On March 12th, an announcement made after ten years of belonging to Noah.
"A wrestler who made his debut at the Tokyo Dome." Just by its title alone, you will see what expectations have arisen from such surroundings. In the past Naoya Ogawa, Kenzo Suzuki (now KENSO), Kōji Ishinriki, Koji Kitao etc have been honored in this way. Even if it is a "re-debut" or a "Japanese debut", no value is as good as that. Jushin Thunder Lyger made his debut there as a masked man at the Tokyo Dome, and it was the place of Yoshihiro Asai's creation of Ultimo Dragon. Taiji Ishimori, as a student of Ultimo Dragon, had made his debut in Mexico, but there are wrestlers who also make Japanese debuts, and this was chosen as the place for it.
One of these was Taiji Ishimori. It happened in 2003 when he was eighteen years old.
Fifteen years later it was announced that he was leaving Noah. Since belonging to Noah since 2008, he left ten years later. From the start of his entry into Noah and his decision to leave, this weeks column would like to focus inside the transition and the mind of Taiji Ishimori.
Debut in Japan; Ishimori, Anthony Mori, Henry III Sugawara vs Milano Collection AT, Yossino and Condotti Shuji
In May 2002, Taiji Ishimori made his professional debut in Mexico for Toryumon presided over by Ultimo Dragon. On January 19th 2003, he made his debut at the Tokyo Dome's "WRESTLE-1". In this match he cemented his reputation, and rose to be ace in "Fighting Gate X". His alias was from early on, "Superstar". In 2005, he was part of "Dragondoor" and when it moved in 2006 "ElDorado".
However, on May 17th of the same year, before the official anniversary matches, he left "ElDorado" and declared that he would join Noah, where he had won his first match three weeks ago. The match schedule with "ElDorado" was not too bad and there were many wrestlers competing in other promotions, but there were doubts as to why Ishimori was doing this. He had not decided yet to participate in Noah full time. It was a gradual withdrawal from from "ElDorado", but Shuji Kondo is said to have said regarding the affiliation, "He is a failed version of Ultimo Dragon".
However, Ishimori had his reasons for leaving.
It was the fight with KENTA (April 23rd 2006) which was his first participation for Noah. The Superstar Elbow, which was also his finisher, was done without difficulty. His comment after the match was "It is completely different to the pro-wrestling that I have done up until now." When he compared "ElDorado" to a single Noah participation he said, "I understand that now, when you go to Noah, you cannot keep up with both".
GHC Junior in January 2013 until January 2014
Taiji Ishimori has been with Noah since 2008. As the face of the Noah juniors, he fought hard, but most notably was his achievement of holding the GHC Junior Heavyweight champion from 2013 to 2014. In the focus of this, you can see the growth of Ishimori.
In the first match against Tatsuhito Takaiwa, he overcame the sucession of lariats and had victory. "Even though he is small, his power is amazing. That is a strong champion" (Ishimori is unparalleled in muscles).
In the defensive match against Genba Hirayanagi, with the taped injured right shoulder, he managed to lift it and scream with the lariat using his right arm. He stood out as champion. He lost the title in his tenth defense to Daisuke Harada.
On March 2008, as a wrestler belonging to Noah, he went to "DragonGate" and with KENTA, won back the GHC Junior Tag Championship (vs BXB Hulk and Takagi Shingo), he commented "the opponents are unexpecetantly strong for juniors. I thought it was possible to win due to an accumulation of Noah."
"I have memories of Noah, and I give them my best regards" (Taiji Ishimori, March 12th)
"I was working part time until I entered Noah". Ishimori made this confession about becoming to be part of Noah. "It was a company I knew, both in the DragonDoor and the ElDorado era. A man who was in the main event at Korakuen Hall was said to be a superstar, and I thought hard about this. What is this? Then it was the match at Noah that wiped out the unintelligent thought that had taken hold and grown roots within me, "put it like this, you can become like them, and at last as a pro wrestler, you will be able to have pride." However, Ishimori has never considered it a bad thing to be a part time wrestler. "Earning money is a serious thing, the fans come to see it by choosing what they want to see, so you have to show hopes and dreams over this". This was always in his mind over the constant efforts he was making, including the physical training of his body.
Ishimori, who will work as freelance in the future says as he leaves Noah, "I think that I cannot do what I do now for another ten years with my fighting style. When I think about such things and I think about going overseas etc, I am interested in the world".
We hope that Ishimori will show the same fighting spirit that will resound worldwide from now on.
Link to original article from Boku Pro (in Japanese)