Taiji Ishimori is #GoingToLakeland.
With SuperCard of Honor XIV going head-to-head with NXT TakeOver: Tampa, it was pretty clear that Ring of Honor was going to need to book some big names and bring their A-game for the show. So far, they’ve done just that. Using their partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling to the fullest extent, in under a week, ROH has already announced Will Ospreay, Jay White, El Phantasmo and KENTA. On Saturday, the latest NJPW roster talent to join the SuperCard lineup, is the Bone Soldier himself, Taiji Ishimori.
. @taiji_ishimori SIGNED FOR SUPERCARD OF HONOR APRIL 4 IN LAKELAND, FLORIDA!
Taiji Ishimori is #GoingToLakeland
Full details: https://t.co/cKRYzzVNSs
Tickets are on sale now! Join us LIVE in Lakeland ☀️
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 18, 2020
Upon the first big announcement that Jay White would be headed to SuperCard, it was reported that he wouldn’t be going alone. The leader of Bullet Club, White was expected to be bringing some of his faction mates with him. Thus far, that seems to be the case as aside from Will Ospreay, all of the NJPW talents currently booked for SuperCard represent the villainous faction. Bullet Club’s return to Ring of Honor is noteworthy in and of itself as during the days of the Elite, ROH and NJPW effectively shared several members of the faction as Hangman Page, Marty Scrull, Cody and the Young Bucks all regularly appeared for both promotions. But with the Elite gone, so too went the ROH connection to Bullet Club. But that could all be changing as it looks like, if only for one night, a Bullet Club invasion will be taking place in Lakeland.
Having started his career in Mexico in 2002, Taiji Ishimori began working regularly for NJPW two years later where he took part in a series of tag team matches, including for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship and in a special U-30 tournament where he teamed with Hiroshi Tanahashi. Taiji Ishimori continued wrestling for NJPW in 2005, while also working for All Japan Pro Wrestling. He wouldn’t return to the Lionhead until 2010, where he represented Pro Wrestling NOAH in that year’s Best of Super Juniors XVII Tournament. Taiji Ishimori reached the semifinal, where he lost to Prince Devitt.
A full-fledged member of the NOAH roster, Taiji Ishimori found great success, winning the junior tag team titles six times and the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship three times. It was also through a partnership that NOAH had with IMPACT Wrestling that Ishimori was able to debut for the company in 2017 and win the X-Division Championship. Prior to that, in 2016, Taiji Ishimori returned to NJPW for the first time in four years, primarily to compete in the Super Junior Tag Team Championship Tournament, where alongside ACH, he finished as the runner-up to winners, Roppongi Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero).
In 2018, amidst the Bullet Club civil war, Tama Tonga teased adding a new member to the group. He was revealed as the new Bone Soldier and the man behind the mask, was none other than Taiji Ishimori. Representing Bullet Club, Ishimori took part in that year’s BOSJ XXV, where he lost in the final to Hiromu Takahashi. In August, at the G1 Climax, the Bullet Club trio of Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa, defeated that of the Young Bucks and Marty Scrull to win the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship. Taiji Ishimori then teamed with Robbie Eagles in the junior tag team tournament.
Taiji Ishimori started off 2019 with a bang, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Ishimori held the title until April, when he dropped it to Dragon Lee as part of the triple threat match from the G1 SuperCard. In June, alongside, El Phantasmo, who is also headed to Lakeland, Taiji Ishimori won the tag titles, which were held until Wrestle Kingdom 14 this January.
Like many of his NJPW colleagues headed to the SuperCard of Honor this April, the G1 SuperCard was Ishimori’s last appearance in ROH to date. Though it wasn’t his first. Taiji Ishimori first debuted for Ring of Honor 12 years ago in 2008, when he faced El Generico at the Tokyo Summit. Taiji Ishimori also wrestled for ROH in 2013 in Canada and again last year for both the G1 SuperCard and the co-promoted Honor Rising tour in February. But as far as being back for just an ROH show, it’s been seven years since Taiji Ishimori has wrestled under that banner.
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