Birthdate: April 12th, 1979
Weight: 200 lbs.
Debut: November 22nd, 2002
Background: Amateur Wrestling, Baseball, and Track and Field
Promotion History: New Japan (2002 to present)
Alliances: New Japan Jr. Sekigun
Ring Attire: Green and black pants
Card Position: Mid-Card
Major Tournaments Won: Young Lion Cup (2004)
Current Title Held: None
Awards and Recognition:
- Tokyo Sports Grand Prix: Best Bout with Prince Devitt vs. Ibushi and Omega in New Japan on 10/11/10 (2010)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated: Highest Rank was #214 Wrestler in the World in 2008
- Puroresu Central Awards: Tag Team of the Year with Prince Devitt (2009)
- Wrestling Observer: None
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship:
- Defeated Minoru on 7/6/07 and lost to Wataru Inoue on 12/8/07
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with Prince Devitt:
- Defeated Shelley and Sabin on 7/5/09
and Vacated on 4/21/10
- Defeated Kanemoto and El Samurai on 7/19/10 and lost to Ibushi and Omega on 10/11/10
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with El Samurai:
- Defeated Minoru and Hirooki Goto on 2/19/06 and lost to Jado and Gedo on 7/8/06
- February 19th, 2006 with El Samurai vs. Minoru and Hirooki Goto (title win)
- June 2nd, 2006 vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
- July 6th, 2007 vs. Minoru (title win)
- July 5th, 2009 with Prince Devitt vs. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin (title win)
- July 19th, 2010 with Prince Devitt vs. Koji Kanemoto and El Samurai
- Taguchi with a Dropkick
- Yet another Dropkick by Taguchi
- A Double Dropkick by Taguchi
- Taguchi flies with a Pescado
Featured Signature Moves:
- Black Hole Vacation (with Devitt)
- Enban Chuudoku
- Shika Koroshi
- German Suplex Hold
Along with Goto, Taguchi is considered one of the biggest prospects in New Japan. In 2005, Taguchi spent much of the year in Japan, wrestling for CMLL. It is normal for young lions to take excursions to other countries, and when Taguchi returned in the fall his growth was noticeable. Since he has been wrestling for New Japan for three years and has completed his excursion, look for Taguchi to shoot up the card soon.
The new Funky Taguchi has finally gotten past the young lion phase of his career as he has started working his way up the card. Taguchi won the first title of his career on February 19th when he teamed with El Samurai to defeat Inoue and Kanemoto for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They would hold the titles for five months before losing them to Jado and Gedo on July 8th. At the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament, Taguchi came in fourth in his bracket, but did have a big win over Jushin Thunder Liger during the tournament. Taguchi teamed with Inoue and El Samurai to close out the year and should get a shot soon for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship.
It was a banner year for Taguchi, as he finally achieved his goal by winning the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship for the first time. He first tried for the title on April 13th, but Minoru proved to be too strong and Taguchi failed in his quest. At the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament, Taguchi scored victories over Kanemoto and Minoru but would fall to Milano in the semi-finals. On July 6th he received another shot at Minoru, and this time he won the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship. He would successfully defend the title four times during his reign, defeating Tiger Mask, Azteca, Minoru (again), and Kanemoto. His run would be stopped by Wataru Inoue on December 8th, however, when Taguchi submitted to the modified Triangle Lancer.
Taguchi came back down to earth a bit in 2008 but still had a solid year. On January 27th he had a rematch for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, but again he fell to Inoue. In March Taguchi took part in the New Japan Cup and beat Jushin Thunder Liger in the first round, but lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi in Round 2. In the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament, Taguchi won his block but lost to Koji Kanemoto in the semi-finals. Taguchi did not wrestle in the G1 Climax or the G1 Tag League, but he did get another change at the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship when he challenged Low Ki on December 7th. Low Ki would prove to be too much for Taguchi, whoever, and he started the year the same way it had begun - without a title around his waist.
Taguchi solved his title woes in 2009 as he had a championship belt for half the year. Teaming more with Prince Devitt, the team officially called Apollo55 had a great deal of success. On April 5th, the pair made their first challenge for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against the Motor City Machine Guns, but they would come up short. They got another chance on July 5th, however, and this time he and Devitt won the championship,
Taguchi's second time winning the title. They would successfully defend the titles 3 times in 2009, including another win over the Motor City Machine Guns. In the G1 Tag League the team did exceptionally well for a Jr. Heavyweight team, reaching the finals before losing to Giant Bernard and Anderson. In singles action, Taguchi participated in the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament in the spring but he came in third place in his block to barely miss the Semi Finals. In the Super J Cup, he defeated GENTARO and Kanemoto but lost to eventual winner Naomichi Marufuji in the Semi Final.
Taguchi opened the year as the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion with Prince Devitt, and at the 1/4 Dome Show they defeated Ultimo Guerrero and Averno to defend their belts. After another successful defense over Dick Togo and Gedo, they would be forced to vacate the titles due to an injury to Devitt. Taguchi and Devitt teamed together in the tournament to crown new champions on May 8th, but fell in the finals to El Samurai and Koji Kanemoto. At the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament, Taguchi did very well as he came in 2nd in his block, but he lost in the Semi Final to Kota Ibushi. On July 19th, Taguchi and Devitt challenged for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, and this time they would defeat El Samurai and Kanemoto to take home the belts. They held the titles until October 10th, where they would be upset by Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega. Taguchi and Devitt got an immediate rematch in November, but Ibushi and Omega would again be victorious.
Back to New Japan Roster