Tajiri trained in traditional Japanese style and debuted in the early 1990s, wrestling primarily for the IWA Japan. In 1996, he left for an excursion to Mexico and learned the Lucha Libre style, quickly joining CMLL and competing (under a mask) as Aquarius. In 1997, he left CMLL and joined the hardcore wrestling promotion Big Japan Pro Wrestling in Tokyo, along with making appearances in BattlARTS. Tajiri also made a brief appearance in the WWF in 1997, losing to TAKA Michinoku (whom the WWF was pushing as its Light Heavyweight Champion at the time).
While wrestling in Mexico in late 1998, Tajiri was observed by Extreme Championship Wrestling owner Paul Heyman, who encouraged Tajiri to wrestle for ECW in the United States. He debuted in December 1998 by picking up a hard-fought and impressive victory over Antifaz Del Norte; the match was well received by the fans in attendance at the ECW Arena, who gave many standing ovations during the match. During his tenure in ECW, Tajiri engaged in long feuds with Super Crazy, Little Guido, and Jerry Lynn. In early 1999, Tajiri soon began to emulate his childhood hero, The Great Muta; he changed his conservative look completely by growing a full beard, utilizing mist and wrestling in a pair of baggy black pants. Tajiri turned heel in June 1999 by attacking then ECW World Heavyweight Champion Taz and aligning himself with Steve Corino, Rhino and Jack Victory. While associated with Corino, Tajiri won the ECW World Television Championship from Super Crazy in April 2000, but lost it a week later to Rhino. Tajiri later formed a tag team with Mikey Whipwreck known as The Unholy Alliance, who were managed by The Sinister Minister and won the ECW World Tag Team Championships in a one night tournament in August 2000. Tajiri remained in ECW until the company folded in January 2001. Tajiri participated in the final two shows on January 12th, where he picked up a victory over Super Crazy, and on January 13th, where he lost to Super Crazy in their final ECW match.
World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment
Soon after the closure of ECW, Tajiri was hired by the World Wrestling Federation; he debuted on the May 24th, 2001 edition of SmackDown! as a face and was given the gimmick of WWF Commissioner William Regal's assistant. After Regal turned heel by joining The Alliance, Tajiri feuded with him throughout late-2001. In the same time period, he began an on-screen relationship with Torrie Wilson and defeated Chris Kanyon for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship. He lost the belt to Rhyno soon afterwards at Unforgiven in September. In 2002, the World Wrestling Federation was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment, and the roster was divided into two "brands": RAW and SmackDown!. Tajiri, along with Torrie Wilson, were drafted to SmackDown!. He turned heel by forcing Wilson to dress like a geisha against her will, with Wilson eventually abandoning him and joining forces with Tajiri's babyface rival, Maven. Later on Tajiri, as a special guest referee, would make his second face run by getting betrayed by Jamie Noble after Noble caught Tajiri touching his then girlfriend, then-heel, Nidia. Later, Tajiri turned heel again by turning on then-Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio after a Cruiserweight championship match. Tajiri spat green mist in Rey's face after Rey defeated him. He would continue this heel run by spitting black mist in Nidia's eyes. (Nidia and Noble were both faces during this time.) Noble and Tajiri started a new brief feud after Noble made his second heel run by secretly turning on Nidia, because she was kayfabe blind. Tajiri won the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on two occasions in 2002 and 2003, and he formed a short-lived stable with Akio and Sakoda known as Kyo Dai'. Kyo Dai was originally supposed to have been played off as Japanese gangsters, but Tajiri refused this offer in fear that he might be hunted down by the real Japanese Yakuza if the gimmick was seen as an insult.
