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Grimmas

Shinya Hashimoto

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Hashimoto was one of the best big match workers of his time as while Chono was Mr. G1, Hashimoto was Mr. Tokyo Dome as he had his best moments in that building in front of the biggest crowds.

 

Hashimoto could work with anyone and the fact that he basically made Naoya Ogawa what he was is a testament to how great he was himself.

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My favorite Japanese guy next to Misawa. It's a real toss up for me who was the better Ace out of those two, they just had an aura about them, And in the case of Hash, you always knew he was gonna explode and beat the living shit out of his opponent at a moment's notice.

 

Not sure how high he can get but to me he's ahead of Kobashi.

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Hashimoto will probably end up as my #1. I love 90s All Japan to death but the way Hashimoto structures and paces his matches suits my viewing needs more than anyone else's does. He had amazing offence, could hang on the mat with the best of them (as astonishing and definitive Hase's performance in their 1994 title match was Hashimoto's was equally as important because of how big of an obstacle he made himself look like and how hard it looked for Hase to transition into better positioning) ,carried himself like a star and made everything around him *FEEL* special, always brought a sense of struggle and urgency to his matches, was marvelous at creating the illusion of strategy and sold fantastically. A lot of wrestlers see selling as "grab limb and yell loudly a lot" but Hashimoto managed to sell subtly enough so it wouldn't compromise his aura of the greatest warrior ever but he would sell enough for you to remember the injury *was* there. The 1991 G1 match against Chono is a great example of that. Had great facial expressions that sold the importance and the intensity of his matches. His stalling was also superb and it lead to outbursts of violent strikes which of course make for astounding pro wrestling. He was also an amazing draw and was consistently awesome from at least 1989 onwards. And CHOSHUUUUUUUUUUU~! is the greatest moment in pro wrestling history. A wonderful pro wrestler any way you look at him.

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On certain days, Hashimoto is my favorite wrestler of all time. He's basically everything I want to see in a pro wrestler.

 

Not sure how I can quantify that on my list, but he's currently sitting at #6 for me, and there's a good chance he'll move up higher.

 

I wonder how people have Hash ranked in comparison to the Four Corners? Because I think he was as good as any of them, and Kawada is the only one who I have above him right now, and that could easily change.

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I have Hash above all of them, and I don't think any of them will be overtaking him.

Well that makes me feel better. It's crazy to me when I see people sleep on Hash, while praising the hell out of the Corners (haven't really seen that much here, but the IWC in general).

 

But I guess that speaks towards how 90's New Japan is kinda underrated as a whole, while 90's All Japan has been getting continuous praise for like 20 years.

 

But still, I think if Hash had spent the 90's in All Japan, he would have just as many classics under his belt as Misawa, Kobashi, or Kawada. As it happened though, he still had quite a few.

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The All Japan crew had the distinct advantage of working with each other for all of their big matches. When did Hash ever have anyone at at level to work with? I don't want to knock him for it, but he simply doesn't have the sheer number of classics they do, even if he has just as many good or better matches. That's the one aspect of comparing them I'm not sure how to get around. Similar to Tenryu in that regard, but Tenryu has the '86 tags, Jumbo match and a few more legit classics than Hash.

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The number of classic matches is really the one thing that makes me hesitant about putting Hash above guys like Misawa or Kawada, but regardless of that I still think that Hash was as good a worker as either of them, and possibly even better.

 

Misawa/Kawada vs. Hashimoto is really a great example of the "great matches vs. how a guy works" debate, and I'm not sure where I really fall on that one yet.

 

But instinct tells me to more highly value the latter, considering this is a "Greatest Wrestler Ever" list and not a "Guy with largest number of classics to his name" list. And so I'll probably have Hash above Misawa, and maybe above Kawada.

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Singles (I'll leave the tags, specifically the NJ vs. WAR matches, to someone else)

 

11/1/90 vs. Choshu

8/9/91 vs. Choshu

2/17/94 vs. Tenyru

2/24/94 vs. Liger

8/15/95 vs. Mutoh

4/12/96 vs. Takada

8/2/96 vs. Choshu

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Thanks Tim. What do you make of this guy's top 10?

 

 

Here:

 

1. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Hiroshi Hase; NJPW 12/13/94: **** ¾

2. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Nobuhiko Takada; NJPW 04/29/96: **** ½

3. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Toshiaki Kawada; AJPW 02/22/04: **** ½

4. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Riki Choshu; NJPW 08/02/96: **** ¼

5. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Genichiro Tenryu; NJPW 08/01/98: **** ¼

6. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Satoshi Kojima; NJPW 08/02/98: **** ¼

7. Shinya Hashimoto & Riki Choshu vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa; WAR 04/02/93: **** ¼

8. Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan; NJPW 6/12/95: **** ¼

9. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Masato Tanaka; Zero1 03/02/02: **** ¼

10. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Genichiro Tenryu; NJPW 08/08/93: **** ¼

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Aaron's list is fine but there's a lot more to Hashimoto than just that. Hashimoto/Nagata vs. Misawa/Akiyama is probably the 2001 MOTY and it isn't even listed.

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Oh yea, the Hase match is a definite.

 

I also like the 2/22/04 match vs. Kawada as an example of two guys who are clearly slowing down and injured having a smart match that got heat without resorting to goofiness.

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It's the 10th anniversary of his passing today. I'm not even sure what to add.......he was the greatest.. Him exiting out of the ring when his opponent would dominate him and then destroying everything at ringside is my favourite wrestling trope.

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The first G1 Climax 91 match with Chono is a must see too.

 

Seriously, I can't get over how good this match is. Last time I watched them all I liked this more than the Vader/Muto and Muto/Chono matches from the G1.

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Ok, so even on offense, this guy draws so much sympathy. Probably one of the greatest sympathetic wrestlers of all time. There's something about the way he takes offense from guys then just hits the point where he's like "fuck this" and just destroys dudes. Creeping into my top 15.

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Shinya Hashimoto vs. Masahiro Chono (8/11/91)

 

This was pretty good, though it was only really exciting whenever Hashimoto threatened to knock Chono out and again during the red hot finishing stretch, but if a match finishes better than it started it's trending in the right direction I guess. Hashimoto's scruffy ronin look was interesting, though at times he looked more like an avant-garde artist or 70s musician than Toshiro Mifune. I don't think he'd come into his own yet in terms of presence and command over a bout. His kicks were fantastic and had a lot of force to them, but he wasn't really the Man yet. Chono's breathing noise made his control segments hard to sit through and my attention was only perked by Hashimoto kicking the shit out of him, but New Japan matwork is like that a lot of the time. Things clicked into gear for the finishing stretch and I liked both of the counters into the STF, which frankly made Cena's transitions into the hold seem even worse. But boy there wasn't much to Chono even pre-injury. A couple of clever transitions, a finisher that was over, and a bunch of mediocre crap. It was a bit hard watching the better worker take less of the match, and I would have liked to have seen a longer control segment from Hashimoto since the high point of the match was Chono's selling of the near knockout before the counter where he clipped the back of Hashimoto's leg. But I guess they had to make Chono look stronger and Hashimoto more opportunistic because of who was going over. Better viewed as part of Hashimoto's rise than an early great match, imo, but I'm glad I watched it as it helps fill in the blanks on a guy who doesn't have a well worn recommended matches list.

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