|Ring name(s)||Iizuka Takashi|
|Real name||Iizuka Takayuki|
|Billed height||181 cm (5 ft 111⁄2 in)|
|Billed weight||101 kg (220 lb; 15.9 st)|
Iizuka Takayuki (飯塚 孝之) is a Japanese professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Iizuka Takashi (飯塚 高史).
Between 2005 and 2007, Iizuka served as the president of New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Wrestlers Association.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1986-present)
Early years (1986-1995)
Iizuka Takayuki joined the New Japan Pro-Wrestling dōjō in 1985/5, few months after graduating from high school. He made his debut on 1986/11/2 in Toyoura, Yamaguchi, against Nogami Akira. In 1989/6, Iizuka and Hase Hiroshi went to the Soviet Union to be trained in sambo. In the following month, Iizuka won his first championship, the IWGP Tag Team Championship, with veteran Chōshū Riki. His first taste of gold did not last, as they lost the titles two months later. The title loss did not knock Iizuka down, as he consistently wrestled great matches.
In 1991/5, Iizuka was sent to Europe and wrestled in Germany and Britain. In 1992/5, he wrestled in the United States for World Championship Wrestling once, teaming up with Fujinami Tatsumi, in a losing effort against the Steiner Brothers, Rick & Scott. That same year, Iizuka formed the J.J.JACKS (Japanese Jolly Jacks) with Nogami. J.J.JACKS were a consistent tag team, despite failing to win the IWGP Tag Team titles.
From Takayuki to Takashi (1995-2008)
In 1995/10, Iizuka changed his ring name to Iizuka Takashi.
In 1996/6, he won his second IWGP Tag Team title, this time with another veteran, Yamazaki Kazuo. However, unlike his first reign, this one was more brief, as he lost the titles a month later.
Iizuka spent the next four years struggling in the mid-card, until his breakout year in 2000. He started the year off by teaming with Hashimoto Shin'ya to defeat Ogawa Naoya and Murakami Kazunari in January, which led to a feud with Murakami. Iizuka defeated Murakami on 2000/4/7 in a singles match with his sleeper hold. Three months later, on 2000/7/20, he finally recieved a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, despite a losing effort against champion Sasaki Kensuke. He finished the year off by winning the G1 Climax Tag League with Nagata Yūji in November.
On 2001/6/6, Iizuka was injured during a match against Nagai Mitsuya at Nippon Budokan. After a long time period of inactivity, he returned to the ring, facing Nishimura Osamu on 2002/10/6 at Kōrakuen Hall in Tokyo.
As a heel (2008-present)
On 2008/4/27, Iizuka did the unthinkable. During a match between Iizuka & Tenzan and the G.B.H members Makabe Tōgi & Yano Tōru for the IWGP Tag Team Championship, Iizuka betrayed Tenzan, turned heel, and joined the G.B.H. He did a complete 180, by changing his look and wrestling style. In 2009/4, Iizuka and most of G.B.H betrayed Makabe and Honma Tomoaki to form CHAOS with Nakamura Shinsuke.
- NJPW Official Profile (in Japanese)