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Wrestling / Ikuto Hidaka

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Ikuto Hidaka (born August 5, 1972) is a Japanese Professional Wrestler best known for his work in Pro Wrestling ZERO1. He started his career in shoot-style promotion Battlarts, where he honed his kicks and submission holds and got to be sent to ECW for a short time. Upon returning to Japan, he joined Michinoku Pro Wrestling and became Dick Togo's henchman, but the two left for Shinya Hashimoto's rising project ZERO-ONE in search of greener fields. While Togo left early, the promotion became Hidaka's home and allowed him to develop. Hidaka turned into ZERO-ONE's junior heavyweight ace and the company's answer to the contemporaneous five star match stylists from Pro Wrestling NOAH, a man who could work any style and against anybody he needed to give out great bouts. He wrestled in many of promotions while representing ZERO-ONE, won multiple championships both solo and along with a variety of tag team partners, and turned over the years into a trusty company man who had connections to everybody in the pro wrestling world and could make any dream match happen. He also had a Mixed Martial Arts bout against one of his friends, Takafumi Ito, and helped Battlarts to remain alive, if not as a promotion, at least through its former members.

"Mad Dog Tropes":

  • The Ace: He's capable to wrestle in a myriad of forms, like high-flying, shoot-style and lucha libre, and he even did Mixed Martial Arts at one point. He was praised by Satoru Sayama of all people for his variety of technique.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: His moveset and performance drew comparisons with Pro Wrestling NOAH's Naomichi Marufuji (at least back when Marufuji only received good reviews). They have faced each other in several tag team matches, but sadly not in a singles match.
  • The Apprentice: To Sho Funaki, which he does tributes to from time to time. His very main finisher, the Shawn Capture, was taught by him. He also trained under Animal Hamaguchi before his debut.
  • Bash Brothers: With Minoru Fujita (as Skull & Bones), Munenori Sawa (as Aibou), Takafumi Ito, Hayato Fujita (as Shin Aibou Tag) and Takuya Sugawara. Those are only the partners he has won at least one tag team title with, but he has many others who qualify as well.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Had one in Shoichi Funaki, later in Masao Orihara and finally Dick Togo. Became one himself to many wrestlers.
  • Costume Porn: Is famous for wearing elaborate masks and costumes during his entrances, which he also sells as merchandising.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: With a surprisingly high number of wrestlers. If Hidaka has a feud with somebody, you can sure he will team up with him in a near future.
  • Finishing Move: His main finisher is the Shawn Capture (a sambo kneebar, which he inherited officially from his training partner Shoichi Funaki). He has been adding other finishers over the years: the Misty Flip (a sitout Shiranui, actually predating Naomichi Marufuji's version) in 2001, the Nora Inu High Kick (a high kick to the head, adopted from his kickboxer friend Satoshi "Nora Inu" Kobayashi) in 2006, and the Iwami Ginzan (a vertical suplex gutbuster/facebreaker) in 2008.
  • Heroic BSoD: He confessed to have one after losing to Ito in their fight in DEEP.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He is very close friends with MMA fighter and occasional pro wrestler Takafumi Ito, whom he knows from their apprentice times in Masanobu Kurisu's dojo.
  • I Know Karate: Was a former judoka before he got into wrestling. His MMA training is sometimes mentioned as well.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Got a Worthy Opponent type one with Hayato Fujita.
  • I Shall Return: Played with the name of one of his flashiest moves, "I'll Be Back", in which he feigns a fall between the ropes yet rebounds himself back to the ring before throwing a spin kick.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Incredibly agile yet still strong.
  • Magnetic Hero: Has had many tag team partners and is very close to all of them, both in kayfabe and in real life. He also tends to befriend his enemies and form tag teams with them. Some of those are Masaaki Mochizuki, Minoru Tanaka, Munenori Sawa, El Blazer and Hayato Fujita.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Small but powerful.
  • Red Baron: "Hebigoroshi no Tensai" ("The Heavy Kill Genius"), "Hayate no Tensai-ji" ("The Gale Prodigy").
  • Renaissance Man: He is one of those Battlarts veterans who have done a lot of styles in their careers, like shoot wrestling, lucha libre, lucharesu and harcore wrestling, as well as MMA.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential:
    • Underwent special training under Satoshi Kobayashi to improve his kicking technique. He named his Nora Inu High Kick in honor to Kobayashi, whose nickname is "Nora Inu" ("Street Dog").
    • He developed the Iwami Ginzan especifically to use it against Mochizuki.
  • Ur-Example: The first Battlarts Dojo graduate.
  • Worthy Opponent: Many, though more notably Masaaki Mochizuki and Hayato Fujita.