13 Wrestlers Who Were Better In NJPW Than They Were In TNA

12. Taiji Ishimori

Okato Okada

Loaned to TNA as part of a working relationship with Pro Wrestling NOAH, Ishimori would have the dubious duty of having to shine for both TNA and NOAH, as both companies were in the thick of some of their leanest years. Talent was sparse on the Impact roster, making his X-division title reign seem unimpressive.

Once Ishimori left NOAH though, things began to pick up for the Junior Heavyweight star. All he needed was a new coat of paint.

Ishimori signed on with NJPW, becoming the Bullet Club's best Junior ace, being rechristened The Bone Soldier. His importance to NJPW can't be understated as he would become the best heel of the Junior division, sending KUSHIDA packing in his final match at the Tokyo Dome. Ishimori would also be a constant presence in the upper echelon of the Junior division, having strong performances in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, while also holding the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag championship with fellow Bullet Club member, El Phantasmo.

Ishimori would also have an impressive reign as IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, winning it at the Tokyo Dome, then losing it at the World's Most Famous Arena in Madison Square Garden.

The Bone Soldier still looks to have a few more good matches in him, and they can't come soon enough.


A former NCAA runner turned writer, and an ardent aficionado of all things academic, aesthetic and athletic.