Tomoaki Honma

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Tomoaki Honma
Tomoaki Honma 2017.jpg
Honma in February 2017
Born (1976-11-18) November 18, 1976 (age 41)[1]
Higashine, Yamagata[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Tomoaki Honma
Makai Masked Canadian
Billed height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Billed weight 104 kg (229 lb)[1]
Trained by Animal Hamaguchi
Keiji Mutoh
Debut May 18, 1997[1]

Tomoaki Honma (本間 朋晃, Honma Tomoaki, born November 18, 1976) is a Japanese professional wrestler. He is working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) as a freelancer, though currently inactive due to a severe spinal injury. He is a former one-time IWGP Tag Team Champion and a two-time World Tag League winner with Togi Makabe.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1999–2006)[edit]

Honma trained in the Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW) dojo before debuting for the promotion in May, 1997. He spent many years wrestling low-profile matches on the opening card until he was granted the chance to participate in Big Japan's infamous Death Match division. He is the first person to ever use a lightube in a match, a weapon that has become synonymous with deathmatches and is used worldwide. He became one of the most talked-about wrestlers on the independent scene as well as Big Japan's top young star during 1999 and 2000, participating in some of the promotion's most gruesome death matches, the scars from which can still be seen on his body. However, he left Big Japan in October, 2000, after disagreements with company management.

After touring various independent leagues such as IWA Japan, Onita Pro, Complete Players and Rainbow Pro, Honma debuted in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) on November 24, 2001, against Nobukazu Hirai. He signed a full-time contract with the company in March 2002. Determined to get rid of his deathmatch reputation, Honma proved that he can be a solid worker as he struggled to gain recognition within AJPW. In February, 2003, he formed Turmeric Storm with Kazushi Miyamoto, but the team later disbanded on April 20, 2004, after losing a trial series.

In 2005, Honma joined Kensuke Sasaki's Kensuke Office faction in an effort to further improve his career. A severe neck injury kept him out of action throughout much of early 2006, but he returned in March. Honma announced his departure from AJPW on April 28, 2006, and became a freelancer. Throughout 2006, he worked for Pro Wrestling Zero1-Max and King's Road, where he reformed Turmeric Storm with Kazushi Miyamoto. Honma also appeared in New Japan Pro Wrestling's (NJPW) Wrestle Land brand as a masked member of the Makai Club faction known as "Makai Masked Canadian". On September 24, 2006, Tomoaki Honma and Jun Kasai won the WEW Tag Team Championship from Takashi Sasaki and Badboy Hido.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2007–present)[edit]

Honma participated in NJPW's New Japan Cup tournament, falling to veteran Takashi Iizuka in his first match. He had priorly expressed interest in joining Hiroyoshi Tenzan's GBH faction, and was allowed to join after making a positive impression on Tenzan; however, Tenzan became disenchanted with Honma's difficulty at gaining victories in the NJPW ring, so Honma had to pass through a trial series to prove that he belongs in GBH. He failed his trial series, but was allowed to remain in the group, after Togi Makabe took over its leadership. In April 2009, Honma showed his loyalty to Makabe by remaining by his side when the rest of GBH turned on him and left the group to form Chaos with Shinsuke Nakamura. Though Honma and Makabe still officially carried the GBH banner, the group effectively dissolved as they rarely teamed together as Makabe was a main eventer, while Honma enjoyed only mixed results in the ring.

On December 23, 2011, Honma received a rare opportunity to shine, when he challenged for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in the main event of a NJPW show at Korakuen Hall, losing to champion Masato Tanaka at the end of the 23 minute bout.[2] On March 28, 2012, New Japan announced that the promotion had released Honma from his contract due to a "personal problem".[3] On April 24, Honma returned to Pro Wrestling Zero1, and also began competing in Freedoms as a freelancer. He returned to All Japan on September 8, 2012, where he remained for the rest of the year and much of early 2013. In March, Honma began appearing in Pro Wrestling Noah, where he took part in the 2013 Global Tag League with Akitoshi Saito. They finished the league with one win and two points.[4]

