Kazuhiro "Kaz" Hayashi (林 和広, Hayashi Kazuhiro, born May 18, 1973) is a Japanese professional wrestler. He is best known for his work in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW),[1] where he was also the head booker for the company's junior division. Since leaving AJPW in 2013, Hayashi has worked for Wrestle-1, where he also works as a trainer.[3] In April 2017, Hayashi took over as the new president of Wrestle-1, until the promotion closed in April 2020.

Career[edit | edit source]

Early career (1992–1997)[edit | edit source]

For much of his early career, Hayashi wrestled in Michinoku Pro under a mask, using the name Shiryu (Growing Dragon in Japanese). As Shiryu, he was part of the memorable rudo group, Kaientai Deluxe, which waged war with Michinoku Pro's Sekigun for many years, producing some classic matches. In June, 1997, he left for Mexico and Promo Azteca, before joining WCW in the United States in October of that year.

World Championship Wrestling (1997–2001)[edit | edit source]

After unmasking, Hayashi joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1998. Early on, he was relegated to a jobber and comedy character. He would be taken under the management of Sonny Onoo and even come to inherit Glacier's ceremonial armor and light show for a time. In late 1999, Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara began booking WCW programs and Hayashi was paired with La Parka. During interviews, the two would speak in their native languages which would be humorously dubbed over by charismatic English speakers, calling him names such as "The Kaz Master" and "Kazanova". This ended shortly when La Parka became upset and tossed the microphone down as Ferrera was speaking.

In mid 2000, Hayashi formed the stable The Jung Dragons along with Jamie-San and Yang. Primarily feuding with 3 Count, the Jung Dragons consisted of high-flying cruiserweight talent and gained considerable popularity until the group's demise the following year. During this time, he became friends with Keiji Mutoh, who was with the promotion for six months as The Great Muta.

World Wrestling Federation (2001–2002)[edit | edit source]

Hayashi's contract was bought by World Wrestling Federation (WWF) when WCW folded in early 2001. He made his WWF debut during the Invasion storylineas a member of The Alliance, making only one appearance before heading back to Japan.

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2002–2013)[edit | edit source]

After returning to Japan, Hayashi eventually decided to join All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) due to his friendship with Keiji Mutoh and established himself as one of their top stars, winning the World Junior Heavyweight Championship and both the World Tag Team Championship and the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Satoshi Kojima. In 2006, Hayashi won the 2006 Junior Heavyweight Singles League Championship.

Now under the name Miguel Hayashi Jr., Hayashi, PEPE Michinoku, and El NOSAWA Mendoza formed a team during the AJPW Champion Carnival called Mexico Amigos. Nobutaka Araya joined the team after six-man Action between Mexico Amigos and Araya/Fuchi/Hirai at the Carnival's final show.

After multiple bouts against Minoru Suzuki, Nosawa offered Suzuki an invitation into Mexico Amigos, which he declined. This resulted in the group changing multiple assets. Their name was changed to Mexico Amigos Black, the previous worn Mexican Flag attire became Black and Gold attire, and Nobutaka Araya was kicked out of the group. The groups was in a heated rivalry with Mazada's Samurai New Japan group, Minoru Suzuki, and Voodoo Murders.

At AJPW's "Fan Appreciation Day" show, The Mexico Amigos teamed with Ray Suzuki and defeated Ryuji Hijikata, Kikutaro, T28 and Ryuji Yamaguchi. After the match, Ray Suzuki revealed himself as Minoru Suzuki and stated that starting next year he would throw his Amigos tights away and return to NOSAWA Rongai, then kidnapped him to start early training. This led to Pepe and Miguel stating they would return to Mexico, but Kaz and Taka would return come the new year. After one last "Viva Mexico", the Mexico Amigos disbanded.

On February 6, 2009, Hayashi defeated Naomichi Marufuji to win the World Junior Heavyweight Championship for a second time. During Hayashi's 23-month reign, he successfully defended the title a record–breaking seventeen times. He would lose the title to Minoru on January 2, 2011.[4]

In June 2013, Hayashi announced his resignation from All Japan in the aftermath of Nobuo Shiraishi taking over as the president and Keiji Mutoh leaving the promotion.[5] Hayashi's final match for the promotion took place on June 30 and saw him and his longtime tag team partner Shuji Kondo, who was also leaving All Japan, unsuccessfully challenge Burning (Atsushi Aoki and Kotaro Suzuki) for the All Asia Tag Team Championship.[6]

Wrestle-1 (2013–2020)[edit | edit source]

