Hiroshi Hase is a former wrestler who currently serves as chairman of the PWF, the governing body for all titles in All-Japan. He competed for 20 years before retiring in 2006 and is best known as being the first pro wrestler elected to the Japanese Diet while still being an active competitor.
After starting out as an amateur, representing Japan in the 1984 Olympics, Hase began his professional wrestling career in Calgary for Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling promotion, under a mask, in a tag team known as the Viet Cong Express with Fumihiro Niikura. When he returned to Japan, Hase wrestled for NJPW’s junior heavyweight division, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title twice between December 1987 and March 1989. He is one of a handful of wrestlers, Japanese or American, to successfully graduate from the junior heavyweight to heavyweight class. In the 1990s, Hase had many memorable encounters with famous Japanese talents first in New Japan, and later All Japan. Hase would form a successful tag team with Kensuke Sasaki in 1990, winning the IWGP Tag Team Championship twice between November 1990 and March 1991. Hase was involved in a classic December 1992 encounter with The Great Muta, in which the “Muta Scale” was created, due to the incredible amount of blood shed by Muta.
Hase and Keiji Mutoh were also regular tag team partners; they won the IWGP Tag Team Championship twice between November 1991 and November 1994, including a victory over the Steiner Brothers, and won the Super Grade Tag League twice in 1993 and 1994. As Mutoh became established as a singles wrestler through his holding of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, however, Hase was left behind, and was only able to hold the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship (which briefly replaced the NWA World Heavyweight Championship) for eight days in March 1994. In July 1995, Hase was elected into the Japanese House of Councillors as the Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Hase is one of a number of professional wrestlers to transition into politics, other notables being predecessor Antonio Inoki, and later Atsushi Onita and The Great Sasuke as well as joshi wrestler Shinobu Kandori, as well as an unsuccessful 2010 bid by current wrestler Osamu Nishimura. The following year he announced his retirement from New Japan, only to jump to All-Japan. His last New Japan bout as a New Japan wrestler was against Kensuke Sasaki on January 4, 1996.
In All Japan, Hase did not contend for titles again despite his name recognition, as he made politics his full-time job. In 2001 he was re-elected by his constituency in Ishikawa Prefecture. The same year he founded the multi-promotional Bad Ass Translate Trading stable with Muto, Taiyō Kea and Jinsei Shinzaki; Hase and Muto reformed their team to battle Jun Akiyama and Yuji Nagata on October 8, the rising stars of their respective promotions (NOAH and NJPW), and were defeated in a ceremonial passing of the torch match that highlighted the advancement of professional wrestling in Japan since it was permanently established in 1951.
When Muto (along with Satoshi Kojima and Kendo Ka Shin) jumped to All Japan the following year, Hase was seen as having influenced them (if not Mutoh at least) in their decision. Antonio Inoki, who had once preceded Hase to the Japanese Diet, blasted Hase and suggested that he resign his position in the Diet, but nothing came out of this.
Hase’s final match occurred on August 27, 2006. He tagged with Katsuhiko Nakajima & Satoshi Kojima to face TARU, Kohei Suwama, & “brother” YASSHI of the Voodoo Murderers. He pinned YASSHI with a Northern Lights Suplex for the victory, ending his in-ring career after 20 years. A week later, he was elected into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. On July 10, 2007, Hase took over the duty of the PWF chairman, after Stan Hansen voluntarily resigned from the position. In August 2009, Hase lost his seat in the Diet. He remains active with All-Japan as PWF President and usually produces one event each year when the promotion visits Ishikawa.
Stats & Info:
Weight: 233 pounds/106 kg
Experience: 20 years
Finishing move: Golden Arm Bomber, Northern Lights Suplex
Current affiliation: Retired as wrestler, All-Japan as executive
4-time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion
2-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion
1-time WCW International World Heavyweight Championship
1-time Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship
1993, 1994 Super Grade Tag League
1991 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match Of The Year Award
1993 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Best Technical Wrestler Award
Inducted Into Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall Of Fame In 2006
Member Of Stampede Wrestling Hall Of Fame