Kensho Obayashi (大林 賢将 Ōbayashi Kenshō, born January 27, 1982) is a Japanese professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Zeus. He is currently signed to All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he is a current one-half of the All Asia Tag Team Champion in his first reign while also being a former five-time World Tag Team Champion and a former Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion.
Obayashi began his career in Osaka Pro Wrestling, where he is a former Osaka Pro Wrestling Champion and three-times Osaka Pro Tag Team Champion, winning the championship once with Gaina and two-times with longtime rival and partner The Bodyguard. Outside of OPW, he is a former NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion, NWA United National Heavyweight Champion and winner of the 2012 Furinkazan Tournament with James Raideen in the Zero1 promotion, and a former Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion in Dramatic Dream Team (DDT).
Obayashi is of Korean descent. His Korean name is Kim Bǒn-u (金 繁優, 김본우), but he used the tsūmei Shigemasa Kanaya (金谷 成格 Kanaya Shigemasa) until he legally changed his name to Kensho Obayashi when he was naturalized in 2011.
- 1 Professional Wrestling Career
- 2 Personal life
- 3 In wrestling
- 4 Championship and accomplishments
- 5 References
Professional Wrestling Career
Osaka Pro Wrestling (2006–2009)
In the run up to the 2006 Tennozan Finals, a brief video hyped up the debut of a mysterious new wrestler. That man was revealed to be Zeus, who would make his first appearance at that show, first bending a frying pan in a show of strength and then aligning himself with Gaina & Condor, taking out the OPW Seikigun. Soon after joining forces, the group dubbed themselves "Bad Force". Nicknamed "God of Destroy", Zeus went undefeated for several months after his debut. He teamed up with Gaina to win the Osaka Pro Tag Title shortly afterwards, but they would lose them at Hurricane 2007 to Hideyoshi & Masamune in a three-way match also featuring Tsubasa and Flash Moon. Zeus started to break out as a singles wrestler in late 2007, reaching the Tennozan final but losing to the Osaka Pro Champion, Tigers Mask. Super Delfin then started to take an interest in Zeus, offering to teach him more about professional wrestling and give him further training. Despite the rest of Bad Force’s protests, Zeus accepted Delfin’s offer and eventually left the group. After the Hurricane 2008 event, he started the rookie group Blood & Guts (B&G), recruiting Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke and eventually Atsushi Kotoge to join.
In 2008, Zeus started to appear in other promotions, most notably facing and later teaming with veteran Toshiaki Kawada in Hustle. It was in Hustle that he picked up a clean singles win over former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Bob Sapp. Zeus produced his own show in December and hinted at a major announcement at Hurricane 2009. After defeating Bodyguard, Zeus announced that he was going to start training for a career in boxing and that he would be leaving the wrestling industry effective immediately.
Return to Osaka Pro Wrestling (2010–2013)
After retiring from boxing, Obayashi announced his return to professional wrestling in July 2010. His in-ring return was delayed after he underwent further training and spent time to trg to build up body mass after losing a lot of weight for boxing. His official return to wrestling took place in November 2010 at Osaka Pro: Zeus Will Be Back, where he teamed with Daisuke Sekimoto to defeat Akebono and Don Fujii. Shortly after returning, Zeus re-ignited his old rivalry with the Bodyguard. The two traded wins back and forth for months, bu eventually formed a tag team in early 2011 after Bodyguard was kicked out of the Joker stable and Zeus saved him from an attack by the rest of Joker. Known collectively as The Big Guns, they would go on to hold the Osaka Pro Tag Team Championship for a short time in early 2011. The Big Guns started to achieve major success in 2013, winning the Osaka Tag Festival and the Osaka Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship for the second time later that year. In the 2013 Tennozan, Zeus and Bodyguard faced each other in the finals with Zeus coming out victorious. On March 1, 2014, it was announced that Osaka Pro would be folding due to financial difficulties. On April 20, all of its workers became freelancers. It was later announced that the promotion would continue under new management, but Zeus and Bodyguard eventually vacated their all of their championships, and on April 20 wrestled their last match in Osaka Pro, teaming with Quiet Storm in a losing effort against Billyken Kid, Bull Armor Takuya and, Black Buffalo.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (2014–Present)
On March 28, Zeus and The Bodyguard made their debut for AJPW, defeating Menso re-Oyaji and SUSHI. On May 16, Zeus and The Bodyguard received an opportunity at the World Tag Team Championship, but were unable to defeat defending champions Evolution (Joe Doering and Suwama. Zeus and Bodyguard both participated in the 2014 Ōdō Tournament as singles competitors, with Zeus being eliminated in the second round by eventual winner Go Shiozaki and Bodyguard in the first round by Takao Omori. Zeus and The Bodyguard participated in the 2014 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing with 8 points but not making it to the final.
On January 12, 2015, Zeus defeated KENSO to become the new #1 contender to the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. On February 7, Zeus failed to capture the championship from Go Shiozaki. Both Zeus and The Bodyguard participated in the 2015 Champion Carnival Tournament, with Zeus finishing the tournament with 3 points in Block B and Bodyguard finishing with 2 points in Block A. On May 31, they received another shot at the World Tag Team Championship, but were unable to defeat Xceed (Go Shiozaki and Kento Miyahara). On August 15, Zeus and Bodyguard scored a big win, defeating former World Tag Team Champions Akebono and Yutaka Yoshie. The following day, Zeus made his second challenge for the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, this time losing to Akebono. Zeus and The Bodyguard participated in the 2015 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, losing their first two matches but managing to win the rest of their matches, and make it into the finals, finishing the tournament with 8 points. In the final, they were defeated by Kento Miyahara and Suwama. On December 23, Zeus and Bodyguard finally captured the World Tag Team Championship, defeating Wild Burning (Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori).
