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Kenzo Suzuki (鈴木 健三 Suzuki Kenzō, born July 25, 1974) is a Japanese professional wrestler. He is perhaps best known for his appearances with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and in the United States with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he was a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion in the latter company. He currently performs for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) under the ring name Kenso, where he is a one-time World Tag Team Champion and a one-time Gaora TV Champion.
Suzuki in January 2005
|Born||July 25, 1974|
Hekinan, Aichi, Japan
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Billed weight||118 kg (260 lb)|
|Billed from||The Land of the Rising Sun|
|Trained by||Kensuke Sasaki|
|Debut||January 4, 2000|
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Early career (2000–2003)Edit
Suzuki debuted on January 4, 2000, at New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW)'s Wrestling World 2000 event at the Tokyo Dome, replacing Bill Goldberg and losing to Manabu Nakanishi. Later that year, Suzuki won NJPW's Young Lion Cup tournament, defeating Shinya Makabe. He also won Rookie of the Year honors from NJPW in the same year. Following this, he would go on to win the Young Lion Tournament after defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi in the finals, later forming a tag team with Tanahashi known as The Kings of the Hills.
In 2003, Suzuki resigned from NJPW, choosing to follow his mentor and trainer, Riki Choshu, to Choshu's World Japan promotion. Later in the year, he left to wrestle in the United States. It is speculated that he was forced to resign because a wrestler he was helping to train, Giant Ochiai, died while training on his watch. As a result, this led to Suzuki venturing to the United States' independent circuit, where he worked for the Major League Wrestling (MLW) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotions during 2003 before ultimately quitting World Japan, citing a lack of competition within the latter promotion.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2004–2005)Edit
In early 2004, Suzuki signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was assigned to their developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in February. Originally, Suzuki was scheduled to debut on the Raw brand in May under the ring name Hirohito, a Japanese patriot who held anti-American views. However, the gimmick was dropped, and Suzuki as well as his valet and legitimate wife Hiroko were instead moved to the SmackDown! brand. Together, they made their television debut on the June 10 episode of SmackDown!, where Suzuki defeated Scotty 2 Hotty. Suzuki then began a short feud with Billy Gunn, which ended with Suzuki defeating Gunn at The Great American Bash. On the July 15 episode of SmackDown, Suzuki, Dupree and Booker T defeated John Cena in a 3-on-1 elimination match. on the July 29 episode of SmackDown, Suzuki competed in a 8 man elimination match for the vacant US championship which was won by Booker T. On the August 26 episode of SmackDown, Suzuki defeated Rob Van Dam. On the September 2 episode of SmackDown, Suzuki, Duprée and Booker T lost to John Cena, Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam.
On the September 9 episode of SmackDown! Suzuki and René Duprée won the Tag Team Championship, defeating Billy Kidman and Paul London. Beginning with their title reign, Suzuki adopted a comedic pro-American gimmick that saw him poorly sing popular songs. At No Mercy (2004), Suzuki and Duprée defeated Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam to retain the titles. On the October 7 episode of SmackDown! Suzuki lost to Rey Mysterio. On the October 21 episode of SmackDown! Suzuki, Duprée and John "Bradshaw" Layfield lost to Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio. On the November 18 episode of SmackDown! Suzuki and Dupree lost to Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam. On the November 25 episode of SmackDown! Suzuki lost to Rob Van Dam by disqualification. On the December 2 episode of SmackDown! Suzuki, Dupree and Hiroko lost to Rob Van Dam, Rey Mysterio and Torrie Wilson.
Suzuki and Duprée later lost the title to Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio on the December 9 airing of SmackDown!. Van Dam and Mysterio retained the title in a rematch at Armageddon. In singles action he briefly feuded with John Cena for the United States Championship, at one point challenging him to a battle rap on the January 6, 2005 episode of SmackDown!. Ultimately, Suzuki was unsuccessful in defeating Cena for the title.at Royal Rumble (2005), Suzuki competed in the royal rumble match where he was eliminated by Rey Mysterio. on the February 10 episode of SmackDown!, Suzuki lost to Eddie Guerrero. on the February 19 episode of Velocity, Suzuki lost to Hardcore Holly. on the Sunday Night Heat before No Way Out (2005), Suzuki and Duprée lost to Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly. on February 26 episode of WWE Velocity, Suzuki lost to Booker T in his final televised match.
In March/April He was injured with a collapsed lung and returned to Ohio Valley Wrestling immediately after his recovery, where he continued his training until he was ready to return to the main roster. Suzuki and Hiroko were traded to the Raw brand on June 30, 2005 at the end of the Draft Lottery. On July 6, 2005, both Suzuki and Hiroko were released from the company without ever making their debuts on the brand.
Hustle and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2005–2006)Edit
After leaving WWE, Suzuki returned to Japan, where he began performing for Hustle and wrestled in a number of humorous matches against the likes of Liosazer and Razor Ramon HG. In addition to Hustle, Suzuki also began performing for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) alongside fellow WWE alumnus Mark Jindrak, who began performing as Marco Corleone. Together, they were put into a feud with Shocker and Universo 2000, which led to Suzuki and Corleone losing a hair vs. hair match on June 12 and thus being forced to have their heads shaved. Following this, Suzuki was used sparingly before eventually leaving CMLL.
