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Characters / New Japan Pro-Wrestling

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This page lists the wrestlers and other talent who worked for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, in order of debut. For a list of current wrestlers by faction, see here.

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     Debuted in the Inoki Reign Era (1972-1988) 

AKIRA (野上 彰, Nogami Akira, 1984-2004, 2007-2010, 2012)

  • Facial Markings: Wears kabuki-style makeup.
  • Finishing Move: Musasabi Press and STF
  • Jack of All Stats
  • Power Stable: Legend
  • Only One Name: Referred to by his first name most of the time and in all cap0s when romanized.
  • Red Baron: "Movie Star", "Ring no Musasabi" ("The Squirrel of the Ring").
  • Shout-Out: His Thirtieth Anniversary Show in 2014 featured a story about how AKIRA had died in an accident and he had to reclaim his body from death. It was supposedly based on the 1978 film Heaven Can Wait, which is Nogami's favourite film, but the event overall echoed more YuYu Hakusho than anything.

André the Giant (André René Roussimoff, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986)

Don Arakawa (あらかわ まこと, Arakawa Makoto, 1972-1989, 2007, 2009)

Black Tiger I (Mark Hussey, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989)

Bob Backlund (Robert Lee "Bob" Backlund, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2001)

Bam Bam Bigelow (Scott Charles Bigelow, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992)

Masahiro Chono (蝶野 正洋, Chono Masahiro, 1984-1987, 1988-2010)

Riki Choshu (吉田光雄, Mitsuo Yoshida, 1974-1983, 1987-1998, 2000-2003)

The Cobra/George Takano (ジョージ高野, George Takano, 1976-1990, 2002, 2003)

The Dynamite Kid (Tom Billington, 1980-1984)

Tatsumi Fujinami (藤波 辰爾, Fujinami Tatsumi, 1972-2006)

Yoshiaki Fujiwara (藤原 喜明, Fujiwara Yoshiaki, 1972-1984, 1986-1989, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2009, 2012

Ivan Gomes (Ivan Simao da Cunha Gomes, 1975)

"By his weight and size I thought [Gomes] would be out of shape. When he stepped inside the ring and took off his robe, my father got impressed. He looked like Hulk."
—Carlson Gracie, vale tudo fighter

  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: He was billed as the Brazilian vale tudo champion, but Japanese audiences did not know what vale tudo was, and many thought it was some exotic school of martial arts or something.
  • I Know Jiu-Jitsu: Trained with famous judoka and jiu-jitsu teachers before the rising of the Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He also knew boxing.
  • Ur-Example: According to Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Satoru Sayama, it was Gomes who introduced the heel hook to NJPW. Where he learned it, or why catch wrestlers like Karl Gotch who presumably knew it did not introduce it beforehand, are unknown matters.

Karl Gotch (Karel Charles Istaz, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1982)

Tatsutoshi Goto (後藤 達俊, Goto Tatsutoshi, 1982-2006, 2007, 2008)

Chavo Guerrero, Sr. (Salvador Guerrero Llanes, 1978, 1980)

Animal Hamaguchi (濱口平吾, Hamaguchi Heigo, 1980-1984, 1990)

Stan Hansen (John Stanley Hansen II, 1977-1981, 1990, 2012)

Hiroshi Hase (馳 浩, Hase Hiroshi, 1987-1996)

Shinya Hashimoto (橋本 真也, Hashimoto Shin'ya, 1984-1987, 1988-2000)

Kantaro Hoshino (星野勘太郎, Hoshino Takeo, 1973-2009)

Hulk Hogan (Terry Gene Bollea, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1993, 1994, 2003)

The Hollywood Blonds

Buddy Roberts (Dale Hey, 1975, 1978, 1979)

Jerry Brown (Gerald Brown, 1975, 1978, 1979)

Norio Honaga (保永 昇男 Honaga Norio, 1979-1984, 1987-2003)

Takayuki Iizuka/Takashi Iizuka (飯塚 孝之, Iizuka Takayuki, 1986-2019)

  • Arch-Enemy: Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Wrestling/Yuji Nagata.
  • Ax-Crazy: After he betrayed Tenzan and joined G.B.H., he started to lose his mind
  • Bald of Evil: Shaved his head after his heel turn in the 2000s.
  • Beard of Evil: He had a beard to begin with, but after he turned bad, it grew to being long a and stringy one.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Tenzan, Makabe (& Honma) in G.B.H., Yano and Chaos, and, on his retirement no less, Tenzan again. He isn't called "The Great Traitor" for nothing.
  • Garbage Wrestler: As a heel, he adopted a more vicious fighting style. Brawing into the crowd, Iizuka weilded his iron fingers weapon, chairs, electric cable or string to choke his opponents and anything he can think of to inflict pain.
  • I Know Karate: Trained in Sambo in the Soviet Union along with Hiroshi Hase and once wrestled as Sambo Iizuka.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: Way later, he debuted in 1986.
  • Power Stable: G.B.H., CHAOS and Suzuki-gun.
  • Red Baron: "The Great Traitor" (after his Face–Heel Turn), "Blizzard of Treason", "Tekketsu no Shokeijin" ("The Blood and Iron Executioner"), "Kamokuna Toshi" ("The Taciturn Fighting Will"), "Crazy Boss", "Mr. Sleeper Hold", "Kyouran no Iron Finger" ("Frenzy Iron Finger"), "Ogesana Kyojin" ("The Bald Madman"}, "The Bald Malice".
  • Redemption Rejection: Tenzan tried numerous times to appeal to Iizuka's better half during the latter's retirement match. It didn't work and Suzuki-gun jumped on Tenzan as the show closed.
  • Running Gag: He has an odd tendency to attack NJPW commentator Shinpei Nogami and rip his shirt.
  • Suplex Finisher: Blizzard Suplex and his iron fingers weapon.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Before 2008, he was a fairly consistent mid-card face, then he turned on his tag team partner Tenzan and ended up changing everything about him. Now he’s a hardcore wrestling thug who attacks Shinpei Nogami because he's a fan of Yuji Nagata.
  • Weapon of Choice: The iron fingers as a heel which is more or less his unofficial finisher.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Tenzan, despite the latter's attempts to reconcile during Iizuka's retirement match.

Antonio Inoki (born 猪木寛至, Inoki Kanji, 1972-)

Shoji Kai (北沢源幸, Kitazawa Motoyuki, 1972-1980)

Killer Khan (小沢 正志 Ozawa Masashi, 1973-1975, 1976, 1977, 1981-1984)

Osamu Kido (木戸 修, Kido Osamu, 1972, 1977-1984, 1985-2001, 2003)

  • Boring, but Practical/Dull Surprise: Kido was a career mid-carder due to his effective yet unflashy wrestling style and inability to emote.
  • Finishing Move: Kido Clutch and Fujiwara Armbar.
  • I Know Shoot-Style: And was Karl Gotch's closest student.
  • Red Baron: "Ibushigin" ("Oxidized Silver") and the "Conscience of New Japan"
  • The Unfavorite: He would have been more successful if he had had more charisma.
  • Wrestling Family: Kido’s brother Tokio who retired from in-ring competition after a spine injury during a sparing match. When Tokio died in 1977, Kido dedicated the rest of his career to his brother who never had one.
  • The Worf Effect: For every win he had, a loss wasn’t too far behind.

Kengo Kimura (木村聖裔, Kimura Seiei, 1973-1977, 1980-2003)

Kuniaki Kobayashi (小林邦昭, Kobayashi Kuniaki, 1973–1980, 1982-1984, 1987-)

Shiro Koshinaka (越中 詩郎, Koshinaka Shirō, 1985-2003, 2007)

  • Ass Kicks You: Used hip attacks as his signature move.
  • Finishing Move: Samurai Bomb, Samurai Driver '84 and Diving Hip Attack.
  • Power Stable: Heisei Ishingun
  • Red Baron: "Samurai" and variants ("Samurai Senshi", "Samurai Shiro" and such)
  • Ur-Example: The very first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and one of the first male wrestlers to use hip attacks (as a serious move, nothing less).

