Hiroshi Tanahashi Lists Major Goal For 2023

Hiroshi Tanahashi has been in the wrestling business for over 23 years, dating back to his debut in 1999. Since making his debut, he has become one of, if not, the most successful wrestlers in the company's history — holding the record for the most IWGP World Championship reigns with eight. Even though Tanahashi is not in the first half of his career anymore, the 46-year-old's championship ambitions have not dwindled.


In an interview with "Sports Illustrated," Tanahashi addressed his in-ring aspirations as we move into 2023. "By 2024, the whole world will be all the way back from the struggles we went through during the pandemic," Tanahashi said, communicating through a translator. "By then, I'd love to be champion and promote professional wrestling." 

Tanahashi has not held the IWGP World Championship since losing the title to Jay White in February 2019 — however, he has held championship gold since.  Along with his eight world title victories, Tanahashi has also held the IWGP United States Heavyweight and IWGP World Tag Team Championships both three times. Tanahashi's most recent championship reign was with the IWGP United States heavyweight title in May, however, the reign only lasted 13 days.


Despite no title being on the line, Tanahashi will be competing in a major match at his 17th straight Wrestle Kingdom. He, Keiji Muto, and Shota Umino will take on Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, and BUSHI in what will be Muto's final Wrestle Kingdom match ever, as he will retire later that month in a match also involving AEW's Sting and Darby Allin. This will take place on January 4 at 3 A.M. EST at the Tokyo Dome.