Toru Yano...is not one of those pro-wrestlers. And yet, he has wins over so many fantastic talents like them, nobody should ever underestimate him, for who knows what he's gonna do next? And what depths he'll go to do it?
Toru Yano (矢野 通 Yano Tōru, born May 18, 1978), is a Japanese professional wrestler signed to New-Japan Pro Wrestling, as one of their most unique...and humorous, talents. Finishing his successful career as a Greco-Roman wrestler for Nihon University, he joined up with NJPW's Toukan Club and debuted for the promotion in 2002. The Toru Yano everyone knows on the other hand, came into being in 2004, when he dyed his hair blonde, and began a long streak of disqualification losses...and hilarious antics. In 2005, he helped create the stable Great Bash Heel (G.B.H.), and has largely been affiliated with wrestlers in it and its subsequent stable CHAOS as its Plucky Comic Relief. He has won the IWGP Tag Team titles with three different partners, the GHC Tag Team Championship with Naomichi Marufuji briefly, and the NEVER Openweight 3-man Belts with the Briscoe Brothers.
Yano is primarily a comedy wrestler who rarely, if ever, fights fair, pulling every dirty trick in the book and then some to beat his opponents, usually making a fool of himself and/or the other wrestler in the process. However, because of, or perhaps in spite of, his silly nature, Yano has the reputation of a "Spoiler" in NJPW's tournaments: Frequently eliminating fan favorites and characters that are portrayed as way, way better than him at wrestling losing in upsets...usually stealing something of theirs while he books it to the exit ramp.
"HEY! BUY THESE TROPES!":
- Acrofatic: Is by far the least in-shape looking wrestler on the roster...and is one of the quickest.
- Animal Motifs: Usually has some form of brightly colored dragon, frog or toad on his entrance jacket.
- Arch-Enemy: Minoru Suzuki. Suzuki HATES Yano for costing him multiple G1 tournament runs in a row, to the point in the 2017 G1 he just straight up assaulted him right out of the gate...and he STILL lost!
- Beware the Silly Ones: Goofy as any comedy wrestler in CHIKARA, but smart main eventers in NJPW know better than to underestimate the depths he will go to in order to win a match.
- Boisterous Bruiser: On occasion
- Combat Pragmatist: He fights incredibly dirty and does whatever he can to get away with it. He won a G1 Climax match by taping his opponent's legs together outside the ring, therefore winning by ring-out.
- Cowardly Lion: Has taken on these tendencies as he's run afoul of dangerous roster members like Minoru Suzuki and various members of the Bullet Club, who he's had to be much more careful in fighting.
- Toru Yano Stops To Cheat: Many of his losses have come when the opponent finally takes him seriously or just finally gets a hold of him in the middle of him trying to break the rules.
- Desperation Attack: One could argue his entire offense is made up of these.
- Drunken Master: Often carries a bottle of sake to the ring.
- Finishing Move: Oni Koroshi, Kagamiwari and various pinfalls.
- Garbage Wrestler
- Genre Savvy: Arguably NJPW's most genre-savvy wrestler, frequently using NJPW's rules to his own advantage, like demanding "breaks" with a chant if he's in the ropes, taking every waking second of opportunity being outside the ring affords him, and even using the giant turnbuckle pads as weapons since they're part of the ring and thus not a foreign object. This is what makes him so dangerous during tournaments.
- Gotta Have It, Gonna Steal It: A vast majority of the title matches he's been in have been started because he attacked the legitimate champion and stole the belt.
- Groin Attack: Pro Wrestling's artist of the Low Blow.
- Important Haircut: Little did NJPW know that when Toru Yano bleached his hair back in 2004, he'd become the bane of any and all main eventers in NJPW tournaments.
- Incoming Ham: If you hear plucked strings that transition into sludgy rock riffs during an NJPW show, be prepared to see something hilarious.
- Large Ham: Maybe NJPW's largest.
- Lethal Joke Character: Yano is both a flabby goofball who drinks sake and promotes his DVD before his match even starts and a wrestler who has wins over Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata, and Minoru Suzuki just to name a FEW, as well as directly orchestrated the near-entirety of G.B.H. jumping ship to CHAOS, the latter of which has lasted strong for over a decade. Do not underestimate YTR.
- Lightning Bruiser: Will try to win matches as fast as he can and is a lot faster than you think a guy who looks like Yano would be.
- Lovable Rogue: Sure he's a massive jackass who runs from his opponents and cheats to win, often from aces and fan favorites, but goshdarnit he is just so hilarious and effective you've got to respect his track record.
- Not So Harmless: Occasionally breaks out of his wacky comedy style and shows his legitimate grappling background.
- Is also well known for ruining popular wrestler's chances to continue on in NJPW's tournaments, regardless of whether or not he's being wacky.
- Power Stable: Great Bash Heel and CHAOS.
- Product Placement: Somehow turned this into part of his entrance recently, as he shills the 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!: Yanos 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" and "Sublime Master Thief"
- Shrug Take: His signature pose.
- Traumatic Haircut: Given one by Tajiri after losing a hair vs hair match.
- True Companions: To his CHAOS teammates, especially the main guys over the years in Shinsuke Nakamura, Kazuchika Okada, and Tomohiro Ishii. Given he and Nakamura were the ones who started CHAOS in the first place, this only makes sense. If there was a sliding scale of seriousness to eccentricity among the four, it would go Ishii, Okada, Nakamura, Yano.
- Weapon of Choice: His red steel chair and spitting sake in his opponents face.