In May of 2009 he would pass an open tryout test for NJPW and officially join their Dojo and would make his official debut in August 2010. As per tradition for Young Lions, he would wear black trunks and take a majority of losses for a year or two. Per an unfortunate injury to Black Tiger in 2012, Takahashi was allowed to join the Best of the Super Juniors tournament as a replacement entry, even being able to pick up a victory over Taka Michinoku. The next year he would join the tournament again only this time losing every single match before finally being sent on his excursion to CMLL.
Once joining CMLL he would take on a masked Heel gimmick under the ring name Kamaitachi, joining La Fiebre Amarilla (The Yellow Fever) and generally working lower card tag matches. However in 2015 he would start to gain great notoriety when he began an infamous program and feud with Dragon Lee. The two would feud for the better part of the year, often throwing out nearly suicidal moves with reckless abandon to put each other down and would up the ante after each match with each other. Dragon Lee would defeat Kamaitachi in a Mask vs Mask match but Kamaitachi would return the favor by winning the CMLL World Lightweight Championship in Japan, before ultimately dropping the title back to Dragon Lee. After floating around in American indy promotions like Ring of Honor, taking losses and such, he would start his return back to Japan.
Back in Japan, a very cryptic video would play during every show, talking about a Time Bomb that would explode during NJPW's Power Struggle show. The surprise would then be revealed after KUSHIDA defeated Bushi to regain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship as Takahashi would return to the surprise of everyone, challenging KUSHIDA for the title at Wrestle Kingdom 11. But on the way, a curious thing happened. Takahashi would end up joining Tetsuya Naito and his stable, Los Ingobernables de Japon, lending to them his own brand of insanity and rebellion.
On January 4th, 2017 at Wrestle Kingdom 11, Takahashi would complete the challenge to KUSHIDA and would defeat him for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight championship.
His potential brimming, his sanity descending further, and his matches becoming more hectic the sky is the limit for the TICKING TIME BOMB!
As usual, you can find more info at The Other Wiki.
TICKING TIME TROPES!!!:
- Accidental Innuendo: He named a new submission hold 'The D'. Ospreay had to tell him that most of the English-speaking fans would interpret that as slang for penis, which noticeably dismayed Hiromu.
- Always Someone Better: Before returning to NJPW, it was Dragon Lee who would consistently come out on top in their clashes. While Takahashi would win every so often, Dragon Lee would return the favor almost immediately. Takahashi seems to have flipped the script after returning to NJPW...only to lose to Dragon Lee yet AGAIN in Best of the Super Juniors 2017's opening round. And AGAIN in BOSJ 2018!
- To his credit, though, he’s 3 - 0 against him in title matches taking place in NJPW.
- Animal Motifs: Weasels, during his time as Kamaitachi, a weasel demon that carries a sickle and flies through the air. Fitting given his preferred moves.
- As the Time Bomb, it's cats. His stuffed animal is a cat, he called Ospreay a cat, has acted like a cat himself and is generally obsessed with them.
- Arch-Enemy: Dragon Lee and since returning to NJPW, KUSHIDA and Bad Luck Fale.
- The Artifact: He lost his mask before his first ROH appearance but continued to use the ring name Kamaitachi, which he started using when he joined La Fibre/Ola Amarilla in CMLL with it on. Only after joining up with Los Ingobernables De Japon did he go back to Hiromu Takahashi.
- Axe-Crazy: Enough to make the rest of LIJ looks absolutely sane.
- Big Bad: Of the Junior Heavyweight Division, which was quite timely due to Kenny Omega ascending to the Heavyweight Division, leaving a void in the Juniors.
- After two years, Taiji Ishimori has come in to be the Big Bad of the Junior Heavyweight Division and now Hiromu is actually in the running for the Big Good. KUSHIDA may be The Ace and Will Ospreay may be trying to take that place, but Hiromu is without a doubt the most popular wrestler within said division.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Kamaitachi's arm bands have the appearance of blades concealed by fur, though the material is as soft as the "hair" around them. Kamataichi would never cheat(so openly)
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Unsurprisingly, he's just as weird as everyone else in Los Ingobernables de Japon if not weirder. At the very least, he talks to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship as if it was a living being, calling it Belt-San (Mr. Belt for the English Speakers).
- Catch-Phrase: TICKING TIME BOMB!.
- Cloudcuckoolander: And how. Carrying around a plushie cat named Daryl is only the beginning.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Doesn't care about who he hurts, nor about being hurt. Suicide dives? No problem. Foreign objects? It'll be fine. Get your fingers broken by Marty Scurll? Laugh it off.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In one of the most stunning examples in the history of NJPW, Takahashi absolutely annihilated KUSHIDA in under 2 minutes in KUSHIDA's rematch for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis 2017.
- Early-Bird Cameo: During FantasticaMania 2016 where he would make a short time return as Kamaitachi and defeat Dragon Lee for the CMLL World Lightweight Championship.
- Enemy Mine
- At the 2016 Death Before Dishonor Kamaitachi convinced Donovan Dijak to help him takeout Jay White in exchange for helping Dijak destroy Lio Rush.
- Same event, he came out during the World Tag Team Title defense to help the Addiction but he and Los Ingobernables de Japon found a common enemy from that day forward in Hiroshi Tanahashi.
- Evil Mask
- An aversion in comparison to the rest of his stablemates, he's the only one that doesn't wear a mask of any sort.
- During his time as Kamaitachi in CMLL, he did wear one of the mythical demon before losing it to Dragon Lee in a Mask vs Mask match.
- Evil Minion: To Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, who were convinced Kamaitachi was a "man of honor" who they planned to officially induct into The Addiction after they were done molding him into a world conqueror. This plan fell through, as Tetsuya Naito offered Kamaitachi a better deal.
- Finishing Move: He often used the Canadian Destroyer (Front Flip Piledriver) while on excursion but since returning, has created the Time Bomb (a fireman's carry into a swinging air raid crash...it's not an easy move to explain).
- Has now added...The D...it's a simple Triangle Choke. With a very unfortunate name.
- Ho Yay
- If his picture book for Best of the Super Juniors 2017 is any indication, apparently he has this one-sided for Dragon Lee, his arch-nemesis.
- Prior to WK 12, he also announced his love for Kushida, and called both Marty and Will "lovely".
- Friendly Enemy: Towards Will Ospreay. Best shown during The New Beginning in Osaka where all 5 Members of Los Ingobernables de Japon battled 5 members of CHAOS in 1v1 matches (three with titles on the line). 4 of the matches had at the very least, quite bitter build-up (or in the case of Tetsuya Naito, cold indifference). However Ospreay and Hiromu were actually quite amicable throughout most of it, and even had Hiromu feed Ospreay fried chicken...It Makes Sense in Context. Even after the match, Ospreay went over and gave Hiromu a sign of respect.
- He's Back: After spending weeks in a Villainous B.S.O.D. after Daryl's tragic murder, he finally dropped his arms and returned to being the Ticking Time Bomb once more. Though it did take him a few more nights to truly gain back his swagger.
- Hot-Blooded: In direct contrast to his stable mates, he comes out of the gate firing and doesn't stop for an entire match. Best shown in his very first match with LIJ, teaming with Naito. Compared to Naito's usual sloth like entrance, Takahashi blitzed down to the ring, continued running through it and delivered a sunset flip powerbomb from the apron unto the floor immediately to KUSHIDA. That was his ENTRANCE.
- I Have the High Ground: He loves taking to the sky to bring the pain to the opponent. His most frequent move is a senton from the post all the way to the outside.
- Jerkass: He's part of LIJ so it's par for the course but he's the most verbally abusive of the stable.
- Though after two years he's now become the LEAST verbally abusive of the stable...or at least close to it since SANADA still barely talks.
- Leitmotif: Horn Explosion in ROH
- Light Is Not Good: Likes to wear or bring along a white jacket. Nowhere near a good person.
- Morality Pet: His pet plushie cat Daryl. To the point it actually calmed his more...psychopathic tendencies and even Tetsuya Naito would dote on him. Sadly...Daryl was lost to us after Bad Luck Fale would brutally murder him by ripping him apart, leaving Hiromu despondent for weeks.
- But thankfully, Daryl has made a complete recovery!
