Player Profile

Hiroshi Tanahashi

Hiroshi Tanahashi

Nationality :Japanese
Date Of Birth :November 13, 1976
Height :5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight :101 kg (223 lb)

Hiroshi Tanahashi: A Brief Biography

Hiroshi Tanahashi is a professional wrestler from Japan who was born on November 13, 1976. He is a New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) signee and a member of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions, who are currently in their fourth reign.

His accomplishments in NJPW include a record-setting eight reigns as IWGP Heavyweight Champion, a record three reigns as IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, two reigns as IWGP Intercontinental Champion, three reigns as IWGP Tag Team Champion, one as NEVER Openweight Champion, and four as NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. Tanahashi has amassed a total of 23 championships in the NJPW. He has also won the New Japan Cup twice, in 2005 and 2008, as well as three times at NJPW’s premier event, the G1 Climax (in 2007, 2015, and 2018). He is recognized as the fourth wrestler to complete the Triple Crown and the second to complete the Grand Slam in NJPW, making him one of the organization’s most decorated athletes.

Tanahashi has also held the CMLL World Tag Team Championship, the CMLL World Trios Championship, the CMLL Universal Championship, the GHC Tag Team Championship, and the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship thanks to NJPW’s working agreements with the CMLL, Pro Wrestling NOAH, Ring of Honor (ROH), All Elite Wrestling (AEW), and Revolution Pro Wrestling. He has held 27 titles across NJPW, CMLL, Noah, ROH, AEW, and RevPro.

You could make a convincing case for Tanahashi to be the best in-ring performer in the industry right now, according to Dave Meltzer, who also noted that Tanahashi was “the leading star in New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s comeback from being in terrible shape a few years back to being the No. 2 pro wrestling company in the world.” In March 2020, subscribers to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter selected Tanahashi as the top wrestler of the decade.

Titles

  • Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre
    • CMLL World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Jushin Thunder Liger
    • CMLL World Trios Championship (1 time) – with Okumura and Taichi
    • CMLL Universal Championship (2013)
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
    • IWGP Heavyweight Championship (8 times)
    • IWGP Intercontinental Championship (2 times)
    • IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
    • IWGP Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Yutaka Yoshie (1), Shinsuke Nakamura (1), and Kota Ibushi (1)
    • IWGP U-30 Openweight Championship (2 times)
    • NEVER Openweight Championship (1 time)
    • NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship (4 times, current) – with Michael Elgin and Yoshitatsu (1), Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi (1), Ricochet and Ryusuke Taguchi (1) and Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii (1)
    • Fourth NJPW Triple Crown Champion
    • Second NJPW Grand Slam Champion
    • G1 Climax (2007, 2015, 2018)
    • G2 U-30 Climax (2003)
    • New Japan Cup (2005, 2008)
    • IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament (2006)
    • IWGP U-30 Openweight Championship League (2005)
    • U-30 One Night Tag Tournament (2004) – with Taiji Ishimori
    • Heavyweight Tag MVP Award (2005) with Shinsuke Nakamura
    • Fighting Spirit Award (2003)
    • New Wave Award (2002)
    • Outstanding Performance Award (2003, 2004)
    • Singles Best Bout (2004) vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan on August 15
    • Young Lion Award (2001)
    • New Japan Pro-Wrestling MVP (2018)
  • Nikkan Sports
    • Fighting Spirit Award (2003)
    • MVP Award (2011, 2014, 2018)
    • Match of the Year Award (2009) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura on November 8
    • Match of the Year Award (2012) vs. Kazuchika Okada on February 12
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Ranked No. 3 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
  • Pro Wrestling Noah
    • GHC Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Yuji Nagata
  • Revolution Pro Wrestling
    • British Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Sports Illustrated
    • Ranked No. 8 of the top 10 men’s wrestlers in 2018
  • Tokyo Sports
    • Best Bout Award (2012) vs. Kazuchika Okada on June 16
    • Fighting Spirit Award (2003, 2006)
    • MVP Award (2009, 2011, 2014, 2018)
    • Outstanding Performance Award (2007)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Feud of the Year (2012–2013) vs. Kazuchika Okada
    • Most Charismatic (2013)
    • Most Outstanding Wrestler (2012–2013)
    • Match of the Year (2012) vs. Minoru Suzuki on October 8
    • Match of the Year (2013) vs. Kazuchika Okada on April 7
    • Match of the Year (2016) vs. Kazuchika Okada on January 4
    • Wrestler of the Year (2011–2013)
    • Wrestler of the Decade (2010s)
    • Most Charismatic of the Decade (2010s)
    • Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2013)

