FMW-E would hold their debut show on July 4, 2021 entitled
"Independence Day" at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetable Market. They
announced a crowd of 425 fans for the show which was a legitimate sell out due
to the COVID conditions.
The main event was Atsushi Onita teaming up with Ricky Fuji and Minoru Fujita taking on Abdullah Kobayashi, Yuko Miyamoto, and Onryo in a Exploding Barbed wire, Landmines, Double Exploding Barbed wire Baseball Bats, and Exploding Table Death Match. The exploding barbed wire used in the match was wrapped around the ropes so it does seem like the No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire that had been used in tons of Onita matches from 1992 to 2017 seems like it is actually gone for good. Onita had stated that this match would be the first landmine death match since his Landmine Death Match with Mr. Pogo going on May 6, 1991 in Osaka although the barricade outside the ring with barbed and explosions were used numerous times FMW after that match. The Exploding Table gimmick was the only weapon in this match making its debut.
Onita would go after Kobayashi right away before Kobayashi would end up sending Onita into the exploding barbed wire. Onryo would then turn on the exploding bats Kobayashi and Miyamoto would both hit Onita with two bats at the same time which is only the second time Onita has done that spot before as the first time it happened to him on October 9, 2017 the powers of the two bats together were so strong it messed up his shoulder. This time the spot did not seem to effect Onita and he was able to continue on like normal as he would fight with Kobayashi on the apron as Kobayashi would tease powerbombing Onita off the apron onto the landmines, but Onita would end up spitting red mist in Kobayashi's face instead and then tease hitting a DDT on him before just dropping Kobayashi into the exploding barricade landmine. Onita would end up also eventually falling down off the apron into the barricade as well but after the explosives had already been set off.
These explosives would be so powerful for the inside building that smoke would end up covering the entire building as typically when using these type of powerful explosives the show is either outside or the building is much bigger. Most fans in attendance live would be unable to see the ring at this point and the two of the ZAIKO cameras went dead according following blast leaving only one that just focused on Abdullah Kobayashi laying outside the ring with smoke covering the building after the exploding landmine barricade spot which would result in the streaming audience not be able to watch the rest of the match pretty much and would just be able to hear what was going on until the end.
The Samurai TV camera which use nicer camera equipment were at the show to film highlights and were able to capture the ring and show Onita piledrive Onryo through the exploding table in another impressive explosion which the ZAIKO cameras missed. Onryo after the show would state he felt like he died from the exploding table as Onita would take a moment before covering him to get the win at 16 minutes, 59 seconds for the Onita team victory.
Onita would do his mic work with the crowd when Shadow WX would appear for the first time at a wrestling show since his last MLW show back on December 15, 2019 and challenge Onita at the next FMW-E show in Osaka on August 15th before attacking Onita and getting on the apron and shooting a fireball at him with the fire engulfing Onita's jacket in an impressive spot with the ring boys having to pour water on Onita immediately. The ZAIKO stream would mess this up as well as they would actually right off after Shadow had originally screwed up the fireball spot and barely any fire had came out before he would end up doing the impressive fireball which the streaming audience would miss.
Due to the show taking place in a smallish building (it looks like a parking lot garage from the outside) that is located in a neighborhood the fire department was called due to so much smoke coming out of the sides of the building. FMW-E had actually notified the fire department prior to the show to let them know in advance of what was going to happen, but because of the phone calls from the neighbors, the fire department as well as police department both ended up showing up to check on what was going on right as the show was about to end.
Prior to the show, there was a bet between Atsushi Onita and Abdullah Kobayashi with the stakes being that if Onita's team won then Kobayashi's moped that he drove to the show would be blown up, and if Kobayashi's team won then Onita's jacket would be blown up. It was a bait and switch and very similar to the Hayabusa vs. Mr. Gannosuke April 29, 1997 Hair vs. Mask Match which I would not be surprised if Onita was behind the idea of that match back then where Hayabusa won but in the end he got his mask ripped off and Gannosuke walked away still with hair. Kobayashi ended up crawling away after Shadow WX showed up and lit Onita's jacket on fire so despite Onita's team winning his jacket ended up getting burnt instead and Kobayashi would get to keep moped. Onita afterwards did bring up Kobayashi's moped not getting blown up on Twitter as he would call Kobayashi a bastard for running away with Kobayashi responding with a picture of himself smiling on his moped to troll Onita.
The semi-main event of the show was a Genderless 3 Way Coin Tossing Bunkhouse Death Match. This match which was originally going to be a women's match was changed to a Genderless Match. There was talks of independent wrestler Asuka working the show, but that never came to be instead it was Miss Mongol taking on Nene∞D.a.i and a Mystery Opponent that turned out to be Drew Parker who was doing commentary on the English side for the show. With Parker being in the match, Michelle Cain who is a British super fan and has lived in Japan for a decade took over commentary for him in the match. This was planned weeks in advanced as Michelle had been made the offer to do commentary and the original plan was that Miss Mongol would see her in the crowd and force her to replace Drew in commentary but at the last moment it was changed to Mongol asking Michelle nicely if she would do it. The sole purpose of this match was to try and get people to donate money to decide what weapons would be used although most likely all the weapons were going to be used regardless and this match ended up dragging as Parker was still dealing with injuries from the previous Big Japan show the night before although he would end up getting the win at 18 minutes, 45 seconds with a Diving Swanton Bomb on D.a.i on a barbed wire board for the win.
Kikutaro and Gabaiji-chan took faced off against Brahman Shu and Kei in a No Contest at 14 minutes, 39 seconds when both teams to decided to attack the referee causing him to throw the match out. Yuichi Taniguchi, HASEGAWA, and Naoshi Sano defeated Monster Leather who was Yoshihisa Hamano who has been doing the Leatherface gimmick for Onita shows the last couple of years although for some reason this show they had him use the Monster Leather name which Tomohiko Hashimoto used at the beginning of the Super Battle FMW promotion in 2015 and he would team up with WWS wrestler Mr. Atomic, and low level indie wrestler Toshiya Kawarai with HASEGAWA getting the win over Leather at 6 minutes, 8 seconds with a La Magistral. Yumehito Imanari opened the show defeating Buatsushi Futonita who also goes by the Fat Onita in a Fake Explosion comedy match. They did several Onita spots including a reinactment of Onita having to grab the exploding barbed wire to break the Scorpion Death Lock put on him by Riki Choshu from their July 30, 2000 Yokohama Arena Match as Imanari would get the win after using a Fake Exploding Bat to get the win at 9 minutes, 8 seconds over Futonita. Click here to watch highlights of the FMW-E 7/4/21 show.
Shadow WX who had been out of wrestling since 2013 due to health issues came back in December 2019 to start his MLW promotion which ran two shows. MLW was suppose to hold two more shows in May 2020 but due to COVID those shows were cancelled and there has not been anymore shows since with Shadow pretty much going back to inactive over the last year until Onita made the call to bring him into FMW-E. The reasoning being that Shadow WX is the closest wrestler to Mr. Pogo that is going to be willing to face Onita in a explosion match. Shadow WX worked with Mr. Pogo as his partner in Big Japan from 1997-1998 and has a similar build to him. Onita has even insited that Shadow WX transform into Mr. Pogo for the show so Shadow took pictures of him dressed in the Mr. Pogo face paint and attire and shooting a fireball like Pogo did.
The next FMW-E show will take place on August 15, 2021 at the Osaka Tsurumi Green Forest Hana Exhibition Park. The show will be outside and is scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm meaning the Onita match will probably be beginning around 6:30 pm when it will not be as hot. Jun Kasai made his debut in this park back in August 1998 and all he remembers from the match is how hot the ring mat was because of the powerful sun rays hitting it for hours. There has been no talk as of yet of ZAIKO streaming this show which was one of the first things talked about when the July 4th show took place. If it were to live stream then the show would begin at 3:30 AM Eastern Time compared to it starting at 11:00 PM Eastern Time for the first show. If I had to guess, I would say this show will probably not be streamed. They had audio issues during the first show, and taking all the equipment all the way to Osaka and have it all outside and hoping it goes better just does not seem like it will happen. I would think it would be taped and aired at a later time would be a possibility though.
The main event was announced for the August 15th FMW-E show and it will be Atsushi Onita teaming up with Takeshi Okada and HASEGAWA taking on Shadow WX going by the Mr. Pogo name, Isami Kodaka, and a Mystery Partner.
This match due to being outside will give them more reign when it comes to the explosion. They are going to have three exploding barricade landmines outside the ring, two exploding barbed wire bats, and the exploding table once again. They also mention there is suppose to be exploding barbed wire wrapped around the ropes despite the art graphic shown to display everything did not include that. They have stated that the exploding landmines will have three times more gunpowder used in them compared to the July 4th show as there will not be any issues of looking like a building is on fire by using them.
When it was originally reported that was going to take place at the Osaka Tsurumi Green Forest Hana Exhibition Park I made note that they were running this show outside to allow for more powerful explosives without any issues, but then after the July 4th show they threw a curve ball and announced that the Osaka show main event would instead be a Fire Death Match which is where the meaning behind Shadow blowing that fireball at Onita came from. The Osaka Tsurumi Green Forest Hana Exhibition Park is most used venue for fire death matches as Big Japan has had numerous ones there through out the years and FREEDOMS had their one there back in 2017 as well. This would also would have been Onita's first Fire Death Match since the disastrous FMW one back on May 6, 1992 where too much kerosene was used and the entire ring burnt down with The Sheik suffering severe burns from struggling to get out of the ring. Fire Death Matches can be unpredictable based off the wind and promotions have learned you can not have the ring be on fire the entire time due to the heat it creates inside the ring, and I have to imagine Onita just decided he would rather take advantage of the outside and use more extreme explosions than deal with fire ever again.
As far as the participants in the match this will be Onita's first time facing off against Shadow WX since Shadow had spent most of his career in Big Japan where Onita didn't visit until Shadow was already long gone, it will be the second time ever being in the same match against Isami Kodaka as the two worked have only worked Super Fireworks house show against one another in 6 man exploding bat match back on May 24, 2015, and then there is their Mystery Partner which FMW-E is saying will be "a man that knows Onita best". FMW-E had originally announced weeks earlier that when the main event would take place that Tomohiko Hashimoto who has worked against Onita numerous times would be in the main event match on Shadow's team, although now adding the mystery man who knows Onita best, it would be a disappointment for it to turn out to be Hashimoto although I don't think that is going to matter at all to them no matter who it is. (Update: Hashimoto has been announced for an undercard match on the show)
Atsushi Onita has been willing to do more interviews to branch
out to the English/Spanish speaking fans in hopes of helping the FMW-E product
grow bigger globally. He has conducted three interviews over the last month. The
first one was with Liam Wyatt of Inside the Ropes which was pretty generic
interview for a click bait website with ads popping up everywhere and you can
tell he did not know very much about Onita and focused the interview on AEW
questions. Onita in the interview stated that he saw the Britt Baker vs. Thunder
Rosa match on AEW Dynamite and thought it was "cool" and the website took that
and ran with that stating the Baker-Rosa match had influenced Onita starting the
FMW-E promotion. Onita and the President Hidetaka Kaijiki had been in talks of
breaking away from the Blasting Koshien sub-promotion and creating a new one for
months and AEW had no influence on the creation of the promotion, just the
backlash of the exploding ring match made Onita feel there was a foreign market
they could make money off of with their explosion matches.
The second interview was done by Colette Arrand of FanFyte who at least is an Onita fan and had background information on him. In her interview, Onita mentions that at the CZW show back in 2017 he offered to bring his explosive engineers for the show with him, but CZW turned it down stating they would do it. That is where Onita took it to heart that the explosives they used in his match against Matt Tremont were so "cheap" although with the decision to have the show inside in a small building, they were not going to be able to do much when it came to explosives anyway, and the fire martial was on the look out at the show as well. Onita mentions to her the big difference between this FMW reincarnation is that it is the first FMW promotion that he is in charge of since the original FMW. He is forgetting he ran Onita FMW in 2002 which was a complete FMW nostalgia promotion ran by him for several months until the promotion became a money loser trying to run it anywhere else besides Korakuen Hall. The other FMW promotions just had him as a wrestler but he had no financial involvement with them besides being talent. She then mentioned about Jon Moxley using Onita's version of "Wild Thing" for a theme song with Onita saying he did not know that Moxley had started doing that and that Moxley had the spirit of the Jado and that he might face him in the ring one day.
The third interview was done by Alex Gimenez a Spanish reporter for Solo Wrestling who has good knowledge of Onita. This interview was conducted after the FMW-E July 4th show. Onita states in that he was happy with the online sales for the stream of the show and that most of the buys came from the United States. Onita did admit that there were a lot of troubles with the live stream due to the internet connection not being stable and audio equipment not being connected which again does not help the case of a stream taking place this month for outside show taking place in Osaka. Onita also mentioned that two of the cameras cut off during the main event after the explosions which is why the one was left just focusing on Kobayashi on the ground and missing everything else. Onita would then be asked if there was any progress about FMW-E running a show in the United States with Onita stating that there has not been but that he is going to continue moving forward.
If a FMW-E show is to take place in the United States this Fall like Onita has wanted and that is a big if with not only finding the building to be able to have the match Onita wants, but also being able to have other members of the FMW-E roster come in for a show in America when there is still a two week quarantine that takes place when everyone returns back to Japan from America, the show will most likely be focused around Onita vs. Matt Tremont. I had mentioned last update that the only reason for Onita to want to come to America would be either to face off against Matt Tremont who is retired or Jon Moxley to set something up with AEW for next year. The Moxley thing seemed unlikely just because I don't see him working an FMW-E show in America although I do see Onita vs. Moxley as a possibility for an AEW PPV in 2022.
Onita has continued to call out Tremont for the past couple of months wanting a match with Tremont. This is actually taken from the fact that Tremont called out Onita wanting a match with him for years on social media before Onita finally responded. Tremont who retired in 2020 had not responded to any of his comments, but Tremont's H2O promotion aired a clip of Tremont's wife telling Tremont that he needs to at least respond to Onita before Tremont would just ignore her and walk away. Whether an FMW-E show actually happens this year or not, it looks like the build for an Onita vs. Tremont singles match has begun.
Onita has also stated that one week in August will be special for him. The first being the FMW-E show on August 15th at the Osaka Green Forest Park as he will be facing off against Mr. Pogo (Shadow WX) in a Landmines Death Match in Osaka 30 years later. Onita says although the show is taking place the Green Forest Park that it is close to where the original match with Pogo took place on May 6, 1991 at the Osaka Expo Festival Park but that it is close by (20 minutes drive) and then one week later he will be returning to the old Kawasaki Stadium on August 21st for the DDT "Peter Pan" show as Onita's first time at Kawasaki Stadium was also 30 years ago as he faced off against Tarzan Goto on September 23, 1991 in the beginning of the legacy of FMW at Kawasaki Stadium.
The match will be a dark match using a different ring on the field than the rest of the show will use. The match is still just listed as a "Current Blast" match just meaning there will be explosives but no details. The match is going to be a dark match in a different ring to allow them to do their explosion match and have time to clear everything out of the way to allow the rest of the show to take place normally in the other ring. The match will be Atsushi Onita, Sanshiro Takagi, Akito, and Maki Itoh taking on Kuro-chan, Muscle Sakai as Super Sasadango Machine, Hikari Noa, and Tetsuhiro Kuroda who is competing in his 9th Kawasaki Stadium match and first since 2004.
This is the continuation of the Onita vs. Japanese comedian Kuro-chan feud that started back on August 27, 2020 at the Toshimaen Amusement Park when Onita requested that Kuro-chan take part in the match that was about to take place and Kuro-chan would refuse and just stay around to watch the match. Onita would then hit Kuro-chan with a cone during the match, so Kuro-chan would get him back by pressing the button for a Jado Rocket to come and hit Onita. Onita would get him back by hitting Kuro-chan with an exploding bat and cover him to get the win even though Kuro-chan was originally not in the match. This would lead to a singles match between Onita and Kuro-chan on December 23, 2020 at the Solomachi Sky Tree Garden where Shinya Aoki would end up hitting Onita with an exploding bat and Kuro-chan would come over and get the singles over Onita. The feud has been on pause that match in December, but this looks to be possibily the conclusion to it.
FREEDOMS would return to Shin-Kiba on June 18, 2021 and announce a crowd of 156 fans for the show. The main event would be a Fluorescent Light Tubes Weapons Death Match with Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, and Takashi Sasaki taking on Violento Jack, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki. Ueki would pull out an umbrella with various weapons attached to it, but as Sakuda would go to toss Kasai into it, it would be reverse and Sakuda would go into the umbrella instead. Kasai would then pick up Ueki and hit him with a One Winged Angel on the umbrella. Jack and Sugiura would then face off with Jack nailing Sugiura with a suplex and Sugiura coming back with a running elbow but as he would cover him, Jack would put Sugiura in the Mexican Stretch with Sugiura getting out and nailing Jack with a Swift Driver to get the pinfall at 21 minutes, 13 seconds for the FREEDOMS win. After the match, Kasai would challenge Sakuda and Ueki for the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles with Sasaki being his partner for the July 5th Korakuen Hall show.
The semi-main event would Masashi Takeda taking on Kamui in a Double Hell Board which would be a barbed wire board and fork board Death Match. Takeda would climb up a ladder and dive off of it onto the outside on the barbed wire board over Kamui's body. They would end up getting back in the ring and Kamui would grab Takeda and climb up the ladder and drop him off the ladder onto the fork board. Kamui would then place bottled cans over Takeda's body and go up to the top and go for a Swanton Bomb but Takeda would get the bottle cans up in the air for Kamui to receive the impact instead followed by Takeda finishing Kamui off with a Reverse U Crash on the fork board for the win at 13 minutes, 32 seconds as Takeda would step on Kamui's throat while flipping him off and then see Rina Yamashita at ringside and flip her off as well before leaving.
Mammoth Sasaki, Daisuke Masaoka, and Tomoya Hirata would defeat Minoru Fujita, Kenji Fukimoto, and Rina Yamashita when Masaoka getting the win over Fujita at 10 minutes, 52 seconds with a Tornado Clutch. Brahman GEN, Brahman Kei, and Dragon Libre would get the win over Yuya Susumu, Kengo, and Alejandro despite Kei accidentally throwing powder in GEN's face, he would still recover to hit Susumu with a Back Drop to get the win at 9 minutes, 42 seconds with GEN announcing that he would be dropping the Brahman GEN gimick going forward and going back to GENTARO with Kei shaking his hand and giving him his blessing. The opening match would see Tatsuhito Takaiwa defeat 2AW's Daiju Wakamatsu at 9 minutes, 39 seconds with a Death Valley Bomb for the win. Click here to watch highlights of the FREEDOMS 6/18/21 show.
