HomeArticlesNOAH: Naomichi Marufuji, the Immortal Phoenix of the Ark

NOAH: Naomichi Marufuji, the Immortal Phoenix of the Ark

Naomichi Marufuji debuted on August 28, 1998. He is a man that has innovated pro-wrestling in Japan having influenced generations of pro-wrestlers.

Before All Japan…

In high school, Naomichi Marufuji played basketball and competed in amateur wrestling. He was a natural athlete. In the first two years of his pro-wrestling career, Marufuji trained under Mitsuharu Misawa. Leading into his 1998 debut in All Japan Pro-Wrestling.

In 1999, he would win Rookie of the Year from Tokyo Sports.

Pro-Wrestling NOAH

He would leave All Japan and go to Pro-Wrestling NOAH. Marufuji made a fantastic transition to NOAH, where he displayed his in-ring talents. Allowing the innovation of the junior division. Exhibiting several remarkable and imaginative moves that intrigued many individuals, not only fans but pro-wrestlers as well. He was the first individual to become a grand slam champion, representing NOAH. Modernizing the company by triumphing AJPW, IWGP and GHC Junior Heavyweight Championships.

Naomichi Marufuji was able to obtain these achievements by working freelance. As a freelance worker he was able to compete at New Japan Pro-Wrestling for the Super J Cup in 2009. Later, he competed in the 2012 and 2016 G1 Climax Tournament. The G1 is one of the most challenging tournaments in all of wrestling. He would go on to Wrestle Kingdom IV to defeat Tiger Mask IV for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

NOAH: Naomichi Marufuji
KENTA vs Marufuji

American Exposure

Debuting in Ring of Honor in 2005, he challenged Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) for the Ring of Honor World Championship. Naomichi Marufuji would lose that match. However, this was not the end of Western Expansion for NOAH. This allowed him to influence American fans, as he continued to make return appearances for Ring of Honor and paved the way for additional talent from NOAH to appear. Opening the door wide open, allowing their GHC Heavyweight Championship to be defended on American soil.

In 2017, Pro-Wrestling NOAH made an agreement with Impact Wrestling, which resulted in a working relationship allowing talent from Japan to be seen in America. He then team up with Taiji Ishimori at Slammiversary XV, challenging for the tag team championship belt. The match would result in a loss. Marufuji continued his quest at the promotion before returning to NOAH.

Naomichi Marufuji, returned to Impact Wrestling in 2019, challenging for the tag team belts with Eddie Edwards. They were unsuccessful in obtaining gold from Impact Wrestling.

NOAH: Naomichi Marufuji
Naomichi Marufuji would face off against Bryan Danielson in ROH.

He continues to perform at Pro-Wrestling NOAH and became Vice President of NOAH in 2009. He was reappointed his position on September 2011, leading the promotion along the side of President Sanshiro Takagi from DDT Wrestling.  On July 27, 2020, Noah and DDT announced that they would be merging in a new company called CyberFight.

Unfortunately, Naomichi Marufuji suffered several injuries throughout the years. He would disappear and rise again from any defeat, for which he was named the Immortal Bird. Like a phoenix, he would regroup, gather, and conquer the most difficult situations regarding performance issues. He is one of the last pupils of Giant Baba. Marufuji handles himself with honor inside the squared circle, influencing and inspiring pro-wrestlers around the world. Sacrificing his body for the good, the future, support, and love of Pro-Wrestling NOAH. Just as his teacher Mitsuharu Misawa, embracing the innovation of strong style around the world. He has allowed viewers of pro-wrestling to understand the true meaning of strong style. The struggle and battle of the heart of a man or woman in the ring.

You can watch Pro-Wrestling NOAH at ddtpro.com. Want to Watch more Japanese wrestling but don’t know where to start? Read our top 50 matches here

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