On January 10, 2016, after Zeus called out for a shot at the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. On February 12, on the first day of the Jr. Battle Of Glory, Zeus lost to Kento Miyahara for the vacated Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. On February 21, Zeus and Bodyguard retained the World Tag Team Championship against Nextream (Jake Lee and Kento Miyahara). From April 9 to April 24, Zeus participated in the 2016 Champion Carnival Zeus in block B. He finished his block with 10 points, losing only 1 match and advancing to the finals, where he lost to Daisuke Sekimoto. On June 15, Zeus and Bodyguard lost the World Tag Team title to Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi. On November 27, Zeus and Bodyguard defeated Sekimoto and Okabayashi to regain the championship. Zeus and Bodyguard lost the titles to KAI and Kengo Mashimo on May 21, 2017. They regained the titles from KAI and Mashimo on June 11. Zeus and Bodyguard third reign as World Tag Team Champions ended on July 17 when they lost the titles to Jake Lee and Naoya Nomura. On February 25, Zeus and Bodyguard defeated Kento Miyahara and Yoshitatsu to regain the World Tag Team Championship. They lost the titles to Ryoji Sai and Dylan James on March 25. On July 29, Zeus defeated Kento Miyahara to win the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. On October 21, 2018, Zeus lost the title back to Miyahara. From November 13 to December 11, Zeus and Bodyguard took part in the World's Strongest Tag Determination League, finishing the tournament with a record of four wins and six losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. On September 3, Zeus alongside Ryoji Sai defeated Violent Giants (Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa) to win the World Tag Team Champions. On August 15, 2020, Zeus and his new Purple Haze stablemate, Izanagi defeated Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto to win All Asia Tag Team Championship. In September, Zeus took part of the 2020 Champion Carnival, where he ended up winning his block with a clean record of four wins, advancing to the finals of the tournament. On October 5, Zeus defeated Kento Miyahara in the finals to win the 2020 Champion Carnival, earning a shot at the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. This led on October 17, Zeus unsuccessfully challenging Suwama for the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. On November 4, AJPW announced that Zeus had tested positive for the COVID-19 and would stay in quarantine until November 11. From April 9 to May 3, 2021, Zeus took part in the 2021 Champion Carnival finishing the tournament with a record of six wins and four losses, failling to win the tournament.
Pro Wrestling Zero1 (2011–2014)
Zeus debuted with Zero1 in 2011, taking part in the 2011 Fire Festival, finishing with 3 points and therefore not advancing to the final. In September, he teamed with Masato Tanaka to capture the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship from Kohei Sato and KAMIKAZE. Zeus and Tanaka held the title for over a year, eventually losing them to Yusuke Obata and Shito Ueda in November 2012. Zeus and James Raideen participated in the 2012 Furinkazan tournament, defeating Ueda and Obata in the final on December 15. On February 3, 2013, Kohei Sato and Zeus received an opportunity at the vacated NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship, but lost to Zero64 (Akebono and Daisuke Sekimoto). On July 30, Zeus defeated Ikuto Hidaka to win the NWA United National Heavyweight Championship. Zeus held the championship for 6 months, losing it in January 2014 to Tama Williams in his first defense and last appearance in Zero1 to date.
Dramatic Dream Team (2014)
Zeus made his debut for DDT in March 2014, when he and The Bodyguard defeated the Nuru Nuru Brothers (Michael Nakazawa & Tomomitsu Matsunaga). On September 13, Zeus received an opportunity at the DDT Extreme Division Championship, losing against Danshoku Dino in a "Kiss Pin" match. On February 15, Zeus won the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship, defeating Soma Takao, but later that day he lost the championship back to Tomomitsu Matsunaga.
Outside of professional wrestling, Obayashi is a bodybuilder and co-owner of "King Gym", a power and strength gym in Osaka, Japan with tag team partner and former bodybuilder Noboru Kurakawa.
- Finishing moves
- Arm trap facelock – 2020–present
- Jackhammer (Vertical suplex powerslam)
- Jihad (Argentine neckbreaker)
- Earthbreak (Delayed vertical suplex powerslam)
- Signature moves
- Biceps Explosion (Crooked arm lariat)
- Catabolic Meltdown (Sitout side powerslam)
- Elevated sitout powerbomb
- Oklahoma Stampede
- Zeus Bomb (Sitout powerbomb)
- "God Of Destruction"
- Entrance Theme
Championship and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- Dramatic Dream Team
- Osaka Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #192 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016
- PWI ranked him #174 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017
- Pro Wrestling Zero1
- "浪速の筋肉獣"ゼウス 波瀾万丈の人生、プロレスへの思い激白 (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports. Retrieved on 2016-04-10.
- Philip Kreikenbohm. Themes « Zeus . cagematch.net.
- Ironman Heavymetalweight Title . wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved on 2016-06-22.
- Philip Kreikenbohm. Tournaments « Zeus . cagematch.net.
- Philip Kreikenbohm. Osaka Tag Festival 2008 . cagematch.net.
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2016 . The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved on 2016-09-01.