Shun Watanabe (渡辺俊, Watanabe Shun, born May 30, 1996), is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to Dragon Gate (DG) under the ring name Shun Skywalker (シュン・スカイウォーカー, Shun Sukaiwōkā),[1] where he is the current Open The Dream Gate Champion in his first reign.

Watanabe was trained in the Dragon Gate Dojo alongside Futa Nakamura and Hyou Watanabe, before being repacked as "Shun Skywalker" (シュン・スカイウォーカー, Shun Sukaiwōkā), becoming known by his high-flying abilities. While Nakamura managed to break out in singles competition, Skywalker and Watanabe continued to wrestle on the undercard alongside Yuki Yoshioka forming Mochizuki Dojo with Masaaki Mochizuki. The formation of Mochizuki Dojo allowed Skywalker to relaunch his career, leading him to being promoted on the card, being named Rookie of the Year in 2018, and winning the Rookie Ranking Tournament in January 2019. Skywalker's breakthrough culmininated in March 2019, Skywalker receiving his first opportunity for the Open the Dream Gate Championship, before leaving Mochizuki Dojo in May, in order to progress his career.

In December 2019, Skywalker was sent on a learning excursion to Mexico working in various Mexican promotions most notably, Desastre Total Ultraviolento (DTU) and International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG), during which he won the 2020 Rey del Ring tournament, before returning to Dragon Gate in November 2020. Later that month, Skywalker headlined Dragon Gate's biggest annual event, Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, defeating Eita to win Dragon Gate's top title, the Open The Dream Gate Championship, becoming the youngest champion in the title's history, at 24 years old.

Professional wrestling career[edit | edit source]

Dragon Gate (2015–2019)[edit | edit source]

Early Career (2015–2016)[edit | edit source]

Watanabe trained for his professional wrestling career in the Japanese promotion Dragon Gate's wrestling school called "Dragon Gate Nex", wrestling several exhibition bouts before officially debuting against on April 22, 2016 losing to Big R Shimizu. Afterwards, Watanabe began losing most of his matches to other, more experienced wrestlers, which would help put him over other wrestlers while at the same time give him some in-ring, televised, experience as is customary for most professional wrestler, while also wearing all black gear and with no particular ring character, all part of the structured learning process in Dragon Gate.[2] Watanabe then begun teaming together on a regular basis with fellow rookies Futa Nakamura and Hyou Watanabe, including working together on September 22 at Gate of Destiny, teaming with Nakamura and Hyou Watanabe in a winning effort against Over Generation (Kaito Ishida, Punch Tominaga and Takehiro Yamamura), with Shun picking up the victory for his team pinning Tominga.[3]

On November 11, Watanabe was repackaged as "Shun Skywalker", working under a mask and begun being for his high-flying moves. Afterwards, Dragon Gate's General Manager Takayuki Yagi granted Skywalker and Ben-K a non-title match against former Open the Twin Gate Champions Jimmyz (Jimmy Kagetora and Jimmy Susumu), facing them in a losing effort. Later that night, veteran CIMA challenged Skywalker, Ben-K and Watanabe and rookies Katsumi Takashima and Yuki Yoshioka. This led on December 1, Skywalker, Ben-K, Watanabe, Takashima and Yuki Yoshioka being defeated by CIMA, Dragon Kid, Don Fujii, Gamma and Masaaki Mochizuki. In April 2018, reigning Open The Dream Gate Champion Masaaki Mochizuki decided to pull of the 2018 King of Gate in order for a wrestler for the young geneation to take his place, leading on April 22, Skywalker pinning Oji Shiiba during a six-man tag team match, to take Mochizuki's place for the tournament. In May, Skywalker finished the tournament with a record of one win and three losses, failing to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. In August, Skywalker formed "Mochizuki Dojo" with Masaaki Mochizuki, Hyou Watanabe and Yuki Yoshioka in order to progress their careers. Later that month, Skywalker made his debut in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), taking part of 2018 Jr. Tag Battle of Glory with Mochizuki, finishing the tournament with a record of three wins and three losses, failing to win the tournament.

Mochizuki Dojo and breakthrough (2019–2020)[edit | edit source]

In February 2019, Mochizuki Dojo became involved in a feud with other units in Dragon Gate such as MaxiMuM, Tribe Vanguard and R.E.D. On March 3, 2019, Skywalker unsuccessfully challenged PAC for the Open the Dream Gate Championship. Mochizuki Dojo entered in a match involving the other units, during which on March 7, Tribe Vanguard won, with Mochizuki Dojo being the second eliminated in the four-way eight-man tag team elimination match. General Manager Takayuki Yagi capitalized on the opportunity and announced the rules for the Steel Cage Survival match on May 6 at Dead or Alive, as well multiple tag team matches between members of the respective units to decide, which member would enter in the match. On March 21 at Memorial Gate in Wakayama, Skywalker and Watanabe defeated Yoshioka and Minoura, with Skywalker pinning Minoura to represent Mochizuki Dojo in the match. At the event on May 6, after Skywalker escaped the "Bonds" steel cage survival five-way match, he decided to leave Mochizuki Dojo. Later that month, Skywalker took part in the 2019 King of Gate, finishing the tournament with a record of three wins and two losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. During the tournament, Skywalker formed a partnership with Ben-K, who had been feuding with R.E.D. Later that year, Skywalker began a losing streak, after losing to Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino, culminating in Skywalker challenging Ben-K to match. On December 4, Skywalker was defeated by Ben-K. Afterwards, Ben-K went for a handshake but Skywalker refused it, ending their partnership, marking his last appearance.