Toru Sugiura would promote his own
FREEDOMS show on June 20, 2021 at his old stomping ground the Nagoya Sportiva
Arena where they would announce a crowd of 50 fans. The main event would be
Violento Jack and Toshiyuki Sakuda defeating Toru Sugiura and Daisuke Masaoka in
a Weapons Tornado Death Match when Jack would make Masaoka tap out at 14
minutes, 56 seconds with the Mexican Stretch. Jun Kasai would defeat Nagoya
based wrestler Yusaku Ito in the semi-main event at 11 minutes, 6 seconds with
the Pearl Harbor Splash. Rekka would get the win over Dragon Libre at 8 minutes,
54 seconds with a Golden Kamuy and the opening match would have Nagoya based
wrestler Takaya Shibayama defeat Darkness Crow at 7 minutes, 40 seconds with a
FREEDOMS and 2AW would continue to run their joint shows with this one taking place on June 27, 2021 at the Chiba 2AW Square drawing an announced 68 fans for the show. The main event would see the 2AW team of Shu Asakwa, Kaji Tomato, Ayato Yoshida, and Tank Nagai defeat the FREEDOMS team of Toru Sugiura, Daisuke Masaoka, Yuya Susumu, and Tomoya Hirata when Asakawa would pick up the win at 16 minutes, 43 seconds with a White Knuckle Ride over Hirata. The semi-main event would be Jun Kasai and Kenji Fukimoto defeating 2AW's Kengo Mashimo and Tatsuya Hanami with Kasai picking up the win at 11 minutes, 43 seconds with a Reverse Tiger Driver on Hamani. THE Andrew King Takuma and Taylor Adams would defeat Takashi Sasaki and Dragon Libre with Adams getting the pin at 10 minutes, 38 seconds with the Kiwi Bomb over Libre. GENTARO and Ricky Fuji's match would end at 10 minutes, 19 seconds after both would end up being counted out. Violento Jack would make short work of Chicharito Shoki at 7 minutes with the Violent Breaker. The opening match would see Mammoth Sasaki, Kamui, and Takahiro Katori defeating Daiju Wakamtsu, Takuro Niki, and Naka Shuma when Mammoth would put away Wakamatsu at 8 minutes, 23 seconds with the 29 Years Old as both FREEDOMS and 2AW would end the night going 3-3 for the show.
The first Jun Kasai promoted Death Match Carnival took place on July 5, 2021 at Korakuen Hall with an announced crowd of 703 fans for the show which is the biggest pandemic number at Korakuen Hall for the promotion surpassing the Christmas Death Match show which was at 668 fans although the fact that many tickets bought for the May 2nd Korakuen Hall show that was cancelled transferred to this show also probably was a factor in the show doing so well. I usually say going by traditionally standard of a Korakuen Hall that the closest measurement is to multiply the number by two to see where the number typically put it which would make this show in the 1400 range making it the third biggest FREEDOMS Korakuen Hall show behind Kasai's 20th Anniversary show in August 2018 and the Christmas Death Match show in 2019.
The main event would be Toru Sugiura defending the King of Freedom World Championship against Violento Jack in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Glass Board Death Match. Jack would work on Sugiura's elbow right away by sending it into the light tubes before cutting it open. Sugiura would come back and pick up Jack and drop him onto the first glass board but Jack would come back and suplex Sugiura off the turnbuckle through the second glass board. Jack would then nail a Package Piledriver off the apron on a stack of chairs with light tubes before hitting his own running elbow on a stack of light tubes against Sugiura with Sugiura kicking out. Jack would then nail Sugiura with the Amatalan with Sugiura kicking out before Jack would just end up putting him in the Mexican Stretch and Sugiura would be force to tap out at 21 minutes, 4 seconds as Violento Jack would become the King of Freedom World Championship for the third time and ending Toru Sugiura's reign as champion of 21 months.
Takeda would come out afterwards looking to celebrate with his fellow ERE member before smashing a light tube over Jack's head and challenge him for a title match on August 30th at Korakuen Hall. I would think the booking logic would be that you want to get the title on Takeda but after him losing twice last year to Sugiura you couldn't have Sugiura lose to him so you give the belt to Jack as a transition champion for Takeda which would eventually lead to Takeda defending the title against Jun Kasai at the Christmas Death Match show.
Toshiyuki Sakuda and Takayuki Ueki would defend the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against Jun Kasai and Takashi Sasaki in a Weapons Death Match. The ending of this match would have Ueki placing a barbed wire board over Kasai's head as he would place a concrete block over it and then go up to the top with another concrete block and land it over the board on Kasai's head as Ueki would pin Kasai at 19 minutes, 21 seconds to defend the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles for the 1st time. Ueki would challenge Jun Kasai to a singles match at the next Death Carnival show on August 30th with Kasai accepting.
Masashi Takeda and Rina Yamashita would start with Yamashita smashing a chair over Takeda's head with him returning the favor back to her although she would get up right away. Takeda would eventually place Yamashita on a fork board and somersault dive off the top onto her although he would get some of the forks in his back as well before hitting her with a Uranage on the board. Yamashita would come back and drop Takeda head first into the forks, but Takeda would fight back and eventually put Yamashita away at 11 minutes, 19 seconds with a Reverse U Crash on the fork board for the win.
Other matches saw Tatsuhito Takaiwa defend his UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title for the first time defeating his partner GENTARO at 13 minutes, 51 seconds with a lariat to get the win. Daisuke Masaoka and Kamui would defeat Mammoth Sasaki and Takahiro Katori as well as Yuya Susumu and Kengo in a Three Way Tag Team Match as Masaoka would get the win at 8 minutes, 32 seconds with the Trance Rave on Katori. The opening match had Tomoya Hirata, Dragon Libre, and Rekka defeat Tomoya Hirata, Kenji Fukimoto, and Brahman Kei when Hirata put away Kei at 6 minutes, 15 seconds with a German Suplex. Click here to watch highlights of the FREEDOMS 7/5/21 Korakuen Hall show.
FREEDOMS would run their first show at the Tokyo Ueno Park Outdoor Stage on July 10, 2021 where they would announce a crowd of 208 fans for the show. This location has been used by Big Japan numerous times over the years and fans usally come away very entertained and wet although with COVID spraying fans with water everywhere is going to be prohibited. The final match was a Battle Royal with Takashi Sasaki looking like he won before Dragon Libre would show up and get tossed over the top rope himself at 10 minutes, 13 seconds for the Sasaki victory. The scheduled main event was Violento Jack, Masashi Takeda, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki defeating Jun Kasai, Minoru Fujita, Kenji Fukimoto, and Rina Yamashita with Jack getting the win at 16 minutes, 1 second with a Amatalan. Tatsuhito Takaiwa would put away Tomoya Hirata at 10 minutes, 32 seconds with a Death Valley Bomb. Toru Sugiura, Takashi Sasaki, and Yuya Susumu would defeat Dragon Libre, Rekka, and Takahiro Katori with Sugiura nailing Libre with a Right Elbow at 14 minutes, 15 seconds to get his first win since losing the title. There was a Takashi Sasaki impersonation contest with Yuya Susumu getting the best score of 9.5 besting Dragon Libre who scored a 2, Rekka who scored a 3, Toru Sugiura who scored a 1, and Takashi Sasaki himself who was DQ'd and got a 0. The opening match would see GENTARO and Alejandro defeat Mammoth Sasaki and Kamui with GENTARO getting the win with a Ground Cobra at 9 minutes, 32 seconds to defeat Kamui. Click here to watch highlights of the FREEDOMS 7/10/21 show.
FREEDOMS then returned to Shizuoka Twin Messe on July 18, 2021 where they would announce a crowd of 207 fans with Takashi Sasaki stating that the show was a legit sell out under the circumstances and the show was a better success this year than last as last years show not only dealt with COVID issues but also there was a horrible rainstorm that caused huge traffic issues and fans that had tickets for the show ended up not being able to make it as this years show enjoyed beautiful sunshine. The main event was Violento Jack and Takayuki Ueki defeating Jun Kasai and Daisuke Masaoka when Jack would pin his old tag partner Masaoka in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match at 15 minutes, 46 seconds after nailing him with a Amatalan on a Light Tube to get the win. ERE would get another win the semi-main event as Masashi Takeda and Toshiyuki Sakuda would defeat Toru Sugiura and Tomoya Hirata after Takeda would nail Hirata with a Reverse U Crash to get the win at 12 minutes, 47 seconds in a Weapons Death Match. GENTARO would face off against Hideki "Shrek" Sekine in a Wrestling vs. MMA Fight as it would end up going to a time limit draw after 3 rounds of 3 minutes. The Unchain team of Minoru Fujita, Kenji Fukimoto, Kamui, and Rina Yamashita would defeat Takashi Sasaki, Mammoth Sasaki, Yuya Susumu, and Takahiro Katori after Fukimoto would end up putting Katori away at 13 minutes, 14 seconds with a Package Piledriver. The opening match would see Kengo and Yusaku Ito defeat Dragon Libre and Rekka when Kengo would put away Libre at 7 minutes, 41 seconds with a Brainbuster for the win.
The next show will be a Jun Kasai promoted and booked show on July 25, 2021 at the Shin-Kiba 1st Ring as the main event will be Unchain taking on ERE with Jun Kasai, Minoru Fujita, Kenji Fukimoto, and Rina Yamashita going up against Violento Jack, Masashi Takeda, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki in a Single Elimination Death Match. The semi-main event will also be a Death Match as Daisuke Masaoka will go up against Kamui who he teamed with earlier this month in a Death Match. Toru Sugiura looks to be taking a back seat for a little while without the title as he will team up with Tomoya Hirata against Mammoth Sasaki and Takahiro Katori. Takashi Sasaki and Dragon Libre will team up to take on Yuya Susumu and Kengo and the opening match will be Tatsuhito Takaiwa and GENTARO against Rekka and Brahman Kei. Jun Kasai has announced that this show has already sold out and no more tickets will be put on sale for it.
The A-Team ran their monthly show at the Tokyo Kitasenju White Studio and announced their usual 50 fans for the show. The main event saw Tatsuhito Takaiwa defend the WEW Jr. Heavyweight Title against Takumi Sakurai at 16 minutes, 19 seconds after hitting him with a Death Valley Bomb off the turnbuckle to successfully defend the title for the second time. Afterwards, HASEGAWA would come to the ring and challenge Takaiwa for a WEW Jr. Heavyweight Title at the next show on August 22nd. The semi-main event had Raiden and Joji Otani continue their reign of terror for the promotion as they defeated Hitachi Pro's Konosaku Tonosaki and Kento DiCaprio when Raiden rolled up DiCaprio at 17 minutes, 12 seconds with a cradle to successfully defend the titles for the second time. Daisaku Shimoda made Hitoshi tap out at 12 minutes, 22 seconds with a Sharpshooter. TORU and HASEGAWA defeated Bryan Ishizaka and Hasinosuke when HASEGAWA nailed a Diving Foot Stomp on Hashinosuke at 15 minutes, 9 seconds to get the win. MIKAMI defeated Gajo at 5 minutes, 43 seconds with a Rolling Schoolboy. The opening match had Tomohiko Hashimoto, Iori Sugawara, and Tatsuhiko Nakagawa defeating Super Tiger, Raito Shimizu, and Kenya Maeda when Sugawara would pick up the win at 12 minutes, 46 seconds with a Crescent Tale over Maeda.
Last year I posted on the news section about how I spoke with Mitsuhiro Matsunaga about why he left FMW about a year following Onita's retirement during the Hayabusa era of the promotion. He had made mention to me about how he did not get along with Hayabusa or Masato Tanaka to the point and he became so stressed that he started to lose weight and became sickly until he gave his notice that he was going to leave the promotion.
I am currently going through Mitsuhiro Matsunaga's book that was released in 1998 and he dedicates a chapter to his issues with the New FMW. He states that right away there were issues with Hayabusa as right after the May 5, 1995 show at Kawasaki Stadium he meets with Hayabusa and Hayabusa asks him why is he still with the promotion and not leaving to join IWA Japan.
Hayabusa knowing he was going to become the face of the New FMW wanted to move FMW away from the direction of death matches as Hayabusa was more of a fan of traditional style wrestling and felt the promotion should be more based on what he brought to the table as far as wrestling style as well knowing that they were not going to be able to do outdo what Onita was able to do with FMW as far as death matches and it was best to just start completely over as a traditional style promotion. The problem with that was you still had the W*ING wrestlers that had very little interaction with Hayabusa as most of them had came in while he was in Mexico so they saw this guy they barely knew trying to change the style of the promotion that they were brought in for and that best fit them.
Matsunaga stated to Hayabusa that he didn't believe any independent promotion could be successful as a non-death match promotion (Ryuma Go's Pioneer Senshei was killed by the success of Onita's FMW and Kendo Nagasaki's NOW never took off before eventually being morphed into Big Japan) but he saw the potential in what a futuristic worker Hayabusa could be and if anyone could do it, it would be him and if the New FMW promotion were to take off then Matsunaga would agree to part ways with FMW and go somewhere else.
Matsunaga felt that Hayabusa saw him as a road block to FMW staying the "death match" route with Onita retiring and Goto having left the month prior who Hayabusa really did see as the big road block when it came to being the face of the promotion. The New FMW's first tour under Hayabusa did horrible for their house shows so Matsunaga not only stayed but also called in and brought in Super Leather as the promotion would continue to have death matches to help due to the possibility that the New FMW was going to die a quick death. The promotion did improve during August-September for the Grand Slam Tournament although Matsunaga would state that his death matches during that tour were a big reason that the shows did well even though the Hayabusa matches were on top.
Hayabusa then got injured with Matsunaga feeling that he had the wrong approach of killing his body by doing all these incredible highflying moves while bulking up to make sure he was a heavyweight in front of these house show fans feeling like it would get attention in the magazines of how incredible Hayabusa and word of mouth would spread and the house show market would improve. Matsunaga felt that was a incorrect philosophy because house show fans there are going to go to the shows anyway, but the only way to attract house show fans in rural areas were if you had a star on the show like an Antonio Inoki, Giant Baba, and Atsushi Onita.
I feel Matsunaga is somewhat correct that new fans were not going to come because of word of mouth that someone new is doing all these cool new moves, but I do feel that Hayabusa's 1995 sacrifice wasn't for nothing as after a couple of years the "this guy is doing cool moves" was able to be apart of the total package that eventually became Hayabusa being the only house show draw for the FMW promotion during the Entertainment Pro-Wrestling era. So much so that when Hayabusa was out injured in late 2000-early 2001 with double reconstructive elbow surgery that him not being on the house shows was really what killed FMW and Shoichi Arai ultimately sacrificed his life to keep it going for another year in hopes of a miracle that not only didn't happen, the exact opposite took place with Hayabusa's career ending by keeping it going. I will continue to work on Matsunaga's book as it's an interesting read for me as I love reading different thoughts and opinions from people that were there and give a different perceptive when it comes to Hayabusa especially at the beginning of his run.
I also was able to translate an interview that Hayabusa and Masato Tanaka did for Monthly Gong Magazine. The interview was done on December 23, 2014 and the magazine came out in January 2015.
This magazine was actually the return of Gong Magazine as Weekly Gong was a very popular magazine that took some iconic FMW photos in the 90's and was the main competitor of Pro-Wrestling Weekly Magazine which has always been the number one magazine in Japan. Gong originally started out as a monthly magazine in December 1969 until becoming a weekly magazine in 1984 to compete with Pro-Wrestling Weekly that had also became a weekly magazine a year prior. Weekly Gong lasted until March 2007 before closing down due to the decline in popularity of wrestling and also magazines as their long time rival Pro-Wrestling Weekly has continued to survive but sometimes just barely. This magazine was the return as a monthly magazine format where it would be more interviews and close ups of wrestling more so than the recent events that occurred in wrestling although this magazine failed to catch on and stopped publication again in October 2016.
This interview is interesting as it's Hayabusa and Tanaka just sitting around and the interviewer at least in the interview itself barely says anything as it's more Hayabusa and Tanaka just bouncing from topic to topic themselves for the most part. Hayabusa when he originally wrote in his Blog following the interview was wondering how it the interview would be edited because of just how much bouncing around they did. They talk about their Dojo days, Hayabusa talks about where the negativity of his feelings about Onita started, they talk about going abroad, they tell stories, and some stories are told by both Hayabusa and Tanaka of Hayabusa as a young boy that show that he was probably a little too open with his body when he was younger. You can check it out by clicking at http://fmwwrestling.us/HayabusaTanaka.html
Dragon World Order 7/31/21
Yokohama Radiant Hall
Dragon Libre & Akira Jo vs. Takashi Sasaki & Mystery Partner
Hamuko Hoshi & Suzu Suzuki vs. Miku Aono & Nao Ishikawa
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Shinjiro Otani vs. Takuya Sugawara *Fire Festival Tournament Finals Match*
Masato Tanaka vs. Shigehiro Irie
Yuko Miyamoto & Isami Kodaka vs. Yasu Kubota & Hide Kubota
Hartley Jackson & Fuminori Abe & Tsugataka Sato vs. Ayato Yoshida & Chris Vice & Takafumi
Shogun Okamoto & Yoshikazu Yokoyama vs. Carbell Ito & Naoshi Sano
Syouki Kitamura & Takumi Baba vs. Satsuki Nagao & Genta Hiriki
Junya Matsunaga vs. Ryo Hoshino
Chiba 2AW Square
Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
Osaka Tsurumi Green Forest Hana Exhibition Park
Atsushi Onita & Takeshi Okada & HASEGAWA vs. Mr. Pogo (Shadow WX)
& Isami Kodaka & Masashi Aoyagi *Exploding Barbed wire Exploding Barbed wire
Bat Exploding Landmines Exploding Table Death Match*
Kuga & Andy Wu vs. Magnitude Kishiwada & Yoshihiro Horaguchi
Daisuke Masaoka & Kamui vs. Brahman Shu & Brahman Kei
Drake Morimatsu & Sae vs. Ranmaru & Momoka Hanazono
Tomohiko Hashimoto & Maku Donaruto vs. Naoshi Sano & Raito Shimizu
SAKI vs. Yuko Sakurai
Yosuke Takai vs. Satoshi Goto
Jun Kasai & Chris Brookes vs. Shunma Katsumata & MAO *Hardcore Match*
Atsushi Onita & Sanshiro Takagi & Akito & Maki Itoh vs. Kuro-chan & Super Sasadango Machine & Hikari Noa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda *Explosion Death Match*
Hikaru Sato Productions 8/22/21
Atsushi Onita & Naoshi Sano & Mystery Partner vs. Hideki Shrek Sekine & Takahiro Tababa & Takuya Wada *Exploding Barbed wire Bat Death Match*
Tokyo Kitasenju White Studio
Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. HASEGAWA *WEW Jr. Heavyweight Title Match*
Raiden & Joji Otani vs. Daisaku Shimida & Iori Sugawara *WEW Tag Team Titles Match*
Super Tiger vs. Kosaku Tonosaki *WEW Heavyweight Title Match*
Takumi Sakurai & Bryan Ishizaka & Hashinosuke vs. MIKAMI & Hiroshi Yamato & TORU
Gajo vs. Hitoshi
Tomohiko Hashimoto & Masashiro Sase vs. Raito Shimizu & Kenya Maeda
Jun Kasai Productions 8/22/21
Osaka Active Square Daito
Jun Kasai Productions 8/30/21
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Violento Jack vs. Masashi Takeda *King of Freedom World
Championship Death Match*
Jun Kasai vs. Takayuki Ueki *Death Match*
Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetable Market
Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
Yokohama Radiant Hall
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetable Market
Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
Hiroshima Industrial Hall East Building
Jun Kasai Productions 10/31/21
Hiroshima Industrial Hall East Building
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetable Market
Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring
Chiba 2AW Square
Jun Kasai Productions 12/25/21
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
I have gathered all the results of shows from Big Japan/ZERO1/666 shows in 2021 as well as matches from FREEDOMS/former FMW wrestlers working on shows and will continue to update it for the rest of the year. It can be found at http://fmwwrestling.us/MiscResults21.html (Last updated: 7/24)
Atsushi Onita and Hidetaka Kaijiki held a press conference on May 6, 2021 to announce the creation of the "FMW-E" promotion. The first and only show currently announced to take place will be on July 4, 2021 at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market. Kaijiki who is a co-representative for the Fukuoka City based Kofu-Field company in which they specialize in building sports facilities in Japan as well as the company that created the sport "Jorkyball" (which is pretty much 2 on 2 soccer in a handball size room) will be the main sponsor for the promotion. Kaijiki had been a main sponsor for the DDT sub-promotion Blasting Koshien promotion which was based around Onita and explosions for the last 18 months, but they have decided to break away from the DDT promotion to create this promotion.
