Hiroki Tanabe (田辺裕喜 Tanabe Hiroki) (born December 13, 1981) is a Japanese professional wrestler, currently known as Nioh (仁王 Niō), where he is signed to Pro Wrestling Noah, where he is a former two-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Through NOAH's working relationship with AAA, Hi69 also competed for the promotion.
Tanabe began his career in Kaientai Dojo, where he was part of its first graduating class and was known by the ring name HI69 (hi-ro-ki) or Hiroki (stylized in all capital letters). He would become the Strongest-K Champion, while also being a former two-time Strongest-K Tag Team Championship, two-time Independent World Junior Heavyweight Champion and one-time UWA World Middleweight Champion and also won the 2014 Bo-so Golden Tag Tournament.
Taanabe was best known for his work in Kaientai Dojo, but he also frequently worked for promotions in the Japanese independent circuit such as Tenryu Project, Michinoku Pro Wrestling, Apache Pro Wrestling Army, Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS, Guts World Pro Wrestling and Union Pro Wrestling. In the Japanese independent circuit, Tanabe is a former two-time WEW Tag Team Champion, one-time GWC Tag Team Champion, one-time Tenryu Project International Junior Heavyweight Champion, one-time Tenryu Project International Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion and one-time UWA World Tag Team Champion. He began working with Pro Wrestling Noah in 2016, before signing with them in the following year.
Professional Wrestling Career[edit | edit source]
Kaientai Dojo (2002–2007)[edit | edit source]
Tanabe got his start in Puerto Rico and would a part of the first graduating class of Taka Michinoku’s Kaientai Dojo. He would make his debut as Hi69 (hi-ro-ki) in Puerto Rico against Yasu Urano. After he formed a short-lived unit Nudy Rave with PABLO and Ryoko. Eventually, he returned to Japan, where he became a regular in both Michinoku Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling during the first two years of his career. Throughout 2002 he took part in AJPW's Giant Baba Cup, finishing last in Block A with zero wins and zero points.
On November 30, 2002 he would win his first singles championship by defeating Daigoro Kishiwa for the UWA World Middleweight Championship On March 28 Hi69 and MIKAMI defeated Ryota Chikuzen and Sambo Oishi to win the 2004 Kaientai Dojo Tag League. On May 24, 2003 he lost the UWA World Middleweight Championship to Yasu Urano in his second title defense. On July 3, 2004 Hi69 would win the first ever “STRONGEST-K TOUR FINAL” to become the first ever Champion of Strongest-K after he defeated Kengo Mashimo. On December 12, he teamed with Yuji Hino to unsuccessfully challenge Ryota Chikuzen and Taka Michinoku for the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship.
In February 2005, he and his now regular tag team partner Yuji Hino and made it to the semifinals of the Strongest-K Tag Team Tournament, before unsuccessfully challenging Kengo Mashimo and Kazma for the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship on April 3. Later in 2005, Hi69 took part of the 2005 Strongest-K Tournament and he would lose at the first round to Mike Lee Jr. Throughout 2003 until 2007, he competed regularly in a large number of different promotions, including Big Japan Pro Wrestling, Apache Pro Wrestling, Muga, Real Japan Pro Wrestling, Hustle, and eventually became a regular on New Japan Pro Wrestling's Lock Up cards. On April 5, 2006 Hi69 would resign from Kaientai-Dojo to become a freelancer. Hi69 would then through 2006 and 2007 he would made sporadic appearances in Kaientai Dojo.
Freelancer (2006–2017)[edit | edit source]
Hi69 would then start primarily to compete in Kintaro Kanemura’s Apache Pro Wrestling Army promotion. He would begin working with Takashi Sasaki as well in the process. On December 25, 2006 Hi69 would take part of the Deathmatch Tournament but he would loose in the first round to Sasaki. On February 8, 2007 Hi69 and Gentaro would then compete in a tournament to crown the provisional WEW Tag Team Title Championship. Hi69 and Gentaro would make it to the semi-finals until they lost to Takashi Sasaki and The Winger. On September 23 Hi69, Daisuke Sekimoto and Tetsuhiro Kuroda would unsuccessfully challenge Dick Togo, Kintaro Kanemura and Masao Orihara for the Apex of Triangle Championship. On October 11, 2007, Hi69 was teaming with Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Mammoth Sasaki as Apache Army against GBH (Togi Makabe, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii) when Ishii countered a frankensteiner from Hi69 into a powerbomb which caused him to land awkwardly, suffering a fracture as well as a dislocation to his thoracic vertebrae. After the match, it was announced that the injury was possibly career-threatening and that he would require surgery. After undergoing an expensive medical procedure Hi69 would begin to recuperate and begin rehab.
