Tuesday, February 24, 1970


Real Name: Genji Yamato (大和源氏)
Nickname: "Fighting Love"
Birthplace: Sumida, Tokyo
Birthdate: January 19, 1968
Theme Music: "Climbatize" by The Prodigy
Weight: 108kg (240lbs)
Height: 185cm (6'1")
Debut: 1990

Physical Appearance: Genji's head is shaven bald, along with a greying goatee. While in his mid-40's, Yamato has a rather remarkable body thanks to years of continued conditioning while away from the ring.

Ring Costume: Yamato's long white tights feature an electric blue design on top of a marble pattern, in addition to black wrist tape and matching boots with electric blue laces. Coming to the ring, Yamato wears a white leather duster with various electric blue designs, fitting his style.

Title History:

* WWO World Television Title
- ??? (??/??/????) / ??? (??/??/????)

* Unified Double Titles
- Recognized as Champion (03/30/2015) / Kazuma Fujita (04/17/2015)

Tournament History:

* None

Trademark Moves:
* Diamond Blue (Shining Wizard)
* Dragonslayer (Chickenwing Facelock with bodyscissors)
* Moonsault press
* Fisherman's Buster
 * Susano's Stunner (Ace Crusher from the top rope. Rarely done nowadays.)

Biography: Genji Yamato is one of the true greats of pro wrestling in Japan. As himself, and as his alter-ego Cho'oningen ("Demon Superman"), he has established himself around the world as a top performer. Having humble beginnings in Japan, slogging about various independent leagues, he went on a "learning excursion" to the World Wrestling Organization in the USA. There, he let out "the demon inside," and his Cho'oningen alter-ego became a popular fixture. However, it was as himself that he managed to score an unbelievable win over popular WWO Television Champion Daniel Lewis, and made his own name in America.

Following the loss of that title, he returned to Japan, and his star rose dramatically, becoming one of the very top names in Neo Japan Pro Wrestling. It was there that he won the prestigious J1 Rikidozan/Neo Japan Pro Wrestling Unified Heavyweight Championship, colloquially known as the Double Titles. He served the titles well, however shortly after losing them, Neo Japan sadly closed its doors due to financial difficulties, a problem he would soon know all too well.

After the closure of Neo Japan, Yamato took part in a shoot fight at the inaugural card for the TATAMI NHB/MMA organization. Despite the MMA world snubbing Yamato as a mere pro wrestler, he managed to use what he'd learned, as well as the judo he learned in his youth, and score a win over puroresu defector Tetsuo Morishita, formerly known to the wrestling world as Alex RAPTOR.

From there, he put his energies back into puroresu, this time as a promoter. Yamato's Japan Puroresu Association (JPA) held three cards in the latter months of 2000, with its first full tour in January 2001. For that tour, he announced something special: a new Double Titles champion! Yamato had purchased the Double Titles from the old owner of Neo Japan, and made them JPA's, the legacy continuing. However, in 2001 the puroresu market was most unstable, and Yamato was forced to close the JPA's doors in June.

Taking the closure very hard, Yamato dropped out, secluded himself for a year, training diligently, making it his personal mission to revive the puroresu scene back to its former glory.

However, fate had other ideas. Instead, he was approached by another American company, the National Wrestling Council, following a reorganization of its territories. Yamato signed with the NWC, fighting in its Pacific division. However, it was to be short-lived -- Yamato had decided this tour of duty in America was not what he had hoped to be, the market now less receptive to Asian talents despite past glories, and amicably parted ways with the NWC.

From there, he made his way south, to Mexico, working for IMLL until breaking his leg in a trios match in October, 2002. It would be the end of Yamato's time in North America, and the end of this particular era of his career.

Finally, on May 11, 2003, Yamato appeared at BSPW's Hiroshima Sun Plaza rally, begging audience with Koji Tanaka with the intention to finally return home, and wrestle as a member of BSPW full-time. Yamato made his BSPW debut on 5/31/03, wrestling at the company's 2nd Anniversary show, teaming with his old friend and JPA employee "The Superstar" Jason Ramsey. Yamato was an integral part of BSPW for the next year, however disagreements with management saw Yamato drop out of the promotion in 2004.

Life had begun to take a toll on Yamato by then. He found himself in what would turn out to be a toxic marriage, and their firstborn child would have a neurological disability. Yamato dropped out of wrestling once more for a time, becoming a football (soccer) commentator on NHK for most of 2004 and 2005. His only foray into wrestling in that time was a few appearances in Pro Wrestling FURY, including a rare Double Titles defense against Tetsuhisa NAKAI on 5/31/2005. However, in 2006 he made something of a comeback, in PROMO*JAPAN, becoming one of the major heels of that promotion. That is, until he went to Germany for the World Cup that year, and came down so ill he needed to be hospitalized for a week. The illness taking more out of him than he thought, his appearances for P*J tapered off, and so did Yamato's involvement in puroresu. Yamato by this point was in "such a deep depression he didn't know he was in it until it was too late." However, he chose to continue his TV football punditry, and for the most part, remain private, and care for his children.

His fog broke at the dissolution of his marriage, during which he gained custody of his children. In late 2011, he started himself on the road to get back into prime wrestling shape, wanting to "get back the years that were stolen from him." Along the way, he recruited a new version of his FIGHTING LOVE! group, with four young talents: Kohei Obata, considered the creme of this crop; big man Hajime Kon; junior heavyweight Yusuke Kishimoto; and Hawaiian wrestling prodigy Maleko Momoa, brother-in-law to Genji's American wrestling friend, and multi-time World Champion, Lance Marshall.

In early 2015, he approached Kingdom of Japan Pro Wrestling, itself in hiatus, with the notion of coming back, signing over the Double Titles in the process, as well as bringing his recruits into the fold. ON 4/1/2015, KJPW officially became legal owner of the Double Titles. On 4/17/2015, at the KING × KING event in Osaka, Kazuma Fujita defeated Yamato to become the 6th J1 Rikidozan/Neo Japan Pro Wrestling Unified Heavyweight Champion, the first time in over a decade that Yamato had not been champion in either name or competition.

As to what the future holds... we will be watching. As Jason Ramsey once said, "Wherever Yamato goes, heat and chaos are sure to follow."

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