Jushin Thunder Liger (山田恵&#19968, Yamada Keiichi, 1984-1986, 1987-)

Akira Maeda (前田 日明, Maeda Akira 1978-1984, 1985-1988)

Keiji Mutoh/The Great Muta (武藤 敬司, Mutoh Keiji, 1984-1986, 1990–2002, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013)

Pegasus Kid/Wild Pegasus (Christopher Michael Benoit, 1986-1987, 1990-1997, 199, 2000)

Johnny Powers (Dennis Waters, 1973-1977, 1979-1980)

Willem Ruska (1976-1980, 1994)

  • Achilles' Heel: Nobody wanted to be in the same ring as Ruska if he had his judogi on, but it was said he was surprisingly awkward in no-gi submissions, with catch wrestlers like Inoki, Fujiwara and Kido being supposedly able to hook him that way. Apparently, this was why Ivan Gomes demanded Ruska didn't wear the gi when they had their bout in Brazil.
  • The Bully: Reportedly loved to pull pranks on other wrestlers, as nobody wanted to get into a fight with him with good reason.
  • Dissonant Serenity: After the Ruska/Gomes fiasco, a mob of offended Brazilians tried to enter the NJPW restroom. One of the foreign wrestlers, Pete Roberts, was scared shitless, while Ruska, despite having just been half-choked out in the ring, was completely biase.
  • The Dreaded: Was considered one of the strongest grapplers in Japan during his time here.
  • Fish out of Water: He never actually learned wrestling, and his in-ring work was more based around his judo. Probably expected, given that he was more focused in the money aspect of pro wrestling.
  • I Know Judo: A decorated judo champion.
  • Instant Expert: He wanted to train at the Kodokan before his match with Inoki, but he was not allowed because they don't like pro wrestling there, so he instead went to an Olympic amateur wrestling gym. There he found Yoshiaki Yatsu, who would later join NJPW, and Ruska wrecked him badly. (Possibly subverted, though, given that Ruska had been training partners with Chris Dolman, an amateur wrestler, so he wasn't completely ignorant of the game.)
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: His victory over Brazilian vale tudo legend Ivan Gomes in a work gone shoot happened when the referee (also from NJPW) counted an apron count-out while Gomes was trying to choke him out.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He was incredibly strong and fast, and could throw people like nothing.
  • Red Baron: "Akaoni" ("Red Demon").

Hiro Saito (斎藤 弘幸, Saito Hiroyuki, 1980-1981, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989-2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)

Masa Saito (斎藤 昌典, Saitō Masanori, 1974-1978, 1983-1999)

Seiji Sakaguchi (坂口征二, Sakaguchi Seiji, 1972-2007)

  • Badass Family: His son Yukio is a MMA figher and pro wrestler, and his other son Kenji is an actor.
  • Cool Teacher: He founded the Sakaguchi Dojo, in which it taught judo, MMA, amateur wrestling and pro wrestling.
  • Finishing Move: Atomic Drop, Backbreaker Rack and Neck Hanging Tree (Chokebomb).
  • The Giant: The tallest native wrestler in the history of the company.
  • I Know Judo: A bronze medalist in world championships.
  • Red Baron: "Sekaii no Arawashi" ("The World's Wild Eagle")
  • Underwear of Power

El Samurai (松田 納, Matsuda Osamu, 1986-1991, 1992-2008)

Naoki Sano (佐野直喜, Sano Naoki, 1984-1985, 1987, 1989-1990, 1995-1996, 2009, 2011)

Kensuke Sasaki (佐々木 健介, Sasaki Kensuke, 1987-1988, 1990-2002, 2004-2005)

Tiger Jeet Singh (Jag Jeet Singh Hans, 1972-1981)

Rick Steiner (Robert Rechsteiner, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2000, 2008)

Super Strong Machine/Junji Hirata (平田 淳嗣, Hirata Junji, 1978-1982, 1984-1986, 1987-2018)

Nobuhiko Takada (髙田延彦, Takada Nobuhiko, 1984, 1986-1988, 1995-1996)

Tiger Mask (佐山 聡, Sayama Satoru, 1976-1983)

Último Dragón (浅井 嘉浩, Asai Yoshihiro, 1987, 1992-1996, 2004)

Big Van Vader (Leon Allen White, 1987-1992, 1996)

The Von Erichs

Kerry Von Erich (Kerry Gene Adkisson, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)

Kevin Von Erich (Kevin Adkisson, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)

Kotetsu Yamamoto (山本 勝 Yamamoto Masaru, 1972-1980, 1992, 1994, 2003, 2008)

  • Above the Influence: He once said in a tv program that he has never read or watched porn and never had an interest in it.
  • The Apprentice: To Rikidozan and was considered his last disciple. He later became one to Karl Gotch and Antonio Inoki.
  • Author Appeal: His teachings are called Kotetsu-ism by his students, which is just a mix of Gotch-ism, Inoki-ism, and his own ideas.
  • Badass Teacher: Was the main trainer of the New Japan Dojo since 1980 till his death.
  • Bash Brothers: With Kantaro Hoshino as the Yamaha Brothers.
  • Bodybuilding: Was a bodybuilder at a local YMCA before he got into wrestling.
  • Combat Commentator: Was notable for being the color commentator with Akira Fukuzawa in NJPW and was the first pro-wrestler to become a commentator in Japan.
  • Combat Referee: Has refereed a few New Japan matches.
  • Follow the Leader: Along with Antonio Inoki and Karl Gotch, Yamamoto is said to be responsible for the fundamental of New Japan's "Strong Style".
  • He Also Did: Was also the General Manager of Planning and Advertising at NJPW, and was President and Representative Director of New Japan Pro-Wrestling Service.
  • Hidden Depths: He bought the first dojo ring for New Japan when it was in its infancy, he got the funds from sueing the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance and winning the lawsuit and 2 million yen. He is credited with creating New Japan’s lion logo.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Outside the ring and dojo, he is said to be quite sociable and usually had lunch with the trainees and young lions to get to know them better.
  • Red Baron: "Ningen Bakudan" ("Human Bomb"), "Oni Kōchi/Gunsō" ("Demon Coach/Sergeant").
  • Respected by the Respected: Is respected by almost everyone that has trained under him.
  • Ring Oldies: Was a founding father of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Was doing the same exercises and drills he instructs his trainees in while his 60s.
  • Sadist Teacher: Not unusual especially in Japanese pro wrestling, but he was described as being quite shinai-friendly.
  • Shout-Out: He was named "Kotetsu" by Toyonobori after Aizu-no-Kotetsu, a knight-errant from the 19th century.
  • The Stoic: Was very serious when it came to wrestling and never smiled in the dojo.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Yamamoto was considered to be part of the NJPW "big three" executives along with Antonio Inoki and Hisashi Shinma. Also along with Inoki and Karl Gotch, they are said to be responsible for the fundamentals of the Japanese "strong style".

Kazuo Yamazaki (山崎 一夫, Yamazaki Kazuo, 1982-1984, 1985-1988, 1995-2000)

  • Badass Teacher/Combat Commentator: Some of his roles after his retirement.
  • Cool Teacher: Is described as a much more pleasant trainer than Kotetsu Yamamoto, who liked his shinai cane too much.
  • Finishing Move: Cross Armbreaker, Cross Kneelock and Kick to the Head.
  • I Know Shoot-Style: He brought it from Universal Wrestling Federation.
  • The Quisling: Deserted from rival promotion UWF International seeking his opportunity to shine. He didn't get it, but helped to promote the shoot-style wrestling in the NJPW Dojo, where he was instructor for a time.
  • Red Baron: "Ippikiokami" ("Lone Wolf")
  • Took a Level in Badass: Almost winning the 1998 G1 Climax tournament, beating three former and future IWGP Heavyweight champions (Tatsumi Fujinami, Kensuke Sasaki, and Masahiro Chono) before losing to Shinya Hashimoto in the final round.

