31, at Japanese and American dojos while he announced after that the promotion would go on do normal arena shows with fans, wrestlers and staff undergo under testing after the end empty arena shows.

Contracts

Up until the 1980s, NJPW signed its workers to multi-year contracts, before changing to a system, where the promotion signed its wrestlers to one-year deals that expired at the end of every January. Following the departures of AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, NJPW owner Takaaki Kidani announced in February 2016 that the promotion was returning to the multi-year contract system. The contracts forbid negotiations with other promotions. Any side contracts or agreements offered to wrestlers under NJPW contracts need the promotion's approval before being signed.

Roster

BC
Chaos
LIJ
Suzukigun
GBH
ShinNihon logo

Broadcasters

Domestic:

  • TV Asahi (1973–present, currently broadcasting weekly highlights show World Pro Wrestling Returns and live specials)
  • Fighting TV Samurai (1996–present, currently broadcasting live specials, retrospective shows and magazine show NJPW Battle DX)
  • AbemaTV (2015–present, online linear television service, live-streaming episodes of World Pro Wrestling Returns)

International:

  • Eurosport (mid '90s–2007, Europe, dubbed episodes of World Pro Wrestling and major shows for various continental markets)
  • The Wrestling Channel (2002–2005, UK & Ireland, dubbed and undubbed broadcasts of major shows)
  • AXS TV (2014–2019, United States, broadcasted World Pro Wrestling Returns and major shows, dubbed with English commentary)
  • The Fight Network (2016–2019, Canada, broadcasting the AXS version of World Pro Wrestling Returns)
  • DSport (2017–2020, Indian Subcontinent, broadcasting the AXS TV version of World Pro Wrestling, with Season 3-5)
  • 1Sports (2020–present, Indian Subcontinent, broadcast the AXS version of World Pro Wrestling)
  • J-One (May 2018–present, France, dubbed with French commentary)
  • FX (2019–present, South Korea)

Worldwide:

  • New Japan Pro Wrestling World (streaming service, in partnership with TV Asahi, broadcasting most NJPW shows live, as well as on-demand classic, documentary and anime content, as well as content from other promotions, beginning with promotional partner CMLL's weekly Super Viernes shows)
  • FITE TV (2019–present, streaming service, broadcasting most NJPW big shows live, as well as on-demand classic)

Current championships

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location
IWGP Heavyweight Championship NaitoICIWGP Tetsuya Naito 2 January 5, 2020 182+ Tokyo
IWGP Intercontinental Championship 5 January 4, 2020 183+
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship MoxleyIWGPUS2 Jon Moxley 2 January 4, 2020 183+
IWGP Tag Team Championship TanahashiIbushiIWGP Golden☆Ace
(Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi)
1 February 21, 2020 135+
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship TakahashiIWGPjr3 Hiromu Takahashi 1 January 4, 2020 183+
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Shoyoiwgp Roppongi 3K
(Sho and Yoh)
4 January 5, 2020 182+
NEVER Openweight Championship
Takaginever
Shingo Takagi 1 February 1, 2020 155+ Sapporo
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship ShingoEvilBushiNever Los Ingobernables de Japón
(EVIL, Shingo Takagi and BUSHI)
1 January 5, 2020 182+ Tokyo

Defunct championships

Championship Last champion(s) Date retired
Asia Heavyweight Championship Tiger Jeet Singh May 21, 1981
Asia Tag Team Championship Tiger Jeet Singh and Umanosuke Ueda May 21, 1981
AWA Heavyweight Championship Mr.Saito December 12, 1990
IWGP Provisional Tag Team Championship Wild Child
(Manabu Nakanishi and Takao Omori)
October 29, 2006
IWGP Third Belt Championship Shinsuke Nakamura February 17, 2008
IWGP U-30 Openweight Championship Hiroshi Tanahashi June 7, 2006
J-Crown Shinjiro Otani November 5, 1997
NWA North American Tag Team Championship Seiji Sakaguchi and Riki Choshu February 14, 2015
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Hiroyoshi Tenzan February 14, 2015
NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship Kengo Kimura July 2, 1980
NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship Tiger Mask IV September 23, 2015
NWF Heavyweight Championship Shinsuke Nakamura January 5, 2004
NWF North American Heavyweight Championship Tiger Jeet Singh May 21, 1981
The Greatest 18 Club Championship The Great Muta August 16, 1992
WWF International Heavyweight Championship Tatsumi Fujinami October 31, 1985
WWF International Tag Team Championship Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura October 31, 1985
WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship The Cobra October 31, 1985

Events

Marquee events

Collaborated events

Developmental events

Tournaments

Current

Tournament Last winner(s) Last held Type Created Notes
G1 Climax Kota Ibushi August 12, 2019 Openweight 1991 NJPW's biggest annual tournament, primarily for heavyweights but there is no official weight limit. Mostly in a round-robin format
World Tag League FinJuice
Juice Robinson and David Finlay
December 8, 2019 Tag team 1991 NJPW's annual tag team round-robin tournament.
New Japan Cup Kazuchika Okada March 24, 2019 Openweight 2005 Single-elimination tournament
Best of the Super Juniors Will Ospreay June 5, 2019 Junior Heavyweight 1994 Annual round-robin tournament featuring top junior heavyweights from all over the world.
Super Jr. Tag League Roppongi 3K
(Sho and Yoh)
November 3, 2019 Junior heavyweight tag team 2010 Annual round-robin tournament featuring junior heavyweight tag teams from all over the world.
Super J Cup El Phantasmo August 25, 2019 Junior heavyweight 1994 Sporadic single-elimination tournament featuring top junior heavyweights from all over the world. The tournament has been hosted by other promotions than NJPW as well.
Young Lion Cup Karl Fredericks September 22, 2019 Rookies 1985 A tournament held by NJPW for younger wrestlers.