Height of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Weight, and Body Stats

Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight101 kg (223 lb)

All-time Career of Hiroshi Tanahashi

New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Early years (1999–2003)

After graduating from the NJPW Dojo, Tanahashi made his professional wrestling debut in an encounter with Shinya Makabe in October 1999. He earned the nickname “new Three Musketeers” along with fellow rookies Katsuyori Shibata and Shinsuke Nakamura. He was seen as a promising young wrestler and earned notable victories over American Scott Hall in September 2001 and lucha libre legend Negro Casas in July 2000.

After this, Tanahashi was paired with Kenzo Suzuki in a tag team named the Kings of the Hills. This pairing was popular but came to an end after a real-life incident in November 2002 in which Tanahashi was stabbed in the back by Hitomi Hara, a TV Asahi news reporter. Tanahashi and Hara had dated one another, but in a meeting at her Tokyo apartment, he tried to break off the relationship as he had started dating another woman, which led to Hara stabbing him twice. Hara later admitted that she had intended to kill herself after attempting to kill Tanahashi. On February 16, 2003, Tanahashi made his comeback as a singles wrestler in front of a packed house in Tokyo in a match against Manabu Nakanishi. Hara was charged with attempted murder and given a four-year probationary term.

Rise to Stardom (2003–2010)

From this point on, his career started to soar quickly. Tanahashi won the IWGP U-30 Openweight Championship and the IWGP Tag Team Championship in the latter half of 2003, the latter on two different occasions. He competed in the G1 Climax in August 2004 and headlined the Toukon Festival: Wrestling World 2005 event in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2005, where he lost the U-30 Openweight Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura. Tanahashi also competed in the 15th Sasuke competition on July 20, 2005, but was eliminated in the first round. On June 18, Tanahashi defeated Toru Yano in the tournament final to reclaim the U-30 Openweight Championship. He then defeated Masahiro Chono by Sling Blade on April 16, 2006, in Korakuen Hall, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan by Dragon Suplex hold on April 25, in Omuta Citizen Gymnasium, in the first and second rounds, respectively, of the New Japan Cup (which determined a No. 1 contender against IWGP Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar). To devote all of his attention to his upcoming contest with Brock Lesnar for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Tanahashi renounced the U-30 Openweight Championship on June 7.

Tanahashi competed in a tournament for the vacant title after Lesnar’s title was stripped for failing to show up for the match. On July 17, Tanahashi won his first IWGP Heavyweight Championship by defeating Giant Bernard in the tournament’s final match. He then displayed the title belt on his second appearance on Sasuke during the 17th competition, where he was once more eliminated in the first round. Tanahashi managed to recover from this by winning the 2007 G1 Climax, where he defeated Nagata in the finals, and successfully challenging his rival to a rematch on October 8, 2007, where he pinned Nagata to regain the title. After holding the title belt for almost 9 months (270 days) and defending it against competitors like Taiy Kea, Shinsuke Nakamura, and others, Tanahashi lost the title to Yuji Nagata, who had Styles in a highly anticipated rematch of their 2006 encounter in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Subsequently, Tanahashi was admitted to the prestigious New Japan Cup competition, where the victor would compete as the number one contender against the then-IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Tanahashi became the first person to win the New Japan Cup twice with a victory over Giant Bernard.

After New Japan Cup, he participated in the Champion Carnival of All Japan Pro Wrestling. He was given the “Block from Hell” because he had to compete against nearly all of All Japan’s top talent, including Taiy Kea, Satoshi Kojima, Toshiaki Kawada, and his mentor Keiji Mutoh. He entered the match as the bad guy. He won all of his matches and made it to the championship round, where Suwama finally defeated him.

