Starting in the spring of 1984, the wrestling world would change when Keichi Yamada would step into a ring for the first time. Unlike most of his fellow young lions Yamada would leave New Japan on a high after winning the Young Lions Cup. It would be two years before Yamada would be sent on excursion to All Star Wrestling in Europe and Stampede Wrestling. Upon his return Yamada would be repackaged as Jushin Thunder Liger which was taken from a very popular Japanese anime called Jushin Liger. For the next thirty years all over the world Jushin Liger would cultivate a career for himself as the most legendary junior heavyweight. It wouldn't take Liger very long to become the measuring stick of the junior heavyweight division for New Japan.
Liger would set the world on fire with Tiger Mask, Black Tigers, Kuniaki Kobayashi, Naoki Sano, and others over the years. In December 1991, Liger would make his return to the United States to feud with Brian Pillman over the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship. The feud would end in February at Superbrawl, but it would only be the beginning for Liger and his trips back to North America. Since then Liger has spent time with ROH, WWE, TNA, and CMLL perfecting an imagine of a legend.
Last weekend Jushin Liger wrestled his the final matches of his career lacing up the boots one more time for another Wrestle Kingdom. Liger will go down as a legend and one of the greatest performers in the history of New Japan. Even blessing the new generation of the junior division in his last match taking the pin fall against the team of Dragon Lee & Hiromu Takahashi. His commitment to the gimmick and ability to embrace the anime side of the character never really needing to change with the times Liger is by far one of the best ever. Thank you for all you did for wrestling, New Japan, and the Junior Heavyweight division!! You deserve the rest now after 30 plus years of giving us your body, mind, and soul.
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