Kazuchika Okada was born on November 8,1987 and is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he is one-third of the current NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions in his first reign.
84 Facts About Kazuchika Okada
Kazuchika Okada holds the record for most successful title defenses with 12.
Originally working as a junior heavyweight, Kazuchika Okada graduated to the heavyweight division in April 2008, with limited success.
Kazuchika Okada's run with TNA ended in October 2011 and he returned to NJPW in January 2012, repackaged as "Rainmaker", complete with a new look and a villainous persona.
Just a month later, Kazuchika Okada defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win NJPW's top title, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, which he would hold for four months before losing it back to Tanahashi.
Kazuchika Okada went on to win his third G1 Climax in 2021 and his fourth in 2022, which makes him the wrestler with the second-most wins in the tournament with four, just behind Masahiro Chono who has five.
Kazuchika Okada was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 2021.
Kazuchika Okada was born on November 8,1987, in Anjo, Aichi.
However, before completing primary school, Kazuchika Okada was lured by the nature in his mother's hometown in the Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture and chose to complete the rest of his primary education in a special boarding school there.
In middle school, Kazuchika Okada joined the school's baseball and track team.
Kazuchika Okada was exposed to professional wrestling for the first time when one of his older brothers happened to borrow a New Japan Pro-Wrestling video game from his friend.
In December 2005, Kazuchika Okada won the 2005 Young Dragons Cup.
Kazuchika Okada would make appearances in the United States and Canada for promotions such as UWA Hardcore Wrestling and Chikara.
On October 27,2006, Kazuchika Okada participated in UWA Hardcore Wrestling's 2006 Grand Prix Tournament, but was eliminated in the first round by Puma.
On November 12,2006, Kazuchika Okada made his debut for Chikara by defeating Osiris.
Kazuchika Okada would have a pre-debut match for the company on August 26,2007, losing to Tetsuya Naito.
On January 31,2010, Kazuchika Okada was defeated by former four-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi in his NJPW farewell match.
That same week, Kazuchika Okada began wrestling at TNA's live events.
TNA's handling of Kazuchika Okada was reportedly one of the reasons NJPW ceased the relationship between the two promotions shortly afterwards.
On December 14,2010, NJPW announced that Kazuchika Okada would be returning to the promotion on January 4,2011, at Wrestle Kingdom V in Tokyo Dome, where he would team with Hirooki Goto against Noah representatives Takashi Sugiura and Yoshihiro Takayama.
Kazuchika Okada returned to NJPW during the NJPW Invasion Tour 2011 on May 13 in Rahway, New Jersey, but was defeated by MVP in the first round of a tournament to determine the inaugural IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
At the following day's event in New York City, Kazuchika Okada teamed with Ryusuke Taguchi and Togi Makabe in a six-man tag team match, where they were defeated by Davey Richards, Homicide and Rhino.
On January 4,2012, Kazuchika Okada defeated Yoshi-Hashi in his return match and then challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi to a match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship following the show's main event.
At the following day's press conference, where the title match was made official, Kazuchika Okada revealed that he had joined Chaos, NJPW's top villainous stable, enlisting new stablemate Gedo as his manager and spokesperson.
Kazuchika Okada described his new persona as a combination of the three professional wrestling styles he had learned, stating that he took his dropkick from Mexico, his "fighting spirit" from Japan and the "TV and the entertainment" from the United States.
On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2012, Kazuchika Okada defeated 2012 New Japan Cup winner and reigning IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto to make his second successful title defense.
However, Kazuchika Okada bounced back from the loss, winning five of his eight round-robin stage matches and finished at the top of his block, advancing to the finals of the tournament.
Later in the event, after Hiroshi Tanahashi had successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Yujiro Takahashi, the Tokyo Dome title match between him and Kazuchika Okada was made official.
From November 20 to December 1, Kazuchika Okada took part in the round-robin portion of the 2012 World Tag League, alongside stablemate Yoshi-Hashi under the team name "Chaos Ride the Lightning".
On January 4,2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome, Kazuchika Okada failed in his title challenge against Tanahashi.
In preparation for the 2013 New Japan Cup, Kazuchika Okada announced that he had created a new submission finishing maneuver, the Red Ink, in order to win the tournament.
On March 23, Kazuchika Okada first defeated Chaos stablemate Toru Yano in the semifinals and then Hirooki Goto in the finals to win the 2013 New Japan Cup and become the number one contender to Tanahashi's IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2013, Kazuchika Okada made his first successful title defense against Minoru Suzuki.
From August 1 to 11, Kazuchika Okada took part in the 2013 G1 Climax, where he opened by losing three of his first four matches.
On November 9 at Power Struggle, Kazuchika Okada defeated Karl Anderson in a rematch of the 2012 G1 Climax finals for his sixth successful title defense.
That same day, Kazuchika Okada became the first wrestler in 25 years to win back-to-back MVP awards from Tokyo Sports.
On January 4,2014, at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome, Kazuchika Okada defeated Naito for his seventh successful title defense.
Styles, who claimed that Kazuchika Okada was still the same "young boy" he had known in TNA.
From July 21 to August 8, Kazuchika Okada took part in the 2014 G1 Climax, where he won his block with a record of eight wins and two losses, which included a win over Styles, advancing to the finals.
Two days later at Destruction in Okayama, Kazuchika Okada successfully defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship number one contender's contract against Karl Anderson.
On January 4,2015, at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome, Kazuchika Okada received his shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but was defeated by the defending champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Kazuchika Okada then started a stoyline, where the loss to Tanahashi had broken him both physically and mentally, causing him to enter a slump.
From July 23 to August 15, Kazuchika Okada took part in the 2015 G1 Climax.
