Tuesday, March 27, 2007

WCW: Mr. Saito

Height: 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight: 120 kg (265 lb)
Professional debut: June 3, 1965, vs. Sarukichi Takasakiyama
Retirement: 1999
Previous identities: Mr. Saito, Masa Saito
Masanori Saito is a former Japanese professional wrestler better known as Mr. Saito or Masa Saito.
Saito competed in freestyle wrestling for his native land of Japan in the 1964 Olympic Games, (placing 7th).

He began his pro-wrestling career shortly after the games and quickly established himself as a talented grappler in both Japan and the United States.

Saito held numerous titles while wrestling in Japan. He also competed in the WWF where he won the WWF Tag Team Championship with Mr. Fuji and in the AWA where he defeated Larry Zbyszko for the AWA World Heavyweight Championship in front of a hometown crowd of 65,000 people at the Tokyo Dome in February 1990. He would lose the title 2 months later in a rematch with Zbyszko at SuperClash 4.

Saito made sporadic appearances in the US during the 1990's wrestling almost exclusively in Japan. Saito retired from wrestling in 1999. Saito is suffering from the onset of diabetes and is reported to be in poor health.

On April 6, 1984, Saito and fellow wrestler Ken Patera went to a McDonald's in Waukesha, Wisconsin that had closed for the night. When they were refused service, Patera threw a boulder through the front window. When police showed up at the Holiday Inn where the wrestlers were staying, a brawl broke out between the grapplers and the officers. In June 1985, Patera was convicted on two counts of battery on a police officer and one count of criminal damage to property. Saito was convicted on three counts of battery on a police officer and one count of obstructing a peace officer. Both men were sentenced to two years in prison.

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