Captain New Japan
|Captain New Japan|
Hirasawa as Captain New Japan in March 2016
|Birth name||Mitsuhide Hirasawa|
|Born||27 March 1982|
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Bone Soldier|
Captain New Japan
|Billed height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|Billed weight||104 kg (229 lb)|
|Trained by||NJPW Dojo|
|Debut||January 28, 2006|
Mitsuhide Hirasawa (平澤 光秀 Hirasawa Mitsuhide, born 27 March 1982) is a Japanese professional wrestler. He is best known for working in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) under his masked persona, Captain New Japan (キャプテン・ニュージャパン Kyaputen Nyū Japan). He has also worked under another mask as Bone Soldier, and unmasked under his real name, as well as the ring name Hideo Saito (ヒデオ・サイトー Hideo Saitō).
Hirasawa did not achieve success during his time in NJPW. Despite being part of two of NJPW's best known stables, Chaos and Bullet Club, his time with both was short and marred by poor performances. His Bone Soldier persona was heavily panned outside Japan and was consequently named 2016's "Worst Gimmick" by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Professional wrestling career
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2006–2010)
Hirasawa originally debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) on 28 January 2006, losing to Takashi Iizuka. Hirasawa would wrestle on the NJPW undercards, mostly losing which is custom for new wrestlers in NJPW. His first win would come on 26 April, defeating the two year pro Yujiro Takahashi. Hirasawa teamed up with Ryusuke Taguchi to participate in his first tournament, the National Area Tag League 2006 where they were placed in block C and lost both of their matches. Hirasawa would make several appearances for Pro Wrestling Zero1, the most notable of which was when he and Manabu Nakanishi participated in the Passion Cup Tag Tournament 2008. In late 2008, Hirasawa would form a tag team with Yuji Nagata, which would be a precursor to Seigigun ("Blue Justice Army"). The pair participated in the 2008 G1 Tag League block B, they would only gain a single point when they drew with Manabu Nakanishi and Yutaka Yoshie. In the fall of 2009, Hirasawa joined Yuji Nagata's new Seigigun stable, along with Wataru Inoue and Super Strong Machine. At Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome, Hirasawa, along with Inoue and Super Strong Machine defeated Jyushin Thunder Liger, Koji Kanemoto, and Kazuchika Okada in the opening match. Even with joining this stable, Hirasawa largely continued in the midcard largely serving as the fall guy in tag match. On 28 June, Seigigun entered a six-man tag tournament with Nagata, Inoue, and Hirasawa forming one team, while Machine teamed with Tonga Strong Machine and Pink Strong Machine (Yoshie). However, both teams lost. On 12 September, there was a special Mitsuhide Hirasawa farewell match, which he would lose.
World Wrestling Council (2010–2011)
After embarking on an extended tour of Puerto Rican World Wrestling Council (WWC) in September 2010, Hirasawa adopted the new ring name Hideo Saito, as a tribute to Masa Saito and Hideo Nomo. On 25 September, Saito would win his first championship when he won a battle royal for the vacant WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Championship and would lose it on 27 November. On 19 February, he also won the WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship and lost it on 26 March. In May 2011, Saito took part in NJPW's first tour of the United States, the Invasion Tour 2011. On 13 May in Rahway, New Jersey, he entered the tournament to determine the first ever IWGP Intercontinental Champion, losing to Yujiro Takahashi in his first round match.
Return to NJPW and departure (2011–2017)
Hirasawa returned to New Japan on 18 June, now going permanently by the Saito name, and turned on Seigigun and its leader Yuji Nagata, joining Chaos. In August, Saito took part in the 2011 G1 Climax, losing his first eight matches only to pick up his opening win on the final day of the tournament in a match against former mentor, Yuji Nagata. On 19 September, Nagata defeated his former protégé in a grudge match. Saito's erratic behaviour and poor match results eventually led to the rest of Chaos kicking him out of the stable on 4 December 2011. After his exile from Chaos, Saito developed an alter-ego called "Captain New Japan", dressed in a variation of the Captain America costume, complete with a shield. In November, Captain New Japan took part in the 2012 World Tag League, teaming with IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi under the team name "Captain Ace". The team lost all six of their matches with Captain New Japan being pinned in each match. On 3 March 2013, Captain New Japan returned to Seigigun in an eight-man tag team match, where he, Nagata, Super Strong Machine and Wataru Inoue were defeated by Hirooki Goto, Karl Anderson, Ryusuke Taguchi and Tama Tonga. On 7 April, Captain New Japan was attacked by Bad Luck Fale and Prince Devitt and would also be unmasked by Devitt, however, his face was never shown. In response to this, Captain New Japan teamed up with Taguchi, Devitt's former Apollo 55 partner, and challenged the two at Wrestling Dontaku 2013, where they lost. Following these events, Captain New Japan fought against the newly formed Bullet Club headed by Devitt and reformed his alliance with Tanahashi. On 4 August, Captain New Japan carried Tanahashi to the ring akin to Fale and Devitt and became involved in the match-up trying to limit the effects of Fale's interference; however, Devitt would ultimately defeat Tanahashi. In November, Captain Ace reunited for the 2013 World Tag League. Much like the previous year, the team lost their first five matches, but on the final day, they finally picked up a win over Fale and Devitt, with Captain pinning Devitt, costing the Bullet Club team a spot in the semifinals.
