Kazuchika Okada is a 13th Term graduate of the Ultimo Dragon Gym. He actively wrestles in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Early North America
Okada began his career as a professional wrestler through Toryumon Mexico. Following his debut, he made a lasting impression by advancing far into the 2004 Young Dragons Cup before being eliminated in the semi-finals by Rocky Romero. He then competed in the next year's tournament, this time winning the whole thing. In March 2006, he participated in the Yamaha Cup with Hiromi Horiguchi, but they were eliminated in the first round by Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli.
He would make trips up north to the United States and Canada, competing in such promotions as UWA Hardcore Wrestling and CHIKARA Pro Wrestling. In UWA Hardcore Wrestling, he made numerous attempts at trying to win gold. He first participated in the promotion's 2006 Grand Prix Tournament on October 27, 2006, but was eliminated by Puma in the first round. The next night, he teamed with his sensei Ultimo Dragon challenged Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin for the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship, but were not successful. On May 26, 2007, he unsuccessfully challenged Josh Prohibition for the UWA Canadian Championship. Following his defeat, he would venture to Japan.
New Japan Heavyweight
Once in Japan, Okada joined New Japan Pro Wrestling and entered their dojo for further training. He made his debut for the company in a losing effort against Tetsuya Naitō on August 26, 2007. After being sidelined with an injury for eight months, he returned on April 2008 as a heavyweight. It was during the New Japan vs. Pro Wrestling NOAH feud that Okada experienced a career breakthrough with performances against Takashi Sugiura and Go Shiozaki. His momentum continued with matches against Shinsuke Nakamura, Hirooki Goto, and Yoshihiro Tajiri. While he lost all of his big matches, he was garnering a huge support from the fans.
In January 2010, it was announced that Okada would be sent to the United States and compete in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on an learning excursion. According to New Japan president Naoki Sugabayashi, this tour would likely take up to two or three years. Okada was defeated in his farewell match on January 31, 2010 against New Japan ace Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Wrestling simply as Okada, he made his debut for TNA on February 15, 2010 losing to Alex Shelley in a dark match prior to the evening's Impact! tapings. Beginning April 6, he would start appearing in the Internet show Xplosion teaming with Homicide. Okada would pick his first victory by defeating Kid Kash in a dark match prior to the August 9 tapings. On October 8, he formed a tag team with compatriot Kiyoshi. However, his position in the company hardly moved up and was generally defeated in all of his matches.
On December 14, 2010, New Japan announced that Okada, while still on his learning excursion in TNA, would make a brief return at Wrestle Kingdom V in the Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2011. He made a surprise appearance early on December 23, performing a German suplex on the 290 lb. Yoshihiro Takayama after the latter had won a tag team match. As a result, his scheduled tag team match at Wrestle Kingdom was changed to a singles match against Takayama, with the latter getting the win.
He turned face in TNA on January 20, 2011 in only his second ever appearance on Impact! in helping Samoa Joe expose D'Angelo Dinero of his lies about helping the needy. He changed his look to be similar to that of Kato from The Green Hornet and changed his name to Okato. His in-ring debut on the show was March 24, defeating Dinero via disqualification. His participation in the feud between Joe and Dinero was immediately ended and he returned to performing under his real surname. His profile was removed from the TNA roster page on October 13, effectively ending his relatively uneventful run in the company.
Okada would participate in the United States tour of shows New Japan ran in conjunction with Jersey All Pro Wrestling in May 2011. He participated in the tournament to determine the inaugural IWGP Intercontinental Champion, but lost in the first round to MVP. He would also make tours in Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre throughout the year.
Return to New Japan
On December 9, 2011, New Japan announced Okata would be returning to the promotion full time at the next Wrestle Kingdom event on January 4, 2012. He defeated YOSHI-HASHI in his match and reappeared following the main event to challenge Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. A press conference was held the next day to make the match official, during which he revealed his joining the top heel stable, Chaos. Okada went on a main event winning streak going into his title match, which included pinning Tanahashi in a tag team match on January 29.
On February 12, 2012, Kazuchika Okada defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to become the 57th IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. It is widely believed that this is the highest achievement to date any trainee of Ultmo Dragon has made. Okada made his first defense on March 4 at the New Japan 40th Anniversary event, defeating Tetsuya Naitō in the main event. He would lose the belt back to Tanahashi on June 16.
- Finishing moves
- Bridging German Suplex
- Rainmaker (Wrist lock transitioned into a short-arm lariat or a lariat takedown)
- Signature moves
- Belly-to-Back Suplex
- DID - Deep In Debt (Arm trap inverted three-quarter facelock)
- Dropkick, sometimes from the Top Rope
- Heavy Rain (Standing fireman's carry takeover)
- Jumping Neckbreaker
- Kneeling Belly-to-Belly Piledriver
- Over the Shoulder Back-to-Belly Piledriver onto the Knee
Other Wrestling Information
- Entrance Themes
- "Kick It, That Makes Me Funk" by New Japan Pro Wrestling
- "Rain Maker" by New Japan Pro Wrestling
Championships and Accomplishments
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #230 of the 500 Best Singles Wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2010