A perennial sleeper in New Japan’s Jr. Heavyweight division, Ryusuke Taguchi, billed as the “Funky Weapon” and “Master Of Dropkick”, is a talented high-flier who has been competing for 8 years. A top-ranked freestyle wrestler in college, Taguchi easily passed the New Japan entrance exam in late 2001 and enrolled in March 2002. He debuted in November 2002 and needed just 2 months to win his first match. He broke through in April 2004 by winning the Young Lions Cup, then a few months later departed for an 8 month Mexico excursion. In early 2006, 4 months after his return, he won the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles for the first time, followed by an unsuccessful IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title challenge and a solid showing in the 2006 Best Of The Super Junior.
In 2007 Taguchi achieved singles success by defeating Minoru to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title, reigning for more than 5 months before losing the title, including a successful defense against Tiger Mask 4. He competed in the New Japan Cup in 2008 then formed what has become one of the top Jr. Heavyweight tag teams in puroresu, his current pairing with Prince Devitt-they are collectively known as Apollo 55. Taguchi won his 2nd IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title with Devitt and they passed 6 months as champions before vacating the titles ahead of a tournament in May 2010. Taguchi shared in the 2010 Tokyo Sports Grand Prix Match Of The Year for his 10/11/2010 match with Devitt against Kota Ibushi & Kenny Omega.
In January 2011 Taguchi joined Jushin Liger in the ranks of New Japan talent to hold Mexican titles when he won the CMLL World Welterweight Championship.
Stats & Info:
Weight: 200 pounds/91 kg
Experience: 8 years
Finishing move: Dodon
Current affiliation: New Japan
Ring entrance theme: “MASTER OF DROPKICK”
1-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion
4-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion
1-time CMLL World Welterweight Champion
2003 IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title #1 Contender Tournament
2004 Young Lions Cup
2004 Young Lion Toukon Tournament
2005 Yamaha Cup
2010 J SPORTS CROWN
2010 Tokyo Sports Grand Prix Match Of The Year Award (10/11/2010-with Prince Devitt vs. Kota IBushi & Kenny Omega)
Ring entrance video & music: