#NewJapanWeek Gang Warfare: CHAOS

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Photo: NJPW

To continue #NewJapanWeek, we’ll be taking a look at all of the factions in New JapanCHAOS is one of the most popular factions going into Wrestle Kingdom 12. With Kazuchika OkadaRoppongi 3KHirooki GotoWill OspreayTomohiro IshiiToru Yano, and Beretta all on the card, they have some of the biggest players of the night as well. But it hasn’t always been this way. To look at how the stable got its start, we have to go back to 2009.

Photo: NJPW

CHAOS was created by Shinsuke Nakamura and Toru Yano when they turned their backs on Togi Makabe. Yano abandoned Makabe and Great Bash Heel, a faction you rarely hear about anymore. That’s because other than Tomoaki Honma, the rest of the faction turned on him shortly after Nakamura defeating Makabe. While Honma and Makabe went on to continue as a tag team until Honma’s injury in March, Giant BernardGedoJadoKarl AndersonTakashi Iizuka, and Ishii started CHAOS. Upon their original formation, CHAOS stated their goal as reviving strong style. Nakamura believed strong style had been abandoned after the retirement of Antonio Inoki. By the 2009 World Tag League tournament, the group had also recruited Masato Tanaka.

Photo: NJPW

In the beginning, CHAOS was the only heel faction in New Japan. Being the biggest group of heels generally means you get a good amount of title shots. In September of 2009, Nakamura won the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and Bad Intentions (Bernard and Anderson) won the World Tag League. In 2010, Anderson was removed from the stable (and Bernard by association), being replaced by The Tokyo Pimp Yujiro Takahashi and (challenger for Okada’s world heavyweight title) Tetsuya Naito, at the time known as No Limit. While with CHAOS, No Limit held the IWGP Tag Team Championship. Yano and Iizuka held the belts as well. No Remorse Corps, Rocky Romero and Davey Richards, held the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Titles. Masato Tanaka was also the second IWGP Intercontinental Champion. There is no doubt the stable was successful, but soon, we would see the stable rise to even greater heights.

Photo: NJPW

In 2012, Kazuchika Okada joined CHAOS. All of his accomplishments have been covered elsewhere this week, but the faction is no slouch as a whole. Rocky Romero is one of the more successful members, due to his consistent role in the junior tag division. He has held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship once and has held the junior tag titles eight times. This includes four reigns with Beretta, as Roppongi Vice. Since the duo disbanded so Beretta could move up to heavyweight, Romero has transitioned to the role of manager with Roppongi 3K. While Nakamura was the original leader and focal point of CHAOS, by the time he left New Japan in 2016, the group no longer needed him. The various members were all successful enough to hold titles or be fixtures of the tournament scene.

Photo: NJPW

Since 2009, there have become more and more factions and stables within New Japan. At this point, it seems to be the only way to exist on the NJPW roster. Even wrestlers without official allegiances find themselves sucked into Taguchi Japan. Due to the levels of success CHAOS has seen, it is not surprising that this has led to feuds with other factions. During feuds with the Bullet ClubSuzuki-gun, and Los Ingobernables de Japon, fans have begun to see CHAOS in a more sympathetic light. The lines between good and bad, heel and face, wrong and right, have become significantly more blurred. At this point, for example, Suzuki-gun seems far more, well, chaotic. And if you have watched even a trailer for any of Toru Yano’s DVDs, it’s impossible not to at least smile.

He’s got lots if you need one. (Photo: NJPW)

In recent years, the stable seems to be looser than ever before. Not that there is dissension in the ranks, far from it. It seems much more rare from gang-style beatdowns from them than any other stable. Make no mistake, the alliance remains together. They seem to be unified by just one thing. Success.

Photo: NJPW

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