Shinjiro Otani (大谷晋二郎, born July 21, 1972)[1] is a Japanese professional wrestler contracted to Pro Wrestling ZERO1. Otani is also the acting President of the company.

Career[edit | edit source]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1992–2001)[edit | edit source]

Otani was the first WCW World Cruiserweight Champion, defeating Wild Pegasus in a tournament final to be crowned champion on March 20, 1996. This was the start of his push as a legitimate junior heavyweight contender. Over the years, Otani earned the J-Crown[2] and was also part of the first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions with Tatsuhito Takaiwa.

In 2000, New Japan booker Riki Choshu, eager to push his protégé Kensuke Sasaki above everyone else, downgraded the junior heavyweight members to mere jobbers for the heavyweights. Otani protested and was sent abroad to bulk up. Returning in 2001 as a full-fledged heavyweight, Otani challenged Sasaki for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but failed.[2]

Pro Wrestling Zero-One/Zero-1 Max/Zero1 (2001–present)[edit | edit source]

He then joined Shinya Hashimoto in creating their own promotion, Pro Wrestling Zero1, where he became one of the top stars after Hashimoto's departure in 2004 and subsequent death. During the company's relaunch following Hashimoto's death it was renamed to Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX. In ZERO1 he formed a tag team with Masato Tanaka called Emblem;[2] Team Emblem (as they were later known) would appear in the US promotion Ultimate Pro Wrestling, and include Keiji Sakoda. This tag team has formed, disbanded, and reformed numerous times during Otani's time in ZERO1. EMBLEM would go on to win the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship (ZERO1's top Tag Team Title Belt) two times. (Otani has held that title 4 times) Otani has won ZERO1's annual round-robin tournament the Fire Festival three separate times (2001, 2002, 2005). On January 22, 2006, Otani defeated Steve Corino for the AWA Superstars of Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship.[3] On December 24, 2007 it was announced by ZERO1's parent company FIRST ON STAGE that Otani would become the President of ZERO1. Otani took office officially on January 23, 2007, replacing previous President Yoshiyuki Nakamura who became Director of FIRST ON STAGE. He defeated Yuji Nagata on February 27, 2009, to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

On January 4, 2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome, Otani made a special return to New Japan, when he replaced an injured Daichi Hashimoto in a tag team match, where he and Keiji Mutoh were defeated by Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima.[4]

Beginning in September 2015, Otani downgraded himself back to the junior heavyweight division, proclaiming that the division had "lost its way" and "needed more heart". On September 23, he reformed his junior heavyweight team with Tatsuhito Takaiwa and defeated NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champions Takuya Sugawara and "brother" YASSHI to win the titles, the team's fourth tag team title overall and their first in 15 years. On October 11 Otani defeated Minoru Tanaka (who had defeated him and Takaiwa in 2000, along with Koji Kanemoto, to end their second IWGP junior tag reign) to win both the Zero1 International and NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championships.[5] On Febuary 3, 2017 Otani lost the Zero1 International and NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championships to Kotaro Suzuki. On May 12 Otani and Takaiwa defeated Minoru Tanaka and Koji Kanemoto to won the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champions in which he and Takaiwa lost the titles on May 21 to Ikuto Hidaka and Takuya Sugawara.

In wrestling[edit | edit source]

  • Finishing moves
    • Bridging dragon suplex[1]
    • King Cobra Clutch (Bridging cobra clutch or a cobra clutch with bodyscissors)[2][1]
    • Spiral Bomb (Spinning sitout powerbomb)[1]
  • Signature moves
    • Facewash[1]
    • Release German suplex[1]
    • Release dragon suplex[1]
    • Springboard into either a DDT[1] or a spinning wheel kick[1]

Wrestlers trained[edit | edit source]

Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]

1The championship was won in Tokyo, Japan as part of an interpromotional card between New Japan Pro Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Profile at Puroresu Central . Puroresu Central. Retrieved on 2013-11-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Pro Wrestling llustrated 500 – 2004 :87 Shinjiro Ohtani". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States: Sports and Entertainment publications LLC. October 2004. p. 27. December 2004. 
  3. Brady, Hicks. "2006: The year in wrestling". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts (2007 ed.). Kappa Publications. p. 17. 
  4. Wrestle Kingdom 7 ~Evolution~ in 東京ドーム (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2013-01-04.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 ja:10/11Zero 1『 Change the World 』後楽園大会 試合結果 (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Zero1 (2015-10-11). Retrieved on 2015-10-11.
  6. 6.0 6.1
  8. Super Grade Junior Heavyweight Tag League . Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved on 2015-06-19.
  9. "1994 Especial!". Box y Lucha MagazineSpanish. January 8, 1994. pp. 2–28. issue 2176. 
  10. 9月23日後楽園ホール大会試合結果 (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Zero1. Retrieved on 2015-09-23.
  12. Independent Wrestling Results – November 2002 . Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved on 2008-07-06.
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