Player Profile

EVIL

EVIL

Nationality :Japanese
Date Of Birth :January 26, 1987
Height :1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight :106 kg (234 lb)

EVIL: A Brief Biography

Japanese professional wrestler Takaaki Watanabe is coached by Animal Hamaguchi. Since his debut in 2011, Watanabe has worked for NJPW. He has also competed in the United States for organizations like Ring of Honor (ROH). EVIL is the ring name he is currently using. He has won the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship four times and once.

Titles

  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
    • IWGP Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • IWGP Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
    • IWGP Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Sanada
    • NEVER Openweight Championship (2 times)
    • NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship (6 times) – with Bushi and Sanada (3), Bushi and Shingo Takagi (1), Yujiro Takahashi and Sho (2)
    • New Japan Cup (2020)]
    • World Tag League (2017, 2018) – with Sanada
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Ranked No. 29 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2021
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Best Gimmick (2017) as part of Los Ingobernables de Japón
    • Most Overrated (2021)

Height of EVIL, Weight, and Body Stats

Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight106 kg (234 lb)

All-time Career of EVIL

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2011–2013)

On May 13, 2011, Watanabe made his debut for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). He wrestled primarily as a Young Lion and in the lower cards of shows. He stayed with the promotion until October 2013, when the King of Pro-Wrestling announced that he was going on a study trip to the United States.

Ring of Honor (2014–2015)

He competed in Global Wars ’15’s opening night match against Gedo and Moose with Silas Young. On May 16th, he lost to Young that evening.

He was defeated by Adam Page on the ROH Wrestling episode from June 27 after Colby Corino attacked Watanabe. Dalton Castle would defeat Watanabe on the ROH Wrestling episode airing on July 4. Donovan Dijak, a member of the House of Truth, and Watanabe would square off in a singles match taped especially for ROH’s YouTube Wrestling Channel, the organization announced on July 23. Watanabe was defeated by Dijak on July 24 at Death Before Dishonor XIII.

Watanabe won a nine-man gauntlet match on August 22 at Field of Honor to earn a spot in an ROH World Television Championship match. He defeated Dijak and Greg James on September 18 at All-Star Extravaganza VII with the help of Will Ferrara. In a contest against champion Jay Lethal on September 19, Watanabe had the opportunity to win the Television Title, but he was unsuccessful.

Return to NJPW

The King of Darkness (2015–2017)

During his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi on October 12, 2015, at King of Pro-Wrestling, Watanabe made a triumphant return to NJPW, where he was identified as Tetsuya Naito’s associate. Naito lost as a result of Hiroki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata stopping Watanabe’s outside interference in the match. Watanabe was given the new moniker “King of Darkness” Evil by Naito during a post-match interview. Evil joined Naito’s Los Ingobernables de Japón stable under the new moniker. With a record of five victories and one defeat in December, Evil and Naito won their block in the 2015 World Tag League and proceeded to the championship match. Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma defeated Evil and Naito in the finals on December 9.

Early in March, Evil competed in the 2016 New Japan Cup, where he was defeated by Tomohiro Ishii in the opening round. Evil made an unsuccessful attempt to challenge Ishii for the ROH World Television Championship on March 20. Evil competed in the 2016 G1 Climax from July 18 to August 14 and finished his block with four wins and five losses, failing to advance. Evil defeated the IWGP Intercontinental Champion Michael Elgin and the NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata on the final day, but he was unable to advance.

Evil won his first championship on November 5 at Power Struggle when he defeated Katsuyori Shibata for the NEVER Openweight Championship. In Singapore ten days later, Evil once again lost the championship to Shibata. Evil and Sanada, a member of the same stable, competed in the 2016 World Tag League at the year’s end. They tied block winners Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma for second place in their block with a record of five wins and two losses but were unable to advance to the finals because they lost their head-to-head match with Makabe and Honma.

Evil, Bushi, 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. The following day they were defeated by Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi, and Ryusuke Taguchi, before winning it back at The New Beginning in Osaka on February 11. Evil advanced to the 2017 New Japan Cup semifinals in March before falling to Bad Luck Fale. L.I.J.’s second defense of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ricochet, and Ryusuke Taguchi ended on April 4, and they lost it. On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2017, they won it back.

On August 5, during the 2017 G1 Climax, Evil defeated Kazuchika Okada, the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, in a significant match. This was Okada’s first singles loss in nearly a year. With a record of six wins and three losses, Evil went on to place third in his block. Evil attempted to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the first time on October 9 at King of Pro-Wrestling, but Okada defeated him. With a record of five victories and two defeats in December, Evil and Sanada won their block in the 2017 World Tag League and proceeded to the championship match. They won the competition on December 11 by defeating Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa’s Guerrillas of Destiny in the championship match. After six days, Guerrillas of Destiny and Bad Luck Fale defeated Evil, Bushi, and Sanada in their fourth attempt to defend the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.

