While WWE is the global juggernaut of pro wrestling, Japan is widely considered to be a fruitful ground for the sport. Countless greats of the business have competed in the Land of the Rising Sun. Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, and Antonio Inoki are just a few examples.
The Japanese Strong Style, or Puroresu, is famous across the world. It combines combat, martial arts moves and traditional professional wrestling. In Japan, this product focuses on the in-ring action and the psychology of the bout as the primary narrative elements in a match.
Several WWE Superstars have wrestled in Japan at various points in their careers. A few of these competitors have won major titles there. Here's a look at five stars who have won noteworthy championships in Japan.
Note - The list focuses on non-Japanese wrestlers who won championships in the country.
#5 Finn Balor (WWE, 2014 - present)
Current WWE NXT Champion Finn Balor made a name for himself in Japan before he signed with WWE. He spent eight years with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), and his run with the company was quite fruitful. Balor, known as Fergal Devitt at the time, chose to move to Japan when NJPW offered him a contract in 2006.
As Prince Devitt, he won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship three times. He also became a 6-time Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Additionally, Devitt won the Best of Super Juniors tournament twice. Of course, he also formed the Bullet Club during his time in NJPW. He teamed up with Karl Anderson and Bad Luck Fale to create the faction.
When Devitt signed with WWE, he carried an impressive legacy from his time in Japan. Balor has found plenty of success in WWE, too. He was crowned as the first WWE Universal Champion, and he is a 2-time NXT Champion.