In March of 2017, former IWGP Tag Team Champion Tomoaki Honma suffered a career-threatening injury after being the recipient of a draping DDT by Jado during a six-man tag team match. Following the move, the match was immediately stopped due to Honma being unable to move anything from the neck down. It was later reported that he had injured his cervical vertebrae, and had to stay in the hospital for nearly four months.
Following the injury, Honma was forced to forfeit his opportunity at the IWGP Tag Team Championship, and New Japan stated that his in-ring return is “tentative.” Thankfully, days after the injury, Nikkan Sports reported that he was able to regain movement of lower limbs, and “grasp objects on the upper extremities.” Still, it was reported that Honma was “recovering a lot,” and a return to the ring was undetermined. In November, Honma was training and taking bumps again in hopes for an in-ring return soon.
Fifteen months later, Honma has fully recovered, as he appeared at the block finals of the NJPW Best of the Super Juniors tournament and issued an open challenge for any tag team to compete against him and Togi Makabe at the Kizuna Road show on June 23rd in Yamagata.
With over 20 years in the pro wrestling business, the 41-year-old Honma has competed for various promotions in Japan, most notably Big Japan, All Japan, New Japan, and Pro Wrestling NOAH. In February of 2007, Honma joined NJPW’s G.B.H. (Great Bash Heel) faction, and stayed loyal to the group until it dissolved. G.B.H. reformed in 2013 with Honma and former leader Makabe, feuding with CHAOS and Bullet Club.
At Wrestle Kingdom 10, Honma won his first title in New Japan, as he and Makabe defeated Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They retained the titles for three months before losing them to Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa at Invasion Attack.