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Yuma Aoyagi
Yuma in 2018
Born (1995-11-02) November 2, 1995 (age 26)[1]
Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Yuma Aoyagi
Billed height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Billed weight90 kg (200 lb)[1]
Trained byAtsushi Aoki
DebutDecember 14, 2014[1]

Yuma Aoyagi (青柳 優馬, Aoyagi Yūma, born November 2, 1995) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently working for All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he is part of the stable Nextream. He is a two time AJPW All Asia Tag Team Champion, as well as a AJPW World Tag Team Champion. He is also the older brother of professional wrestler, Atsuki Aoyagi.

Early life

Yuma Aoyagi was born on November 2, 1995 in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture of Japan. Up to Junior High School, Aoyagi would be playing soccer and watching professional wrestling on television and in live venues, along with his father who also was a pro wrestling fan. While giving his high school exams at Tagawa High School in Nagano Prefecture, he would go from liking pro-wrestling to telling his parents that he was determined to become a pro wrestler.

Professional wrestling career

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2014-present)

After graduating from high school, Yuma Aoyagi joined All Japan Pro Wrestling's dojo system on April 1, 2014. After 8 months in a trainee period, he made his debut as a Junior Heavyweight on December 14 losing to Kento Miyahara in Korakuen Hall. Aoyagi debuted in blue short tights reminiscent of Jun Akiyama's original debut color. It was later revealed that the tights were Akiyama’s as he gave them to the young rookie as a gift for his hard work. On July 7, 2015, Aoyagi picked up his first win by defeating Naoya Nomura. At the World's Strongest Tag Determination League 2015 Aoyagi and Naoya Nomura finished with 2 points by only defeating Kenso and Osamu Nishimura.

On January 3, 2016, after Yohei Nakajima defeated Naoya Nomura for the Gaora TV Championship, Aoyagi came out and challenged Nakajima for the Gaora TV title. On January 18, Aoyagi had a match against Daisuke Sekimoto at Big Japan Wrestling (BJW)'s D-Rize. On February 12, Aoyagi lost to Yohei Nakajima and failed to win the Gaora TV Championship.

On July 20, at the New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Super J-Cup, Aoyagi lost to Suzuki-gun's Taichi at the first round. On May 4, AJPW president Jun Akiyama made a surprise appearance for Wrestle-1, facing off with Keiji Mutoh with the two agreeing to a tag team match against each other on August 11. On August 11, Wrestle-1 presented an interpromotional six-man tag team match, which saw AJPW president Jun Akiyama take on former AJPW president Keiji Mutoh. In the match, the AJPW trio of Akiyama, Naoya Nomura and Yuma Aoyagi were victorious over the Wrestle-1 trio of Mutoh, Koji Doi and Kumagoro.

After the Pro Wrestling Love PPV, Aoyagi formed a team with Nomura. On September 19, Aoyagi and Nomura lost to Kento Miyahara and Jake Lee. After the match Miyahara and Lee invited them to join Nextream which they accepted. On November 11, it was announced that Aoyagi and Nomura would participate in the World's Strongest Tag Determination League at Block B. From November 12 to November 17, Aoyagi participated at the 2016 Jr. Tag Battle of Glory with the reigning World Junior Heavyweight Champion Soma Takao. Aoyagi and Takao finished the tournament with 5 points, advancing to the finals. In the finals, Aoyagi and Takao lost to Aoki and Sato. In the World's Strongest Tag Determination League, Aoyagi and Nomura tied in fourth place with two points with their only win being over Super Tiger and Sato.[2]

On January 3, 2017 Aoyagi unsuccessfully challenged Keisuke Ishii for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship.[3] From February 17 to February 26, Aoyagi participated in the 2017 Jr. Battle of Glory where he finished in last place of his block with 3 points where he scored a win over Yohei Nakajima and went to a draw with Atsushi Maruyama.[4] On June 18, Aoyagi with Lee and Miyahara won the Nemuro Dining Room Cup 6 Man Tag Tournament defeating Ultimo Dragon, Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori in the finals to win his first tournament in the process.

After graduating to the heavyweight division on September 12, 2017 Aoyagi and Naoya Nomura defeated Black Tiger VII and Taka Michinoku to win the All Asia Tag Team Championship on September 30. He would defend the belt four times before he would relinquish the title, after fracturing his leg in a match with Ryoji Sai on January 25, 2018. He would return on June 5 of the same year and reclaim the All Asia Tag Titles with Nomura on July 29.

On January 3, 2020 Aoyagi would storm Miyahara after a Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship defence, to challenge him for a title match. On the 11th of the same month, Aoyagi would announce that if Miyahara would beat him in a singles Championship contest, he would leave Nextream. Miyahara would do so, and thus Aoyagi would be forced to leave the stable which he had been a member of for the past years. During this time Izanagi would offer Aoyagi a place in the Purple Haze stable, yet he would decline, and would go on during this time tagging with his brother Atsuki.

Aoyagi would participate in the 2020 Champion Carnival, being unsuccessful by ending up with a score of 2 wins to 2 losses. In the finals of the tournament, Zeus would defeat Aoyagi's previous ally. Aoyagi would then return to Miyahara and lift him on his shoulders, and they would announce on twitter that Aoyagi would be teaming up with Miyahara in the World's Strongest tag Determination League. On December 7, 2020 Aoyagi along with Kento Miyahara would beat the team of Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto, to win the 2020 AJPW World's Strongest Tag Determination League. On January 2, 2021 Aoyagi & Miyahara would beat the AJPW World Tag Team Champions, Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama to win the titles, in Korakuen Hall.

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "全日本プロレス". All-japan.co.jp. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  2. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". Purolove.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  3. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". Purolove.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  4. ^ "PUROLOVE.com". Purolove.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  5. ^ 9.30前橋大会[観衆]352人. All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2017-09-30. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
  6. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2021". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  7. ^ 【プロレス大賞】全日・青柳優馬が“滑り込みセーフ”で新人賞. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.