This is the latest in the series of Japanese wrestler spotlights from RealHero. He also podcasts for the site, as the co-host of Puro in the Rough, who are currently running year-end awards which you can vote in by clicking HERE.
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My latest editorial will be about one of my favorite guys in Puroresu, BJW’s resident kicking master Daichi Hashimoto. Daichi is the son of one of the icons of puroresu, Shinya Hashimoto of New Japan Pro Wrestling and founder of Pro Wrestling ZERO1. He was a a huge fan of combat sports when coming up and took up Karate was a part of his middle school MMA team, “Blue Sky.” He decided to become a professional wrestler when his father passed away in July 2005. He was given his father’s IWGP Heavyweight Title by Shinsuke Nakamura when he worked in ZERO1, defeating Kohei Sato in 2008.
He worked an exhibition kickboxing bout on the 25th anniversary of his father’s debut against Satoshi Kobayashi. He expressed his desire to be a wrestler and was trained by his “uncle” Masahiro Chono, and Shinjiro Otani. He made his puroresu debut at ZERO1’s 10th Anniversary show at Sumo Hall against his “uncle” Chono in which he submitted to the dreaded STF hold but was congratulated afterward by his other “uncle” Keiji Muto, also embraced by his mother and his two younger sisters. He faced Muto a few weeks later in a losing effort in All Japan. Otani took Daichi under his wing and they teamed up in several promotions throughout 2011. He received his first ever title shot five months into his career in a losing effort with Otani against ZERO1 Intercontinental Tag Champs Kohei Sato and KAMIKAZE in August of 2011. He teamed up with Akebono in the Furinkazan Tag League in ZERO1 in which they finished in third place. He won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Rookie of the Year and Best Newcomer from Tokyo Sports.
2012 starting out as promising for Daichi as he won his first match of the year, defeating fellow ZERO1 young boy Yoshikazu Yokoyama on New Year’s Day. He teamed up with Otani in a losing effort to Kensuke Sasaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima at ZERO1’s 11th Anniversary show in March. He participated in two tournaments for Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2012. First in the Global Tag League in which he teamed up with Otani to finish in fifth place with winning only 3 matches and the second tourney he worked for NOAH was the Jr Tag League in which he had better luck teaming with Ikuto Hidaka, but they lost the League Final to Taiji Ishimori and Atsushi Kotoge. He worked his first and only Fire Festival in which he went win-less in all of matches. He suffered a fractured left forearm injury that forced him to cancel his Wrestle Kingdom match with Muto against TenKoji at the Tokyo Dome but he confronted Tenzan after the match as TenKoji defeated Muto and his replacement Otani.
2013 was a down year for Daichi as he was defeated in his comeback match by DDT’s Kota Ibushi and was put on the disabled list again in May as he re-injured his forearm. Daichi was out until October when he lost to Katsuhiko Nakajima. He worked his last ZERO1 match as a ZERO1 contracted talent, losing to Genichiro Tenryu and Otani with Masato Tanaka as his partner. In the process Tenryu broke Daichi’s jaw with one of his Guh Punches in March of 2014.
Daichi signed up with Inoki Genome Federation in June 2014. He made his debut in July in a losing effort to Kazayuki Fujita. He lost to Shinya Aoki on 8/29/15. He worked Yuji Nagata on the 10th anniversary of his father’s passing on 7/23/15. He worked his final IGF match on New Year’s Eve 2015 when he got destroyed by Naoya Ogawa who got thrown out afterwards by Kaz Fujita.
Daichi landed with Big Japan Pro Wrestling thanks to his budding partnership with his on/off again rival/partner Kazuki Hashimoto to form “Team Yamato”. They challenged the BJW Tag Team Champs Shuji Ishikawa and Kohei Sato on 6/15/14 in a losing effort when Ishikawa used the Splash Mountain on Daichi to retain the belts. Daichi wasted no time in making his presence felt in Big Japan by making the semi finals of the Strong Climb tournament (“Ikkitousen”) before losing to Shuji Ishikawa. He made the quarterfinals of the Saikyo Tag League with BJW Strong World Heavyweight Champion Hideyoshi Kamitani as his partner.
The must see matches of Daichi Hashimoto: