Taguchi Japan

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Taguchi Japan
Taguchi Japan.jpg
Founding members (clockwise from top left) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and leader Ryusuke Taguchi in February 2017
Stable
Members Ryusuke Taguchi[1] (leader)
David Finlay[1]
Hiroshi Tanahashi[1]
Juice Robinson[1]
Kushida[1]
See part-time members below
Name(s) Taguchi Japan
Former
member(s)
Hanson[1]
Manabu Nakanishi[1]
Raymond Rowe[1]
Ricochet[1]
Debut January 5, 2017
Years active 2017–present

Taguchi Japan (タグチジャパン, Taguchi Japan) is a professional wrestling group in the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The group was formed the night after Wrestle Kingdom 11 on January 5, 2017. Starting out as a trio, the stable named Ryusuke Taguchi as their leader,[2] and have gone on to primarily feud with Los Ingobernables de Japon over the IWGP Intercontinental, IWGP Junior Heavyweight and NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships.

The group was formed by Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi, and later came to include Juice Robinson, Michael Elgin and Ricochet. The stable initially found its roots as a tag team consisting of Tanahashi and Elgin, who had teamed with Robinson in the past. After an eye injury suffered by Elgin, Tanahashi teamed with Nakanishi and Taguchi to capture the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship from Los Ingobernables de Japon. Once Elgin was healed, he was invited into the stable, along with Juice Robinson and Ricochet, the latter of whom had recently lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to L.I.J. Their membership was certified when Ricochet teamed with Taguchi and Tanahashi to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship on April 4.

Taguchi Japan has an open door policy, where several wrestlers such as Yoshitatsu, Katsuya Kitamura and War Machine (Hanson and Raymond Rowe) have made one-off appearances representing the stable.[3][4]

History[edit]

Background (2016)[edit]

Through ROH's working relationship with NJPW, Ring of Honor mainstay Michael Elgin made his debut for NJPW by taking part in the 2015 G1 Climax between July 23 and August 15.[5] Elgin quickly became popular among Japanese crowds and his performance in the tournament was called a "career resurgence".[6][7] In February 20, it was reported that Elgin had signed a two-year deal with NJPW.[8] This was confirmed by NJPW on March 3[9] and on March 20, he and Hiroshi Tanahashi teamed with Juice Robinson to unsuccessfully challenge The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks) for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[10] On April 10, Elgin and Tanahashi teamed with Yoshitatsu at Invasion Attack 2016, to win the titles from The Elite.[11] They made their first successful defense on April 23 against Bad Luck Fale, Kenny Omega and Yujiro Takahashi.[12] before losing the championships back to The Elite at Wrestling Dontaku 2016.[13]

On June 19 at Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall, Elgin replaced an injured Hiroshi Tanahashi and defeated Kenny Omega in NJPW's first ever ladder match to become the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.[14] On September 25 at Destruction in Kobe, Elgin lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Tetsuya Naito, beginning a feud between Elgin, Tanahashi and several others with Naito's Los Ingobernables de Japon stable.[15] At Wrestle Kingdom 11, Tanahashi unsuccessfully challenged Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[16][17]

Taguchi Japan (2017–present)[edit]

On January 5, 2017, the day after Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, Tanahashi teamed with Ryusuke Taguchi and Manabu Nakanishi to defeat Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Evil and Sanada to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[18] Shortly afterwards, the group became known as "Taguchi Japan", while adding Elgin, David Finlay, Dragon Lee and Kushida as members.[1][19] They lost the title back to L.I.J. on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka, while Elgin unsuccessfully challenged Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[20][21] On March 6 at NJPW's 45th anniversary event, Taguchi unsuccessfully challenged Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.[22] Over the following month, Taguchi Japan expanded to also include Juice Robinson and Ricochet.[23] On April 4, Taguchi, Ricochet and Tanahashi defeated L.I.J. to bring the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship back to Taguchi Japan.[24] On April 29 at Wrestling Toyonokuni 2017, members of Taguchi Japan and L.I.J. faced off two title matches, which were both won by L.I.J. with Hiromu Takahashi retaining the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Ricochet and Tetsuya Naito retaining the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Juice Robinson.[25] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2017, Taguchi Japan lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship back to L.I.J.[26] Also in May, Satoshi Kojima joined Taguchi Japan as a replacement for an injured Hiroshi Tanahashi.[27] On June 3, Kushida defeated Will Ospreay in the finals to win his second Best of the Super Juniors. On June 11 at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall, Kushida defeated Hiromu Takahashi to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the fifth time. Later that same event, Tanahashi defeated Tetsuya Naito to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[28] As part of Taguchi Japan, Taguchi and Ricochet formed a tag team named "Funky Future",[29] defeating The Young Bucks for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship on August 13.[30] On October 9 at King of Pro-Wrestling, Funky Future lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh), while Kushida lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to Will Ospreay. Ricochet blamed himself for Funky Future's loss and resigned not only from Taguchi Japan, but NJPW altogether immediately following the match.[31]