Tanabe would make his official announcement of his return to the ring on February 14, 2010. He stated that he would look to compete in both Kaientai-Dojo and FREEDOMS going forward. He also stated that he would like to be known as and would now be wrestling as Hiroki (stylised in all capital letters), his birth name, instead of Hi69. His return match would be held on April 6 for K-Dojo when he teamed with Miyawake in a loss to his trainer Taka Michinoku and the man he made his debut against, Yasu Urano. On May 26 at a Freedom show, Hiroki faced Ishii in a match billed as a "revenge match", with Ishii portraying the heel and claiming responsibility for Hiroki's serious injury. The match was won by Ishii. On May 26, HIROKI would have a revenge match against Ishii, but would suffer defeat. On September 29, 2010 he defeated Tiger Shark won the International Junior Heavyweight Championship. On December 14, he dropped the title to Ryuji Hijikata. On September 28, 2011 Hiroki and Yusaku Obata defeated Kintaro Kanemura and Tetsuhiro Kuroda to win the WEW Tag Team Championship. On March 25, 2012 Hiroki and Obata lost the titles to Manjimaru and Takeshi Minamino. On January 6 at FREEDOMS Hiroki, Kamui and Takashi Sasaki defeated Captain Abnormal, Jun Kasai and Minoru Fujita to win the New Year Six Man Tag Tournament. On February 27 Hiroki took part in a tournament to crown the first King of FREEDOM World Championship. Hiroki would loose in the first round to Takashi Sasaki. On April 14 Hiroki and Masamune defeated Amigo Suzuki and CHANGO to win the GWC Tag Team Championship. On August 21 Hiroki participated in the Deathmatch Tournament where he lost at the first round to Violento Jack in a Freestyle Deathmatch. On October 6 Hiroki and Masamune lost the GWC Tag Team Champions to CHANGO and this time Jun Ogawachi. On February 5, 2014 he won the UWA World Tag Team Championship with Yasu Urano. They would hold the tiles until April 27 when they lost the titles to Hiroshi Fukuda and Men's Teioh. On September 5 he return to his old ring name HI69. On January 3, 2015 Hi69 would take part of the One Day Tournament. He would make into to the semifinals of the tournament losing to Gentaro. On May 15, 2016 Hi69 and HASEGAWA won the WEW Tag Team Championship by defeating MIKAMI and Rion Mizuki. They would lose the titles to Kintaro Kanemura and Tetsuhiro Kuroda. On October 2 Hi69 unsuccessfully challenged Koji Kanemoto for the WEW Heavyweight Championship.
Return to Kaientai Dojo (2010–2016)[edit | edit source]
In 2010 Hiroki would start to compete in Kaientai-Dojo more regularly. On June 24 Hiroki would compete at the 2010 Strongest-K Tournament. He would then lose in the first round to his former partner Yuji Hino. On August 15 Hi69 and Kengo Mashimo defeated Kaji Tomato and Taishi Takizawa to with the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship. After 420 days Hi69 and Mashimo lost the titles to Ryuichi Sekine and Saburo Inematsu.. On November 6 Hiroki defeated Daigoro Kashiwa to win the Independent Junior Heavyweight Championship. At the beginning of 2012 Hiroki and Gentaro participated at the Kaienatai Dojo Tag League 2012. The two made their way to the finals until they lost to Kengo Mashimo and TAKA Michinoku. On March 3 Hiroki and Isami Kodaka defeated Hiro Tonai and Yuki Sato to win the #1 Contendership for the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship. They would unsuccessfully challenge Mashimo and Michinoku for the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship. On January 26 Hiroki lost the Independent Junior Heavyweight Championship to Ricky Fuji. In the summer of 2013 HIROKI and Yuji Hino unsuccessfully challenged this time Daigoro Kashiwa and Ricky Fuji for the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship. On February 16, Hiroki and Hino defeated Hiro Tonai and Yuki Sato in the finals to win the 2014 Bo-so Golden Tag Tournament. This led to a match on March 2, where Hiroki and Hino defeated Kaji Tomato and Taka Michinoku to win the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship. In September 2014, he once again began competing as Hi69. On November 3, Hi69 and Hino lost the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship to Kaji Tomato and Shiori Asahi. Also in 2014, Hiroki formed HHHH with Yuji Hino, Hiro Tonai and Yoshihiro Horaguchi. On February 22, 2015 he defeated Atsushi Maruyama to regain the Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship. He would hold the title until on April 12 when he lost to Isami Kodaka. On October 27 HHHH disband when Hino left Kaientai Dojo. On December 27 he formed stable with Ricky Fuji, Taka Michinoku and Men's Teioh named Team69Roll. They would be later joined by MIKAMI. On February 22 Hi69 and Michinoku would take part of the 2016 Bo-So Golden Tag Tournament. The duo would make into the semifinals until they lost to Magatsuki (Tank Nagai and Yuma). Later that year Hi69 and Diagoro Kashiwa would challenge Tank Nagai into a Champion of Strongest-K title match. Hi69 would then defeat Kashiwa to become the #1 Contender for the Champion of Strongest-K title match. This led to on April 17 Hi69 unsuccessfully challenged Nagai for the Champion of Strongest-K.
