FREEDOMS ran their biggest show in their 9 month history of the promotion by running Korakuen Hall for the first time. The show was labeled a success drawing 1,193 fans to the show. I attended the show and before hearing the number I guess 1200 were at the show so the number seems pretty legitimate. It's around the same number that the Apache Army use to get in 2006 and 2007 for their better promoted Korakuen Hall shows. Mr. Gannosuke was at the show selling tickets to his Gannosuke Productions show on July 8th as well as Jaki Numazawa and Atsushi Ohashi were there to hang out with Jun Kasai after the show.
The show was the first FREEDOMS show taped for Samurai TV and aired on June 29th
at 11 PM to 1 AM.
The first two pictures are pictures I took of the poster of the show at Korakuen Hall and inside the building about 30 minutes before the show started. The rest of the pictures used on this review were taken by somebody at the show who were sitting very close to me but with a much better camera. My pictures of the show will be posted later for my Japan Diary 2010 report which will be out in a couple of days.
The show started with a 5 vs. 5 Captain Falls Elimination Match between the FREEDOMS Army of Kamui, Ricky Fuji, Keita Yano, Madoka, and Shinobu taking on the Kojika Army of Abdullah Kobayashi, Kazuhiko Ogasawara, Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei, and Ken45° with Kamui and Kobayashi being the captains for their respective teams.
The Brahman Bros. were very entertaining during the show as they came out spitting and throwing water all over the front row. The match started with Ricky Fuji getting a quick pinfall with the Kamikaze over Brahman Kei to eliminate him at 2 minutes, 21 seconds. Ricky and Brahman Shu then began to fight and both would end up falling over the top rope but managing to stay on the apron until Ken45° would deliver a dropkick causing both Ricky and Shu to fall to the outside and eliminate both of them at 3 minutes, 20 seconds. The Kojika Army would then begin to dominate as Abdullah Kobayashi would hit a Diving Elbow on Keita Yano to get the pinfall over him at 4 minutes, 58 seconds. Kobayashi would then throw Shinobu over the top rope to eliminate him at 6 minutes, 25 seconds. The Brahman Bros. would make it back into the ring and throw over Madoka to eliminate him at 6 minutes, 50 seconds although it would be credited to the legal man in the ring at the time in Ken45° as eliminating him. This would leave Kamui in the ring by himself against Ken45°, Ogasawara, and Kobayashi.
All five of the Kojika Army would attack Kamui until the rest of the FREEDOMS Army would come in to help their partner to make the fight fair as Kamui would hit the 450 Fire Bird Splash on Ken45° and then manage to get a inside cradle on Kobayashi to get the pinfall over the Kojika Army Captain to earn the win for the FREEDOMS Army at 8 minutes, 27 seconds in Kamui's biggest win of his career in a entertaining opener to the show.
The next match was the team of Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Masashi Takeda taking on Minoru Fujita and Takuya Sugawara. The match overall was a good match, but really the only match that can afford to be edited some when the show airs on Samurai TV. Fujita and Sugawara would mock Takeda throughout the match by swiping at his mohawk and messing it up but Takeda would end up getting the pinfall victory over Sugawara by hitting a German Supplex at 11 minutes, 22 seconds.
The next match was the personal highlight of the show for me. Mammoth Sasaki came to the ring to his FMW remix theme with a FREEDOMS jacket on to make his return to the ring for the first time in 16 months. The match start with fans screaming in excitement for Mammoth's return as Mammoth and Sekimoto started by running into each other like two sumo wrestlers.
The two then began hitting each other with chops to the chest. Mammoth would end up clotheslining Sekimoto out of the ring and then going to the outside and hitting a flying clothesline off the apron on Sekimoto as the crowd began screaming for Mammoth. Ricky Fuji and Kamui were by ringside screaming for Mammoth as Mammoth and Sekimoto went back in the ring and continued to exchange chops as well as clotheslines and head butts to one another with the fans chanting Mammoth's name. Mammoth would try at the 29 Years Old but Sekimoto would manage to slide away before being hit with it and then put Mammoth in the Torture Rack before finally letting go after not getting Mammoth to submit. Sekimoto would then climb the top rope and hit the frog splash and make the cover but as the referee was counting, Mammoth would manage to pick up Sekimoto during the count and hit the 29 Years Old on Sekimoto although Sekimoto would manage to kick out of it at two.
Sekimoto would then take control and not look back as he would hit Mammoth with a German Supplex with Mammoth kicking out to a huge ovation. But Sekimoto would not be finished as he would be just too much for Mammoth and hit another German Supplex with Mammoth unable to kick out of this one as Sekimoto would get the win over Mammoth at 12 minutes, 12 seconds. The chants for Mammoth would not stop afterwards and Sekimoto would end up grabbing the mic to say "Welcome back Mammoth" as Mammoth would then grab the mic and thank the fans for their support and how happy was to back in the ring to another loud Mammoth chant.
The next match was a Hardcore Rules Match between Jun Kasai against Necro Butcher. There is a rule that aren't to be any Death Matches in FREEDOMS other than Jun Kasai promoted shows as FREEDOMS is trying to distance itself from the days of the Apache Army promotion that was considered a Death Match promotion and didn't draw towards the end so this match was made just a Hardcore Rules match. Kasai and Butcher started by exchanging shots to one another's face but it didn't take long before Kasai brought in a ladder and the two both climbed it and continued to hit each other across the face while on the ladder.
Eventually it turned into a brawl that would go into the crowd with Kasai becoming busted open by being slammed into the wall of Korakuen Hall. They would make it back into the ringside area with Kasai biting away at Butcher's forehead to cause him to begin bleeding as well. Kasai would then setup Butcher on a table and go back in the ring and climb the top of the ladder and dive off it sending Butcher through the table on the outside. Butcher would make his come back eventually by powerbombing Kasai on a piece of a table setup between the turnbuckle and then place a plastic bag over Kasai's head. Butcher would then pull out a board with nails on it and set it on a stack of chairs. Kasai would block being put through the board of nails and grab a chair and smash Butcher over the head with it and lay Butcher over the board of nails and go to the top rope for his Pearl Harbor Splash through the board of nails.
Butcher would manage to get up instead and grab a hold of Kasai and powerbomb Kasai through the board of nails. Butcher would then lay down the ladder and try to supplex Kasai head first onto the ladder but Kasai would counter and instead send Butcher head first into the ladder with Butcher bleeding profusely and in obvious pain from going head first into the ladder. Kasai would then climb the ladder and put on his goggles and hit the Pearl Harbor Splash off the ladder to get the pinfall over Necro Butcher at 15 minutes, 55 seconds for the win. Kasai to celebrate would run into the crowd and pick up his son sitting in the crowd to a huge Kasai chant.
I would talk to Necro Butcher afterwards during intermission who still had blood all over his face at his merchandise table acting like he suffered a concussion from taking the supplex head first onto the ladder telling me how he wish he could just take a nap right here on the table and told me to feel the huge bump on the back of his head from the spot. He would also later tell me that he suffered a broken ear drum from the spot and was still in pain from it a week later.
The next series of matches would be a series of 5 vs. 5 FREEDOMS Army vs. The Kojika Army with the FREEDOMS Army consisting of GENTARO, Takashi Sasaki, TAJIRI, The Winger, and HIROKI and the Kojika Army consisting of Great Kojika, The Great Sasuke, Onryo, Antonio Honda, and Magnitude Kishiwada. Great Kojika would be carried to the ring on the shoulders of the Brahman Brothers, Kazuhiko Ogasawara, Abdullah Kobayashi, and Ken45°
The first match would be HIROKI against Magnitude Kishiwada with the majority of the match seeing Kishiwada attempting to hit his Last Ride Powerbomb on HIROKI with HIROKI getting out each time. HIROKI would end up doing a dive onto Kishiwada on the outside that would hit about three women in the first row as well. Eventually Kishiwada would manage to hit his Last Ride Powerbomb on HIROKI to get the pinfall at 7 minutes, 4 seconds and a 1-0 lead for the Kojika Army. The next match saw Antonio Honda against The Winger although the match would not go very long as Honda would end up getting a Inside Cradle on The Winger for a shocker at 3 minutes, 41 seconds to give the Kojika Army a 2-0 lead. Honda very shocked from the win would run outside the ring after the win and begin highfiving everyone in the crowd he could.
The next match saw TAJIRI take on Onryo with Onryo always managing to dodge TAJIRI's mist and TAJIRI always managing to dodge Onryo's dust. Eventually Onryo would manage to get TAJIRI in the face with the dust and move out of the way right before TAJIRI would spit his mist out. Onryo would then get his Onryo Clutch on TAJIRI but only get two before TAJIRI laying down on the mat with Onryo over him would finally spray his mist in Onryo's face and get the Samson Clutch rollup on Onryo for the win at 7 minutes, 32 seconds to make it 2-1 Kojika Army.
The next saw Takashi Sasaki take on The Great Sasuke. They would botch a spot early on as Sasaki would go for a Tornado DDT and they both would just end up landing awkwardly instead. Sasuke would get the match on track eventually as he would climb the top turnbuckle and hit a diving flip on Sasaki on the outside. Sasuke would get very annoyed with the Brahman Bros. on the outside and would begin shoving them and telling them to get out of the way. The Brahman Brothers and Ken45° would still help out Sasuke by coming in the ring and attacking Sasaki and lifting him over their shoulders so Sasuke can come off the top rope and hit Sasaki but unable to get the pin. Sasaki would manage to make a come back and hit a Fuyuki Charging Lariat on Sasuke and then finish him off with a Right Leg Kick to the head for the pinfall at at 7 minutes, 3 seconds to tie it up at 2-2. The Brahman Brothers afterwards would then turn on The Great Sasuke for losing and begin stomping away at him before grabbing him and kidnapping him before the start of the next and final match.
The match would start with the crowd chanting Kojika's name despite him being the heel in the match. GENTARO would chop away at Kojika and then send him to the outside where GENTARO would hit an Asai Moonsault. While on the outside GENTARO would be attacked by the Brahman Brothers and Ken45° who would lay him out and throw him back in the ring. Kojika would then place a Figure Four on GENTARO for awhile before GENTARO would finally make it to the ropes. The Brahman Brothers and Ken45° would keep attacking GENTARO and helping lay him out for Kojika to make the cover.
Kojika would end up making the cover although the referee would pause before counting to three until GENTARO would have to kick out when The Great Sasuke would finally make it to the ring showing that he was late and was suppose to make the save for GENTARO. The Great Sasuke would then attack the Brahman Brothers and Ken45° and hit a dive on them to take them out of the match. GENTARO would then make back to his feet and begin chopping away at Kojika and then put a Figure Four Leglock around the ringpost on Kojika although he would be forced to break the move at a five count. GENTARO would then put Kojika in a figure four in the ring but Kojika would manage to grab the rope. Kojika would eventually fight back and even hit a Dragon Screw Legwhip on GENTARO and then put the Claw on GENTARO although GENTARO would in return put his own claw hold on Kojika as well. GENTARO would eventually manage to slap on the Sharpshooter and make Kojika tap out for the win at 19 minutes, 10 seconds and for the FREEDOMS Army win.
GENTARO and Kojika afterwards would shake hands and GENTARO would pick up Kojika on his back and carry him to the back. Takashi Sasaki, TAJIRI, The Winger, and HIROKI would celebrate in the ring the FREEDOMS Army win as Takashi Sasaki would run into the crowd and do his signature pose in the stands to end the show. Sasaki would also thank every fan afterwards at the door for attending the show. Overall it was a very good show, definitely the most lively crowd ever for a FREEDOMS show which sometimes has a dead crowd while in Shin-Kiba but for the first time FREEDOMS really seemed like it had some life to it. This show definitely had a special feel to it.