Taguchi Japan's struggles continued into early 2018. At Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 4, Taguchi and Robinson teamed with Togi Makabe in an attempt to recapture the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship as part of a five-team gauntlet match. Taguchi Japan was the fourth team to enter the match, but was quickly eliminated by eventual winners CHAOS when Toru Yano managed to roll up Taguchi for a pinfall. Kushida was also unsuccessful in winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in a four-way match, losing to Will Ospreay. However Tanahashi was successful in defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Jay White. The following day at New Year Dash, Taguchi, Kushida, Robinson, Finlay, and Kota Ibushi lost a 10-man tag team match to Bullet Club. At The New Beginning in Sapporo Taguchi was unsuccessful in challenging for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship with Makabe and Toa Henare as his partners. The group suffered its biggest loss to date that same night when Tanahashi lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Minoru Suzuki.

The stable's luck took a downward spiral in the following months, with Tanahashi, Robinson and Elgin failing to win the New Japan Cup.[32] At Sakura Genesis 2018 Tanahashi, Robinson and Finlay defeated Chaos members NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto, IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Jay White and Yoshi-Hashi. Later in the night, Tanahashi would confront IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada after Okada defeated Zack Sabre Jr. to tie Tanahashi's record for most successful title defenses with 11, indicating a potential title match in the near future. That same night IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay would call out Kushida to be his next challenger at Wrestling Dontaku. Taguchi and Makabe were once again unsuccessful in winning the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship, this time Elgin as their partner.

In the build-up to the Wrestling Dontaku shows, Finlay challenged Jay White for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship while Robinson challenged Hirooki Goto for his NEVER Openweight Championship. Both were unsuccessful in their matches. On the second night of Wrestling Dontaku, Tanahashi was unsuccessful in winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and in the process having his record of most successful title defences in one reign broken, as Okada defended the championship successfully for the 12th time. Kushida was also unsuccessful in winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship from Will Ospreay. Four members of Taguchi Japan would enter 2018 Best of the Super Juniors, with Kushida, Taguchi, Dragon Lee and ACH unsuccessful in the tournament.

The group's success began to turn a month later at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall when Finlay and Robinson teamed again to defeat Jay White and Yoshi-Hashi in a tag team match, with Robinson pinning White to set him up as White's next challenger for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. Later on in the night Michael Elgin defeated NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto and Taichi in a three-way match to win the title. Although just over a week later Elgin lost the title back to Goto in a singles match. The following month at the G1 Special in San Francisco, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kushida were defeated by Bullet Club members Hangman Page and Marty Scurll in a tag team match, while Dragon Lee was defeated by new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi. However Juice Robinson would score the biggest win of his career by defeating Jay White to win the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.

That same month, Elgin, Makabe, Robinson and Tanahashi would each enter the G1 Climax, with Elgin, Makabe and Tanahashi competing in Block A and Robinson competing in Block B. Elgin, Makabe and Robinson would be unsuccessful in the tournament, scoring only three wins each, with Tanahashi defeating Makabe in their head to head match while Elgin would lose to both Makabe and Tanahashi. However Tanahashi would go on to win his third G1 Climax, defeating Kota Ibushi in the final and setting the record for most points in the twenty-man tournament format with fifteen points. On the same night of the G1 Climax final Robinson would be attacked by Cody after losing a tag team match to him, marking himself as Robinson's first challenger to the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.

Members[edit]

* Founding member
I First leader

Current[edit]

Member Duration
David Finlay February 5, 2017 – present
Hiroshi Tanahashi * January 5, 2017 – present
Juice Robinson February 21, 2017 – present
Kushida January 5, 2017 – present
Ryusuke Taguchi (Leader) I * January 5, 2017 – present

Former[edit]

Member Duration
Hanson August 11, 2017January 5, 2018
Manabu Nakanishi * February 5, 2017April 2, 2017
Raymond Rowe August 11, 2017January 5, 2018
Ricochet March 24, 2017October 9, 2017

Part-time[edit]

Member First Appearance
ACH October 10, 2017
Dragon Lee February 5, 2017
Jeff Cobb June 15, 2018
Jushin Thunder Liger September 19, 2017
Katsuya Kitamura August 12, 2017
Michael Elgin February 5, 2017
Sami Callihan November 18, 2017
Satoshi Kojima May 8, 2017
Toa Henare January 27, 2018
Togi Makabe January 4, 2018
Tomoaki Honma
Yoshi Tatsu April 14, 2017

