Tenzan as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion in March 2015
March 23, 1971 |
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Hiroyoshi Tenzan
|Billed height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Billed weight||115 kg (254 lb)|
|Debut||January 11, 1991|
Hiroyoshi Yamamoto (山本 広吉 Yamamoto Hiroyoshi?, born March 23, 1971) is a Japanese professional wrestler who currently works for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and is better known by his ring name Hiroyoshi Tenzan (天山 広吉 Tenzan Hiroyoshi?). With Satoshi Kojima, in 2008, they won the World's Strongest Tag Determination League in All Japan Pro Wrestling and the G1 Tag League in NJPW becoming in the only tag team which has done it. He is a four-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion and a record 11-time IWGP Tag Team Champion. He is also a former National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Champion.
Professional wrestling career
Early years (1991–1994)
Hiroyoshi Yamamoto first worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He debuted in January 1991, wrestling Osamu Matsuda. In 1993, after winning the Young Lions Cup, NJPW sent Yamamoto on a European excursion; one of his stops was in the Catch Wrestling Association in Germany, where in July 1993, he defeated Lance Storm to become the first CWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion. A few weeks later, he lost the title to Storm. Three months later, he would regain and lose the title back to Storm.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1995–present)
After spending nearly two years in Europe, Yamamoto would finally make his return to NJPW on January 4, 1995, at the Tokyo Dome, this time under a new name, Hiroyoshi Tenzan. A month later, he received his very first shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a losing effort against Shinya Hashimoto. Tenzan then began teaming with Masahiro Chono as Team Wolf. In June 1995, Tenzan and Chono won the IWGP Tag Team Championship in a tournament, which they held for a month until the title was vacated due to Chono missing a match when his father died.
Tenzan had a brief tenure in World Championship Wrestling, most notably being defeated by "Macho Man" Randy Savage at Starrcade '95: World Cup of Wrestling; Tenzan would get a rematch with Savage at NJPW's Battle Formation show on April 29, 1996, and again he lost.
In July 1996, Tenzan and Chono won the IWGP Tag Team Title again, this time beating Kazuo Yamazaki and Takashi Iizuka. They held the titles for over 5 months before losing to Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura in January 1997. A few weeks later, Tenzan became a founding member of NWO Japan, as Chono joined the nWo in December 1996. For the rest of 1997, Tenzan and the rest of nWo Japan continued the nWo tradition of attacking their various enemies.
Tenzan got his third chance for the IWGP Tag Team Titles in July 1998, after Chono's former tag-team partner Keiji Mutoh was injured. Tenzan and Chono went on to win the tournament and the belts. A month later, they were defeated by Genichiro Tenryu and Shiro Koshinaka. Tenzan continued to feud with Tenryu and Koshinaka, eventually getting a new partner in Satoshi Kojima, thanks to Mutoh's leadership in nWo Japan. The two teams fought at the Tokyo Dome in January 1999, with Tenzan and Kojima coming through, defeating Koshinaka and Tenryu to get the IWGP Tag-Team belts. A few months later, Koshinaka retook the titles from Tenzan and Kojima, with his partner Kensuke Sasaki. For the next year, Tenzan continued to wrestle in NJPW, feuding with Koshinaka, Masahiro Chono, Manabu Nakanishi, and others. He defeated Wild Pegasus at the Tokyo Dome in January 2000.
In July 2000, Tenzan, still teamed with Kojima, got the IWGP Tag Team Titles for the 5th time, winning over Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata. Tenzan and Kojima feuded with Nakanishi and Nagata for the next few months, with Tenzan and Kojima coming out on top.
On February 24, 2002 Tenzan made a brief appearance at WWA The Revolution pay-per-view from Las Vegas, Nevada where he choked Disco Inferno. Scott Steiner then attacked Disco in the ring. Tenzan could be seen sitting right behind the announcer's table when Disco joined commentary. He can be seen leaving the arena following Steiner's attack on Disco.
