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Characters / Pro Wrestling ZERO1

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This page lists the wrestlers and other talent who worked for Pro Wrestling ZERO1.


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    Debuted in Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE (2001-2005) 

CW Anderson (Christopher Wright, 2002-2007, 2016)

Yoji Anjo (安生 洋二, Anjo Yoji, 2004)

Steve Corino (Steven Corino, 2001-2010, 2016)

  • Big Bad: Was the head honcho of the UPW wrestlers.

King Dabada (Alex Sione Tauoa, 2003)

Rikiya Fudo (本名は 下田勇作, Shimoda Yusaku, 2002-2007, 2009-2016)

Katsuhisa Fujii (藤井 克久, Fujii Katsuhisa, 2003-2004)

Minoru Fujita (藤田ミノル, Fujita Minoru, 2004-2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)

Matt Ghaffari (Siamak Ghaffari, 2002-2004)

  • Acrofatic: Fat and heavy, but able to do cartwheels as if nothing.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Naoya Ogawa.
  • Badass Boast: Promised to knock Ogawa out with knee strikes in their MMA fight. Sadly, he couldn't back it up.
  • Bald of Evil
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He started his pro wrestling training in World Championship Wrestling and was even featured in some vignettes, but he left the promotion and did not debut until later for ZERO-ONE.
  • Eye Scream: A sort of. He tapped out in his fight with Ogawa because a punch to the side of his face displaced one of his contact lens.
  • Fat Bastard: His excess of fat was his main trait (or at least his most distinctive one), and he was a heel.
  • The Giant: Towered over his Japanese opponents and was quite heavy.
  • The Heavy: Though not their leader, he was the most pushed of the UPW guys.
  • I Know Amateur Wrestling: An Olympic silver medalist, among other accomplishments.
  • Lightning Bruiser: A superheavyweight, and not a particularly athletic-looking one, who was able of rolling around the ring with incredible speed.
  • Noble Demon: Was reluctant when the Takada Monster Army broke down Ogawa and told Ghaffari to finish him, and once he did, he left the ring in disgust.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Wore the U.S. flag on his wrestling singlet.

Giant Silva (Paulo Silva, 2004)

Shinya Hashimoto (橋本 真也, Hashimoto Shinya, 2001-2005)

Ikuto Hidaka (日高郁人, Hidaka Ikuto, 2001-2020)

Naohiro Hoshikawa (星川尚浩, Hoshikawa Naohiro, 2001-2004)

  • Determinator: After his injury, he was told he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Nowadays, he can walk by himself.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Suffered an acute subdural hematoma in 2004 after being superbombed off a cage (!) and was forced to retire.
  • Know Rugby: Practiced rugby in high school and was not shy to demonstrate it in his matches. He also trained in Karate with Kazuhiko Ogasawara.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Fast and strong, with both high-flying moves and hard drivers.
  • Red Baron: "Ryusei Bancho" ("Meteor Thug").

Tom Howard (Thomas Howard, 2001-2004)

  • Determinator: Dude once took 46 knees to the head on a MMA fight. Now that's heart.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: He certainly had the attitude.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: His gimmick was a U.S. Green Berets hand-to-hand instructor.
  • Evil Is Petty: Exploited. One of his trademarks was stepping over the opponent's foot while in military stance, only to attack while the adversary was confused about it.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: He looked so tough in his gimmick and had such a good background that some predicted he would do good in MMA. A big mistake.
  • Heroic Build: Among the best examples of his faction.
  • I Know Sambo: Trained with Gokor Chivichyan and Gene LeBell.
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: Was the main trainer of the villainous UPW army.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Despite his ripped looks, he often resorted to underhanded tactics and cheap shots to gain advantage.

Samoa Joe (Nuufolau Joel Seanoa, 2001-2003)

Nathan Jones (Nathan Jones, 2002)

KAMIKAZE (丸山 昭一, Maruyama Akikazu, 2002-2018)

Low Ki (Brandon Silvestri, 2002-2004)

King Adamo (Samuelu Masalosalo, 2002-2006)

Yoshiyuki Nakamura (中村祥之, Nakamura Yoshiyuki, 2001-2016)

  • Non-Action Guy: He was ZERO1's chairman, not a wrestler. Later gave his job to Otani and Kicked Upstairs himself to the owner of First on Stage (FOS), the promotion's mother company.
  • Red Baron: "Kantoku".
  • Put on a Bus: In 2016, the promotion was bought from FOS by Dream on Stage, so Nakamura parted ways with it, preferring to focus on a side career as a promoter of lethwei (a Burmese combat sport similar to Muay Thai). He still has ties with ZERO1, from where he got Hartley Jackson to fight a lethwei bout.
  • Start My Own: Now owns the International Lethwei Federation Japan.
  • Undying Loyalty: Followed Hashimoto away from New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Osamu Namiguchi (浪口修, Namiguchi Osamu, 2003-2009)

