BUSHI: A Brief Biography
Tetsuya Shimizu, also known by the ring names T28, Tetsuya, and Tetsuya Bushi, is a professional wrestler from Japan who was born on April 5, 1983. He performs for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) under the masked alias BUSHI and is a former four-time NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion as well as a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion.
BUSHI moved to NJPW in April 2012 after spending the majority of his career with All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW). BUSHI won the AJPW Junior Tag League in 2010 with Super Crazy, and he previously triumphed with KUSHIDA in the U-30 Tag Team Tournament in 2008. BUSHI gained international experience while working for the International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG) in Mexico in 2009 before rejoining AJPW in February of 2000. BUSHI has held the CMLL World Welterweight Championship thanks to NJPW’s collaboration with the Mexican Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre promotion.
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- AJPW Junior Tag League (2010) – with Super Crazy
- AJPW U-30 Tag Team Tournament (2008) – with Kushida
- Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
- CMLL World Welterweight Championship (1 time)
- International Wrestling Revolution Group
- IWRG Intercontinental Lightweight Championship (2 times)
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Shingo Takagi
- NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Evil and Sanada (3) and Evil and Shingo Takagi (1)
- New Japan Rambo (2021)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Ranked No. 82 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Best Gimmick (2017) as part of Los Ingobernables de Japón
Height of BUSHI, Weight, and Body Stats
|1.72 m (5 ft 7+1⁄2 in)
|83 kg (183 lb)
All-time Career of BUSHI
(2007–2008) All Japan Pro Wrestling
In preparation for his professional wrestling debut, Tetsuya Shimizu received additional instruction from Kaz Hayashi and Keiji Mutoh in addition to training from Animal Hamaguchi at the AJPW Dojo. He chose the ring name T28 for his debut, taking inspiration from the Tetsujin 28-go manga in Japanese. On March 12, 2007, Shimizu, aka T28, competed in his first match, losing to Nobukazu Hirai in the main event of an All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) event in Gunma, Japan. T28 joined forces with seasoned pros Satoshi Kojima and Taiyo Kea to compete in the “Tag Team Samurai! TV Cup Triple Arrow Tournament” just two months after making his on-screen debut. They defeated the Grappler, Susumu, and Hanzo teams in the first round before falling to Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kensuke Sasaki, and Seiya Sanada in the second. In February 2008, T28 and Kushida formed the U-30 Tag Team Tournament, a one-night competition that featured the best young wrestlers from the AJPW. The team won the U30 Tag Team competition by defeating CJ Otis and Mototsugu Shimizu in the opening round, Kaji Yamato and Taishi Takizawa in the second round, and Daichi Kakimoto and Manabu Soya in the championship match. The team continued to play in the AJPW’s 2008 Junior Tag League, where they finished tied for last with just four points after two wins and three losses. He also participated in the 2008 AJPW Junior League, winning one match and drawing another under time constraints for three points. It was revealed in late 2008 that T28 would go on a “learning excursion” to Mexico, as is customary for many young Japanese wrestlers, in order to gain international experience. Before leaving for Mexico on September 19, he competed in his final match for AJPW.
Mexico-based educational trip (2008–2010)
Tetsuya Shimizu started studying the Lucha libre style in Mexico with Skayde. On January 29, 2009, Tetsuya, a masked rudo (bad guy) character, made his debut for the International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG), which is based in Naucalpan, State of Mexico. Only 10 days after making his IWRG debut, he defeated the IWRG Intercontinental Lightweight Champion Freelance in only his second match, earning him a shot at the title. Tetsuya won the title by defeating Freelance in a match that also featured Dr. Cerebro. Before he lost the belt to Zatura, his reign as champion lasted more than a month and didn’t include any successful title defenses. The following few months were spent teaming up with other heels for impromptu trios matches. He took part in the 2009 IWRG Rey del Ring competition, but he was eliminated after placing 14th out of 30. In the summer of 2009, he started competing as Tetsuya Bushi, or occasionally just BUSHI, after the Japanese word for the Samurai code known as Bushido. Tetsuya Bushi was turned into a technical (good guy) after his tag team partner Fantasma de la Opera attacked him after they lost the match. Tetsuya Bushi, the only wrestler to hold the title twice up to that point, won the IWRG Intercontinental Lightweight Championship on November 11, 2009, by defeating Avisman. Following the thrill of winning the title, Bushi experienced the agony of loss when he lost to Oficial 911 in a Lucha de Apuesta, mask vs. mask match, and was forced to remove his mask. It is customary for foreign wrestlers to unmask or get their hair shaved before their tour is over in Japan in order to learn how to lose an Apuesta match. When Dr. Cerebro defeated Tetsuya Bushi for the IWRG Intercontinental Lightweight Championship in January 2010, Tetsuya Bushi’s tour of Mexico came to an end. After the game, El Hijo del Diablo hit Bushi with a Tombstone piledriver, injuring him and explaining why he wasn’t there.