Tanahashi won the 50th IWGP Heavyweight Championship on January 4 at Wrestle Kingdom III in Tokyo Dome, beginning his third reign. When asked who he would like to face off against him next, Tanahashi called out generational rival Shinsuke Nakamura, who accepted. On February 15 at New Japan’s ISM tour, Tanahashi defeated Nakamura with the High Fly Flow in his first title defense. Tanahashi then defeated Kurt Angle on April 5 at New Japan’s “Resolution 09” with two High Fly Flows. Tanahashi then defeated Hirooki Goto on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2009 with a High Fly Flow. However, just a few days later, Tanahashi was defeated by Manabu Nakanish During a post-match interview, Tanahashi was interrupted by Tajiri, who then sprayed Tanahashi with Green Mist. Tanahashi would vacate the IWGP Heavyweight title on August 17, due to an eye fracture injury he suffered in a match with Shinsuke Nakamura, in the semi-finals of the 2009 G1 Climax Tournament. On November 8 at Destruction ’09 Tanahashi returned to challenge for the belt he was forced to vacate but came up short against the reigning champion Nakamura. On December 5 Tanahashi would avenge the loss he suffered during the G1 Climax Tournament and end his feud with Tajiri by pinning him in a singles match with the High Fly Flow. Afterward, Tanahashi made a challenge to Pro Wrestling Noah and on January 4, 2010, at Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome he defeated Noah’s Go Shiozaki in a match that was billed as “Ace vs. Ace”. Since then, Tanahashi would begin a feud with Toru Yano, starting with Yano upsetting Tanahashi in a tag team match on January 30, where he teamed with Manabu Nakanishi and Yano with Shinsuke Nakamura. On February 14, Tanahashi avenged his loss in a single match with Yano but was jumped after the match by Masato Tanaka, after which Yano proceeded to cut off some of his hair. After Yano defeated Tanahashi in a singles match at Wrestling Dontaku 2010, New Japan booked the two men in a Hair vs. Hair match for June 19. On June 19 at Dominion 6.19, Tanahashi defeated Yano and was afterward assisted by former rival Tajiri and Kushida in taking care of Yano’s ally Takashi Iizuka and shaving his opponent’s hair. In August, Tanahashi entered the 2010 G1 Climax tournament and made it all the way to the finals, after four wins and a draw in the round-robin stage of the tournament However, in the finals, Tanahashi was defeated by freelancer Satoshi Kojima. In October and November 2010, Tanahashi teamed with Tajiri in New Japan’s 2010 G1 Tag League. On November 6, the final day of the group stages, Tanahashi and Tajiri lost to the IWGP Tag Team Champions Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson) after a strong start to the competition. They dropped to third place in their block and narrowly missed the tournament semifinals.

Record-breaking IWGP Heavyweight Champion (2010–2014)

Tanahashi was given a chance to face IWGP Heavyweight Champion Satoshi Kojima at Wrestle Kingdom V in Tokyo Dome after winning consecutive pinfall matches against top contenders Hirooki Goto and Tetsuya Naito on December 11 and 12. At the event on January 4, 2011, Tanahashi triumphed over Kojima to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the fifth time. On February 20 at

After another title defense on June 18 against rival Hirooki Goto, Tanahashi was challenged by IWGP Tag Team Champion Giant Bernard, but he answered this with a challenge of his own, suggesting a match for the IWGP Tag Team Championship between Bad Intentions and himself and Goto. On July 3, Tanahashi and Goto failed in their attempt to capture the IWGP Tag Team Championship from Bad Intentions. On July 18, Tanahashi made his sixth successful defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Giant Bernard. In the following month’s 2011 G1 Climax, Tanahashi led his block for the majority of the tournament, but an upset loss on the final day of the tournament against Tetsuya Naito, caused him to narrowly miss advancing to the finals. On September 19, Tanahashi made his seventh successful IWGP Heavyweight Championship defense against G1 Climax winner Shinsuke Nakamura, despite losing a tooth during the match. On October 10 at Destruction ’11, Tanahashi avenged his loss from the final day of the 2011 G1 Climax by defeating Tetsuya Naito to make his eighth successful IWGP Heavyweight Championship defense. After the match, Yuji Nagata appeared to challenge Tanahashi for the championship because Tanahashi is now getting close to breaking his record of ten successful title defenses. However, after Tanahashi had accepted the challenge, he was attacked by Toru Yano, who proceeded to steal his championship belt. In the 2011 G1 Tag League, Tanahashi teamed with Hirooki Goto as “The Billion Powers”. After picking up two wins and two losses in their first four matches in the group stage of the tournament, Tanahashi and Goto defeated the Beast Combination (Satoshi Kojima and Togi Makabe) on November 4 to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. On November 6, Tanahashi and Goto were eliminated from the tournament in the semifinals by Bad Intentions. On November 12 at Power Struggle, Tanahashi regained the IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt from Toru Yano by successfully defending the title against him, after which he was again challenged by Yuji Nagata. On December 4, Tanahashi defeated Nagata to make his tenth successful IWGP Heavyweight Championship defense, tying Nagata’s record in the process. On January 4, 2012, at Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome, Tanahashi broke the record by successfully defending the title against Minoru Suzuki. On February 12 at The New Beginning, Tanahashi lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kazuchika Okada, ending his reign at 404 days.

