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Junior Stars
Tag team
Members Minoru Tanaka
Koji Kanemoto
Name(s) Koji Kanemoto and Minoru Tanaka
Junior Stars
Heights Tanaka:
5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Kanemoto:
5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Debut 2000
Years active 2000–2001
2004 (reunion time)
2011–present (full time reunion)
Promotion(s) AJPW
NJPW
Zero1
Wrestle-1

Junior Stars (ジュニアスターズ, Juniasutāzu) is a professional wrestling tag team consisted by Minoru Tanaka and Koji Kanemoto. Tanaka and Kanemoto currently wrestle in Pro Wrestling ZERO1 where they are former one-time NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champions. Tanaka and Kanemoto also worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and they were better known for their time in NJPW. Tanaka and Kanemoto in both AJPW and NJPW where two-times All Asia Tag Team Champions and one-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.

HistoryEdit

Early years and split (2000-2001)Edit

In the early 2000s Koji Kanemoto and Minoru Tanaka formed a tag team called "Jr. Stars" the 2 enjoyed a lengthy reign as IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, but before they could receive a rematch for their titles, Kanemoto was injured. In October, Tanaka won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship - thus becoming the first man to hold both junior titles at the same time. in June 2001 he lost in the finals of 2001's Best of the Super Juniors to Liger and in July. In September Kanemoto made a very controversial return when turned on Tanaka and siding with Masahiro Chono's "Team 2000" unit.

Occasional return (2004)Edit

On October 9, 2004 Kanemoto and Tanaka made one time return unsucessfully challenged Gedo and Jado for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.

Full-time return (2011-present)Edit

In 2012 Kanemoto and Tanaka returned full-time when they tried to win the AJPW Junior Tag League 2012, but they failed in their attempt, not even getting through the starting stages. When Kanemoto joined Stack of Arms in October 2012, their fortunes turned around, Kanemoto and Tanaka defeated Kazushi Miyamoto and Tomoaki Honma to win the vacant All Asia Tag Team Championship. On January 26, 2013, Kanemoto and Tanaka lost the titles to Hikaru Sato and Hiroshi Yamato but would regain the title less than a month later. Their second reign ended on April 25, 2013, when they were defeated by Atsushi Aoki and Kotaro Suzuki. In June 2013, Tanaka, along with the rest of Stack of Arms, announced their resignation from All Japan in the aftermath of Nobuo Shiraishi taking over as the promotion's new president.On July 10, 2013, Tanaka was announced as part of Keiji Mutoh's new Wrestle-1 promotion. During the promotion's inaugural event on September 8, Tanaka reunited the Junior Stars with Koji Kanemoto in a tag team match, where they defeated Fujita Hayato and Masaaki Mochizuki. On January 31, 2014, Tanaka celebrated his 20th anniversary in professional wrestling, teaming with Kanemoto and the debuting Jushin Thunder Liger and Yoshiaki Fujiwara in an eight-man tag team main event, where they defeated Desperado (Kazma Sakamoto, Masayuki Kono, René Duprée and Ryoji Sai).

On November 7, 2015 they made their second return at Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling event defeating Churaumi Saver and Rekka. On December 19, 2015 Kanemoto and Tanaka unsuccessfully challenged Shinjiro Otani and Tatsuhito Takaiwa for the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship. In December 2016 they participated in the Furinkazan Tag Tournament defeating Kazuki Hashimoto and Shinjiro Otani in the second round but they lost in the semifinals to the eventual winners KAI and Yusaku Obata. On March 2, 2017 Kanemoto and Tanaka defeated Aldini Brothers (Isami Kodaka and Takumi Tsukamoto) to win the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champions, winning their first title in four years since their reunion. On May 12 Kanemoto and Tanaka lost the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champions to Shinjiro Otani and Tatsuhito Takaiwa.

In wrestlingEdit

  • Tanaka's Finishing moves
    • FIREBALL Splash (450° splash)
    • HEAT Clutch (Leg-feed flying cross armbreaker transitioned into a cradle)
    • High speed roundhouse kick to the head of a seated, kneeling or rising opponent
    • Minoru Special (Flying cross armbreaker)
    • Minoru Special II (Northern Lights suplex floated over into a mount transitioned over into a cross armbreaker)
    • Santa Monica Pier (Leg hook Death Valley driver)
    • Tornado Kaki Cutter (STO, sometimes while applying a wrist-clutch)
    • Wrist-clutch fisherman buster, sometimes from the top rope
  • Kanemoto's Finishing moves
    • Ankle hold
    • Bridging tiger suplex
    • Koji Clutch
    • Moonsault

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit