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Wrestling / Taguchi Japan

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One really nice team...when they can hang onto members, that is.note 
Taguchi Japan is a Professional Wrestling Power Stable that debuted in 2017 for New Japan Pro-Wrestling as one of their main "Units". And like everything else regarding them...it happened almost entirely by surprise.
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The day after the 2017 Wrestle Kingdom, Ryusuke Taguchi teamed with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Manabu Nakanishi to win the NEVER Openweight 6-man Tag Championships, and immediately began to fill out their roster with all number of notable faces at the time: Michael Elgin, Dragon Lee, and Kushida. Since that point, Taguchi Japan has gone through almost more individual roster members than any other unit in NJPW, as their "Open Door" policy allows them to both get major talent as quickly as they lose it, with their general idea being that Taguchi is "coaching" these talents to bring the best out of them and to bring success back to the team.

And like any new team, they didn't start out so hot, as they tended to be the Also-Rans against more successful stars' lengthy title reigns, but finally began to rebound as they picked up two longer-term members; Juice Robinson and David Finlay, and more importantly...their performance at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall, where Robinson won two matches and set himself up to eventually become IWGP US Champion, and Elgin would become NEVER Openweight Champ. They didn't hang onto them for long, but it solidified the power around their chosen number, and the surprise success their hard-luck and slapdash wrestling style brings.

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Taguchi Japan is a stable all about the hard-luck pitfalls and goofy antics of teamwork and sacrifice that a stable can bring, and even if they may not be the most successful, they are among the most entertaining.

Taguchi Japan provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Despite willingly deferring to Taguchi when it comes to setting the tone of the group, Tanahashi is clearly its most respected member and best wrestler. Usually this manifests in him being a sort of Big Good, though he did serve as The Hero of his back-to-the-top story from the 2018 G1 Climax to beating The Elite's Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in 2019, until Bullet Club leader Jay White dethroned him a month later.
  • Arch-Enemy: They usually end up getting Los Ingobernables de Japon's goat when it comes to the NEVER 6-Man Openweight belts, as they've beaten them for the title twice, and have gotten on Tetsuya Naito's nerves to the point he's willing to actively attack them over it.
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  • Can't Catch Up: A major theme for the first half of 2018 was that outside of Tanahashi, it was clear their constantly shifting membership and emphasis on making the audience and themselves laugh wasn't exactly conducive to them being winners. They managed to settle into a slightly more stable lineup in 2019, but have kept their goofy spirit.
  • Casual Sports Jersey: Taguchi is usually found wearing one when he's not wearing some absurd costume.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The official colors of Taguchi Japan appear to be Green and Black.
  • Confusion Fu: Good luck ever assuming their style will stay consistent, as they usually bring in a load of guys at once.
  • Custom Uniform: Taguchi Japan has special soccer and rugby kits in their team colors.
  • Enemy Mine: Their members have had this with CHAOS since late 2018 to take on Bullet Club, which had just regained its villainous ruthlessness under the lead of Jay White and the Firing Squad, subsequently becoming deadlier than ever. This started being phased out in 2020 through the tactical actions of CHAOS.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Ricochet left the group on amicable terms after being unhappy with his performance with the group following his and Taguchi's loss of the Jr. Heavyweight tag belts, believing they'd be better off without him.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: On-par with the Bullet Club with former and part-time members, thanks to their open door policy. In short, one can say that Taguchi Japan's membership list consists of the seven in the page picture and any unaffiliated babyface on the NJPW roster who's willing to team with them.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Taguchi Japan as a Unit is this: they spend a lot of time messing around in their entrances and matches, and are run by noted comedic wrestler Ryusuke Taguchi, but they also happen to have The Ace of the company Tanahashi as a founding member, and have had the legendary Jyushin Thunder Liger, and former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Togi Makabe as part-timers. Taguchi himself is also a Lethal Joke Character, as a multiple time former champion and tournament winner. Combine that with the fact they usually have enough members to shock the NEVER 6-man Champions, meaning they'll usually always be in a title hunt, and as a unit have won almost every belt and Tournament in NJPW once.
  • LOL, 69: The "official" number of the group is 69, but Taguchi took it one step further in his quest to be the 69th IWGP Junior heavyweight Champion: he cut his weight down to 69 kilos, and (unsuccessfully) tried to get surgery to be 69 centimeters tall. Hell, the June 9th show in Osaka is usually their Wrestlemania, as they somehow end up winning belts more often than not.
  • Spiritual Successor: As a comedic banner coined by a well-known midcard wrestler to unify the main unit while initially targeting one of the organized factions in the Mob War of NJPW, Taguchi Japan is this to Yoshi Tatsu's short-lived Hunter Club, which was an anti-Bullet Club parody of Triple H. In this case Taguchi Japan's initial target was LIJ, though this time it obviously lasted long enough to branch out to take on all the other groups... especially Bullet Club.
  • Supporting Leader: Taguchi. The stable is named after him and he effectively set the tone for the spirit they would take on, but it's clear that Tanahashi is their biggest weapon when it comes to the Heavyweight Championship as well as the most respected member.
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