Takaaki Watanabe is a Japanese professional wrestler from Mishima, Japan. He made his debut in 2011 and has worked for the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJWP) since then, while also competing abroad for companies such as Ring of Honor (ROH) and Global Force Wrestling (GFW).

Watanabe is a one-time NEVER Openweight Champion, three-time NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion and 2017 World Tag League Champion.

Short facts about Takaaki Watanabe

Japanese name 渡辺 高章
Transcribed name Watanabe Takaaki
English name Takaaki Watanabe
Born In Mishima, Shizouka, Japan on 26 January 1987.
Trained by Heigo (Animal) Hamaguchi
Professional wrestling debut 13 May, 2011
Ring names EVIL

Takaaki Watanabe

Nick name King of Darkness
Billed height 1.78 metres
Billed weight 106 kg
Entrance themes “Go for Broke” by Yonosuke Kitamura

“Black Deeds” by Yonosuke Kitamura

Championship wins, awards & other accomplishments

New Japan Pro Wrestling

IWGP Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Sanada

NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship (3 times) – with Bushi and Sanada

evilNEVER Openweight Championship (1 time)

2017 World Tag League – with Sanada

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

PWI ranked him #168 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Best Gimmick 2017 (as part of Los Ingobernables de Japon)

Notable wrestling moves

Finishing moves

    • Banshee Muzzle (Arm trap facelock)
    • Everything is Evil (STO)

Signature moves

    • Darkness Falls (Fireman’s carry spinebuster)
    • Double arm suplex
    • German suplex
    • Running elbow
    • Uppercut

Double-team finishing moves

      • Out of Control (Double-team gorilla press slam) with Tetsuya Naito
      • Magic Killer (Aided snap swinging neckbreaker) with Sanada

Examples of professional wrestling career milestones

When? What?
13 May, 2011 Watanabe made his professional wrestling debut, wrestling for NJPW.
October, 2013 It was announced that Watanabe would be sent on a learning excursion to USA.
22 August, 2015 Watanabe qualified for an Ring of Honor (ROH) World Television Championship match by winning a 9-man gauntlet match.
12 October, 2015 In a post-match interview, Tetsuya Naito gave Watanabe the nickname “King of Darkness” EVIL. Under this new nickname, Watanabe became affiliated with Naito’s stable “Los Ingobernables de Japon”.
December, 2015 EVIL (Watanabe) and Naito won their block in the World Tag League with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss, sending them on to tournament finals. In the finals, they lost to Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma.
August, 2016 EVIL failed to advance in the G1 Climax, but still drew attention to himself by defeating IWGP International Champion Michael Elgin and NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata.
5 November, 2016 EVIL won the NEVER Openweight Championship at Power Struggle by defeating Katsuyori Shibata. (He only kept the title for 10 days, before losing it back to Shibata in Singapore.)
January, 2017 EVIL, Bushi and Sanada teamed up and won a four-team gauntlet match, making them NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions at the Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome. (They lost the title the next day, and then regained it in February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka.)
March, 2017 EVIL made it to the semifinals of the New Japan Cup.
5 August, 2017 EVIL defeated reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Oaka at the G1 Climax. This was Okada’s first single defeat in almost a year.
11 December, 2017 EVIL and Sanada became tournament champions by defeating Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) in the finals of the World Tag League.
4 January, 2018 EVIL and Sanada won the IWGP Tag Team Championship by defeating the Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. And Lance Archer) at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome.

This article was last updated on: April 24, 2018