Taiji Ishimori

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Taiji Ishimori
Taiji Ishimori 22 Sep 2015.jpg
Ishimori in 2015
Born (1983-02-10) February 10, 1983 (age 34)[1]
Tagajo, Miyagi, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Army Santa[2]
Taiji Ishimori
Billed height 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)[1]
Billed weight 75 kg (165 lb)[1]
Trained by Tamon Honda
Último Dragón
Debut May 11, 2002[1]

Taiji Ishimori (石森 太二, Ishimori Taiji, born February 10, 1983) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently working for Pro Wrestling Noah, where he holds the record of being its longest-reigning GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion (of which he is a three-time holder), as well as a five-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Ishimori also appears in the American Impact Wrestling promotion (with whom Noah has a partnership), where he is a former Impact X Division Champion.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Toryumon (2002–2004)[edit]

A former and amateur wrestler, Taiji Ishimori was trained in Toryumon Mexico and debuted against Fumiyuki Hashimoto in 2002. He went to compete in the Young Dragons Cup and won after beating Jun Ogawauchi, Henry III Sugawara and lastly Condotti Shuji. Shortly after, he was given a pop idol gimmick and formed a boy band-like faction with Kei and Shu Sato, calling themselves the Sailor Boys. Ishimori was intended to become the "ace" (the top student) of his graduating class, even going so far as to release an album, "Keep in Journey", to support their gimmick. However, the fan interest never matched his hype, and Ishimori became one of Toryumon's bigger failures. Sailor Boys' rival faction, Los Salseros Japoneses (Takeshi Minamino, Pineapple Hanai and Mango Fukuda) was in turn more successful with the fans. While in the Toryumon X brand, Sailor Boys also feuded with Mini Crazy Max (Mini Cima, Suwacito and Small Dandy Fujii), defeating them in X's debut show.

Unlike the rest of his class, Taiji did his Japanese debut for All Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle-1 project. Returning to Mexico, he won the UWA World Welterweight Championship on May 11, 2003, defeating Super Crazy to win the belt. Ishimori defended the UWA World Welterweight Championship 2 times, against Fuerza Guerrera on August 31, 2003 and against Yossino on December 7, 2003. He dropped the UWA championship to Takeshi Minamino on August 29, 2004. He tried to regain the title in the Dragon Fire The Final Challenge event, but it was unsuccessful. Also, at the last Toryumon X show, Sailor Boys challenged Gedo, Jado and Katsushi Takemura for the UWA World Trios Championship, but they were defeated.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2004–2005, 2016)[edit]

Following the title loss, Ishimori began working for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) as one of their "Young Lions" prospects. Very early in his NJPW run he was teamed up with Hiroshi Tanahashi for a one night U-30 (Under 30) tag team tournament. In the first round the team defeated Blue Wolf and Katsuhiko Nakajima and in the finals they defeated Ryusuke Taguchi and Shinsuke Nakamura to win the tournament.[3] At one point he teamed up with his mentor Último Dragón for an unsuccessful shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, held by Jado & Gedo at the time.[4] By mid-2005 Taiji Ishimori had left NJPW and begun working for All Japan Pro Wrestling.

On July 20, 2016, Ishimori returned to NJPW to take part in 2016 Super J-Cup tournament. However he was eliminated from the tournament in the first round by Kushida.[5] After winning the NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League with ACH, Ishimori and ACH challenged for GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against the team of Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada on August 21, where the champions retained the title.

On October 21 at Road to Power Struggle event, Ishimori and ACH entered the 2016 Super Junior Tag Tournament. They advanced to the next round after defeating the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, The Young Bucks in the first round.[6] After defeating David Finlay and Ricochet in the semifinals on October 30,[7] Ishimori and ACH were defeated in the finals of the tournament by Roppongi Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero) on November 5.[8]

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2005–2006)[edit]

In August 2005, Ishimori debuted in AJPW teaming with Keiji Muto. They, along with Kaz Hayashi, Satoshi Kojima and other face wrestlers, feuded with the villainous Voodoo Murders group. Ishimori also started teaming with another former NJPW rookie, Katsuhiko Nakajima, eventually taking part in the AJPW 2006 Junior Tag League. Together they defeated Kikujiro (Nobutaka Araya) & Kikutaro and Akira & Ryuji Hijikata, but they passed without achieving much success. Ended the league, Ishimori left All Japan.