In 2004, following WrestleMania XX, Tajiri was drafted to RAW, where he turned face once again and feuded with Eric Bischoff and Jonathan Coachman. Coachman also often dispatched Garrison Cade to face Tajiri on his behalf in the ring. During this time, he formed a tag team with Rhyno. This team dissolved quietly after a failed attempt at winning the Tag Team Championship from La Résistance at Unforgiven 2004. On February 4th, 2005, Tajiri teamed with William Regal to defeat La Résistance for the World Tag Team Championship on an episode of RAW emanating from Japan. After successfully defending the titles against La Résistance on a number of occasions, Tajiri and Regal issued an open challenge to "any tag team in the world." On the following episode of RAW, they retained their titles in a match with the debuting Heart Throbs. Their reign ended on 1 May at Backlash 2005, when they were eliminated from a tag team turmoil match by La Résistance. Tajiri lost a three-way dance (that also featured Little Guido) to Super Crazy at ECW One Night Stand 2005 on June 12th. In late-2005, Tajiri formed a short-lived tag team with Eugene. In December 2005, Tajiri left WWE; with his contract expiring on December 12th, he decided he wanted to try to become a journalist and spend more time with his wife and family in Japan. His final televised WWE match was a loss to Gregory Helms on HEAT, at the conclusion of which he received a standing ovation. Tajiri left WWE on very good terms and competed at WWE's ECW One Night Stand 2006, teaming with Super Crazy to take on the Full Blooded Italians (F.B.I.) in a losing effort.
Return to Japan
Since parting ways with WWE, Tajiri has resurfaced full-scale in his homeland, competing primarily for HUSTLE and All-Japan Pro Wrestling as TAJIRI. In the sports-entertainment based HUSTLE promotion, he is aligned with the babyface HUSTLE Army, a group who defends the sport of professional wrestling against the Monster Army (led by Monster General and Monster K, who aim to destroy the sport). In All-Japan Pro Wrestling, TAJIRI has become a notable and crafty contender, and his first big match in the promotion was in a losing effort to the Great Muta at the inaugural Pro Wrestling Love in Ryogoku event on August 27th, 2006.
On February 17th, 2007, he began a feud with AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion Minoru Suzuki at the Pro Wrestling Love in Ryogoku, Vol. 2 event; following Suzuki's successful Triple Crown Championship defense against Satoshi Kojima, TAJIRI snuck into the ring from behind and sprayed green mist into Suzuki's eyes as he turned around, and TAJIRI declared his intentions to participate in the 2007 Champion's Carnival (which was held over a 5-day span in the Korakuen Hall). On March 26th, 2007, the Champion's Carnival began as TAJIRI fought Satoshi Kojima to a double count-out. On March 28th, 2007, TAJIRI lost to Toshiaki Kawada via disqualification, after assaulting the referee and spraying mist into his eyes. On March 29th, 2007, TAJIRI successfully defeated RO'Z, after spraying mist into his eyes and rolling him up in a school boy pin. On March 30th, 2007, TAJIRI defeated Minoru Suzuki via count out, as TAJIRI tied Suzuki's foot to the guard rail; following the match, TAJIRI taunted Suzuki over the microphone and then stole his belts. After orders from AJPW Director Masanobu Fuchi, TAJIRI returned the belts and was granted a title shot on April 30th, 2007 at the Pro Wrestling Love in Nagoya event. On April 22nd, 2007 (during the "Hold Out" tour), TAJIRI teamed with AKIRA to face Minoru Suzuki and MAZADA in tag team action; to prevent TAJIRI stealing his belts again, Suzuki came to the ring with paper belts he created to represent his championship belts. During the match, TAJIRI taunted Suzuki throughout the match and avoided contact, but TAJIRI and AKIRA picked up the victory when AKIRA put MAZADA away with a frog splash; at the conclusion of the match, Suzuki (after losing the match because he was tangled up in the Tarantula) chased TAJIRI around the Korakuen Hall, only for TAJIRI to jump the guard rail and steal the paper belts. TAJIRI unsuccessfully challenged Suzuki for the Triple Crown Championship on April 30th, 2007, as he was defeated by the sleeper.
On July 29th, 2007, TAJIRI returned to All Japan on the Pro Wrestling Love for Noto-Hanto show, defeating "brother" YASSHI in 4 seconds with an inside cradle. August 26, 2007, TAJIRI will return to All Japan Pro Wrestling to team with the Great Muta in tag team action, squaring off against Suwama and Scott Steiner at the Pro Wrestling Love in Ryogoku, Vol. 3 event.
Luchas de apuestas record
|Date||Apuesta||Winner(s)||Loser(s)||Arena and/or Place|
|98/06/14||hairs||Ringo Mendoza & Tajiri||Chicago Express & Mogur||Arena Coliseo - Mexico City|