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Hiroki Tanabe (田辺 裕喜, Tanabe Hiroki, born December 13, 1981) is a Japanese professional wrestler better known by his ring name Hiroki (stylised as "Hi69"). He is signed to Pro Wrestling Noah, where he is the current GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Since debuting in 2000, Tanabe has frequently worked for Kaientai Dojo, Michinoku Pro Wrestling, Apache Pro Wrestling and Freedoms.

Hi69
HI69.jpg
Tanabe as Hi69 in 2016
Birth nameHiroki Tanabe (田辺 裕喜, Tanabe Hiroki)
Born (1981-12-13) December 13, 1981 (age 37)
Morioka, Iwate, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Hi69
Hiroki
Panda[2]
Billed height1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Billed weight95 kg (209 lb)[1]
Trained byKaientai Dojo
Taka Michinoku
DebutNovember 19, 2000[1]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Training and early careerEdit

Tanabe originally trained in Puerto Rico and was a member of the first graduating class of Taka Michinoku's Kaientai Dojo. He made his debut on November 19, 2000 under the ring name Hi69. Eventually, he returned to Japan, where he became a regular in both Michinoku Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling during the first two years of his career. Throughout 2002 he took part in AJPW's Giant Baba Cup, finishing last in Block A with zero wins and zero points.[3] Whilst also competing in AJPW, he debuted in Kaientai Dojo where he would become a mainstay for the majority of his career, winning the UWA World Middleweight Championship in October.[4] Throughout 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, he competed regularly in a large number of different promotions, including Big Japan Pro Wrestling, Apache Pro Wrestling, Muga, Real Japan Pro Wrestling, Hustle, and eventually became a regular on New Japan Pro Wrestling's Lock Up cards. After resigning from K-Dojo in April 2006, he primarily competed in Apache Pro Wrestling. On October 11, 2007, Hi69 was teaming with Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Mammoth Sasaki as Apache Army against GBH (Togi Makabe, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii)[5] when Ishii countered a frankensteiner from Hi69 into a powerbomb which caused him to land awkwardly, suffering a fracture as well as a dislocation to his thoracic vertebrae. After the match, it was announced that the injury was possibly career threatening and that he would require surgery.

Return (2010-present)Edit

After over two years of surgery, rehabilitation and medical procedures, Hi69 announced his return to the ring in February 2010, stating that he would be splitting his time between K-Dojo and Freedoms, and would now be wrestling as Hiroki (stylised in all capital letters), his birth name. In his return match, he teamed with Miyawaki in a loss to his trainer Taka Michinoku and the man he made his debut against, Yasu Urano.[6] On May 26 at a Freedoms show, Hiroki faced Ishii in a match billed as a "revenge match", with Ishii portraying the heel and claiming responsibility for Hiroki's serious injury. The match was won by Ishii.[7] On August 15, Hiroki and Kengo Mashimo captured the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship, defeating Kaji Tomato and Taishi Takizawa.[8] On September 29, Hiroki defeated Tiger Shark to win the Tenryu Project International Junior Heavyweight Championship.[9] On December 14, he dropped the title to Ryuji Hijikata.[10] In early 2011, he teamed with Ricky Fuji in the 2011 Kaientai Dojo Tag League, finishing in Block A with 2 points and failing to advance to the next round.[11] On October 9, after holding them for over a year, Hiroki and Mashimo lost the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship to Ryuichi Sekine and Saburo Inematsu.[12] On November 6, he defeated Daigoro Kashiwa to capture the Independent Junior Heavyweight Championship.[13] Hiroki held the championship for over a year before losing it to Ricky Fuji in January 2013.[14] On March 2, 2014, Hiroki won the Strongest-K Tag Team Championship once again, teaming with Yuji Hino to defeat Kaji Tomato and Taka Michinoku.[15] In September 2014, he once again began competing as Hi69. In December 2016, he competed in Pro Wrestling Noah for the first time since 2005, teaming with Ricky Fuji in a loss to Daisuke Harada and Akitoshi Saito.[16] After impressing new president Masayuki Uchida, he was offered a regular position with the promotion and began competing with them as a full-time roster member later that month. In January, he began teaming with Taiji Ishimori, dubbing themselves "XX". The duo captured the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship on February 18, defeating Hayata and Yo-Hey to win the vacant championship.

On July 4, Noah officially announced that Hi69 had signed with the promotion.[17] On August 26, XX lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Hayata and Yo-Hey.[18] On January 27, 2018, regained the tag team titles. However, they lost the titles once again against Yoshinari Ogawa and Minoru Tanaka on March 11, 2018. Ogawa and Tanaka vacated the titles after Ishimori announced his departure from the promotion. On April 15, 2018, Hi69 and Minoru Tanaka defeated RATEL'S (HAYATA and YO-HEY) to win the vacant GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Kreikenbohm, Philip. "HIROKI « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  2. ^ "Noahful Gift 2017 ~ファン感謝祭~". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  3. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "AJPW New Year Giant Series 2002 - Tag 7 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  4. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "K-DOJO CLUB-K Super Outbreak 2002 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  5. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "NJPW Lock Up « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  6. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "K-DOJO Club-K Super Evolution 8 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  7. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "FREEDOMS « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  8. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "K-DOJO Super Big Show Chiba Hakkenden « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  9. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Tenryu Project Never So « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  10. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Tenryu Project 5 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  11. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "K-DOJO Club-K 3000 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  12. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "K-DOJO Club-K Tour In Sapporo « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  13. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "K-DOJO Club-K Super Joke 2011 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  14. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "K-DOJO Club-K 3000 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  15. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "K-DOJO Club-K Super In Chiba « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  16. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "NOAH Winter Navigation 2016 - Tag 1 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  17. ^ "Hi69選手専属選手契約締結のご報告". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  18. ^ "Summer Navig. 2017 vol.2". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Titles « HIROKI « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  20. ^ a b Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Tournaments « HIROKI « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database".
  21. ^ "2018 PWI 500". Cagematch. Retrieved October 29, 2018.