Rookie Spotlight: Chihiro Hashimoto

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Waterwheel Drop Hold

Waterwheel Drop Hold

You knew when 23 year old Chihiro Hashimoto debuted in a tag match teaming with Shinobu Kandori that she meant business. She got the pin in that match and won her next singles match as well, proving she wasn’t your average rookie. She even got votes in the Tokyo Sports Award for Rookie of 2015, even though she did not debut until October. But who is Chihiro Hashimoto, and why is she already such a force to be reckoned with in Sendai Girls’?

What makes Hashimoto special, and different from most Joshi rookies, is that Hashimoto is a legitimate wrestler. Not a seasoned professional wrestler (not yet), but an experienced amateur wrestler. She wrestled during high school and University, coming in third place at the World Student Championships while in school. Her thighs are massive, measuring over 25 inches around, and she can bench press 135 lbs. Even though she went into amateur wrestling, she had attempted to get into professional wrestling as early as Jr. high school, but was told to wait. Now an accomplished amateur wrestler, she comes in ahead of other rookies as it is not uncommon for wrestlers with success in another combat sport (be it wrestling, MMA, Sumo, etc.) to get a step ahead of those with no notable experience.

Hashimoto debuted on October 11th, 2015, teaming with Shinobu Kandori against Manami Toyota and Mika Iwata:

Chihiro Hashimoto Debut Match

After winning in her debut, on her next set of televised matches she did something even more impressive.  On November 12th, first Hashimoto had a singles match against Stardom wrestler Momo Watanabe:

Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Momo Watanabe

Immediately after defeating Watanabe in short order, Hashimoto started for her team in the Sendai Girls’ vs. Stardom 6 x 6 Elimination Match. Below I have her series of matches in that Elimination Match:

Hashimoto in Elimination Match
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So after beating Watanabe, she then immediately beat Hiromi Mimura and Kris Wolf of Stardom back to back, before falling to Io Shirai in her fourth match of the night. Even though she defeated three other wrestlers without a lot of experience, a rookie beating three consecutive wrestlers is no joke, and it took Io Shirai longer to beat Hashimoto than it took Hashimoto to defeat her last two opponents combined.

Since that time, Hashimoto has continued her dominance over newer wrestlers, including a win over fellow rookie Cassandra Miyagi on November 20th and another win over Mika Iwata on December 7th. In 2015, Hashimoto has clearly established that she is one of the best young wrestlers in Joshi. By using her brute strength and wrestling ability, she is having very little issue in defeating wrestlers with less physical gifts than she has. In Japan, wrestlers tend to move slowly up the ladder, but I would not be surprised if by mid-2016 she is competing with some of the bigger stars in Sendai Girls. Meiko Satomura sees a lot in Hashimoto, as do I, and it will be fun to watch her career really blossom in the upcoming year. Hashimoto is finally realizing her dream of being a professional wrestler, and at this point nothing is going to stand in her way of being the best.