Top Free Agent & Former X-Division Champion Rumored to be Behind Bone Soldier’s NJPW Return

Home / Top Free Agent & Former X-Division Champion Rumored to be Behind Bone Soldier’s NJPW Return

As previously reported, former Bullet Club member Bone Soldier will be making his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling in the near future after a vignette aired advertising his comeback at a recent show.

The original Bone Soldier was played by Mitsuhide Hirasawa, better known by some for his tenure as the infamous Captain New Japan. At one point he was part of a small group of anti-Bullet Club Hunters with Yoshi Tatsu, widely considered to be the single worst aspect of most New Japan shows during that period, and his being repackaged came off more like a rib on the team. At one point Kenny Omega referred to him as an “intergalactic disaster”.

According to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Hirasawa will not be returning to reprise his role as he was fired by the promotion last March for gambling, which is illegal in Japan save for a few exceptions. While nothing is for certain at this point, the leading rumor locally is that Bone Soldier will be Taiji Ishimori, and that he’s being brought into New Japan as a new juniors star that will work the upcoming 2018 Best of the Super Juniors tournament.

Ishimori is best known for being one of the top stars of Pro Wrestling NOAH, a three-time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and for the better part of the last year a mainstay of the IMPACT Wrestling X-Division. He recently announced his departure from NOAH after 12 years, and while he did compete at IMPACT Redemption this past weekend and the first two IMPACT television tapings, he did not appear at the third taping on Wednesday and those shows are expected to be his last with the promotion.

Again, both this report and the original report from Dave Meltzer are based on rumors being discussed by numerous reporters in Japan, so take everything with a grain of salt.

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