On June 16 at Dominion 6.16, Tanahashi defeated Okada in a rematch to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the sixth time, tying Tatsumi Fujinami’s record for most reigns with the title. Tanahashi made his first title defense on July 1, defeating Togi Makabe at an event co-promoted by New Japan and All Japan. All reigns combined, this was Tanahashi’s twenty-first successful defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, which was another New Japan record. Tanahashi made his second successful title defense on July 22 against Masato Tanaka. The following month, Tanahashi took part in the 2012 G1 Climax tournament, where he won five out of his first seven matches, but a loss to Karl Anderson on the final day of the tournament caused him to narrowly miss advancing to the finals. On September 23 at Destruction, Tanahashi successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Pro Wrestling Noah’s Naomichi Marufuji, avenging a loss suffered during the 2012 G1 Climax. On October 8 at King of Pro-Wrestling, Tanahashi defeated Minoru Suzuki for the fourth successful defense of his sixth IWGP Heavyweight Championship reign. The match received rave reviews, including a five-star rating from Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer. On November 11 at Power Struggle, Tanahashi made his fifth successful title defense against Yujiro Takahashi. Later in the month, Tanahashi took part in the 2012 World Tag League, teaming with Captain New Japan under the team name “Captain Ace”. The team lost all six of their matches with Captain New Japan being pinned in each match. On January 4, 2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome, Tanahashi made his sixth successful defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against the previous year’s G1 Climax winner, Kazuchika Okada. At the following pay-per-view, The New Beginning on February 10, Tanahashi made another successful title defense against Karl Anderson, avenging his loss from the 2012 G1 Climax. On March 3 at New Japan’s 41st-anniversary event, Tanahashi defeated IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Prince Devitt in a special non-title main event. On April 7 at Invasion Attack, Tanahashi lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship back to Kazuchika Okada. On June 22 at Dominion 6.22, Tanahashi attempted to earn another shot at the title but was defeated in a number one contender’s match by Prince Devitt, following interference from Devitt’s new Bullet Club stable. On July 5, Tanahashi teamed with Jushin Thunder Liger to defeat Bullet Club member Tama Tonga and El Terrible for the CMLL World Tag Team Championship. From August 1 to 11, Tanahashi took part in the 2013 G1 Climax, where he opened by losing three of his first four matches. However, Tanahashi bounced back to wrestle IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada to a time-limit draw and won his other four matches to win his block and advance to the finals of the tournament. In the finals on August 11, Tanahashi was defeated by Tetsuya Naito. After returning from a tour of CMLL, Tanahashi, and Liger lost the CMLL World Tag Team Championship on September 14 to Bullet Club members Rey Bucanero and Tama Tonga, following outside interference from the rest of the group. Tanahashi’s rivalry with Bullet Club leader Prince Devitt built to a Lumberjack Deathmatch on September 29 at Destruction, where Tanahashi was victorious. Tanahashi challenged Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at the conclusion of the event after putting the Devitt feud behind him. Tanahashi was unsuccessful in his title challenge on October 14 at King of Pro-Wrestling. He announced in a post-match interview that he would not challenge for the title again should he lose to Okada. Tanahashi then entered the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Similar to the previous year, the team dropped its first five games, but on the final day, they managed to defeat Bad Luck Fale and Prince Devitt, denying the Bullet Club team a chance to advance to the semifinals.