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Despite officially retiring in 2009, he never really stopped wrestling, and nowadays he does it almost full time, only not in ZERO1.
  • Arch-Enemy: His used to be Katsuhiko Nakajima, a rising wrestler like himself.
  • The Artifact: He was a talented rookie and showed a lot of potential in his feud with Nakajima, so the bookers tried pushing him several times, one of them as the masked Tengu Baron, but he never achieved top level and after some years they just gave up on him.
  • Canon Immigrant: He trained in Mexican lucha libre and was an usual member of Último Dragón's Toryumon.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Devised some techniques to counter Nakajima's kick-and-suplex style, though his real success was little.

Kazuhiko Ogasawara (小笠原和彦, Ogasawara Kazuhiko, 2002-2006, 2008-2009, 2016)

  • Does Not Like Shoes: As he commonly wrestles in a karategi.
  • I Know Karate: A Kyokushin Karate black belt and champion.
  • Legacy Character: Played comic book character Zebra Man in Fighting Opera HUSTLE after inheriting it from the American wrestler who played it.
  • Old Master: Has his own karate dojo and association.
  • Ring Oldies: Debuted in pro wrestling at middle age, but he proved to be able to literally kick ass.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Teamed up with Hashimoto as the second OH Gun (Ogawa was competing in MMA at the time) after saving him from Tom Howard and The Predator.
  • Rival Dojos: Half literally. He first appeared in ZERO-ONE when he raided a show to challenge Shinya Hashimoto, and later brought his own karate stable to oppose him. They later reconciled, however, thanks to an Enemy Mine situation against the UPW invasion.
  • Red Baron: "Ashiwaza no Majutsushi" ("The Footwork Mage").
  • Worthy Rival: Shinya Hashimoto.

Naoya Ogawa (小川直也, Ogawa Naoya, 2001-2004)

Masao Orihara (折原昌夫, Orihara Masao, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2019)

Shinjiro Otani (大谷晋二郎, Otani Shinjiro, 2001-present)

Alexander Otsuka (大塚 崇, Otsuka Takashi, 2001-2003, 2009, 2012)

The Predator (Sylvester Terkay, 2001-2004, 2010)

Ryoji Sai (崔領二, Sai Ryoji, 2001-2016)

  • Bash Brothers: With Kohei Sato.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Was an aspiring mixed martial artist before doing pro wrestling, and in his very debut fight he drew with Masakazu Imanari, who would go to become a multiple MMA champion and one of the most known grapplers in Japan.
  • I Know Karate: He trained MMA in Netherlands with Gerard Gordeau. In fact, Ryoji's brother is no other than indy fighter Young "RYO" Choi.
  • Odd Friendship: With K-1's Musashi.
  • Put on a Bus: Left the promotion to start his own, Land's End, although promising to keep appearing from time to time. (He has not yet.)
  • Red Baron: "Kenka Kizoku" ("The Aristocrat of Brawling").
  • Secret Identity: His recent alter ego Kendo Shinkiba, a Masked Luchador who wrestles using MMA and Cane Fu.
  • Start My Own: Land's End.

Wataru Sakata (坂田亘, Sakata Wataru, 2001-2007, 2009-2010)

Yoshihito Sasaki (佐々木義人, Sasaki Yoshihito, 2002-2008)

  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite not being a big guy by western standards, his style was power-based.
  • Red Baron: "Gekijo Hurricane" ("Passion Hurricane").

Kohei Sato (佐藤耕平, Sato Kohei, 2001-2020)

