Wrestling: Jushin Thunder Liger

Keiichi Yamada (b. 1964) is a Japanese Professional Wrestler as Jushin "Thunder" Liger. He debuted in 1984 and, along with his work in New Japan Pro Wrestling, also competed for Stampede Wrestling and for All-Star Wrestling in England. He first wrestled under his own name before changing to Flying Fuji Yamada. He started the Liger gimmick in 1989. Over his career, he has also competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling, HUSTLE, CHIKARA, Pro Wrestling NOAH, Dragon Gate, WCW, Dramatic Dream Team, TNA, CMLL, Ring of Honor and many other promotions. Among his many in-ring achievements, he is an 11x New Japan Pro Wrestling IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, a 6x New Japan Pro Wrestling IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, a 1x Octuple J-Crown Champion, and was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1999.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"Jushin Troper Liger":

  • Badass Grandpa: Turned 50 and remained an active competitor.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Kishin Liger adopted The Great Muta's tactics in an effort to beat him and get his revenge for Muta's cheating ways. Didn't work though.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He and Hiroshi Tanahashi at War Of The Worlds after Adam Cole used the ROH title belt to attack IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles, Kazuchika Okada and Michael Elgin, who had, naturally, already beaten the hell out of each other.
  • Canon Discontinuity: As far as New Japan Prowrestling is concerned, Jushin Liger was the Junior Heavyweight champion during his entire WCW run.
  • Captain Ersatz: Fire Pro Wrestling tends to go with his "thunder" gimmick, just slightly tweaked.
  • Costume Porn: He sometimes wore a Badass Cape to the ring.
  • Cool Mask: Though it looks like it would hamper his sight, it doesn't seem to stop him from doing anything.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Sabu attended the Pro Wrestling Syndicate Super Card because of John Morrison and Jushin Liger. The sight of him lead to chants of "Triple Threat!"
  • Dark Is Evil: As a heel, he wears an all black version of his outfit.
  • Determinator: Before he became Liger, he was initially rejected by New Japan because he didnít meet height requirements (still a teenager, he was not likely done growing when he applied and even later at 173 CM or 5'7 he is still short for a wrestler). He would start his training in Mexico instead and when NJPW officials who were visiting saw him literally starving while studying there, they allowed him to train at the New Japan Dojo. The rest is history.
  • Face: In early WCW, Liger actually started out as the heel when feuding with Brian Pillman, but he was such a natural face that the fans started cheering for him. He was a heel as the leader of CTU though.
    • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Demoted to this in WCW in late 1995. The theme for Starrcade 1995 was the "World Cup of Wrestling," a series of matches pitting regular WCW guys vs. New Japan guys. Of course, they had Sonny Onoo as the representative for New Japan. WCW even told their stupid audiences at the Disney tapings to boo Liger no matter what he did. He was also an evil foreigner with Okumura, Naito and Yujiro as La Ola Amarilla in CMLL.
  • Facial Markings: As Kishin Liger, after the Great Muta ripped his mask.
  • Finishing Move: Liger Bomb, Shooting Star Press, Brainbuster.
  • Follow the Leader: After coming out of Stu Hart's dungeon he was called back to NJPW, who were looking for a wrestler they thought could duplicate the runaway success of Tiger Mask. Unusually, he was succesful.
  • For Science!: He and a New Japan referee did an experiment to see if pro wrestlers would kick out while sleeping. The answer is yes, except for Tomoaki Honma, who couldn't so much as get a shoulder up while awake. Presumably he was the control group.
  • Foreshadowing: He got his start in the NJPW Young Lion cup and was its eventual winner.
  • Handicapped Badass: He can't hear in one ear because of a surgery to get rid of a brain tumor.
  • I Have the High Ground: He was known for frequent jumping to the top turnbuckle once his Jushin Liger gimmick really got going. However, he stopped doing so quite as frequently around the time his tumor was discovered.
  • Informed Ability: Many sources state that Yamada learned multiple martial arts, but he actually never trained in them, aside from amateur wrestling while on high school. Even his famous Rolling Koppo Kick is original and completely unrelated to the martial art of Koppo (which, by the way, is a old school of jujutsu and doesn't use kicks).
  • Made of Iron: Though he Jushin Liger lost the match, he popped back up after taking starship pain on a camera angle that made it look like John Morrison landed on his head! This was at the April 5th 2013 PWS Super Card 2, which meant he had already been in a match with Stevie Richards and well over a year later he was still going in Ring Of Honor and New Japan style pay per view matches.
  • Masked Luchador: Though in a twist, his Mexican debut (which would have made him the purest example of the trope from the start) was postponed by Japanese wrestlers who urged him to return to his native land and was only pursued in the first place because the Japanese dojos would not train him for being too short. He would thus not get his mask for awhile and would not start in Mexico for another 18 years.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Lyger bowling!
  • Old Master: To Cheeseburger in Ring Of Honor, whom the other wrestlers so nicknamed because of his less than impressive size (Charlie Haas saying he needed one), something Liger can relate to.
  • Power Stable:
    • Control Terrorism Unit (CTU)
    • Legend, led by Masahiro Chono
    • Dragon Bombers
    • (in CMLL): La Ola Amarilla
  • Red Baron: "Thunder"
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Has worked as a booker.
  • Shout-Out: His whole persona is this to the anime Jushin Liger
  • Signature Move: Rolling Koppu Kick, Surfboard (Romero/ceiling hold), Shotei.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Lyger works too
  • Superhero: His whole gimmick, as it is based on an anime character. "Thunder" is actually the powered up form.
  • Tag Team: The Unbeatables, with Koji Kanemoto
  • Tournament Arc: Beat La Sombra in the 2010 CMLL Universal Championship after Shigeo Okumura interfered, establishing La Ola Amrilla's dominance.
  • Ur-Example: First to do the shooting star press, though his version had his legs wider spread and less tucked in than Billy Kidman's, who most wrestlers imitate when they do the move. Liger himself said he got the idea from Fist of the North Star.
  • Worthy Opponent: Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe and Low Ki in Ring of Honor. He was going to consider Adam Cole as well, but Cole was too much of an ass. Averted with Austin Aries, who he was quick to pronounce "an asshole" upon their face to face meeting.