Wrestling: Yoshihiro Tajiri
(b. 1970) is a Japanese Professional Wrestler
and promoter best known for his time in ECW
from 1999-2001 and later in WWE
. He started in the hardcore
IWA Japan promotion in 1994 and also competed for Michinoku Pro Wrestling
and for Wrestle Association R. He switched to CMLL
in Mexico before going back to Japan and joining the hardcore Big Japan Pro Wrestling promotion. He made some appearances for WWE in 1997 in the early stages of its Light Heavyweight Division. He returned to CMLL in 1998 and stayed until he made his ECW debut in January 1999. He made his PPV debut with a win over Super Crazy at ECW Guilty As Charged 99
, January 10, 1999, kicking off their big feud. Tajiri would also feud with Little Guido Maritato and Jerry Lynn
. As a Heel
, he would join the Power Stable
the Network before splitting off and siding with Mikey Whipwreck
and the Sinister Minister
. They would win the ECW World Tag Team Titles
on August 25th, 2000 and lose them the next day to the FBI (Maritato and Tony Mamaluke.) Tajiri also held the ECW World Television Title
. In WWE, he would hold the WCW United States Heavyweight Title
during the InVasion/Alliance storyline, as well as the WWE World Tag Team Titles
with William Regal
, the WWE SmackDown! Tag Team Titles
with Eddie Guerrero
, the WWE Cruiserweight Title
three times, and the WWF World Light Heavyweight Title
. He has also competed for All Japan Pro Wrestling
, New Japan Pro Wrestling
, Pro Wrestling NOAH
, Dramatic Dream Team
and many other promotions in the U.S., Japan, Mexico and Europe. He is presently the promoter and Champion of Wrestling New Classic in Japan.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
- Aborted Arc: One of the last things to happen on an ECW show before the promotion folded was arch-rival Super Crazy running in to save Tajiri from a beatdown by The Network.
- Arch-Enemy: Super Crazy and Little Guido during the 90s in ECW.
- Badass Bookworm: Possibly. Jim Ross would sometimes claim that Tajiri has a degree in economics; he may have, but few of his biographies actually mention this.
- Bash Brothers: Mikey Whipwreck, Rhino, William Regal, Ryuji Yamakawa (in Big Japan), Eddie Guerrero, KUSHIDA
- Beard of Evil: After his first heel turn, he grew a beard.
- Battle Butler: When serving William Regal.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: In his relationship with Torrie Wilson. Ironically his relationship with Torrie came about when he rescued her from a different Crazy Jealous Guy.
- Demoted to Extra: After the draft lottery he came to Raw as a big deal. Feuding with Evolution members Triple H and Batista and even pinning Kane. Did not last for him (or fellow Smackdown grab, Shelton Benjamin, for that matter).
- Distracted by the Sexy: When Torrie Wilson turned on him she stripped off the geisha uniform he was forcing her to wear. The distraction this caused was the reason he lost to the Hurricane and (temporarily) fell out of the cruiserweight title picture.
- Expy: Of the Great Kabuki, Kendo Nagasaki and the Great Muta once he started spraying the Japanese mist in people's eyes. When they met in All Japan Prowrestling Muta eventually took a liking to him and they formed a tag team.
- Evil Costume Switch: As a face in ECW and before, he was a clean cut guy who wore blue and white trunks. His adopting the Kabuki gimmick coincided with his first heel turn. However, even when he returned to being face he kept the gimmick.
- Finishing Move: Buzzsaw Kick, Brainbuster, Octopus Stretch
- Garbage Wrestler: Not especially reliant on it but he is known for leaving CMLL twice for garbage promotions BJW and ECW, competing for IWA's hardcore title and working for CZW.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: This came into effect on the 2014 TNA Bound For Glory, as he was a face in TNA at the time but not in most of Japan, which ended up with him getting booed almost as much as the traitorous Seiya Sanada and manipulative James Storm since the show was in Korakuen Hall.
- Heel-Face Turn: His most notable one was when, as a member of The Network, he won the ECW Television Title from Super Crazy - and Cyrus the Virus ordered him to lie down for Rhino. Tajiri refused, and was turned face.
- Horrible Judge of Character: When Kana was a dirty word in Joshi, he decided she wasn't so bad and gave her a spot on the SMASH roster. She joined up with the Shirai Sisters and made it her personal mission to eliminate the old man and takeover the company. Despite all this, he still gave Kana the benefit of the doubt in Wrestling New Classic, where it mostly worked out until the promotion started to get absorbed by new ones and went inactive, at which point she acted to ensure its complete destruction.
- Improbable Weapon User: His mist spray usually green, but black caused
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He laughs, taunts and mocks the pain of his opponents but is otherwise respectful if they can put up a clean, respectable fight.
- (Kayfabe) Temporary Blindness
- Kiai: He's not above throwing these in with his kicks
- Last Name Basis: After turning heel in ECW, he began mostly going simply by Tajiri (sometimes TAJIRI).
- Lightning Bruiser: If Ultimo Dragon's kicks can qualify him for this despite being a cruiserweight, then the same should apply to Tajiri.
- Manly Tears: After the tribute Tommy Dreamer gave him in SMASH.
- Power Stable:
- (in ECW): The Network
- (in HUSTLE): Takada Monster Army
- Precision F-Strike: On Impact Championship Wrestling's debut show, he had Low Ki in a head scissor while sitting on the top turnbuckle and told the ref to "shut the fuck up" when he was admonished for it, shocking the crowd (since when did Tajiri speak English?)
- Punch Parry: He and Low Ki would got through a sequence of holds and counters which including both hopping after colliding with an attempt to kick each other in the head at the same time.
- Real Song Theme Tune: (in ECW):
- Red Baron: "The Japanese Buzzsaw", which doubles as an Ascended Meme, as Joey Styles would say that Tajiri had "buzzsaw-like kicks."
- Right Behind Me: He and Funaki were laughing up a storm while watching SmackDown! reruns during Big Show's Jobber phase and rewinding the video at every point The Big Show lost in a particularly embarrassing fashion. This lead to Big Show smashing their TV.
- Ring Oldies: His age started to show on his physique around the time he turned 44, it did not show in his ring work though, leading to chants of "You Still Got It!" when he showed up in TNA to fight James Storm and Seiya Sanada.
- Sesquipedalian Smith: To Japanese readers anyway
- Signature Move: Besides the green mist, he was known for the tarantula in WWE and a handspring back elbow.
- Tag Team:
- The Unholy Alliance in ECW with Mikey Whipwreck
- A team with Akio (Jimmy Wang Yang) and Sakoda. While it was reported on the Internet that the trio was named Kyo Dai, WWE never actually used the name on TV.
- Ted Baxter: During the "Bodai" gimmick with Akio and Sakoda where all his English conversations (or attempts at conversation) would be peppered with statements such as "I'm better!".
- Traumatic Haircut: Helped give one to Toru Yano when he tried to get out of it after losing a hair vs hair match.
- The Unintelligible: Only other Japanese wrestlers and Torrie Wilson could understand him.
- The Worf Effect: He was used to show off what a threat the Esperanza cyborg was in HUSTLE.
- Vocal Dissonance: When he was first heard cutting a promo in English, his voice came out much deeper and clearer than the higher pitch squeaking his Japanese tended to sound like.
- Western Zodiac: Used the name "Aquarius" at one point.
- Would Hit a Girl: Syuri is among the people he is feuding with in New Wrestling classic and Tajiri has defeated her one on one (she kind of deserved it).
- Worthy Opponent: He and Super Crazy considered each other this unless they got particularly angry with each other. Tajiri probably came out ahead in their rivalry as he won the ECW Television Title off Crazy and Crazy never won a comparable big match, but Crazy won more of their matches (both singles and 3-ways with Little Guido).
- You No Take Candle: His early English promos, in hindsight. At the time most people were too shocked to hear him talking at all to point it out.
"Coach, you are liar! I want rematch!"