On 13 April 2014, during NJPW's trip to Taiwan, Hirasawa, working as Captain Taiwan, received his first title shot in the promotion, when he and Hirooki Goto unsuccessfully challenged Bullet Club representatives Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson for the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
In early 2016, Captain New Japan became part of Yoshitatsu's new anti-Bullet Club stable, Hunter Club. On 12 September, Yoshitatsu, upset with Captain New Japan's poor performances, announced a Twitter poll that would decide whether he would get to stay in Hunter Club.
On 25 September at Destruction in Kobe, upon being denied a spot in Hunter Club, Captain New Japan turned on Yoshitatsu and defected to Bullet Club. The following day, Hirasawa was given the new ring name "Bone Soldier". He made his debut under the name on 8 October. The following month, Bone Soldier entered the 2016 World Tag League, teaming with Bullet Club stablemate Bad Luck Fale. The two lost all seven of their matches in the tournament, with Bone Soldier being pinned by his rival Yoshitatsu in their final match on 8 December. Bone Soldier's performance in the tournament led to Bullet Club leader Kenny Omega dubbing him an "intergalactic disaster". On March 1, 2017, Hirasawa's profile was removed from NJPW's website, confirming his departure from the company. According to Dave Meltzer, he was fired because of gambling issues.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Council
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Captain New Japan's New Japan Pro Wrestling profile. Retrieved 14 September 2013. (in Japanese)
- Meltzer, Dave (4 January 2012). "New Japan Tokyo Dome results 1-4". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- "急展開！ 後藤のアピールによりIWGPタッグ戦が緊急決定！ パートナーはC・台湾！【4月13日（日）台湾大会】". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 13 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- "Cagematch profile". Cagematch. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- Hideo Saito's New Japan Pro Wrestling profile Archived 19 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 24 July 2011. (in Japanese)
- International Wrestling Database profile. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Hirasawa wins title in Puerto Rico!". Strong Style Spirit. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Martin, Adam (14 May 2011). "5/13 New Japan Pro Wrestling Results: Rahway, NJ". WrestleView. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- "(Results) New Japan, 6/18/11". Strong Style Spirit. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
- "今年の『G1 Climax』出場20選手が決定!! 鈴木みのる、高山善廣、ラ・ソンブラも出場!!". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 3 July 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2011.
- "ブシロード Presents G1 Climax XXI ～The Invincible Fighter～". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 14 August 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- "(Results) New Japan, 9/19/11". Strong Style Spirit. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- "(Results) New Japan, 12/4/11". Strong Style Spirit. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- "NJPW 40th anniversary Tour. レッスルキングダムⅥ in 東京ドーム". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 January 2012.
- "11月20日(火)開幕!! 『World Tag League 2012』の対戦カード決定!! TDC大会、愛知大会には桜庭＆柴田が特別参戦！". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). 16 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "NJPW 40ｔｈ anniversary Tour World Tag League 2012". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- 旗揚げ記念日. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "World Tag League 2013". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "World Tag League 2013". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
- "Wrestling World 2014 in 台湾". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- "Invasion Attack 2016". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "Road to レスリングどんたく 2016". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "Road to Destruction". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "Destruction in Kobe". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- "【10.8魚沼大会・全カード！】メインで本隊とJ・リーサルが初合体！セミでNEVER6人タッグが実現！Bullet新メンバー・Bone Soldierとは？". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- "New Japan Road ～がんばろう！Uonuma 2016～". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Meltzer, Dave (7 November 2016). "NJPW reveals full World Tag League lineup, four Wrestle Kingdom matches". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- 戦国炎舞 -Kizna- Presents World Tag League 2016. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- Meltzer, Dave; Currier, Joseph (9 December 2016). "NJPW World Tag League finals live results: The winners are crowned". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2017". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
- Meltzer, Dave (March 6, 2017). "March 6, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2016 Awards issue, talent departing TNA, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 27. ISSN 1083-9593.
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