“I was really grateful and glad that Mr. Kiyohara came. When I think about it, my professional wrestler life is really blessed with meeting various people.”
“Pro-wrestling A-TEAM” Tomohiko Hashimoto 20th Anniversary Commemorative Performance “” was held at the Nara Prefectural Convention Center on April 4. Former professional baseball player Kazuhiro Kiyohara (53) appeared in public for the first time in a long time on this day in order to present a bouquet to the protagonist Tomohiko Hashimoto (43) as a secret guest. Kiyohara says that this day was his first time watching professional wrestling. I reported the situation in a small magazine, but if you are a professional wrestling enthusiast, many readers would have wondered, “Who is Tomohiko Hashimoto?”
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Tomohiko Hashimoto is said to be “the last big indie wrestler” with a blessed physique of 183 cm in height and 140 kg in weight. In general, in the professional wrestling world where only those who have survived the harsh young age can make their debut, Hashimoto is a variant who threw himself into the professional wrestling world without any experience of laying down. He looks back on the strange life of a wrestler.
“Originally, I never wanted to be a professional wrestler. I’ve been doing judo since I was 5 years old, and I was seriously aiming for the Olympics until college.”
After spending his youth in judo, he entered Daito Bunka University as a scholarship student. Kohei Sato (43), who is currently active in the professional wrestling world as a freelancer, was in sync with the judo club.
“I had a knee injury and had a hard time losing weight, but when I was in my second year of college, I lost the first round to a player who won the second kill when I was a high school student at an important tournament that led to an international competition. Because I was a seed, I didn’t even go to the first round, and I was shocked to lose to an insanely weak player there, and my heart broke. So I escaped from college (laughs). “
Freed from the daily life of judo pickling, every day I return to my hometown of Nara and play around. However, I get tired of such a life in half a year.
“When I thought I had to do something, Kohei (Sato), who was with me in the judo club at the university, became a professional shooto player and won a tournament. I started practicing occasionally at the dojo in Gyotoku (Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture), where Kohei used to go, saying, “If I do that, I’ll do it too.” I was invited to go because I had a road. So, in March 2000, when I went to the designated dojo, I was forced to practice in front of Mr. Fujiwara (Yoshiaki Fujiwara, 72). So I made my debut in April when the team leader told me to play the game next month. “
After that, he regularly participated in DDT Pro Wrestling. While going up to the All Japan Wrestling ring, the ring of mixed martial arts will also be heard. His general debut was in Pancrase in May 2002, and his opponent was Kengo (45). It will be a bitter debut that TKO loses at the pound.
“When I broke my leg and missed professional wrestling, I was offered mixed martial arts. The fracture hadn’t healed yet, but people around me told me,’You have a chance. You can win.’ Then, “Then, I’ll do it” (laughs). I didn’t feel like losing, and I thought it would be okay at the moment when I assembled it, but I was stopped by the referee in the pound state. I didn’t, and I was willing to endure until the end of the round … It was a miscalculation that I lost, but I thought the overall was interesting. “
In July of the same year, he made a promise to “put the winner in the PRIDE main race” and played against Giant Ochiai in “PRIDE THE BEST Vol.2” (PRIDE’s gateway tournament), but was defeated “because it got too hot”. .. On New Year’s Eve 2003, he also played against the super-big guy Alistair Overeem (41) in “INOKI BOM-BA-YE 2003”.
“Immediately before the DDT match, an offer came from a person concerned and said,’I’m playing in Kobe the day after tomorrow, can I play? My opponent is Alistair (Overeem).’ “How much is fight money?” “1 million yen” “I’ll do it” (laughs). It was my third year since my debut, and I had never received 1 million yen in one game at that time. I didn’t have a chance to win, so I lost a lot. “
Hashimoto masquerades as “a man who loses everything at chance (laughs)”, but in 2006 he became free and held a professional wrestling independent business “MAKEHEN”. Currently, Io Shirai (31), a female professional wrestler who is very active in the world’s largest professional wrestling organization WWE’s “NXT”, made her debut at the box office “MAKEHEN” produced by Hashimoto.
“Io came in with my sister (Mio Shirai, now retired), but it’s a really strange connection. At that time, the advertising agency I was indebted to was a restaurant in Kinshicho. I got acquainted with Mio who worked at the company, but when I talked to him, he wanted to be an entertainer. When he said, “Then, I should do entertainment from professional wrestling,” he said, “I’ll do it.” When I told him that I would do professional wrestling when I got home, my sister (Io) also said, “I will do it too.” At that time, Io was still a high school student, but my mother asked me to make my debut as a member of MAKEHEN. So, if my sister hadn’t worked at a restaurant in Kinshicho, I wouldn’t have been active in the United States right now. “
After the dissolution of MAKEHEN, after many twists and turns, Hashimoto started his own organization “PRO WRESTLING A-TEAM” and is still active. In parallel with professional wrestling, he has experienced 5 mixed martial arts (1 win and 4 losses) and 2 kick games (1 win and 1 loss). Looking back on my 20th anniversary, I asked him what he thought.
“Isn’t it that you didn’t win at the fork? You said you would lose everything at the chance (laughs). You didn’t have that … The most painful thing about losing at the fork was the Pancrase debut against Kengo. To be honest, if I won there, I think my professional wrestler life would have been quite different. “
Now, there is a player who is planning to play a match on the stage of mixed martial arts.
“I want to do it with Tsuyoshi Sudario (24). I was talking about the second of Kazushi Miyamoto (42) who played against Sudario at” RIZIN.27 “in March this year. “Please let me do it with a proper fighter”, but it really came with a click, and even when I quarreled with that camp after the match, Sudario came to me very much (eaten) at that time. I thought I had to do it. I really want to do it with Sudario if I have a chance. “
After turning from sumo wrestling and making his RIZIN debut, Tsuyoshi Sudario, who has won three straight victories, and Hashimoto, who has lived his own professional wrestling life, bet on the soul of a professional wrestler. I would like to expect it to be realized.