Tenzan also won the IWGP Tag Team Titles in March 2002 with Masahiro Chono (their title reign lasting over one year; it also tied the team record for most championships won with Fujinami & Kimura), and again in December 2003 with Osamu Nishimura.
After he and Chono lost the IWGP Tag Team titles to Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie, Tenzan went on a brief excursion to Canada in the summer of 2003, training with Tokyo Joe Daigo. When he returned for the G1 Climax, he transformed his wrestling style from a buffalo to an anaconda. The excursion worked, as he won his first G1 Climax, defeating NOAH's Jun Akiyama in the finals.
In November 2003, Tenzan finally won the IWGP Heavyweight Title from Yoshihiro Takayama. He proceeded to win it three other times (in February 2004 from Genichiro Tenryu, December 2004 from Kensuke Sasaki and May 2005 from Satoshi Kojima).
He lost the championship to Kojima in a cross-promotional champion vs. champion match. Kojima held the AJPW Triple Crown Championship. The match ended when Tenzan was unable to get up, Kojima thus winning by a knock out. Tenzan got heat with the management of NJPW due to this, because he gave NJPW's most prestigious championship's control to the rival company, AJPW. This supports the speculation that the match didn't end the way it was booked to, and that Tenzan was really unable to get up and finish the match. Tenzan defeated Kojima in a rematch three months later, bringing the championship back to NJPW. He lost the championship to Kazuyuki Fujita on July 18, 2005.
Tenzan competed in the 2005 G1 Tournament, and almost made it to the semi-finals. In October 2005, Tenzan and Chono reunited to win the IWGP Tag Team Title for a fifth time from Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura.
On August 13, 2006 Tenzan defeated longtime rival Satoshi Kojima in the final of the 2006 G1 Climax, becoming only the second wrestler to go undefeated in a round robin style G-1. This would be his third G1 title.
After severing ties with his old mentor Masahiro Chono, Tenzan founded the heel unit GBH ("Great Bash Heel", affectionately referred to by fans as "Great Big Head"); it is composed of Tenzan, Togi Makabe, Shiro Koshinaka, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii and Tomoaki Honma. Recently, though, he has severed ties with GBH (Caused by Makabe first cutting ties with him, and the remaining members following him) and was feuding with GBH until October.
Since returning to New Japan in May 2009, he has split his time between reforming Tencozy and teaming with old GBH teammates Makabe and Honma against CHAOS. In August 2009 Tenzan was sidelined with an injury.
Fifteen months later on November 18, 2010, Tenzan returned to the ring, defeating Antonio Honda at New Japan's NEVER.4 event. On December 11 Tenzan wrestled his first main show for New Japan since his return, defeating Gedo in Osaka. After the match Tenzan was attacked by Takashi Iizuka, restarting the feud between the two. On January 4, 2011, at Wrestle Kingdom V in Tokyo Dome, Tenzan defeated Iizuka in a Deep Sleep to Lose match, a match that could only be won by choking the opponent unconscious. In August, Tenzan took part in the 2011 G1 Climax, where he managed to win four out of his nine matches, finishing in the middle of his block. Later in the year, Tenzan and Kojima reformed their Tencozy tag team, defeating CHAOS members Hideo Saito and Takashi Iizuka in their return match on December 4. On January 4, 2012, at Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome, Tenzan and Kojima defeated Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson) to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship for the third time together, Tenzan's ninth time individually. On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2012, Tenzan and Kojima lost the title to Takashi Iizuka and Toru Yano in their third defense. On July 22, Tenzan and Kojima defeated Iizuka and Yano in a decision match to regain the newly vacated title. On October 8 at King of Pro-Wrestling, Tenzan and Kojima lost the title to K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Lance Archer). From November 20 to December 1, Tencozy took part in the round-robin portion of the 2012 World Tag League. The team finished with a record of four wins and two losses, winning their block and advancing to the semifinals of the tournament. On December 2, Tencozy was eliminated from the tournament in their semifinal match by Sword & Guns (Hirooki Goto and Karl Anderson). On May 3, 2013, Tencozy regained the IWGP Tag Team Championship from K.E.S. in a four-way match, which also included Takashi Iizuka and Toru Yano, and Manabu Nakanishi and Strong Man, starting Tenzan's eleventh reign as champion.