- Additionally, Daryl now has a family, with a cat wife and cat son (named Daryl Takahashi jr.). Hiromu doesn't bring any of them to the ring too often anymore, but he did bring in Daryl Jr. for Wrestle Kingdom 12!
- Noble Demon: In a very weird way, in comparison to the rest of LIJ. He's the only one of the group that both doesn't interfere in the other members' matches, and doesn't have any interference in his own. He's sadistic and evil, but he handles his own business.
- Perky Female Minion: La 5000% Guapa Mima Shimoda
- Power Stable:
- Psychopathic Manchild: Psychopath? Easily. The Manchild part he's added recently, taking dolls and giant picture books to the ring.
- Red Baron: "Ticking Time Bomb"
- The Rival
- KUSHIDA is his singular rival within NJPW, as the top two talents in the Junior division clashing over who is the best.
- He does have another rival though in Ryusuke Taguchi which connects to the greater Mob War rivalry between LIJ and Taguchi Japan. Notably, he's one of the few if not the only to immediately snap Taguchi out of his Bunny-Ears Lawyer mode and into his Junior Ace mode. It usually takes a strong challenge match to get Taguchi to step up.
- Will Ospreay has a more light-hearted rivalry with Takahashi, stemming from their Twitter interactions. How did it start? Takahashi called Ospreay a cat,note and despite Ospreay's defenses, the rest of the IWC followed. On a more real note, Takahashi does consider the Aerial Assassin a Worthy Opponent after a loss to him in the 2017 Best of the Super Junior, and elected to have him contend for the Jr. Title at Dominion. However, Ospreay lost to KUSHIDA in the final, and despite Hiromu crying, the match didn't take place.
- Stemming from his time in CMLL, Hiromu has a rivalry with Dragon Lee. They only see each other a few times a year now, but the resulting matches are always explosive.
- Running Gag: After recovering from his Villainous B.S.O.D. in the G1 Climax tour, Hiromu had reset his sights back on "Belt-San" and becoming Junior Heavy Champ once again. One problem, EVERY SINGLE TIME he'd come out to throw down a challenge to whomever the title holder was at the time (there ended up being three different champs during this span...it was a weird couple of months), he'd get violently interrupted by someone else. He finally got his challenge off...with the help of a fencing helmet (to avoid being knocked out by Will Ospreay) and gloves (to avoid getting his fingers snapped by Marty Scurll)...only for the amount of challengers to be so much that Scurll just turned the Wrestle Kingdom title match into a Fatal Four Way. ...at least he made it into the match this time.
- Slasher Smile: Has a very prominent one he has no issue flashing at every moment.
- Spiteful Spit: Kamaitachi came in very enthusiastic but won very few matches after coming to ROH. Michael Elgin tried to encourage Kamaitachi by saying wins and losses didn't matter to him after handing Kamaitachi yet another loss but after losing yet again to Kyle O'Reilly Kamaitachi spat in his hand when offered a shake.
- Token Insane Teammate: LIJ are a group of jerkasses but for the most part are relatively sane, their choice of attire aside. They have sensible goals and motivations and wrestling styles. Takahashi however is completely insane. He's reckless, descends into madness with ease, has a Slasher Smile, talks to his title belt and is subtly implied to be somewhat of an alcoholic. Notably he also stays distant at times from the group so maybe they realize this as well.
- Over time he's transformed instead into LIJ's Token Good Teammate. A lot of his insane moments have been dialed back a tad and have turned him endearing, and he often acts as the Little Brother of LIJ. To the point that if an opponent of Tetsuya Naito REALLY wants to piss him off, they'll do it through Hiromu (he can usually defend himself, but not always). He's also the most friendly of all of LIJ towards his opponents now.
- Tournament Arc: Defeated Taiji Ishimori to win the Best of the Super Juniors in 2018.
- True Companions: Has grown into this with LIJ a lot more as time progressed, understandable considering it's the most close-knit group in NJPW.
- Villainous B.S.O.D.: Fell into this during the G1 Climax 27 tour after Bad Luck Fale ruthlessly killed his Morality Pet Daryl. For weeks he would carry his arms as if he was carrying Daryl and never spoke a single word. Eventually broke out of this.