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Wrestling / Shinya Hashimoto

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Shinya Hashimoto (July 3, 1965 – July 11, 2005) was a Japanese professional wrestler and promoter best known for his work in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling and his own promotion Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE from the 1980s until his death.

He debuted in 1984 for New Japan and also competed in various North American territories, including the Continental Wrestling Association in Memphis, the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico and Stampede Wrestling in Canada, as well as Catch Wrestling Association in Austria/Germany. Among his in-ring achievements, he was the second wrestler, after Keiji Muto/The Great Muta, to have held the New Japan IWGP Heavyweight Title, the All Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Title and the NWA World Heavyweight Title. He also had the record for the longest reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion, at 489 days between April 1996 to August 1997, before been broken by Kazuchika Okada in 2017. He made his American PPV debut as a replacement for Akira Nogami at WCW The Great American Bash 1992, in the NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament. He and Hiroshi Hase defeated the Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin), and lost later to Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes. He was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 2000.

Forced to leave ZERO-ONE in November 2004 due to economic troubles, Hashimoto invested the next year in healing from injuries, but before he could make his return, he died of a brain aneurysm in Tokyo on July 11, 2005 at the age of 40.

"Vertical Trope Brainbuster":

  • Aborted Arc: Although Hashimoto had promised to retire if he lost his final match with Naoya Ogawa, the overwhelming fan reaction led him to stay in NJPW, so he next announced he was planning to rebuild his momentum by creating a sub-promotion named NJPW ZERO in order to compete with Pro Wrestling NOAH. However, this ended up leading nowhere because Riki Choshu and other executives vetoed his idea, and Hashimoto instead left NJPW and established a promotion on his own.
  • Afro Asskicker: As part of his Elvis Presley emulation. He became a fan while he was working in Memphis after visiting the Elvis Presley museum.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: To Toshiaki Kawada in All Japan Pro Wrestling. Both were kick-expert, brainbuster-using, heavyweight badasses.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He portrayed a martial artist (who even learned literal kung fu at one point) that could become very boastful and overconfident in a given occasion. Hashimoto also had this reputation in real life, as he was reportedly difficult to train with and often worked very stiff even whenever other wrestlers asked him not to, which brought him a lot of trouble.
  • Author Appeal: Hashimoto liked wrestlers with legit backgrounds, like judoka, karateka, amateur wrestlers, kickboxers and MMA fighters, as he was a martial artist himself (and possibly because they were less likely to complain if he wrestled stiff against them). However, he would only do it when he booked the matches himself, wisely enough. He refused to wrestle a K-1 fighter in the first WRESTLE-1 events probably fearing he might be shot at during the match or forced to job to him.
  • Bash Brothers: With Masa Saito, Riki Choshu, Naoya Ogawa, Junji Hirata and Yoshiaki Fujiwara.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Was it for several young wrestlers in the NJPW dojo, like Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Osamu Nishimura and Kazuyuki Fujita, and even for some older ones, like Tadao Yasuda, who debuted in the business late in his life.
  • Big Eater: Was a famous one, which can be seen in his paunch. He often invited his assistant wrestlers to large diners.
  • Boring, but Practical: His matwork was simple, trusting mostly in his judo holds to do the work, but according to Masa Saito, Hashimoto was very proficent with it even in real life.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: When acting as Inoki's second in his match against Abdullah the Butcher, a young Hashimoto judged that Abdullah was being too stiff, so he went and kicked him when they were outside of the ring. He was suspended for a time due to this.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Reputedly, Hashimoto had a bit of "too talented to train" attitude in the locker room. Although his natural charisma and his relatively non-demanding wrestling style allowed him to get away with this for several years (he could actually get over by just kicking and chopping his opponent around while screaming), it might have been one of the reasons why chairman Inoki turned on him in the 2000s. In fact, according to some, Inoki would have liked Hashimoto to be fit and muscled like most MMA fighters of the time, which Hashimoto would have refused due out of laziness.