During early August, Tenzan competed in the G1 Climax, but midway through the tournament it was announced that, due to a fractured rib, he was pulled from the competition. Tenzan returned to the ring on October 14 at King of Pro-Wrestling, ironically just as Kojima was sidelined with an injury of his own, teaming with Takaaki Watanabe in a tag team match, where they were defeated by K.E.S. Kojima returned to the ring on November 9 at Power Struggle, where he and Tenzan lost the IWGP Tag Team Championship back to K.E.S. in a three-way match, which also included The IronGodz (Jax Dane and Rob Conway). In December, Tencozy made it to the finals of the 2013 World Tag League, defeating K.E.S. in the semifinals, before losing to Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. On April 6, 2014, at Invasion Attack 2014, Tencozy defeated The IronGodz to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship. After four successful title defenses, they lost the title to K.E.S. on October 13 at King of Pro-Wrestling. The following month, Tencozy took part in the 2014 World Tag League, where they finished with a record of four wins and three losses, failing to advance to the finals.
On February 14, 2015, at The New Beginning in Sendai, Tenzan defeated Rob Conway to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He made successful title defenses against Kojima on March 21 and Big Daddy Yum-Yum on April 29. In the 2015 G1 Climax, Tenzan finished second to last in his block with a record of three wins and six losses. On August 29, Tenzan lost the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to Jax Dane in San Antonio, Texas.
Tenzan appeared in the video for "Yonaoshi Good Vibration" by Japanese metal band Sex Machineguns.
He has appeared on the Japanese television show Sasuke.
- Finishing moves
- Anaconda Cross (Anaconda vice / Straight jacket choke combination) – Innovated
- Anaconda Vice – Innovated
- Anaconda Max (Anaconda vice / Cobra clutch combination) – Innovated; 2014–present
- Diving headbutt
- Original TTD – Original Tenzan Tombstone Driver (Sitout cradle reverse piledriver)
- TTD – Tenzan Tombstone Driver (Kneeling cradle reverse piledriver)
- Signature moves
- Anaconda Buster (Anaconda vice sitout side slam) – Innovated
- Belly-to-back suplex
- Buffalo Sleeper (Arm-hook sleeper hold) – Innovated
- Calf Branding (Diving knee drop bulldog)
- Mongolian chop
- Mountain Bomb – Innovated
- Tenzan Trip (Rope-hung whiplash) – 2015; parodied from Rob Conway
- With Masahiro Chono
- With Satoshi Kojima
- Ten-Cozy Driver (Cozy Crush Dynamite (Kojima) / Tenzan Tombstone Driver (Tenzan) combination)
- Ten-Koji Cutter (Flapjack (Tenzan) / Koji Cutter (Kojima) combination)
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- National Wrestling Alliance
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
- IWGP Tag Team Championship (11 times) – with Masahiro Chono (5), Satoshi Kojima (5), and Osamu Nishimura (1)
- G1 Climax (2003, 2004, 2006)
- G1 Tag League (2001, 2008) – with Satoshi Kojima
- G1 Tag League (2003) – with Osamu Nishimura
- Super Grade Tag League (1995) – with Masahiro Chono
- Young Lion Cup (1993)
- 10,000,000 Yin Tag Tournament (2004) – with Shinsuke Nakamura
- MVP Award (2003, 2004)
- Singles Best Bout (2003) vs. Jun Akiyama on August 17
- Singles Best Bout (2004) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi on August 15
- Tag Team Best Bout (2000) with Satoshi Kojima vs. Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata on October 9
- Tag Team Best Bout (2002) with Masahiro Chono vs. Manabu Nakanishi and Osamu Nishimura on June 5
- Tag Team Best Bout (2004) with Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Katsuyori Shibata and Masahiro Chono on October 24
- Yuke's Cup Tag Tournament (2008) – with Shinjiro Otani
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Tokyo Sports
- "天山 広吉". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- "Pro Wrestling llustrated 500 - 2004 :11 Hiroyoshi Tenzan". Pro Wrestling Illustrated (Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, USA: Sports and Entertainment publications LLC). October 2004. p. 22. December 2004.
