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Hiromu Takahashi

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Hiromu Takahashi
Hiromu Takahashi.jpg
Takahashi in November 2016
Born (1989-12-04) December 4, 1989 (age 28)[1]
Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Hiromu Takahashi
Kamaitachi
Billed height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)[1]
Billed weight 88 kg (194 lb)[1]
Trained by New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Debut August 24, 2010[1]

Hiromu Takahashi (高橋 広夢, Takahashi Hiromu, ring name: 高橋 ヒロム) (born December 4, 1989, in Hachiōji, Tokyo, Japan)[2] is a Japanese professional wrestler. Takahashi made his debut for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) on August 28, 2010, and worked as a "Young Lion" over the following three years. He is a member of Los Ingobernables de Japon which is a villainous wrestling stable.

In January 2014, Takahashi, renamed Kamaitachi (カマイタチ), was sent to the Mexican Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) promotion to further his wrestling training and gain international experience, a tradition with NJPW "Young Lions". In January 2016, he won his first professional wrestling championship, the CMLL World Lightweight Championship. After leaving CMLL he worked for the American Ring of Honor (ROH) until the fall of 2016, with Takahashi returning to NJPW in November 2016, once again working under his real name. The following January, Takahashi won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time, holding it for five months. He is the winner of the Best of the Super Juniors 2018 tournament. He is the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion in his second reign. winning the title at Dominion 6.9 In Osaka-jo-Hall.

Early life[edit]

Takahashi was born on December 4, 1989, in Hachiōji, a city in Tokyo. At the age of 12 he became a fan of professional wrestling, especially Masahiro Chono, who inspired Takahashi to work hard in school to become a member of the track and field team.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Takahashi attended New Japan Pro-Wrestling's (NJPW) annual open tryout test in May 2009.[3] He passed the test and was accepted into the NJPW dojo,[3] where he trained in the same class as King Fale and Kyosuke Mikami, who all made their in ring debut around the same time.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2010–2013)[edit]

Takahashi was the last of the three NJPW Dojo class of 2010 to debut for NJPW on August 24, 2010, at the NEVER.1 show. He was defeated by Mikami in a short opening match.[4] Takahashi followed the traditions of NJPW's "Young Lions" (their term for rookies), wrestling in all black trunks and boots, usually losing the majority of their matches as part of their ongoing training regiment. Takahashi would lose every match he competed in until February 6, 2011, when he teamed up with Tomoaki Honma to finally win a match, defeating Fale and Mikami.[5] Three weeks later, exactly six months after his debut, Takahashi finally won his first ever singles match as he defeated Kazuki Hirata of the Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) promotion at NEVER.5.[6] A few months later Takahashi was given an opportunity to compete for a spot in NJPW's annual Best of the Super Juniors tournament as he participated in the 2011 "Road to the Super Juniors" tournament, but was defeated in the first round by another DDT representative, Keisuke Ishii.[7] On October 10, 2011, Takahashi and Mikami teamed up to defeat King Fale and Takaaki Watanabe in the dark match of the Destruction '11 pay-per-view event.[8] In 2012 Black Tiger had originally qualified for the 2012 Best of Super Juniors, but was forced to withdraw from the tournament with Takahashi being named as his replacement.[9] During the tournament Takahashi lost to Alex Koslov, Daisuke Sasaki, Brian Kendrick, Jado, Low Ki, Ryusuke Taguchi and Tiger Mask and only defeated Taka Michinoku.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] He would later team up with fellow "Young Lions" Mikami and Takaaki Watanabe to compete in the "J Sports Crown Openweight 6 Man Tag Tournament". The team lost to Madoka, Shinobu and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi in their first round match.[18] On January 4, 2013, Takahashi competed in his first ever January 4 Dome Show, when he wrestled in a dark match of Wrestle Kingdom 7, teaming up with Jyushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask, losing to the team of Bushi, Kushida and Ryusuke Taguchi.[19] During the summer of 2013 he was once again allowed to compete in the annual Best of Super Juniors, but lost all matches, taking pinfalls against Jyushin Thunder Liger, Prince Devitt, Titán, Taichi, Ricochet, Beretta, Rocky Romero and Alex Shelley.[20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27] NJPW often sends their "Young Lions" on a learning excursion outside Japan, be it the United States of America, Europe or Mexico, and in the summer of 2013 it was Takahashi's turn. Initially he traveled to the United Kingdom where he worked regularly for a number of local British independent wrestling promotions.

Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2014–2016)[edit]

Like his former wrestling school partner Mikami before him, Takahashi then traveled to Mexico to work with NJPW's partner promotion, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) for an extended stay. During his stay in Mexico he was given a new wrestling persona, a masked "heel" or rudo character called Kamaitachi, named after a Japanese supernatural monster, which his mask resembled. Much like Mikami before him, Takahashi was teamed up with CMLL's resident Japanese worker Okumura as part of La Fiebre Amarilla ("The Yellow Fever"). La Fiebre Amarilla primarily worked on the lower half of the show and often in six-man tag team matches. On July 13, 2014, Kamaitachi and Okumura challenged for the CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championship, but were defeated by champions Delta and Guerrero Maya Jr.[28] In early 2015, Kamaitachi started a storyline rivalry with Dragon Lee.[29] The rivalry culminated on March 20 at Homenaje a Dos Leyendas, where Kamaitachi was defeated by Lee in a Mask vs. Mask Lucha de Apuestas. As per stipulation, Kamaitachi unmasked following the loss, revealing himself as Hiromu Takahashi.[30] On May 1, Kamaitachi participated in the 2015 Reyes del Aire, where he and Dragon Lee eliminated each other via a double pin.[31] On May 15, Kamaitachi was eliminated by Místico in the first round torneo cibernetico of the 2015 Leyenda de Plata ("Silver Legend") tournament.[32] On July 13, Kamaitachi unsuccessfully challenged Dragon Lee for the CMLL World Lightweight Championship.[33]

On January 23, 2016, Takahashi, billed as Kamaitachi, made a surprise return to NJPW during a CMLL and NJPW co-produced Fantastica Mania 2016 event, attacking Dragon Lee and challenging him to a title match.[34] This marked his first NJPW appearance since May 2013.[35] At the following day's Fantastica Mania 2016 event, Kamaitachi defeated Dragon Lee to win his first professional wrestling title, the CMLL World Lightweight Championship. Following the match, Kamaitachi stated that he was not yet returning to NJPW, but would travel back to CMLL.[36] On March 4, back in Mexico City, Kamaitachi lost the title back to Dragon Lee.[37] The following month, it was reported that Takahashi was done with CMLL and had moved to the United States.[38]

United States (2016)[edit]

On April 30, 2016, Kamaitachi made his debut for Ring of Honor (ROH), losing to ACH.[39] On May 20, Kamaitachi made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), losing to Michael Elgin.[40] On September 3, Kamaitachi entered PWG's 2016 Battle of Los Angeles tournament, but was eliminated in his first round match by Trevor Lee.[41] On June 24, 2016, Kamaitachi made his pay-per-view debut with Ring of Honor at Best In The World, losing to Kyle O'Reilly by submission. On September 30, 2016, at ROH's All Star Extravaganza VIII, Kamaitachi lost to his old rival in CMLL, the debuting Dragon Lee.[42]

Return to NJPW (2016–present)[edit]

Takahashi as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion in February 2017

In August 2016, a cryptic video started appearing on NJPW programming featuring a time bomb counting down to November 5, 2016.[43] On November 5, 2016, at Power Struggle, Takahashi, once again working under his real name, made a surprise appearance after Kushida had defeated Bushi to regain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, challenging the new champion to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome.[44] On December 10, at the World Tag League finals, Takahashi accepted Tetsuya Naito's offer to join the Los Ingobernables de Japon (L.I.J.) stable.[45] Takahashi wrestled his NJPW return match on December 16, pinning Kushida in a tag team main event, where he and Naito defeated Kushida and Hiroshi Tanahashi.[46] On January 4, 2017, at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, Takahashi defeated Kushida to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time.[47] He made his first successful title defense on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka against Dragon Lee.[48] His next defense took place on March 6 at NJPW's 45th anniversary event, where he defeated Ryusuke Taguchi.[49] Takahashi made his third defense on April 9 at Sakura Genesis 2017, defeating Kushida in just one minute and 56 seconds.[50] His fourth successful defense took place against Ricochet on April 29.[51] Takahashi suffered his first loss since his return to Japan on May 17, when he was defeated by longtime rival Dragon Lee in his opening match in the 2017 Best of the Super Juniors tournament.[52] Takahashi suffered further losses in the tournament against Ricochet and Will Ospreay and failed to advance to the finals with a record of four wins and three losses.[53] On June 11 at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall, Takahashi lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to the winner of the tournament, Kushida.[54]

In late 2017, Takahashi started teaming regularly with L.I.J. stablemate Bushi in NJPW's junior tag team division.[55] On October 23, the two defeated Dragon Lee and Titán in the first round of the 2017 Super Jr. Tag Tournament.[56] They were eliminated from the tournament in the semifinals on October 30 by eventual winners Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh).[57] At Wrestle Kingdom 12, he competed in a fatal-four way match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but was unsuccessful. Alongside Bushi, he challenged for the Jr. Tag Team Championships, but was unfortunately unsuccessful in the process. He then competed in the Best of the Super Juniors 2018, winning his block with five wins and two losses, defeating rival Kushida, and advancing to the finals. On June 4th, Takahashi defeated Taiji Ishimori in the finals to win the 2018 Best Of The Super Juniors. The match received a 5 1/2 Star rating from Dave Meltzer. At Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo-Hall, Takahashi defeated Will Ospreay to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for a second time.[58]At the G1 Climax Special in San Francisco, Takahashi successfully defended his title against Dragon Lee. However, it was reported after the match that Takahashi had suffered a broken neck because of a botched Phoenix-Plex.[59] It is being reported that Hiromu may miss up to 9-12 months of action, due to the severity of the injury.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Dragon Lee (mask) Kamaitachi (mask) Mexico City, Mexico 2015 Homenaje a Dos Leyendas March 20, 2015 [64]
Máximo Sexy (hair) Kamaitachi (hair) Mexico City, Mexico 2016 Sin Piedad January 1, 2016 [65][66]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]