Hiroshi Tanahashi was born on November 13, 1976. He is a professional Japanese wrestler who works primarily for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). Hiroshi is well known as one the finest pro wrestler of all time. Hiroshi has won 22 Championship in NJPW. In 2013 Tanahashi was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame. He is also known as “The Ace of the Universe” a nickname which was bestowed by himself only.
Early Life of Hiroshi Tanahashi
Hiroshi Tanahashi was a baseball player in high school before entering professional wrestling. During his study of Law in Kyoto at Ritsumeikan University he began practicing freestyle wrestling. During this tenure he came into notice by NJPW talents scouts, and he was further invited for NJPW Dojo. In Feb 1988, his tryout was successful, and he was accepted as a trainee. Later- he also enrolled in NJPW Dojo after completing his graduation. Hiroshi has quoted Shawn Michaels as his favourite wrestler.
Personal Life of Hiroshi Tanahashi
Hiroshi Tanahashi got married in 2003 and has 2 children as of now. A daughter named Koharu and a son Shiryu.
Professional Wrestling Career- NJPW
Hiroshi Tanahashi holds very illustrative Professional wrestling career. His decades-long career is decorated with many awards and honours that most wrestlers can only dream about. Tanahashi has lived an enchanting life both in and out of the ring, filled with several ups and downs which have influenced many of his peers and generations of wrestlers that followed later. Let’s have a quick look below on his major accolades and Honours:
- Won IWGP Heavyweight Championship 8 times. Over the course of his eight reigns, Tanahashi held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for a combined 1,396 days.
- 2 times IWGP Intercontinental Championship winner
- 3 times winner of IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
- IWGP Tag Team Championship winner on 3 Occasions
- Won New Japan Cup in 2005 and 2008.
- Won G1 Climax on 3 Occasions (2007, 2015, 2018)
- 1 time winner of NEVER Openweight Championship.
- Won NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship 3 times.
- Won Fighting Spirit Award in 2003
- Recognized with New Wave award in 2002.
- Young Lion Award in 2001.
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling MVP in 2008
- Wrestler of the Decade award in 2010 from Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Professional wrestling style and Finishing Moves of Hiroshi Tanahashi
During his training by the NJPW Dojo, Tanahashi learned several shoot techniques, catch and boxing moves. In his illustrative career, he has used several moves as finishing holds to knock out his opponents. Few of them are the sling blade, the High Fly Flow (a frog splash), the dragon suplex and the Texas clover hold.
Hiroshi Tanahashi got bit by the acting bug
Just like other few pro wrestlers Tanahashi also attempted Career in Acting industry. He was casted in the 2018 film “My Dad Is a Heel Wrestler. The film’s plot moves around a young son who is discovering his dad as a universally hated wrestler named Cockroach Mask.
Hiroshi Tanahashi – A super-fan of “Kamen Rider”
Even wrestlers aren’t immune to fandom and so was the case of Tanahashi also. He is a super fan of the Japanese superhero franchise “Kamen Rider.” Tanahashi was also casted in the 2016 film “Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs. Ex-Aid & Ghost with Legend Rider.”
Hiroshi Tanahashi Before adopting Wrestling
Wrestling was not his first dream job. During his early growing stage, he was a huge fan of the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. He also played baseball for various school teams and had dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Tanahashi during an interview with NJPW admitted that he quit baseball because he dint had the talent to become a pro baseball player, no matter how hard he try.
Hiroshi Tanahashi has long played Air Guitar
Most of wrestlers around the world has some quirks and other little things that make them unique from others and Tanahashi is no exception to it. One of such things that have been part of Hiroshi Tanahashi identity for long is playing air guitar after a major win.
During his interview in Dec 2018 with NJPW he revealed the reason of Playing guitar. He just wanted to do something new which no one has done in NJPW. On top of Air guitar fun, he further say “I love you “to the crowd and interact with fans at ringside which other NJPW wrestlers hardly do. Though At the same time, many people booed him also for his air guitar act.
Tanahashi’s book, Why Hiroshi Tanahashi Was Able to Change NJPW, was released in 2014.