     Debuted in the First Generation Era (1988-1994) 

Black Tiger II (Eduardo Gori Guerrero Llanes, 1993-1996)

El Gigante (Jorge González 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995)

Tony Halme (Tony Christian Halme, 1990-1993)

Owen Hart (Owen James Hart, 1988, 1990, 1991)

Salman Hashimikov (Salman Alkhazurovich Hashimikov, 1989-1990)

Hercules Hernandez (Raymond Fernandez, 1993, 1994)

Koji Kanemoto/ Tiger Mask III (金本 浩二, Kanemoto Kōji, 1990-2013)

Kendo Kashin (石澤常光, Ishiziwa Tokimitsu, 1992-1996, 1997-2002, 2005-2006)

Koji Kitao (北尾光司, 1990)

Satoshi Kojima (小島 聡, Kojima Satoshi, 1991-2002, 2010-)

Dean Malenko (Dean Simon; 1992-1997, 1999)

Yuji Nagata (永田 裕志, Nagata Yuji, 1992-1997, 1998-)

Manabu Nakanishi (中西 学, Nakanishi Manabu, 1992-1995, 1996-2020)

Osamu Nishimura (西村修, Nishimura Osamu, 1991-1994, 1998-2006)

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: He is a similar character to Michinoku Pro Wrestling's Jinsei Shinzaki: they are both spiritual wrestlers who pray or meditate during moves, both have had famous careers abroad, and both use traditional forms of wrestling (catch and lucha libre, respectively).
  • The Apprentice: A proud Tatsumi Fujinami trainee. He credits Fujinami with creating the Muga he worships. And of course, he also venerates Karl Gotch.
  • Bash Brothers: With Tatsumi Fujinami (as Team Muga, sometimes adding Katsushi Takemura as a third member), Manabu Nakanishi (as Gotch-ism) and Hiroyoshi Tenzan.
  • Boring, but Practical: His Finishing Move, the Abdominal Stretch.
  • Catchphrase: He used to have one, complete with Gratuitous English: "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please..."
  • Combat Pragmatist: Usually targets single limbs of his opponents with his submissions, as in the classic catch Wrestling Psychology.
  • Determinator: He's a cancer survivor.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Sometimes wrestled barefoot to emphasize his yoga roots.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Despite being the face, he refused to shake Bas Rutten's hand before their catch contest. In fact, he got angry during the match and elbowed Rutten in the neck, drawing a yellow card from the referee.
  • I Know Catch Wrestling: Trained by Karl Gotch, he uses a catch submission based offensive. He also learned yoga in Sri Lanka and Chinese medicine to improve his condition.
  • Insistent Terminology: He constantly talks about the "Muga" (meaning "selflessness") to refer his particular vision of pro wrestling, based in traditional catch wrestling.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: He and Satoshi Kojima used to critize each other's wrestling styles, Nishimura's "Muga Puroresu" (a ground-based, catch wrestling style) and Kojima's "Lariat Puroresu" (a more AJPW-like, high-impact style).
  • Underwear of Power
  • Red Baron: "Mr. Muga", "Muga no Dendoshi" ("The Missionary of Muga"), "Tatakau Tetsugakusha" ("The Fighting Philosopher"), "Jiyujin" ("The Free Man").
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: He went to train with Jack Brisco to improve his figure four leglock.

Scott Norton (Scott Michael Norton, 1990-1993, 1996-2006)

Michiyoshi Ohara(小原道由, Ohara Michiyoshi, 1990-2004, 2006, 2007)

Shinjiro Otani (大谷晋二郎, 1992-2001, 2013)

Rick Rude (Richard Erwin Rood, 1992, 1994)

The Road Warriors/The Hell Raisers

Road Warrior Animal (Joseph Aaron "Joe" Laurinaitis 1990, 1996)

Road Warrior Hawk/Hawk Warrior (Michael James Hegstrand 1990, 1992-1996)

Scott Steiner (Scott Carl Rechsteiner 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2008)

Sting (Steve Borden, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996)

Minoru Suzuki (鈴木 実, Suzuki Minoru, 1988-1989, 2003-2005, 2006-2007, 2010-)

Tatsuhito Takaiwa/Black Tiger V (高岩竜一, Takaiwa Tatsuhito, 1992-2001, 2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2012)

Hiroyoshi Tenzan (山本 広吉, Yamamoto Hiroyoshi, 1991-1993, 1995-)

Dr. Wagner, Jr. (Juan Manuel González Barrón, 1988, 1997-2002)

The World Class Tag Team

Gedo (高山 圭司, Takayama Keiji, 1989, 2001-)

Jado (秋吉 昭二 , Akiyoshi Shōji, 1989, 2001-)

  • Bash Brothers
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The left CTU prior to its dissolution for G.B.H., betrayed Makabe and Honma in favor of joining Chaos, then turned on Okada and Chaos to align themselves with the Bullet Club.
  • Older Sidekick: Gedo served as Okada’s manager and mouthpiece before betraying him and joining Jay White. For Jado's part, he now seconds the Guerillas of Destiny.
  • Power Stable: Team 2000, CTU, G.B.H., Chaos and the Bullet Club
  • Red Baron: English commentator, Kevin Kelly called Jado the "Master Heater" after he joined the Bullet Club and now the name is canon.
  • Shout-Out: Jado follows his knife edge chops with Woo! and flops on his face after takings some hits. Both of these actions are paying homage to Ric Flair.

     Debuted in the Three Musketeers Era (1994-1999) 

Buff Bagwell (Marcus Alexander Bagwell, 1996-1997)

Big Titan (Richard "Rick" Bognar, 1998-1999)

  • Canada, Eh?: Was born in Calgary and is one of the few Canadian members of the nWo.
  • Finishing Move: Lariat and Powerbomb
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: The only non-Japanese member of nWo Japan to not come from WCW first.
  • The Giant: Standing at 6'6, he dwarfed most of the wrestlers he came up against in New Japan.

Black Cat (Victor Mar Manuel, 1994-2003)

Ric Flair (Richard Morgan Fliehr, 1995, 1996)

Don Frye (Donald "Don" Frye, 1997-2001, 2002, 2004)

Kazuyuki Fujita (藤田 和之, Fujita Kazuyuki, 1996-1999, 2001-2005)

Chris Jericho (Christopher Keith Irvine, 1997, 1998, 2017-2019)

Masahito Kakihara (垣原 賢人, Kakihara Masahito, 1995, 1996, 2001-2006)

Togi Makabe (真壁 伸也, Makabe Shin'ya, 1997-)

TAKA Michinoku (吉田 貴男, Yoshida Takao 1994, 1996-1997 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007-)

nWo Sting/Super J (Jeff Farmer, 1997-2000, 2001-2002)

Naoya Ogawa (小川 直也, Ogawa Naoya, 1997-2000, 2001, 2002, 2004)

The Great Sasuke (村川 政徳, Murakawa Masanori, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011)

TAJIRI (田尻 義博, Yoshihiro Tajiri, 1997, 2009-2010)

Yoshihiro Takayama (高山 善廣, Takayama Yoshihiro, 1995-1996, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2010-2017)

Genichiro Tenryu (嶋田源一郎, Shimada Gen'ichiro, 1998-2000)

Dick Togo (佐藤 茂樹, Sato Shigeki, 1996-1997, 2002-2011, 2020-)

M. Wallstreet (Lawrence Michael Rotunda, 1997-1999)

Tadao Yasuda (安田 忠夫, Yasuda Tadao, 1994-2005)

Yutaka Yoshie (吉江 豊, Yoshie Yutaka, 1994-2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)

     Debuted in the Inoki-ism Era (1999-2006) 

American Dragon (Bryan Danielson, 2002, 2003-2004)

Josh Barnett (Joshua Lawrence Barnett 2003-2004)

  • Badass Boast: Often vowed to finish MMA matches with German suplexes and other pro wrestling moves, to the point it almost became a Running Gag when he announced it only to lose or win in any other way.
  • Badass Teacher: Taught Bob Sapp how to wrestle earning him the name, the ”Trainer of the Beast”.
  • Blood Knight: He really likes to fight.
  • Combat Commentator: Served as one of the english dub of NJPW on AXS.
  • I Know Catch Wrestling: Trained by Billy Robinson in the UWF Snakepit, and also trains in the Combat Submission Wrestling system under Erik Paulson. Subverted with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as he is ranked in the Machado system, it is an honorary rank and he never actually trained in it.
  • Otaku: A major one.
  • Red Baron: "The Warmaster"
  • Suplex Finisher: Had a German Suplex as his finishing move.

