Yoshiyuki Saito (born in Naha-shi, Okinawa) is a Japanese professional wrestler best known by his ring name Super Shisa, currently wrestling for Dragon Gate. His gimmick is inspired by the Ryukyuan Shisa. He claimed to be a student of Toryumon alumni SAITO, but was outed as being SAITO himself in 2007.
Career[edit | edit source]
As SAITO[edit | edit source]
Saito got his start in wrestling with Último Drágon's upstart promotion Toryumon Japan. He trained in Mexico with the rest of the Último Dragón students, and briefly used the Super Shisa gimmick while there. He wrestled January 31, 1999, on Toryumon's debut show. Wrestling under his real name, he teamed with Magnum Tokyo and Dragon Kid to take on Shima Nobunaga, Sumo Fuji and Judo Suwa in an elimination match on the main event of the card. Saito would be eliminated second following a Nodowa Elbow from Fuji, but his team would go on to win the match.
He would continue to be a top line player in early Toryumon, and would rename to SAITO. In the spring of 2000, he and fellow Toryumon participant Chocoball KOBE would wrestle in Pro Wrestling Kageki. Saito would win the Hakata City Jr Heavyweight Title in a tournament, defeating Daiyu Kawuchi in the final round.
He abruptly announced his retirement in late 2001, and stated that his first student, Super Shisa, would take his place. SAITO would be given a "Sayonara SAITO" series of matches by Toryumon. His record in the series was 0-5-1, the draw being a double countout against Yasushi Kanda. His final match as SAITO would be a loss to Shuji Kondo on 10/28/2001.
As Super Shisa[edit | edit source]
Super Shisa would debut on 11/8/2001, wrestling a 10-minute draw with Keni'chiro Arai.
Shisa has spent most of his career in both Toryumon and Dragon Gate near the bottom of the card, rarely joining units. He was a member of a short lived unit called Waku Waku Fuji Land, led by Don Fujii. Waku Waku Fuji Land was designed to bridge the gap between Crazy Max and the soon-to-form Blood Generation. As Blood Generation was based on a clean face (no masks or face paint) concept, Fuji gave Shisa an ultimatum: Unmask or you may not join Blood Gen. The ultimatum prompted the fans to begin chanting SAITO's name, but Shisa quickly opted to leave rather than unmask.
Shisa then aligned with Magnum Tokyo's PosHEARTS unit. PosHEARTS would go on hiatus due to an injury to Tokyo, and Shisa spent the latter part of 2005 and much of 2006 teaming with King Shisa, and occasionally with Dragon Gate dojo student Shisa Boy. The team broke up when King Shisa was outed as being Mexican heel Pentagon Black, and reverted to that gimmick.
Towards the end of 2006, PosHEARTS would reunite, and Shisa would win his first title in Toryumon / Dragon Gate, winning the Open The Triangle Gate titles with stablemates BxB Hulk and Anthony W. Mori. The success was short lived, as PosHEARTS lost the titles to the Muscle Outlaw'z, and then lost a follow up match forcing them to disband as a stable. It was during this match that Shisa was outed as being SAITO; damage to the mask and blood loss forced him to voluntarily demask.
Since the dissolution of PosHEARTS, Shisa has remained unaligned and wrestling low on the card. He is a trainer in the Dragon Gate dojo, and focuses primarily on those duties. While wrestling on the main roster, Shisa aligns with the "Mushozoku" Unit, a group of older wrestlers including Masaaki Mochizuki, K-ness and Magnitude Kishiwada. Aside from Dragon Gate, Shisa spends time in various smaller Japanese independent promotions.
On February 27, 2010, his ranking in the promotion improved significantly when he defeated K-ness to become the Open The Brave Gate Champion. He held the title for just under two months before losing it to Tigers Mask of Osaka Pro Wrestling.
On April 15, 2011, Shisa represented Team Dragon Gate in the 2011 King of Trios tournament along with Akira Tozawa and KAGETORA. In the first round of the tournament, Team Dragon Gate defeated the Spectral Envoy (UltraMantis Black, Hallowicked and Frightmare). The following day, Team Dragon Gate was eliminated from the tournament in the quarter-final stage by The Osirian Portal (Amasis, Hieracon and Ophidian). On April 17, the final day of the tournament, Shisa and KAGETORA took part in a gauntlet tag match and were the final team to enter, but they were defeated by Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada.
The Shisa Lineage[edit | edit source]
Other wrestlers with a Shisa gimmick have appeared in Dragon Gate, aligned with Super Shisa. One of the dojo students was Shisa BOY. Mexican wrestler Pentagon Black spent several months in Dragon Gate as King Shisa. Introduced as the leader of the Shisa clan, King Shisa was pushed further than Super Shisa ever was, even going so far as to get a Dream Gate title shot. He was eventually outed as being Pentagon Black by the Muscle Outlaw'z, and joined them.
Factions[edit | edit source]
- Waku Waku Fuji Land (2004)
- Pos.HEARTS (2005–2007)
- Veteran-Gun (2011)
- Junction Three (2011–2012)
- WindowsMG (2012–2013)
- We Are Team Veteran (2013–2014)
- Toryumon (2019–2020)
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- Shisa Clutch (Handstand taunt transitioned into a modified arm trap somersault cradle)
- Yoshi Tonic (Leg trap sunset flip powerbomb) – Innovated
- Signature moves
- Alejandro Lock (Cross-legged STF)
- Doshanko Tiara (Rope aided backflip transitioned into a headscissors takedown to an opponent outside the ring)
- European uppercut
- Face the Mountain (Bridging straight jacket choke)
- Hasaaku Clutch (Scissored armbar)
- Manji Cobra Twist (Simultaneous octopus hold and abdominal stretch to two opponents)
- SAITO Special (Handstand crossface)
- SAITO Special II (Handstand figure four leglock)
- SAITO Special III (Handstand inverted Gannosuke clutch)
- SAITO Special IV (Handstand mule kick)
- SAITO Special V (Handstand sunset flip)
- SAITO Special VI (Handstand inverted crossface)
- Turnbuckle headstand headscissors to an opponent on the top rope transitioned into a frankensteiner
- Yoshifuusha (Double underhook suplex floated over into a handstand pin)
- "Lion of Ryukyu"
- Entrance themes
- "Dosanko Shisa" by GLAY
- "Shisa Callin'" by Yoji Kubota
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- Dragon Gate
- Pro-Wrestling KAGEKI
- Hakata City Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Osaka Pro Wrestling
References[edit | edit source]
- King of Dragon Japan
- La Gran Pelea~Sayonara SAITO~ 2001
- Radican, Sean 2011-05-04. Radican's Chikara KoT Night 1 DVD Review 4/15 - Team Michinoku Pro vs. Team 1-2-3 Kid, Quackenbush & Toyota & Jigsaw vs. SAT's . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2011-05-05.
- Radican, Sean 2011-05-13. Radican's Chikara DVD review series - "King of Trios 2011 Night 2" 4/16: F.I.S.T. vs. Osaka Pro, RDV tournament, Quackenbush & Toyota & Jigsaw vs. Michinoku Pro . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2011-05-14.
- Radican, Sean 2011-06-05. Radican's Chikara DVD review series: "KOT 2011: Night 3 4/17 - Kid vs. Generico, Toyota vs. Eagles, KOT tournament Finals . Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved on 2011-06-05.
- Purolove profile . Purolove. Retrieved on 2011-12-30.
- Super Shisa profile . iHeartDG.com.