Mitsuhide Hirasawa (27 March 1982) is a Japanese professional wrestler, currently signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he works under a mask as Captain New Japan. He is also known by his previous ring name Hideo Saito.
Professional wrestling career
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2006–2010)
Hirasawa originally debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling on 28 January 2006, losing to Takashi Iizuka. Hirasawa would wrestle on the New Japan undercard, mostly losing which is custom for new wrestlers in New Japan. His first win would come on 26 April, defeating the two year pro Yujiro Takahashi. Hirasawa teamed up with Ryusuke Taguchi to participate in his first tournament, the National Area Tag League 2006 where they were placed in block C and lost both of their matches. Hirasawa would make several appearances for Pro Wrestling Zero1, the most notable of which was when he and Manabu Nakanishi participated in the Passion Cup Tag Tournament 2008. In late 2008, Hirasawa would form a tag team with Yuji Nagata, which would be a precursor to Seigigun ("Blue Justice Army"). The pair participated in G1 Tag League 2008 block B, they would only gain a single point when they drew with Manabu Nakanishi and Yutaka Yoshie. In the fall of 2009, Hirasawa joined Yuji Nagata's new Seigigun along with Wataru Inoue and Super Strong Machine. At Wrestle Kingdom IV In Tokyo Dome, Hirasawa along with Wataru Inoue and Super Strong Machine defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Koji Kanemoto, and Kazuchika Okada in the opening match. Even with joining this stable, Hirasawa largely continued in the midcard largely serving as the fall guy in tag match. On 28 June, Seigigun entered a six-man tag tournament with Nagata, Inoue, and Hirasawa forming one team while Machine teamed with Tonga Strong Machine and Pink Strong Machine (Yutaka Yoshie) however both teams lost. On 12 September, there was a special Mitsuhide Hirasawa farewell match, which he would lose.
World Wrestling Council (2010–2011)
After embarking on an extended tour of Puerto Rican World Wrestling Council (WWC) in September 2010, Hirasawa adopted the new ring name Hideo Saito as a tribute to Masa Saito and Hideo Nomo. On 25 September, Saito would win his first championship when he won a battle royal for the vacant WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Championship and would lose it on 27 November. On 19 February, he also won the WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship and lost it on 26 March. In May 2011 Saito took part in New Japan's first tour of the United States, the Invasion Tour 2011. On 13 May in Rahway, New Jersey, he entered the tournament to determine the first ever IWGP Intercontinental Champion, losing to Yujiro Takahashi in his first round match.
Return to New Japan (2011–present)
Hirasawa returned to New Japan on 18 June, now going permanently by the Saito name, and turned on Seigigun and its leader Yuji Nagata, joining CHAOS. In August, Saito took part in the 2011 G1 Climax, losing his first eight matches only to pick up his opening win on the final day of the tournament in a match against former mentor, Yuji Nagata. On 19 September, Nagata defeated his former protégé in a grudge match. Saito's erratic behaviour and poor match results eventually led to the rest of CHAOS kicking him out of the stable on 4 December 2011. After his exhile from CHAOS, Saito developed an alter-ego called Captain New Japan, dressed in a variation of the Captain America costume, complete with a shield. In November, Captain New Japan took part in the 2012 World Tag League, teaming with IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi under the team name "Captain Ace". The team lost all six of their matches with Captain New Japan being pinned in each match. On 3 March 2013, Captain New Japan returned to Seigigun in an eight-man tag team match, where he, Yuji Nagata, Super Strong Machine and Wataru Inoue were defeated by Hirooki Goto, Karl Anderson, Ryusuke Taguchi and Tama Tonga. On 7 April, Captain New Japan was attacked by Bad Luck Fale and Prince Devitt and would also be unmasked by Devitt, however, his face was never shown. In response to this, Captain New Japan teamed up with Devitt's former Apollo 55 partner, Ryusuke Taguchi and challenged the two at Wrestling Dontaku 2013, where they lost. Following these events, Captain New Japan has fought against the newly formed Bullet Club which is headed by Devitt, he has also reformed his alliance with Tanahashi. On 4 August, Captain New Japan carried Tanahashi to the ring akin to Fale and Devitt, he would also get involved in the matchup trying to limit the effects of Fale's interference, however, Devitt would ultimately defeat Tanahashi. In November, Captain Ace reunited for the 2013 World Tag League. Much like the previous year, the team lost their first five matches, but on the final day they finally picked up a win over Fale and Devitt with Captain pinning Devitt, costing the Bullet Club team a spot in the semifinals. On 13 April 2014, during New Japan's trip to Taiwan, Hirasawa, working as Captain Taiwan, received his first title shot in the promotion, when he and Hirooki Goto unsuccessfully challenged Bullet Club representatives Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson for the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
- "Departed Spirits" by New Japan Pro Wrestling
- "Where Are You From?" by New Japan Pro Wrestling
Championships and accomplishments
- World Wrestling Council