New Japan Pro Wrestling has a new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Bushi won the title at NJPW's Destruction in Tokyo event Saturday, defeating Kushida.
This is the first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title reign for Bushi, who becomes the 34th different wrestler to hold a championship which has a lineage that includes former champions such as Jushin Liger, Finn Balor and Chris Benoit.
Bushi, whose real name is Tetsuya Shimizu, made his wrestling debut in 2007 in the AJPW Dojo. He spent about two years on an excursion in Mexico learning the lucha libre style, then returned to All Japan Pro Wrestling in 2010, where he first began competing under the Bushi name. In January of 2013, Bushi switched full-time to New Japan Pro Wrestling, but would be a middle-of-the-pack contender in the juniors division throughout 2013 and 2014.
After missing most of 2015 due to injuries, Bushi returned to the roster and joined Los Ingobernables de Japon, the stable of rulebreakers led by Tetsuya Naito whose membership currently includes EVIL and Seiya Sanada. On the current Destruction tour, an as-yet unidentified masked man also has been accompanying the wrestlers in that faction on their matches.
Prior to this, the most significant achievement in the squared circle for Bushi was winning the CMLL World Welterweight Title back in December from Mascara Dorada (now competing in the WWE cruiserweight division as Gran Metalik), which he held for just over a month.
Kushida, the man Bushi defeated, had held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title since he defeated Kenny Omega back on Jan. 4 at Wrestle Kingdom, NJPW's biggest show of the year from the Tokyo Dome.
New Japan holds its next major event, Destruction in Hiroshima this Friday, September 22.