Visit AJPW again (2010–2012)
Since Japan is exempt from Mexico’s stringent mask regulations, Shimizu used the name BUSHI instead of T28 and resumed wearing the mask he had lost to Oficial 911. Following his return, BUSHI formed a team with Super Crazy and Keiji Mutoh, two of the top stars in AJPW. Super Crazy’s team started to appear occasionally, sometimes even as a six-man team with Kiyoshi, who had just returned from his own “learning excursion”. BUSHI got his first shot at the World Junior Heavyweight Championship on April 11, 2010, but champion Kaz Hayashi won a very tight match to retain the title against BUSHI, demonstrating the strides he had made in Mexico. He and Super Crazy defeated Hiroshi Yamato and Shuji Kondo in the championship match to take home the 2010 Junior Tag League title. In imitation of the well-known conflict between the Tiger Mask and Black Tiger characters, All Japan introduced a new character in August 2011 called Black BUSHI, played by Canadian actor Adam Filangeri. Black BUSHI began a rivalry with the original BUSHI.
(Since 2012) New Japan Pro Wrestling
BUSHI would switch promotions in what was referred to as a “one-year rental transfer” after New Japan Pro Wrestling and AJPW reached an agreement, the two organizations announced on April 16, 2012. BUSHI made his NJPW debut in 2012 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, where he finished second to last in his block and won three of his eight round-robin matches. The “Grupo Cibernetico” team of BUSHI and Mexican wrestler Negro Casas participated in the 2012 Super Jr. Tag Tournament on October 21. However, Suzuki-gun (Taichi and Taka Michinoku) eliminated the team from the competition in the first round. BUSHI competed in the NEVER Openweight Championship tournament on November 15 but lost to Kengo Mashimo in the opening round. BUSHI and New Japan held a press conference on January 18, 2013, to announce that he had signed a contract to make his departure from All Japan permanent. BUSHI, going by the ring name “Bushiroad,” was going to begin his first tour with the Mexican Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) promotion the following week, it was announced on June 7 by New Japan Pro Wrestling. Bushiroad and Guerrero Maya, Jr. and Tritón defeated Bobby Zavala, Namajague, and Puma in a six-man tag team match on June 14 in his Mexican comeback match. As a technical, Bushiroad played a unique role for Japanese wrestlers in the CMLL, which led Okumura of La Fiebre Amarilla to brand him a traitor for siding with his own people. On September 5, BUSHI returned to New Japan. BUSHI competed in 2014 Best of the Super Juniors tournament from May 30 to June 6 and finished with a record of four wins and three losses. A defeat to Ricochet on the final day prevented him from moving on to the semifinals. BUSHI attempted to challenge visiting Chase Owens for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Junior Heavyweight Championship at King of Pro-Wrestling on October 13. BUSHI sustained an epidural hematoma, cervical cord neurapraxia, and a thoracic vertebrae fracture on December 19. These injuries were expected to keep him out of commission for six months.
On August 16, 2015, BUSHI was scheduled to compete in his comeback match, but the match had to be postponed because BUSHI injured his right eye while practicing. The return of BUSHI was put off until November 21, 2015. On the other hand, New Japan revealed on November 20 that they had withdrawn BUSHI from his rematch because they were unable to reach him. However, this was made clear to be a plot the next day when BUSHI went to the match with Tetsuya Naito and EVIL, joining their evil Los Ingobernables de Japón stable in the process. When Máscara Dorada refused to join Los Ingobernables on December 9, BUSHI attacked him, ripped off his mask, and took the CMLL World Welterweight Championship belt, setting up a future title contest between the two. BUSHI defeated Dorada on December 19 with the aid of EVIL to win the title of CMLL World Welterweight. At Fantastica Mania 2016 on January 22, BUSHI handed Dorada the championship back. BUSHI made an unsuccessful attempt to challenge Kushida for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on February 14 at The New Beginning in Niigata. BUSHI competed in 2016 Best of the Super Juniors in May. With a record of four wins and three losses, he could not move past his block, but in his final match, he defeated Kushida and eliminated the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion from the competition. He will take part in the 2016 Super J-Cup, which was announced on July 6. BUSHI competed in the 2016 Super J-Cup on July 20 but was defeated by Yoshinobu Kanemaru in the opening round.