Onita stated that the idea of the promotion came to him in March after AEW tried to run an Exploding Barbed wire Exploding Ring Death Match and the explosions were a huge disappointment. Onita stated many people from overseas messaged him on Twitter stating that they wanted Onita to show what a real explosion can look like. Onita and Kaijiki began talking about creating the new promotion with a big focus on appealing to overseas fans with explosions feeling there was definitely a market that could help make a successful promotion.
They decided together to use the "FMW" name feeling that name would stand out most to foreign fans than any other promotion name they came up, and because of not legally being able to use the "Frontier Martial-arts Wrestling" name they added an "E" at the end as the promotion will be called Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling Explosion or "FMW-E".
The big selling point for this promotion is to stream the shows
across the world. It will live stream on Zaiko at
at 12:00 Noon Japanese Standard Time on July 4th meaning it will start at 11:00
pm Eastern Standard Time the night of July 3rd. The stream will be available for
the following week and will be 1,000 Yen meaning around $10.00.
Onita has stated that the stream price is much cheaper than usual to try and allow a wider audience to be able to watch the show. He also stated that currently 60% of the streaming buys has come from overseas so far. They will also have an English speaking commentator in Drew Parker as well as a Chinese speaking commentator.
Tickets for the show have already sold out the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit Market. The building usually fits about 750 people or so had 200 tickets go on sale which sold out rather fast. They ended up putting another 25 or so which also sold out. The plan was to put out another 25 tickets which would put the live attendance at about 250 people in the building for the show.
This promotion is also not shy about asking for any type of
sponsorships and supporters that they can get. They have four different types of
advertising on their banner and the official pamphlet with deals ranging from
300 dollars to 2,500 dollars. You can also own pay for your message to be
displayed on the screen during the live stream show on Zaiko with the prices
ranging from 10 dollars to 100 dollars with how big you want your font size to
appear on the screen.
They also announced for the 4 way women's match on the show which has since turned into a three way genderless match that viewers can tip during the show to specify what weapon they want to be used during the match as they will have six weapons to choose from in a barbed wire bat, barbed wire board, a folding chair, a ladder, a bamboo sword, and a whip.
The big selling point of this promotion will obviously be the
explosions as Onita has always made sure that the explosions he has used are
very impressive looking as he looks to make them even more powerful for this
match. He has announced that the main event of the show will be a No Ropes
Exploding Barbed wire which will be the first time that Onita will be
participating in one of those matches since October 9, 2017 as well as an
Exploding Barbed wire Baseball Bat, Exploding Barricades outside the ring, and
for the first time ever an Exploding Table which the table is usually used for
Onita to piledrive someone through it, so that will be interesting to see how
they can use it for this match.
Atsushi Onita when announcing the promotion ended up receiving messages from three different wrestlers wanting to participate. Ricky Fuji, Minoru Fujita, and Abdullah Kobayashi. Ricky Fuji having been apart of FMW since 1990 and pretty much every off shoot promotion of was a no brainer although he has only wrestled in one exploding barbed wire death match his entire career and that wasn't even for any FMW promotion as it was for Pro-Wrestling Nightmare. Minoru Fujita who has only wrestled in one No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Death Match and that was the last one back in October 2017 which he did not take any bumps into, and Abdullah Kobayashi who stated that he only lives 9 minutes from the Yokohama Fruit Market and he can just drive his moped there and won't need any travel reimbursement like all the other wrestlers.
Onita and Kobayashi ended up getting into a war of words on Twitter after Kobayashi mentioned his moped and as a result a stipulation was added to the match that if Kobayashi's team loses the match then they will end up blowing up his moped so that he would end up having to walk home where as if Onita's team loses then his leather jacket would end up being exploded. This is also not the only leather jacket Onita has had as he auctioned off his other one back in 2016 to a fan so there is no long term significance for this jacket.
Atsushi Onita ended up appearing for a Niigata Pro show on May 23, 2021 at the Niigata Sun Village Shibata where he teamed with Great Kojika and Shigeno Shima defeated Abdullah Kobayashi, Hikaru Sato, and Masao Inoue when Shima would pin Inoue at 17 minutes, 34 seconds in a Bunkhouse Death Match. Onita ended up fighting with Kobayashi outside the ring most of the match to establish the feud between the two going into the FMW-E show on July 4th. Onita would end up having a scare though as Hikaru Sato would end up testing positive for COVID after the show on top of it coming out of the show. Onita felt "dull" and his body was not the same afterwards so he took a COVID test and tested negative for it.
FMW-E would then announce the full lineup of the show with Onita teaming up with Minoru Fujita and Ricky Fuji going up against Abdullah Kobayashi, Yuko Miyamoto, and Onryo in the Exploding Barbed wire, Exploding Barricade, Exploding Barbed wire Bat, and Exploding Table Death Match. The original 4 way women's match has been re-named a genderless three way match as Miss Mongol will face off against Nene ∞ D.a.i and a Mystery Opponent. The only wrestler that has expressed interest in the show that has not been announced is Asuka so I would take a guess that she is the most likely candidate for the match. There will be a comedy match with Kikutaro and Gabai Ji-chan taking on Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei. Long time Onita follower Yuichi Taniguchi will team up with another long time Onita follower Naoshi Sano as well as HASEGAWA as they take on Monster Leather who most likely will be Tomohiko Hashimoto revising his Super Battle FMW gimmick, WWS wrestler Mr. Atomic, and Toshiya Kawarai. The opening match will be DDT's Yumeto Imanari in a comedy match against Fat Onita in a Fake Explosion Match.
Atsushi Onita then announced that he has been looking to have an FMW-E show booked in the United States sometime this Fall. He has asked a friend in the United States to investigate legal matters and select the best venue candidates, but he has told Onita he is having a difficult time with the rest. Each state has a different Fire Service Act is different in each state, and restrictions are different depending on the venue. They are coming across the issues that most independents end up dealing with when they try to put together a show with any type of explosions. Onita stated he has always wanted to show American fans his type of explosion match as he was disappointed in the CZW show back in 2017 but I understood stating their low budget to be able to do it, as well as being disappointed in AEW's explosions in March as even though he was not involved in that, he felt responsible because he had been apart of the video package beforehand and so many fans came away disappointed with that match.
Keep in mind that Japan is urging people to not travel out of the country especially after their COVID numbers skyrocketed for them last month to around 6,500 cases a week although the number has dropped recently to about 2,300 cases a week. In comparison, the USA which have very much relaxed on the rules because of the decline numbers are still at about 14,000 new cases a week, so Japan has highly discouraged anyone traveling to another country and coming back, so the chances that Onita and any other wrestler from Japan that would attend this show would have to quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to wrestle again, which was the deciding factor back in March for Onita not attending the AEW show.
The big question also is what is going to try and be the selling point to this show other than the explosives. Onita has recently called out wanting Matt Tremont to face him once again after their singles match in CZW turned into a 6 man match back in August 2017 which then lead to Tremont going to Japan in October 2017 and having a 10 man exploding barbed wire match with neither Onita or Tremont ever pinning one another in each match. Besides the whole Tremont living in the US, a big issue with him facing Onita is that he just recently retired in October 2020. Obviously, breaking a retirement vow is no big deal to Onita, but there has not been indication that Tremont is willing to come back so soon. If Onita were to get a FMW-E show booked in the Northeast especially in the New Jersey/Philadelphia region, the push to get Tremont to come out of retirement and face Onita in an Explosive Match will only get louder.
The other person that could help draw the show facing Onita would be Jon Moxley. Moxley having recently changed his AEW theme song to Onita's Wild Thing obviously wants to have a match with Onita. I would imagine getting Moxley against Onita in some type of tag explosion match would not only be a dream for Moxley, but also would probably lead to something down the road with AEW once again trying to get Onita to face Moxley on their show as everything points to Moxley being the main person trying to get Onita in AEW back in March for the exploding ring match. If the show were to take place in Florida, I would imagine Moxley would end up being the biggest outside talent that they would look to bring in for the show to help draw whichever venue they end up booking, if they are ever able to end up booking anything and have the type of exploding match that Onita has so badly wanted to have in the United States for so long.
Onita also recently said in a interview that he wanted to do explosion death match in FMW where they would run on the United Stated USS Independence Aircraft Carrier Ship off of Yokosuka but a sexual harassment incident on the ship ended up getting the show cancelled.
Just because Atsushi Onita has broken away from DDT to create FMW-E pretty much ending the Blasting Koshien sub-promotion, it does not mean that Onita and DDT President Sanshiro Takagi are going to stop working together at least for now. Onita and Takagi who have been working together on and off since 1999 when Atsushi Onita needed midcard matches to fill out his Onita Pro shows began working with the very small at the time DDT promotion to be able to have a complete show will work together on August 21, 2021 when DDT will be running their big show of the year "Peter Pan 2021" at Kawasaki Stadium. I have talked about it in past updates, but Kawasaki Stadium which was a baseball stadium that could hold over 50,000 people for a wrestling event ended up being torn down with just the baseball field itself being left for amateur games to take place with fans sitting down in folding chairs. The baseball field was then reconfigured to an American Football field to allow amateur football and soccer games to take place.
When I went to Kawasaki Stadium in 2011, I was able to just walk right up to the where kids were practicing American Football at the time as there was no ticket booth or entrance to the building back then. A sponsor Fujitsu ended up buying the property and renaming it "Fujitsu Stadium Kawasaki" and re-building it into a stadium where you have to pay to enter and built two sets of bleachers that has been reported to fit 2,700 people and professional American Football in Japan would take place in the building. Atsushi Onita tried to get the Stadium book for his retirement show in October 2017, but the building was too busy booked up from the American Football games that time of the year to be able to host the show and a frustrated Onita just decided to run at Korakuen Hall instead. Then the Pandemic hit last year and no professional games were taking place in the location. Hard Hit was able to book the stadium for very cheap on August 29, 2020 and run two shows, one during the day and one at night. Neither show had an attendance announced as there were so few fans for the small independent promotion that the fans were able to just sit on the field next to the ring and watch the matches. Atsushi Onita did appear for the first time since 2002 at Kawasaki Stadium and had a 6 man Exploding Barbed wire Bat Death Match on the night show.
DDT now looks to run their big show of the year, so they most likely be using the bleacher seats as well as placing folding chairs on the field itself. There will be two rings set up on the field, one for Atsushi Onita's match and one for the rest of the DDT show. It has been announced that Onita's match will be an explosion match. The details of what kind of explosion has not been announced, as it could be an exploding ring match if DDT was willing to put the money into a non-main event match, but more than likely it is going to be a exploding barbed wire death match. Onita requested that the match be the first match on the show for the pre-show since it is going to take a lot of time to set up the ring and then be ready to have another match over in the other ring which will be placed right next to it. This guarantees that the explosive match will be more than an exploding barbed wire bat match, but the details will have to wait to come out on what exactly the match will be. Onita has requested that he get his revenge on TV comedian Kuro-chan on this show as Kuro-chan was able to defeat Onita in a singles match back on December 23, 2020 after several wrestlers helped him hit Onita with the exploding bat to get the win outside the Tokyo Solomachi Sky Tree Garden.
FREEDOMS ran apart of the annual
Yokohama Pro-Wrestling Festival which takes place during Golden Week. They would
run at the Yokohama Radiant Hall and announce a crowd of 150 fans for the show.
The main event would be Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, and Takashi Sasaki against Violento Jack, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki in a Hardcore Match. Takashi would look to hit Sakuda with a D-Geist on a chair, but Sakuda would get away and use the chair to hit a Slice Bread # 2 followed by Sakuda trying for a Swanton Bomb off a ladder with Takashi moving out of the way as Sugiura would come in and deliver an elbow to Sakuda and Kasai would nail him with a Pearl Harbor Splash. Takashi would then nail Sakuda with a D-Geist with the other ERE members making the save. Takashi would then suplex Sakuda off the turnbuckle on a set of a chairs sticking up and then finish Sakuda off with a D-Geist on a ladder at 17 minutes, 17 seconds to get the FREEDOMS win.
The semi-main event would be Masashi Takeda taking on Kenji Fukimoto in a No DQ Match. They would smash street signs over their heads before Takeda would just take a chair with spikes on it and toss it at Fukimoto before pressing it up against his body before laying it over him as Takeda would go up to the top and dive off of it but Fukimoto would manage to turn it around as Takeda would go into the spikes instead. Fukimoto would then toss the spiked chair at Takeda and then setup a chair with forks on it, but Takeda would grab him and deliver a Reverse U-Crash on it an then place Fukimoto in a Front Choke at 8 minutes, 57 seconds for the submission win.
Kamui would then defend the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title against Tatsuhito Takaiwa in a match that was originally suppose to take place at the cancelled May 2nd Korakuen Hall show. Kamui would send Takaiwa over the top and deliver a running moonsault off the turnbuckle to the outside. They would get back up on the turnbuckle with Takaiwa suplexing Kamui and then deliver a powerbomb and try for one another one but that would get messed. Takaiwa would then take Kamui to the turnbuckle and hit a Death Valley Bomb off the top win at 15 minutes, 27 seconds to win the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title.
Other matches on the show would see Takahiro Katori return to FREEDOMS and team up with Dragon Libre as they would take on Mammoth Sasaki and Daisuke Masaoka with Mammoth putting Libre away at 9 minutes, 55 seconds with a Mammoth Home Run. The opening match would have Minoru Fujita, Rina Yamashita, and Tomoya Hirata defeat Brahman GEN, Yuya Susumu, and Kengo with Hirata getting the win over GEN who has had a four year off and on feud going at 10 minutes, 28 seconds with a Backdrop. After the show, many of the participants of the Yokohama Pro-Wrestling Festival came to the ring including Dragon Libre wearing his dWo shirt for Dragon World Order which will be running a show on July 31st at the Yokohama Radiant Hall. Click here to watch highlights of the FREEDOMS 5/5/21 show.
FREEDOMS would then return to the
Sendai Miyagi PIT on May 16, 2021 and announce a crowd of 182 fans. The main
event would be Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, Takashi Sasaki, and Kenji Fukimoto vs.
Masashi Takeda, Violento Jack, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki in a
Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match. Ueki would grab a stack of light tubes with
Sugiura charging at him with the light tubes exploding over both. Jack would
then pick Sugiura and drop him on his knees followed by Takeda kneeing a stack
of light tubes breaking them over Sugiura. Ueki would then grab Sugiura and send
him head first into another stack of light tubes. Ueki would try to drop Sugiura
on more light tubes, but Sugiura would manage to escape and then suplex Ueki on
those light tubes instead. Takashi would then grab a stack of light tubes and
kick them breaking them across Ueki and Fukimoto would nail him with a
Brainbuster as Kasai would set up a stack of light tubes over him and come down
on them with a Pearl Harbor Splash. Sugiura would then take another stack of
light tubes and break them with a running right elbow and cover him at 17
minutes, 58 seconds.
The semi-main event would be Tatsuhito Takaiwa defeating Aisawa # 1 at 12 minutes, 23 seconds with a Death Valley Bomb. Mammoth Sasaki would team up with Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita would defeat Brahman GEN. Brahman Kei, and Dragon Libre at 9 minutes, 56 seconds with Mammoth putting away Libre once again with the 29 Years Old for the win. Mammoth afterwards would state it was good to hear the FMW theme song (his theme song is a re-mix of the song) on the 19th Anniversary of FMW owner Shoichi Arai's passing. Yuya Susumu and Kengo would defeat Daisuke Masaoka and Kamui with Kengo picking up the win over Kamui at 11 minutes, 50 seconds after nailing him with a Frog Splash. The opening match would see Tomoya Hirata defeat Takahiro Katori at 7 minutes, 23 seconds with a German Suplex. Click here to watch highlights of the FREEDOMS 5/16/21 show.
FREEDOMS next show would take place on May 27, 2021 for their
return to Tokyo and they would announce a crowd of 164 fans which is a legit out
of Shin-Kiba at this point as they were not allowing any one else in the
building prior to the show.
The main event would what was originally suppose to main event Korakuen Hall on May 2nd as Toru Sugiura and Jun Kasai would take on ERE's Masashi Takeda and Violento Jack in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Glass Board Death Match. Takeda would end up sending Kasai in the corner to go through the first glass board, but Kasai would come back soon after and suplex Jack through the other glass board set up on a stack of chairs. Kasai would then go up to the top and hit a Pearl Harbor Splash on Jack followed by Sugiura hitting Jack with a right elbow but as he would begin to cover him, Jack would place Sugiura in the Mexican Stretch with Kasai trying to break the hold, but Takeda would come up from behind and begin to choke Kasai out as Sugiura would be force to tap at 21 minutes, 2 seconds for the ERE win. Afterwards, Violento Jack would challenge Toru Sugiura to a King of Freedom World Championship Death Match at the next Korakuen Hall show to take place on July 5th.
The semi-main event would be another match that was suppose to
take place on May 2nd at Korakuen with Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita
defending the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against ERE's Toshiyuki Sakuda and
Takayuki Ueki in a Scramble Tornado Weapons Death Match. Takashi Sasaki and
Daisuke Masaoka would team up to take on Unchain's Kamui and Kenji Fukimoto in a
Hardcore Match with Masaoka picking up the win at 11 minutes, 59 seconds after
putting Kamui away with a Tornado Clutch. Mammoth Sasaki and Tatsuhito Takaiwa
would team up to defeat the young team of Tomoya Hirata and Takahiro Katori with
Mammoth getting the win at 10 minutes, 27 seconds after putting Katori away with
the 29 Years Old. The opening match would have Yuya Susumu, Kengo, and Rekka
defeat the team of Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei, and Dragon Libre with Susumu would
put away Libre at 7 minutes, 6 seconds with a Kill Switch to get the win.
here to watch highlights of the FREEDOMS 5/27/21 show.
