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Taguchi Japan
Taguchi Japanlogo
Stable
Members See below
Debut January 5, 2017
Promotion(s) NJPW

Taguchi Japan (タグチジャパン Taguchi Japan?) is a group, primarily appearing 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,[1] and have gone on to feud primarily 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 came to include, Dragon Lee, Juice Robinson, David Finlay Michael Elgin, Ricochet and Yoshitatsu. The stable found its roots as a tag team between 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 as well, along with Juice Robinson and Ricochet, the latter who had 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.[2][3]

ConceptEdit

Taguchi Japan was conceived by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) in early 2017 after the Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome when Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL and SANADA) for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[4] After the match asked what was going to be their name and who was going to be the leader and Tanahashi stated that he would announce the name. Then the trio would be with Taguchi's blue sunglasses. According to the description of the product created by NJPW employees, the image of Samurai Blue that was blue had the explanation of world so the stable was named "Taguchi Japan".

Tanahashi then tweeted the team name that was Taguchi Japan and it was decided that Taguchi would be the leader. Taguchi also suggested a possibility of adding members. In addition of being joined by Michael Elgin and Dragon Lee. Also, Jurina Matsui who is a member of Japanese idol girl groups SKE48 and AKB48 was invited to the stable, became a big professional wrestling fan and she would designate the wrestlers with most improved treatment.

BackgroundEdit

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 November, it was announced he would team with Hiroshi Tanahashi in the 2015 World Tag League and on 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, the pair 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 defence 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]

HistoryEdit

Formation and feud with Los Ingobernables de Japon (2017)Edit

On January 5, 2017, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Evil and Sanada) for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[4] The trio of Taguchi, Tanahashi and Nakanishi eventually became known as "Taguchi Japan".[18] They would later be joined by Michael Elgin and Dragon Lee (who were also feuding with Los Ingobernables de Japon members Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi). On February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka Tanahashi, Nakanishi and Taguchi lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions back to Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Evil and Sanada) for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[19] Later that night Lee unsuccessfully challenged Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.[20] After the match, Taguchi attacked Takahashi and challenged him to a title match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. In the main event, Elgin unsuccessfully challenged Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[21]

On March 6 at NJPW's 45th anniversary event, Taguchi unsuccessfully challenged Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.[22] After the match, Kushida challenged Takahashi into a rematch for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship after their match at the Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome. Later Taguchi Japan would be joined by David Finlay, Juice Robinson, Kushida and Ricochet, with Tanahashi, Ricochet and Taguchi receiving a rematch for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. On April 4, Taguchi, Tanahashi and Ricochet defeated L.I.J. for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[23] Four days later Kushida challenged Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.[24] The following week, Yoshitatsu joined Taguchi Japan upon his return to NJPW from CMLL.[25] 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.[26] After the match, Tanahashi challenged Naito into a title match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[27] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2017, Ricochet, Tanahashi and Taguchi lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship back to L.I.J.[28] On May 14, Kushida defeated Marty Scurll to become the new ROH World Television Champion.[29] Also in May, Satoshi Kojima joined Taguchi Japan as a replacement for an injured Hiroshi Tanahashi.[30] 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.[31]

Various feuds (2017-Present)Edit

During the G1 Special in USA, after The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) retained their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against Roppongi Vice, Ricochet challenged The Young Bucks into a title match. Ricochet then announced Taguchi to his partner and the two dubbed themselves as the Funky Future. Later that month, three members of Taguchi Japan took part in the 2017 G1 Climax; Tanahashi in block A and Elgin and Robinson in block B. Tanahashi almost won his block. However he would fail to advance to the finals due to losing to Tetsuya Naito in their final round-robin match on August 11,[32] finishing with a record of six wins and three losses. Meanwhile, Elgin and Robinson finished their block with four wins and five losses.[33] On August 13, Ricochet and Taguchi defeated The Young Bucks to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.[34]