- "Profile at Puroresu Central". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- "Power Slam". Looking at: NJPW at the Dome (SW Publishing LTD). pp. 22–23. 132.
- "(Results) NEVER.4, 11/18/10; Hiroyoshi Tenzan returns!". Strong Style Spirit. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- "(Results) New Japan, 12/11/10 & Liger wins another title in USA". Strong Style Spirit. 2010-12-11. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- レッスルキングダムⅤ ｉｎ 東京ドーム. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- Gerweck, Steve (2011-01-04). "1/4 TNA-NJPW Results: Tokyo, Japan". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
- "ブシロード Presents G1 Climax XXI ～The Invincible Fighter～". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- "New Japan Alive 2011". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-12-04.
- "NJPW 40th anniversary Tour. レッスルキングダムⅥ in 東京ドーム". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-01-04.
- "NJPW 40th anniversary レスリングどんたく 2012". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2012-05-03.
- "NJPW 40th anniversary Tour Kizuna Road". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "NJPW 40ｔｈ anniversary King of Pro-Wrestling". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-10-08.
- "NJPW 40ｔｈ anniversary Tour World Tag League 2012". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "NJPW 40ｔｈ anniversary Tour World Tag League 2012". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "NJPW 40ｔｈ anniversary Tour World Tag League 2012". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- レスリングどんたく 2013. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- "【お知らせ】後藤洋央紀選手、天山広吉選手が怪我のため『G1』を欠場". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "King of Pro-Wrestling". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Power Struggle". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-11-09.
- "World Tag League 2013". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Invasion Attack 2014". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- "King of Pro-Wrestling". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-10-13.
- "『World Tag League 2014』出場チーム＆公式戦が決定！ 棚橋はヨシタツとタッグ結成！ 桜庭、AJ、柴田、ROH、NWAも参戦!". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2014-11-11. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "World Tag League 2014". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-12-05.
- "The New Beginning in Sendai". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-02-14.
- "Road to Invasion Attack 2015". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- "レスリング火の国". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "バディファイトPresents G1 Climax 25". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-08-14.
- "NWA news: New NWA World Hvt. champion determined in Texas". Pro Wrestling Torch. 2015-08-29. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
- "バディファイトPresents G1 Climax 24". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-07-25.
- "The New Beginning in Sendai". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 2015-03-22.
- "天コジ再共闘 天山ＮＷＡ初防衛で「地固まる」". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). 2015-03-22. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
- "New Japan Pro Wrestling - "Tsuyoku-Are ~ Toukon Series 2004"" (in German). PuroLove.com. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "TenKoji's new move, Kanemoto promises greatness, WL eve, more". Strong Style Spirit. 2006-12-22. Archived from the original on 2006-12-28. Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "Sonny Onoo profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-10.
- "【G125】今年の『G1 Climax 25』出場メンバーが決定!! AJ、飯伏、本間も参戦! ROHからマイケル・エルガンがエントリー!". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 2015-06-07. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Japan: New Japan G-1 (Grade-1) Climax Tag Tournament Champions". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 374. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Japan: New Japan Young Lions Cup Tournament Champions". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 375. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "2003 New Japan Awards". Strong Style Spirit. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "2004 New Japan Awards". Strong Style Spirit. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "2000 New Japan Awards". Strong Style Spirit. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "2002 New Japan Awards". Strong Style Spirit. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- New Japan Pro Wrestling profile
- Profile at puroresufan.com
- Profile at The Accelerator's Wrestling Rollercoaster