Monday, January 8, 2024

Fujita Jr. Hayato Makes History in Michinoku Pro

The Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship is Michinoku Pro's singles championship, and Fujita Jr. Hayato has now held it longer than any other wrestler in the company’s history. Saturday, January 6 marked the date that Hayato has been Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion for 554 days, making him the longest-reigning holder of the championship.

The record was prevously held by Rui Hyugaji, who held the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship for 553 days, before he was defeated by MUSASHI, who held the championship until he was defeated by Fujita Jr. Hayato on July 2nd, 2022 in a historical match that was declared the 2022 Japan Indie Best Bout by pro-wrestling channel Samurai TV.

The Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship is a prestigious championship that has existed since August 2002 with the distinction of having legends and well-known talents as part of its legacy such as The Great Sasuke, Dick Togo, and TAKA Michinoku.

Fujita Jr. Hayato was trained by legend Jinsei Shinzaki and began his career in December 2004 in a Michinoku Pro ring. Currently in his third reign as Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion, Hayato has also had tag team success during his career, co-holding the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship in 2016, which he defended in ZERO1.

Fujita Jr. Hayato’s very successful career took an unfortunate turn when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. In 2019, Hayato had surgery to partially remove a tumor in his spine, and Hayato's return four years after his career was sidetracked by the disease to reclaim the Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Championship was a source of inspiration for people confronted with seemingly impossible obstacles in life.

Unfortunately, while Fujita Jr. Hayato's pro-wrestling career is experiencing another career highlight, a health issue has reemerged. He announced last month that the cancer has returned, and Hayato will have surgery in the middle of this month. Always a fighter, he competed in a match earlier this month at NJPW's annual Wrestle Kingdom event, which marked Hayato's final match before the surgery. Fans are holding him in their prayers, while they patiently wait for Hayato to return to the ring once again.

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