Wrestling / Kazuchika Okada

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THE RAINMAKER.
Kazuchika Okada (b. November 8, 1987) is a Japanese track star and baseball player turned professional wrestler who primarily wrestles for New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Okada trained under Japanese legend Ultimo Dragon at the Toryumon Wrestling School and made his wrestling debut for the Mexican branch in 2004. After a few years he graduated to Toryumon Japan and also made stops in UWAI Station, UWA Hardcore in Canada, New Wrestling Entertainment in Italy, Chikara in the continental US and CMLL in Mexico. More training came when he entered the infamous New Japan Dojo. Working as a Young Lion, he spent the majority of his matches losing as he honed his craft. In 2009 he returned to Toryumon Japan, now calling itself Dragon Gate, and went to Pro Wrestling NOAH's tag league with Hiroyoshi Tenzan. In 2010, he was sent on an excursion to TNA where, to be honest, he didn't really do much except act as Samoa Joe's driver and wear a cheap mask as 'Okato', based on the sidekick of The Green Hornet. He'd be taken more seriously on the independent circuit, primarily among National Wrestling Alliance members.

Okada returned to New Japan in 2012 and shocked many in the wrestling world when he, with a new attitude and persona known as The Rainmaker, defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Okada had transformed from a young rookie with potential, to champion of the promotion seemingly overnight. This made headlines and helped gather interest in New Japan as it experienced a major influx of interest not only in Japan but from other places in the world.

Kazuchika Okada holds the record at the age of 24 at being the youngest man to ever win New Japan's G1 Climax Tournament Arc and has also won the New Japan Cup, as well as being a multiple-time IWGP Heavyweight Championship and being named Tokyo Sports MVP. And at under 30 years of age, who knows what he will have accomplished when it's all said and done.

As always, you can find more info about Okada here at The Other Wiki.


"TROPEMAKER!":

