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Yuji Okabayashi
Okabayashi
Born October 31 1982 (1982-10-31) (age 34)[1]
Nankoku, Kōchi, Japan[1][2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Gregory Okabayashi[3]
Shining Tiger Big Buddy[4]
Yuji Okabayashi
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)[1][2]
Weight 123 kg (271 lbs.)[1]
Trained By BJW Dojo[4]
Debut June 27, 2008[1][2]

 

Yuji Okabayashi (岡林 裕二 Okabayashi Yūji?, born October 31, 1982)[1] is a Japanese professional wrestler, who has worked for Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW) since his debut in June 2008. He is best known as part of a tag team with Daisuke Sekimoto, with whom he has held the BJW Tag Team Championship, All Japan Pro Wrestling's (AJPW) World Tag Team and All Asia Tag Team Championships and DDT Pro-Wrestling's KO-D Tag Team Championship. As a singles wrestler, he is a former BJW World Strong Heavyweight Champion.

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Okabayashi is a former member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces and had a sports background in judo and weightlifting,[1][4] when he joined Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW) in 2008 for a new career in professional wrestling.[2] He made his debut for the promotion against Katsumasa Inoue on June 27, 2008.[1][2] Okabayashi joined the promotion's non-deathmatch division, Strong BJ, eventually becoming one of its cornerstones alongside the likes of Daisuke Sekimoto and Yoshihito Sasaki.[5] Four months after his debut, Okabayashi made his American debut, when he, along with several other BJW wrestlers, took part in the Global Gauntlet events held by the Chikara promotion.[6][7]

Back in BJW, Okabayashi formed a tag team with Daisuke Sekimoto, which led to him winning his first title on July 27, 2009, when the two defeated Isami Kodaka and Masashi Takeda for the BJW Tag Team Championship.[8] After a five-month reign, they lost the title to Shinya Ishikawa and Yoshihito Sasaki.[8] On January 9, 2010, Okabayashi made his debut for Osaka Pro Wrestling, when he and Sekimoto unsuccessfully challenged Hideyoshi and Masamune for the Osaka Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship.[9] The following April, Okabayashi returned to Chikara to represent BJW in the 2010 King of Trios tournament, where he formed a trio with Sekimoto and Kankuro Hoshino.[10] They made it to the semifinals, before being eliminated by Bruderschaft des Kreuzes (Ares, Claudio Castagnoli and Tursas).[11] At the end of 2010, Tokyo Sports named Okabayashi Japanese professional wrestling's Rookie of the Year.[12]

The following year, Okabayashi and Sekimoto began making appearances for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), where they won the All Asia Tag Team Championship twice.[13] During the year, they also won the Big Japan Tag League.[14] At the end of the year, Tokyo Sports named Okabayashi and Sekimoto the 2011 Tag Team of the Year.[15] During 2012, Okabayashi set his sights on the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship, a new title intended for the Strong BJ division.[16] He received his first shot at the title on June 21, but was defeated by Yoshihito Sasaki.[17] The following month, Okabayashi regained the BJW Tag Team Championship, this time teaming with Shinobu.[18] After a four-month reign, they lost the title to Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto in the finals of the 2012 Big Japan Tag League.[8] On March 31, 2013, Okabayashi received another shot at the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship, unsuccessfully challenging longtime tag team partner Daisuke Sekimoto.[19]