Curry Man/Christopher Daniels (Daniel Christopher Covell, 2002-2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2018)

Hirooki Goto (後藤洋央紀, Gotō Hirooki, 2003-2005, 2007-)
  • Always Second Best: For all his achievements, including winning the 2008 G1 Climax, he's never been able to capture the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, despite a whopping 8 attempts to do so.
  • Bash Brothers: With his childhood friend Shibata.
  • Cool Mask: As CTU-H
  • Everything's Better with Samurai
  • Finishing Move: Shouten, Shouten Kai and Goto Shiki
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With his former classmate Katsuyori Shibata, who allowed him to stay in his house and helped him to rehabilitate his injuried shoulder before his second entrance exam to New Japan (he had to left the company after passing the first one due to said injury).
  • I Know Aikido: He trains in the Yoshinkan dojo.
  • Kimono Is Traditional: Often wrestles in a hakama.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Is surprinsigly strong for a wrestler his size.
  • Opposing Sports Team: Thanks to this trope, Goto pretty much played the heel by default for his NEVER Openweight title defense at the G1 Special in San Francisco, since his opponent, Jeff Cobb, was the local indie promotion's heavyweight champion.
  • Power Stable: Control Terrorism Unit (CTU), RISE and Chaos.
  • Red Baron: "Aramusha" ("Daredevil"), "Fukkoku Strong-Style" ("New Iteration Strong-Style"), "Brave Warrior" and "Wild Samurai".
  • Reverse Psychology: Pulled this on Kota Ibushi who kept refusing his offers to fight for the NEVER Openweight Championship. After a regular match he told him he would stop offering, provoking Ibushi to propose the match on his own. Unfortunately for Goto, it backfired when he was defeated for the title as a result.
  • Signature Move: The ushigoroshi, a fireman's carry neckbreaker that Goto himself was the first to popularize.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: A modern day wrestling Samurai.

Giant Silva (Paulo Silva, 2001-2003)

Giant Singh (Dalip Singh Rana, 2001-2002)

Heat/Minoru/ Minoru Tanaka (田中稔, Tanaka Minoru, 1999-2009)

Tomoaki Honma (本間朋晃, Honma Tomoaki, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007-)
  • Bash Brothers: With Makabe
  • Cool Mask: As Makai Masked Canadian
  • Determinator: This is true in his matches despite his Jobber status to begin with. It becomes solidified after he recovered from a terrible neck injury in 2017.
  • Finishing Move: Turmeric Clutch, Kokeshi and Pillar Crash.
  • Guttural Growler: Honma's characteristically hoarse voice is the result of crushed vocal chords.
  • Jobber: The only time he seems to wins is against Young Lions or as part of a tag team.
  • Power Stable: Makai Club and G.B.H.
  • Ricky Morton: Usually in tag teams with Makabe.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Beat Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows with Makabe to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship in Wrestle Kingdom 2016.
  • Use Your Head: His sick looking Flying Headbutt which he has even done on an opponent lying on the floor.

Wataru Inoue (井上 亘, Inoue Wataru, 1999-2014)

Tomohiro Ishii (石井 智宏, Ishii Tomohiro, 2004, 2005, 2006-)

Taiji Ishimori (石森 太二 Ishimori Taiji, 2004-2005, 2010, 2016, 2018-)

Joanie Laurer (Joan Marie Laurer, 2002)

Brock Lesnar (Brock Edward Lesnar, 2005-2007)

Naomichi Marufuji (丸藤正道, Marufuji Naomichi, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)

Kazunari Murakami (村上 和成, Murakami Kazunari, 2000-2004, 2006)

Hiroshi Nagao (長尾浩志, Nagao Hiroshi, 2002-2006)

  • Game-Breaking Injury: The guy was fragile. In just six months, he injured his knee in a ring appearance before his debut, then he got injured during his very debut, and then injured his arm while in training. The wear of all those bits pretty much convinced him to leave NJPW's grueling schedule.
  • The Giant: Unusually tall for a Japanese, he was compared to Giant Baba himself.
  • I Know Volleyball: A former volleyball star from the Sakai Blazers.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Was a very agile giant, using great leaps and high altitude dropkicks, and was said to be better at it than some junior heavyweights.
  • Put on a Bus: Despite being a promising rookie, he left NJPW very abruptly in order to "consider better options" (translated: to sign up with Fighting Opera HUSTLE, who offered him a lot of money for a much more relaxed schedule).
  • Neck Lift: The chokeslam was his finisher.

Shinsuke Nakamura (中邑 真輔, Nakamura Shinsuke, 2002-2006, 2006-2016)

Tetsuya Naito (内藤 哲也, Naitō Tetsuya, 2005-2009, 2009-)

Masayuki Naruse (成瀬 昌由, Naruse Masayuki, 2001-2006)

TJ Perkins/Pinoy Boy/Puma/TJP (Theodore “Teddy” James Perkins, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2019-)

  • Finishing Move: Detonation Kick
  • I Have Many Names: Throughout his New Japan career, he has gone by several different aliases.
  • Older than They Look: For his first New Japan match being in 2002 TJ still looks remarkably youthful in his mid-30s.
  • Red Baron: "The Fil-Amnote  Flash"
  • Weak, but Skilled: While TJ lacks in size and strength, he compensates with his agility and mastery of submission techniques.

Rocky Romero/Black Tiger IV (John R. Rivera, 2002, 2003, 2004-2006, 2008-)

Bas Rutten (Sebastian "Bas" Rutten, 2002)

Bob Sapp (Robert Malcolm "Bob" Sapp, 2002-2004, 2012-2013)

Katsuyori Shibata (柴田勝頼, Shibata Katsuyori, 1999-2004, 2006, 2012-)

Silver King/Black Tiger III (César Cuauhtémoc González Barrón, 2001-2002)

Davey Boy Smith, Jr. (Harry Smith, 2005, 2012-2019)
  • Badass Wrestling Family: He's the son of the British Bulldog and a member of the the Hart Family.
  • The Brute: While he's not limited to strength due to his technical wrestling prowess, he along with Archer are the tallest and strongest members of Suzuki-gun.
  • Cool Mask: Wears luchador-style mask of a cartoon bulldog.
  • Evil Brit: Subverted, he’s Canadian, but he has British heritage.
  • Finishing Move: Bulldog Bomb, Sharpshooter and Running Powerslam.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Has been aligned with the vicious Suzuki-gun since the start of his second run with the company.
  • It Runs in the Family: As a member of the Hart family and the Son of one of the British Bulldogs, it certainly to be expected.
  • Legacy Character: To his father, the British Bulldog. Aside from his maternal features and lack of British accent, he's the spitting image and is just as big.
  • Power Stable: Suzuki-gun.
  • Red Baron: "Bulldog Jr." or "Bulldog the Second"
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: The Canadian flag on his pants as a member of K.E.S. Lately he's been wearing the colors of the Union Jack on his gear.

Kenzo Suzuki (鈴木健想, Suzuki Kenzo, 2000-2003)

Ryusuke Taguchi (田口 隆祐, Taguchi Ryusuke, 2002-)
  • Afro Asskicker: When he initially became the Funky Weapon.
  • Disco Dan: Was once the stuck in the 70s/80s variety.
  • Finishing Move: Dondon, Dondon The End, Enban Chuudoku, Mirror Magic Go!, Milano-saku Dodon's Throne, Shika Koroshi, Uradodon
  • Happy Dance: After he wins his matches in his Disco Dan days.
  • Large Ham: "Oh yeah!" even without a mic in hand he can make himself heard on the house mics.
  • Power Stable: Taguchi Japan
  • Red Baron: "Funky Weapon", "Master Of Dropkicks" (Master Of Dropkick is also the name of his entrance theme)
  • Shaking the Rump: A taunt of his during his 80s stint.
  • Shout-Out: Uses the three amigos and a frog splash...okay, a 180 frog splash but the intent is obvious.
  • Theatrics of Pain: He's a great seller, all the more noticeable in this atmosphere. With the subdued audience you can really hear his pained breaths and cries of anguish, plus contrast them against all the guys who hardly sell.