Tanahashi in November 2015 held the contract for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 10.
On January 4, 2014, Tanahashi defeated Nakamura in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship for the first time. A rematch between the two took place on February 9 at The New Beginning in Hiroshima and saw Tanahashi make his first successful title defense. After Nakamura had won the 2014 New Japan Cup, another title match was booked between him and Tanahashi for the April 6 Invasion Attack 2014 event, where Tanahashi was defeated in his second title defense. Afterward, Tanahashi formed a tag team named “Ace to King” (Japanese for “Ace and King”) with Togi Makabe after the IWGP Tag Team Championship. In May, Tanahashi took part in NJPW’s North American tour, defeating Ring of Honor’s Michael Bennett in an inter-promotional match at War of the Worlds on May 17. On May 25 at Back to the Yokohama Arena, Tanahashi and Makabe defeated Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata to earn a shot at the IWGP Tag Team Championship. Tanahashi and Makabe received their title shot on June 21 at Dominion 6.21 but were defeated by Bullet Club’s Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. In the 2014 G1 Climax, Tanahashi finished with a record of seven wins and three losses, with a loss against Davey Boy Smith Jr. on the final day costing him a spot in the finals. After defeating Katsuyori Shibata on September 21 at Destruction in Kobe, Tanahashi announced he was re-entering the IWGP Heavyweight Championship picture and looking to challenge the reigning champion, Bullet Club’s A.J. Styles. He received his title shot on October 13 at King of Pro-Wrestling, where he defeated Styles to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the record-breaking seventh time. On November 14, Tanahashi and Yoshitatsu announced they were forming a new tag team named “The World”. The World was scheduled to take part in the 2014 World Tag League, but after their opening match on November 22, Yoshitatsu was forced to pull out of the tournament with a neck injury. On January 4, 2015, at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome, Tanahashi made his first successful defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kazuchika Okada. On February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka, Tanahashi lost the title back to A.J. Styles’ most recent reign came to an end after 121 days.

IWGP Intercontinental Champion (2015–2018)

In March, Tanahashi was eliminated from the 2015 New Japan Cup by Toru Yano in less than three minutes, re-igniting the old feud between the two. The rivalry culminated on July 5 at Dominion 7.5 in Osaka-jo Hall, where Tanahashi defeated Yano. From July 20 to August 14, Tanahashi took part in the round-robin stage of the 2015 G1 Climax. He won his block with a record of seven wins and two losses, advancing to the finals. On August 16, Tanahashi defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in the finals to win his second G1 Climax. Tanahashi was handed a contract, which gave him the right to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome, which he would have to defend for the rest of the year. During September and October, Tanahashi successfully defended the contract against Bad Luck Fale and Tetsuya Naito, avenging his two losses suffered during the 2015 G1 Climax. On January 4, 2016, at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome, Tanahashi unsuccessfully challenged Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The loss ended his Tokyo Dome main event win streak at five. On February 14 at The New Beginning in Niigata, Tanahashi was defeated by Kenny Omega in a match to determine the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion. On March 20, Tanahashi teamed with Juice Robinson and Michael Elgin to unsuccessfully challenge The Elite (Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)) for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.

Tanahashi, Elgin, and Yoshitatsu defeated The Elite on April 10 at Invasion Attack 2016 to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. They made their first successful defense against Omega, Bad Luck Fale, and Yujiro Takahashi on April 23. On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2016, they lost the title back to The Elite. Tanahashi was scheduled to face Omega for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in NJ

the New Year’s Dash the following day!Los Ingobernables de Japón (Bushi, Evil, and Sanada) were defeated by Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi, and Ryusuke Taguchi to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.  They lost the title back to L.I.J. on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka.  Tanahashi and Taguchi regained the title from L.I.J. on April 4. On

Tanahashi returned to the ring on June 11 at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall, where he defeated Tetsuya Naito to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship for the second time. Tanahashi then entered the 2017 G1 Climax, where he finished with a record of six wins and three losses, failing to make it to the finals due to losing to Naito in their final round-robin match on August 11. Tanahashi then successfully defended the Intercontinental Championship against Zack Sabre Jr. on September 16 at Destruction in Hiroshima and Kota Ibushi on November 5 at Power Struggle, avenging two losses he had suffered during the 2017 G1 Climax. Following the Ibushi match, Tanahashi was attacked by the returning Jay White, who challenged him to a title match on January 4, 2018, at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome. After being sidelined with a legitimate knee injury, Tanahashi returned on December 18 to assure he would be wrestling at Wrestle Kingdom 12, at which point he was again attacked by White. On January 4, 2018, Tanahashi defeated White to retain his title. The next day, at New Year’s Dash, he was attacked by Minoru Suzuki. Tanahashi lost the championship to Suzuki on January 27, 2018, at The New Beginning in Sapporo, ending his reign after 230 days.

Eight-Time IWGP Heavyweight Champion (2018–2019)

At Sakura Genesis 2018, Tanahashi teamed with fellow Taguchi Japan members Juice Robinson and David Finlay to defeat Chaos members Hirooki Goto, Jay White, and Yoshi-Hashi. Later that night, Tanahashi would face IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada after Okada defeated Sabre to tie Tanahashi’s record for the most successful title defeat.

