Player Profile

Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Nationality :Japanese
Date Of Birth :September 23, 1976
Height :1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight :85 kg (187 lb)

Yoshinobu Kanemaru: A Brief Biography

A member of the Just 5 Guys stable and a backstage producer for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Yoshinobu Kanemaru born September 23, 1976, is a professional wrestler from Japan. From 2016 until the Suzuki-gun stable’s dissolution in 2022, Kanemaru was a member. The GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship is where Kanemaru is best known for his contributions to Pro Wrestling Noah, where he holds the record for the most reigns.

Titles

  • All Japan Pro Wrestling
    • All Asia Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Jun Akiyama (1), and Último Dragón (1)
    • World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • Asunaro Cup (2000)
    • January 3 Korakuen Hall Junior Heavyweight Battle Royal (1999)
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
    • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (6 times) – with Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (1), Taichi (1), and El Desperado (4)
    • Super Junior Tag League (2021) – with El Desperado
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #161 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
  • Pro Wrestling Noah
    • GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship (7 times)
    • GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Takashi Sugiura (2), Kotaro Suzuki (1), and Kenta (1)
    • Junior Heavyweight League (2009)
    • Nippon TV Cup Jr. Heavyweight Tag League (2009) – with Kotaro Suzuki
    • One Night Junior Heavyweight Six-Man Tag Team Tournament (2003) – with Makoto Hashi and Takashi Sugiura
    • One Night Tag Tournament Winner (2001) – with Kentaro Shiga
    • One Day Jr. Heavyweight Six-Man Tag Tournament (2008) – with Kotaro Suzuki and Genba Hirayanagi
  • Taka & Taichi Box Office
    • Super J-Cup Qualifying League (2016)
  • Tokyo Sports
    • Newcomer Award (1998)
  • Westside Xtreme Wrestling
    • Trios Tournament (2006) – with Doug Williams and Takashi Sugiura
  • World Entertainment Wrestling
    • WEW World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Masao Inoue
  • Xtreme Wrestling Entertainment
    • XWE Cruiserweight Championship (1 time)

Height of Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Weight, and Body Stats

Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight85 kg (187 lb)

All-time Career of Yoshinobu Kanemaru

All Japan Pro Wrestling (1996-2000)

In the final years of owner Giant Baba’s rule, when the promotion had been cut off from outside wrestlers at the expense of the younger, lighter-weight talent, Kanemaru made his professional debut in 1996 for All Japan Pro Wrestling. In 1997, he teamed up with Koji Kanemoto (Tiger Mask III) of New Japan Pro Wrestling to compete against freelancer Satoru Sayama, the original Tiger Mask, and his pupil, Michinoku Pro Wrestling’s Tiger Mask. (Kanemaru had to fill in for Mitsuharu Misawa, who once played Tiger Mask II because Misawa is now a heavyweight and is entirely focused on winning the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship.

Despite Baba’s passing in 1999, Kanemaru had few opportunities to advance after that. Only in 2000, when Misawa split from AJPW to found Noah, did his experience start to broaden. Kanemaru and heavyweight Masao Inoue were able to take home the WEW Tag Team Championship thanks to a brief promotional partnership with FMW.

Pro Wrestling Noah (2001-2013)

Kanemaru underwent a transformation in 2001. He switched out his basic Bermuda shorts and boots for tights and shinguards and started performing more dangerous moves fit for a junior heavyweight. This worked well for Kanemaru, who eventually defeated a group of unlikely but talented opponents to claim the inaugural GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship. He would go on to win the title twice more, including a victory over Jushin Thunder Liger, a former junior ace for NJPW. As a member of tag teams, his experience grew as well. He won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, as well as the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship twice with Takashi Sugiura. His NJPW title victory sparked the development of the corresponding Noah title.

After the “SugiKane” team of Takashi Sugiura and himself split up after Sugiura switched to the heavyweight division in 2008, Kanemaru displayed a marked change in attitude. Kanemaru started employing heel strategies in his fights. And in the summer, he persuaded Kotaro Suzuki to turn on his tag team partner and friend Ricky Marvin by attacking KENTA and Taiji Ishimori, the defending Jr. Heavyweight champions. Two weeks later, the new team would defeat the champions to win the titles after Kanemaru used his “Touch-Out” brainbuster to pin KENTA.