FREEDOMS will return to Shin-Kiba 1st Ring on June 18, 2021 with the main event of Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, and Takashi Sasaki taking on Violento Jack, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Weapons Death Match. The semi-main event will Masashi Takeda taking on Kamui in a Double Hell Board Death Match. Mammoth Sasaki, Daisuke Masaoka, and Tomoya Hirata will go up against Unchain's Minoru Fujita, Kenji Fukimoto, and Rina Yamashita. Yuya Susumu, Kengo, and Alejandro will take on Brahman Kei, Brahman Gen, and Dragon Libre as Brahman Shu had recently made his return back to action after suffering a neck injury only to be diagnosed with COVID to put him back out of action. The opening match will be Tatsuhito Takaiwa taking on 2AW's Daiju Wakamatsu.
The next Korakuen Hall show will take place on July 5, 2021 which will be a Jun Kasai promoted Death Match Carnival Part 1 show with the main event of Toru Sugiura defending the King of Freedom World Championship. This will be an interesting result, as I not that long ago put on here I wrote that if Sugiura was to defend the title against Violento Jack for the May 2nd Korakuen Hall show, that I felt like Jack would be the one to finally end Sugiura's run as champion. Jack has a new fresh heel stigma to him by joining up with Masashi Takeda and ERE and also already lost to Sugiura when challenging for the title back on December 25, 2019 at Korakuen Hall. The only reason that comes up with Jack not winning the title is that Jun Kasai also has challenged Sugiura for the title on August 30th at Korakuen Hall. The August Death Match Carnival show is always a much bigger show than the July show. Sugiura vs. Kasai is the biggest match they can do at this point, but it was done in 2019 with Sugiura winning the belt, and then done again last August with Sugiura defending the belt against Kasai. Regardless, it is pretty certain that Sugiura will not still be champion after these two Death Match Carnival shows.
Violento Jack who was originally suppose to compete in the semi-finals and possible finals of the Death Match Survivor Tournament back on May 16th at Korakuen Hall is now looking at facing Drew Parker on June 28th at Korakuen Hall instead. The Big Japan April 26th was originally canceled because of the state of emergency declared just three days before the show was to take place. The state of emergency would actually get extended on May 13th, but it would be announced that buildings like Korakuen Hall could work with the promotions to insure safety and still run their shows. This allowed Big Japan to run what was suppose to be their April 26th show to take place at their next scheduled show on May 16th. The next show was suppose to be on June 13th and that is where Violento Jack was going to take on Drew Parker to see if he was going to advance to the finals that night.
An issue occurred though following Big Japan's last show of the tour on May 30th when Yuki Ishikawa who was in the main event ended up testing positive for COVID. Big Japan would cancel all their first half of June shows as a result including their June 13th Korakuen Hall show. After that it was announced that Great Kojika, Ryuji Ito, Yuya Aoki, Brahman Shu and Drew Parker had all also test positive for COVID and were having mild symptoms. Big Japan President Eiji Tosaka was not so lucky though and needed to be hospitalized which he has since been released from. Due to the June 13th show being cancelled they are now going to have the semi-finals of the tournament take place on June 24th in Shin-Kiba with the winners of the two matches competing in the finals of the tournament now scheduled for June 28th. The winner of the Death Match Survivor will go on to challenge Takumi Tsukamoto on July 23rd at Korakuen Hall for the Big Japan Death Match Heavyweight Title.
The A-Team would hold a show on May 16, 2021 at the Tokyo
Kitasenju White Studio where they would draw an announce crowd of 50 fans. The
main event would be Raiden and Joji Otani winning the WEW Tag Team Titles
against the champions MIKAMI and HASEGAWA when Raiden would pin HASEGAWA at 23
minutes, 53 seconds with a Tiger Driver to walk away with the belts to end the
show. The semi-main event would be Super Tiger and Hayato Mashita defeating
Takumi Sakurai and Bryan Ishizaka when Tiger would make Sakurai tap out at 14
minutes, 18 seconds to a Fujiwara Armbar. Tomohiko Hashimoto, Daisuke Ikeda, and
Daisaku Shimoda would defeat Kosaku Tonosaki, Kento DiCaprio, and Kenya Maeda
with Hashimoto putting Maeda away at 18 minutes, 37 seconds with the XCT. Raito
Shimizu would defeat Jin at 6 minutes, 4 seconds with a Raito Bottom. The
opening match would have Raijin Yaguchi and Iori Sugawara defeat Gajo and
Hashinosuke at 15 minutes, 19 seconds after Sugawara would nail Hashinosuke with
a Buzz Saw Kick for the win.
The A-Team would return to the Tokyo Kitasenju White Studio on June 6, 2021 where they would announce a crowd of 50 fans. The main event would be Raiden and Joji Otani defending their WEW Tag Team Titles against Daisaku Shimoda and Gajo as Raiden would end up rolling Gajo up with a cradle to get the win at 17 minutes, 9 seconds for their first successful WEW Tag Team Titles defense. The semi-main event would be Tatsuhito Takaiwa defending one of his multiple Jr. Heavyweight belts as he would defeat Iori Sugawara at 15 minutes, 38 seconds with a Death Valley Bomb to successfully defend the WEW Jr. Heavyweight Title for the first time. Tomohiko Hashimoto, TORU, and Masahiro Sase would defeat Super Tiger, Hayato Mashita, and Raito Shimizu when Sase would get the win at 13 minutes, 27 seconds after nailing Shimizu with a Shining Wizard. HASEGAWA would defeat Jin at 10 minutes, 18 seconds with a Diving Foot Stomp. MIKAMI would put away Kosaku Tonosaki at 8 minutes, 49 seconds with a 450 Splash. The opening match would see Takumi Sakurai, Bryan Ishizaka, and Hashinosuke defeat Daisuke Ikeda, Kento DiCaprio, and Kenya Maeda with Sakurai putting away Maeda at 19 minutes, 18 seconds with a Lionsault for the win.
I recently finished getting the Jun Kasai book translate. It's an interesting book as I was able to learn a lot about him that I didn't really know as he has been pretty private about his life over the last 20 years. He does try and keep kayfabe here in a lot of ways, but then says some stuff in a read between the lines way or just flatly says he only lost to Masashi Takeda back in August 2018 because he was also the King of Freedom World Champion on top of being the Big Japan Death Match Heavyweight Champion because if he were to have lost to just the Big Japan champ it would have made him look lower than the Big Japan champion in fans eyes and he would not do something like that. He worked with a ghost writer as the first half of the book was him telling detailed stories about his life, but then the second half kind of focuses on specific matches for the most part which he only is able to give a little bit of detail of each as he even says in the book his memory is not what it was compared to 2009 even. I have been able to tell the same thing from speaking with Kintaro Kanemura and Mr. Gannosuke. Kanemura remembers so much from W*ING and how he got started 30 years ago, but barely remembers anything over the last decade. Mr. Gannosuke remembers a lot from his time in FMW, but after FMW closed down his memory is not as good as he really struggles to remember anything from WMF which he ran.
This project of getting the book translated took over a month of working on it every day. I want to translate more books, it just takes a lot of time. I have Kodo Fuyuki's widow Kaoru writing about the last year of his life lined up next. I have several other books I would like to get to down the road as well. I have also been working on Hayabusa's memoirs for over a year at this point. I will be putting together the last History of FMW coming up here in the next couple of months and that at least will free up some time to be able to work more on of these books. You can find the book at http://fmwwrestling.us/Kasai1.html and it will be put in the FMW Biographies section. Please understand there's going to be grammar errors due to the changes of languages as there were only so much I could catch and fix. Also, if you are to post it elsewhere, please give me credit as again, this was a very time consuming project.
Last update I went over the history of the reasons behind Onita Pro, Tarzan Goto-Ippa, and Mr. Pogo's WWS. All three promotions ended up becoming small Japanese independent promotions with their own style of death matches with other than a lot of Onita Pro making it on Samurai TV they all went unnoticed in regards to being reported. I have been able to accumulate most of the results of the promotions, but there is still some missing stuff from 2000-2001. I am just going to have to find the right magazines that include results of any those missing shows not included. You can find the page where I will be storing results of these three promotions which will include links to highlights of the shows if I have them at http://fmwwrestling.us/IndieResults.html as stated last update I would like to add more independent promotions that none of the internet data base have full results of, but these take a lot of time, and I already have so many other projects going on.
Blasting Koshien ran its first show of the year on May 2, 2021 at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit Market as they would announce a crowd of 161 fans for the show. The Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit Market has become kind of the home of this promotion as it allows such huge explosions during the matches that they can not have at Korakuen Hall or inside Shin-Kiba if they were to run there, but they also can still get the Tokyo fan base to come to the shows because it is so close. The Blasting Koshien Spring Tournament took place with Shunma Katsumata and MAO defeating Sanshiro Takagi and Yukio Naya with Katsumata and MAO advancing to the finals after MAO pinned Naya at 10 minutes, 18 seconds with a Cannon Ball 450 through a plastic case. The second first round match was Atsushi Onita and Yumehito Imanari taking on former fellow ZEN member Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Super Sasedango Machine with Kuroda picking up the win after hitting Imanari with the bat set on fire to get the pinfall over him at 4 minutes, 27 seconds in the upset.
The match had controversy as Shunma Katsumata and MAO had interfered for the Kuroda and Sasadango team hoping to eliminate the Onita team so they wouldn't have to face them in the finals. Onita complained to Takagi afterwards stating that if he did not reach the finals then half of the fans in attendance would not want to come back to the next Blasting Koshien show. Takagi agreed as Takagi announced that the finals would now be the winning teams of Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Super Sasadango Machine, Shunma Katsumata, and MAO going up against the losing teams of Atsushi Onita, Yumehito Imanari, Sanshiro Takagi, and Yukio Naya.
Onita ended up using a new weapon for this match as he was given a exploding spiked nail that he would use during the match. Takagi would end up getting on a bike during the match and crash into an exploding barbed wire bat swing from MAO. Onita would end up using the exploding spiked nails on Sasadango and cover him to get the win at 8 minutes, 8 seconds to give the Onita team the win and win the Blasting Koshien Spring Tag Team Tournament.
I have started a new project of trying to get the translations of every result of Atsushi Onita's Onita Pro, Tarzan Goto's Goto-Ippa, and Mr. Pogo's WWS shows as I will probably get around 90% of each of them complete by the time I finally complete. The issue with the 10% is trying to find the correct magazines that the results would be in as there is not many results of anything pre-2001 on the internet for any of these promotions. I am going to try my best to be able to complete all 100% of them. I had a similar goal to get all the FMW results translated and put on here back in 2002 and I was able to reach that goal in 2010. It took buying a whole bunch of Japanese magazines and spending hours upon hours of translating. I am having to do the same for these promotions as anything before August 2001 is not online. I am currently working on each promotion, but I wanted to share what I have the WWS results I have so far which spans from 2000 to 2012 and I will include links to clips from the Occupation of the Indies going over those shows. The link can be found at http://fmwwrestling.us/WWSResults.html. I should have the Onita Pro and Goto-Ippa results for the next update as I would also like to branch out and try other results of shows that are just simply not online like the early years of 666 and Pro-Wrestling Nightmare. I wanted to go over each promotion a little bit and the back story of how they found their origin.
The beginning of Atsushi Onita starting up his own promotion started while he was still in FMW in 1998. Onita had turned heel and started up ZEN following the September 28, 1997 Kawasaki Stadium show. This was to allow Hayabusa to regain his spot as the top face of the promotion which Onita had taken it from him following his return from retirement in December 1996. Onita hated being heel in FMW though. He felt that he should never be heel for the promotion he started. This resulted in Onita and ZEN turning face on December 22, 1997 just three months later although they would be more of a tweener group because they were not the top face group which was the Hayabusa lead FMW group. The group as the second face/tweener group did not work and they were disbanded after their May 5, 1998 show.
Onita took some time off shortly after following ZEN ending and in that time got in touch with a sponsor that wanted to start up a new promotion based on Onita since FMW was obviously want to go back to focusing on Hayabusa as the top face instead of Onita. Onita agreed to begin working for this promotion which would be called USO which would be a take off of Antonio Inoki's UFO promotion at the time. Onita's plan was to leave FMW and begin only working for the USO promotion that would include all the FMW wrestlers besides Hayabusa on the shows to fill out the cards. Onita essentially would be having a mirror FMW promotion except with him as the top wrestler once again in his Street Fight Death Matches and they would be competing against FMW which would be helping them fill out the cards. This finally lead Shoichi Arai and all the FMW wrestlers to meet with Atsushi Onita and not only state that they would not help USO, but that Atsushi Onita would no longer be associated with FMW after that and would never end up returning the promotion he started up. The first USO show on December 11, 1998 at Korakuen Hall would be a disappointment and the sponsor would pull out right away.
Onita would then find another sponsor as he had stopped wanting to put his own money when promoting shows as he had done that with FMW for 6 years and just wanted to worry about wrestling and getting paid to wrestle. The sponsor would call the promotion Onita Pro or "Onita Box Office" and the promotion would run from 1999 until 2001. The shows would be pretty much the same with low level independent wrestlers many of which were from DDT including Takashi Sasaki and GENTARO before there would be the standard wild and crazy Onita Street Fight main event. Onita would find a new sponsor in 2001 and Onita Pro would become Project X although following FMW's closure in February 2002 the sponsor would agree to change the name to Onita FMW and be based around a nostalgia of the early days of FMW with Onita although the nostalgia would quickly wear off once they would run outside Korakuen Hall and this sponsor would pull out.
He would begin working with the original Onita sponsor and bring the Onita Pro name in September 2002 and run until May 2005 when Onita would retire once again following graduating college. Onita would come back out of retirement with a new sponsor in 2008 where the shows again be about FMW nostalgia although in the small Shin-Kiba building and then eventually mostly working in the Shinjuku FACE in 2012 where he would feud with Satoru Sayama and Akebono. The last show so far was on July 13, 2019 which would see Onita come back to the ring for the first time in 5 months following his double knee replacement surgery.
Mr. Pogo's WWS which stands for World W*ING Sprit would begin under similar circumstances. Mr. Pogo became the first freelance wrestler in 1995 after FMW under Shoichi Arai could not pay Mr. Pogo or Mitsuhiro Matsunaga the type of money they were making while Onita was in charge of FMW as the promotion was going in a different direction and their value was not the same for the smaller FMW as it was for Onita's version. Matsunaga took the pay cut but then there issues with the younger wrestlers Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka, and W*ING Kanemura and he felt disrespected and left the promotion after 9 months following the pay cut.
Mr. Pogo on the other hand had a great relationship with Shoichi Arai and the fellow wrestlers. He just felt like he needed to make back the money back that the FMW pay cut effected him. Arai allowed Pogo out of his contract but he still felt associated with FMW and he had told Arai that he would not job to any promotion he worked for. There was an issue with Tenryu and WAR and Pogo not doing the job that made him decide to resign with FMW in the Spring 1996 in which he would turn face for the first time in the promotion. Not long after the face turn though, he would have a match with Terry Funk in a Double Hell Death Match that would see him fall out of the ring and break his neck in the process. Pogo would come back shortly after but would be very immobile. This would also be the same time that Atsushi Onita had decided to come out of retirement and came up with the storyline of Mr. Pogo begging Onita to come back and team with him in Pogo's retirement. This created an issue as Pogo did not want to retire.
They would come up an agreement that would allow Pogo out of his FMW contract once again, but this time he would be paid 6 months to just sit at home and not wrestlers. Pogo would find a job with Big Japan after 6 months and become their number one heel of the promotion. He would continue that role for a year until Onita would ask request he begin working for FMW as well again and because of his respect for Arai and Onita would begin working for both promotions. Onita who would be leaving FMW to start up the USO promotion would make the request to work his last FMW match against Mr. Pogo on November 20, 1998 at the Yokohama Bunka Gym. The problem with that though is that Big Japan would start their tour in Aomori on November 20, 1998. Pogo had a decision to make and he would choose the one FMW show due to his loyalty to Onita and Arai over Big Japan. Pogo's decision would result in Big Japan to stop booking him going forward. FMW phasing out of the death matches and no longer having Onita on the roster would also not book him.
Pogo would begin taking bookings for the smaller IWA Japan promotion in 1999 until deciding to start up his own promotion WWS. Pogo would create WWS in January 2000 which was originally going to be based out of Honjo City, Saitama because his sauna business was located there. The promotion would eventually moved to Gunma where Pogo had a restaurant and they would run around once a month with the promotion looking to be the definition of low independent wrestlers as they would include Cat Fight matches with barely clothed untrained wrestlers fighting, wrestlers adapting the Leatherface and Freddy Krueger gimmicks, and main event matches with Pogo where he and his opponents and the entire crowd would follow them brawling outside the building into other stores which would create the promotion a cult following. Pogo began to deal with health issues and the promotion would begin to run much less frequently including only one show their 10th Anniversary show from 2007 to 2011.
He would begin to feel better and promote more including running six WWS shows in 2014 with his last show for his promotion on November 23, 2014. Health issues would come back and his bad back would make it impossible for him to wrestle in his matches before he would end up passing away on June 23, 2017. WWS would run a Mr. Pogo Memorial show on November 12, 2017 with the thought it would be the last WWS show feeling they could not keep the promotion going with out Mr. Pogo. That decision would change shortly afterwards though as several people that Mr. Pogo had gotten started in WWS would decide to keep the business going in his memory including running a show on March 21, 2021 with Atsushi Onita in the main event.
Tarzan Goto and his need to start up his own promotion goes back to 1995 as well. Atsushi Onita had decided he would be retiring after May 5, 1995 and would be having his retirement match against Tarzan Goto in the biggest FMW match of all time. What happened next is a mystery and the people that know the answer are not telling. Tarzan Goto, Mr. Gannosuke, and Flying Kid Ichihara would decide to leave FMW.
There has been numerous rumors to Goto feeling like FMW would collapse under him, him being angry at Onita for trying to create a gimmick where Goto would have a gimmick based on the cult Aum Shinrikyo's leader Shoko Ashara who had recently committed bioterrorism killing 13 people by spreading Sarin across the Tokyo Subways. This was Shoichi Arai's guess on why Goto left in his book, but Mr. Gannosuke states that he busted out laughing after reading that. Gannosuke states that he never would have dreamed of leaving FMW before the day he did and then when he told Goto that he was quitting that Goto told him if he quit then he would join him. Gannosuke has told me he will take the reason he quit FMW that day to his grave. Ichihara would also join in and they would leave FMW together and form a group called the Real FMW.
They would mostly end up competing in IWA Japan where booker Victor Quinones would have him become the top promotion although IWA Japan would also begin to crumble around this time period. This would result in the Real FMW group beginning to work for the Tokyo Pro promotion until it would go under. The next plan would be for the group to begin working for the newly formed FFF promotion which would be based around Tarzan Goto and Kodo Fuyuki. A problem would occur though as FFF's main sponsor would end up having to close down his motorcycle store before the promotion would start which was where was the main funding for the promotion was to come from. This would result in the promotion closing down before ever holding their first ever show. They would still occupy Korakuen Hall the night and allow fans to buy merchandise, but no show would end up taking place.
