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BANKIE'S HOT TAKE #87 - TERRY YAKI and the Greatest Destroyer Ever

Once I wrote my piece on Bryan Danielson’s run as GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, I bit the bullet and actually picked up a subscription for Wrestle Universe, solely to watch Pro Wrestling NOAH footage.

After watching the first two NOAH shows and getting enamored by the mega-push Jun Akiyama received from DEPARTURE on August 5 and 6, 2000, I went and started to watch THE NEW YEAR from January 2, 2024 at Differ Ariake in Tokyo.

During this event, there were two “dark matches” that were put on prior to the main show. For the audience that tuned into the live stream early, they were able to see these contests.

The second “dark match” was an eight-man tag, mixed with NOAH legends and young upstarts, trying to make a name for themselves for future bookings.

Former five-time GHC Tag Team Champion Akitoshi Saito, six-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team and former GHC Junior Heavyweight Champ Hajime Ohara, three-time former GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Hi69, and Kai Fujimura stood on one side, while former ECW World TV and GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Super Crazy, ELEVEN-TIME Junior Heavyweight Tag Team, former Tag Team, and three-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion Atsushi Kotoge, the afro-haired five-time GHC Tag Team Champion Muhammed Yone, and a twenty-one year old performer by the name of TERRY YAKI.

It was the most star-studded pre-show match in recent memory.

The one thing I took away from this one, believe it or not, was Terry Yaki. He had a unique look, from his blond and black hair, to his gear, and to his style. His youth was also a surprise, as NOAH’s English commentary team stated that Yaki was only twenty-one years old and, as Mark Pickering stated, “The world is at his feet.”

Of course, as a history buff, I decided to do my research on the young upstart.


TERRY YAKI came out of the WWA4 School in Atlanta, GA, under the tutelage of independent wrestling legend AR Fox. Fox has been credited with developing some phenomenal talent from his academy, including WWE’s Austin Theory, Leon Ruff, AEW’s Captain Shawn Dean, Lee Johnson, Alan Angels, and referees DA Brewer and Aja Smith.

Also, Yaki has gained knowledge from the Nightmare Factory, founded by QT Marshall and Cody Rhodes, which I can’t even begin to explain on the level of education gained from these sessions.

These training opportunities have helped Yaki immensely. Yaki has wrestled a few dark matches for All Elite Wrestling, but has been able to showcase his full abilities with Game Changer Wrestling throughout 2022 and 2023, as well as other Southern independents. He can fly and, just like his mentor Fox, innovate as well. 

My sources in the independent wrestling pipeline tout that Yaki is a “can’t miss prospect”. Obviously, Pro Wrestling NOAH agreed as well.

After an impressive six-way scramble at GCW’s The New Face of War in Tokyo, Japan on July 18, 2023, NOAH officials brought Terry Yaki in for a three month tour, to learn and develop future as a performer, beginning in October.

Yaki improved dramatically, becoming more seasoned as each match went on as he faced some of the best Junior Heavyweights in the world, including Ninja Mack, Extreme Tiger, Naomichi Marufuji, Kenoh, and Eita. Many people stated that his respectful attitude and drive to succeed made him a “can’t miss prospect” for years to come.


Nothing took my breath away more than footage taken just two days ago, taken by the Fan Cam at Renegade Independent Professional Wrestling in Atlanta, GA.

Terry Yaki, the current and inaugural RIPW Openweight Champion, took on Blak Jak Mak. In the middle of the match, the Fan Cam caught footage of one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen.

Caught on footage posted by Twitter user ___Yashiro, as Mak went to catch Yaki with two boots to the chest in the corner, Yaki caught his legs and spun him to a sitting position on the middle rope. Yaki went onto the apron on the opposite side of the corner, springboarded, caught Mak’s head with his knees, and proceeded to give him a flipping piledriver!

I have seen a thousand Canadian Destroyers over the past two decades. Some have looked great; others not so much, in my opinion. However, this one was the most innovative version I have witnessed.

Terry Yaki might have had the Greatest Destroyer Ever.

The fans in attendance reacted more in shock than with a loud ovation. Like me, it had to be something that had never been seen before.

The confidence in Yaki was sky-high. And when you hit a big time move like that, you have nothing left to do but soak it in and keep the fight going. which he naturally did.


This type of creativity shows what type of performer Terry Yaki is preparing to become. He has had the proper wrestling education thus far, and isn’t afraid to go all out. Moves like the Destroyer here showcase what he is willing to do to win. 

There hasn’t been a true stand-out junior heavyweight, to me, in quite some time. Yaki might be the guy to keep your eyes on.

I hope Yaki gets to go back to NOAH. The next gaijin cruiserweight star might be on the horizon.

Watch out for that Destroyer, though.


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