Kushida was one of several Japanese who, despite the demonstrated quality, did not have a successful career in WWE. However, he has proven in the ring of NXT and 205 Live the talent previously patented in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and North American, Canadian and Mexican promoters.

    Born on May 12, 1983, in Ota, in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Yujiro Kushida even started out by venturing into mixed martial arts (MMA), having won six wins and two draws in the eight fights he fought in his career, between 2003 and 2005.

    Then yes, pro wrestling emerged, having debuted in September 2005 under the ring name of Yujiro, a masked wrestler. However, he went through several companies in Japan and North America and shined in NJPW (and in the appearances he made in the then-partner Ring Of Honor) before signing with WWE in April 2019.

    The Japanese wrestler never made it to the main roster, but he shined on NXT and 205 Live, having won the NXT Cruiserweight Championship once before seeing his contract expire in April 2022.

    Since leaving WWE, he has returned to NJPW and appeared in All Elite Wrestling (AEW), currently being a regular presence in Impact Wrestling.

    It is therefore worth remembering Kushida’s nine best NXT matches, in chronological order.

    NXT (October 9, 2019)
    Walter vs. Kushida

    On the September 18, 2019 episode of NXT , Kushida was scheduled to face Denzel DeJournette when three elements of Imperium (Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner and Alexander Wolfe) surrounded the ring and attacked DeJournette. Shortly afterwards, UK champion Walter joined the group, stating that they were there to restore the honor and tradition of the sport to him. However, Kushida appeared and engaged in physical confrontations with the elements of the Imperium, managing to come out on top.
    A week later, Kushida teamed up with Breezango to defeat Wolfe, Aichner and Barthel, but after the match he suffered a Big Boot from Walter.

    On the October 2 episode, it was announced that the following week Walter and Kushida would face each other in a non-title match.

    NXT (December 18, 2019)
    Cameron Grimes vs. Kushida

    On the December 4, 2019 episode of NXT , Kushida returned to the ring, after injuring his wrist. He was supposed to face Raul Mendonza, but while he was making his entrance he was attacked by Cameron Grimes, who challenged Kushida, and won through a roll-up .
    On the eve of the following week’s episode, Grimes attacked Kushida in the Performance Center’s locker room.

    On the December 11 show , Kushida caused a distraction to Cameron Grimes, causing him to lose a match to Raul Mendonza. After the duel, he stole Grimes’ top hat and insulted him, which led to a new fight between the two a week later.

    NXT TakeOver 31 (October 4, 2020)
    Kushida vs. Velveteen Dream

    On the August 12 episode of NXT , Cameron Grimes defeated Kushida and the returning Velveteen Dream in a triple threat match that qualified for the ladder match for the NXT North American Championship at TakeOver XXX , by laying down on Kushida. After the match, Dream attacked him.

    Almost a month later, on the September 8 episode, Kushida returned to action and attacked Dream , and a match between the two was later scheduled for TakeOver 31 .

    NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day (February 14, 2021)
    NXT North American Championship :
    Johnny Gargano (c) vs. Kushida

    At NXT TakeOver: WarGames 2020, Johnny Gargano defeated then-champion Leon Ruff and Damian Priest in a triple threat match to capture the NXT North American Championship .

    After defending the title against Ruff on the December 30 episode of NXT, Gargano gained a title contender. On February 4, it was announced that Gargano and Kushida would face off for the NXT North American Championship at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day .

    NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver – Night 1 (April 7, 2021)
    Kushida vs. Pete Dunne

    On the March 10 episode of NXT , Pete Dunne proclaimed himself the best technical wrestler in the world. Two weeks later, it was Kushida’s turn to proclaim himself the best technical fighter.

    On March 31, both participated in an eleven-man battle royal worth participating in the 6-man Gauntlet Eliminator match to determine the top contender for the NXT North American Championship , but ended up eliminating each other. Earlier, on the same night, Pete Dunne had interrupted an interview that Kushida was giving to tell him that the British was the best technical fighter in the world.

    This set of incidents led to a match being scheduled between the two for the first night of the NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver .

    NXT (April 13, 2021)
    NXT Cruiserweight Championship:
    Santos Escobar (c) vs. Kushida

    During the April 13, 2021 episode of NXT , cruiserweight champion Santos Escobar took to the ring and issued an open challenge for his NXT Cruiserweight Championship. Kushida answered the call.

    NXT (May 11, 2021)
    Two out of three falls match for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship:
    Kushida (c) vs. Santos Escobar

    On the April 13 episode, Kushida defeated Santos Escobar to win the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. A week later, he followed Escobar’s example and launched an open challenge that was answered by Oney Lorcan, managing to retain the title after a Hoverboard Lock . After the match, Santos Escobar and the rest of Legado del Fantasma elements attacked him, who was saved by MSK.

    The following week, Legado del Fantasma defeated Kushida and MSK in a six-man tag team match.
    However, he offered to put the NXT Cruiserweight Championship on the line against former champion Santos Escobar. It was later announced that the match would be atwo out of three falls match .

    NXT (June 15, 2021)
    NXT Cruiserweight Championship:
    Kushida (c) vs. Trey Baxter

    After retaining the title against Santos Escobar on May 11, Kushida issued an open challenge for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship on the June 1 episode of NXT . Carmelo Hayes responded to the call, but was defeated via submission. Two weeks later, he returned to launch an open challenge for the title, with Trey Baxter responding.

    NXT (June 22, 2021)
    Kyle O’Reilly vs. Kushida

    At a time when he was defending the NXT Cruiserweight Championship with some frequency, namely against Oney Lorcan, Santos Escobar, Carmelo Hayes and Trey Baxter, Kushida was challenged by Kyle O’Reilly during the episode of June 15, 2021, of NXT to a non-title match the following week.