This would be the final straw for Mr. Gannosuke as he was miserable going from struggling independent to struggling independent while his college friend Hayabusa had become the top wrestler for FMW. Mr. Gannosuke and Flying Kid Ichihara would leave Tarzan Goto's Real FMW group and rejoin FMW in January 1997. This would leave Tarzan Goto by himself. He would begin to get bookings for WAR and Big Japan, but he also create his own promotion Shin-FMW on June 17, 1997. The promotion would be based on smaller independent wrestlers as well as former FMW wrestlers Katsutoshi Niiyama who had just left FMW wanting to get out of the business full time and Ryo Miyake both of which Goto had trained in the FMW Dojo. Shin FMW would only run two tours in 1997 as they were financial losses resulting in Goto to pretty much focus on just wrestling for IWA Japan and SPWF until 1999.
Goto would then decide to take another shot promoting his own shows calling them "Tarzan Goto-Ippa" with the earliest show I can find on record in February 2000. The promotion would be based around Goto and the students he had helped train to become wrestlers or other low level independent workers looking for any work. He would start by mostly run one show a month in the gym where he was training wrestlers at the Saitama Kasukabe Indies Arena before transferring the promotion's home base to the Tokyo Asukusa Fight Club in 2006 which would also be a restaurant so the fans could be served food from a staff at a table while watching the wrestling going on. This concept of the promotion would go on until 2009.
Goto and Onita who in kayfabe decided to end any feud they had for one another that had to do with Goto leaving FMW would decide to form a tag team with one another. Goto looking to get in on the FMW nostalgia would change his promotion once again to Shin-FMW. Goto would also bring in former FMW wrestlers Mr. Pogo, Hisakatsu Oya, Ricky Fuji, and Super Leather to his shows until deciding to change the name of the promotion to Super FMW in June 2010 with the promotion deemphasizing on the FMW name because of the difficulty of bringing in FMW talent and instead would just turn Super FMW into a promotion for his students and lower level independent wrestlers. Super FMW under that structure would be a complete disaster at a Shin-Kiba 350 seat building level and Goto would have to move the promotion to 100 seat buildings before only running one Super FMW show a year in 2014 and 2015. Tarzan Goto would pretty much get out of the wrestling business although he would name the restaurant that he would start up the Super FMW restaurant and then ran two Shin-Kiba shows once again in December 2018 and December 2019 to very little awareness. Three different promotions, all probably being the definition of "indie sleaze" although all would find its own fan base and develop a cult following that is still thought of highly by the hardcore fans that followed them, no matter how many horrible matches they had to sit through to get to the main event which were always quite the experience live.
FREEDOMS would return to Korakuen Hall on March 23, 2021 and announce a crowd of 420 fans which comparing it to non-pandemic shows, you would multiply it at 840 fans which would put it at the best attended Korakuen Hall show in March for the promotion. The main event would be Toru Sugiura once again facing off against a former Big Japan wrestler that recently left the promotion, this time in Takayuki Ueki in a Fluorescent Light Bridge Concrete Block Death Match for the King of Freedom World Championship.
Sugiura and Ueki would fight on the apron with next to the light tube bridge with Sugiura grabbing a concrete block and breaking it over Ueki's head with one another making him fall the outside as Sugiura would deliver a Tope Con Hilo through the light tube bridge to land on Ueki. They would get back in the ring with Ueki running Sugiura through a barbed wire board and then placing a light tube over Sugiura's head and just tossing another concrete block breaking it over Sugiura's head. Ueki would then try for a headbutt with the concrete block but Sugiura would move out of the way and then place a light tube on Ueki and hit a right elbow breaking it across Ueki as Sugiura would pick up the win at 25 minutes, 22 seconds to defend the title for the 9th time which is four more than the previous records.
The semi-main event would see Jun Kasai, Takashi Sasaki, and Mammoth Sasaki taking on ERE's Masashi Takeda, Violento Jack, and Toshiyuki Sakuda in a TLC Death Match. This would Mammoth's return to the Death Match style as he been in one since September 27, 2013 when he teamed with Atsushi Onita against Jun Kasai and Takashi Sasaki in a Weapons Death Match. Sasaki would delivering a a Fire Thunder to Takeda off the top through a table that would have broke cans attached to it. Sasaki would go for a lariat but would be met by one from Jack instead as Takeda would break a light tube across him and then Jack would place Sasaki in a Mexican Stretch to make him tap at 15 minutes, 46 seconds to give ERE the win.
Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita would defend the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against GENTARO and Tatsuhito Takaiwa's alter egos Brahman GEN and Brahman Ryu which would see Brahman Kei interfere and try to throw a suitcase at Fujita but Fujita would duck and the suitcase would hit GEN as Fujita would then roll him up with a Samson Clutch to get the win at 11 minutes, 22 seconds to defend the tag titles for the first time.
Kamui would defend the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title against Brahman Kei which would see Brahman Shu appear for the first time in months and throw powder in Kamui's eyes as the referee would be outside the ring allowing Kei to roll up Kamui with a Modified Cobra Twist to get the win at 9 minutes, 41 seconds to win the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title. Daisuke Masaoka and Kenji Fukimoto would defeat the team of Yuya Susumu and Kengo with Masaoka getting his win back from a earlier loss as he would get the pin over Kengo at 8 minutes, 1 second after nailing him with a Trance Rave. The opening match would be Tomoya Hirata and Dragon Libre defeating Alejandro and Rekka at 8 minutes, 6 seconds with Hirata picking up the win with a German Suplex. Click here to watch highlights of the FREEDOMS 3/23/21 Korakuen Hall show.
FREEDOMS would hold a show on April 4, 2021 at the Osaka Active Square Daito. They would announce a crowd of 240 fans for the show. This show would be promoted by Kamui as most Osaka based shows are for the promotion. This was also the first FREEDOMS show to be available via purchase live on Twitch. The main event would be a Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match with Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, and Daisuke Masaoka taking on Masashi Takeda, Violento Jack, and Toshiyuki Sakuda. The match would be a chaotic brawl with light tubes being broken everywhere with the side of Takeda's face getting cut open and Kasai sticking skewers in Sakuda's cheek in a gruesome spot. The ending would see Masaoka take Jack on the apron and look to send him through a table with cans on outside the ring when Jack would end up grabbing Masaoka instead and piledrive him through the table. Jack would then end up finishing Masaoka at 18 minutes, 47 seconds with the Amatlan to get the ERE win.
Brahman Kei would defend his UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title against Kamui with Shu by his side once again. Shu would end up getting in the ring and hit Kamui with a street sign as Kei would put on a Ultimo Dragon mask and look to hit an Asai DDT on Kamui, but instead he would send Kamui into Shu who would again him with again with a street sign as Kei would roll him up with a La Magistral for two. Kei would then charge at Kamui, but Kamui would out of nowhere end up rolling Kei up with the Kamui Clutch to get the win at 12 minutes, 22 seconds to win back the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title.
Rina Yamashita would face off against Takayuki Ueki in a Hardcore Match which would see Ueki dive at Yamashita, but Yamashita would move out of the way causing Ueki to fall to the outside. Yamashita would then take a ladder and toss it at Ueki's head with the ladder getting wrapped around his head as Yamashita would come off the top with a dropkick on the ladder. They would get back in the ring and Yamashita would charge at Ueki would deliver a drop toe hold sending her face first into a stack of chairs and then Ueki finish Yamashita off with a Death Valley Bomb on the stack of chairs at 12 minutes, 43 seconds for the win.
Other matches on the show saw Takashi Sasaki and Dragon Libre defeat TiiiDA and Idea with Libre rolling Idea up with a cradle at 13 minutes, 33 seconds for the win. Yuya Susumu and Tomoya Hirata would get the win over Shu Asakawa and Naka Shuma when Susumu would get Shuma to tap out at 12 minutes, 13 seconds in a FREEDOMS vs. 2AW match. The opening match would see Brahman GEN and Kenji Fukimoto defeat Mammoth Sasaki and Dyna Mido when GEN would get the win at 11 minutes, 2 seconds with a Back Drop over Mido. Click here for highlights of FREEDOMS 4/4/21 Osaka show.
FREEDOMS would return to Shin-Kiba on April 15, 2021 and an announce a crowd of 148 fans for the show. The main event would be a FREEDOMS vs. ERE Single Elimination Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match. The FREEDOMS team would be Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, Mammoth Sasaki, and Daisuke Masaoka facing off against ERE's Masashi Takeda, Violento Jack, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki.
Takeda would try to smash a stack of light tubes over Mammoth's head while he was on the apron, but Mammoth would block the light tubes with his hands and then headbutt Takeda when Jack would come rushing over and drop kick the light tubes breaking them across Mammoth causing him to fall to the floor for the 9 minutes, 50 second elimination. Masaoka would then pick Ueki and drop him on concrete block followed by Kasai hitting a Pearl Harbor Splash on him followed by Kasai grabbing Sugiura and placing him over Ueki's body for the 13 minutes, 28 seconds elimination to tie it up. Jack would then nail Masaoka with a Dynastar for the 15 minutes, 32 second elimination to give the ERE advantage. Kasai and Takeda would then try to eliminate one another off the apron with Takeda spearing Kasai and they would both fall to the floor for the 20 minutes, 30 seconds double elimination. This would leave Sugiura as the final man for the FREEDOMS team as he would send Jack over the top to the apron with Sakuda charging at both them, when Sugiura would send Sakuda flying over the top knocking Jack off the apron to the floor for the 21 minutes, 57 seconds elimination leaving it to just be Sugiura and Sakuda. Sakuda would hit Sugiura with a Canadian Destroyer and go for a 450 Splash but Sugiura would move out of the way, and set up the light tubes on Sakuda and hit a running elbow breaking them across Sakuda for the win at 23 minutes, 46 seconds with Sugiura as the lone survivor. ERE would attack FREEDOMS after the match, but things would be settled moments later as the show would end with no new challenger coming up for Sugiura on May 2nd at Korakuen.
Jun Kasai instead afterwards would challenge Sugiura for a title shot at the Death Match Carnival which would presumably be the August 30th Korakuen Hall show. That would look to be where Sugiura's reign comes to an end as it would be like Masashi Takeda's run as Big Japan Death Match Heavyweight Champion where he beat Masaya Takahashi then defended the title again him successfully only to lose it to Takahashi nearly a year after the first defense. This would be the same situation as Sugiura defeated Kasai in October 2019 for the title then defeated him again to defend it in August 2020. The only question would be how long does Jun Kasai hold it as he has already had runs with the belt in 2016 and 2019.
The semi-main event would have Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita face off against Takashi Sasaki and Tomoya Hirata in a non title match. Sasaki would lift up Fujita up and hit him with a with a D-Geist, but Yamashita would make the save. Fujita would then throw Sasaki into the ref and roll him up with a Samson Clutch for the win at 13 minutes, 19 seconds as it would be announced that Fujita and Yamashita would next defend the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles on May 2nd at Korakuen Hall against Takayuki Ueki and Toshiyuki Sakuda.
The other matches on the show would see Brahman GEN and Brahman Ryu defeat Kamui and Dragon Libre when Ryu would nail Libre with a Death Valley Bomb to get the win at 12 minutes, 12 seconds with Takaiwa challenging Kamui for the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title on May 2nd at Korakuen Hall and then denounce himself as Brahman Ryu and hand back and announce he would be going back by his name Tatsuhito Takaiwa. Kenji Fukimoto would defeat Brahman Kei in a Hardcore Match at 7 minutes, 7 seconds after rolling him up with a cradle. The opening match would be Yuya Susumu and Kengo defeating Alejandro and Rekka with Susumu picking up the win at 9 minutes, 44 seconds after nailing him with the Front Crash. Click here for highlights of FREEDOMS 4/15/21 Shin-Kiba show.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a third state of emergency of Tokyo as well as Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo on April 23, 2021 in the hopes to try and help the curb of the spread of the coronavirus before the Olympics are to be played this summer in Japan. This state of emergency will go until May 11th, although many believe the emergency will not be lifted on May 11th and will continue on for at least the rest of May.
This decision would force Takashi Sasaki to cancel the FREEDOMS May 2nd Korakuen Hall show. This is the second year in a row that the May Korakuen Hall show has been canceled. Big Japan also announced that the decision has resulted in their April 26th show would be canceled. Both promotions could still run the shows at the building, but would not allow to have fans there. The May 2nd show would not have been a Samurai TV broadcast so FREEDOMS would have been running the show to no profit other than the limited amount they would have made from NicoNico and from a future DVD release of the show. Like last year with all the cancellations, it was an easy decision for Sasaki as he is not going to have his wrestlers go through death matches for no financial gain. Big Japan's show would have aired on Samurai and the cancellation messes up their Death Match Survivor Tournament dates, but it was not worth it for Big Japan to run the show either.
The lineup for the May 2nd show that will not happen was suppose to be Toru Sugiura and Jun Kasai teaming up to take on Masashi Takeda and Violento Jack in a Death Match. Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita were to defend the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against Toshiyuki Sakuda and Takayuki Ueki. Takashi Sasak was to face off against Kenji Fukimoto in a Death Match in a match that does not look like it will happen anytime soon now. Kamui would have defended the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title on Tatsuhito Takaiwa in a match that will just happen three days later now. Mammoth Sasaki and Tomoya Hirata were to team up against Daisuke Masaoka and Takahiro Katori with the opening match of Yuya Susumu, Kengo, and Rekka against Brahman GEN, Brahman Kei, and Dragon Libre.
FREEDOMS does luck out that Yokohama does not have a state of emergency placed on it even though it is only about a 30 minute drive to Shin-Kiba. FREEDOMS will run at the Yokohama Radiant Hall for the annual Golden Week show in Yokohama as this show will take place on May 5, 2021. The main event will be Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, and Takashi Sasaki taking on Violento Jack, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki in a Hardcore Match. Masashi Takeda will face off against Kenji Fukimoto in a No DQ Match. Kamui will now defend the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title against Tatsuhito Takaiwa on this show instead of at Korakuen Hall. Minoru Fujita, Rina Yamashita, and Tomoya Hirata will go up against Yuya Susumu, Brahman GEN, and Kengo. The opening match will be Mammoth Sasaki and Dragon Libre going up against Daisuke Masaoka and Takahiro Katori.
FREEDOMS will then run on May 16, 2021 at the Sendai Miyagi PIT with a main event of Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, Takashi Sasaki, and Kenji Fukimoto taking on Masashi Takeda, Violento Jack, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki in a Death Match. There seems to be a little bit of timing conflict with Masashi Takeda. Due to Big Japan canceling their April 26th show they have pushed the scheduled main event of Ryuji Ito and Masashi Takeda to take place at their next Korakuen Hall show on May 16th. Takeda lucks out that the show begins at the very early start time of 11:30 am. That should mean the show should be finished by 2:30 at the least. Takeda after what will surely be a bloody death match will need to shower and get dressed as soon as possible and hop on a subway train as the train will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes to get to Sendai meaning Takeda will probably be arriving in the building by the time the FREEDOMS show has already started with it starting at 5:30 pm. Other matches on this show will be Mammoth Sasaki teaming with the tag team champions Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita against Brahman GEN, Brahman Kei, and Dragon Libre. Tatsuhito Takaiwa will go up against Aisawa # 1 in what might turn into a UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title match if Takaiwa has the belt by that point. Daisuke Masaoka and Kamui will team up to take on Yuya Susumu and Kengo and the opening match will be Tomoya Hirata and Takahiro Katori.
FREEDOMS will then run at Shin-Kiba on May 27, 2021 with the hope that the state of emergency has been lifted although the 666 promotion was able to still run at Shin-Kiba on May 1st as the Shin-Kiba is not as governed by the rules with it being out of the way warehouse essentially compared to Korakuen Hall being in the heart of Tokyo in a multi-use building. The main event will be the originally scheduled Korakuen Hall main event as Toru Sugiura and Jun Kasai will take on Masashi Takeda and Violento Jack in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Glass Board Death Match. Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita will also defend their King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against their scheduled Korakuen Hall opponents in Toshiyuki Sakuda and Takayuki Ueki. Takashi Sasaki and Daisuke Masaoka will team up to take on Kamui and Kenji Fukimoto. The veteran team of Mammoth Sasaki and Tatsuhito Takaiwa will go up against the young boy team of Tomoya Hirata and Takahiro Katori. The opening match will be Yuya Susumu, Kengo, and Rekka taking on Brahman GEN, Brahman Kei, and Dragon Libre.
Tomohiko Hashimoto's 20th Anniversary show would end up taking
place on April 4, 2021 at the Nara Prefectural Covention Center where they would
announce a crowd of 350 fans for the show. The main event would be Hashimoto's
20th Anniversary Special Match as he would team with fellow A-Team wrestlers
HASEGAWA and Raiden as they would take on Tatsumi Fujinami, Koji Kanemoto, and
Minoru Tanaka with Fujiwara putting on the Dragon Sleeper to Raiden at 18
minutes, 28 seconds to get the submission victory. The semi-main event would be
Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Super Tiger would defeat Daisuke Ikeda and Gajo with
Fujiwara made Gajo tap out at 14 minutes, 58 seconds with the Wakigatame. MIKAMI
and Nobutaka Moribe would defeat LEONA and UTAMARO when MIKAMI would get the win
at 11 minutes, 41 seconds with a School Boy on UTAMARO. Masahiro Sase wuld
defeat Magic Killer # 1 at 13 minutes, 7 seconds with a Diving Body Press in a
Barbed wire Board Weapons Death Match. Brother YASSHI and Shoichi Uchida would
get the win over Takumi Sakurai and Bryan Ishizaka at 12 minutes, 48 seconds
when YASSHI would get the pinfall over Sakurai with a Diving Headbutt. Daisaku
Shimoda, Iori Sugawara, and Joji Otani would defeat Keiichi Sato, Gamelas, and
Takeshi Mabayu when Shimoda would pick up the win at 10 minutes, 37 seconds with
a Pileriver. The opening match would see Bambi defeat Makoto at 7 minutes, 34
seconds with a Lariat in the women's match.
The A-Team would then return to Tokyo on April 11th at the Kitasenju White Studio whre they would announce a crowd of 50 fans with the main event of Raiden and Joji Otani defeating Takumi Sakurai and Bryan Ishizaka when Raiden pinned Sakurai at 19 minutes, 25 seconds with a Tiger Driver to become the number one contenders for the WEW Tag Team Titles. The WEW Tag Team Title match would be the semi-main event as MIKAMI and HASEGAWA would defend their titles for the fourth time after going 22 minutes, 16 seconds with Super Tiger and Hayato Mashita before both teams would get counted out. Gajo and Nobutaka Moribe who would announce he was leaving the promotion after this show would defeat Daisuke Ikeda and Hashinosuke when Gajo would get the win at 11 minutes, 47 seconds over Hashinosuke with a Diving Body Press. Tomohiko Hashimoto, Gamelas, and Jin would defeat TORU, Maholova, and Raito Shimizu when Gamelas would get the win at 13 minutes, 55 seconds with a Cragle over Shimizu. The opening match would see Daisaku Shimoda and Iori Sugawara would defeat Kosaku Tonosaki and Kento DiCaprio when Sugawara wouldd get the win at 11 minutes, 23 seconds with a Crescent Tale over DiCaprio.
