Hiroyuki Saito (斎藤 弘幸) (born May 25, 1961 in Kawasaki, Japan) is a professional wrestler best known by the shortened name of Hiro Saito (ヒロ 斉藤).
Career[edit | edit source]
A former judoka, Hiro debuted in 1978 in New Japan Pro Wrestling. In May 1985, he defeated The Cobra to win the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship only to lose back to him 2 months later. Saito went on to defeat The Cobra for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship on July 28, 1985 only to lose the title right back to him the same night.
Saito soon jumped to All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he formed the Calgary Hurricanes with Shunji Takano. He competed in the All Japan World Junior Heavyweight Championship tournament in July 1986 where he defeated Brad Armstrong in the final to become the first World Junior Heavyweight Champion. After 4 months as champion, Saito lost the title to former stablemate Kuniaki Kobayashi.
Saito joined the group known as the Raging Staff and soon won the IWGP Tag Team Championship with Super Strong Machine from Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki in December 1990, which they held for 3 months until Hase and Sasaki won them back in March 1991. After Raging Staff dispersed, Saito joined Team Wolf with Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and was later part of nWo Japan.
Hiro Saito was the first Japanese wrestler to use and popularize the senton, or seating splash off the top rope, in matches. He is not related to Masa Saito, despite sharing name and appearance (aside from the blond hair); Hiro shortened his name to "Hiro" to copy him and also as a means of sharing fortune ("good luck").
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- Senton, sometimes from the top rope
- Signature moves
- Bridging German suplex
- Inverted suplex slam
- Leg drop
- "Mr. Senton"
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)