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Jushin Liger

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Jushin Liger
Liger at the Nakayama Racecourse on December 28, 2019
Born (1964-11-10) November 10, 1964 (age 59)
Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)C.T.U Ranger Yellow
Fuji Yamada
Jushin Liger
Jushin Thunder Liger
Keiichi Yamada
Kishin Liger
Billed height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Billed weight95 kg (209 lb)
Trained byKotetsu Yamamoto
Tatsumi Fujinami
Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Stu Hart
DebutMarch 3, 1984
RetiredJanuary 5, 2020

Keiichi Yamada (山田恵一, Yamada Keiichi, born November 10, 1964) is a Japanese retired professional wrestler better known under the ring names, Jushin Liger and Jushin "Thunder" Liger.

He mainly worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He worked for them from 1984 until he retired in 2020. He has competed many different professional wrestling companies in Japan and North America.

Liger worked for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) from 1991 to 1999. During his time in WCW, he won the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship when he defeated then-champion Brian Pillman during a house show in Atlanta, Georgia on December 25, 1991.[1] He held the title for 2 months and was defeated Pillman at SuperBrawl II.[1][2] He also challenged Konnan for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship at Slamboree '96 but lost the match.

He also competed for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) from 2005 to 2006. Liger captained the New Japan team in the TNA 2006 World X Cup Tournament. They defeated Petey Williams, captain of Team Canada at TNA Sacrifice on May 14, 2006 using a Crash Thunder Buster when Williams was distracted by the rest of Team Japan.[3] Liger was eliminated in the X-Cup Gauntlet later in the same night and Team Japan was not able to gain any points in the match as it was won by Team Canada with Team Mexico as runners up.[3]

On March 7, 2019, Liger said that he was going to retire after Wrestle Kingdom 14. [4] At Wrestle Kingdom 14, Liger wrestled in his last match. He teamed with Naoki Sano and they lost to Hiromu Takahashi and Ryu Lee.[5]

Liger was the innovator of the Shooting star press.[6] The Jushin Liger gimmick is based on an extremely popular anime superhero, Jushin Liger.[1]

Championships[change | change source]

  • All-Star Promotions
    • World Heavy Middleweight Championship (two times)
  • Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
    • CMLL Universal Championship (2010)
    • CMLL World Middleweight Championship (one time)
    • CMLL World Tag Team Championship (one time) (with Hiroshi Tanahashi)
  • Dragon Gate
  • Jersey All Pro Wrestling
    • JAPW Light Heavyweight Championship (one time)[7]
  • 8Michinoku Pro Wrestling / North Eastern Wrestling
    • British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight Championship (two times)
    • Super J Cup (2000)
  • New Japan Pro Wrestling
  • Osaka Pro Wrestling
    • Osaka Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship (one time) (with Takehiro Murahama)
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • He was ranked #8 of the 500 best singles wrestlers by PWI in the PWI 500 in 2000.
    • He was ranked #12 by the PWI in the PWI Years in 2003.[10]
  • Pro Wrestling Noah
    • GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship (one time)
    • GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (one time) (with Tiger Mask IV)[11]
    • NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League (2013) (with Tiger Mask IV)[11]
  • World Championship Wrestling
  • Wrestle Association R
    • WAR International Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (one time) (with El Samurai)
    • Super J Cup (1995)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • 5 Star Match (1994) (vs. The Great Sasuke on July 8)
    • Best Gimmick (1989)
    • Best Flying Wrestler (1989 to 1993)
    • Best Technical Wrestler (1989 to 1992)
    • Best Wrestling Maneuver (1987, 1988) (Shooting star press)
    • Match of the Year (1990) *vs. Naoki Sano on January 31 in Osaka, Japan)
    • Most Outstanding Wrestler (1990 to 1992)
    • Rookie of the Year (1984) tied with Tom Zenk
    • Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1999)

1Even though Liger won the championship, the win and reign aren't recognized by World Wrestling Entertainment. No reign with the championship is recognized by the company before December 1997.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Professional 3 10.06.13: Jushin Liger's Best WCW Matches (91-92)". 411mania.com. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
  2. "Superbrawl II". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "TNA Sacrifice PPV Flashback Series - 2006 PPV Report: Christian vs. Abyss, Samoa Joe & Sting vs. Jarrett & Steiner, Team 3D vs. New Age Outlaws". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
  4. "Jushin Liger Announces He'll Retire Next Year". Pro Wrestling Sheet. Retrieved August 1, 2023.
  5. "Jushin Thunder Liger Retires, Chris Jericho Aiding Australia Fire Relief Efforts". Fightful. Retrieved August 1, 2023.
  6. "The legend of Jushin "Thunder" Liger". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2013-12-29.[permanent dead link]
  7. "JAPW Light Heavyweight Title History". Solie's Title Histories. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  8. "2000 New Japan Awards". Strong Style Spirit. Archived from the original on 2010-07-05. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  9. "2003 New Japan Awards". Strong Style Spirit. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  10. "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 – PWI Years". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2003-04-12. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "2013年7月28日" (in Japanese). Pro Wrestling Noah. Archived from the original on 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2013-11-07.

Other websites[change | change source]