BUSHI defeated KUSHIDA on September 17 at Destruction in Tokyo to capture the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time. On November 5 at Power Struggle, he was defeated by KUSHIDA and dropped the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. BUSHI, EVIL, and SANADA won a four-team gauntlet match on January 4, 2017, at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in the Tokyo Dome, to become the new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. They lost the championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi, and Ryusuke Taguchi the following day; they later won it back at The New Beginning in Osaka on February 11. On April 4, during their second defense, they were defeated by Tanahashi, Taguchi, and Ricochet, before winning it back on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2017. BUSHI then competed in 2017 Best of the Super Juniors, finishing with a record of four wins and three losses, the same as block champion Kushida, but being eliminated from the finals after falling to Kushida in their head-to-head match. In the junior tag team division of NJPW, BUSHI began regularly teaming up with Hiromu Takahashi, a member of the L.I.J. stable, in late 2017. On December 17, BUSHI, EVIL, and SANADA were defeated by Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Loa in their fourth defense of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. BUSHI competed in 2018 Best of the Super Juniors tournament in May of that year, finishing with a record of three wins and four losses, missing out on the tournament’s finals and placing last in his block. BUSHI won the competition’s big match against Will Ospreay, the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. After BUSHI’s Los Ingobernables de Japón stablemate Hiromu Takahashi was forced to relinquish the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship due to a neck injury, it was announced on August 20 that BUSHI would compete in a four-man single-elimination tournament to crown a new champion. On September 23 at Destruction in Kobe, BUSHI was defeated by KUSHIDA in the semifinal match. BUSHI and Shingo Takagi, the newest member of Los Ingobernables de Japon, competed in the Super Jr. Tag League in October. They finished the competition with a record of five wins and two losses and made it to the championship round. BUSHI and Takagi were defeated by Sho and Yoh in the Power Struggle finals on November 3 in a three-way match that also featured El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. In a second three-way match that also featured Sho and Yoh on January 4, 2019, at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in the Tokyo Dome, BUSHI and Takagi triumphed over Kanemaru and Desperado to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. On March 6, Sho and Yoh won the titles. BUSHI competed in the 2019 Super J-Cup on August 24 but was defeated by Carstico in the opening round. Will Ospreay and Robbie Eagles’ match against Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) in the 2019 Super Jr. Tag League was cost by BUSHI on November 1, 2019, prompting Ospreay to accept the challenge he had previously issued for his title. BUSHI unsuccessfully contested Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on November 3 at Power Struggle.
BUSHI, EVIL, and Shingo Takagi won a four-team gauntlet match on January 5, 2020, on the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in the Tokyo Dome, to become the new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. BUSHI competed in the 2020 New Japan Cup in June; however, Yoshi-Hashi eliminated him from the competition in the second round. BUSHI competed in 2020 Best of the Super Juniors from November 15 through December 6, finishing the competition with a record of four wins and five losses and failing to advance to the tournament’s finals. BUSHI competed in 2021 Best of the Super Juniors from November 13 through December 11; the team finished the competition with a record of five wins and six losses, failing to advance to the tournament’s finals. BUSHI competed in the 2022 New Japan Cup in March of that year and was defeated by Will Ospreay in the opening round. BUSHI participated in 2022 Best of the Super Juniors in May. The group finished the competition with a record of four wins and five losses, failing to advance to the tournament’s finals. BUSHI and Titán competed in the 2022 Super Jr. Tag League from November 21 through December 11, finishing the competition with a record six wins and three losses but falling behind them in the standings after losing to Lio Rush and Yoh on the final day.
BUSHI competed in 2023 Best of the Super Juniors in May 2023. The team finished the competition with a record of two wins and seven losses, failing to advance to the tournament semifinals.