On July 10, 2013, Hayashi was announced as part of Keiji Mutoh's new Wrestle-1 promotion.[7][8][9] During the promotion's inaugural event on September 8, Hayashi teamed with Shuji Kondo in a tag team match, where they were defeated by the Big Japan Pro Wrestling team of Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi.[10] As part of a working relationship between Wrestle-1 and American promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), Hayashi and Kondo earned a shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championship by defeating Desperado (Kazma Sakamoto and Masayuki Kono) on February 15, 2014.[11] On March 2 at Kaisen: Outbreak, Hayashi and Kondo unsuccessfully challenged The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) for the TNA World Tag Team Championship in a three-way match, which also included The BroMans (Jessie Godderz and Robbie E), who went on to win the match and become the new champions.[12] On September 22, Hayashi entered the Wrestle-1 Championship tournament, but was defeated in his first round match by Kondo.[13] On October 12, Hayashi worked TNA's Bound for Glory event in Tokyo, unsuccessfully challenging Samoa Joe for the TNA X Division Championship in a three-way match, which also included Low Ki.[14] In November, Hayashi and Kondo took part in the First Tag League Greatest tournament, set to determine the inaugural Wrestle-1 Tag Team Champions, where they finished second in their block with a record of three wins and one loss, advancing to the semifinals.[15] On November 30, Hayashi and Kondo first defeated Kai and Ryota Hama in the semifinals and then Akira and Manabu Soya in the finals to win the tournament and become the inaugural Wrestle-1 Tag Team Champions.[16] After seven successful title defenses, they lost the title to Soya and Jun Kasai on July 12, 2015.[17] On October 9, Kondo broke off his partnership with Hayashi.[18] On January 31, 2016, Hayashi, Minoru Tanaka and Tajiri won the vacant UWA World Trios Championship.[19] They lost the title to Andy Wu, Daiki Inaba and Seiki Yoshioka in their fifth defense on July 29.[20] On September 18, Hayashi and Kotaro Suzuki won the vacant Wrestle-1 Tag Team Championship.[21]

On March 27, 2017, it was announced that Hayashi would become Wrestle-1's new president on April 1 with Shuji Kondo as his vice president.[22] On April 9 Hayashi, Shuji Kondo and Masayuki Kono defeated NEWERA (Daiki InabaKohei Fujimura and Yusuke Kodama) to win the UWA World Trios Championship. On April 16 Hayashi, Kondo and Kono lost the UWA World Trios Championship to NEWERA (Koji Doi, Kumagoro and Andy Wu). On May 6 Hayashi, Kondo and Manabu Soya defeated NEWERA (Koji Doi, Kumagoro and Andy Wu) for the UWA World Trios Championship. On June 4 They lost the titles to Jiro Kuroshio, Kumagoro and Jay Freddie. On August 11, 2017 Hayashi reformed Team 246 with Shuji Kondo and the two challenged Koji Doi and Kumagoro for the Wrestle-1 Tag Team Championship. Later Kondo announced that he would change the name to Team 246 presidents. They lost the titles back to Doi and Kumagoro on November 19.

On February 29, 2020, Hayashi announced that all activities of the promotion would be suspended indefinitely after April 1 with all of the contracted wrestlers being released on March 31. On March 15, Hayashi defeated Katsuhiko Nakajima to win the Wrestle-1 Championship to become the last champion in the title's history. Later that month, Hayashi suspended the promotion activities, ending his contract with the promotion.

Pro Wrestling Noah (2020)[edit | edit source]

On June 10, 2020 Hayashi appeared in Pro Wrestling Noah at Noah In The Spotlight show where he teamed and was presented by Nosawa Rongai and Kendo Kashin as the new member of Sugiura-gun where they defeated Full Throttle (Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara and Seiki Yoshioka). In December 2020 Hayashi anounnced his departure from Sugiura-gun and Noah to focus in newly founded promotion GLEAT.

In wrestling[edit | edit source]

  • Finishing moves
    • Final Cut[2] / Hayashi Cutter (Spinning headlock elbow drop,[23] sometimes from the second rope)[1]
    • Power Plant (Wrist-clutch Over-the-shoulder back-to-belly piledriver)[1][2]
    • WA4 (Over-the-shoulder back-to-belly piledriver, sometimes from the second rope)[1]
  • Signature moves
    • Backbreaker[24]
    • Corner sitout powerbomb
    • Corner slingshot splash
    • Crossface[1]
    • Crunch Loop (Reverse figure four leglock)[1]
    • Dragon suplex[1]
    • Dropkick[1][25]
    • Enzuigiri,[23] sometimes while springboarding[23][26]
    • Frog splash
    • Hurricanrana[1][23]
    • Kneeling belly to belly piledriver[1]
    • Senton bomb[1]
    • Shoot kick[24][25]
    • Somersault plancha[1]
    • Slingshot DDT
    • Springboard back elbow smash
    • Springboard bulldog[24]
    • Springboard moonsault[1][23][25]
    • Spinning heel kick[25]
    • Victory roll[24]
  • With Shuji Kondo
    • Double-team finishing moves
      • Ōkami Koroshi Uno (Pop-up by Kondo into a thrust kick by Hayashi)[27]
      • Ōkami Koroshi Dos (Back-to-back double underhook piledriver (Hayashi) / Kneeling reverse piledriver (Kondo) combination)[27]
  • Managers
    • Sonny Onoo
    • Leia Meow
    • Yamaguchi-San

Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  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 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Kaz Hayashi profile . OWOW. Retrieved on 2009-08-14.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 ja:カズ・ハヤシ (in Japanese). Wrestle-1. Retrieved on 2013-09-09.
  3. ja:W-1がプロレスラー養成学校設立 (in Japanese). Daily Sports Online. Kobe Shimbun (2015-08-03). Retrieved on 2015-08-03.
  4. Meltzer, Dave 2011-01-02. Complete Sunday update: Legendary feud, ratings, long time champ drops title today, Reaction to UFC . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2011-01-03.
  5. ja:武藤新団体に船木が合流へ (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2013-06-17). Retrieved on 2013-06-17.
  6. 2013 プロレスLove in 両国~an abiding belief~ (in Japanese). All Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2013-06-30.
  7. 武藤敬司が新団体『Wrestle-1』を旗揚げ (in Japanese). Sports Navi. Yahoo! (2013-07-10). Retrieved on 2013-07-10.
  8. 武藤が新団体「Wrestle-1」設立 (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports (2013-07-10). Retrieved on 2013-07-10.
  9. 武藤新団体は「Wrestle-1」 (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2013-07-10). Retrieved on 2013-07-10.
  10. 武藤新団体「Wrestle-1」旗揚げ戦 (in Japanese). Sports Navi. Yahoo! (2013-09-08). Retrieved on 2013-09-08.
  11. 【Wrestle-1】TNA三大タイトル挑戦者決定戦 (in Japanese). Battle News (2014-02-15). Retrieved on 2014-02-15.
  12. Fighting Entertainment Wrestle-1 「開戦~Outbreak~」 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2014-03-02). Retrieved on 2014-03-02.
  13. Wrestle-1 Tour 2014 初代王者決定トーナメント (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2014-09-22). Retrieved on 2014-09-22.
  14. McNeish, Greg 2014-10-12. TNA Bound for Glory PPV Results - 10/12/14 (From Tokyo, Japan) . Wrestleview. Retrieved on 2014-10-13.
  15. 「First Tag League Greatest ~初代タッグ王者決定リーグ戦~」公式戦全日程終了!11月30日(日)東京・後楽園ホール(18時試合開始)大会での決勝トーナメント組み合わせ決定のお知らせ (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2014-11-28). Retrieved on 2014-11-28.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Wrestle-1 Tour 2014 First Tag League Greatest ~初代タッグ王者決定リーグ戦~ (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2014-11-30). Retrieved on 2014-11-30.
  17. Wrestle-1 Tour 2015 Symbol (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2015-07-12). Retrieved on 2015-07-12.
  18. W-1 10.9後楽園大会 ファン感謝デー/W武藤vs.征矢&スギちゃんのF-1初代王者決定戦、new Wild order vs.JacketsのUWA6人タッグ王座決定戦 (in Japanese). Battle News (2015-10-09). Retrieved on 2015-10-09.
  19. 19.0 19.1 「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 Sunrise」 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1. Retrieved on 2016-01-31.
  20. 「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 Symbol」 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2016-07-29). Retrieved on 2016-07-29.
  21. 21.0 21.1 「Wrestle-1 Tour 2016 3rd Anniversary」 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2016-09-18). Retrieved on 2016-09-18.
  22. ja:カズ・ハヤシがW‐1社長就任 武藤は会長職に (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2017-03-27). Retrieved on 2017-03-27.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 World Championship Wrestling (2001-03-21). "Air Raid Vs Jung Dragons". WCW Thunder. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 World Championship Wrestling (1999-09-12). "Lenny Lane vs Kaz Hayashi". WCW Fall Brawl. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 World Championship Wrestling, TNT (2000-06-19). "3 Count Vs Jung Dragons". WCW Monday Nitro. 
  26. World Championship Wrestling, TNT (2000-08-07). "Dark Carnival Vs Jung Dragons". WCW Monday Nitro. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 ja:合体技“狼殺しウノ&ドス”披露。ウルブズ撃破で「僕とカズさんでアメリカに行く」~カズ・ハヤシ選手&近藤修司選手、公開練習 (in Japanese). Wrestle-1 (2014-08-14). Retrieved on 2014-08-14.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/alljap/ajtourn.htm
  29. http://www.purolove.com/ajpw/results/08nyshiningseries.php
  30. Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2006 . Retrieved on 2015-10-09.

External links[edit | edit source]

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