Koji Kanemoto

Birthdate:  October 31st, 1966
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 183 lbs.
Debut:  November 7th, 1990
Background:  Trained by Masanobu Kurisu
Promotion History: New Japan (1990 to present)
Formally: Tiger Mask III
Alliances:  New Japan Jr. Sekigun
Ring Attire:  Short tights, various colors
Card Position:  Mid-Card
Major Tournaments Won: Best of the Super Jr. (1998, 2002, and 2009)
Current Title Held: None

Awards and Recognition:

- Tokyo Sports Grand Prix: None
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated: Highest Rank was #24 Wrestler in the World in 2003
- Puroresu Central Awards: None
- Wrestling Observer: Most Outstanding Wrestler (1998) and one Five Star wrestling match (vs. El Samurai)

Championship History:

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship:
- Defeated Norio Honaga on 2/19/95 and lost to Sabu on 5/3/95
- Defeated Sabu on 6/14/95 and lost to Jushin Thunder Liger on 1/4/96
- Defeated Jushin Thunder Liger on 3/17/99 and lost to Kendo Kashin on 8/28/99
- Defeated Minoru Tanaka on 7/19/02 and lost to Tiger Mask on 4/23/03
- Defeated Tiger Mask on 5/3/06 and lost to Minoru on 12/24/06

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with Minoru Tanaka:
- Defeated Otani and Takaiwa on 6/25/00 and lost to Jushin Liger and El Samurai on 3/6/01

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with Jushin Thunder Liger:
- Defeated Kanemaru and Kikuchi on 1/26/03 and Vacated on 11/4/03

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with Wataru Inoue:
- Defeated Jado and Gedo on 3/4/05 and lost to Minoru and Goto on 5/14/05

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with El Samurai:
- Defeated Devitt and Taguchi on 5/8/10 and lost to Kota Ibushi and Omega on 10/11/00

GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (with Tiger Mask):
- Defeated Marvin and Ishimori on 8/22/10 and lost to Marufuji and Aoki on 12/24/10

Biggest Matches:
- February 19th, 1995 vs. Norio Honaga (title win)
- June 5th, 1997 vs. El Samurai
- June 3rd, 1998 vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. (tournament win)
- March 17th, 1999 vs. Jushin Thunder Liger (title win)
- May 3rd, 2006 vs. Tiger Mask (title win)
- April 13th, 2008 vs. Masato Tanaka (title challenge)

- Bootscrapes by Kanemoto
- Kanemoto with a Moonsault
- The Ankle Hold is applied to Minoru
- Milano feels the Ankle Hold as well

Featured Moves:
- Avalanche Reverse Hurricanrana
- Moonsault
- Tiger Suplex Hold

Signature Moves:
- Ankle Hold
- Bootscrapes
- Falcon Arrow
- Rolling Senton

2005 Recap:
Even though Kanemoto was unsuccessful in 2005 in his attempts to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, he did win the Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with Wataru Inoue in the spring.  At the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament in the summer, Kanemoto reached the semi-finals before falling to Gedo.  Kanemoto wrestled on all three of the Tokyo Dome Shows, but came up short on all three.  Still, Kanemoto is considered in the upper tier of Jr. Heavyweights in New Japan.

2006 Recap:
2006 would see Kanemoto finally rise to the top of the Jr. Heavyweight Division once again. On May 3rd, Kanemoto would win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship by defeating Tiger Mask. At the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament, Kanemoto had a strong showing but came up third in his bracket. He did have a big win against Black Tiger, however, and an injury held him back towards the end of the tournament. At the 2006 G1 Climax, Kanemoto came in 2nd place in his bracket but lost in the semi-finals to Kojima. the best showing ever by a Jr. Heavyweight. He successfully defended his IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship in October to Minoru, but would lose the title on December 24th to that same man. In the G1 Tag League, Kanemoto teamed with Tanahashi and together they would reach the finals before losing to Chono and Nakamura.

2007 Recap:
Kanemoto started the year without a title but still as one of the most respect Jr. Heavyweights in New Japan. Frequently in openweight tag matches, Kanemoto mostly teamed with Inoue or Nagata and saw a reasonable amount of success. At the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament, Kanemoto would score a key victory over Minoru but would come in third place in his bracket, missing the semi-finals. On July 6th Kanemoto teamed with Inoue to try to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, but they were unable to defeated TAKA Michinoku and Dick Togo. On October 28th Kanemoto challenged Taguchi for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, but he would come up short after Taguchi planted him with the Dodon. Kanemoto again paired with Tanahashi in the G1 Tag League, and again they would come in 2nd place as they fell to Tomko and Giant Bernard in the finals. On December 24th Kanemoto would defeat Naito, ending the year on a high note.

2008 Recap:
Kanemoto had a quiet year in 2008 in terms of title challenges but did have a handful of key matches in the feud against Zero-1 MAX. At the Tokyo Dome Kanemoto would take part in the New Japan vs. Zero-1 MAX match but New Japan would fall. He did take part in the New Japan Cup and beat Karl Anderson in the first round, but lost to Giant Bernard in the 2nd round. Kanemoto teamed with Inoue for the first half of 2008 but his biggest match was on April 13th, when he challenged Masato Tanaka for the Zero-1 MAX Heavyweight Championship. Masato Tanaka would win the close match with the Sliding D, but Kanemoto would continue battling Tanaka and company throughout the rest of the year both in New Japan and Zero-1 MAX. At the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament Kanemoto would reach the finals but fall to his friend Wataru Inoue. Kanemoto did not challenge for any IWGP titles in 2008 as his focus was elsewhere, but he did team with Wataru Inoue in the G1 Tag League, but they would come in 4th place in their Block.

2009 Recap:
At the ripe young age of 42, Kanemoto continued wrestling at a high level in 2009. After participating in Liger's 20th Anniversary match at the Tokyo Dome, for much of the spring Kanemoto teamed with friends Inoue and Yoshihashi in mid-card matches. Kanemoto came back to life when the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament rolled around, and after beating Liger and Taguchi on his way to winning his block he defeated Prince Devitt in the Finals to win the tournament for the third time. This led to him having a title shot against Tiger Mask on July 20th, but Tiger Mask would come out on top. On December 4th he teamed with Nobuo Yoshihashi to challenge for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against Apollo55, but the pair came up short. In the Super J Cup, he defeated Fujita "Jr." Hayato in the first round but lost to Ryusuke Taguchi in the 2nd round.

2010 Recap:
Kanemoto had a great year in 2010, as he won two more championship titles. On May 8th, Kanemoto teamed with the returning El Samurai to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship over Apollo55, Kanemoto's 4th time winning the championship. They would hold the belts for only a few months however, as they lost the titles back to the former champions. In the Best of the Super Jr Tournament Kanemoto had a chance to make the Semi Finals, but a loss to Taguchi on the last day caused him to miss out. Throughout the year, Kanemoto had feuded with Pro Wrestling NOAH and on August 22nd he teamed with Tiger Mask to defeated NOAH's Ishimori and Marvin to win the the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They had two successful defenses, but on December 24th they lost the titles to NOAH's Marufuji and Aoki.

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