Meanwhile, Tanahashi started feuding with Zack Sabre Jr. who scored two submission wins over Tanahashi, first in their opening tournament match on July 17 and again in a non-tournament six-man tag team match on August 13. Also, KUSHIDA also started feuding with Sabre's Suzuki-gun stablemate El Desperado and Elgin with Minoru Suzuki. This led a feud between Taguchi Japan and Suzuki-gun, with NJPW announcing four title matches between the two stables with the IWGP Intercontinental, IWGP Junior Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight Tag Team and the NEVER Openweight Championship, on the line. On September 10, at the Destruction In Fukushima Elgin unsuccessfully challenged Suzuki for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Six days later, at Destruction In Hiroshima Taguchi Japan ended up retaining all of their titles, with Ricochet and Taguchi defeating Taichi and Kanemaru, Kushida defeating Desperado and at the main event Tanahashi defeating Sabre Jr. On September 22, 2017, at Death Before Dishonor XV, Kushida lost the ROH World Television Championship to Kenny King. On October 9 at King of Pro-Wrestling Ricochet and Taguchi lost the titles to Roppongi 3K (Yoh and Sho). Following the match, Ricochet took responsibility for the loss and thanked both NJPW and Taguchi Japan.[35] His mannerisms were interpreted as meaning he had wrestled his final NJPW match.[36] Later that night, KUSHIDA lost the title to Will Ospreay on October 9, 2017.

As part of Taguchi Japan, Taguchi and the newest member of Taguchi Japan, ACH formed a tag team named "Super 69", the two entered the 2017 Super Jr. Tag Tournament. After wins over the Suzuki-gun teams of Taichi and Taka Michinoku; and El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, the two made it to the finals of the tournament.[37][38] On November 5 at Power Struggle, Super 69 were defeated in the finals of the tournament by the reigning IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh).[39] As part of Taguchi Japan, Robinson and the newest member of Taguchi Japan, the debuting Sami Callihan formed a tag team named "Death Juice" in the 2017 World Tag League.[40] The team finished second in their block with a record of four wins and three losses, failing to advance to the finals.[41]

MembersEdit

* Founding member
I Leader

CurrentEdit

Member Time Status
David Finlay February 21, 2017–present
Hiroshi Tanahashi * January 5, 2017–present
Juice Robinson February 21, 2017–present
KUSHIDA March 12, 2017–present
Manabu Nakanishi * January 5, 2017–present
Ryusuke Taguchi * I January 5, 2017–present Leader
Togi Makabe September 10, 2017–Present

FormerEdit

Member Joined Left
Yoshitatsu April 14, 2017 May 4, 2017
Ricochet March 24, 2017 October 9, 2017

Part-timeEdit

Name First appearance
ACH October 10, 2017
Dragon Lee February 5, 2017
Jushin Thunder Liger May 22, 2017
Satoshi Kojima May 18, 2017
Michael Elgin February 5, 2017
Hanson August 11, 2017
Raymond Rowe August 11, 2017
Katsuya Kitamura August 12, 2017
Sami Callihan November 18, 2017

Sub-groupsEdit

Affiliate Members Tenure Type Promotion(s)
Death Juice Juice Robinson
Sami Callihan
2017 Tag Team NJPW
Funky Future Ricochet
Ryusuke Taguchi
2017 Tag Team NJPW
Super 69 ACH
Ryusuke Taguchi
2017 Tag Team NJPW
War Machine Hanson
Raymond Rowe
2014–2017 Tag Team BCW
BW
CW
DW
FCP
IPW:UK
IWR
Kamikaze Pro
NJPW
OTT
PCW
Progress
PWG
Noah
ROH
RPW
TCW
VIP
WC
WCPW

