In some sad news to report today, one of the all-time greats from ‘The Land Of The Rising Sun’, Masa Saito, has passed away at the age of 76 after a 18-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Saito will go down as one of the legends of Japanese wrestling, competing in freestyle wrestling at the 1964 Olympic Games before beginning his pro wrestling career in 1965. During his 34-year pro career, Saito competed for every big promotion including the NWA, WWF, AWA, WCW, New Japan Pro Wrestling and All-Japan Pro Wrestling among others. He’s also one of the more decorated Japanese stars to make his mark in North America, winning numerous titles through out his career:
- 2-time IWGP Tag Team Champion (once with Riki Choshu, once with Shinya Hashimoto)
- 1-time AWA World Heavyweight Champion
- 2-time NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion
- 5-time NWA Florida Tag Team Champion (three with Ivan Koloff, two with Mr. Sato)
- 2-time WWF Tag Team Champion (with Mr. Fuji)
- 1-time NWA North American Tag Team Champion (with Hiro Matsuda)
WWE fans will obviously remember Masa Saito most for his pairing with WWE Hall Of Famer Mr. Fuji, but he also made appearances for Ted Turner’s WCW in the early-to-mid 1990’s, most notably at Starrcade 1990 alongside The Great Muta to take on The Steiner Brothers, then again at Starrcade 1995 against Johnny B. Badd.
The Chairshot would like to issue its sincerest condolences to the friends of family of Masa Saito.
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