Hiroshi Ueda (born Yuji Ueda; 20 June 1940 - 21 December 2011) was a Japanese professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Umanosuke Ueda. During his wrestling career, Ueda primarily stood out for wrestling with bleached blonde hair, a practice which was rare in his day but later became more common. His ring name was inspired by samurai warrior and Shinsengumi member Umanosuke Ueda.
After debuting in the old Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance in 1961, he started the circuit in Los Angeles in 1966. In 1974, he joined Japan's International Pro Wrestling where he held the IWA World Heavyweight Championship from June 11, 1976, till July 28, 1976. Ueda was considered one of the first "traitor heels" in Japan, as he broke societal mores by dyeing his hair and using a brawling style, and teaming with a hated gaikokujin heel, Tiger Jeet Singh. The two men were the first team to win tag team titles in both New Japan Pro Wrestling (the NWA North American Tag Team Championship) and All Japan Pro Wrestling (the NWA International Tag Team Championship).
He later went on to appear as a henchman in the Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle up until the end of the show in the late '80s and also appeared in the movie Burst City.
In 1996, he was in a car accident, which left him paralyzed and eventually forced him to retire two years later.
Ueda died on December 21, 2011 from respiratory failure; he was 71 years old.
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- IWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Mid-South Sports
- NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Chati Yokouchi
- Asia Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Tiger Jeet Singh
- NWA North American Tag Team Championship (Los Angeles/Japan version) (1 time) - with Tiger Jeet Singh
- NWA Big Time Wrestling
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Texas version)]] (1 time) - with Chati Yokouchi
- NWA Mid-America
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (1 time) - with Tojo Yamamoto
- NWA Tri-State
- NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Western States Sports
- NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Chati Yokouchi
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Amarillo version) (1 time) - with Chati Yokouchi
- Tokyo Sports
- Popularity Award (1978)
- World Wrestling Organization
- WWO Heavyweight Championship (1 time)