Kazuchika Okada entered the final day with a chance to advance from his block, but a loss against Chaos stablemate Shinsuke Nakamura cost him a spot in the finals, giving him a record of seven wins and two losses.
In December 2015, Kazuchika Okada signed a one-year contract extension with NJPW.
On January 4,2016, Kazuchika Okada defeated 2015 G1 Climax winner Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and become the new ace of the promotion, the match at that time was the longest in the history of the January 4 Dome Show.
Kazuchika Okada gained revenge on Sanada by defeating him on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2016.
From July 18 to August 12, Kazuchika Okada took part in the 2016 G1 Climax, where he finished tied second in his block with a record of five wins, one draw and three losses.
On December 14, Kazuchika Okada became the second wrestler to win three consecutive Match of the Year awards from Tokyo Sports for his 2016 G1 Climax opener against Naomichi Marufuji.
On January 4,2017, Kazuchika Okada successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome.
Kazuchika Okada then entered the 2017 G1 Climax, where he finished with a record of six wins, one draw and two losses, failing to advance to the finals due to losing to Kenny Omega in their third match against each other on August 12.
On October 9 at King of Pro-Wrestling, Kazuchika Okada avenged a loss suffered during the 2017 G1 Climax by making his eighth successful title defense against Evil, setting him up against G1 Climax winner Tetsuya Naito in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 12.
On January 3,2018, Kazuchika Okada broke Hiroshi Tanahashi's record of 1,358 combined days as champion.
Kazuchika Okada then entered the 2018 G1 Climax, where he finished with a record of six wins, one draw and two losses, exactly the same as the previous year's event, failing to advance to the finals.
The event saw a change of image for Kazuchika Okada following the defeat by Omega, with his hair dyed red and portraying an indifferent attitude.
At the 2018 G1 Climax Finals, Kazuchika Okada parted ways with his longtime manager Gedo.
Kazuchika Okada defeated Michael Elgin in Round 1, and fellow Chaos members Mikey Nicholls, Will Ospreay, and Tomohiro Ishii in Round 2, the Quarterfinals, and Semi-Finals, respectively.
Kazuchika Okada went on to defeat Sanada in the finals of the tournament and win his second New Japan Cup.
At Royal Quest, Kazuchika Okada defeated Minoru Suzuki for his third title defence, subsequently going on retain the title again at King of Pro Wrestling vs Sanada which would set up a title match with G1 Climax winner Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
Kazuchika Okada then entered a feud with Taichi, where at The New Beginning in Sapporo night 2, Kazuchika Okada defeated Taichi.
Kazuchika Okada was then announced to be facing Jay White in the first round of the New Japan Cup 2020, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all New Japan Cup and further New Japan events were postponed.
Kazuchika Okada defeated Gedo in the first round of the New Japan Cup, followed by subsequent victories over Yuji Nagata, Taiji Ishimori, and Hiromu Takahashi, before losing to Evil in the final.
At Dominion in Osaka-jo Hall, Kazuchika Okada was on the losing side of a tag team match, teaming with Goto against Bullet Club's Yujiro Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori, when Takahashi pinned Goto.
Three days later, during a press conference, NJPW chairman Naoki Sugabayashi alongside Kazuchika Okada announced the creation of the KOPW Championship; Kazuchika Okada then proceeded to introduce the title and its concept, announcing KOPW 2021 for the following year.
On Night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 16, Kazuchika Okada defeated Takagi to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship for the first time.
Kazuchika Okada would retain it against a returning Ospreay on Night 2.
On Night 3, Kazuchika Okada teamed with Hiroshi Tanahashi to defeat Pro Wrestling Noah's Keiji Mutoh and Kaito Kiyomiya.
Kazuchika Okada finished with 10 points, only losing once to Jonah, to advance to the semi-finals.
On October 10 at Declaration of Power, Kazuchika Okada avenged a loss suffered during the 2022 G1 Climax by defeating Jonah.
Later that night, Kazuchika Okada confronted Jay White, after he successfully defended the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, setting up the main event for Wrestle Kingdom 17.
On December 15,2022, Kazuchika Okada won his fifth MVP award from Tokyo Sports, while his match with Will Ospreay was named the Match of the Year.
On January 4,2023 at Wrestle Kingdom, Kazuchika Okada defeated White, regaining the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
The rivalry intensified when Kazuchika Okada attacked Kiyamoya at Noah Great Voyage in Osaka, following Kiyomiya'ssuccessful title defense.
Kazuchika Okada made a second successful title defense the following week at Battle in the Valley, defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Kazuchika Okada lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis to New Japan Cup winner Sanada, ending his second reign at 94 days.
Kazuchika Okada made his All Elite Wrestling debut on the June 22nd, 2022 edition of AEW Dynamite, coming to the aid of Adam Page while he was being attacked by Jay White and Adam Cole.
In 2015, Kazuchika Okada voiced a character in the World Trigger anime series.
In January 2017, it was announced that the Tekken 7: Fated Retribution video game would feature Kazuchika Okada's in-ring costume as an alternate outfit for the character King.
When equipped, King performs Kazuchika Okada's finishing maneuver, the Rainmaker, as his "Rage Art" move.
The Kazuchika Okada-geared King was featured on the September 12,2017 episode of WWE's 205 Live program.
Kazuchika Okada appears as a wrestler in the 2017 NJPW-licensed video game Fire Pro Wrestling World.
Kazuchika Okada played rhythm guitar on several tracks on The High Crusade's extended play Main Statement, which was released on January 20,2020.
Kazuchika Okada was engaged to TV Asahi presenter Yoko Mori, whom he had been in a relationship with from 2013 to 2017.
Kazuchika Okada stated that he supports Man City after watching "All or Nothing" documentary of their success on Amazon Prime.