After that, Tanahashi competed in the 2018 G1 Climax, finishing with a record of seven victories, one tie, and one defeat. This resulted in a new record for the most points in the 20-man G1 format, 15 points, and an advance to the finals, where Tanahashi defeated Kota Ibushi to win his third G1 Climax tournament. This gave him the opportunity to contend for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13, Tanahashi proposed White and Okada as his opponents for the contract because they were the only two men in his block that he lost to. White attacked Tanahashi after he defeated Okada to win the contract on September 23 at Destruction in Kobe. On October 8, at King of Pro-Wrestling, Tanahashi defeated White to win the contract.

Tanahashi won over Kenny Omega on January 4, 2019, at Wrestle Kingdom 13 to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the eighth time, breaking his own record for the most reigns in the process. He also made history by becoming the first person with the Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate to successfully win the title at Wrestle Kingdom. On February 11, at The New Beginning in Osaka, Tanahashi lost the title to Jay White, ending his 38-day reign.

Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion (2019–present)

Chris Jericho called Tanahashi out for a match at Wrestle Kingdom 14 at Power Struggle in November, and Tanahashi agreed. Tanahashi was defeated by Jericho on the second night of the event. As a result, Tanahashi formed a tag team with Kota Ibushi. The Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa), dubbed Golden Ace, were defeated by Tanahashi and Ibushi on February 21, 2020, during night three of New Japan Road, earning them the IWGP Tag Team Championship. Tanahashi and Ibushi’s reign as champions were cut short after they were attacked by Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr.) on July 12 at Dominion. Dangerous Tekkers also defeated Taichi and Ibushi, ending their reign at 142 days. From September 19 to October 18, Tanahashi competed in the G1 Climax, finishing in his block with a record of four wins and five losses.

Following this, Tanahashi started a conflict with the recently founded United Empire. He defeated Great-O-Khan in the Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night 1’s main event. Tanahashi won the NEVER Openweight Championship for the first time at The New Beginning in Nagoya, becoming NJPW’s fourth Triple Crown champion in the process. At Castle Attack, Tanahashi successfully defended the title against Khan once, making it his only title defense. He began challenging Tanahashi to a title match after Jay White knocked him out of the New Japan Cup tournament. Tanahashi and Satoshi Kojima defeated White and Bad Luck Fale in a tag team match at Sakura Genesis. Tanahashi’s reign as the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion came to an end on the first night of Wrestling Dontaku when he was defeated by Jay White in the main event. On July 25, it was revealed that Tanahashi would face Shingo Takagi for the title at Wrestle Grand Slam in Tokyo Dome since Kota Ibushi was unable to compete. Takagi defeated Tanahashi in the competition.

Tanahashi won the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against Lance Archer on August 14 at Resurgence, becoming the second Grand Slam champion in NJPW history and the first Japanese wrestler to ever win the title. Tanahashi then challenged Kota Ibushi to a match at Wrestle Grand Slam in the MetLife Dome for his first title defense, which Ibushi accepted. Tanahashi successfully defended his title against Ibushi on Night 1 of the competition. Tanahashi then competed in the G1 Climax from September 18 to October 21 and finished with four victories and five defeats, missing out on the finals. Tanahashi’s reign came to an end after 84 days when he was defeated by Kenta at Power Struggle on November 6. Tanahashi defeated Kenta on the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 16 to reclaim the championship and win it a second time. Tanahashi’s second reign, which lasted 45 days, came to an end when Sanada defeated him at the New Year’s Golden Series on February 19.

Will Ospreay was originally scheduled to compete against Tanahashi for the vacant IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship at Wrestling Dontaku on May 1. However, Ospreay was removed from the match after testing positive for COVID-19, and he was replaced by Tomohiro Ishii. Tanahashi won the championship at the event by defeating Ishii for a record-breaking third time. After that, Tanahashi was confronted by Chase Owens, which served as a diversion for Juice Robinson, who had rejoined Bullet Club and was back, to attack Tanahashi and stake his claim to the title. Tanahashi’s third reign came to an end after 13 days at Capital Collision when he was defeated by Robinson in a Four-way match that also featured Ospreay and Jon Moxley. Prior to that, on May 5, New Japan and All Elite Wrestling announced Forbidden Door, a show that would take place on June 26. Tanahashi made a surprise appearance on the June 1 episode of AEW Dynamite to identify himself as CM Punk’s opponent in the match that was slated to take place at Forbidden Door. Although Punk did not give up the championship, it was later revealed that he was injured. As a result, Tanahashi defeated Hirooki Goto at Dominion to qualify for a match against Jon Moxley for the event’s interim championship. Tanahashi lost to Moxley there.