  • The Apprentice: To Shinya Hashimoto.
  • Challenge Seeker: He once demanded a match with Shinsuke Nakamura, as he claimed to be a better representative of strong-style, and even proposed a MMA fight if a wrestling match was too much of a fuss for Nakamura. He never received an answer.
  • Combination Attack: Has one with SUGI in which the latter does a corkscrew 450º splash from Sato's shoulders.
  • Bash Brothers: With Hirotaka Yokoi (collectively known as ROWDY), Yoshihiro Takayama and Ryoji Sai.
  • The Big Guy: Got stuck in this role after failing to become the next ace of the heavyweight division as he had been meant.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: He is always the big guy of the team, minus when teaming with Yoshihiro Takayama or Shuji Ishikawa, who are very tall as well.
  • The Giant: He is quite huge for Japanese standards, almost to Giant Baba-esque levels, which is arguably part of his mystique.
  • I Know MMA: He trained in Shooto, winning a +85kg amateur championship and two professional wins before moving to pro wrestling. He also trained in judo.
  • Put on a Bus: Left shockingly the promotion in 2020 due to its economic troubles.
  • Red Baron: "Satsuriki Tokyo Tower" ("The Tokyo Tower of Slaughter"), "Hangyaku no Onimusa" ("The Demon Warrior of the Rebellion") and "Wakatora" ("Young Tiger").
  • Suplex Finisher: The German suplex.
  • Unknown Rival: He challenged Kazuyuki Fujita and later Brock Lesnar for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but his challenges were ignored.
  • The Worf Effect: Despite being a wrestling giant himself, he and Katsuhisa Fujii were worfed by Giant Silva in the first HUSTLE event.

Tatsuhito Takaiwa (高岩竜一, Takaiwa Tatsuhito, 2001-2008, 2013, 2015)

Masato Tanaka (田中将斗, Tanaka Masato, 2001-present)

Fuyuki Takahashi (高橋冬樹, Takahashi Fuyuki, 2002-2007)

Akashi Tiger (土井一央, Doi Kazuhisa, 2003-2004)

  • The Big Guy: A pretty tall wrestler, though not as much as Kohei Sato.
  • Chef of Iron: Was the dojo's cook while training.
  • I Know Karate: Also active in karate and K-1.
  • Put on a Bus: When the original ZERO-ONE folded, he didn't return to the next incarnation.

Dick Togo (佐藤 茂樹, Sato Shigeki, 2003-2005, 2007-2008, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2019)

  • Big Bad: Was the leader of a freelance villainous faction based in Michinoku Pro Wrestling in 2001, the Far East Connection, although only briefly.
  • Evil Mentor: For Ikuto Hidaka until their team broke up in 2004.

Shinsuke Z Yamagasa / Shinsuke Wakataka (炭谷信介, Sumitani Shinsuke, 2002-2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

  • Game-Breaking Injury: Debuted in May 2002 and suffered an injury afterwards, having to wait until August.
  • Heroic BSoD: Retired in 2006 because he thought his career was being underwhelming with so much injuries and failures. He was inactive only for a year, however, before returning to the rings in Fighting Opera HUSTLE.

Hirotaka Yokoi (横井宏考, Yokoi Hirotaka, 2002-2007)

  • Bash Brothers: With Kohei Sato as the ROWDY team.
  • Demoted to Extra: Might be hard to believe given that his main occupation in ZERO-ONE was being Kohei Sato's sidekick, but when Yokoi debuted in the promotion, he was riding a 10–0 MMA record and being one of most hyped Japanese fighters in PRIDE.
  • Determinator: He suffered some very nasty beatdowns in PRIDE, but it never stopped him from returning to the ring and facing an even worse opponent every time.
  • I Know Judo and MMA: Coming from a Judo background, he later trained MMA under Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and went to compete in RINGS and PRIDE.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: His debut fight in PRIDE was against the league's second best fighter. His next fight was against the third one. His third fight was against the first one's master. And his last fight was against a future UFC champion. Yokoi did not have an easy ride.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Although he did not win, Yokoi gave a shockingly good debut match against the famed Minotauro Nogueira in PRIDE, but this ultimately played against his career. If PRIDE executives weren't already eager to throw Yokoi to fighters he had no chance against on the belief it would still be awesome, then the match with Nogueira convinced them to do so.
  • Satellite Character: During his time in the promotion, he was pretty much known only as "the mixed martial artist who teams up with Sato".
  • Underestimating Badassery: While in HUSTLE, he grabbed Psycho the Death's beloved doll and stomped on it. Psycho promptly beat him down, even biting his nipples, although Yokoi was ultimately capable to defeat him that time.

Fugo Fugo Yumeji (藤崎 忠博, Fujisaki Tadahiro, 2001-2008, 2011, 2015, 2016)

  • Arch-Enemy: Veteran wrestler Don Arakawa.
  • Canon Immigrant: Originally a NJPW Muga trainee who went indy before becoming a staple of ZERO-ONE.
  • Worthy Rival: Fuyuki Takahashi.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: Real life example. His main job is graphic designer, and in fact he created the ZERO-ONE logo.
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    Debuted in Pro Wrestling ZERO1-MAX (2005-2008) 

Hagane Shinno (八木 由貴, Yagi Yuki, 2007-2008, 2010, 2013, 2018)

  • Bash Brothers: He and Kengo Mashimo won the ZERO1's Differ Cup for Kaientai Dojo.
  • I Have Many Names: Has played several gimmicks. In fact, he was known as Madoka for most of his career before changing it to Hagane Shinno in 2017.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Has a very varied moveset, including high-flying maneuvers, power moves and shoot kicks.
  • Satellite Character: Debuted with Kengo Mashimo as a Kaientai Dojo team in the Differ Cup. Later started appearing in random tag teams.
  • Ur-Example: He innovated the Ranhei, a somersault STO.

Kengo Mashimo (真霜拳號, Mashimo Kengo, 2007-2008, 2021)

  • Bash Brothers: Originally debuted in a tag team with Madoka, representing Kaientai Dojo in ZERO1's Differ Cup, which they won. He later continued appearing as a special ally to Ryoji Sai in the Sword Army.
  • Guest Fighter: He was the ace of Kaientai Dojo representing his promotion.
  • I Know Kenpo: And Mixed Martial Arts. He is a shoot-style wrestler and even participated in Battlarts.

Takehiro Murahama (村浜武洋, Murahama Takehiro, 2005-2006)

  • The Ace: With no doubt one of the best shootboxers of the sport's early days. He also became the ace of Osaka Pro Wrestling for a time.
  • Arch-Enemy: In K-1, Masato.
  • Broken Pedestal: Left shootboxing after his relationship with his trainer Cesar Takeshi got sour.
  • Canon Immigrant: He came to ZERO-ONE as an Osaka Pro Wrestling representative, although more in a symbolic light, as he actually did not work for them anymore.
  • Dented Iron: After all the damage of his pro wrestling and fighting career, he should have retired from the latter in 2004, but he keep on. He would have avoided many losses had he done it.
  • Determinator:
    • Was known as this in his shootboxing career. He was still worn and injured after so many years when he fought Masato, and it was still called one of the best matches of the year.
    • Not any less in MMA: he pulled a draw against Royler Gracie despite being constantly endangered by him on the ground, and by the end of the match Takehiro had even started taking over.
    • He also led lightweight legend Jens Pulver to the judges.
  • Heroic BSoD: Retired from his home promotion, OPW, when he lost a K-1 match to KID Yamamoto.
  • Hero Killer: Has kickboxing victories over the famous Kensaku Maeda, and also got a few wins against Thai fighters, which is a big deal in the business.
  • I Know Shootboxing: And Judo, and Karate, and kickboxing.
  • I Work Alone: A famously lone wrestler. In fact, everybody was shocked to when he proposed Katsuhiko Nakajima to team up in the Differ Cup.
  • Red Baron: "Chisana Kyojin" ("The Little Giant").
  • Worthy Opponent: Jushin Thunder Liger.

Mitsuya Nagai (長井 弘和, Nagai Hirokazu, 2006, 2019)

Yuzuru Saito (斎藤譲, Saito Yuzuru, 2007-2011)

  • The Apprentice: Used to be one to Katsuyori Shibata, his idol. When Saito got lost in the shuffle of Shibata's promotions, he landed on ZERO1-MAX.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He was officially training to return from his last injury in 2012, but he disappeared and never returned.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: The guy was either made of glass or had the worst luck. After too many grave injuries, he ended up apparently retiring in 2012.

Munenori Sawa (澤 宗紀, 2005-2011)

Takuya Sugawara (菅原拓也, 2006-present)

  • Bash Brothers: With Minoru Fujita and Ikuto Hidaka.
  • Delinquent Hair: Yellow striped, like Fujita's.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Minoru Fujita introduced Sugawara from Pro Wrestling El Dorado.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Subverted and later played straight. Fujita introduced Sugawara as a replacement for his long time partner Ikuto Hidaka, but Sugawara resembled Minoru himself, not Hidaka. However, Hidaka would eventually form a team with Sugawara years later, making him a suspiciously similar substitute of Fujita.

SUGI (杉卓也, Sugi Takuya, 2007-2009, 2017-present)

Shota Takanishi (高西翔太, Takanashi Shota, 2006-2011)

Yoshikazu Yokoyama (横山 佳和, Yokoyama Yoshikazu, 2010-present)

Yutaka Yoshie (吉江 豊, Yoshie Yutaka, 2006-2008, 2010, 2012-2013, 2017-2018)

    Debuted in Pro Wrestling ZERO1 (2008-present) 

Takumi Baba (馬場拓海, Baba Takumi, 2020-present)

Mineo Fujita (藤田峰雄, Fujita Mineo, 2009-present)

Shoji Fukushima (福島昇治, Fukushima Shoji, 2017-2018)

  • Game-Breaking Injury: He lasted only two years, being retired by a botched move from Chris Vice he never really recovered from.

