club sunglasses

A Brief Guide to New Japan Pro Wrestling

Kazuchika Okada: Current IWGP World Heavyweight champion and leader of a group called CHAOS. (The all caps mean they’re important.) The man so fabulous that money and glitter fall from the ceiling whenever he enters the room. Had a stint in TNA where he did nothing for two years then returned to Japan and promptly because one of the company’s biggest stars.

Hiroshi Tanahashi:  Several time world champion. A squeaky clean babyface who always has great matches that some fans resent because he hardly ever loses.  Basically the Japanese John Cena.

Kenny Omega: Anime loving goofy geek turned killer heel that is still pretty goofy.  Current leader of the Bullet Club a group of mostly foreign evil wrestlers who dress like the cira 1997 NWO.

Tetsuya Naito: Guy who fans didn’t care about when he was a clean-cut babyface so he left to Mexico became a bad guy and now people suddenly love him.  Leads a group called “Los Ingobernables De Japon.” Current intercontinental champion.

Minoru Suzuki: Evil, ornery old judo guy who dresses like a cross between a crime boss and a samurai. Used to beat up Ken Shamrock back when that meant something.  Leads a group of evil bastards called Suzuki-gun and beats up people at random for shits and giggles. Holds the NEVER Openweight title.  Was incredibly happy when learned that meant he could beat up lightweights.

Ryusuke Taguchi: Skinny, incredibly wacky man whose offense revolves around finding ways of hitting people with his ass. Now has a faction called Taguchi Japan.

Katsuyori Shibata: Default template for a create a wrestler in Fire Pro Wrestling video game. Recently suffered a career suffering injury because he tried to give Okada a real-life headbutt.  Turns out Okada had a much harder head.

Togi Makabe:   A bear in human form that dyed his hair blond.  Has a popular food blog… 

Tomoaki Honma: A lovable loser who keeps trying to hit that diving headbutt and usually misses. Togi Makabe’s tag partner.  Recently had a horrifying neck injury.

Bad Luck Fale: 6′7″ 344 pounds of big scary Togan muscle.  Does the heavy lifting for the Bullet Club while wearing cool sunglasses.

The King of Darkness” Evil: Member of Los Ingobernables De Japon who maybe… just maybe might be a bad guy.  Dresses like he buys his entire wardrobe from the Spirit of Halloween store. 

The Young Bucks: Imagine the Hardy Boys cira 2001 but as heels and 100% wackier.  Wrestles matches like they were characters in a wrestling video game. Members of The Bullet Club and a subgroup of it called “The Elite” with Kenny Omega.

Toru Yano: A man whose offense is based entirely around cheating.  You will never love something as much as Yano loves cheating. Currently teams with Tomohiro Ishii. CHAOS member.

Tomohiro Ishii: Short, thick tough guy who resembles an angry barrel of meat.  Toru Yano’s tag team partner/comedy straight man and a longtime rival of Togi Makabe.  

Hiromu Takahashi: Current Light Heavyweight champion and a flame-haired terrifying madman.  Everything about him is a little off putting and creapy.  Los Ingobernables member.

Kushida: Former Light Heavy Weight champion who is REALLY into the Back to the Future movies. I mean he has a move called “The Hoverboard Lock.”

Hirooki Godo: Remember how in early 90s WWF all the wrestlers had part-time jobs? (The Mountie, The Repo Man, etc.)  Hirooki Godo is like that but his job is a samurai.

Yuji Nagata: Aging veteran who has been wrestling for nearly 25 years! A former world champ and one of the all time greats despite a laughably ill-advised attempt at at Mixed Martial Arts career.  Had a brief stint in WCW where he feuded with Disco Inferno… Really!

Gedo: Another wrestling veteran and Kazuchika Okada’s personal hype-man in CHAOS. 

Tama Tonga & Tonga Roa (AKA The Guerillas of Destiny): Remember The Monster Meng in WCW? These are his sons! Scary face-painted Tongan badasses who are members of the Bullet Club.  One of them tried to pass himself off as Mexican in WWE briefly.