Yujiro Takahashi (高橋 裕二郎, Takahashi Yujiro, 2004-2009, 2009-)

  • Cane Fu: His pimp cane as a member of the Bullet Club.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He's turned on Naito, Chaos, and the Elite.
  • Cool Shades: Always has a pair of sunglasses for his entrance after his heel turn.
  • Finishing Move: Bukko Nuki German, Suisha Otoshi, Tokyo Pimps, Pimp Juice, Miami Shine and Intercollege Slam.
  • Kavorka Man: Not the best looking wrestler yet hangs out with beautiful women like Mao and Pieter.
  • Power Stable: Chaos and Bullet Club
  • Red Baron: "Mr. R Rated" during his ladies man gimmick. This was changed to the even less subtle "The Tokyo Pimps".
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: As a ladies man, he's one of Val Venis and as a pimp, he's one of the Godfather).
  • The Worf Effect: Gets a good amount of wins in tag matches and against lower card and Young Lion talent. Most of the time though, he doesn't win when it matters.

Hiroshi Tanahashi (棚橋 弘至, Tanahashi Hiroshi, 1999-)

Tiger Mask IV (山崎義弘, Yamazaki Yoshihiro, 2002-).

  • Animal Motifs: Lions perhaps?
  • Battle Strip: At ''NJPW Fight For Existence II" when called out by Low Ki, though it was quickly broken up before anything could really happen.
  • Cool Mask: Comes with the Tiger Mask gimmick.
  • Finishing Move: Tiger Suplex, Avalanche Double Underhook Suplex and other variants.
  • Legacy Character: The first person to be Tiger Mask since Koji Kanemoto was unmasked in 1995.
  • Masked Luchador: Specifically, the entire Tiger Mask line owe their existence to Fray Tormenta.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: He is somewhat infamous because he likes to criticize things on the company, like the guest MMA fighters and the new junior heavyweights.

Naofumi Yamamoto/Yoshitatsu (山本 尚史, Yamamoto Naofumi, 2002-2007, 2014-2017)

Toru Yano (矢野 通, Yano Tōru, 2001-)
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Combat Pragmatist: He fights incredibly dirty and does whatever he can to get away with it. He won a G1 Climax match by taping the opponent's legs together outside the ring, therefore by ring-out.
  • Drunken Master: Used to carry a bottle of sake to the ring.
  • Finishing Move: Oni Koroshi, Kagamiwari and various pinfalls.
  • Garbage Wrestler
  • Genre Savvy: He gradually learns that leaving himself open during his Rob Van Dam style taunt allows opponents to sneak up behind him. He uses this knowledge to catch them off guard more often than not — and goes back to the taunt.
  • Large Ham: Maybe their largest.
  • Not So Harmless: Occasionally breaks out of his wacky comedy style and shows his legitimate grappling background.
  • Power Stable: G.B.H. and Chaos
  • Product Placement: Somehow turned this into part of his entrance, as he now always shills his latest Yano Toru or CHAOS DVD to the crowd (and even during his speech at the G1 Climax 24 press conference, causing Shinsuke Nakamura and Kazuchika Okada to crack up behind him)
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Yano’s catchphrase involves emphasizing each word while pointing to himself with both thumbs: YANO! TO! RU! Also yes, this is a complete rip-off of what Rob Van Dam does.
  • Red Baron: "YTR"
  • Traumatic Haircut: Given one by Tajiri after losing a hair vs hair match.
  • Weapon of Choice: His red steel chair and spitting sake in his opponent’s face.

Ryūshi Yanagisawa (柳澤 龍志, Yanagisawa Ryūshi, 2002-2006)

     Debuted in the Strong Style Reborn Era (2006-2012) 

Karl Anderson (Chad Allegra, 2008-2016, 2021-)

Kurt Angle (Kurt Steven Angle, 2007, 2008, 2009)

Lance Archer (Lance Hoyt, 2011-2020)

Giant Bernard (Matthew Jason "Matt" Bloom, 2006-2012)

D'Lo Brown (Accie Connor) 2007

Milano Collection A.T. (澤藤 章人, Sawafuji Akihito, 2006-)

Prince Devitt/Pegasus Kid II (Fergal Devitt, 2006-2014)

King Fale/Bad Luck Fale (Fale Simitaitoko, 2010-2012, 2013-)

Mitsuhide Hirasawa/Hideo Saito/Captain New Japan/Bone Soldier (平澤 光秀, Hirasawa Mitsuhide, 2006-2010, 2011-2017)

  • Cool Mask: As Captain New Japan
  • Determinator: While Cap usually serves as Jobber, he makes his opponent work for their win.
  • Expy: An obvious homage to Captain America
  • The Good Captain: As Captain New Japan, he was a member of the New Japan Army and a steadfast, if not hapless, ally of Tanahashi.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: The last couple years saw him changes from Seigigun face to chaotic heel to a Super Hero to heel again.
  • Jobber: As Cap and Bone Soldier, he was the most notorious jobber on the roster. As Cap, he entertain the crowd but was a compete joke and treated like a jinx to most of his allies. As Bone Soldier, he was treated more vicious, but the crowd grew indifferent to him and his lack of winning ways led Kenny Omega to ostracize him then kick him out of the Bullet Club.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Be it a toy shield as Captain New Japan.
  • Power Stable: Seigigun as Hirasawa, Chaos as Saito and Bullet Club as Bone Soldier.

Kota Ibushi (飯伏幸太, Ibushi Kota, 2009-)

Taichi Ishikari/Taichi (牧 太一郎, Maki Taichiro, 2006, 2007, 2009 2010-)

Brian Kendrick (2011-2013)

Low Ki (Brandon Silvestry, 2008-2009, 2011-2013)

KUSHIDA (櫛田 雄二郎, Kushida Yūjirō, 2010-2019)

  • Bash Brothers: With TAJIRI (also his teacher) and Alex Shelley in the Time Splitters.
  • Finishing Move: Kushida Lock, Midnight Express and Supernova Press.
  • One-Steve Limit: Only goes by his last name so not to get confused with Bullet Club member, Yujiro Takahashi.
  • Red Baron: "Tornado Kid"
  • Shout-Out: He has referenced Back to the Future several times including wearing Marty McFly’s orange future jacket.

Máscara Dorada (2011-2016)

Kyosuke Mikami/El Desperado (三上 恭佑, Mikami Kyōsuke, 2011-2012, 2014)

Mistico, Carístico (Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde, 2009, 2011, 2016, 2019)

MVP (Hassan Hamin Assad FKA Alvin Burke Jr. 2011-2013)

Mikey Nicholls (Michael Nicholls, 2006, 2015, 2019)

Kazuchika Okada (岡田 和睦, Okada Kazuchika, 2007-2010, 2010-)

Kenny Omega (Tyson Smith, 2010-2011, 2012, 2013, 2014-2019)

Davey Richards (Wesley David Richards, 2010-2012)

Rhino (Terrance Guido Gerin, 2008, 2011)

Chris Sabin (Joshua "Josh" Harter, 2009-2010, 2018)

Alex Shelley (Patrick Martin, 2009-2010, 2012-2016)

La Sombra (Manuel Alfonso Andrade Oropeza, 2010-2011, 2012, 2013-2015)

Strong Man (Jon Andersen, 2010-2013)

Hiromu Takahashi/Kamaitachi ((高橋 広夢 Takahashi Hiromu, 2010-2013, 2016-)

Masato Tanaka (田中将斗, Tanaka Masato, 2006, 2007, 2008-2013)

Tama Tonga (Alipate Leone, 2010-2012, 2013-)

