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Kenzo Suzuki
Suzuki in January 2005
Born (1974-07-25) July 25, 1974 (age 49)[1][2]
Hekinan, Aichi, Japan[1][3]
Spouse(s)Hiroko Suzuki (m. 2003)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Kenso[3]
Kenzo Suzuki[3]
Billed height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[1][3]
Billed weight118 kg (260 lb)[1][3]
Billed fromThe Land of the Rising Sun
Tokyo, Japan
Trained byKensuke Sasaki[3]
Seiji Sakaguchi[3]
DebutJanuary 4, 2000[1][3]

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.

Early career

Suzuki was a rugby union player, playing at the international level for Japan prior to his professional debut as a wrestler in January 2000.[4]

Professional wrestling career

Early career (2000–2003)

Suzuki debuted on January 4, 2000, at New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW)'s Wrestling World 2000 event at the Tokyo Dome, losing to Manabu Nakanishi.[3] 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,[5] 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.[6][7] 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)

In 2004, Suzuki signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was assigned to their developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in February.[8] Originally, Suzuki was scheduled to debut on the Raw brand in May under the ring name Hirohito.[9] He was to be presented as the grandson of Emperor Michi Hirohito, who ruled Japan during World War II, and a Japanese patriot who held anti-American views who wanted revenge on America for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, the gimmick was dropped after the first vignette aired on the April 19, 2004 edition of Monday Night Raw after Suzuki and his wife, Hiroko, reportedly told Vince McMahon directly that it would be extremely offensive in Japan and cause big problems for the company doing future business there. Suzuki also told Bruce Prichard that Emperor Hirohito was not as beloved in Japan as they thought.[10] Suzuki and Hiroko were instead moved to the SmackDown! brand. Suzuki used his given name and Hiroko was used as his valet.[11] Together, they made their television debut on the June 10 episode of SmackDown!, where Suzuki defeated Scotty 2 Hotty.[12] 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, René Duprée, and Booker T defeated John Cena in a 3-on-1 elimination match. on the July 29 episode of SmackDown!, Suzuki competed in an 8-man elimination match for the vacant United States Championship, which was won by Booker T. On the September 2 episode of SmackDown!, Suzuki, Duprée and Booker T lost to Cena, Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio.

On the September 9 episode of SmackDown!, Suzuki and Duprée defeated Paul London and Billy Kidman to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. During the title reign, Suzuki adopted a comedic pro-American gimmick that saw him poorly sing popular songs.[13][14] At No Mercy, Suzuki and Duprée successfully defended their titles against Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio. After continued weeks of feuding, Suzuki and Duprée lost the titles to Van Dam and Mysterio on the December 9 episode of SmackDown!. They failed to regain the titles in a rematch at Armageddon.[15]

Suzuki entered a feud with John Cena over the United States Championship. On the January 6, 2005, episode of SmackDown!, Suzuki challenged United States Champion John Cena to a battle rap.[16] He then challenged Cena for the championship on the January 13 and January 27 episodes of SmackDown!, but was unsuccessful in both attempts.[17]

Suzuki entered the Royal Rumble match as the sixth entrant, but was eliminated by Rey Mysterio. His final WWE match came on the February 26 episode of Velocity where he lost to Booker T. In the following months, Suzuki suffered a collapsed lung. He returned to Ohio Valley Wrestling to continue his recovery. Suzuki and Hiroko were traded to Raw during the 2005 Draft Lottery. However, the pair were released from their contracts on July 6, 2005, before ever making an appearance on the brand.[18]

Hustle and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2005–2006)

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)

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).[19]

Dragon Gate (2007)

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)

Kenso in April 2016

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.[20] 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.[21] After losing the title to Dark Cuervo and Dark Ozz on October 23, Muta turned on Kenso.[22] 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.[1] After failed attempts to form new partnerships with Kaz Hayashi and Great Sasuke,[1] Kenso announced on November 18, 2013, that he had decided to join Go Shiozaki's new Xceed stable.[23] 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.[24][25] 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.[26] On December 14, Kenso won his first singles title in AJPW, when he defeated Kotaro Suzuki for the Gaora TV Championship.[27] He lost the title to Sushi in his fourth defense on June 4, 2015.[28] 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.[29]

Personal life

Suzuki married Hiroko Suzuki in 2003,[11] who acted as his valet during their time in WWE.