During his time in AJPW, Ishimori also worked for the short lived promotion dragondoor as the top face (good guy), and once again failed to be accepted in that role by fans. He formed a high-flying faction with Kota Ibushi, Little Dragon and Milanito Collection a.t., but they were beaten by the stable Aagan Iisou led by Shuji Kondo. Ishimori also was in the El Dorado Wrestling debut show, leaving the promotion right after.

Pro Wrestling Noah (2006–present)[edit]

Ishimori in 2013

Ishimori began working as a freelance wrestler for Pro Wrestling Noah in March, 2006 and often worked as part of the "SEM" promotion that was considered the "Training ground" for Noah wrestlers. He began teaming up with Kenta, wrestling on many shows together, trying to earn a match for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. The team failed to win the title on their initial chance. Due to being trained in Mexico Ishimori often wrestled against Mexican Luchadores who toured with Noah, facing such opponents as Charly Manson or Abismo Negro.[9] He also wrestled on the Noah / AAA co-promoted show TripleSEM on September 3, 2007 teaming with El Elegido and Kenta to lose to the Mexican Powers (Crazy Boy, Joe Lider and Juventud Guerrera).[10] In 2007 Ishimori became a full-time Noah wrestler and shortly after Ishimori and Kenta won the Tag Champions. The team went to Dragon Gate and defeated the team of BxB Hulk and Shingo Takagi on March 20, 2008. to bring the Noah Junior Heavyweight Tag Title back to Noah.[11] Ishimori and Kenta successfully defended the title against Ricky Marvin and Kotaro Suzuki and also the team of Bryan Danielson and Eddie Edwards from Ring of Honor.[12][13] On July 13, 2008 Ishimori and Kenta were defeated by Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Kotaro Suzuki and lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.[11] In September, 2008 the team won the 2008 Nippon TV (NTV) Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League, with 12 points for 6 victories including defeating the reigning GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag team champions in the last match.[14] In 2009 Ishimori began teaming regularly with Ricky Marvin, chasing after the Junior tag team titles. In early 2010 the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag title became vacant when Kotaro Suzuki suffered a knee injury. Ishimori and Marvin teamed up for a tournament to determine the next champions. They defeated Bobby Fish and Eddie Edwards in the first round and Genba Hirayanagi and Yoshinbou Kanemaru in the finals to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.[11] On August 22 Ishimori and Marvin lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to New Japan Pro-Wrestling representatives Koji Kanemoto and Tiger Mask.[15] On January 27, 2013, Ishimori defeated Shuji Kondo to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time.[16] Through Noah's working relationship with Ring of Honor, Ishimori made his debut for the promotion on May 4, 2013, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, facing Eddie Edwards in a losing effort.[17] During the following day's tapings of Ring of Honor Wrestling Ishimori defeated Roderick Strong in a singles match.[18] After a 405-day reign, the longest in the title's history, Ishimori lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship to Daisuke Harada on March 8, 2014.[19] He won the title for the second time on December 23, 2015, by defeating Taichi.[20]

On July 5, 2016, Ishimori defeated Yoshinari Ogawa in a four-man tournament final to win one of Noah's three spots in NJPW's 2016 Super J-Cup.[21] In this same month, Ishimori took part in the 2016 NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League with his partner being American wrestler ACH. The pair won the tag league defeating Hajime Ohara and Kenoh for a spot in the final match then defeating Momo no Seishun (Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada), at the time the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship holders, in the final match.[22] Their title match against Momo no Seishun was held on the final of the 2016 Super J-Cup and they were defeated.[23]

Upon Atsushi Kotoge's vacation of the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship, Ishimori faced Hajime Ohara for the vacant title on January 7, 2017, Noah's first show of the year. Ishimori lost the match to Ohara.[24] Following a victory over Hi69 on January 9, the two agreed to form a tag team and made their interest in the newly vacant GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship known. The team squared off with the team of Hayata and Yo-Hey on February 18 for the vacated title and defeated them to become the thirtieth champions.[25] They went on to lose the title to Hayata and Yo-Hey in a rematch on August 26.[26]