Mexican excursion (2019–2020)[edit | edit source]

Following his match with Ben-K, Skywalker went on a learning excursion in Mexico, working for promotions such as Desastre Total Ultraviolento (DTU) and International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG) and Dragon Gate's affiliate Toryumon Mexico, working in various six-man tag team matches, in order to gain experience with more styles of wrestling, something not uncommon for young Japanese wrestlers. From June 14, 2020 until August 30, Skywalker took part of IWRG's annual Rey del Ring ("King of the Ring") tournament, defeating El Hijo de Canis Lupus in the finals to win the tournament. Due to winning the Rey del Ring, Skywalker received an opportunity for the IWRG Rey Del Ring Championship unsucessfully challenging Demonio Infernal in a two-out-of-three falls match for the title on September 6. During his Mexican excursion, Skywalker teamed up with fellow Dragon Gate wrestler Yoshioka, with the two taking part of a tournament to crown a tournament to crown the #1 contenders to the IWRG Intercontinental Tag Team Championship, losing in the quarterfinals to Dragon Bane and El Hijo de Canis Lupus on September 13.

Return to Dragon Gate (2020–Present)[edit | edit source]

On November 3, at Gate of Destiny, after Eita made successfully defended the Open The Dream Gate Championship against Kzy, Skywalker made his surprise return to Dragon Gate, confronting and challenging Eita to a title match, a feat that he repeated on November 5, leading Dragon Gate's General Manager Takayuki Yagi to make the match official at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival. Ten days later, at Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival, Skywalker defeated Eita to win the Open The Dream Gate Championship for the first time, becoming the youngest champion in the title's history, at 24 years old. Following the match, Skywalker's previous partner Ben-K challenged him to a title match. On December 2, Skywalker alongside Ben-K's former Dragon Gate Generation stablemates Dragon Dia, Jason Lee and Kota Minoura announced the creation of their own stable, which would be joined by a mysterious member on December 15. At the December 15 event, it was announced that the stable would be named Masquerade, with the new member being revealed to be La Estrella. On December 20 at Final Gate, Skywalker defeated Ben-K to make his first sucessfull title defense.

In January 2021, through Masquerade's rivalry with the R.E.D stable, Skywalker found himself a new challenger to his title in Kaito Ishida. On January 31, following a six-man tag team match between Masquerade and R.E.D, Ishida challenged Skywalker to a title match, dubbing Skywalker as a "Paper champion". Afterwards, Dragon Gate's General Manager Takayuki Yagi announced that the title match would take place on March 7 at Champion Gate in Osaka. On February 5, Masquerade faced R.E.D in a losing effort. Afterwards, Ishida reminded his intentions of proving that Skywalker was a fake champion.

Factions[edit | edit source]

In wrestling[edit | edit source]

  • Finishing moves
    • Ashla (Reverse crucifix hold dropped into a sitout side powerslam)
    • Skywalker Moonsault (Moonsault)
    • SSW (Wrist-clutch spin-out sitout powerbomb)
  • Signature moves
    • Blaster (Sitout butterfly slam)
    • BT Bomb (Sitout crucifix powerbomb) adopted from T-Hawk
    • Diving splash
    • High-angle senton bomb
    • Japanese armdrag
    • Multiple kick variations
      • Bicycle
      • Drop
    • Reverse brainbuster
    • Ropewalk moonsault
    • Skywalker Quebrada (Diving moonsault to an opponent outside of the ring)
    • Standing moonsault double knee drop
    • Spinning side slam
    • Superkick
  • Nicknames
    • "Tenkūhojin" (Japanese for "Skywalker")
  • Entrance themes
    • "Dragon Storm 2007 (Insturumental Version)" by Dragon Gate
    • "Fly Over the Sky" by Toyokazu Ogata

Championships and Accomplishments[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Shun Skywalker (in Japanese). Dragon Gate. Dragon Gate. Retrieved on 2016-11-14.
  2. Iheartdg-2 (in English). Iheartdg. Iheartdg. Retrieved on 2016-11-19.
  3. cagematch Gate of Destiny (in English). Cagematch. Cagematch. Retrieved on 2016-11-19.

External links[edit | edit source]

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Dragon Gate
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REDlogo.png BxB HulkEitaKAIKaito IshidaKazma SakamotoH.Y.ODiamanteSB KENToHipHop Kikuta
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