In wrestlingEdit

  • Double-team finishing moves
    • Hanson and Rowe
      • Fallout (Belly-to-back suplex (Rowe) / Diving leg drop (Hanson) combination)
    • ACH and Taguchi
      • Super 69 (Elevated double chickenwing facebuster (Taguchi) / Sitout facebuster (ACH) combination)
  • ACH's Finishing moves
  • Hanson's Finishing moves
    • Sin City Plunge (Sitout double underhook powerbomb)
    • Spin Kick of Doom (Spin kick)
  • Kojima's Finishing moves
    • CCD – Cozy Crush Dynamite (Emerald Flowsion)
    • Cozy Cozy Cutter / Kojima Cutter (Cutter, sometimes from the top rope)
    • Lariat
  • Robinson's Finishing moves
    • The Juice is Loose (Snap front facelock drop)
    • Pulp Friction (Inverted double underhook facebuster)[46][47][48]
    • Third Eye (Palm strike to opponent's face, with theatrics)
    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Clutch (Back mounted cobra clutch)
  • Finlay's Finishing moves
    • Air Raid Crash (Running over the shoulder back to belly piledriver)
    • European Uppercut
    • Prima Nocta (Stunner)
  • Liger's finishing moves
    • Brainbuster
    • CTB – Crash Thunder Buster (Belly-to-back wheelbarrow facebuster)
    • Kuchu Dojime Otoshi (Lou Thesz press pin)
    • Liger Bomb (Standing or a running high-angle sitout powerbomb)
    • Liger Suplex (Bridging wrist-clutch leg hook belly-to-back suplex)
    • Shooting star press
  • Elgin's finishing moves
  • Kushida's finishing moves
    • Hoverboard Lock (Kimura lock)[60][61]
    • Midnight Express (Corkscrew moonsault)[46]
  • Nakanishi's finishing moves
    • Argentine backbreaker rack[46][62]
    • Dai☆Nakanishi German[46] (Bridging delayed high-angle German suplex)[63][64]
    • Hercules Cutter (Argentine neckbreaker)[46][64]
    • Mana Bauer (Argentine backbreaker rack dropped into a bridging German suplex)[46][64]
    • Uekara Don! (Diving overhead chop)[65]
  • Lee's finishing moves
    • Desnucadora[66] (Vertical suplex powerbomb)
    • Phoenix-plex (Bridging package fallaway powerbomb)[67][68]
  • Tanahashi's finishing moves
  • Ricochet's finishing moves
    • 630° senton[70][71]
    • Benadryller (Fireman's carry dropped into a roundhouse kick)[72]
    • Benadryller 2point (Fireman's carry dropped into an overhead kick)[73]
    • Shooting star press[56][74]
  • Taguchi's finishing moves
    • Dodon (Chickenwing facebuster)[75][69]
    • Dodon's Throne[75] / Milano-saku Dodon's Throne[76] (Double chickenwing double knee gutbuster)
    • Magic Mirror Go! (Side headlock rolled forward into a cradle, as a German suplex counter)[77]
    • Oh My & Garankle[78] (Ankle lock)[79][80][78]
    • Sliding hip attack[81][82][83]
    • Uradodon (Reverse powerbomb)[84]
  • Yoshitatsu's finishing moves
    • Land of Rising Knee (Hip toss dropped into a knee lift)
    • Pedigree (Double underhook facebuster)
    • Roundhouse kick
  • Rowe's Finishing moves
    • Death Rowe (Full nelson lifted and dropped into a knee lift to the back of the opponent's head)
  • Entrance music
    • "Master of Dropkick" (Taguchi) (Unit) (NJPW; 2005–2014, 2016–present)
    • "Love & Energy" by Yonosuke Kitamura (Tanahashi) (2017–present)
    • "The Future of Flight" by Yonosuke Kitamura (Ricochet)
    • "Moon Child" by May's  (Robinson) (2015–present)
    • "Samurai Rock" by Yonosuke Kitamura (Finlay) (2015–present)
    • "Kushida Makes You Rock" by Yonosuke Kitamura (KUSHIDA) (2010–present)
    • "World Famous" by Yonosuke Kitamura (Yoshitatsu) (2014–2017)
    • "Prepare For War" by David Grimason (War Machine) (2017)

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

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