Jushin Liger

Jushin Liger


11/30/1964, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan

Birth Name

Keichi Yamada



Also Known As

Keichi Yamada, Flying Fuji Yamada, Jushin Liger, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, Jyushin Lyger, Jyushin Liger, Kishin Liger
out of 10
User Rating
4 votes


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Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Jushin has a lot of different color schemes for his bodysuit and mask. But the most common and well-known are his classic red and all-black attires.

      The red attire signified him as a face (in Japan) and the all-black signified him as a heel.

    • Other titles won by Keiichi Yamada:

      2-time British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight Title
      1-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Title
      1-time NWA Junior Heavyweight Title
      1-time NWA Welterweight Title
      1-time UWA Junior Heavyweight Title
      1-time WAR International Junior Heavyweight Title
      1-time WWA Jr. Light Heavyweight Title

      Tag Team:
      1-time Osaka Pro Tag Team Title with Takehiro Murahama
      1-time WAR International Junior Tag Team Title with El Samurai

    • Jushin Liger won a heap of awards from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

      Rookie of the Year in 1984, tying with Tom Zenk
      Best Flying Wrestler 5 years in a row in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993
      Best Technical Wrestler 4 years in a row in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992
      Most Outstanding Wrestler 3 years in a row in 1990, 1991 and 1992
      Match of the Year with Naoki Sano in 1990
      Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1999

    • Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked Jushin Thunder Liger No. 12 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in 2003. He was also ranked alongside El Samurai No. 47 of the best tag teams.

    • Keiichi Yamada earned all of these accomplishments while wrestling in New Japan Pro Wrestling:

      11-time IGWP Junior Heavyweight champion
      4-time IGWP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champion
      (w/The Great Sasuke, El Samurai, Minoru Tanaka and Koji Kanemoto)

      1-time J-Crown
      Top of the Super Juniors in 1992
      Best of the Super Juniors in 1994 and 2001
      Super J Cup in 1995 and 2000
      G1 Junior Tag League in 2001 with El Samurai
      Naeba Cup Tag Tournament in 2001 with Yuji Nagata

    • Jushin Liger is the first man to win the Light Heavyweight title in WCW and WWF. Sadly, the WWE does not recognize his title reign.

    • Jushin Liger defeated The Ultimo Dragon in Tokyo, Japan to win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship.

    • Jushin Liger defeated the late Brian Pillman to win the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship on Christmas Day 1991.

    • During his time in WCW, Jushin Liger would have matches against the likes of:

      Chris Benoit
      Ricky Steamboat
      Rey Mysterio
      Juventud Guerrera

    • Keiichi Yamada debuted another gimmick called Kishin Liger. It consists of him wearing pale white face paint and a painted chest. This gimmick is similar to The Great Muta gimmick which relies on bloody and evil tactics in a match, using mannerisms and imagery that differ from the person's normal ways. Ironically enough, the first person to feel the fury of Kishin Liger was The Great Muta on October 10, 1996.

    • Keiichi Yamada wrestled in the following wrestling promotions:

      New Japan Pro Wrestling - Japan
      All-Star Promotions - England
      Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling - Canada
      World Championship Wrestling - United States
      Ring of Honor - United States
      Total Nonstop Action - United States

    • Jushin Liger got the idea of the shooting star press after seeing a similar move performed in the manga Fist of the North Star.

    • Jushin Thunder Liger had only one notable feud throughout his career. He feuded with the late Brian Pillman

    • Keiichi began studying various martial arts styles so he would be able to add something new to his wrestling arsenal.

      This is how he learned his Rolling Koppou Kick.

    • Finishing Move: The LigerBomb

    • Jushin Liger made his debut in WCW against the late Brian Pillman in 1991.

      This also marked the first time he ever wrestled on American soil.

    • Jushin Liger holds the record for most IGWP Junior Heavyweight title reigns to date: eleven

    • In 1996, Yamada was diagnosed with a brain tumour which cost him his hearing in one ear. Weeks later, he recovered and returned to action. He adapted his wrestling style to more of a ground-based style to help reduce the strain it was putting on his body.

    • Jushin Liger was a part of the 1st ever edition of WCW Monday Nitro when he wrestled the late Brian Pillman in the opening match of that night.

    • During Jushin Liger's 10th IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship reign, he lost the title to Juventud Guerrera and won it back a week later.

      The title change occurred in WCW in the United States under the suspected booking of Vince Russo, who was a suspect booker from his time in the WWE.

      Because of that, NJPW recognises Jushin Liger as a 10-time champion despite winning it for an 11th time.

    • When Liger wrestles other wrestlers in his weight class, he wrestles in his trademark mask & bodysuit. When he wrestles heavyweights he will go shirtless with a eye-visible mask and a ponytail.

    • Jushin means Beast God.

    • The moniker Thunder was later added in order to distinguish from the anime character.

    • Keiichi Yamada made his debut under the Jushin Liger gimmick in April 24, 1989, where he defeated Kuniaki Kobayashi.

    • Jushin Liger's gimmick is based off of an extremely popular anime in 1989. The name of the anime? Jushin Liger.

    • Jushin Liger made his debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling in December 1984 at the age of 20.

    • Jushin Liger is the inventor of the Shooting Star Press.

  • Quotes

  • What a cool gimmick he had.

    When I saw Jushin Liger wrestling as a child, I had no idea about his career in Japan nor can I remember most of his matches. What I CAN remember is his gimmick. That mask he wore was cool as hell. But despite that, his athleticism and classic matches over the last 22 years made him a legend in Japan. His popularity can even be rivaled to The Great Muta, another legend in Japan.

    For all of those who love the Shooting Star Press should thank this man because he is the one that invented it. Jushin Liger, a 11-time IGWP Junior Heavyweight Champion (a record which still stands to this day) and one of the best junior heavyweights in the world of professional wrestling.

    Jushin "Thunder" Liger: Keiichi Yamada, one of the first Japanese wrestlers I ever laid my eyes on. Arigatou, Yamada-san.moreless