Sho Funaki

Oct 3, 2009 - by Jamie Cruickshank

Photo credit: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Photo credit: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Real name: Shoichi Funaki
Height: 5’7″
Weight: 180 lbs.
Date of birth: August 24, 1968
Born: Tokyo, Japan
Resides: San Antonio, TX
Pro debut: 1990
Trained by: Animal Hamaguchi and Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Finishing move: Powerbomb


– In 1989, Funaki completed his training at Animal Hamaguchi’s Training Gym in Japan.
– In June 1996, Funaki and Taka Michinoku joined Dick Togo, Shiryu, and Mens Teioh in Kaientai DX, or KDX.
– The cliche often clashed with the likes of Super Delfin and the Great Sasuke.
– On March 19, 1997, Funaki defeated Pantera in Yonezawa, Japan for the UWA (Universal Wrestling Alliance) Middleweight title.
– In March 1998, Kaientai joined the WWF. The original group consisted of Michinoku, Funaki, Togo, and Teioh. The group managed by Yamaguchi-San.
– Yamaguchi-San’s wife was revealed as TAKA’s sister, which was a work.
– Val Venis eventually ended up with Mrs. Yamaguchi-San, which led to the “castration” scene on “Raw.”
– A short time later, Michinoku was out of the group, and feuded with his former comrades.
– Kaientai over came Michinoku and Bradshaw at the 1998 “Over the Edge” PPV.
– The Oddities and Kaientai feuded in the summer of 1998.
– When the Kaientai cliche was dropped, Teioh and Togo requested their releases from the WWF, which were granted.
– In 1999, Funaki and Michinoku reunited as a tag team called Kaientai.
– At Wrestlemania 2000 in Anaheim, CA, Funaki briefly held the WWF Hardcore title by defeating Viscera in a 13-man battle royal.
– On June 30, 2000, Funaki captured the TWA (Texas Wrestling Alliance) title from Charles Poindexter Anderson.
– On the August 29, 2000 “Smackdown” television taping, Kaientai upset the Dudley’s Boyz thanks to outside interference from the Acolytes. Kaientai had paid the APA for protection.
– Despite not being drafted in the WWF brand extension draft, Funaki joined McMahon’s “Smackdown” roster.
– On the February 27, 2003 edition of “Smackdown,” Funaki and Torrie Wilson defeated Jamie Noble and Nidia.
– On July 17, 2003, Funaki defeated A-Train in Yokohama, Japan.
– At Armageddon ’04, Funaki pinned Spike Dudley to become the WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
– In October 2008, Funaki’s name was changed to Kung Fu Naki.
– WWE released Funaki on April 22, 2010
– Following his WWE release, Funaki returned to Japan, competing initially for Zero-One
– In early 2013, Funaki made two TNA One Night Only appearances
– In 2014, Funaki began working with WWE once more, helping their new Japanese recruits to settle in the US
– In 2016, Funaki was hired to provide Japanese language commentary on WWE pay-per-views.

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