Daichi Hashimoto (橋本 大地, Hashimoto Daichi, 2011-2014)

  • Early-Bird Cameo: Had his first appearance for the promotion back in 2011, working a kickboxing exhibition with Satoshi Kobayashi.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Literally, being the son of Shinya Hashimoto.
  • I Know Kickboxing: And MMA.
  • Red Baron: "Hakai Oji" ("The Prince of Destruction", much like his father's "King of Destruction" nickname).
  • Put on a Bus: He shockingly left his late father's promotion in 2014 due to unknown reasons.

Yuji Hino (日野 裕介, Hino Yusuke, 2017-2020)

  • Put on a Bus: Left due to disagreements with the management.

Towa Iwasaki (岩崎永遠, Iwasaki Towa, 2017-present)

Toshiki Iwaki (板倉 利樹, Itakura Toshiki, 2015-2016)

  • Game-Breaking Injury: Had a nasty one on his knee even before debuting, and it was not the last nor the worst.
  • Put on a Bus: Left in 2016, rumoredly because he couldn't keep up with the promotion's schedule with so many injuries.

Hartley Jackson (Hartley Jackson, 2010-present)

  • Awesome Aussie: Australian and fearless, he even fought a bout of lethwei (the Burmese version of Muay Thai, with headbutts allowed) while in Japan.
  • Badass Teacher: He's the main coach of the promotion's dojo aside from a wrestler.

Kenta Kakinuma (柿沼謙太, Kakinuma Kenta, 2009-2011)

  • The Generic Guy: The only remarkable thing in his career is that he left in just two years to become a school teacher.
  • Red Baron: "Tatakau Momo" ("Fighting Peach").

Kengo (西村 賢吾, Nishimura Kengo, 2013-2016, 2017)

Shoki Kitamura (北村彰基, Kitamura Shoki, 2018-present)

Jason Lee (Jason Lee, 2012-2015, 2018)

Masakado (植田 直幹, Ueda Naomiki, 2006-2016)

Yuichiro Nagashima (長島雄一郎, Nagashima Yuichiro, 2011-2012)

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Possibly one of the most baffling cases, as Nagashima left the promotion in 2012, without an explanation or a hint for a future return, after many months as a highly publicized rookie. He retired from the rings altogether in 2020, without ever making a return.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: From his bizarre anime-like promos to his energetic interviews, he never passed an opportunity to profile himself as a distinguished eccentric.
  • Costume Porn: Naturally; see below.
  • Cross Player: He is famous in Japan for cosplaying female anime and videogames characters on his entrances, and his run in the company wasn't an exception.
  • I Know Kickboxing: A significantly accomplished and very popular K-1 fighter.
  • Instant Expert: The guy performed moonsaults and top rope hurricanranas in his very first pro wrestling match, and looked so natural on the ring that pundits said it looked like he had years of career behind him.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: And dresses.
  • Red Baron: "Jienotsu", "Cosplay Fighter".
  • The Rival: Intended to be one to Daichi Hashimoto, though it was short-lived.
  • Satellite Character: While he was his own wrestler, and a colourful one to boot, he made it look like feuding with Daichi Hashimoto was the sole reason of his presence in the promotion. Nowadays, given that he left shortly after, he's almost an Early Installment Weirdness in Daichi's pro wrestling career.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Was a lively babyface despite being, well, a crossdresser.

Shogun Okamoto (岡本将之, Okamoto Masayuki, 2016-present)

Nick Primo (Nicholas Hayner, 2011-2012)

  • Arch-Enemy: Tended to wrestle a lot against Yoshikazu Yokoyama.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Wrestled barefoot as part of his Samoan heritage.
  • Wild Samoan: Less so than most other examples, as he was of average weight and more technical than his pals, but still.

RAICHO (2018-present)

Hideki Suzuki (鈴木秀樹, Suzuki Hideki, 2014-2018)

  • I Know Shoot Wrestling: He trained with Shigeo Miyato and Billy Robinson, and competed in Battlarts.
  • Red Baron: "Nidaime Ningen Kazaguruma" ("2nd Generation Windmill Man").
  • Suplex Finisher: Uses several types of suplex as finishers, among them Billy Robinson's double arm suplex.

Takafumi (田中 太嘉文, Tanaka Takafumi, 2020-present)

TARU (多留 嘉一, Taru Yoshikazu, 2013-present)

UEXILE (上田祐介, Ueda Yusuke, 2011-2012)

Chris Vice (Christopher Vice, 2018-present)

"brother" YASSHI (辻本 恭史, Tsujimoto Yasushi, 2013-2017)

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