  • A Lighter Shade of Black:
    • Say whatever you want about CHAOS, they've probably already claimed it themselves, but Minoru Suzuki was the instigator of their feud with Suzukigun, intentionally targeting Okada.
    • They've also become this in their rivalry with Bullet Club, who've been major aggressors in going after Okada and Shinsuke Nakamura's titles.note 
    • Okada turned out to take being voted out of a Wrestle Kingdom main event much better than Tetsuya Naito, which makes sense considering Naito was the one that lost on the under card and it was Okada's stablemate going over him. Nonetheless, Chaos, particularly Okada and Tomohiro Ishii took up this role once again against Los Ingobernables de Japon.
  • The Ace
    • Was dubbed this in 2013 as The New Ace of New Japan. He was also named the MVP of Puroresu by Tokyo Sports. The fans still wanted Tanahashi though.
    • At Wrestle Kingdom 10, he officially became New Japan's Ace by beating Hiroshi Tanahashi to retain his title, and breaking Tanahashi's 5 year winning streak at the Tokyo Dome.
  • Affably Evil: Every successful pin following a Rain Maker is 100USD to charity.
  • Always Someone Better: No Limit were this during his early efforts in New Japan, where he was trying to establish a tag team. Ironically, Okada became the better to both Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro Takahashi as a singles wrestler after No Limit broke up and they both left CHAOS.
  • Anti-Villain -> Anti-Hero: His character's progression, being an ambitious wealthy asshole with incredible skill and charisma and ladykiller looks who could easily be a young hero if he wasn't so full of himself, but ultimately has something of a sense of honor and charity especially compared to other shoguns in New Japan, who either don't care for that shit or reserve it for their homelands. Much of the same is true of CHAOS overall, though.
  • Arch-Enemy: Hiroshi Tanahashi, they have main evented multiple shows between them, including Wrestle Kingdom's 7 and 9. AJ Styles joined the fray between them in his near two years in the company.
  • Bash Brothers: With Gedo and Yoshi-Hashi who are his regular tag partners.
  • Big Entrance:
    • He's already fond of dressing up in an elaborate red and gold coat and having "Rainmaker dollars" falling from the sky. But for his championship title defense at The New Beginning in Osaka 2014, homeboy added an elaborate prelude to his theme song, the infamous Japanese chase prank raptor, a platform emerging from under the stage ala early-TNA Kurt Angle, and a real-life Future Card Buddyfight Dragobrave broadsword in all its glory representing the special version of the card made based on him.
    • Parodied in the commercial for his and Hiroshi Tanahashi's title match at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in 2013, where Okada came out to a baseball field in a fancy white convertible driven by Gedo to replace Tanahashi as the pitcher.
  • Break the Haughty: His initial belief was that he was simply better than Tanahashi, especially after the latter agreed to no longer challenge again for the IWGP Heavyweight Title while Okada held it during his second over year long reign. Then before AJ Styles challenged for the title he insisted Okada had a lot to learn, but even after losing the belt to Styles, Okada still maintained he was much better than him and that it was a fluke, or that he had simply missed a step somewhere, as he continued to fail to get the belt back until Hiroshi Tanahashi managed to do what he could not and successfully defend the belt. Then he lost singles matches to Karl Anderson, Tetsuya Naito, Bad Luck Fale, the latter in the first round of the New Japan Cup, which was enough to make him realize he wasn't on top anymore and think about how to get back there. When Okada did regain the IWGP Heavyweight Title and decisively put Styles out of the title picture, he was noticeably more humble.
  • Captain Ersatz: His likeness, or close as legally allowed to his likeness, became regular fixtures of Fire Pro Wrestling.
  • Chained by Fashion: A gold chain to go with his died blond hair
  • Composite Expy: Commented on an interview that TNA didn't give him many chances to compete, so he used the spare time to watch a lot of old wrestling videos as research for developing the "Rainmaker" character, as he was told that's where the real money was. He was a particularly big fan of Sting, and may have also been inspired by his involvement in Samoa Joe's feud with D'Angelo Dinero, as the character contains elements of both Sting and Dinero's characters the energetic music and showy jacket come from Sting's TNA run, while the Red Baron that could pass for a ring name and the money dropping from the sky are straight from the Pope.
  • Crossover
    • Participated in Pro Wrestling Fusion's series with NWA Mid-west in 2010. Later, New Japan's 40th Anniversary tour with All Japan Pro Wrestling, "East Meets West" event with Border City Wrestling in Canada and 'War' in the USA with Ring of Honor.
    • His "Dramatic Dream Match" against Kota Ibushi.
  • Cross Through: One of four CHAOS members who frequently crossed through Ring of Honor in 2015, along with Shinsuke Nakamura and Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero and Trent Barreta).
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Upon becoming the Rain Maker.
  • David vs. Goliath: When not fighting Devitt or Styles, his main enemy in Bullet Club is "The Underboss" Bad Luck Fale, who happens to be much bigger than him.
  • Enemy Mine: Teamed up with The Kingdom against Bullet Club around the time of the G-1 Climax 25, not that it ended up doing them much good.
  • Finishing Move: The Rainmaker, he also likes to use The Red Ink submission hold (kneeling cross leg STF) as well to force a tap out.
  • Five Moves of Doom: Heavy Rain, Flying Elbow Drop, Dropkick, Tombstone Piledriver, and then The Rainmaker.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Or Villainous B.S.O.D. since he's a heel but his role as of late has been Tweener, after losing to his hated enemy Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 9, Okada was seen leaving with tears in his eyes and sobbing that he had failed to beat him and having been broken by the loss. This would continue for months as Okada suffered loses to others as well and could not find the spark that had made him who he was.
