|This article is about an actor in the Kamen Rider Series.|
Hiroshi Tanahashi (棚橋 弘至, Tanahashi Hiroshi) is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed by New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He played Soji Kuruse in Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs. Ex-Aid & Ghost with Legend Rider. He is also known as a big fan of the Kamen Rider Series.
Later, Tanahashi make his cameo appearance as himself in S&L Inside Kamen Rider Episode 14
Tanahashi was slated to become a masked wrestler version of Yusuke Godai, who would wrestle in New Japan Pro Wrestling as "Kamen Rider KUUGA". This was to be a cross-media tie-up between Kamen Rider Kuuga and NJPW. The negotiations for this promotional venture fell through due to opposition from then-NJPW agent Riki Choshu. On a related note, the staff member who proposed this wrestling-Kamen Rider crossover may have been the same person who later cast another NJPW wrestler (AKIRA / Akira Nogami) as Xu·Zain·Da. This was confirmed by Shigenori Takatera, chief producer for Kuuga and several other Heisei Riders (up to Kamen Rider Hibiki).
Nods to Kamen Rider
As stated when he was among the guests on the AmeTa--lk! feature on famous people who love Kamen Rider, he has included many references to various Heisei Riders throughout his wrestling career. A few of the numerous examples:
- Paraphrasing the quote "The final stage in human evolution" from Kamen Rider Agito
- Dressing in wrestling gear patterned after Kamen Rider Double's FangJoker during his match on 6/19/2010 and telling his opponent to "count your sins" in the lead-up to the match, as well as stating on 1/4/2010 that "2010 will be my year, too. It all starts today - no, tonight! Yeah, this is my Begins Night."
- Post-match air guitar performances using the same song played by Kamen Rider Todoroki
- Paraphrasing Kamen Rider Fourze's catchphrase of "Space is here!" at celebratory moments (e.g. "New record for most consecutive title defenses is here!" "Advance to G1 Climax Finals is here!")
- Paraphrasing Kamen Rider Wizard's "ちょっくら ___ [chokkura] (Just gonna go ___)" throughout his interviews during the 2015 G1 Climax tournament
- Using the tagline from Kamen Rider Drive in his 2015 entrance video and T-shirts (トップギアのままで: in these cases, translated as "Keep the Full Throttle"), as well as in certain interviews
- Using the tagline from Kamen Rider Ghost on his T-shirt (命を燃やすぜ: in this case, translated as "Burn My All Energy"), as well as in certain interviews
He has publically stated that his favorite series is Kamen Rider Kabuto. There are many times where he has paraphrased Soji Tendo and his "grandmother's quotes" in backstage interviews (mostly between 2008-2011), including:
- "I am evolving at a speed faster than light. I will be the one to stand above it all."
- "The future is already in my grasp, and I will keep it in my grasp."
- "The world revolves around me. Life is more fun when you think that way."
Additionally, he has named his official podcast the pod-"Cast Off," and even adopted Kabuto's signature "pointing upwards" pose. The latter actually led to the young son of a fan saying "Look, Kamen Rider Hiroshi Tanahashi!" upon seeing a statue of Kabuto at Toei Hero World. The fan tweeted this story to Tanahashi, who set the record straight in his reply, stating "Thanks. But if anything, I am the one doing the copying." Apparently, it then led the fan's son to the unique conclusion that "Tanahashi must be the real Kabuto!"
During the filming of Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs. Ex-Aid & Ghost with Legend Rider, he revealed that he is a big fan of Kamen Rider Ryuki, having donned Ryuki's pose while posing for a photo with the five riders.
In other media
Hiroshi Tanahashi has also been featured in two Kamen Rider music videos. In Kamen Rider Girls' "KAMEN RIDER V3" he fights Kame Bazooka and Destron Combatmen, and in "Life is SHOW TIME", the theme song from Kamen Rider Wizard, he fights the Ghouls.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wikipedia.
- Pro Wrestling Wiki page
- New Japan Pro-Wrestling profile