He won the vacant GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship for a fifth time on October 31, 2009, by defeating Jushin Thunder Liger in the 2009 Junior Heavyweight League final.

He successfully defended his title against Taiji Ishimori on March 28, 2010, Delirious on April 25, 2010, and Naomichi Marufuji on July 10, 2010, in his third defense.

To win the XWE Cruiserweight Championship for the first time, José Vargas Jr. had to be defeated on September 2, 2010 in Xtreme Wrestling Entertainment. Kanemaru’s 400-day reign as the GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, which was the longest in the title’s history, came to an end when he was defeated by Kotaro Suzuki on December 5, 2010. For the sixth time, Kanemaru won the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship on May 9, 2012, by defeating Katsuhiko Nakajima. On September 29, 2012, Shuji Kondo of All Japan Pro Wrestling defeated him for the championship. Following the firing of Kenta Kobashi, Kanemaru refused to resign, and Noah announced on December 19 that he would be leaving the promotion. On December 24, Kanemaru competed in his final Noah match, joining forces with Akitoshi Saito in a tag team contest that they lost to Takashi Sugiura and Naomichi Marufuji.

Return to All Japan Pro Wrestling (2013-2015)

The “Burning” stable, which was made up of Kanemaru, Atsushi Aoki, Go Shiozaki, Jun Akiyama, and Kotaro Suzuki, who had all simultaneously left Noah, announced their joining All Japan Pro Wrestling on January 26, 2013. On February 23, Kanemaru, who had been denied the World Junior Heavyweight Championship during his first AJPW run, defeated Shuji Kondo to win Burning’s first championship. On May 11, Kanemaru returned for one night to Noah to compete in Kenta Kobashi’s retirement match. Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Keiji Mutoh, and Kensuke Sasaki defeated him, Go Shiozaki, Kenta, and Maybach Taniguchi, with Kobashi pinning Kanemaru to win. It was revealed that Kanemaru and the rest of Burning had signed an exclusive contract with All Japan on July 5 in the wake of a mass exodus led by Keiji Mutoh. On December 15, Kanemaru was defeated by ltimo Dragón for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship. On January 26, 2014, Kanemaru and Akiyama won the All Asia Tag Team Championship by defeating Kotaro Suzuki and Atsushi Aoki, former members of the Burning stable. On April 29, Keisuke Ishii and Shigehiro Irie defeated them to win the Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) competition. On March 22, 2015, Kanemaru reclaimed the championship from Mitsuya Nagai and Takeshi Minamino, now teaming with ltimo Dragón. On October 14, they turned in their title. On November 20, Kanemaru declared he would leave All Japan on December 15 and go freelance.

Suzuki-gun and New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2016-Present)

After rejoining Pro Wrestling Noah in January 2016, Kanemaru initially teamed up with Go Shiozaki before betraying him on January 31 and joining Suzuki-gun. Kanemaru won the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship for the seventh time on February 24 by defeating Taiji Ishimori. A four-man round-robin tournament for a spot in the 2016 Super J-Cup was won by Kanemaru on June 24 at a show put on by his Suzuki-gun stablemates Taichi and Taka Michinoku. Kanemaru was one of the two winners of the tournament. Kanemaru defeated BUSHI on July 20 in his first-round match of the competition. On August 21, Kanemaru defeated Matt Sydal in the semifinals and Ryusuke Taguchi in the second round before falling to the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA in the championship match.

He lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship to Atsushi Kotoge on September 23. When Kanemaru faced Kotoge at Great Voyage in Yokohama vol. 2 on October 23, he had a chance to win back the GHC Junior championship, but he fell short. In December 2016, Suzuki-gun’s Noah Invasion storyline came to an end. Suzuki-gun, including Kanemaru, returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling on January 5, 2017. Roppongi Vice was defeated by Kanemaru and Taichi on March 6 to win the title of IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. On April 27, they made their second defense of the title but were defeated by Roppongi Vice. The following year, Kanemaru competed in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, where he finished with a record of four wins and three losses and was unable to reach the championship game.