Pro Wrestling Noah (2016–Present)[edit | edit source]
In December 2016, after the Suzuki-gun storyline with Pro Wrestling Noah the president of NOAH Masayuki Uchida announced that he would let freelancers wrestle in NOAH. In December 2016, he competed in Pro Wrestling Noah for the first time since 2005, teaming with Ricky Fuji in a loss to Daisuke Harada and Akitoshi Saito. After impressing new president Masayuki Uchida, he was offered a regular position with the promotion and began competing with them as a full-time roster member later that month. On December 14 he would lose to Taiji Ishimori. After the match, the two would form a team to compete for the vacant GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. Later in January 2017, they would be defeated by HAYATA and YO-HEY which lead into a feud for the vacant GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. The team squared off with the team of HAYATA and YO-HEY on February 18 for the vacated titles and defeated them to become the thirtieth champions. Following the win, the pair dubbed their team "XX" and accepted the challenge of their first challengers Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke for the March 12 'Great Voyage in Yokohama' show. On March 12, Hi69 and Ishimori defeated RATEL'S Daisuke Harada and Tadaske to make their first successful defense of the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. On March 25 XX teamed up with Hitoshi Kumano and the GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion Hajime Ohara to 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 Ishimori and challenged them for their titles. On April 22 XX Hi69 and Taiji Ishimori defeated Back Breakers (Ohara and Kumano) to make their second successful defense of the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. On July 4, Noah officially announced that Hi69 had signed with the promotion. On August 26 Hi69 and Ishimori lost the titles to HAYATA and YO-HEY. They regained the titles from HAYATA and YO-HEY on January 27, only to lose it to Minoru Tanaka and Yoshinari Ogawa on March 11. This led the two splitting up after losing the titles. Shortly after, Hi69 and Tanaka formed a team, taking part in a tournament to crown the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, which lead them defeating HAYATA and YO-HEY in the finals to become the new champions. From July 7 to July 31, 2018, Hi69 and Tanaka took part of the Global Junior Heavyweight Tag League, finishing the tournament with a record of three wins and three losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. From September 8 to September 29, Hi69 took part in the Global Junior League, finishing with a record of three wins and two losses. Hi69 and Tanaka lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Back Breakers (Hajime Ohara and Hitoshi Kumano) on December 16 at Great Voyage in Yokohama vol.2. From June until July, 2019, Hi69 took part in the 2019 Global Junior League, finishing the tournament with a record of two wins and three losses, failling to advance to the finals of the tournament. On December 14, Hi69 joined the KONGOH stable, which had previously been teased by its leader Kenoh. He also renamed himself to "Nioh", meaning the guardian gods of Buddhism standing.
Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2017)[edit | edit source]
In October 2017, Hi69 competed in AAA in the 2017 Lucha Libre World Cup. Team Japan Noah, made up of Hi69 and Taiji Ishimori made into the finals losing to Pagano and Psycho Clown.
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- Maharaja (Jumping Death Valley Bomb)
- Trance Rave (Running Driving Low Knee)
- Stuka Splash (Diving Splash)
- Chobuto (Corkscrew moonsault)
- Signature moves
- Super Dance (Springboard Moonsault)
- Super Dance II (Twisting Moonsault)
- Hirokick (Superkick)
- Avalanche DDT
- Back Bodydrop sometimes into a Michinoku Driver
- Phoenix Senton
- With Taiji Ishimori
- Double team finishing moves
- Aided snap swinging neckbreaker
- Double team finishing moves
- Entrance themes
- "Super Dance" by Kaientai Dojo (2000-?)
- "Red (Ksk)" by Kaientai Dojo (?-present)
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- Apache Pro Wrestling Army
- Guts World Pro Wrestling
- Kaientai Dojo
- Strongest-K Championship (1 time)
- Strongest-K Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Kengo Mashimo (1) and Yuji Hino (1)
- UWA World Middleweight Championship (1 time)
- Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Best Wrestler of the Year (2004)
- Annual Supreme Match (2004)
- Bo-so Golden Tag Tournament (2014) – with Yuji Hino
- Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS
- Pro Wrestling NOAH
- Tenryu Project
- Union Pro Wrestling
References[edit | edit source]
- 12月12日（日）Club-K Tour in Osaka(大阪・デルフィンアリーナ) (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2012-05-21.
- 2月26日（土）Club-K 3000(千葉BlueField) (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2012-05-21.
- 4月3日（日）Club-K Super ev.4(東京・後楽園ホール) (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2012-05-21.
- 2014年2月16日（日）Club-K Super in Blue Field(千葉・Blue Field) (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2014-02-16.
- 2014年3月2日（日）Club-K Super in Blue Field(千葉・Blue Field) (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2014-03-02.
- Club-K Super in 後楽園ホール (in Japanese). Kaientai Dojo. Retrieved on 2014-11-03.
- 「俺とHi69の持ってる可能性ならヘビーのタッグを狙うことだってできる。NOAH the REBORNって言ってるなら､全部を覆す!(石森)」2月18日(土)博多スターレーン大会 試合後コメント (in ja).
- ja:【試合結果速報致します】ザ・リーヴ presents「GREAT VOYAGE 2017 in YOKOHAMA」3月12日(日)横浜文化体育館大会 (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah (2017-03-12). Retrieved on 2017-03-12.
- Hi69選手専属選手契約締結のご報告 (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved on 2017-07-04.