The official “pretty boy” of the DG roster, BxB Hulk (the “x” is silent when saying his name) is the most charismatic member of DG and easily the most popular among female fans, no surprise based on his poster-boy looks and slick pre-match entrance, a brilliantly choreographed dancing routine featuring a handful of female dancers and high-energy dance music that gets the crowds fired up. He’s also an exciting high-flier and one of the most successtul tag team and trios wrestlers on the roster.
The second student of the DG dojo, Hulk debuted in 2005 and was initially made part of a stable with Super Shisa and Anthony W. Mori, a plan designed to get their careers going early. Although it led to an Open The Triangle Gate Title reign in late 2006, the reign lasted just one month and the unit was broken up afterwards. Hulk then joined CIMA’s Typhoon stable, but during a feud with Musle Outlaw’z he left to form New Hazard with Shingo Takagi & Cyber Kong. This led to more tag team success in 2007 & 2008 in the form of 2 more Triangle Gate titles and a reign as NOAH’s GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. In April 2008, Hulk would be betrayed by his stablemates and was kicked out, costing him the Triangle Gate titles. He was assisted by Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino, who he would soon join in forming WORLD-1. This also set in motion a plan for revenge against Real Hazard.
Soon after this, Hulk debuted an evil heel version of his character called “Black Hulk”, now sometimes called “Killer Hulk”. In this persona he wears all black instead of his traditional white pants and shoes, and uses a more violent fighting style. He got his revenge against Yasushi Kanda, then entered a program with Takagi. He would come up short in an Open The Dream Gate Title match against Shingo but earned Takagi’s respect in the losing effort. After then feuding with and getting the better of Gamma in early 2009, he continued as Black Hulk in a feud with despised heel YAMATO. After getting the best of the feud, Hulk reverted back to BxB Hulk and once again won the Triangle Gate Titles. He remains part of WORLD-1 and also is getting exposure in the US now thanks to Dragon Gate USA, although it seems his Japanese dancing girls aren’t coming over as in his first appearance a couple of US-based indy wrestlers served as his dancers. Although he remains very popular and a solid team player, some wonder if he’ll ever realize his potential as a singles wrestler…and just when Killer Hulk will appear again, which is acknowledged as always being a possibility anywhere, anytime.
Hulk may have finally had his singles breakthrough moment in November 2009 when he won a one-night tournament in DGUSA to become the first Open The Freedom Gate Champion. This may finally get the monkey off his back, but how long his reign lasts and if it earns him more title shots back in Japan may truly determine where he goes from here.
After losing the Freedom Gate after an impressive year-plus reign, Hulk perhaps took his biggest step forward in May 2011, winnning the annual KING OF GATE tournament for the first time. He also turned heel soon after when he aligned himself with Blood Warriors and began sporting all-black hair & more black around the eyes, but apparently is not being Killer/Black Hulk again. He continued an impressive 2011 by winning the SUmmer Adventure Tag Tournament with the recently returned Akira Tozawa.
Stats & info:
Real name: Terumasa Ishihara
Weight: 168 pounds/76 kg
Experience: 6 years
Finishing move: E.V.O., FTX, First Flash
Current affiliation: Dragon Gate
5-time Open The Triangle Gate Champion
1-time Open The Freedom Gate Champion
1-time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion
2006 Open The Triangle Gate League
2009 DGUSA Open The Freedom Gate Title Tournament
2011 KING OF GATE
2011 Summer Adventure Tag Tournament
Official website (Japanese):