About three years ago I was able to collect every FMW VHS tape. I had picked up a bunch in the early 2000's and did not think too much about it. I started full on collecting them in 2015 and was able to pick up the last two in May 2018 which were the FMW Anus Explosion and FMW 5/5/00 Back Draft tapes, which ironically now I see all the time and then there are some I picked up at the beginning and I have not seen available since. This got me into collecting non FMW VHS tapes the last couple of years. I have picked up several W*ING tapes including the 10/31/93 Fire Death Match which was something I spent a lot of time searching for as the W*ING tapes can be hard to find because of their scarcity. I also have collected Big Japan, WAR, IWA Japan, Michinoku Pro, All Japan, and the first two NOAH shows as well. All of the covers are for sale in DVD format in my video collection part of the site. I really would like to start an instagram going over each of these tapes and the rarity of them these days and what they are going for. I just need to find the time before starting up another project. Happy FMW Day on May 5th everyone!
Atsushi Onita was made an offer to appear in the United States for
the third time in the last three and a half years. It would have been to attend AEW's Revolution
Pay-Per-View on March 7th in Jacksonville, Florida where he would "witness"
the No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Exploding Ring Death Match between Kenny
Omega and Jon Moxley in the main event.
Onita told reporters "AEW has just been created, but it is an organization that is trying to compete with the worlds largest organization WWE, and it can be considered a major promotion. I would have been honored to do it. Originally, I wanted to go to it and see it with my own eyes, but I turned down in honor of Mr. Pogo's in-laws as this year is the 30th anniversary of our Landmine Death Match. What kind of explosion will AEW show? I am looking forward to it. I would like to pay tribute to AEW for having a explosion match in the United States as by it being there then it is recognized by the whole world. Once the corona virus calms down, I would like to go to AEW and do an explosion match or maybe AEW wrestlers can come to Japan and have an explosion match against me."
Onita was force to turn down the offer because of the corona virus resulting in a two week quarantine period once he got back to Japan which the earliest would have been March 9th in Japan. That would have resulted in him having to miss his next two upcoming appearances. The first being with Miss Mongol at Toudoukan in Tokyo on March 20th where he will discuss the true story of FMW to the fans attending which he could have just easily rescheduled the next time he is in Tokyo, but he also has been booked for the next WWS show on March 21st in Gunma which he felt he could not no show due to loyalty to Mr. Pogo.
Onita did end up getting paid to appear on a video package made by AEW where Onita talks about the explosions as well as the barbed wire cutting your skin. They ended up showing video of the first no ropes exploding barbed wire death match between Atsushi Onita and Tarzan Goto on August 4, 1990 in Shiodome. This match had the weakest explosions ever put on by FMW, but because it was the first time people did not have anything to compare it to and it helped FMW become a successful enough promotion that it could continue on after the first year as well as helped Onita become a celebrity in Japan. They followed it up on the next show against Mr. Pogo on May 6, 1991 in Osaka with much more powerful explosions for a Landmine Death Match and never looked back after that.
I had figured they had done some research as I have posted numerous times about who owns the FMW library through out the years on many different sites to where they would have known that it would be pretty much impossible to get clearance on video of FMW other than the first year of the promotion which is owned by Mickey Ibaragi of W*ING as he is someone that is easy enough to get a hold of, at least easier than the other options and that is why they chose to use the Onita vs. Goto footage. This was a discussion in my History of FMW Facebook group which lead to member Paul of the group to ask Ibaragi about it which he stated he did not know anything about it, and that they must have just aired the footage without getting his permission first. This would make it seem that they used this specific match in the video package to hype the match knowing that the explosions they were going to use were not going to be anywhere near as powerful as FMW used for any of their matches besides the Goto match from 1990.
The Exploding Barbed wire that AEW used for the Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley ended up being that of the Onita vs. Goto Shiodome match. There were people that were critical of the lack of explosions during it, but overall it did not cause too much critique by the fans watching at the time. The match itself was good although Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rose would end up capturing the magic of a Japanese Death Match from the 1990's better than Omega and Moxley did but although there had been rumors the day of the show they announced that they would also be having an exploding ring death match as well. Kenny Omega ended up defeating Jon Moxley with interference and then laid him out and handcuffed him before leaving for the ring to explode.
This was a call back to the Atsushi Onita vs. Terry Funk match on May 5, 1993 where Funk was still laying in the ring was the count down for the first ever ring explosion would take place with Onita covering Funk's body as the ring would explode. FMW had the benefit of this being taped as the ring explosion was actually not that impressive as it was just fire going up in the air and actually resulted in some fans laughing while in attendance. The pictures that came out were much more impressive and FMW were to able to edit it and slow it down and put music to it right afterwards to make up for the lack of explosion. Eddie Kingston who is a huge FMW fan himself ended up being the one to play Onita for this as he rushed to the ring and covered his body over Moxley. I would have to imagine that spot was what Onita originally was going to be brought in for. The explosion then took place and it was the least impressive exploding ring to take place. Sparklers came out of the ring which reminded me of the Mitsuhiro Matsunaga vs. Mr. Pogo Fire Death Match from August 2, 1992 where sparklers were used and then a small smoke bottom would burst to everybody's disappointment. Everyone that saw it including those in AEW have admitted the explosion was a total failure. So much so that AEW on their Wednesday Night Dynamite show would try to make it seem like Kenny Omega had made the bomb himself so poorly on purpose to make Moxley and Kingston look bad by selling it at all as they tried to make it seem the bomb was a dud on purpose. The sports podcast I listen to which barely ever talks about wrestling even talked about how bad it looked and that they have seen better pyro at the club than that.
It's disappointing as it probably eliminates any chance of there ever being another Exploding Ring Death Match as to bring it back would mean they would have relive the first one again from the public as I would have to imagine this officially killed exploding ring gimmick in U.S. which it had been dead since 2001 in Japan anyway as it has not been done since FMW closed down. It does leave to wonder why AEW who never even really promoted it as being an exploding ring match until the day of ended up even having it done knowing it was going to look like that. I can not imagine money would be the issue as IWA Japan ended up spending $20,000 dollars on their exploding ring for their King of the Death Match Tournament on August 20, 1995 between Cactus Jack and Terry Funk and although it is considered one of the worst exploding rings I would still consider it better than the AEW one by a little bit. FMW for their 2001 Kawasaki Stadium show when they had just gone through the worst 6 month financial stretch in the history of the company which was the beginning of their death still ended up putting together an impressive exploding ring using lots of gun powder and it is considered one of the better exploding rings.
Onita commented on the lack of the explosion afterwards stating that "it was a shame for Kenny but if the corona virus calms down, I would come to AEW and deliver a real explosion match in the United States in memory of Mr. Pogo."
This would be my list of the best actual explosions to take place in an exploding ring match between 1993 and 2021 in the United States and Japan. Obviously this does not have to do with the matches themselves as Onita vs. Kanemura was by far not the best match, but they put the most explosives into it. You can watch the YouTube links I have included by their names. 1 and 2 are pretty clear for me. 3-6 was a little difficult ranking them with one another as they are all good explosions and are close with one another. 7-8 done by XPW are right on that line as I would consider the 2002 one good but the 2001 not so good. 9-11 are the disappointing ones although number 11 was put on by the small SPWF promotion so I would not consider it a disappointment based off expectations. 12-13 are obviously the worst ones that are considered total failures by all involved.
Onita vs. W*ING Kanemura 9/28/97
2) Atsushi Onita vs. Hayabusa 5/5/95
3) Atsushi Onita vs. The Great Sasuke 10/30/94
4) Hayabusa & The Great Sasuke vs. Mr. Gannosuke & Tetsuhiro Kuroda 5/5/01
5) Atsushi Onita vs. Mr. Pogo 8/22/93
6) Hayabusa & Masato Tanaka vs. Terry Funk & Mr. Pogo 5/5/96
7) Angel vs. Supreme 7/20/02
8) Vic Grimes vs. Supreme 10/13/01
9) Atsushi Onita vs. Terry Funk 5/5/93
10) Great Nita vs. Great Muta 8/28/99
11) Tarzan Goto & Ichiro Yaguchi vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu & Masahiko Kochi 5/30/99
12) Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk 8/20/95
13) Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley 3/7/21
Atsushi Onita and Miss Mongol held their FMW Truth talk event on March 20, 2021 at Toudoukan. The event was based on Onita telling the true story about the creation of FMW although multiple people that attended brought up that they barely talked brought up during that FMW was barely mentioned. The only real story about FMW's creation that Onita mentioned was that he had no money when it started, but he was happy at the beginning and chasing his dream is all that mattered to him back then. Onita did tell a story about how once Giant Baba called the FMW office (I am guessing 1997 in regards to Hayabusa working for All Japan) and Shoichi Arai picked up the phone and thought someone was pranking him pretending to be Baba. Mongol talked about going to Puerto Rico by herself with her own money as the FMW women division was pretty much finished and she was looking to get booked through Victor Quinones in IWA Puerto Rico. Onita told a story about one time someone got into an argument at a bar with The Gladiator and they got into an altercation which ended up with The Gladiator throwing him out of the bar into a bicycle parking lot outside. Onita also talked about the AEW explosion match earlier in the month and how he was invited by AEW to attend but he would have to miss this event and he said he chose Toudoukan over AEW to get a pop from the crowd. He stated he got 20,000 messages on Twitter from fans stating they wanted to see Onita in an explosion match in AEW. Onita then stated he would like to have an explosion death match for the whole world to be able to see it on the internet and that he has already secured a site in the Fukuoka Prefecture for this summer. They ended up taking pictures with all the fans while wearing masks and Onita touching elbows instead of shaking anyone's hand because of the virus.
Following the WWS show the next show Onita will take part in will be for Pro-Wrestling Gold on April 4th at the Sendai Miyagi PIT and then he will return back to the DDT sub-promotion Blasting Koshien on May 2nd at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit Market which will be the first show for the group since November.
FREEDOMS would hold their first Korakuen Hall show of the year on February 9, 2021 and an announce a crowd of 447 fans for the show. The main event would be Toru Sugiura defending his King of Freedom World Championship against Toshiyuki Sakuda in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Glass Board Death Match. Sugiura would early on break the first glass board with a running dive into the corner smashing it over Sakuda's body, but Sakuda would come back and hit his Sakauchi followed by setting up Sugiura in the corner and hitting a Canadian Destroyer off the turnbuckle sending Sugiura into the other glass board. Sakuda would then hit another Sakauchi on a stack of light tubes but Sugiura's head would end up getting busted open bouncing off the glass causing a huge gash in Sugiura's head which would lead to them having to go home early. Sakuda would charge at Sugiura with light tubes, but Sugiura would break them across Sakuda with an elbow and then hit a running elbow with another stack of light tubes and cover Sakuda to get the win at 11 minutes, 18 seconds for the win to defend the King of Freedom World Championship for the 8th time. They had to finish the match a faster about 6 minutes faster than expected because of the fear of the match needing to be stopped because of how much Sugiura's head was bleeding due to the cut, but they would follow that up after bandaging Sugiura by making him stay in the ring as Ueki would come to the ring to challenge him for the title at the next Korakuen Hall show on March 23rd with Sugiura accepting. Masashi Takeda would end up hitting the ring and attacking Sugiura before getting on the mic and proclaiming his new heel group of himself, Sakuda, and Ueki will be called ERE which stands for "Empire Ruler Ends". This ended with Unchain and FREEDOMS becoming an alliance once again to do battle against ERE. This is the second time that they have agreed to team up to do battle against another group as they aligned on June 30, 2013 to do battle against Atsushi Onita's Jado Army after Mammoth Sasaki had turned on FREEDOMS that night. Following the match, Sugiura's night end up getting worse as he was taken to the hospital to get stitched up and ended up dropping and breaking his cell phone in the process.
The semi-main event would Jun Kasai and Kenji Fukimoto taking on Masashi Takeda and Takayuki Ueki in a Razor Cross Board Death Match. Kasai and Fukimoto would enter the ring and Takeda would toss light tubes at him with Takeda drop kicking them and breaking the light tubes across Kasai. Kasai early on would end up going through the razor cross board causing a huge gash in his back early on. Takeda would then place pigeon spikes over Kasai's front and deliver a running knee into them in the corner. Ueki would then try for a diving headbutt but Kasai would move out of the way and hit Takeda with a lariat before hitting a Pearl Harbor Splash followed by Fukimoto delivering a Package Piledriver on Ueki and cover him but Takeda would make the save and Ueki would get up and dive at Fukimoto with a headbutt and then place concrete blocks over Fukimoto and begin hammering them breaking them over Fukimoto. Takeda would then come over and lay Kasai out out with a punch followed by Ueki hitting a diving headbutt while holding a concrete block while laying a broken barbed wire board on Fukimoto at 13 minutes, 28 seconds to pick up the win and setup Ueki as the next challenger.
Mammoth Sasaki and Violento Jack would defend their King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita in a Tornado Tag Team Match. Mammoth and Jack would end up bringing in ladder but Yamashita would manage to suplex Jack off of it, but he would immediately get up and kick Yamashita in the head and pick her up and drop her on his knees. Mammoth and Jack would then begin chopping Yamashita before charging at her with Yamashita moving out of the way and Mammoth and Jack would end clotheslining each other. Mammoth would then go for a chokeslam on Yamashita but she would manage to send fling Mammoth across the ring and then punch him down low which by Fujita rolling him up with a Samson Clutch for the win at 10 minutes, 12 seconds to win the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles ending Mammoth and Jack's reign at two years and one month in their twelfth defense of the titles which was a tied record with Mammoth and Sugiura's run that lasted 14 months. Click here for highlights of FREEDOMS 2/9/21 Korakuen Hall show.
Other matches on the show saw Takashi Sasaki and Daisuke Masaoka defeat Yuya Susumu and Kengo when Masaoka would put Kengo away at 10 minutes, 22 seconds with a Tornado Clutch. Kamui would defeat Tomoya Hirata at 10 minutes, 59 seconds with a Yurikamome. The opening match saw GENTARO and Dragon Libre defeat Brahman Ryu and Brahman Kei when GENTARO would pin Kei at 7 minutes, 57 seconds with a German Suplex.
FREEDOMS and 2AW have agreed to have a working relationship with one another that will see them work joint shows together at 2AW's home building 2AW Square. The first show of this series took place on February 21, 2021 drawing 62 fans. The main event was Toru Sugiura, Daisuke Masaoka, and Tomoya Hirata picking up the win over the 2AW team of Kengo Mashimo, Tatsuya Hanami, and Kunio Toshima when Hirata picked up the win over Hanami at 13 minutes, 50 seconds with a German Suplex. 2AW would get their big win on the show although not cleanly as Ayato Yoshida and Tank Nagai would defeat Jun Kasai and Kenji Fukimoto when at 11 minutes, 1 seconds the referee would end up disqualifying Fukimoto. Kamui would successfully defend his UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title against Kaji Tomato after pinning him at 12 minutes, 6 seconds with a Kamui Clutch. Violento Jack would easily put away Daiju Wakamatsu at 10 minutes, 23 seconds after making him tap out to the Mexican Stretch. Takashi Sasaki would win a singles match against Ayumu Honda at 9 minutes, 1 second after making him tap out to the Scorpion Death Match. The opening match would see 2AW get its only pin on the show as Ricky Fuji, Shu Asakawa, and Chicharito Shoki would defeat GENTARO, Yuya Susumu, and Dragon Libre with Ricky getting the win at 9 minutes, 55 seconds after pinning GENTARO with the 9999 DDT.
FREEDOMS returned to the Yokohama Radiant Hall for their annual February show in Yokohama on February 27, 2021 as they would announce a crowd of 125 fans for the show. The main event would be Unchain's Jun Kasai, Minoru Fujita, and Rina Yamashita taking on ERE's Masashi Takeda, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki in a non death match. Takeda would grab a hold of Yamashita, but she would move out of way while Ueki was charging with a lariat and would up accidentally hitting Takeda instead. Takeda would get upset by this and begin fighting with Ueki while Sakuda would grab Yamashita causing Takeda and Ueki to try for a clothesline but again Yamashita would move out of the way and they would both end up hitting accidentally hitting Sakuda. Yamashita would then lay Ueki out and Kasai would climb up to the top and hit a Pearl Harbor Splash on him followed by a Yamashita coming off the top rope on him. Sakuda though would jump off the top and hit a hurricanrana on Fujita which would then be followed by Ueki hitting a Death Valley Bomb on Yamashita before getting the win at 18 minutes, 21 seconds to get the win with his Saluting Headbutt off the top rope to pick up the win over Yamashita for the ERE victory. Click here for highlights of FREEDOMS 2/27/21 Yokohama Radiant Hall show.
Other matches on the show would be Yuya Susumu and Kengo defeating Toru Sugiura and Daisuke Masaoka after Kengo would get the upset win over Masaoka at 14 minutes, 12 seconds with a Brainbuster as Masaoka's decline booking wise would continue. Takashi Sasaki and Tomoya Hirata would defeat Kamui and Kenji Fukimoto when Sasaki would finish off Fukimoto at 12 minutes, 45 seconds with a D-Geist. The Brahmans of Brahman GEN, Brahman Ryu, and Brahman Kei would defeat Mammoth Sasaki, Violento Jack, and Dragon Libre would get the win after Jack would accidentally end up hitting Libre with a lariat followed by GENTARO pinning Libre at 10 minutes, 47 seconds to get the win. The opening match would be Alejandro defeating Rekka at 8 minutes, 57 seconds with a La Magistral.
FREEDOMS would return to Shin-Kiba on March 4, 2021 drawing an announced crowd of 134 fans for the show. The main event would be ERE's Masashi Takeda, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Takayuki Ueki taking on Toru Sugiura, Jun Kasai, and Daisuke Masaoka in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match. Sugiura would go for a running elbow to a light tube on Ueki but he would move out of the way and then just smash that light tube over Sugiura's head followed by Sakuda hitting an Asai DDT on Sugiura. Ueki would then climb up to the top and Sugiura would get up and go up as well when Violento Jack would appear and attack Sugiura and laying him out with a uranage on a light tube followed by Ueki hitting a diving head butt and then finish Sugiura off with a Death Valley Bomb on a chair to get the win at 16 minutes, 5 seconds as Jack would officially join Takeda's ERE heel group.
The semi-main event would Brahman Gen, Brahman Ryu, and Brahman Kei defeating Minoru Fujita, Rina Yamashita, and Kamui with Kei throwing powder in Kamui's eyes resulting in GENTARO rolling up him with a Front Cradle to get the pin at 12 minutes, 30 seconds with GENTARO afterwards nominating Brahman Kei for a UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title shot against Kamui at the next Korakuen Hall show as well as nominating himself and Takaiwa to challenge Fujita and Yamashita for the tag titles at Korakuen Hall.
Mammoth Sasaki and Violento Jack would take on Yuya Susumu and Kengo as Mammoth and Jack would tease once again accidentally running into each other with a lariat but this time stop just short of each other. Mammoth would then go over and Susumu while Jack would chop Kengo but when Mammoth would go for an Awesome Bomb he would get a lariat from Jack who would turn on Mammoth and begin attacking him as the referee would call for the bell at 9 minutes, 34 seconds and disqualify Jack with Jack just walking away and ending his two year tag team with him. Takashi Sasaki defeated Rekka at 8 minutes, 56 seconds with a D-Geist as Rekka will be starting up his own promotion called Grace Pro so this was a FREEDOMS vs. Grace match. The opening match had Kenji Fukimoto and Alejandro defeating Dragon Libre and Tomoya Hirata with Fukimoto putting Libre away at 9 minutes, 56 seconds with a Package Piledriver. Click here for highlights of FREEDOMS 3/4/21 Shin-Kiba show.