Okabayashi missed most of 2014 with a left shoulder injury, which he suffered while wrestling in Germany in January. He returned from the injury on December 21.[20] His first big match since his return took place on February 2, 2015, when he unsuccessfully challenged Shuji Ishikawa for the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship.[21] On February 15, Okabayashi and Sekimoto won another tag team title, when they defeated Konosuke Takeshita and Tetsuya Endo to win the DDT Pro-Wrestling promotion's KO-D Tag Team Championship.[22] On July 20, Okabayashi scored his first-ever win over Sekimoto, when he defeated him to become the new BJW World Strong Heavyweight Champion, winning the first singles title of his professional wrestling career.[23][24] On August 23, Okabayashi and Sasaki lost the KO-D Tag Team Championship to Daisuke Sasaki and Kota Ibushi.[25][26] On October 29, Okabayashi and Sekimoto defeated Kohei Sato and Shuji Ishikawa in the finals to win the 2015 Saikyo Tag League and the BJW Tag Team Championship.[27][28] They lost the title to Hideyoshi Kamitani and Ryota Hama on December 30.[29] On June 8, 2016, Okabayashi won another tag team title, when he and Yasufumi Nakanoue defeated Kazma Sakamoto and Yuji Hino for the Wrestle-1 Tag Team Championship.[30][31] A week later, Okabayashi and Daisuke Sekimoto defeated The Bodyguard and Zeus to win AJPW's World Tag Team Championship.[32][33] On July 24, Okabayashi lost the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship to Hideyoshi Kamitani in his fourth defense.[34][35] On July 29, Okabayashi and Nakanoue lost the Wrestle-1 Tag Team Championship to Jun Kasai and Manabu Soya in their second defense.[36][37] On October 31, Okabayashi and Sekimoto defeated Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto to win their second Big Japan Saikyo Tag League in a row.[38] On November 27, Okabayashi and Sekimoto lost the AJPW World Tag Team Championship back to Bodyguard and Zeus.[39][40] On December 14, Okabayashi and Sekimoto won their second Tag Team of the Year award from Tokyo Sports.[41] On January 2, 2017, Okabayashi and Sekimoto defeated Kohei Sato and Shuji Ishikawa to win the BJW Tag Team Championship for the third time.[42][43] Okabayashi and Sekimoto lost the titles to Abdullah Kobayashi and Ryuji Ito on July 17.

Personal lifeEdit

Okabayashi married his partner of two years, Mika Mukai, in July 2012.[44]