Team 3D

Brother Devon (Devon Hughes, 2008-2010)

Brother Ray (Mark LoMonaco, 2008-2010)

Travis Tomko (Travis David Tomko, 2006-2008)

Volador Jr. (Ramón Ibarra Rivera, 2012-)

  • Finishing Move: Ataque Depredador
  • Masked Luchador: At first, but lost his mask to La Sombra at the CMLL 80th Anniversary Show in 2013. All his apperances in New Japan since has been maskless (at least when he competes in-ring).
  • Red Baron: “The Skywalker”

Takaaki Watanabe/EVIL (渡辺 高章 Watanabe Takaaki, 2011-2013, 2015-)

  • Acrofatic: Not the fattest wrestler ever, but for his size, he his very agile.
  • Beard of Evil: Yes, the beard literally belongs to EVIL.
  • Came Back Wrong: When Takaaki Watanabe left on excursion, he was just an ordinary Young Lion. Then he came back, and, well...
  • Catchphrase: "This is EVIL! EVERYTHING is EVIL! Subete wa..."
  • Dark Horse Victory: In tournament competition, EVIL has a reputation for scoring shocking upset victories. The most infamous of these came during the 2017 G1 Climax, when he defeated Kazuchika Okada himself, handing Okada his first singles loss in over a year and earning himself an IWGP Heavyweight title match.
  • Finishing Move: Evil (STO)
  • Large Ham
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Currently the closest thing to a supernatural character NJPW has on their roster.
  • Obviously Evil: Gee, I wonder if the name gave it away.
  • Power Stable: First Los Ingobernables de Japón, then Bullet Club.
  • Red Baron: “King of Darkness”
  • Sinister Scythe: His entrance has him carrying one to the ring.

YOSHI-HASHI (吉橋 伸雄, Yoshihashi Nobuo, 2008-2010, 2012-)
  • Bullying a Dragon: He felt disrespected by Shibata, one of New Japan’s most brutal wrestlers and challenged him to a match. It went about as expected.
  • Determinator: Despite the below, he never gives up and gives it his all even when he's against guys who are twice his size. Even managing to knock them off their feet. Finishing them off on the other hand...
  • Jobber: Unless Iizuka was with him, chances are he ate the pin for Chaos. Now that Iizuka and Yujiro defected from Chaos, he is clearly on the lowest rung on the ladder of heavyweights in CHAOS. He gets the occasional singles win but no real momentum or significant streak.
  • Power Stable: Chaos
  • Red Baron: "Loose Explosion" (at least that's what it said on his pants), and "Headhunter".
  • Shout-Out: His costume and staff pay homage to the Monkey King from ‘’Journey to the West’’.

     Debuted in the Rainmaker Era (2012-2019) 

ACH (Albert Christian Hardie Jr., 2016-2018, 2020-2021)

Beretta (Gregory "Greg" Marasciulo, 2013, 2015-2019)

Shelton X Benjamin (Shelton James Benjamin, 2012-2015)

The Briscoe Brothers

Jay Briscoe (Jamin "Jay" Pugh, 2016-2019)

Mark Briscoe (Mark Pugh, 2016-2019)

BUSHI (清水 哲也, Shimizu Tetsuya, 2012-)

Sami Callihan (Sam Johnston, 2017)

Dalton Castle (Brett Giehl, 2016-2019)

Cheeseburger (Brandel Littlejohn, 2016-2019)

Jeff Cobb (Jeffrey Cobb, 2017-)

  • Acrofatic: It isn’t enough of him to be as strong as an ox, but Cobb has displayed jaw-dropping levels of agility for a guy his size.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: Pulled a variation of this at the G1 Special in San Francisco, where he challenged for the NEVER Openweight Championship and walked out carrying the top title from local indie promotion APW. The crowd promptly latched onto Jeff, cheering him over Hirooki Goto.
  • Finishing Move: Tour of the Islands, Gachimuchi-sault (Standing Moonsault)
  • Leotard of Power: Wears customized singlets from SPLX.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Built like a tank, but scarily agile and capable of some impressive high-flying moves.
  • Power Stable: The United Empire.
  • Red Baron: Currently "The Hatchet", formerly “Mr. Athletic”.
  • Wrestling Monster: A heroic example until he joined the United Empire.

Cody (Cody Rhodes, 2016-2019)

Adam Cole (Austin Jenkins, 2016-2017)

Clark Connors (Connor Deutsch, 2018-)

Rob Conway (Robert Thomas Conway, (2013-2015)

Jax Dane (2013-2014)

Robbie Eagles (2018-)

Michael Elgin (Aaron Frobel, 2015-2019)
  • Ascended Fanboy: He is a huge fan of New Japan and quickly became one of its more popular foreign stars during his tenure.
  • Canada, Eh?: Okay, not quite as nice as the stereotype.
  • Charles Atlas Super Power: Lifting and re-lifting wrestlers from the standing vertical suplex position like he was lifting weights.
  • Finishing Move: Elgin Bomb and Burning Hammer.
  • Lightning Bruiser: More so on the "bruiser".
  • Red Baron: "Unbreakable"
  • Revenge: He got the first ladder match in New Japan's history after Kenny Omega used a ladder and table to retain the IWGP intercontinental title belt against Elgin and injured his partner, Hiroshi Tanahashi.
  • Signature Move: Power bomb, turnbuckle bomb, crippler cross face.

David Finlay (David Finlay III, 2015-)

  • Catchphrase: “See you in the mountains”.
  • Finishing Move: Prima Nocta (Just called the Stunner in the English Commentary) and the Acid Drop.
  • Metalhead: Alluded to with his entrance attire and his long hair. His first song is titled “Samurai Rock” and his current song is very metal-esque.
  • Wrestling Family: An extensive family tree in the business. No not only is his dad Finlay aka Fit Finlay, his siblings, grandfather and great grandfathers were also professional wrestlers and his aunt and great uncle were referees.
  • Red Baron: "Celtic Prince", "The Rebel".

Karl Fredericks (Karl Fredericks, 2018-2022)

  • Badass Native: Karl is the first LA Dojo Young Lion of his class to graduate and is the 2019 Young Lion's Cup winner.
  • Finishing Move: MD
  • Red Baron: “The Alpha Wolf"
  • Ur-Example: The first non-Japanese wrestler to win the Young Lion's Cup in 2019.

Doc Gallows (Andrew "Drew" Hankinson, 2013-2016, 2021-)

Flip Gordon (Travis Gordon Lopes Jr., 2018, 2020)

Henare/Toa Henare/Aaron Henare (Aaron Henry, 2016-)

  • Finishing Move: First the TOA Bottom (Rock Bottom) and the Street of Rage (Death Valley Driver)
  • Cool Shades: Part of his updated look as a member of the United Empire.
  • Hot-Blooded: While he’s well spoken outside of the ring and most of his promos are subdued and humble, in the ring he’s quite intense.
  • Loincloth: For a bit of time, he wore a brown loincloth to the ring.
  • Power Stable: The United Empire.
  • Red Baron: "The Ultimate Weapon"
  • Wild Maori: Had aspects of this as a Young Lion, rapped it up when he graduated and now has dialed it back a bit.

Yoshinobu Kanemaru (金丸義信, Kanemaru Yoshinobu, 2017-)

Hirai Kawato/Master Wato (川人 拓来, Kawato Hirai, 2016-2018, 2020-)

Frankie Kazarian (Frank Gerdelman, 2015, 2018)

The Kingdom

Michael “Mike” Bennett (Michael Bennett 2014-2015)

Matt Taven (Matthew Marinelli 2014-2015, 2019)

Maria Kanellis (Mary Louise Kanellis 2014-2015)

TK O'Ryan (Stephen John Tkowski 2019)

Vinny Marseglia (Vincent Marseglia, 2019)

  • Battle Couple: Mike and Maria with Taven against Karl Anderson and Doc and Amber Gallows.
  • Batter Up!: TK O'Ryan's Weapon of Choice which is a reference to him being a baseball player in college.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Vinny who has a creepy look and is fond of bringing balloons to the ring.
  • Dark Action Girl: Maria would often cheat on the team’s behalf.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: Marseglia has unkempt, black dreads that matches his chaotic look.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Most of the New Japan roster could not resist Maria’s “charms”.
  • Insistent Terminology: Taven, O'Ryan and Marseglia like calling people "Melvins".
  • Jerkass: Both incarnations of filled with Smug Snakes with delusions of grandeur.
  • Red Baron: “The Prodigy” for Bennett, “The Chaotic Idol” for Taven, “The First Lady of Wrestling” for Maria, "The Sassy Wild Horse" for O'Ryan, and "The Horror King" for Marseglia.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Mostly the guys as Maria being a former WWE Diva. As Maria and Mike went to TNA and WWE, this is now more true for Taven's group.
  • Terrible Trio: Unless Maria was flirting with opponents, they didn’t like anyone and the feeling was mutual.

