Takaaki Watanabe (渡辺 高章, Watanabe Takaaki) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling, performing under the ring name Evil (stylized in all capital letters). He is currently in his third reign as one third of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions, while also being a former one-time NEVER Openweight Champion.
Professional wrestling careerEdit
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2011–2013)Edit
Watanabe made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) on May 13, 2011, wrestling primarily as a Young Lion and in the lower cards of shows and remained with the promotion until October 2013, when after King of Pro-Wrestling, announced that he was being sent on a learning excursion to the United States.
Ring of Honor (2014–2015)Edit
At Global Wars '15 the first night May 15 he teamed with Silas Young in a losing effort against Gedo and Moose. The following night May 16, he was defeated by Silas Young.
On the June 27 episode of ROH Wrestling, he lost to Adam Page after Colby Corino attacked Watanabe. On the July 4 episode of ROH Wrestling Dalton Castle would defeat Watanabe. On July 23, ROH announced that House of Truth member Donovan Dijak will battle Watanabe in a singles match that will be taped exclusively for ROH's YouTube Wrestling Channel. This occurred July 24 at Death Before Dishonor XIII where Dijak defeated Watanabe.
August 22 at Field of Honor (2015), Watanabe qualified for a ROH World Television Championship match by winning a 9-man gauntlet match. September 18 at All Star Extravaganza VII he teamed with Will Ferrara to defeat Donovan Dijak and Greg James. On September 19, Watanabe received his shot at The Television Title facing Jay Lethal but was unsuccessful in his attempt.
Return to NJPW (2015–present)Edit
On October 12, 2015, Watanabe returned to NJPW at King of Pro-Wrestling, where he was revealed as Tetsuya Naito's associate during his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi. Watanabe's outside interfence in the match was stopped by Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata, leading to Naito suffering a loss. In a post-match interview, Naito gave Watanabe the new name "King of Darkness" Evil. Under the new name, Evil became affiliated with Naito's Los Ingobernables de Japón stable. In December, Evil and Naito won their block in the 2015 World Tag League with a record of five wins and one loss, advancing to the finals of the tournament. On December 9, Evil and Naito were defeated in the finals by Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma. In early March, Evil took part in the 2016 New Japan Cup in which he was eliminated in the first round by Tomohiro Ishii. On March 20, Evil unsuccessfully challenged Ishii for the ROH World Television Championship. Throughout July 18 to August 14, Evil entered the 2016 G1 Climax where he finished his block with four wins and five loses, thus failing to advance. Despite his failure to advance, Evil scored two big wins by defeating IWGP Intercontinental Champion Michael Elgin and NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata on the last day.
On November 5 at Power Struggle, EVIL won his first title, when he defeated Katsuyori Shibata for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Ten days later, Evil lost the title back to Shibata in Singapore. At the end of the year, Evil took part in the 2016 World Tag League, teaming with stablemate Sanada. The two finished second in their block with a record of five wins and two losses, tied with block winners Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma, but failed to advance to the finals due to losing the head-to-head match against Makabe and Honma. On January 4, 2017, at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, Evil, BUSHI and Sanada won a four-team gauntlet match to become the new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. They lost the title to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi the next day, before regaining it on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka. In March, Evil made it to the semifinals of the 2017 New Japan Cup, before losing to Bad Luck Fale. On April 4, L.I.J. lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ricochet and Ryusuke Taguchi in their second defense, before regaining it on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2017. During the 2017 G1 Climax on August 5, EVIL picked up a major win over reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, Okada's first singles defeat in nearly a year. EVIL went on to finish third in his block with a record of six wins and three losses.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- With Tetsuya Naito
- Double-team finishing moves
- Out of Control (Double-team gorilla press slam)
- Double-team finishing moves
- "King of Darkness"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #229 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016
- PWI ranked him #168 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Takaaki Watanabe's New Japan Pro Wrestling profile". Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20151016030922/http://www.njpw.co.jp/data/detail_profile.php?f=704.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Evil's New Japan Pro Wrestling profile". http://www.njpw.co.jp/profile/746.
- ↑ "Global Force Wrestling profile". http://globalforcewrestling.com/roster/takaakiwatanabe/.
- ↑ "King of Pro-Wrestling" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/match/detail_result_game.php?e=762&c=5745. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
- ↑ Meltzer, Dave (October 11, 2015). "NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 10-11: Kazuchika Okada vs. A.J. Styles for IWGP heavyweight title". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-king-pro-wrestling-10-11-kazuchika-okada-vs-aj-styles-iwgp-heavyweight-title-199546. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Sports Navi. Yahoo!. October 13, 2015. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. http://www.webcitation.org/6cFIR6yPe. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
- ↑ "NJPW World Tag League Results & Standings". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on December 9, 2015. http://web.archive.org/web/20151209121103/http://www.pwtorch.com/site/2015/12/06/njpw-world-tag-league-2015-results-standings/. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
- ↑ "World Tag League 2015" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/match/detail_result.php?e=1064. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- ↑ "New Japan Cup 2016" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/match/detail_result.php?e=1092. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- ↑ "Road to Invasion Attack 2016" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/match/detail_result.php?e=1100. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
- ↑ (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/13460?showResult=1. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Rose, Bryan; Currier, Joseph (January 3, 2017). "NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-wrestle-kingdom-11-live-results-kazuchika-okada-vs-kenny-omega-227626. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/13462?showResult=1. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (February 10, 2017). "NJPW New Beginning in Osaka live results: Naito vs. Elgin". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-new-beginning-osaka-live-results-naito-vs-elgin-229921. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (March 19, 2017). "New Japan Cup semifinals results: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/new-japan-cup-semifinals-results-katsuyori-shibata-vs-tomohiro-ishii-232026. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) New Japan Pro-Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/80196?showResult=1. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (May 2, 2017). "NJPW Wrestling Dontaku live results: Okada faces Bad Luck Fale". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-wrestling-dontaku-live-results-okada-faces-bad-luck-fale-234786. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (August 5, 2017). "NJPW G1 Climax 27 night 14 results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-g1-climax-27-night-14-results-kazuchika-okada-vs-evil-240486. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. August 6, 2017. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/723774/. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) New Japan Pro-Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/92084?showResult=1. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
- ↑ "鉄拳7 Presents Best of the Super Jr.24" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/card_result/95868. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
- ↑ "Kizuna Road 2017" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/card_result/101258. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (May 3, 2016). "NJPW Wrestling Dontaku results: Super Juniors lineups; IWGP champ Naito vs. Ishii". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-wrestling-dontaku-results-super-juniors-lineups-iwgp-champ-naito-vs-ishii-212111. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 "Evil". Cagematch. http://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=10706. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
- ↑ "NJPW Presents CMLL Fantastica Mania 2016" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/match/detail_result_game.php?e=1075&c=8227. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
- ↑ "Titantron music list". RMLabel. http://rmlabel-bg.strikingly.com/. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. December 10, 2015. http://www.njpw.co.jp/news/detail.php?nid=15447. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
- ↑ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2016". The Internet Wrestling Database. http://www.profightdb.com/pwi-500/2016.html. Retrieved September 1, 2016.