One of the top Jr. Heavyweights in ZERO1, Ikuto Hidaka is a 13-year veteran who is one of many puro stars to come out of Animal Hamaguchi’s gym. Starting out in BattlARTS, he also appeared regularly for ECW in 2000, was not very successful as he constantly botched moves and lost every match during his tenure there, obviously being still unaccustomed to highspots. Commentator Joel Gertner constantly made racist remarks about Hidaka during his matches and nicknamed him “Pokémon” after the popular children’s animated series. When he returned to Japan, he became a freelancer after the collapse of BattlARTS in 2001, eventually winding up in Michinoku Pro. won a tournament for the vacant FMW Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship, upsetting New Japan Pro Wrestling star El Samurai in the final – his first great solo victory. He made an alliance with Dick Togo, styling himself as Togo’s disciple and joining him in the Far East Connection stable. As Togo and Michinoku Pro owner The Great Sasuke bickered over problems that had once caused Togo to leave the promotion before, they entered Pro Wrestling Zero1 and began to battle the active junior heavyweight roster. For a while they were successful, winning the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team title once, but as Togo wanted to keep on wrestling other independents, their team broke up just in time as Fujita was returning from an overseas excursion, which freed him to do independent dates.
Hidaka then began teaming with Minoru Fujita, a successful tandem that even won the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in NOAH, but they broke up in late 2006 following a crucial loss to Minoru Tanaka and Masaaki Mochizuki. Soon afterwards, Hidaka would beat Fujita to win the ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight Championship. Since mid-2008 Hidaka has regularly teamed with BattlARTS star Munenori Sawa to form one of ZERO1’s top Jr. teams, and they had a roughly 2-year reign as NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champions.
Stats & Info:
Weight: 187 pounds/85 kg
Experience: 13 years
Finishing move: Wild Dog High Kick, Shawn Capture, Misty Flip
Current affiliation: ZERO1
1-time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion
1-time Independent Jr. Heavyweight Champion
2-time NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion
3-time NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champion
5-time ZERO1 International Jr. Heavyweight Champion
1-time PWF Universal Tag Team Champion
2009 Tenka-Ichi Jr. Tournament
2010 Tenka-Ichi Jr. Tournament
Official website (Japanese):