  • Insistent Terminology: Says (in Japanese) "That's Mr. Okada to you" at the start of his post-match promo if the fans chant "Okada".
  • It Will Never Catch On: It was 2011, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff ruled the roost, Vince Russo was head booker, and TNA was intent on proving they were a WCW-knockoff in every way possible. As a Young Lion, Okada was sent to TNA for seasoning, and basically became a designated jobber, the peak of his career there was when he was Samoa Joe's sidekick "Okato" (a rip-off of Kato from The Green Hornet) during Joe's feud with "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero. Okada would return to NJPW, where he would become the youngest person to ever win the G1 Climax and become IWGP Champion within a year of his run with TNA. Today, Okada is earmarked as one of NJPW's top stars and the successor to Hiroshi Tanahashi as the ace of New Japan, while TNA is at the perpetual risk of going under.
  • Jerkass: And proud of it, even as a face. He's a little nicer than he would care to let on outside of competition though.
  • Legacy Character: One of many to wear the Suicide suit in TNA.
  • Manly Tears: At Shinsuke Nakamura's farewell show, before Nakamura left for WWE.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Pushed as such in Toryumon Mexico, as is their tradition.
  • Mob War: Has helped lead CHAOS in several of these against Suzuki-gun, the Bullet Club, and Los Ingobernables de Japon.
  • Multicolored Hair: He tried gold and purple in 2012, before going back to blond.
  • Non-Idle Rich: His gimmick. Becoming independently wealthy wasn't enough for him, he still had to join CHAOS and win title belts.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Albeit fueled as much by his ego as his love of country
    I have heard people say that if I stay in Japan that I will be a big fish in a small pond, but I do not agree. If people think Japan is a small pond, then I will rebuild the pond with my own hands and make it as large as the Pacific Ocean.
  • Power Stable: CHAOS.
  • Product Placement: The prank raptor and Buddyfight broadsword in his Big Entrance at New Beginning in Osaka 2014. This example has the rare distinction of also running on Rule of Cool.
  • Real Men Wear Pink / You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Uh, record breaking puroresu stars die their hair pink?
  • Red Baron: "The Rainmaker".
  • Running Gag: His post-match promos usually start with him declaring that he has three points to make...only to admit at the end that he doesn't really have a third point except to drop his Catch Phrase("Money will rain on us").
  • Self-Made Man: In spite of getting little work in the states he still came back to Japan with money to spare.
  • Shoot the Dog: Genichiro Tenryu chose Okada as the one to retire him during his last show on New Japan World, with the implication he would take the IWPG Heavyweight belt if Okada wasn't up to it. He was but immediately ducked out of the ring after winning, seemingly in no mood for celebrations.
  • Tag Team: Ride the Lightning with YOSHI-HASHI.
  • Take That!: In 2012 he introduced a "Wrestle Kingdom Briefcase" which held a guaranteed contract for a match at the event, the catch being that if the holder of that case loses a match before the event, the contract is voided. This is a jab at other briefcase gimmicks like WWE's "Money in the Bank" ladder match and TNA's "Feast or Fired" pole match (and given the treatment given to Okada in TNA, it's likely the latter) where the winner of the guaranteed contract proceeds to go on months-long losing streaks only get whatever match they want at their convenience.
  • The Stoic: Whilst his manager and voicepiece Gedo screams and yells about what Okada is going to do and is capable of doing. Okada usually stands there quietly and when he does speak, it's usually softly and with arrogance. Proved to be Not So Stoic when Gedo was absent, leaving Okada to have to take his role and speak for himself. What he delivered was a promo that could be described as Chewing the Scenery.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Like you wouldn't believe, from Young Lion (NJPW term for Jobber) to a rather forgettable run in TNA to International Wrestling Grand Prix Heavyweight Champion upon his return. And then he proved him beating Tanahashi wasn't a fluke and went on to become one of the top stars in the promotion.
  • Tournament Arc
    • The 2005 Toryumon Mexico Young Dragon Cup in December saw Okada defeat Hajime Ohara in the finals.
    • 'Machine Gun' Karl Anderson was the man he defeated in the finals to set the record for youngest G1 Climax winner in 2012.
    • On the last day of the 2013 New Japan Cup, Okada defeated Chaos stablemate Toru Yano and then Hirooki Goto.
    • On day 12 of the G1 Climax 24 in 2014, Kazuchika defeated another Chaos stablemate, Shinsuke Nakumura, in the finals after coming out of Block B.
  • Training from Hell: Like many pro wrestlers, he regularly undergoes this on his off hours. Unlike most pro wrestlers, Okada's seems to involve slicing and eating fruit and or raw fish.
  • Underestimating Badassery: The G1 Climax is a notoriously difficult to win but Okada was pretty sure he was going be fine on day four against Tomoaki Honma, who had largely been treated as a washed up joke, and started to get desperate between a failed Rainmaker and the ten minute mark expiring (Okada still won, preserving his spot in the rankings).
  • Versus Title: RPW: Okada vs Aries
  • Worthy Opponent: Praised his Wrestle Kingdom 11 opponent Kenny Omega as the greatest foreigner in New Japan history after their match. Kenny would later call Okada the best wrestler in Japan and possibly the world.
  • Wrestling Psychology: Upon his big comeback to New Japan, he adopted the offensive approach of attacking between the chin and shoulders. The approach may come from many different angles and many different ways, but it's all to set up that quick lariat. If this seems off, you might want to be weary of red ink. This was exploited at the 2015 G1 Climax where Yuji Nagata took everything Okada had to give and then headbutted him when Kazuchika went for the rainmaker, catching him completely off guard and forcing him to improvise a new strategy.
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