He finished with 6 points, failing to advance to the semi-finals. On September 25 at Burning Spirit, Tanahashi challenged Karl Anderson for the Never Openweight Championship but lost. At Noah Ariake Triumph in October, Tanahashi made a return to Pro Wrestling Noah, for the first time in 9 years, teaming with Noah Ariake.

For the first time since 2019, Tanahashi made his return to Ring of Honor on March 6 at Supercard of Honor, defeating Daniel Garcia. Later that month at Capital Collision, Tanahashi teamed up with Kazuchika Okada once more in a three-way tag-team match for the Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships. In April at Capital Collision, Tanahashi once again challenged for the IWGP Tag Team Championships with Okada. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis) won the match, which also featured The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin). In May, at Wrestling Dontaku, Tanahashi teamed with Okada and Tomohiro Ishii to defeat Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, and Ren Narita to win his fourth NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. On May 21 at Resurgence, Tanahashi took part in a competition

Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2005, 2010–2013)

When Tanahashi and Nakamura traveled to the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in Mexico in September 2005, Tanahashi made his North American debut. The IWGP Tag Team Championship was successfully defended by them against Rey Bucanero and Olmpico there as they engaged in a feud with Los Guerreros del Infierno. In May 2010, Tanahashi and fellow Japanese wrestlers Okumura and Taichi joined La Ola Amarilla (Spanish for “the Yellow Wave”) in Mexico and the CMLL. On May 7, 2010, La Ola Amarilla defeated El Hijo del Fantasma, La Máscara, and Héctor Garza to win the CMLL World Trios Championship in the main event of the weekly Friday night Super Viernes show. Ola Amarilla’s reign as Trios champions only lasted two weeks as they were defeated by La Máscara, La Sombra, and Máscara Dorada on May 21, 2010. Following the show Tanahashi returned to Japan for the next tour of NJPW but intended to return to CMLL between tours of NJPW. In August 2011, Tanahashi returned to CMLL and, as the reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion was allowed to enter the promotion’s annual tournament of champions to crown the Universal Champion. Tanahashi entered the tournament on September 9; after eliminating CMLL World Welterweight Champion Máscara Dorada in his first-round match, Tanahashi himself was eliminated from the tournament in the second round by CMLL World Tag Team Champion Último Guerrero. Tanahashi returned to CMLL on August 24, 2012, again taking part in the Universal Championship tournament, winning his block to advance to the finals. On August 31, Tanahashi was defeated in the finals of the tournament by CMLL World Heavyweight Champion El Terrible. Tanahashi finished his CMLL tour on September 7, when he teamed with Namajague, Okumura, and Taichi in a Japan vs. Mexico torneo cibernetico, where they faced Black Warrior, La Máscara, Negro Casas, and Valiente. In the end, Tanahashi pinned La Máscara after Taichi interfered to win the match for the Japanese. Tanahashi returned to CMLL a year later on August 23, 2013, when he teamed with Namajague and Puma in a six-man tag team match; however, they were defeated by Marco Corleone, Máximo, and Shocker. Tanahashi worked the tour as a rudo, competing

Impact Wrestling (2006, 2008, 2023)

On January 14, 2006, at Final Resolution, he made his TNA debut in the country but lost to A.J. Styles. A few days later, he participated in a match against Roderick Strong that was recorded for Xplosion.

In 2008, Tanahashi visited TNA once more and appeared on Impact!’s October 30 episode. lost to The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) in a tag team match with Volador Jr. Sheik Abdul Bashir chastised them after the game. On the November 6 Impact!The Latin American Xchange (Hernandez and Homicide), Team 3D (Brother Devon and Brother Ray), Matt Morgan and Abyss, and Tanahashi teamed up with Volador once more in a four-way ladder match for number one contendership for Beer Money’s TNA World Tag Team Championship, which Morgan and Abyss won. At Turning Point, Tanahashi competed in a 10-man X Division seeding match and finished fourth.

Tanahashi returned to Impact at Multiverse United and defeated Mike Bailey there.