On March 23, Honma returned to NJPW, saving Togi Makabe from Chaos.[5] The reunited GBH had their first match back together on April 7 at Invasion Attack, where they were defeated by Masato Tanaka and Yujiro Takahashi in a tag team match.[6] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2013, Honma unsuccessfully challenged Tanaka for the NEVER Openweight Championship.[7] Honma received another shot at the title a year later at Wrestling Dontaku 2014, but was again defeated by the defending champion, Tomohiro Ishii.[8] From July 21 to August 8, 2014, Honma took part in his first G1 Climax as a late replacement for an injured Kota Ibushi,[9] losing all ten of his matches and finishing last in his block.[10] Honma's struggle in the tournament made him one of the most popular wrestlers in all of NJPW, creating a movement called "Honmania".[11][12] In November, Honma took part in the 2014 World Tag League, alongside Togi Makabe.[13] The two finished last in their block with a record of three wins and four losses.[14] The series of losses built to a big win on January 4, 2015, at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome, where Honma, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima defeated Bullet Club's Bad Luck Fale, Jeff Jarrett and Yujiro Takahashi, with Honma pinning Takahashi for the win.[15] On February 14 at The New Beginning in Sendai, Honma replaced an ill Togi Makabe in a match for the now vacant NEVER Openweight Championship, but was defeated by Tomohiro Ishii.[16] During July and August, Honma took part in the 2015 G1 Climax. After losing his first seven matches in the tournament, Honma finally picked up his first ever win in the tournament over Tomohiro Ishii on August 12.[17][18] After losing his final match against Yujiro Takahashi, Honma again finished last in his block with a record of one win and eight losses.[19] Honma's win over Ishii led to him unsuccessfully challenging Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Championship on November 7 at Power Struggle.[20] In December, Honma and Makabe won their block in the 2015 World Tag League with a record of four wins and two losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament.[21]

Honma in March 2015

On December 9, Honma and Makabe defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Evil and Tetsuya Naito) in the finals to win the 2015 World Tag League.[22] On January 4, 2016, at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome, Honma won his first title in NJPW, when he and Makabe defeated Bullet Club's Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson for the IWGP Tag Team Championship.[23][24] They made their first successful title defense on February 14 at The New Beginning in Niigata in a rematch against Gallows and Anderson.[25] The following week, Honma took part in the NJPW and Ring of Honor (ROH) co-produced Honor Rising: Japan 2016 event, unsuccessfully challenging Jay Lethal for the ROH World Championship in the main event of the second show on February 20.[26] Honma and Makabe lost the IWGP Tag Team Championship to Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) on April 10 at Invasion Attack 2016.[27] On July 3, Honma unsuccessfully challenged Katsuyori Shibata for the NEVER Openweight Championship.[28] From July 22 to August 13, Honma took part in the 2016 G1 Climax, where he finished with a record of three wins and six losses.[29] In December, Honma and Makabe advanced to the finals of the 2016 World Tag League by winning their block with a record of five wins and two losses.[30] On December 10, Honma and Makabe defeated the reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny to win the 2016 World Tag League,[31] becoming the first ever team to win the tournament in two consecutive years.[32] On January 4, 2017, at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, Honma and Makabe took part in a three-way match for the IWGP Tag Team Championship, which was won by Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano.[33]

On March 3, Honma was injured during a match, while taking a rope-hung DDT from Jado. Following the move, Honma could not get up and the match was immediately stopped, before he was taken backstage on a stretcher.[34] Reportedly, Honma was able to speak and move his head, but not his arms or legs.[35] The following day, NJPW announced that Honma had injured his cervical vertebrae.[36] On March 6 it was announced that Honma had regained movement in his lower extremities and could grasp objects with his hands. Honma vowed to recover from the injury and return to the ring.[37] On March 31, Honma announced he had successfully undergone surgery on his spinal canal.[38] The following month, Honma stated he was looking to return to the ring in the fall of 2017.[39] He was discharged in June after spending three and a half months in the hospital.[40]

Honma returned on November 30th of 2017 to commentate on the tenth day of the World Tag League.

United Kingdom (2016)[edit]

Honma debuted for the UK-based Revolution Pro Wrestling promotion at Revolution Pro & NJPW's two-day event, Global Wars UK in November 2016, where he defeated Sha Samuels on the first night,[41] but lost to Josh Bodom on the second night.[42]

Personal life[edit]

Honma's characteristically hoarse voice is the result of crushed vocal chords, a problem also suffered by Shachihoko Boy, Kohei Sato and Genichiro Tenryu.

In November 2015, Honma's girlfriend of 18 years, fellow professional wrestler Kiyoko Ichiki, accused him of domestic violence over the past four years. Honma denied the accusation, instead claiming that he was abused by her and stating that he was seeking legal action against her for trying to damage his career.[43][44]

In wrestling[edit]

Honma in November 2011
  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves
  • "The Innovator of Lighttube Deathmatches"[45]
  • "Minna no Kokeshi"[48]
  • "Vampire Chicken"[49]
  • "trick・ster" by Yonosuke Kitamura[1][50]
  • "KoKeShi" by May's[51]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Honma as one half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions in February 2016


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  4. ^
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  10. ^ "バディファイトPresents G1 Climax 24". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
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  36. ^ 【お知らせ】本間朋晃選手が頚椎の負傷により欠場へ、3.6大田区は天山&小島組がIWGPタッグ王座挑戦. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2017-03-04. Retrieved 2017-03-04. 
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