In a three-way match on March 6, Kanemaru and El Desperado defeated Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) and Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi) to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. Kanemaru competed in the 2018 Best of the Super Juniors tournament in May. He finished the competition with a record of three wins and four losses, missing out on the tournament’s finals and placing close to last. Kanemaru and Desperado competed in the Super Jr. Tag League from October 16 to November 1; they finished the competition with a record of five victories and two defeats and advanced to the championship match. On November 3 at Power Struggle, Sho and Yoh defeated Kanemaru and Desperado in the finals of a three-way match that also included BUSHI and Shingo Takagi. At Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2019, Kanemaru and Desperado’s 304-day reign as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions came to an end when they were defeated by BUSHI and Takagi in a second three-way match that also featured Sho and Yoh. Kanemaru and Desperado competed in the 2019 Super Jr. Tag League from October 16 to November 1; they finished the competition with a record of five victories and two defeats and advanced to the championship match. Sho and Yoh defeated Kanemaru and Desperado on November 3 in the Power Struggle finals. When Kanemaru competed in the 2020 New Japan Cup in June of that year, Taiji Ishimori knocked him out of the competition in the second round.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi) were defeated by Kanemaru and Desperado on September 11 at the New Japan Road Tour, and they went on to win the vacant IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. After that, Kanemaru agreed to a long-term contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he continued to wrestle and later rose to the position of producer. Injuries forced Kanemaru to withdraw from 2020 Best of the Super Juniors, and it was announced on November 12 that Yuya Uemura would take his place. Following Wrestle Kingdom 15, Suzuki-gun and the Bullet Club started a conflict over the titles of both stables’ tag teams in January 2021. El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori of the Bullet Club defeated Kanemaru and Desperado on January 23 for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, which they later regained on February 25. On April 4 at Sakura Genesis, Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) defeated them for the titles. The 2021 Super Jr. Tag League was won in August by Kanemaru and Desperado, who finished the competition with a record of four victories and one defeat. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship was won by Kanemaru and Desperado for the fourth time on September 5 at Wrestle Grand Slam in the MetLife Dome by defeating El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori. On October 26, Robbie Eagles and Tiger Mask defeated them for the titles. Kanemaru competed in 2021 Best of the Super Juniors from November 13 through December 11, finishing the competition with a record of four wins and seven losses and failing to advance to the tournament’s finals. Kanemaru competed in the 2022 New Japan Cup in March of that year and was defeated by CIMA in the second round. Kanemaru competed in the 2022 Best of the Super Juniors in May. He finished the competition with a record of four wins and five losses, failing to make it to the tournament’s finals. Kanemaru and DOUKI competed in the 2022 Super Jr. Tag League from November 21 through December 11; they finished the competition with a record four wins and five losses, failing to claim the title. Minoru Suzuki declared that the Suzuki gun would dissolve by the end of the year on December 14. On December 23, Suzuki-gun played their final match, during which each member saluted and lifted the Suzuki-gun banner for the final time.

Kanemaru, former Suzuki-gun members DOUKI, Taka Michinoku, and Taichi announced the formation of “Just Four Guys” on January 5, 2023, at New Year Dash! The group’s name alludes to the four of them. Shortly after, the stable’s first official match was held. Kanemaru, DOUKI, and Taichi defeated United Empire’s Will Ospreay, Francesco Akira, and TJP. After the contest, Kanemaru and DOUKI challenged Akira and TJP to a title contest for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, but a fight soon broke out between the two teams. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Akira and TJP were the targets of the attack by Kanemaru and DOUKI. Kanemaru and DOUKI unsuccessfully challenged Akira and TJP for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship on February 4 at The New Beginning in Sapporo. After his Just 5 Guys stablemate SANADA won the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on April 8 at Sakura Genesis, Hiromu Takahashi of Los Ingobernables de Japon issued SANADA a challenge to a title match. However, Kanemaru issued a challenge before Takahashi finished his to compete for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Takahashi unsuccessfully contested Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on April 27. The following month, Kanemaru participated in the 2023 Best of the Super Juniors. He finished the competition with a record of three victories and six defeats, failing to make it past the quarterfinals.