  • Broken Pedestal: He idolized Antonio Inoki, his main reason to become a professional wrestling. However, after a series of disagreements backstage, he broke bonds with Inoki when the latter used callously Hashimoto's career to build Naoya Ogawa as the next star. Inoki didn't seem to harbour bad feelings towards him, and later even expressed his delight in seeing Hashimoto and Ogawa becoming best friends in ZERO-ONE, but he eventually turned publicitly against Hashimoto too after they had a falling out over Mark Kerr's contract in 2001.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: The young Hashimoto was one to Seiji Sakaguchi in real life, back when he was assigned to be Sakaguchi's tsukibito or assistant. Hashimoto would turn out to be so clumsy in his chores that Akira Nogami (later known as AKIRA) had to be brought as a second assistant to help him. This might have been why he later became very kind and forgiving to his own assistants.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • Kouta Shishioh is one of Hashimoto himself (and is played by Hashimoto) in Oh! My Zombie Mermaid(otherwise known as Ah! House Collapses). A successful promoter buys a new house for himself and his wife, causing a rival promoter to send wrestlers to destroy him.
    • A regular in Fire Pro Wrestling.
  • Catchphrase: During his ZERO-ONE days, his Pre Ass Kicking One Liner was "This has just begun, we are in the Hell's worst neighborhood!"
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Commentator Ichiro Futurachi once called him Toru Watanabe, a popular actor and singer.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He was reportedly a big jokester with a very, very weird sense of humor. He also admitted to have once gone out disguised as Batman for the kicks.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Became best friends with Naoya Ogawa, who had beat him in Hashimoto's supposed NJPW "retirement" match. Especially touching, given that Ogawa had been essentially ordered by Inoki to destroy Hashimoto's aura to the extent of shooting on him, and yet Shinya forgave him and welcomed him to ZERO-ONE.
  • Face: This was his role, and he drew huge in it. In his best times, he could fill up an arena with only his name on the posters.
  • Finishing Move: Vertical drop brainbuster and jumping spike DDT. In shoot-style matches and different style fights, he would use the inverted triangle choke (done in the inverted, ushiro-sankaku-jime manner, to highlight his judo background) and a simple kick to the head.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Despite being a solid face, Hashimoto's mannerisms in the ring were sometimes a bit heelish, kicking his opponents while they were down or off-guard and aggressively taunting them.
  • I Have Many Names: SHOGUN, Hashif Khan (in Stampede), and his own.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Naoya Ogawa.
  • Hot-Blooded: A big part of both his gimmick and his real life personality.
  • I Know Karate: This was his entire gimmick. He was a former Sato-Juku Karate competitor, as well as a a 3º dan black belt in Judo, and supposedly trained some wushu in China to improve his spinning kicks.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Hashimoto favored clean matches without things like cheating and external help. This was played in the main angle of HUSTLE, where Hashimoto became offended that Takada had Giant Silva intervene against Ogawa, which Hashimoto derided as American pro wrestling shenanigans.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Big, strong, fast, could absolutely work on the mat, and could even come off of the top rope.
  • Manly Tears: Cried before the cameras when he revealed in an interview that he was the last person to speak to Masakazu Fukuda before his death on the ring.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Wore one during his entrance as part of his martial artist image, which eventually became a trademark of his.
  • Meta Guy: In HUSTLE, even pointing out in HUSTLE-4 that in a manga it would be just the beginning of the story.
  • Murderous Thighs: Had a triangle choke and a crucifix/ashi-gatame among his submission moves.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Or rather an Elvis Impersonator Martial Artist Pro Wrestler.
  • Odd Friendship: With comedian Kunikazu Katsumata, who described Hashimoto as a brother and their friendship as "very much like Suneo and Gian."
  • Out-of-Character Moment: The usually polite Hashimoto had a fit of his in-ring rage during a press conference from the days of his feud with Ogawa, throwing a table and having to be slapped to sense by Tatsumi Fujinami.
  • Power Stable: In Fighting Opera HUSTLE, the HUSTLE Army.
  • Red Baron: "Hakai O" ("The King of Destruction"), "Toukon Densho" ("The Heart and Soul of the Fighting Spirit") and "Bakusatsu Shooter" ("Explosive Shooter").
  • The Rival: Keiji Muto and especially Naoya Ogawa.
  • Supreme Chef: Reported to be great in the kitchen.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Was a booker for ZERO-ONE and HUSTLE.
  • Spin Attack: One of his kick techniques was the suimengeri, a spinning legsweep.
  • Start My Own: Pro Wrestling ZERO-ONE in November 2000, after getting fired from New Japan.
  • Tag Team: OH Gun, with Naoya Ogawa in ZERO-ONE.
  • Take That!: One of his most famous moves, a running spinning heel kick from the ropes, was actually taken from Akira Maeda's signature spinning heel kick.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: He learned his signature suimengeri spinning legsweep (in China, according to him) after losing to Tony Halme.
  • Tournament Arc: The Shinya Hashimoto Legacy Cup of Premier Wrestling Federation.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: While not excessively ugly, he was still fat and funny-looking, most notably in comparison to his rivals Nobuhiko Takada and Naoya Ogawa.
  • Unwanted Assistance: In his apprentice days, a young and overzealous Hashimoto once attacked Abdullah the Butcher after a match with Inoki in the belief he had been shooting on him. It got him punished and away from the rings for a time.
  • Wrestling Family: His son Daichi, who debuted for ZERO-ONE in March 2011.
  • Worked Shoot: He inherited from Inoki the custom of taking part in different style fights.