AAA (2007–2010, 2015)Edit
On March 13, Suzuki was seen on AAA after jumping from the rival CMLL. He is a part of the Legion Extranjera with Konnan as the ring leader. On July 7, Suzuki lost his hair in the main event of AAA's Triplemanía XV. Sean Waltman was also in the match with his fiancee, Alicia Webb. Suzuki has been an active member of Konnan's Legion Extranjera since his debut and he had an opportunity for the AAA Mega Championship against Cibernético. He has teamed up with the returning Electroshock who is also a member of the Legion Extranjera. They have feuded with La Parka and Octagón. As of Triplemania XVI he has received a mini who accompanied him to the ring for a six-man tag match teaming with Electroshock and Bobby Lashley to take on Chessman, La Parka, and the returning Silver King. Suzuki's team won in the end. Suzuki was part of the 2009 Rey de Reyes, losing to La Parka on March 15.
After Triplemania XVII, Konnan's Legion Extranjera lost control of AAA; Konnan was suspended from Mexican wrestling for an indefinite time. At this time Legion Extranjera was dissolved leaving only Electroshock, Chessman, and Suzuki. Suzuki made an alliance with El Oriental and they formed their own team with Sugi San getting victories in their debut. They would lose to the Psycho Circus at Verano de Escandalo. In December 2009, Suzuki re-joined La Legión Extranjera before leaving the promotion in mid-2010.
Suzuki returned to AAA on May 24, 2015, when he, Masamune and Tiger Mask III formed a trio for the Lucha Libre World Cup. They were defeated in the first round of the tournament by Team MexLeyendas (Blue Demon Jr., Dr. Wagner Jr. and El Solar).
Dragon Gate (2007)Edit
On November 7, 2007, Suzuki made his debut in Dragon Gate as the surprise member of the Muscle Outlaw'z unit. He came out to Anthony W. Mori's entrance theme to trick the Typhoon unit into believing one of their own betrayed them. Suzuki competed in a six-man tag team match with new teammates Genki Horiguchi and Yasushi Kanda against Cima, Dragon Kid, and Ryo Saito that resulted in a disqualification loss for his team after assaulting the referee. Afterward, he and the rest of the MO'z assaulted Dragon Kid and removed the ring ropes to be used against him. This set up a match between Suzuki and Dragon Kid at the big November 25 show in Osaka. He faced on November 18 Kenichiro Arai in Fukuoka in his first match for the promotion.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (2010–present)Edit
On July 25, 2010, Suzuki, disguised under a La Parka mask, made his debut for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), helping the Voodoo Murders put Keiji Mutoh through a table. Afterwards, Suzuki unmasked himself, adopted the ring name Kenso and joined the heel group, which also included his former tag team partner René Duprée. On November 20, 2010, Kenso entered the World's Strongest Tag Determination League, teaming with fellow Voodoo Murders member Kono. After winning six out of their eight round robin stage matches, Kenso and Kono finished first in the group and on December 7 defeated Ryota Hama and Suwama in the finals to win the 2010 World's Strongest Tag Determination League. Kenso and Kono received their shot at the World Tag Team Championship on January 3, 2011, but were defeated by the defending champions, Akebono and Taiyō Kea. Shortly afterwards Kenso left the Voodoo Murders, turning face and on February 13, 2011, defeated Kono and Akebono in a three-way match to become the number one contender to the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, held by Suwama. On March 21 Kenso failed in his challenge for the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. On June 19, Kenso and The Great Muta defeated Akebono and Ryota Hama to win the vacant World Tag Team Championship. After losing the title to Dark Cuervo and Dark Ozz on October 23, Muta turned on Kenso. The turn was part of a storyline, where other AJPW wrestlers did not take Kenso seriously and refused to team with him as part of his Kenso Kakumei ("Kenso Revolution") stable. After failed attempts to form new partnerships with Kaz Hayashi and Great Sasuke, Kenso announced on November 18, 2013, that he had decided to join Go Shiozaki's new Xceed stable. However, in the two's first match together three days later, Kenso turned on Shiozaki and announced he was forming a new heel stable named Dark Kingdom (DK) with foreigners Bambi Killer and D'Lo Brown. On April 23, 2014, Kenso introduced AJPW outsiders Bear Fukuda, Kengo Mashimo, Kenichiro Arai, Mitsuya Nagai and Takeshi Minamino as the newest members of DK, proclaiming this the "real beginning" of the stable. On December 14, Kenso won his first singles title in AJPW, when he defeated Kotaro Suzuki for the Gaora TV Championship. He lost the title to Sushi in his fourth defense on June 4, 2015. On July 31, it was announced that Kenso would begin freelancing following the expiration of his AJPW contract. He would, however, continue working for AJPW as a freelancer.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Dramatic Dream Team
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Tokyo Sports
- VKF Battle Entertainment
- VKF Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Entertainment
Luchas de apuestas recordEdit
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|Shocker and Universo 2000 (hair)||Marco Corleone and Kenzo Suzuki (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico||Sin Piedad||December 15, 2006|||
|Cibernético (hair)||Kenzo Suzuki (hair)||Mexico City, Mexico State||Triplemanía XV||July 15, 2007||[Note 1]|
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