Sub-groups[edit]

Affiliate Members Tenure Type Promotion(s)
Death Juice Juice Robinson
Sami Callihan
2017 Tag team NJPW
Funky Future Ricochet
Taguchi
2017 Tag team NJPW
Super 69 ACH
Taguchi
2017 Tag team NJPW

Timeline[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 5月17日(水)後楽園大会に先駆けて通販先行発売!『タグチジャパンジャージ』『田口星形サングラス』『リコシェTシャツ新作』が完成!. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). May 11, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  2. ^ 戦国炎舞 -Kizna- Presents The New Beginning in Sapporo 〜復活!雪の札幌決戦〜. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  3. ^ 【いよいよ今週末!】4.22後楽園でオカダ&石井vsファレ&ケニー!4.23後楽園でジュース&棚橋vs内藤&Evil! 5.1鹿児島にタイガーマスクW参戦!. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). April 10, 2017. Archived from the original on April 17, 2017. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Rose, Bryan (August 12, 2017). "NJPW G1 Climax 27 B Block finals live results: Okada vs. Omega III". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  5. ^ Sempervive, Mike (July 18, 2015). "The Big Audio Nightmare's Guide to the annual New Japan G1 Climax". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Rose, Bryan (August 11, 2015). "NJPW G1 Climax Tournament 8-11 full report: Tanahashi vs. Makabe, Styles vs. Fale". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on August 13, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  7. ^ Caldwell, James (August 16, 2015). "Caldwell's New Japan G1 Climax finals report 8/16: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Tanahashi-Nakamura G1 Finals, plus IWGP Jr. Hvt. & Tag Title matches". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  8. ^ Caldwell, James (February 25, 2016). "Michael Elgin update – Elgin comments on signing with New Japan". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  9. ^ 木谷オーナーが発表! 柴田、エルガンが選手契約!『Super J-Cup 2016』開催!「タイガーマスク」アニメ化企画進行中!. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  10. ^ "Road to Invasion Attack 2016". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  11. ^ Meltzer, Dave (April 9, 2016). "NJPW Invasion Attack live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Championship". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  12. ^ "Road to レスリングどんたく 2016". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  13. ^ レスリングどんたく 2016. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  14. ^ Meltzer, Dave (June 18, 2016). "NJPW Dominion live results: Tetsuya Naito vs Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP HW Championship". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  15. ^ "Destruction in Kobe". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  16. ^ Rose, Bryan; Currier, Joseph (January 3, 2017). "NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  17. ^ 棚橋弘至・Kushida時代の終焉…ロス・インゴベルナブレスがベルト席巻!. Battle News (in Japanese). January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  18. ^ 戦国炎舞 -Kizna- Presents New Year Dash !!. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  19. ^ "Sengoku-Enbu -Kizna- Presents Road to The New Beginning". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  20. ^ Rose, Bryan (2017-02-10). "NJPW New Beginning in Osaka live results: Naito vs. Elgin". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  21. ^ Rose, Bryan (February 10, 2017). "NJPW New Beginning in Osaka live results: Naito vs. Elgin". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  22. ^ Rose, Bryan (2017-03-06). "NJPW 45th Anniversary show live results: Okada vs. Tiger Mask W". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  23. ^ 【4月9日(日)両国・全カード決定!】オカダvs柴田!ヒロムvsKushida!後藤vsザック!テンコジvsウォーマシン!タイチ&金丸vs邪道&外道! タイガーWも参戦!!. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2017-03-21. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  24. ^ 戦国炎舞-Kizna- Presents Road to Sakura Genesis 2017. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  25. ^ Rose, Bryan (April 29, 2017). "NJPW Wrestling Toyonokuni results: Naito vs. Robinson for IC title". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  26. ^ Rose, Bryan (May 2, 2017). "NJPW Wrestling Dontaku live results: Okada faces Bad Luck Fale". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  27. ^ 鉄拳7 Presents Best of the Super Jr.24. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  28. ^ 保険見直し本舗 Presents Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  29. ^ "【8月13日(日)両国大会の"全カード"決定!】『G1』優勝決定戦は、内藤哲也vsケニー・オメガ! オカダとEvilがタッグで再激突! 棚橋&飯伏&エルガンが鈴木軍と対戦!【G127】". New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). August 13, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  30. ^ Rose, Bryan (August 12, 2017). "NJPW G1 Climax 27 finals live results: Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  31. ^ Rose, Bryan (October 8, 2017). "NJPW King of Pro Wrestling live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  32. ^ Rose, Bryan (21 March 2018). "NEW JAPAN CUP FINALS LIVE RESULTS: HIROSHI TANAHASHI VS. ZACK SABRE JR". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 21 March 2018.

See also[edit]