AAA / Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide (2006–2007, 2010, 2015–2016)[edit]

Through Noah's working relationship with AAA in Mexico Ishimori sometimes travells to Mexico, wrestling for AAA. This began in 2006 when he travelled to Mexico to team up with El Oriental and Naomichi Marufuji to defeat The Mexican Powers (Crazy Boy, Joe Lider and Juventud Guerrera). Subsequently he appeared on AAA's 2007 Rey de Reyes event, teaming with El Alebrije, El Zorro and Brazo de Plata to defeat Los Vipers Revolusion (Antifaz, Histeria, Mr. Niebla and Kaoma, Jr.).[27] On March 19, 2010 Ishimori teamed up with Takeshi Morishima to defeat La Hermandad 187 ("The Brotherhood of 187"; Nicho el Millonario and Joe Lider) to win the AAA World Tag Team Championship, representing the AAA heel ("bad guy") faction La Legión Extranjera ("The Foreign Legion").[28] On May 23, 2010 Morishima and Ishimori lost the AAA World Tag Team Championship to the team of Atsushi Aoki and Go Shiozaki during Pro Wrestling Noah's Navigation with Breeze show in Niigata, Niigata, Japan.[29]

Ishimori returned to AAA on May 24, 2015, when he, Atsushi Kotoge and Yoshihiro Takayama represented Pro Wrestling Noah in the Lucha Libre World Cup. They were, however, defeated in the first round of the tournament by the Dream Team (Myzteziz, El Patrón Alberto and Rey Mysterio Jr.).[30]

In early June 2016, Ishimori again represented Noah in the 2016 Lucha Libre World Cup. Team Noah, made up of Ishimori, Maybach Taniguchi and Naomichi Marufuji, finished fourth in the tournament.[31]

Impact Wrestling (2017–present)[edit]

Through a working relationship between Noah and Global Force Wrestling (GFW), Ishimori made his debut for the American promotion on July 2, 2017, at Slammiversary XV. Teaming with fellow Noah wrestler Naomichi Marufuji, he took part in a four-way tag team match, contested for both the GFW Tag Team Championship and the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Championship, which was won by The Latin American Xchange (Santana and Ortiz).[32] Ishimori also took part in the following week's GFW Impact! tapings, where he entered the 2017 Super X Cup,[33] making it all the way to the finals, before losing to Dezmond Xavier on August 17.[34]

Ishimori returned to GFW, now known as Impact Wrestling, on November 5, 2017, at Bound for Glory, where he defeated Tyson Dux to earn a future shot at the Impact X Division Championship.[35] Four days later, Ishimori defeated Trevor Lee to win the Impact X Division Championship for the first time.[36]

In wrestling[edit]

