WWE has hired Japanese wrestling veteran Kendo Kashin to work as a Coach at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
Real name Tokimitsu Ishizawa, the 51 year old former masked junior heavyweight worked as a guest trainer at the Performance Center back in February of this year, as was revealed by Finn Balor on Twitter at the time.
Kashin, who also has experience in MMA, held several titles for New Japan Pro Wrestling, including the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title twice, and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles. He won NJPW’s Young Lion Cup in 1996 and the Best of the Super Juniors tournament in 1999. Kashin also won ROH’s Best of the American Super Juniors tournament in 2005.
Below is WWE’s full announcement on the hire:
Legendary Japanese wrestler Kendo Kashin joins WWE Performance Center coaching staff
The WWE Performance Center has added one of Japan’s most decorated junior heavyweight wrestlers to its coaching ranks.
Tokimitsu Ishizawa, who made his name in the squared circle as masked grappler Kendo Kashin, is the newest coach to join WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Fla.
An accomplished freestyle wrestler in his youth, Ishizawa turned pro in the early 1990s and went on to hold junior heavyweight titles in New Japan Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling. A feared submission specialist, Ishizawa also fought in professional mixed martial arts, including for the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships league.
Ishizawa also competed in Europe and the United States during his in-ring career. In 2002, “Pro Wrestling Illustrated” named him the 22nd best wrestler in the world in its annual PWI 500 rankings.
Ishizawa was invited to be a guest coach at the WWE Performance Center last February. At the time, Finn Bálor posted a photo of himself alongside Ishizawa and noted that the Japanese legend was his first trainer upon arriving to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Full Circle ??
With my first Japanese Coach Kendo Kashin at the WWE Performance Center today pic.twitter.com/By3LTsKwaR
— Finn Bálor forEVERYone (@FinnBalor) February 7, 2019