In wrestlingEdit

  • Finishing moves
  • Signature moves
  • Entrance themes
    • "Difícil de Entender" by Ratos de Porão[46]
    • "Heading for Tomorrow" by Gamma Ray[45]
    • "Angry Golem" by Big Japan Pro Wrestling[1]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 (in Japanese) Big Japan Pro Wrestling. http://bjw.co.jp/fighter_detail.php?id=33. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 (in Japanese) Wrestle-1. http://www.w-1.co.jp/player/okabayashi.php. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  3. Byers, Ryan (January 12, 2010). "Into the Indies 01.12.10: Romeo vs. Juliet". 411Mania. http://411mania.com/wrestling/into-the-indies-01-12-10-romeo-vs-juliet/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Yuji Okabayashi". Puroresu Central. http://puroresucentral.com/okabayashi.html. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  5. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. January 26, 2014. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/227914/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  6. "The Global Gauntlet - Night 1". Chikara. http://chikarapro.com/events/season-7/10-18-2008_global-gauntlet-night-1. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  7. "The Global Gauntlet - Night 2". Chikara. http://chikarapro.com/events/season-7/10-19-2008_global-gauntlet-night-2. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "BJW Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/japan/bigjapan/bj-t.html. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  9. (in Japanese) Osaka Pro Wrestling. January 9, 2010. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20131224155635/http://www.osaka-prowres.com/result/?m=20100109. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  10. Johnson, Mike (April 19, 2010). "Biggest wrestling tournament of the year kicks off Friday at ECW Arena: 2010 Chikara King of Trios this weekend". Pro Wrestling Insider. http://www.pwinsider.com/article/46860/biggest-wrestling-tournament-of-the-year-kicks-off-friday-at-ecw-arena-2010-chikara-king-of-trios-this-weekend.html?p=1. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  11. Higham, Joshua (April 26, 2010). "Chikara King of Trios finale live report from Philadelphia". Pro Wrestling Insider. http://www.pwinsider.com/article/47065/chikara-king-of-trios-finale-live-report-from-philadelphia.html?p=1. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/wrestling/wrestling_past5/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  13. (in Japanese) All Japan Pro Wrestling. https://www.all-japan.co.jp/archives/titleholder/アジアタッグ王座/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "BJW". Cagematch. http://www.cagematch.net/?id=1&nr=72327. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  15. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. December 15, 2011. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/61358/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  16. "「一騎当千」優勝の佐々木義人がベルト新設を要求 5.5横浜でアブ小林vs.石川のデスマッチ戦開催へ" (in Japanese). Sports Navi. Yahoo!. March 26, 2012. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20120329131810/http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/fight/other/live/2012/2012032601/index.html. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  17. 17.0 17.1 (in Japanese) Big Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.bjw.co.jp/pfree_pg7.php. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  18. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. July 16, 2012. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/363030/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  19. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. April 5, 2013. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/128645/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  20. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. December 22, 2014. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/348079/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  21. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. February 3, 2015. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/363030/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  22. 22.0 22.1 (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. February 16, 2015. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/367723/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  23. (in Japanese) Battle News. July 20, 2015. http://battle-news.com/?p=11863. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  24. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. July 21, 2015. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/424098/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  25. (in Japanese) Battle News. August 23, 2015. http://battle-news.com/?p=13219. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  26. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. August 24, 2015. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/439010/. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  27. 27.0 27.1 (in Japanese) Big Japan Pro Wrestling. October 29, 2015. http://bjw.co.jp/event_detail.php?id=668. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  28. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. October 30, 2015. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/466192/. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  29. (in Japanese) Big Japan Pro Wrestling. December 30, 2015. http://bjw.co.jp/event_detail.php?id=670. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  30. 30.0 30.1 "「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 Outbreak」" (in Japanese). Wrestle-1. June 8, 2016. http://www.w-1.co.jp/schedule/tour.php?id=1615. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  31. (in Japanese) Battle News. June 9, 2016. http://battle-news.com/?p=21782. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  32. 32.0 32.1 (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. June 16, 2016. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/553859/. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  33. (in Japanese) Nikkan Sports. June 16, 2016. http://www.nikkansports.com/battle/news/1663756.html. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  34. Takagi, Hiromi (July 24, 2016) (in Japanese). Sports Navi. Yahoo!. http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/detail/201607240010-spnavi. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  35. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. July 25, 2016. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/570359/. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  36. "「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 Symbol」" (in Japanese). Wrestle-1. July 29, 2016. http://www.w-1.co.jp/schedule/tour.php?id=1625. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  37. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. July 30, 2016. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/572946/. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  38. 38.0 38.1 (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. November 1, 2016. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/612077/. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  39. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. November 28, 2016. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/622266/. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  40. Rose, Bryan (November 27, 2016). "AJPW Sumo Hall results: Miyahara vs. Suwama for the Triple Crown". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/ajpw-sumo-hall-results-miyahara-vs-suwama-triple-crown-225356. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  41. 41.0 41.1 (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. December 14, 2016. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/628673/. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  42. (in Japanese) Big Japan Pro Wrestling. January 2, 2017. http://bjw.co.jp/event_detail.php?id=1396. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  43. (in Japanese) Daily Sports Online. Kobe Shimbun. January 2, 2016. http://www.daily.co.jp/ring/2017/01/02/0009799087.shtml. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  44. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. September 17, 2012. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/38615/. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  45. 45.0 45.1 (in Japanese) Big Japan Pro Wrestling. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20120110170702/http://www.bjw.co.jp/vm/senshu_22.html. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  46. "Yuji Okabayashi". Big Japan Pro Wrestling USA. Archived from the original on September 24, 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20090924011203/http://bjw-usa.com/contents/fighterpage/okabayashi.html. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  47. (in Japanese) Big Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.bjw.co.jp/pfree_pg9.php. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  48. (in Japanese) Big Japan Pro Wrestling. Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20100917062823/http://bjw.co.jp/vm/game-sec_2673.html. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  49. "Dainichi-X 2011". Cagematch. http://www.cagematch.net/?id=26&nr=2110. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  50. "D-Dash Tag Tournament". Cagematch. http://www.cagematch.net/?id=26&nr=1566. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  51. 51.0 51.1 (in Japanese) Battle News. January 1, 2016. http://battle-news.com/?p=18502. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  52. "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2016". The Internet Wrestling Database. http://www.profightdb.com/pwi-500/2016.html. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  53. (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. December 8, 2015. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/481191/. Retrieved December 8, 2015.

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