Best Wrestler Ever (Last Week): Shinya Hashimoto


BEST WRESTLER EVER IS BACK! I don’t know where it went or what it’s been doing, but I do know it’s back! And this week’s Best Wrestler Ever is a little different to usual. Instead of choosing a current pro-wrestler who has caught my attention, I’ve chosen a wrestler from the past who has caught my attention. That wrestler this week is Shinya Hashimoto.

For those unfamiliar with Hashimoto, I’m talking about this guy:

At first glance, he may look like a puffy version of the Karate Kid, but I’ll tell you this, Danny ain’t got s**t on Hashimoto. Neither does Johnny for that matter.

Just to get an idea of what I mean, here’s a little sample of Hashimoto’s wrestling style. He’ll kick you like this:

And he’ll suplex you like this:

And he’ll chop you like this:

And he’ll DDT you like this:

Suffice it to say, stiff does not even begin to describe Hashimoto’s style.

Oh, and he’ll also wear a hat like this:

What’s that now? You still need convincing that he’s the Best Wrestler Ever (Last Week). Fine! Please allow me to elaborate.

Shinya Hashimoto is one of very few wrestlers to have held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He still has the longest IWGP title reign in history at 489 days. He’s also been inducted into the NWA and Wrestling Observer Halls of Fame.

But simply holding titles isn’t what made him the Best Wrestler Ever (Last Week), he is also one of the original Three Musketeers.  Well, not the original original Musketeers, I’m talking about the Three Musketeers or Japanese wrestling: Shinya Hashimoto, Masahiro Chono, and Keiji Mutoh. These three men all came into New Japan in the 80s, and basically ruled the place during the 90s.

So why is he the Best Wrestler Ever (Last Week) then?

I’m glad you asked. Simply put, he’s unique. I love wrestlers who do things differently. I’m not talking anything crazy. He didn’t really do any flashy moves. He mostly just kicked and chopped his opponents to certain death, but it’s his movements and mannerisms that are unique. It’s the way he kicked and chopped everyone to death that makes him standout. Forever having a look in his eyes that burn holes through his opponents doesn’t hurt either.  For a modern-day comparison you could go with someone like Tomohiro Ishii, another guy who I love to death, and for a lot of the same reasons (Ishii is also a former Best Wrestler Ever (This Week), so that tells you something about my preference of wrestlers).

It’s a total cop-out, but words just don’t do Shinya Hashimoto justice. Fortunately (It’s) Bonski has put together a fantastic playlist of his favourite Hashimoto matches (among other favourite matches). I highly recommend checking them out.

This one I particularly enjoyed, for the exceptional mullets if nothing else:

Sadly, Hashimoto passed away in 2005 at the all too young age of 40. His passing came only 8 days after his 40th birthday from a sudden brain aneurysm.

I don’t want to end this on such a sad note, so please enjoy this photo of Masahiro Chono and Shinya Hashimoto:

The original Trent? and Chuck.