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#WTFWednesday: Domo Hard Gay Desu!

"Weird Japan" is a treasure trove of tropes and trends: from vending machines to cosplayers, from TV commercials to game shows. In a country which prides itself on soy sauce-flavored Kit Kats and hotels which employ robot dinosaur receptionists, it's not hard to imagine that the puroresu scene also adds to this veritable omakase of pop culture gold.

No man exemplifies that more than one Masaki Sumitani, better known as Hard Gay.

For the uninitiated, Hard Gay isn't a "gay character." You can think of Hard Gay's gimmick as a punk-raver-macho dancer: entering the ring to the tune of Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca," Hard Gay pelvic-thrusts and FOOOOH!s his way through everything from high-stakes wrestling matches, to helping struggling ramen shops in downtown Osaka.

Hard Gay is also quite a competitor: he can look like ten million yen in victory or (in most cases), defeat, as evidenced by this match. 

But Hard Gay's greatest successes never happened in the wrestling ring. Rather, he made waves in owarai: comedy acts in Japanese variety shows. Here's a documentary on the subject from the lens of Hard Gay, as written and presented by Jonathan Ross (who is also dressed in an HG PVC outfit):

Hard Gay isn't a highly-decorated wrestler or a mat technician, but has carved his place in the annals of "weird Japan." Despite challenges and obstacles that would be enough for people to send in the clowns for a little night music, Sumitani continues to push forward with his showbiz career. However, it seems that the pelvic-thrusting antics of HG has long gone, and Sumitani is now forging ahead on his own as a professional male model.

And so it is with weird Japan and wrestling: what with crossdressing wrestlers as frontmen for rock bands, to matches with invisible wrestlers, and even extremely talented wrestlers in the form of inflatable sex dolls, they don't get better—and no weirder—than one of the weirdest of them all.


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