Bullet Club is adding an outstanding junior heavyweight to its ranks, as Taiji Ishimori joined the faction at the final night of New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestling Dontaku tour earlier today in Fukuoka.
NJPW had been running videos teasing the "return" of Bone Soldier throughout this tour. However, the man behind the mask ended up being completely different.
The new Bone Soldier made his debut right after Will Ospreay successfully defended the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title against KUSHIDA. Tama Tonga joined Bone Soldier in the ring, and he unmasked as Ishimori.
Ishimori is no stranger to New Japan. He was a Young Lion for the company in 2004 and 2005, then returned in 2016 to compete in the Super J-Cup and teamed with ACH to advance to the finals of the 2016 Super Junior Tag Tournament.
Ishimori, who announced in March he was leaving Pro Wrestling NOAH, joins the NJPW faction right before the annual round-robin Best of the Super Juniors Tournament. Bullet Club already has one of its members, Marty Scurll, slated to take part in that tournament, which begins May 18 at Korakuen Hall.
In NOAH, Ishimori was a three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion and held the GHC Junior Tag Titles six times with four different partners. He also won the Impact X-Division Title last November and continues to appear regularly for that promotion, as NJPW commentator and Impact booker Don Callis referenced on commentary during Ishimori's big reveal in Fukuoka.
The first Bone Soldier spent the bulk of his time in New Japan as Captain New Japan, before turning heel and joining Bullet Club in the fall of 2016.
Check out Fightful's complete live coverage of Wrestling Dontaku, Night 2.