Player Profile

Francesco Akira

Francesco Akira

Nationality :Italian
Date Of Birth :November 12, 1999
Height :5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight :154 lbs (70 kg)

Francesco Akira: A Brief Biography

The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion is currently in his second reign with T. J. Perkins in the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where Francesco Begnini, better known by his ring name Francesco Akira (born November 12, 1999), competes. Akira belongs to the family of United Empire characters.

Begnini has also competed in professional wrestling for All Japan Pro-Wrestling (AJPW), where he once held the title of junior heavyweight.

Titles

  • Adriatic Special Combat Academy
    • ASCA Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Gravity
  • All Japan Pro Wrestling
    • World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • AJPW Junior League (2021)
  • Italian Championship Wrestling
    • ICW Italian Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Gravity
    • ICW Cartoomics 24/7 Championship (1 time)
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Ranked No. 306 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2021
  • Rising Sun Wrestling Promotion
    • Rising Championship (2 times)
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (2 times, current) – with TJP

Height of Francesco Akira, Weight, and Body Stats

Height175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight70 kg (154 lb)

All-time Career of Francesco Akira

Early career

Begnini made his debut in the professional wrestling industry in Italy, working for the Italian Championship Wrestling, the organization where he received his training, as well as for the Rising Sun Wrestling Promotion, ASCA Wrestling, and Irish and British organizations like Over the Top Wrestling and Attack! Pro Wrestling.

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2019–2022)

Begnini made his All Japan Pro Wrestling debut at the AJPW Excite Series 2019 on February 7. He competed against Evolution (Hikaru Sato, Suwama, and Yusuke Okada) in a losing effort with Black Menso-re, Kento Miyahara, and Yoshitatsu. In order to win an eight-man tag team matches against Atsushi Maruyama, Black Menso-re, Keiichi Sato, and Koji Iwamoto, he teamed up with Hikaru Sato, Hokuto Omori, and Yusuke Okada at the AJPW Chiba Extra Dream In Narita event on July 15, 2019.

He took part in a 13-man battle royal on January 2 during the opening night of the AJPW New Year Wars 2020, which also featured Jake Lee, Takao Omori, Osamu Nishimura, and others.

For her participation in the AJPW Junior League, Begnini is well-known. He participated in the event for the first time in 2019 and finished in Block A with a score of two points after facing off against Atsushi Maruyama, Yusuke Okada, Tajiri, Kotaro Suzuki, and Koji Iwamoto. He won the competition in 2021, defeating Tajiri in the opening round, Takuya Sugi in the following round, Tatsuhito Takaiwa in the semifinals, and El Lindaman in the championship match on June 3, 2021.

Another signature event of the promotion in which Begnini took part is the AJPW Junior Tag League, making his first appearance at the 2019 edition of the event, where he teamed up with Hokuto Omori and scored a total of three points after competing against the teams of Keiichi Sato and Koji Iwamoto, Banana Senga, and Tsutomu Oosugi, Atsushi Maruyama and Black Menso~re, Hikaru Sato and Yusuke Okada, and Kagetora and Yosuke♥Santa Maria. He competed in the 2020 edition with Takayuki Ueki, but they were defeated by Jin (Koji Iwamoto and Fuminori Abe) in the opening round on December 27.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2022–present)

On March 28, 2022, New Japan Pro-Wrestling posted a video with the title “BRUCIARE” (which means “Burn” in Italian). In it, the leader of the United Empire, Will Ospreay, is seen walking over photos of New Japan’s junior division wrestlers on the floor and saying that the division has changed since he graduated and that he will rebuild it with a protegé who will soon join him. After El Desperado defeated Sho to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on April 9, Begnini made his NJPW debut at Hyper Battle ’22. There, he unveiled a United Empire shirt, joined the group, and declared he would compete in the Best of the Super Jrs tournament in May. On May 1, it was revealed that Akira would be taking part in the A Block. He would finish the competition with a record of 4 wins and 5 losses, totaling 8 points, and failing to advance to the finals. In a non-title match on the finals day, IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions Master Wato and Ryusuke Taguchi were defeated by Akira and fellow United Empire stablemate T. J. Perkins. Akira and Perkins defeated Taguchi and Wato on June 20 to win the titles. This was Akira’s first NJPW championship and made him the organization’s first Italian champion.

At Burning Spirit, Akira and TJP defended their titles against Wato and Taguchi. The team, now known as Catch 2/2, successfully defended the titles against Bushi and Titán of Los Ingobernables de Japon. The group participated in the Super Junior Tag League in November, but with only 12 points they were unable to advance to the championship game. The pair defeated Lio Rush and Yoh, the winners of the competition, at Wrestle Kingdom 17.

Akira and TJP defeated Douki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru at The New Beginning in Sapporo in February, continuing to defend the titles well into the new year. The pair’s reign came to an end after 311 days when they were defeated by Jet Setters (Kushida and Kevin Knight) in April. Akira competed in the B Block of the Best of the Super Juniors 30 tournament the following month. With a total of 8 points at the end of the season, Akira was unable to advance to the semifinals. Catch 2/2 defeated Jet Setters in a rematch to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships on June 4 at Dominion 6.4 in Osaka-jo Hall. Following the match, Dan Moloney and Clark Connors, who had both defected to Bullet Club along with Connors, attacked the duo from behind after Clark Connors had yelled at them from the entrance ramp.