FREEDOMS will return to Korakuen Hall on March 23rd with the main event of Toru Sugiura taking on Takayuki Ueki in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match for the King of Freedom World Champion. Mammoth Sasaki will have his first death match in nearly 8 years as he teams up with Jun Kasai and Takashi Sasaki to take on ERE's Masashi Takeda, Violento Jack, and Toshiyuki Sakuda in a TLC Death Match. Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita will defend their King of Freedom Tag Team Titles for the first time against Brahman Ryu and Gen which are Tatsuhito Takaiwa and GENTARO doing the Brahman Brothers gimmick. Kamui will defend the UWA Jr. Heavyweight Title against Brahman Kei as he looks to go singles while his brother is out with cervical neck damage. Daisuke Masaoka looks to get revenge as he teams up with Kenji Fukimoto to go up against Yuya Susumu and Kengo. The opening match will be Tomoya Hirata and Dragon Libre taking on Alejandro and Rekka. Last update I mentioned I felt Toshiyuki Sakuda had a chance to win the title just because Sugiura was running out of challengers. I would be shocked though if Ueki were to win the title on this show, although if this leads to Violento Jack challenging Sugiura for the May 2nd Korakuen Hall show I would suspect Jack would end up being the one to end Sugiura's long title run.
The whole beginning purpose of the promotion FREEDOMS after Takashi Sasaki had disbanded his Apache Army was for there to be a home for certain wrestlers like Mammoth Sasaki and Hi69 to have a home to when they came back from injury but it would allow all wrestlers to get whatever bookings they wanted to take to make as much money as they could knowing that FREEDOMS was going to start off as a very small promotion. FREEDOMS began to grow through out the years the only restriction they ended up making was not having be booked for Big Japan to allow them to be seen as a seperate promotion from Big Japan due to it being similar and FREEDOMS feeling that fans were not going to attend a FREEDOMS show if they could just go to a Big Japan show and see the FREEDOMS wrestlers. FREEDOMS and Big Japan continued to have a good relationship and eventually begin allowing talent exchanges again as Fukimoto would begin working for Big Japan and Kasai would begin working their big show of the year every year and now Violento Jack has began working for their Death Match Survivor Tournament. The only tricky thing about FREEDOMS now allowing their talent to work elsewhere is they are more protective of their guys when it comes to jobbing. Jun Kasai has taken advantage of the freedom that FREEDOMS has and is willing to wrestle wherever they allow him with the only exception is that he is not going to job unless it's for him to drop a title. He has made regular appearances for Wrestle-1, DDT, 666, and a handful joshi promotions with only taking one pinfall loss and that was to drop the DDT Extreme Title to Daisuke Sasaki at the Saitama Super Arena for DDT's 20th Anniversary meaning he got paid very well for that show. Jun Kasai has began appearing for All Japan at the start of this year and won their GAORA TV Title right away by beating Yoshitatsu on January 3rd at Korakuen Hall although in a Ladder Match so that Yoshitatsu would not actually be pinned by Kasai either. Kasai defended the title later in the month on January 24th at Korakuen Hall by defeating Black Menso~re.
This would setup Jun Kasai defending the title on March 18th at Shin-Kiba in what would be a one match show in Shin-Kiba but still draw an announced 150 fans for Kasai to defend the title against Shuji Ishikawa in the very first death match in All Japan. Ishikawa who is one of the bookers in All Japan so it was his call to bring Kasai in and do this match was also a former Big Japan Death Match Heavyweight Champion as well as having previously defeated Kasai in a great death match back on December 25, 2011 in FREEDOMS. The match would be a Glass Board Razor Cross Board Barbed wire Board TLC Death Match as Kasai early on would dive off the top rope to the outside sending Ishikawa through a table. Kasai would then begin smashing the razor cross board over Ishikawa's head and then try to Reverse Tiger Driver Ishikawa on the razor cross board but Ishikawa would pick him up and slam Kasai on the razors instead. Ishikawa would then place a glass board on a stack of chairs and take Kasai on the ramp and deliver a running powerbomb sending Kasai into the glass board. Ishikawa would then swing a stack of light tubes at Kasai but Kasai would duck it and clothesline the light tubes into Ishikawa. Kasai would then take the other glass board and place it under Ishikawa and look to deliver a Pearl Harbor Splash off a ladder but Ishikawa would get up and climb the ladder only for Kasai to knock him down sending him into the glass board. Kasai would then hit that Pearl Harbor Splash off the ladder only for Ishikawa to get up and hit Kasai with a Fire Thunder and then knee a stack of light tubes into Kasai and deliver a Giant Slam to get the pin at 28 minutes, 41 seconds to win the GAORA TV Title ending Kasai's two and a half month reign in a great match. Click here for highlights of Jun Kasai vs. Shuji Ishikawa 3/18/21.
Nanjyo Hayato's Phenix Pro ran its first show on February 13, 2021 at the Tokyo Kame Dojo Arena with no fans attending. The idea behind the show was to broadcast the show live on Twitch for 3,000 yen (30 dollars) to make up for the fact there would be no gate. The promotion was based around FMW nostalgia much like when he started up FFF back in 2011 where he mixed FMW along with Osaka Pro. The first FFF show was very FMW heavy but after it was a financial failure by the third show the promotion was almost entirely made up of Osaka based wrestlers instead of FMW wrestlers. Ten years later there's even fewer FMW wrestlers still working so he was able to only book a FMW main event and have Ricky Fuji in the undercard. No results were ever posted due to wanting fans to still be able to buy the Twitch stream for several days after the show had happened in a way of getting some purchases afterwards. The only result that ended up coming out was the main event of Masato Tanaka and Koji Nakagawa defeating Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Nanjyo Hayato when Tanaka would end up pinning Nanjyo with a Sliding D. After the main event, all four wrestlers along with Ricky Fuji took FMW questions while still in the ring from fans watching the event live. They have announced that the DVD of the show will be released in April. Nothing about another show taking place.
The A-Team held their first show of 2021 at the Tokyo Kitasenju Theater drawing their standard 50 fans for the show. The main event would see Super Tiger defend his WEW Heavyweight Title for the first time defeating Daisaku Shimoda at 12 minutes, 22 seconds after finishing him off with an Atomic Tiger Bomb for the win. Nobutaka Moribe would defend his WEW Jr. Heavyweight against CHANGO and defeat him with the Maromita at 20 minutes, 8 seconds to defend the title for the third time. MIKAMI and HASEGAWA would also defend their WEW Tag Team Titles after defeating MIKAMI's former partner Rion Mizuki as well as Iori Sugawara with HASEGAWA picking up the win over Sugawara at 18 minutes, 18 seconds with a Seaside Boyz for their second title defense. Tomohiko Hashimoto and Joji Otani would end up defeating Takumi Sakurai and Bryan Ishizaka with Otani picking up the win over Sakurai at 15 minutes, 59 seconds with a Sliding D. Gajo and Chikara would defeat Daisuke Ikeda and Raito Shimizu when Gajo would hit Shimizu with a lariat to get the win at 14 minutes, 4 seconds to set him up as the next contender for the WEW Heavyweight Title. Hashinosuke would open the show defeating Kosaku Tonosaki at 7 minutes, 6 seconds with a Swanton Bomb.
The A-Team would then return on March 14, 2021 to the Tokyo Kitasenju White Studio announcing a crowd of 50 fans for the show. The main event would see Super Tiger once again defend the WEW Heavyweight Title by defeating former champion Gajo at 8 minutes, 41 seconds with a Shiden to defend the title for the second time. MIKAMI and HASEGAWA would defend their WEW Tag Team Titles in the semi-main event against Daisuke Ikeda and Keiichi Sato when MIKAMI would roll up Sato at 18 minutes, 37 seconds with a School Boy to defend their titles for the third time. Tatsuhito Takaiwa would end the nearly 15 month reign of Nobutaka Moribe as WEW Jr. Heavyweight after pinning him at 13 minutes, 22 seconds to become the new WEW Jr. Heavyweight Champion. Takumi Sakurai would defeat disgraced former Guts World wrestler Joji Otani at 14 minutes, 52 seconds with a Moonsault. Kosaku Tonosaki and Hitachi Pro's Kento DiCaprio would defeat Bryan Ishizaka and Hashinosuke when Tonosaki would get the win at 13 minutes, 19 seconds with a Brainbuster on Hashinosuke. The opening match would see Tomohiko Hashimoto, Daisaku Shimoda, and Masahiro Sase defeat Hayato Mashita, Iori Sugawara, and Raito Shimizu when Shimoda would pick up the win at 12 minutes, 42 seconds with a Piledriver over Shimizu to open up the show.
ZERO1 will be returning to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on March 27th and held a press conference announcing the lineup. LLPW-X's Shinobu Kandori will be appearing on the show as she will team up with Kyoko Inoue to take on Jaguar Yokota and Dump Matsumoto. Megumi Kudo attended the press conference and Kudo and Kandori ended up meeting face to face in public for the first time since their last match against one another in FMW. Kudo stated as a former female professional wrestler she has a special feeling for the women wrestlers especially for all the legends in this match gathered. Megumi Kudo and Shinobu Kandori had one of the better rivalries towards the end of Kudo's career at the end of 1996 to March 1997.
Their feud would start when Shark Tsuchiya who was Kudo's long time rival started bringing LLPW's Eagle Sawai with her and joined up with her. Kudo would have issues that the LLPW wrestler was now appearing in FMW and Kandori who was feuding with Sawai in LLPW was upset that Tsuchiya was now appearing for her promotion with Kandori being the aggressive one at a press conference talking down to Kudo about the FMW women with Kudo talking right back to her with Arai having to make sure that Kudo would no go after her. They would end up having their first match on December 11, 1996 with Kandori getting the win after choking Kudo out and then spitting water in Kudo's face as disrespect. Kudo would not appreciate that and end up jumping Kandori in the locker room afterwards. This would setup their next match on January 5, 1997 at Korakuen Hall for LLPW in a Street Fight in one of Kudo's craziest matches as they would brawl all over the building before fighting in the balcony with Kandori trying to throw Kudo off with the referee having to stop the match and reward the win to Kandori once again in fear of Kudo falling from the balcony. Their third match would take place at the Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center on March 14, 1997 for FMW in a No Ropes Barbed wire Death Match with Kudo dripping blood all over her face during the match before finally putting Kandori away with the Kudo Driver ending their feud with Kudo and Kandori shaking hands out of respect. They would end up teaming one time on April 7, 1997 for LLPW at Korakuen Hall as they along with Michiko Omukai and Kaori Nakayama would defeat the source of their original problems with one another in Shark Tsuchiya, Eagle Sawai, Sayori Okino, and Miss Mongol with Omukai pinning Nakayama and Kudo and Kandori celebrating with one another.
Last time I showed off the Hayabusa collection I wanted to show some more stuff I have been able to collect through out the years. I was recently able to pick up the purple plush Hayabusa although a little faded to go with the blue and green plush Hayabusa dolls that I picked up from Toudoukan back in 2010 back when Hayabusa merchandise did not instantly sell out after being posted on the website in seconds. I still am looking for the red and white ones as they are very rarely available. Through the years I have also been able to pick up the 2001 FMW figure line which consisted of Kodo Fuyuki, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, and Kintaro Kanemura. All are considered pretty rare especially the Kanemura which usually goes for over $100 dollars whenever put up for sale online. Those were the only three FMW figures created by Shotgun Toys at the time as it sometimes confused that an Onryo FMW one was made by them when it was actually before Onryo joined FMW in 2000 as that figure was made back in 1999 when Onryo was still with Wrestle Yume Factory. I also have been able to collect an Onita figure based off his New Japan and then I also recently added a Jun Kasai figure that the company Grape Brian made for FREEDOMS as Kasai becomes the first wrestler in FREEDOMS to have a figure made for him while in the company. Kasai had previously had a figure made of him back in 2001 when he was in Big Japan which includes him apart of a rare 2 pack figure with John Zandig during the Big Japan vs. CZW feud that was going on at the time. Next update I will post what I have been able to add to my VHS collection over the last couple of months.
Atsushi Onita who now lives in Kanizaki, Saga will come into Tokyo every month or so for wrestling business. He skipped January but came in the first week of February to wrestle at the Giant Baba Memorial show at Korakuen Hall, participate in a talk event with Masa Fuchi, and he stopped by Mitsuhiro Matsunaga's Mr. Danger Steakhouse in Sumida, Tokyo on February 4, 2021. Onita stated that he has been going to Matsunaga's steak house for 24 years meaning he first went to the restaurant when it opened in 1997.
Onita and Matsunaga have a unique relationship as they know each other going back to 1989 when they competed in the first ever Barbed wire Death Match in Japan back on December 10, 1989 at Korakuen Hall. Matsunaga was a karate student of Masashi Aoyagi at the time. Aoyagi's group ended up pulling out of FMW soon afterwards and worked for New Japan before Matsunaga would break away from Aoyagi and join Mickey Ibaragi's W*ING promotion. Matsunaga noticed there was an opening to be the top face of the promotion since Mr. Pogo the big name of the promotion was a heel. Matsunaga was willing to do anything to get recognized became the first person to jump off the balcony at Korakuen Hall and then let Mr. Pogo blow fire at his head and Matsunaga became Mr. Danger the number one face of the promotion.
Onita's FMW and W*ING with Pogo
and Matsunaga were in direct competition until Onita offered Mr. Pogo and
Matsunaga $120,000 dollars each to leave W*ING and join FMW. Pogo and Matsunaga
formed the Pogo Army in what suppose to look like an invasion angle without them
using the name W*ING since the promotion was still active despite struggling
with the loss of their two biggest stars. Onita and Matsunaga headlined the
Tokyo International Harumi Dome on December 8, 1993 and drew a sell out of
12,522 fans in a No Ropes Exploding Barbed wire Explosive Corners Death Match
with Onita winning. Matsunaga would turn face and team with Onita through the
first half of 1994 but Matsunaga would turn heel after FMW would bring in
Yukihiro Kanemura and with W*ING no longer being active they would re-start up
the heel invasion angle this time using the W*ING name to go up against Onita.
Onita would end up retiring on May 5, 1995 and Hayabusa would be made the new face of the group. The W*ING group would turn face after Onita's retirement and even Matsunaga would end up teaming with Hayabusa until it was decided to turn the W*ING group back heel and feud with the New FMW under Hayabusa until Matsunaga would decide to leave FMW following the May 5, 1996 Kawasaki Stadium show. Matsunaga would cite that he did not like how Hayabusa and Masato Tanaka treated him and although he did not mention him by name as a reason fellow W*ING partner Kanemura was also having issues with Matsunaga and not sad to see Matsunaga leave FMW to join Big Japan in the Summer of 1996.
Atsushi Onita would out of retirement on December 11, 1996 and their paths would not cross again until 2002 when Onita would start up a nostalgia Onita FMW promotion where he would first face off against the W*ING team of Mr. Pogo and Mitsuhiro Matsunaga on the opposite side before teaming up with Matsunaga once again on the final Onita FMW show on August 11, 2002. Onita and Matsunaga would not meet again at a wrestling show until January 5, 2017 at a Super Battle FMW with Onita and Matsunaga doing a talk segment with them hinting that Matsunaga would come out of retirement to face Onita for his retirement later that year which was more of just a tease than anything. They both sadly would end up getting once again later that year after Mr. Pogo who was both their number one rival through out their careers would pass away on June 23, 2017. Onita and Matsunaga would attend the Mr. Pogo Farewell Ceremony on July 27, 2017 where they would both pray to a shrine of Mr. Pogo.
Onita and Matsunaga will always be linked together because of FMW and W*ING and it is nice to see despite being rivals for separate death match promotions that they have formed some what of a friendship over the years which includes Onita getting to have some delicious steak as well.
The 23rd Memorial for Giant Baba's passing took place on February 4, 2021 at Korakuen Hall. Atsushi Onita would appear as apart of the early 1980's team which would consist of him, Masa Fuchi, Great Kojika, and Shiro Koshinaka as they would face off against the late 1980's/early 1990's team of Tiger Mask II, Takao Omori, Arashi, and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. Obviously Tiger Mask II was not the original Mitsuharu Misawa as it pretty certain that it was Kotaro Suzuki under the mask as Suzuki was originally booked for the opening match and then never ended up appearing on the show with Tiger Mask having a very similar build to Suzuki. Both teams would come out in their All Japan jackets with Arashi wearing his through out the match and The Great Kabuki would accompany the Onita early 80's team to the ring. Onita would square off against Tiger Mask II first and shake hands before Onita would end up taking him to the outside and throwing him into the guard rail and then bring him back in the ring and deliver a DDT before tagging Kojika. Onita would eventually end up just being tossed out of the ring by Tiger Mask II towards the ending but Fuchi would end up rolling Kikuchi up at 8 minutes, 55 seconds to get the win with an inside cradle in a match that did not have much of a chance to be good when the two youngest guys in the match were Tiger Mask II at 42 and Omori at 51, but then you add in the crowd not making any noise and it was a match better on paper than actually happening. Click here to watch Onita/Fuchi/Koshinaka/Kojika vs. Tiger Mask II, Omori, Arashi, and Kikuchi from 2/4/21
Backstage Omori and Kikuchi would be conducting a interview when Omori would state how he takes pride in being a disciple of Baba when Onita would overhear this and shout at Omori. Onita would state he was a real disciple of Baba as he was the first Baba student and took care of Baba the first ten years of his career which is only true if you don't count excursions that Onita had to take without Baba. Onita would walk away as Omori would state that he spent the first ten years of his career being a disciple of Baba with Onita overhearing that and shouting "that's not true!" which it probably isn't true unless Omori did it for four years before making his debut as he started wrestling in October 1992 and Baba died in January 1999. Omori and Kikuchi would finish the promo stating that Onita was not there in All Japan when they were, but he is still their senior so they will not make any negative comments about him.
Atsushi Onita and Masa Fuchi participated in a Talk Event on February 5, 2021 in Shinbashi, Minato-ku Tokyo at the Giant Baba Bar which is ran by a relative of the late Motoko Baba named Kimitoshi Ogata. They told old stories together including talking about becoming AWA Southern Tag Team Champions, Onita defeating Chavo Guerrero in Charlotte, North Carolina in March 1982 for the NWA International Jr. Heavyweight Title as well as going to Mexico together. Onita and Fuchi ended up becoming the 100th All Asian Tag Team Champions back on November 27, 2006 before losing the titles to Atsushi Aoki and Hikaru Sato on June 20, 2017. The All Asian Tag Titles were eventually sealed in August 2019 and replaced with newer belts. The old belts were given to Ogata the owner of the Giant Baba bar so he brought out the title belts out for Onita and Fuchi to hold while talking. Onita claims during the event that the belts started talking to him telling him "please bring me to the ring again" with Onita listening to them. Onita would end up walking out of the event with the title belts without permission. Onita apologized for stealing the title belts that night but did state he called Ogata the next day to let them know he had the belts and that they negotiated a lease for Onita to have the title belts for the time being. Onita stated that he will make these belts active once again as they will defended as the "True All Asian Tag Team Titles". No word on when they will be defended as Onita has not announced any future matches for the time being, but I would imagine it would be for All Japan's Korakuen Hall show on March 14th with Masa Fuchi as his partner possibly against Takao Omori and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi.
