Yuji Nagata

Yuji Nagata

Wrestler Less

Yuji Nagata

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is a Japanese professional wrestler. He was known for his perennial tweener status, currently a solid fan favorite, and his stiff, shoot style wrestling technique.

A two time IWGP Heavyweight Champion and ZERO1 World Heavyweight Champion, Nagata is the third longest-reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion with a reign of 392 days. He also holds the record for most successful title defenses, with 10.

Amateur wrestling career

Before turning professional, Nagata was a successful amateur wrestler. Competing in the Greco-Roman style, Nagata represented Japan in the Asian Championships twice, placing fifth in 1993 and placing fourth in 1994, in one World Cup at the Espoir level in 1988, and in the 1991 World Championships, placing twenty-first.

Professional wrestling career

New Japan Pro Wrestling (1992–1997)

Nagata joined New Japan Pro Wrestling in April 1992 and trained in the New Japan Dojo. He debuted on September 14 of that year, facing Hiroyoshi Yamamoto. Nagata increased in stature during the 1995 inter-promotional angle pitting NJPW loyalists against UWF International wrestlers. Taught the shoot-style by Kazuo Yamazaki, who had returned to NJPW after leaving UWFI, Nagata learned the style that has been his trademark ever since.

World Championship Wrestling (1997–1998)

Nagata joined the American World Championship Wrestling promotion in February 1997 as an arrogant villain. He was managed by Sonny Onoo, who also acted as...
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