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Yuji Okabayashi (岡林 裕二, Okabayashi Yūji, born October 31, 1982)[1] is a Japanese professional wrestler, currently signed to Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW) in the Strong BJ division. He has been working in 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.

Yuji Okabayashi
Yuji Okabayashi.JPG
Okabayashi in January 2011
Born (1982-10-31) October 31, 1982 (age 36)[1]
Nankoku, Kōchi[1][2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Gregory Okabayashi[3]
Shining Tiger Big Buddy[4]
Yuji Okabayashi
Billed height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)[1][2]
Billed weight123 kg (271 lb)[1]
Trained byBig Japan Pro Wrestling dojo[4]
DebutJune 27, 2008[1][2]

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 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] They lost the title to Abdullah Kobayashi and Ryuji Ito in their fifth defense on July 17.[44][45] On August 27, Okabayashi and Sekimoto defeated Kai and Naoya Nomura to win the vacant AJPW World Tag Team Championship for the second time.[46][47] They relinquished the title on October 16 after Okabayashi suffered a shoulder injury.[48][49] It was later announced that Okabayashi would be undergoing surgery the following December, which would sideline him for up to a year.[50]

Personal lifeEdit

Okabayashi married his partner of two years, Mika Mukai, in July 2012.[51]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

 
Okabayashi as the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Champion in August 2015

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k 岡林 裕二. Big Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g 岡林 裕二. Wrestle-1 (in Japanese). Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  3. ^ Byers, Ryan (January 12, 2010). "Into the Indies 01.12.10: Romeo vs. Juliet". 411Mania. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Yuji Okabayashi". Puroresu Central. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  5. ^ ケガ人続出の大日本が門戸開放を宣言. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). January 26, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Global Gauntlet - Night 1". Chikara. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  7. ^ "The Global Gauntlet - Night 2". Chikara. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c "BJW Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  9. ^ 1月9日試合結果. Osaka Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). January 9, 2010. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. 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. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  11. ^ Higham, Joshua (April 26, 2010). "Chikara King of Trios finale live report from Philadelphia". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c 東京スポーツ プロレス大賞. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  13. ^ アジアタッグ王座. All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "BJW". Cagematch. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  15. ^ 実績とチームとしての完成度の高さを評価. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). December 15, 2011. 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". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. March 26, 2012. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
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  23. ^ 大日本 7.20両国大会 関本vs.岡林のストロングBJ戦、アブ小vs.伊東のデスマッチヘビー級戦、ツインタワーズvs.ヤンキー二丁拳銃のタッグ王座戦. Battle News (in Japanese). July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
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  27. ^ a b 「最侠タッグリーグ2015優勝決定戦」後楽園ホール大会. Big Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). October 29, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  28. ^ 大日本「最侠タッグ」優勝!岡林 涙の“2冠王”. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). October 30, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  29. ^ 後楽園ホール大会. Big Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). December 30, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  30. ^ a b "「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 Outbreak」". Wrestle-1 (in Japanese). June 8, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  31. ^ 6・8 Wrestle-1後楽園ホール大会 【W-1王座】Kaivs芦野 【W-1タッグ】火野&Kazumavs中之上&岡林 【UWA6人タッグ】Tajiri&カズ&稔vs河野&Yasshi&村瀬 【クルーザーディビジョン】鼓太郎vsAkira. Battle News (in Japanese). June 9, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  32. ^ a b 世界タッグ奪取 関本&岡林組が次期挑戦者に小鹿を指名. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). June 16, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  33. ^ 関本大介、岡林裕二組が初のタッグ王者に 全日本. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). June 16, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  34. ^ Takagi, Hiromi (July 24, 2016). 星野が伊東破り涙のデスマッチ王座戴冠 岡林が新鋭・神谷に敗れ王座転落. Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  35. ^ <大日本>神谷が大金星!岡林下し初戴冠. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). July 25, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  36. ^ "「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 Symbol」". Wrestle-1 (in Japanese). July 29, 2016. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  37. ^ 征矢がW-1タッグ王座奪取. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
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  39. ^ ゼウス組が関本組から世界タッグ王座奪還. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  40. ^ Rose, Bryan (November 27, 2016). "AJPW Sumo Hall results: Miyahara vs. Suwama for the Triple Crown". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
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  42. ^ 「新春」後楽園ホール大会. Big Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). January 2, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
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  44. ^ 「両極譚~Ryogokutan~2017」. Big Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). July 17, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  45. ^ 【大日本】小林&伊東組 BJWタッグ王座奪取も早くも仲間割れ?. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
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  49. ^ 【全日】岡林負傷で世界タッグ王座返上 秋山&大森は関本&伊東と決定戦. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). October 16, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
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  51. ^ 結婚!大日・岡林「子供3人欲しい」. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). September 17, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
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External linksEdit