Yota Tsuji Debut Match In NJPW Was A Star-Making Performance

Hamish Woodward

Yota Tsuji is quickly becoming one of the most exciting young talents in NJPW.

With his impressive move set and incredible physical charisma, the 29-year-old has been earmarked as a future main event star in the company.

He was fairly unknown until he returned to the company in 2023, even though Tsuji made his debut for the company over five years ago, in a match you’d e forgiven for forgetting.

Yota Tsuji First Wrestled As A Young Lion In NJPW

Young Lion Yota Tsuji made his NJPW debut at the NJPW Lion’s Gate Project11 show, on the 10th April, 2018.

Aged just 25, he wrestled his first match in the company against fellow Young Lion Tomoyuki Oka, losing in an 8 minute match.

This came one year after Yota Tsuji signed to the NJPW dojo and began his career as a professional wrestler.

He continued to wrestle against other Young Lions over the next few years, mastering the basics of wrestling before crafting a persona of his own.

In 2021, he went over the England to compete for Rev Pro Wrestling, before moving to Mexico in 2022 to wrestle for CMLL. It was here he would craft his new character and get himself ready for a main-event run in NJPW for his second debut in the company.

Yota Tsuji NJPW Debut After Excursion Was A Championship Match

After leaving CMLL and returning from excursion to NJPW, Yota Tsuji’s debut match in the company came against IWGP World Heavyweight Champion SANADA.

He returned the company the month prior, as an unannounced surprise at Wrestling Dontaku 2023. At the event, Tsuji attacked SANADA and challenged him to a title match, which the champion soon accepted.

This set up their title match for Dominion, which would be Yota Tsuji’s debut match in NJPW under his new look and new gimmick (which he developed in Mexico).

With NJPW fans only have memories of him as a Young Lion, he was something entirely new in the main event scene.

He impressed immediately, with a fantastic match against the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. He and Sanada put on a wonderful match, with many likening Tsuji’s move set as similar to a video game wrestler, with “all the cool finishers as normal moves”.

Yota Tsuji lost his debut against SANADA, but it was clear NJPW had built a brand new star with the match. It was given a 4.25 star rating by Dave Meltzer, and is one of the top matches of SANADA’s title reign so far.

What did you think of Yota Tsuji’s debut match in NJPW? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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