Defunct

Tournament Last winner(s) Last held Type Created Finished Notes
World League Seiji Sakaguchi 1977 Heavyweight 1974 1977 NJPW's biggest annual tournament, only for heavyweights. Mostly in a round-robin format. The tournament was replaced by the G1 Climax.
MSG League André the Giant 1982 Heavyweight 1978 1982 NJPW's biggest annual tournament, only for heavyweights. Mostly in a round-robin format. The tournament was replaced by the G1 Climax.
International Wrestling Grand Prix

Antonio Inoki

1988 Heavyweight 1983 1988 NJPW's biggest annual tournament, only for heavyweights. Mostly in a round-robin format. The tournament was replaced by the G1 Climax.
World Cup Tournament Riki Choshu 1989 Heavyweight 1989 1989 NJPW's biggest annual tournament, only for heavyweights. Mostly in a round-robin format. The tournament was replaced by the G1 Climax.
Top of the Super Juniors Pegasus Kid 1993 Junior Heavyweight 1988 1993 Annual round-robin tournament featuring top junior heavyweights from all over the world. The tournament was replaced by the Best of the Super Juniors.
MSG Tag League Antonio Inoki  and Tatsumi Fujinami 1984 Heavyweight 1980 1984 NJPW's annual tag team round-robin tournament. The tournament was replaced by the World Tag League.
Japan Cup Tag League Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura 1987 Heavyweight 1986 1987 NJPW's annual tag team round-robin tournament. The tournament was replaced by the World Tag League.
Super Grade Tag League Satoshi Kojima and Keiji Mutoh 1998 Heavyweight 1991 1998 NJPW's annual tag team round-robin tournament. The tournament was replaced by the World Tag League.
G1 Tag League Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer 2011 Openweight 1999 2011 NJPW's annual tag team round-robin tournament. The tournament was replaced by the World Tag League.
J Sports Crown Openweight 6 Man Tag Tournament Apollo 555
(Hirooki Goto, Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi)
June 23, 2011 Six-man tag team 2010 2011 Single-elimination six-man tag team tournament held in 2010 and 2011.
G2 U-30 Climax Hiroshi Tanahashi June 16, 2005 Openweight 2003 2005 Tournament for wrestlers under the age of 30.
Karl Gotch Cup Shunji Kosugi 1976 Rookies 1974 1976 Tournament that is not held every year. The tournament was replaced by the Young Lion Cup.

NJPW Greatest Wrestlers

The NJPW Greatest Wrestlers is NJPW's hall of fame, established in 2007 to honor wrestlers who have wrestled for the promotion. Individuals were inducted into the hall of fame from 2007 to 2011 on March 6, the anniversary of the promotion's founding.

Inductees
# Year Ring name
(Birth name)
Notes
1 2007 Antonio Inoki
(Kanji Inoki)
NJPW founder and first IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Also won many top titles, including the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, NWA United National Championship and NWF Heavyweight Championship.
2 2007 Seiji Sakaguchi Three-time NWA North American Tag Team Champion and one-time NWF North American Heavyweight and WWF North American Heavyweight Champion.
3 2007 Kantaro Hoshino
(Takeo Hoshino)
One-time IWA World Tag Team Champion with Kotetsu Yamamoto as the Yamaha Brothers. Also known as a promoter and manager.
4 2007 Kotetsu Yamamoto
(Masaru Yamamoto)
One-time IWA World Tag Team Champion with Kantaro Hoshino as the Yamaha Brothers.
5 2007 Shoji Kai
(Motoyuki Kitazawa)
Winner of the 1976 Karl Gotch Cup. Famous as the debut opponent of many legends, including Rusher Kimura, Masa Saito, Tatsumi Fujinami, Osamu Kido, Mitsuo Momota, Satoru Sayama (the original Tiger Mask) and Hiro Saito.
6 2009 Kuniaki Kobayashi One of NJPW's top junior heavyweights of the 1980s and of a few to win the junior heavyweight titles in both New Japan and All Japan Pro Wrestling.
7 2009 Akira Maeda Two-time IWGP Tag Team Champion. Founder of the Japanese UWF and Rings
8 2009 Black Cat
(Víctor Manuel Mar)
One-time National Junior Heavyweight Champion and Naucalpan Tag Team Champion.
9 2010 Animal Hamaguchi
(Heigo Hamaguchi)
Trainer and two-time All Asia Tag Team Champion. Also four-time IWA World Tag Team Champion.
10 2010 Shinya Hashimoto One of the Three Musketeers. Three-time IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Tag Team Champion. Founder of Pro Wrestling Zero1.
11 2011 Don Arakawa
(Makoto Arakawa)
One-time WWC Caribbean Tag Team Champion. Best known as an underdog and comedy wrestler.
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