FREEDOMS held their first show of the year on January 2, 2021 at Shin-Kiba drawing an announced crowd of 157 fans for the show which is pretty much the standard max number with the spaced out seating restrictions in the building. The main non tournament match on the show was a New Years Special Champion Match as all the champions of the promotion in the King of Freedom Tag Team Champions Mammoth Sasaki and Violento Jack taking on King of Freedom World Champion Toru Sugiura and UWA Jr. Heavyweight Champion Kamui with Mammoth rolling Kamui up with a La Magistral at 13 minutes, 21 seconds for the win with all the wrestlers posing with the belts afterwards.
Other non-tournament matches were Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO, and Dragon Libre defeating Unchain's Jun Kasai, Masashi Takeda, and Rina Yamashita with Sasaki picking up the win at 12 minutes, 58 seconds with a Backslide on Yamashita. The Jr. Heavyweight team of Yuya Susumu, Kengo, and Alejandro defeating Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei, and the newest Brahman Tatsuhito Takaiwa with Alejandro getting the win over Kei at 7 minutes 59 seconds as afterwards it would be announced that Brahman Shu would be out for an extended period of time with a cervical spine injury with Takaiwa replacing Shu in the team for the time being.
The first round tournament matches would open the show with Toshiyuki Sakuda taking on Tomoya Hirata with Sakuda throwing Hirata at the referee and then using a stable gun while the ref was down before rolling him up a Samson Clutch and then wait forever as the referee would finally count three at 6 minutes, 47 seconds for Masaoka to advance. The next tournament match would be Daisuke Masaoka going up against Kenji Fukimoto with Masaoka getting the win at 1 minutes, 23 seconds after rolling up Fukimoto up out of nowhere with a Tornado Clutch.
The main event of the show and the finals of the tournament would be Daisuke Masaoka taking on Toshiyuki Sakuda as Masaoka would nailing Sakuda with a flying drop kick and then go back up to the top and try for the Rokkua Kai but Sakuda would move out of the way and hit Masaoka with the Sakauchi to get the win at 14 minutes, 37 seconds and become the number contender for the King of Freedom World Championship. Sugiura would come to the ring and hold the title in Sakuda's face showing off how much taller he is than Sakuda and acting like Sakuda will be no match for Sugiura. Click here to watch highlights of FREEDOMS 1/2/21.
The next FREEDOMS show would take place on January 21, 2021 at the Shin-Kiba 1st Ring and draw 154 fans for this show as the card would have to be alternated due to Kamui and Dragon Libre coming in contact with someone with COVID as Kamui made mention that it was a student in his son's class that had and he would be pulling himself off the show as a result. The main event would be Toru Sugiura and Takashi Sasaki against Toshiyuki Sakuda and Takayuki Ueki in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match with Sakuda getting the win at 16 minutes, 22 seconds with a Sakauchi on Sasaki to build him up as a serious contender. After the match, Masashi Takeda would hit the ring and toss Sugiura out and state he was joining up with Sakuda and Ueki which means he was officially leaving the Unchain group after being a founder member with Kasai and Fukimoto nearly 9 years ago. Kasai and Fukimoto would hit the ring upset about Takeda joining the rival group but Takeda, Sakuda, and Ueki would leave the ring before they could do anything about it as they are now the top heel group although currently without a name.
Before leaving Unchain, Takeda would team up with Jun Kasai on last time in the semi-main event to take on fellow Unchain members in a Scramble Tornado Death Match as Kasai and Takeda would end up hitting Yamashita with a double uranage on broken pots and then Kasai with hit her with a One Winged Angel but Yamashita would manage to kick out. Kasai would then go for a Reverse Tiger Driver but Yamashita would manage to escape and then kick Kasai low as Fujita would come over and roll Kasai up with a Samson Clutch at 15 minutes, 6 seconds to get the win to setup Fujita and Yamashita as the number one contenders for the King of Freedom Tag Team Team Titles.
Other matches on the show would be Mammoth Sasaki, Violento Jack, and GENTARO teaming up to defeat Yuya Susumu, Kengo, and Tomoya Hirata when GENTARO would use a Flying Headscissors to get the win at 14 minutes, 1 seconds over Hirata and the opening match would be Kenji Fukimoto and Alejandro teaming up to take on Brahman Ryu who is Tatsuhito Takaiwa doing the Brahman gimmick along with Brahman Kei as Fukimoto would pick up the win at 9 minutes, 34 seconds after Fukimoto would end up putting Kei away with a Package Piledriver. Click here to watch highlights of the FREEDOMS 1/21/21 show.
FREEDOMS announced the lineup for their February 9, 2021 Korakuen Hall show which Samurai TV will be airing the show as it will be the first time in the promotions history that Samurai will be broadcasting a FREEDOMS Korakuen Hall show the first half of the year since the very first Korakuen Hall show put on by FREEDOMS on June 21, 2010. The main event will be Toru Sugiura defending the King of Freedom World Championship against Toshiyuki Sakuda in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Glass Board Death Match. I would think this is where Sugiura will be losing the title. I thought even before the Christmas Death Match that once Sugiura finally put away Takeda that he would lose to whoever he faced off against in February just because of the running out of challengers aspect. Adding in Takeda to his group and the show airing on Samurai TV makes me feel more confident that Sakuda will end up walking away as champion as part of an incentive to get him to leave Big Japan full time, but we will see.
The semi-main event will be Jun Kasai and Kenji Fukimoto taking on the new heel team of Masashi Takeda and Takayuki Ueki in a Razor Cross Board Death Match as the winning team of this match will probably tell the story of who will actually end up winning the main event later on. Mammoth Sasaki and Violento Jack will defend the King of Freedom Tag Team Championship against Minoru Fujita and Rina Yamashita in a Scramble Tornado Match. This seems like another title change happening as Mammoth and Jack have held the titles now for over two years and tied the record for title defenses at 11 set by Mammoth Sasaki and Toru Sugiura. There has not been a time where someone else not Mammoth Sasaki or Violento Jack have been a tag team champion since March 23, 2017. The reason that I would give Fujita and Yamashita the odds of winning the titles are because of not only just Yamashita getting quite over with her performances but also because Fujita and Yamashita already challenged for the titles back on August 31, 2020 and lost and rarely do you see a two successful title defenses against the same person/same team in the same title reign. Takashi Sasaki and Daisuke Masaoka will take on Yuya Susumu and Kengo who look to be a full time time tag team now, Kamui returns to action against Tomoya Hirata in a Hardcore Match, and the opening match will be GENTARO and Dragon Libre taking on Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Brahman Kei.
ZERO1 suffered some bad luck as their scheduled 20th Anniversary show at the Ryogoku Sumo Hall scheduled for March 14, 2021 has been postponed until next year. The issue was that due to the coronavirus the annual Sumo Tournament that was suppose to begin in Osaka this year was moved to Tokyo at Sumo Hall instead with the first day of the tournament being scheduled for March 14th which was the date ZERO1 had booked. This was also a decision made by the OSU Premium company who is sponsoring the show as ZERO1 at this point can not afford to run Sumo Hall by themselves and OSU Premium was looking to bring in some big name retired wrestlers for the show to put on "performances" like how they had Megumi Kudo and Shark Tsuchiya back on December 26, 2020 at the Shinjuku FACE.
Many did not think ZERO1 would be able to survive to March 2021 after their sponsor iFD who were the sponsors last year when they announced that they were going to do a Sumo Hall show ended up pulling out just under 5 months after buying the promotion due to the coronavirus but an IT company Daiki Holdings Group took over as the main sponsor to keep the promotion going with OSU Premium agreeing to help sponsor the Sumo Hall show. The switch over to Daiki Holdings has not been a smooth one as they do not have the money that ZERO1 has been use to under other sponsorship and as a result they have lost Kohei Sato, SUGI, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Towa Iwasaki, RAICHO, and Ikuto Hidaka. The original plan for the main event of Ryogoku Sumo Hall 20th Anniversary was to have Masato Tanaka defend the World Heavyweight Championship against CIMA as Tanaka and CIMA were big names from 20 years and the people in charge interest in wrestling pretty much stops at around 20 years ago thus why they were chosen for the main event by them. CIMA will instead challenge for the title against Tanaka on May 30, 2021 at Korakuen Hall instead.
Nanjyo Hayato has announced that he will be starting up another promotion. This will be his third after starting up FFF which was originally supposed to be based around FMW nostalgia until the shows were financial losers and the promotion became more of a standard Osaka independent promotion. Nanjyo also runs Osaka Style Pro-Wrestling which is a promotion that includes Osaka independent wrestling that mirrors the old Osaka Pro promotion but will run in other cities like Tokyo.
This third promotion that he is starting up will be called Phenix Pro and the debut show will take place on February 13, 2021 at the Pure J Dojo which is also known as the Tokyo Kame Dojo Arena although I do not believe fans will be in attendance and the show instead will be broadcasted on Twitch with a charge fee to be able to watch it. The main event will be a FMW nostalgia match with Masato Tanaka teaming up with Koji Nakagawa as they will take on Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Nanjyo Hayato in a match that is straight out of a July 1995 FMW Korakuen Hall show. Ricky Fuji will also appear on the show although not in a FMW based match as he will team up with Shin Suzuki and they will go up against Hideo Toba and Shirasu Kid. After the main event, the old FMW wrestlers including Tanaka, Nakagawa, Kuroda, Nanjyo, and Ricky will all have a talk event and talk about their memories of FMW and tell stories to the twitch fans paying for the show. Both Tanaka and Ricky have tried to correct Nanjyo that the promotion should be called "Phoenix Pro" instead of "Phenix Pro" with Nanjyo responding they both mean the same thing, so it does not matter which just means to me that he misspelled the word and he's already too far in to go back and change the spelling.
Leon Spinks passed away on February 5, 2021 in Henderson, Nevada
due to advanced prostate cancer at the age of 67.
Leon Spinks is one of two people along with Primo Carnera to hold both a boxing title and a wrestling title. That wrestling title at the time was FMW's WWA Martial Arts Heavyweight Title which was the top FMW heavyweight belt that would soon be replaced by the FMW Brass Knuckles Heavyweight Title.
Spinks started off boxing while in the marines which eventually
lead to him winning the light heavyweight gold medal in
the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Spinks would go on to become a
professional boxer and in just his 8th fight he would end up winning World
Heavyweight Title on February 15, 1978 after defeating Muhammad Ali in a 15
round split decision in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spinks became the first person to
beat Ali for the heavyweight title although only earned close to $300,000 for
the fight. The Spinks vs. Ali rematch took place on September 15, 1978 in New
Orleans, Louisiana at the Super Dome with Ali winning back the title in a 15
round decision with Spinks getting $3.5 million for that fight although never
getting a rematch for the title again.
Spinks who was known to spend money on weed, cocaine, and nice cars although Spinks himself states that his lawyers are the ones that stole his money was in need of pay days in anyway he could get them. New Japan was willing to pay him to bring him due to him beating Ali and he would face off against Antonio Inoki at Ryogoku Sumo Hall on October 9, 1986 with Inoki getting the win. Spinks was still in need of money though as he went from 1988 to 1991 without having a boxing fight
Atsushi Onita's FMW promotion called in 1991 looking to bring in a boxer for Onita to face. FMW was based around Onita facing off against boxers and fighters of different styles against the Onita the wrestler to see who would win. Onita had already defeated karate fighter Masashi Aoyagi on October 10, 1989 and 1988 Olympic Judo Bronze Medalist Grigori Verichev on May 29, 1991. Onita's dream was to bring in a boxer and defeat him. Onita first wanted Mike Tyson but that was going to be impossible for multiple different reasons and never even made it to a phone call being made. Onita who had wanted to become the next Antonio Inoki in Japanese Wrestling then asked to bring in Spinks since Spinks had shown he was willing to be brought in to face Inoki five years earlier.
Spinks made his FMW debut in the World Strongest Tag Team Tournament making his debut on November 27, 1991 where he teamed with fellow American Rufus Blackborn to defeat the team of Atsushi Onita and Tarzan Goto with Spinks KO'ing Onita to setup a big show match between the two down the line. The Spinks team would come up short making the finals due to Spinks' partner Blackborn taking a couple of losses in their tournament matches to keep Spinks protected for the future match. Also, making their FMW debuts in that same tag team tournament would be The Sheik and Sabu as Onita also wanted to take turns between feuding with Spinks and The Sheik so that they could rotate being brought in on different tours.
Although whenever The Sheik and Spinks would be on the same tour together, they would sit with each other on the FMW heel bus together as they would end up connecting a friendship with one another on the long bus rides to shows. FMW would wait to bring back Spinks again until March 1992 where Spinks would end up getting his big FMW win by defeating Tarzan Goto on March 25, 1992 at Korakuen Hall after KO'ing him for the for the WWA Martial Arts Heavyweight Title. This was also probably the best FMW match of Spinks' career and that was because he was protected and only asked to go six minutes. Spinks winning the title setup for the big show match against Onita on May 24, 1992 at the Tokyo Ariake Coliseum in a cage match.
The show though would end up being the first unsuccessful big FMW stand alone show. FMW would announce 7,000 people in the 12,000 building, but only around 5,000 people would actually attend the show. Spinks just was not the draw that FMW was hoping. It did not help that it was the first inside big show for the promotion and thus they could not do any explosions like FMW had done for all their other big shows that were a success.
The match between Onita vs. Spinks would be in a regular cage
match and the match would be horrible as Onita was not the type of wrestler who could carry Spinks to anything decent for
over 8 minutes and they did not have the electricity of the crowd that Spinks
vs. Goto had at Korakuen Hall two months earlier. Onita would end up defeating
Spinks for the WWA Martial Arts Title and Spinks was pretty much done as far as
a main event wrestler after the disappointing crowd and match.
Spinks still wanted to continue to work for FMW though as the pay was better than anything he was getting at the time, and money was something he was in need for. FMW's last ditch effort to keep Spinks in the main event picture was to ask his brother Michael Spinks to work for FMW and team with his brother but Michael refused. Spinks for the next year would only be brought in for big stadium shows to work midcard or semi-main event matches including working the Yokohama Stadium show on September 19, 1992 where he teamed with Brian Sayodill losing to Tarzan Goto and Grigori Verichev and then Kawasaki Stadium on May 5, 1993 losing to former Olympian Grigori Verichev on May 5, 1993 in a Judo vs. Boxer match on the show.
Spinks would come back for one more stadium show on August 22,
1993 losing to Katsuji Ueda another boxer in a sign that the company was done
with Spinks. Spinks would be used the rest of the August 1993 tour including
facing off against Terry Funk on August 26, 1993 with Spinks getting DQ'd then
KO'ing Sabu for the win on August 28, 1993 at Korakuen Hall before facing off
against beating younger wrestlers like Mr. Gannosuke and Onita Jr. the rest of
the tour before defeating Sambo Asako on September 1, 1993 at the Sapporo
Nakajima Sports Center in Spinks' final pro-wrestling match.
It was very apparent that Spinks was already suffering the beginning stages of dementia due to over 20 years of boxing and he was incapable of being able to remember much when it came to putting together a match. Mr. Gannosuke stated that it was known in the locker room that Spinks was struggling to work through matches because he would forget what he was suppose to do even though they were just 5 minute matches that were mostly just him punching. The FMW office were aware of Spinks' issues and decided to stop bringing him in after the August 1993 tour as his value was just not there anymore and it just was not worth paying to fly him in when all he was capable of was having 5 minute squashes with younger wrestlers that he was still having issues doing that.
Spinks would end up retiring from boxing in December 1995 at the age of 42 and would have one more wrestler vs. boxer match for All World Wrestling on February 27, 2000 in Kenosha, Wisconsin where he faced off against Rick Shaw going by his Bastion Booger gimmick who had wanted to get into FMW in 1991 himself. Spinks' money would continue to drain and he would find himself living in a homeless shelter after losing all his money. Spinks would get re-married in 2011 and would go on tour at conventions to try and help him get out of the huge debt he had accumulated. Spinks ended up suffering intestinal damage in 2014 after swallowing a piece of chicken bone which led to multiple surgeries before finding out in 2019 about his prostate cancer that ultimately took his life after spread to his bones. Atsushi Onita upon hearing about Spinks' passing stated he would pray for the soul of his long time rival and other FMW wrestlers commented that they will never forget his powerful punches that he gave to them.
I have continued to try to grow my Hayabusa figure collection through out the years. I have been able to collect every professionally released figure including all 4 Project Hayabusa's that were released in 2004, all 4 FMW released figures in 1998, the two HAO figures released by Project Hayabusa, two mini figures, and the two 12 inch INSPIRE figures that were released in 1999. I have also been lucky enough to get several custom made ones including a Funko Pop version, a blue and purple version of the HAO set, a custom Hasbro figure, and multiple different colored mini figures and FMW released figures. I would have never thought even just a couple of years that I would see this collection grow the way it has, but it just gives me so much joy each time to be able to add to it when I can. I also have been able to pick up a new purple plush doll although it is somewhat faded along with the green and blue ones I was able to pick up ten years ago. These are really rare as I very rarely have came across any, I will post them as well as some other stuff I have been able to pick up for my next update.
FREEDOMS/A-Team/FMW Misc./Production Shows News 2020 (January - December 2020)
FREEDOMS/A-Team/FMW Misc./Production Shows News 2019 (January - December 2019)
FREEDOMS/A-Team/FMW Misc./Production Shows News 2018 (January - December 2018)
FREEDOMS/Super Battle FMW/Onita & Production Shows News 2017 (January - December 2017)
Apache Army/FREEDOMS/Super Battle FMW & Production Shows News 2016 (January - December 2016)
Apache Army/FREEDOMS/Super Battle FMW & Production Shows News 2015 (January - December 2015)
Apache Army/FREEDOMS/Onita & Production Shows News 2014 (January - December 2014)
Apache Army/FREEDOMS & Production Shows News 2013 (January - December 2013)
Apache Army/FREEDOMS & Production Shows News 2012 (January - December 2012)
Apache Army/FREEDOMS & Production Shows News 2011 (January - December 2011)
FREEDOMS& Production Shows News 2010 (January - December 2010)
Apache Army/FREEDOMS & Production Show News 2009 (January - December 2009)
WMF& Apache Army News 2008 (January - December 2008)
WMF& Apache Army News 2007 (January - December 2007)
WMF& Apache Army News 2006 (January - December 2006)
WMF& Apache Army News 2005 (January - December 2005)
WMF& Fuyuki/Apache Army News 2004 (January - December 2004)
WMF& Fuyuki Army News 2003 (July 2003 - December 2003)
Kodo Fuyuki's Ceremonial Wake & Funeral Pictures (3/22/03 - 3/23/03)
WMF& WEW News 2003 (January 2003 - July 2003)
Post FMW News (February 2002 - December 2002)
Last months of FMW News (May 2001 - February 2002)
FMW News (August 1999 - May 2001)