Ishimori performing a Death Valley driver on Roderick Strong
Ishimori hits Strong with the superkick
  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "石森 太二 (Ishimori Taiji)" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Noahful Gift 2017 ~ファン感謝祭~". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-12-26. 
  3. ^ a b "NJPW Tsuyoku-Are ~Toukon Series 2004 - Tag 13" (in German). Cagematch.net. October 30, 2004. Retrieved January 21, 2010. U-30 One Night Tag Tournament Final: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Taiji Ishimori besiegen Ryusuke Taguchi & Shinsuke Nakamura (14:49) 
  4. ^ "NJPW Chrono Stream ~ Masahiro Chono 20th Anniversary" (in German). CageMatch.net. November 3, 2004. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Super J-Cup 2016". New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  6. ^ Macklin, Matthew (October 21, 2016). "10/21 NJPW Road to Power Struggle report". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  7. ^ Meltzer, Dave (October 30, 2016). "Daily Update: Hell in a Cell, Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte, NJPW tag tournament". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  8. ^ Rose, Bryan (November 4, 2016). "NJPW Power Struggle live results: Tetsuya Naito vs. Jay Lethal". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved November 5, 2016. 
  9. ^ "NOAH Summer Navigation 2006 - Tag 1" (in German). CageMatch.net. July 1, 2006. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  10. ^ Yoav (September 3, 2007). "Super Luchas desde Japón: Resultados TripleSEM en el Differ Ariake de Tokio (3 SEP 07)". SuperLuchas (in Spanish). Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Global Honored Crown Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title". Wrestling-titles.com. February 18, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  12. ^ "NOAH Northern Navigation '08 - Tag 10" (in German). CageMatch.net. June 1, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  13. ^ "NOAH European Navigation 2008 - Tag 10" (in German). CageMatch.net. June 21, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "NTV Junior Heavyweight Tag Team League 2008". ProWrestlingHistory.com. August 23 – September 6, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  15. ^ "NJ in NOAH results; Kanemoto & Tiger win belts, Nakamura loses". Strong Style Spirit. 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  16. ^ a b 2013年1月27日(日). Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  17. ^ Caldwell, James (2013-05-05). "ROH News: "Border Wars" iPPV results & news from Sat. night". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  18. ^ Namako, Jason (2013-05-05). "Spoilers: 5/5 ROH TV Tapings from Toronto, Canada". WrestleView. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  19. ^ "「Great Voyage 2014 in Tokyo」方舟進章~有明春の陣~". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  20. ^ a b "Destiny 2015". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-12-23. 
  21. ^ a b 【試合結果速報致します】「Navig. with Emerald Spirits 2016」7月5日(火)後楽園ホール大会. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  22. ^ "プロレスリング・ノア公式サイト | PRO-WRESTLING NOAH OFFICIAL SITE". noah.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  23. ^ "プロレスリング・ノア公式サイト | PRO-WRESTLING NOAH OFFICIAL SITE". noah.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  24. ^ "プロレスリング・ノア公式サイト | PRO-WRESTLING NOAH OFFICIAL SITE". noah.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  25. ^ "「俺とHi69の持ってる可能性ならヘビーのタッグを狙うことだってできる。NOAH the REBORNって言ってるなら、全部を覆す!(石森)」2月18日(土)博多スターレーン大会 試合後コメント". noah.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-02-18. 
  26. ^ "Summer Navig. 2017 vol.2". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-08-26. 
  27. ^ "Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion Rey de Reyes Tournament". ProWrestlingHistory.com. March 18, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  28. ^ a b "Ya estamos en la Casa" (in Spanish). AAA. March 19, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  29. ^ "De última hora: En Japón los cinturones AAA cambian de manos, los nuevos campeones vienen a Triplemania 18" (in Spanish). SuperLuchas Magazine. May 23, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  30. ^ Boutwell, Josh (May 24, 2015). "AAA Lucha Libre World Cup Results - 5/24/15 (Live results)". Wrestleview. Retrieved May 24, 2015. 
  31. ^ "6/3 & 6/5 AAA "Lucha World Cup" Results – USA/Lucha Underground vs. Team AAA finals, TNA represented in men's & women's tournament, Noah, Mysterio, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. June 5, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  32. ^ Soucek, Andrew (July 2, 2017). "Soucek's GFW Slammiversary XV report 7/2: Bobby Lashley vs. Alberto El Patron, Dutt vs. Ki, Rosemary vs. Sienna". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  33. ^ Namako, Jason (July 6, 2017). "Spoilers: 7/5 GFW Impact TV tapings from Orlando, Florida". Wrestleview. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  34. ^ McMahon, Mike (August 17, 2017). "McMahon's GFW Impact report 8/17: Destination X, Lashley vs. Sydal, Lee vs. Sonjay in a ladder match, Ishimori vs. Xavier, Sienna vs. Kim, GFW Title fallout". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  35. ^ Meltzer, Dave (November 5, 2017). "Bound for Glory 2017 live results: Eli Drake vs. Johnny Impact". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved November 10, 2017. 
  36. ^ a b "Impact Wrestling TV taping results: Title changes, career match, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. November 11, 2017. Retrieved November 11, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Results". Puro Love. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  38. ^ Kent, Peter (2005-03-11). "VIOLENT PANDA Wrestling Digest 03.11.05". 411mania.com. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  40. ^ https://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=1853&page=15
  41. ^ "石森 太二". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Archived from the original on November 20, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2017. 
  42. ^ https://superluchas.com/2017/10/10/aaa-resultados-lucha-libre-world-cup-2017-pagano-psycho-clown-los-vencedores/
  43. ^ ""PWI 500": 201–300". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  44. ^ 日テレG+ presents「第10回日テレG+杯争奪ジュニアヘビー級タッグリーグ戦」. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-07-30. 

External links[edit]