Alex Koslov (Alex Sherman, 2012-2015, 2020-)

Dragon Lee/Ryu Lee (2016-)

Jay Lethal (Jamar "Jay" Shipman, 2016-)

Tanga Loa (Tevita Fifita, 2016-)

Tomoyuki Oka/Great-O-Khan (岡 倫之, Oka Tomoyuki, 2016-2018, 2019, 2020-)

  • Bald of Evil: On his first official night back in Japan since becoming the Great-O-Khan, he interfered in in the G1 Climax and cost Okada his match against Will Ospreay, the latter turning heel on Okada minutes later.
  • Big Word Shout: Before he applies the submission hold, he yells out "Shuba!" before he applies the Oozora Subaru-style Sheep Murder. And yes, that is its official name.
  • Chinese Vampire: His entrance gear and mannerisms before matches are reminiscent of the jiangshi or hopping vampire.
  • Finishing Move: The Eliminator
  • I Know Karate: Before his New Japan career, O-Khan competed in tournaments for amateur wrestling, judo, karate, sambo, kickboxing, pankration, jiu-jitsu and mixed-martial arts.
  • Power Stable: One of the three founding members of The United Empire with Will Ospreay and Bea Priestly.
  • Red Baron: “The Dominator”
  • Screaming Warrior: Shrieks like a banshee as he attacks his opponent.
  • Spell My Name with an S: During his excursion in RevPro, his name was the Great O-Karn.

Will Ospreay (William Ospreay, 2016-)

Chase Owens (Chase Owens, 2014-)

  • Finishing Move: Package Piledriver.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Gets pretty petty when it comes to being left out of tournaments. This includes Finlay and Henare's "C Block" in the 2018 G1 Climax and being passed over for the 2018 World Tag League when regular partner, Yujiro, teamed up with fellow West Virginian, Hangman Page.
  • The Mole: In a video on the YouTube channel What Culture Chase and Tama Tonga claimed Chase was this in the BC Elite for the BC OGs all along. Whether this is in New Japan canon and/or not just a blatant lie by the OGs isn't made clear.
  • Power Stable: Bullet Club.
  • The Quiet One: Initially, he usually let the likes of Bruce Tharpe and later Kenny Omega talk for him. After a couple years, he managed to find his own voice.
  • Red Baron: "The Crown Jewel".

Hangman Page (Stevie Woltz, 2016-2019)

Ricochet (Trevor Mann, 2013-2017)

Juice Robinson (Joseph Robinson, 2015-)

  • All-American Face: Picked up elements of this as he started chasing the U.S. title, and ended up becoming the first American to hold the belt.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Jay White, who he's been interlocked with in one form or another since they were Young Lions. The two made amends in 2022 as Jay brought Robinson into Bullet Club.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Flamboyant Juice was so colorful and goofy, and Rock Hard Juice is so over-the-top obnoxious, that you might not take him seriously at first. Then you realize he's a 2-time IWGP United States Champion with wins over Jay White and Kenny friggin' Omega.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Despite an extended run in FCW and NXT previous to his New Japan debut, he elected to start from all the way at the bottom as a Young Lion and work his way back up the card.
  • Dreadlock Warrior: He rocked pretty long dreads from when he first showed up at the Dojo until he shaved them in mid-2019. He'd supposedly offered to cut them during his Young Lion training, but presumably, the trainers decided he was already more experienced than the rest of his class and therefore didn't need to cut it.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Attacked Hiroshi Tanahashi to stake another claim at the United States Championship while revealing himself as the newest Bullet Club member at Wrestling Dontaku 2022.
  • Finishing Move: A jumping version of Christian's Killswitch, which he calls "Pulp Friction".
  • Money, Dear Boy: His motive for joining Bullet Club is to make enough money to make a clean break from the business as quickly as possible.
  • Red Baron: "The Flamboyant" for several years, before joining Bullet Club and shifting to "Rock Hard".
  • Significant Haircut: Shockingly cut his iconic dreadlocks off before his U.S. championship defence against the debuting Jon Moxley to show how dead seriously he was taking his opponent.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Does he ever!
  • The Stoner: Not said outright, given that this is Japan and getting caught with weed can get you deported, but...c'mon. He's got the dreadlocks, the rainbow colors, the happy-go-lucky vibe...then some people eventually convinced him to ditch the weed and go for beers instead.
  • Tag Team: With David Finlay, until 2022.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Had once announced that his contract was about to run out and he had no plans to continue wrestling. Less than a month later, a masked man attacked Tanahashi and did the Turkish Wolf with Chase Owens. That masked man was Juice.

Roppongi 3K

Sho Tanaka/Sho (田中 翔 Tanaka Shō 2012-2016, 2017-)

Yohei Komatsu/Yoh (小松 洋平 Komatsu Yōhei 2012-2016, 2017-)

Rocky Romero/Black Tiger IV (John R. Rivera, 2002, 2003, 2004-2006, 2008-)

  • Badass Teacher: Rocky's role on the team is of a mentor and manager to Sho and Yoh.
  • Bash Brothers: Sho and Yoh went on excursion together, tagged together as Fujin & Raijin in CMLL and the Tempura Boyz in Ring of Honor and re-debuted in New Japan Together.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Rocky claims to be the King of Sneaky Style and he's trying to apart his wisdom to Sho and Yoh.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Like his other themes, Rocky made and does the lead vocals for R 3 K's theme.
  • Finishing Move: 3K (Sho & Yoh), Shock Arrow (Sho), Five Star Clutch (Yoh), Diablo Armbar (Rocky).
  • Power Stable: Chaos
  • Red Baron: "Azúcar" for Rocky, "High Voltage" and then "Murder Machine" for Sho, and "High and Mighty" and then "Direct Drive" for Yoh.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yoh is red, showing a more energetic and charismatic side of himself. Sho is blue, choosing to be stoic and focused.
  • Tomboyish Baseball Cap: Sho with the backwards baseball cap.

Zack Sabre Jr. (Lucas Eatwell, 2017-)

Kazushi Sakuraba (桜庭 和志, Sakuraba Kazushi, 2012-2016)

SANADA (真田 聖也, Sanada Seiya, 2016-)

  • Batter Up!: Carries a baseball bat on his way to the ring.
  • Dark Is Evil: Wears dark outfits and attire.
  • Delinquent Hair: From his debut until mid-2019, he would spike his hair into an impossibly high mohawk.
  • Dressed to Plunder: Started going for a pirate look in the middle of 2019.
  • Finishing Move: The Dragon Sleeper, which he calls Skull End, and The Moonsault.
  • Power Stable: Debuted by attacking Okada as the new member of Los Ingobernables.
  • Red Baron: "Cold Skull"
  • The Voiceless: It takes him winning the main event of the show and a fair amount of prodding from the crowd just to get two words out of him.
  • Those Two Guys: He and EVIL are LIJ's go-to heavyweight tag team.
  • Unknown Rival: SANADA considers Okada his greatest rival and constantly targets him, but Okada doesn't exactly reciprocate that energy.
  • White Mask of Doom: Wears one in the shape of a skull.

