Its been an unforgettable year for wrestling, we’ve had some absolutely insane dream matches and scenarios take place. Another thing that deserves to be highly noted is the extraordinary first year rookies that have popped up. Now there’s the usual names that come up, Matt Riddle, Lio Rush, etc, but one name that sadly doesn’t get as much acclaim is the current Sendai Girls World Champion Chihiro Hashimoto. I think it’s time to change that.
Hashimoto has been wrestling for exactly one year, though she has always wanted to be a professional wrestler she waited a while and did amateur wrestling in high school & college which she excelled at. Eventually she went into the Sendai Dojo to train with Meiko Satomura and finally made her dream come true officially debuting as a professional wrestler last October in a tag match teaming with the highly respected Shinobu Kandori facing off against fellow rookie Mika Iwata and arguably the best women’s wrestler of all time, Manami Toyota. Hashimoto held her own and quickly showed that she belongs, even surprisingly getting the pin to win the match.
(Hashimoto’s amateur wrestling in 2010)
Hashimoto’s amateur background gives her a great advantage over most other rookies. Throughout 2016 she’s proven time and time again the she is indeed the strongest of the class by soundly defeating rookies both in her home promotion of Sendai Girls and in rival promotion Stardom also; most notably defeating Hiromi Mimura & Kris Wolf back to back before giving Stardom’s ace Io Shirai a run for her money (this was one month into Hashimoto’s professional wrestling career), and putting on a fantastic show stealing match against Stardom’s star rookie Jungle Kyona to determine which promotion has the truly superior rookie, in which Hashimoto ended up winning. Even in losses Hashimato looks great and always impresses, her matches with vets like Aja Kong and Chikayo Nagashima easily display that.
(Chihiro Hashimoto Vs Aja Kong)
Obviously Hashimoto’s biggest accomplishment in her very short career is most recently doing the impossible on October 16’s 10th anniversary show and winning the Sendai Girls World Championship by dethroning the best wrestler in the world, her trainer, Meiko Satomura. Being the first to pin her in 10 months. There wasn’t much build up to the match, but god was it fantastic. Hashimoto stood to toe with the woman that brought her into pro wrestling and they put on such an excellent performance that if you were to show this match to anyone unknowing of Hashimoto they probably wouldn’t believe you when you tell them she’s only been wrestling for 12 months. The moment of shock and awe when she gets the three count and the crowd being genuinely happy and completely accepting of their new champion just makes it all the better.
Chihiro Hashimoto isn’t super flashy, don’t expect flips or dives of any sort, but she is nearly flawless in that ring even with such little experience under her belt. She may not be the most well known name out there but only a year into her career I honestly and with the utmost confidence would put her up against any wrestler of any level right now. So remember, when talking about the fantastic rookies that came up in 2016, Hashimoto should be at the top of your list. She’s Special, She’s the Future of Joshi wrestling.