Championships and accomplishments

  • PWI ranked him #392 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2010[36]
  • VKF Championship (1 time)[38]

Luchas de apuestas record

See also: Luchas de Apuestas

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 [40]
Cibernético (hair) Kenzo Suzuki (hair) Mexico City, Mexico State Triplemanía XV July 15, 2007 [41][Note 1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Kenso". All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  2. ^ "Kenzo Suzuki". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Puroresu Spirit profile". December 16, 2010.
  4. ^ Famous Ruggers by Wes Clark and others, retrieved 19th August, 2009
  5. ^ a b "NJPW event results in 2002".
  6. ^ Deceased Superstars – Giant Ochiai
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 1, 2005. Retrieved February 9, 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Roe, Mike. "Daydream Believer: WWE's New Wave Of Characters". PWTorch. Retrieved April 23, 2004.
  9. ^ "Lance goes Stormin' out By TJ MADIGAN – Calgary Sun". Archived from the original on September 25, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ "Hirohito: The Offensive WWE Gimmick That Thankfully Never Made It To TV".
  11. ^ a b "Constructive Criticism: Where In The World Has Rikishi Been Lately?".
  12. ^ "Smackdown Reax: First batch of reaction to final hype for Great American Bash PPV".
  13. ^ "KELLER'S SMACKDOWN REPORT 10/14: Ongoing "virtual time" analylsis of broadcast".
  14. ^ "2/19 WWE Velocity review: Giebink's detailed match analysis and grades".
  15. ^ "KELLER'S WWE ARMAGEDDON PPV REPORT 5 YRS. AGO (12–12–04): JBL vs. Eddie vs. Taker vs. Booker T, John Cena vs. Jesus Aguilera".
  16. ^ "Smackdown Rebeak for January 6, 2005". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  17. ^ "1/9 WWE Smackdown in Orlando, Fla: Undertaker vs. Angle in a casket match, Show vs. JBL".
  18. ^ "WWE releases several Superstars". World Wrestling Entertainment. July 8, 2005. Archived from the original on April 20, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  19. ^ Boutwell, Josh (May 24, 2015). "AAA Lucha Libre World Cup Results – 5/24/15 (Live results)". Wrestleview. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  20. ^ "AJPW Excite Series 2011". Purolove. Archived from the original on February 26, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  21. ^ "All Japan, DDT, ZERO1 & Osaka Pro Results for June 19th, 2011". Archived from the original on March 25, 2012.
  22. ^ "『プロレスLove in 両国 vol.13』". All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). October 23, 2011. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  23. ^ "潮﨑選手が新ユニット「Xceed」結成を宣言!!". All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). November 18, 2013. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  24. ^ "Xcced初陣でKensoがいきなり潮崎を裏切り、全日本に反旗!前哨戦で三冠王者と世界ジュニア王者が揃って挑戦者に完敗!". Battle News (in Japanese). November 22, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  25. ^ "Kensoの"王道破壊革命"進行中". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). December 6, 2013. Archived from the original on December 8, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  26. ^ "【全日本プロレス】チャンピオン・カーニバル、諏訪魔vsカシン、潮崎vsゼウスほか". Battle News (in Japanese). April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  27. ^ a b 全日本12.14後楽園大会 和田京平レフェリー40周年&還暦記念大会、全試合を京平レフェリーがプロデュース. Battle News (in Japanese). December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  28. ^ 【6.4】 2015ダイナマイト・シリーズ 開幕戦・後楽園大会. All Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). June 4, 2015. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  29. ^ Kensoが8月1日よりフリーに!今後も全日本プロレスには参戦予定. Battle News (in Japanese). July 31, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  30. ^ "AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship history".
  31. ^ "AJPW tournament winners".
  32. ^ "DDT ProWrestling" 新春お年玉スペシャル! 全席2000円興行!! 2016. Dramatic Dream Team (in Japanese). Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  33. ^ "友情、努力、勝利 in Nagoya 2015~秋~". Dramatic Dream Team (in Japanese). Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  34. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "DDT Ganbare Pro This Is My Way To Live 2017". Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  35. ^ "NJPW event results in 2000".
  36. ^ ""PWI 500": 301–400". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. July 27, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  37. ^ "Suzuki's awards in the 2000s".
  38. ^ "矢郷を下してVKF王者となったKensoにGentaroが「復帰したら闘わせて」望月と組んだ木村が朱里と危険な初遭遇!". Battle News (in Japanese). August 28, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  39. ^ "Kenzo Suzuki and Rene Dupree's first Tag Team Championship reign". Archived from the original on August 12, 2013.
  40. ^ "December 2006 PPV "Sin Piedad"". Pro Wrestling History. December 15, 2006. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  41. ^ "TripleMania XV". July 15, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2009.