Marty Scurll (Martin Scurll, 2017-2019)

AJ Styles (Allen Neal Jones, 2014-2016)

Matt Sydal (Matthew Joseph "Matt" Korklan, 2015-2016)

Chuckie T. (Dustin Howard, 2017-2019)

  • Aborted Arc: New Japan was midway through a storyline involving Chuckie spontaneously freaking out and hitting opponents with chairs during matches, often leading to The Best Friends being disqualified, when the pair left for All Elite Wrestling. It was given no mention after their departure.
  • Bash Brothers: With Baretta
  • Red Baron: "Kentucky Gentleman"
  • Power Stable: CHAOS.

Shingo Takagi (鷹木信悟, Takagi Shingo 2018-)

  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: During his stint as a junior heavyweight, his only singles loss was to Will Ospreay in the 2019 Best of Super Juniors tournament. His transition into the regular heavyweight division has seen him take more losses against wrestlers better equipped to face someone like him, such as his first G1 Climax tournament.
  • Red Baron: "The Dragon"
  • The Sixth Ranger: Joined Los Ingobernables de Japon in 2018, after Hiromu Takahashi got hurt and left the group with only one active junior heavyweight.

Leo Tonga/Hikuleo (Tautuiaki Koloamatangi, 2016-)

Jay White (2015-)

The Young Bucks

Nick Jackson (Nick Massie, 2013-2019)

Matt Jackson (Matt Massie, 2013-2019)


     Debuted in the New Era (2019-) 

Amazing Red (Jonathan Figueroa, 2019)

Bandido (2019)

  • Bandito: Fitting to his name and gimmick, his poncho-style mask and entrance gears comes of him wearing a sombrero hat and bandolier outfits.
  • Finishing Move: 21 Plex, Avalanche Fallaway Moonsault Slam
  • Fragile Speedster: Fairly strong for his size, but he won't be doing tests of strength with bigger wrestlers. Instead, he'll rely on his his quick, high-intensity acrobatics.
  • Masked Luchador: Born and trained in. Mexico, Bandido is the textbook example of a luchador complete with his awesome looking Poncho-style mask.
  • Red Baron: "Tenkū no tōzoku" ("Bandit of the Sky")

Colt Cabana (Scott Colton, 2019-2020)

Douki (葉山達也, Hayama Tatsuya, 2019-)

Jonathan Gresham (Jonathan Gresham, 2019)

KENTA (小林 健太, Kobayashi Kenta, 2019-)

Brody King (Nate Blauvelt, 2019-)

  • Acrofatic: Billed at 285 lbs. and a noticeable gut, Brody flies out of the ring with relative ease.
  • Finishing Move: Gonzo Bomb
  • Lightning Bruiser: A 6'5 powerhouse who has the sneaky speed and destruction of a freight train. As mentioned above, he can also keep up with high flyers with his airborne arsenal.
  • Power Stable: Villain Enterprises
  • Red Baron: "God's Hate"

Tom Lawlor (Thomas Lawlor, 2020-)

Jon Moxley (Jonathan Good, 2019-)

El Phantasmo (Riley Vigier, 2019-)

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: His cheating, me-first mentality and Smug Snake behavior has made him very successful in New Japan so far, but it also caused Robbie Eagles to turn on Bullet Club for CHAOS.
  • Chiptune: His pre-Bullet Club theme incorporates elements of this.
  • Cool Shades: Phantasmo wears a pair of spiked, shutter shades. They sometimes light up in time with his entrance music.
  • Dubstep: His theme song (both before and after joining Bullet Club) is something people would hear at a rave. It even has a beat drop.
  • Finishing Move: CRII (CR2)
  • Kick the Dog: Likes to take merch from other factions right off of fans and throw it as many rows back as he can.
  • Power Stable: Bullet Club.
  • Red Baron: "Headbanga" and "ELP"

The Rock 'n' Roll Express

Ricky Morton (Richard Wendell Morton, 2019-2020)

Robert Gibson (Robert Gibson, 2019-2020)

Fred Rosser (Frederick Douglas Rosser III, 2020-)

     The Young Lions 

Lists the various NJPW wrestlers who are currently training as Young Lions or are on excursion. When a wrestler gets released or graduates, remove them from here. If it’s the latter, also add them to the Era when they debuted.

General Young Lion Tropes

  • Boring, but Practical: Even independent wrestlers and combat sports athletes who join the New Japan Dojo who may know a plethora of techniques have their arsenals limited to specific set of basic but effective techniques.
  • Important Haircut: Most trainees, specifically those trained in Japan, will debut with a clean shaven face (sometimes with a mustache) and a buzzcut to symbolize the start of their journey in the company.
  • Jobber: While there are exceptions to the rule, Young Lions generally don't win singles matches unless they are facing another Young Lion. They can win in tag team matches but they are never the ones picking up the win and could be at liability to take the fall for their team.
  • Finishing Move: The Boston Crab or a variation of it.
  • Spirited Competitor: Ready for any action they can get to the point of sometimes becoming surprisingly brutal in-ring.
  • Training from Hell: Part of their training involves doing 1,000 squats six days a week.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Basic black trunks and boots with the possibility of small personal effects thrown in.

On Excursion

Shota Umino (海野 翔太, Umino Shōta, 2017-2019)

Yota Tsuji (辻 陽太, Tsuji Yōta, 2018-2021)

Yuya Uemura (上村優也, Uemura Yūya, 2018-2021)

Noge Dojo - Japan

Gabriel Kidd (Gabriel Kidd, 2020-) (Part of the LA Dojo officially, but has stayed at the Noge Dojo since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic)

Yuto Nakashima (中島 佑斗, Nakashima Yūto, 2021-)

LA Dojo - USA

Alex Coughlin (Alex Coughlin, 2018-)

The DKC (Dylan Barrales, 2020-)

  • Only Known by Initials: DKC stands for “Dylan Kyle Cox”, his full wrestler name on the indies. It served as his Red Baron on NJPW Strong before becoming a Young Lion.

Kevin Knight (Kevin Knight, 2020-)

Ren Narita (成田蓮, Narita Ren, 2017-)

     NJPW Strong 

Lists the various freelance wrestlers who are part of the NJPW Strong roster. When a wrestler permanently leaves or becomes a part of the main roster (being signed to a contract, doing tours in Japan and/or appearing on the official NJPW’s website profile page), remove them from here. If it’s the latter, also add them to the Era when they debuted.

AJZ (Andreas John Ziegler, 2021-)

Josh Alexander (Joshua Lemay, 2021-)

PJ Black (Phillip Paul Lloyd, 2020-)

Bateman (Cody Croslin, 2021-)

Barrett Brown (2019, 2020-)

Jordan Clearwater (2020-)

Chris Dickinson (Chris Dickinson, 2021-)

JR Kratos (2020-)

Danny Limelight (Daniel Rivera, 2020-)

Misterioso (2019, 2020-)

Adrian Quest (Adrian Uribe, 2020-)

The Riegel Twins (2019, 2020-)

Logan Riegel (2019, 2020-)

Sterling Riegel (2019, 2020-)

The West Coast Wrecking Crew (2021-)

Royce Isaacs (Isaac Hull, 2021-)

Jorel Nelson (2021-)


Japanese commentary

Milano Collection A.T.

  • Career-Ending Injury: Announced his retirement from in-ring actions on January 2010 due to an eye injury and now works as a commentator.

Shinji Noshino

Shinpei Nogami

English commentary

Kevin Kelly;

  • The Leader: Of the commentary team, as the one most often there.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "That damn stick!" (Whenever Jado accompanies Bullet Club members, since he always wields and uses a kendo stick to help them win)
    • "Hey look, it's Honma!" (Whenever Honma does his entrance in Paper-Thin Disguise, and then reveals himself)

Chris Charlton

  • Butt-Monkey: Gino pokes fun at him for being the one who contributes least to general commentary.
  • Translator Buddy: He translates Japanese.

Gino Gambino

  • Power Stable: Bullet Club
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kevin and Chris. He is an unapologetic Bullet Club supporter and often has disagreements with them, and makes fun of Chris, but they are still chummy with him most of the time.

Don Callis