Championship reigns with Sanada (2018–2020)

Evil and Sanada first won the IWGP Tag Team Championship on January 4, 2018, at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in the Tokyo Dome, where they defeated the Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer). Before losing the IWGP Tag Team Championship to The Young Bucks at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall, Evil and Sanada successfully defended the title twice. This extended their reign by 156 days. The IWGP Intercontinental Championship was won by Chris Jericho that same evening after he defeated Tetsuya Naito. Jericho placed Naito in the Walls of Jericho after the match and wouldn’t let go of the hold. As a result, Evil dashed in to perform the rescue. With a record of 5 wins and 4 losses after competing in the 2018 G1 Climax, Evil was unable to move past his block. Evil was scheduled to face Zack Sabre Jr. in a singles match at King of Pro-Wrestling. Chris Jericho, the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, would later make a comeback and attack Evil, ending the match before it even got started.

Evil challenged Jericho for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship on November 3, 2018, at Power Struggle. However, Evil was unable to escape and was compelled to submit to Chris Jericho’s submission hold known as the Liontamer. Evil and Sanada signed up for the 2018 World Tag League in December. The pair advanced to the finals, where they would play the Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa), in a rematch of the previous year’s final, with a record of ten wins and three losses. They won their second World Tag League on December 9 by defeating the Guerillas of Destiny in the championship match, earning the right to challenge for an IWGP Tag Team Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in the Tokyo Dome.

Evil and Sanada defeated Guerrillas of Destiny and Young Bucks in a three-way tag team match to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in the Tokyo Dome. They defended their titles against Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki at The New Beginning in Sapporo. Evil and Sanada failed in their second attempt to defend their titles against Guerillas of Destiny at Honor Rising: Japan 2019. 2019 New Japan Cup participant Evil was announced, but he was defeated by Zack Sabre Jr. in the opening round. With a record of 4 wins and 5 losses after competing in the 2019 G1 Climax, Evil was unable to advance past the semifinals.

The NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship was won by Evil, Bushi, and Shingo Takagi on January 5, 2020, at Wrestle Kingdom 14 after they defeated four other teams in a Gauntlet match. This made Evil and Bushi the title’s record-tying four-time holders.

Bullet Club (2020–present)

With the 2020 New Japan Cup, which kicked off on June 16, 2020, New Japan Pro-Wrestling resumed its operations after taking a break in late February 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The winner would then face Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships. In order to advance to the finals in the tournament, Evil first defeated Satoshi Kojima, Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, and his teammate Sanada. Evil displayed a more aggressive attitude throughout the tournament, cheating by low-blowing Hirooki Goto during their match, hurting Yoshi-Hashi prior to their match, and using a chair to attack Sanada’s neck. The interference by Bullet Club, who attacked Okada ostensibly behind Evil’s back (as he appeared unconscious at the time) in the finals on July 11 helped Evil defeat Kazuchika Okada. Evil attacked Naito, turning heel, and was soon joined by Bullet Club, establishing himself as a member of the stable and the first person to ever leave Los Ingobernables de Japón when Naito came out to congratulate him on his victory instead of throwing up the “too sweet” symbol of Los Ingobernables.

The following day at Dominion, Evil defeated Naito with the assistance of Bullet Club, including Dick Togo, who joined Bullet Club and subsequently took on the role of Evil’s manager. This allowed Evil to win the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships. Despite his betrayal, Evil was still the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion with Bushi and Takagi, making him the first triple champion in New Japan Pro-Wrestling history. On July 25, he successfully defended both the Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles at Sengoku Lord, defeating Hiromu Takahashi, a former stablemate of the Ingobernables. After Evil stated in a post-Dominion interview that he had “no interest” in defending the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship with his former Ingobernables teammates, NJPW vacated the title on August 1 and Evil’s reign as a triple champion came to an end. At Summer Struggle in Jingu, he was defeated by Naito and dropped both titles. Evil and House of Torture won the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships on November 6 at Power Struggle after defeating Chaos. At Wrestle Kingdom 16, he triumphed over Tomohiro Ishii to win the NEVER Openweight Championship, making him a double champion. Evil, Sho, and Takahashi successfully defended their 6-man titles against CHAOS on Night 2. On Night 3, Go Shiozaki and Masa Kitamiya of Pro Wrestling NOAH defeated Evil and Dick Togo.

EVIL and the Never Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions successfully defended their titles at the NJPW New Year’s Golden Series tour against Ishii. Evil then competed in the New Japan Cup, winning rounds one and two over Ryusuke Taguchi and Tama Tonga but losing round three to Hiromu Takahashi. Evil defended the Never Openweight Championship against Takahashi at Hyper Battle. Evil’s second reign, which lasted 117 days, came to an end at Wrestling Dontaku when Tama Tonga defeated him for the Never Openweight Championship. House of Torture defeated Suzuki-Gun to retain the 6-man titles at Dominion 6.12 in Osaka-jo Hall, but Chaos defeated them at NJPW New Japan Road.

Evil will take part in the G1 Climax 32 tournament’s C Block, it was revealed in June. He earned 6 points overall, falling short of making it to the semifinals.