Added: 3/22

Atsushi Onita held a press conference on March 14, 2023 at Toudoukan in Sugamo, Tokyo. Onita announced that beginning at the FMW-E show on April 29th at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market will begin a one year "50th Anniversary Tour" which he wants to conclude in May 2024 at Kawasaki Stadium.

Onita had previously made a challenge to All Japan wanting an All Japan wrestler to face him for the upcoming FMW-E show on April 29th at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market. Shuji Ishikawa ended up showing up which shocked Onita as he was expecting a smaller guy to show up.

May 5th was not specifically mentioned and I am sure that is the goal just not locked down, but an Onita ran show at Kawasaki Stadium in May and it not be May 5th would just seem wrong. Onita tried to get Kawasaki Stadium booked for his October 2017 retirement, but could not get a date because of how booked the stadium was with football games. DDT and Hard Hit together have booked shows at Kawasaki from August 2020 to August 2022 with Onita appearing on them in 2020 and 2021.

If the show does take place on May 5th it would be the first May 5th Kawasaki Stadium show since 2004 when the Fuyuki Army ran its last show which Onita did not appear but the show was almost a farewell to the "New FMW" as the roster on the show consisted of the likes of Kintaro Kanemura, Hido, Mr. Gannosuke, Mammoth Sasaki, Masato Tanaka, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, GOEMON, Onryo, Jado, Gedo, among several others. After that show a month later there was a split between Kanemura's Apache Army and Gannosuke's WMF and the two sides had no interaction with one another for four years afterwards.

Atsushi Onita's last May 5th at Kawasaki Stadium was on May 5, 2002 for the first big show following FMW's closure. The original main event was going to be Atsushi Onita and Tetsuhiro Kuroda against Kodo Fuyuki and Kintaro Kanemura in the main event as Fuyuki had wanted to face Onita the year prior at FMW's Kawasaki Stadium show on May 5, 2001 but Shoichi Arai nixed it and Fuyuki went up against Tenryu instead.

Fuyuki ended up being diagnosed with a rectal cancer in April 2002 though and was force to retire shortly after so the main event was completely switched. Onita would instead team up with The Great Sasuke against Shinya Hashimoto and Shinjiro Otani for Onita's first May 5th show at Kawasaki Stadium in 7 years with the match ending in a disappointing DQ after Onita would throw a fireball in Otani's face with fans booing due to the no deciding finish for a main event at a big show.

Onita stated that he wanted a specific person that he has respected since childhood to attend that show and then said "Dora" several times which obviously that would most likely mean Dory Funk, Jr. as he is probably the next best thing to getting Terry Funk in, as at this point Onita has most likely  realized that his wish of ever getting Terry Funk to be able to come back to Japan is pretty much impossible at this point.

Onita who is 66 years old also stated that he did not know how much longer he could go but that he wanted to go as long as he could, and that he might not always wrestle in an explosion match, but that he wanted to continue to do explosion matches until the very end.

Atsushi Onita also issued a challenge to All Japan Pro-Wrestling for one its wrestlers to fight Onita at the upcoming FMW-E show on April 29, 2023 CALLED "The Dawn" at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market. All Japan ring announcer Fumito Kihara appeared at the press conference and stated that All Japan had prepared someone for Onita when Shuji Ishikawa would appear. Ishikawa would stating that death matches have been apart of his past and helped him become who he is and that he wants to face Onita. Onita stated that he thought it would be a small wrestler that would come out. Onita then asked Ishikawa if was willing to fight in any kind of death match. It was then decided that the match would be a tag team match, but depending on the situation it could end up actually being a singles match between the two. Onita stated he hoped that Shuji Ishikawa would win the All Japan Triple Crown on March 21st as he wanted to face the Triple Crown champion in a death match. Ishikawa would end up losing the title match to Yuji Nagata on March 21st. Onita then stated that Ishikawa's partner could be anyone and that if Ishikawa ends up getting injured in the match that Onita will fill in for Ishikawa for the All Japan Champion Carnival tournament.

Atsushi Onita also appeared at the All Japan March 14, 2023 show at the Tokyo Shinjuku FACE and issued a challenge to an All Japan team to challenge him and Yoshitatsu for their All Japan All Asian Tag Team Titles. Takao Omori and Black Menso~re would end up being the team to accept the challenge and take on Onita and Yoshitatsu at the All Japan show on April 15, 2023 at the Nagoya International Conference Hall in a Tornado Bunkhouse Exploding Barbed wire Baseball Bat Death Match.

DDT would return to the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market on March 19, 2023 drawing an announced 282 fans for the show. This was the first official "DDO" (Dramatic Dream Onita) show which Onita won the right to change the name to his named version of a DDT, but the promotion didn't really do much else to pretend this was an Onita booked show and not DDT. The main event was Atsushi Onita, Shunma Katsumata, and Toi Kojima taking on HARASHIMA, Soma Takao, and Kazuki Hirata in a Exploding Barbed wire Baseball Bat Missile Death Match. The DDT would be the first to turn on the exploding barbed wire bat as HARASHIMA would hold on to Onita while sitting in a chair as Takao would hit him with the exploding bat. The exploding missile would end up getting turned on would go off from the side of the building into one of the turnbuckles and although it was a powerful explosion, nobody would actually be near the turnbuckle so the only damage it would cause would be the from the power of it which would topple over some of the wrestlers. HARASHIMA and Katsumata would then battle on the turnbuckle with HARASHIMA kicking Kojima into a exploding barbed wire board.

Hirata would then put on some glasses with Magnum Tokyo's "Go Tokyo" theme beginning to play as Hiata would turn on the exploding barbed wire bat and beginning to do the Magnum Tokyo dance. Onita also putting on the glasses would come over from behind while Hirata was dancing and take the bat from him and giving it to Katsumata who would hit Hirata with it and cover Hirata to get the win at 13 minutes, 55 seconds for the Onita team win. Sanshiro Takagi would then come to the ring and would tell Onita that he would continue his quest to take the explosion death match trademark. Takagi would state that Joey Janela who would be returning to DDT next month had issued a challenge to his death match idol and that Takagi, Janela, and Takeshi Masada would team up to take on Onita, Katsumata, and Kojima for the "current explosion" trademark on April 16th in Niigata. Onita would also announce at that show he would be bringing back Onita Theater for the first time since the pandemic began and that he wished to create DDO 6 Man Tag Team Titles to be defended on his DDO shows. Click here for highlights of the DDO main event 3/19/23 match.

FREEDOMS would return to the Shin-Kiba 1st Ring on February 15, 2023 and announce a crowd of 123 fans for the show. The main event would Takashi Sasaki, Mammoth Sasaki, and Tomoya Hirata against Violento Jack, Drew Parker, and Toshiyuki Sakuda in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match. The ERE team would focus on Hirata who they would assume to be the weak link of the team and bloody him up. Sakuda would climb a ladder while holding a stack of light tubes pressed up against his back but Hirata would climb the ladder and press slam Sakuda off of it followed by delivering a German Suplex to get the win at 15 minutes, 18 seconds over Sakuda. Hirata would then challenge Violento Jack for the King of Freedom World Championship on March 23rd at Korakuen Hall which will be the second time that they are main eventing Korakuen Hall as Jack defeated Hirata to defend the King of Freedom World Championship back on October 3, 2021.

The semi-main event would be Jun Kasai and Daisuke Masaoka teaming up to take on Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei with both teams brawling on the outside as Kasai would try to rush back in the ring, but a Brahman would prevent him to cause the double count out at 3 minutes, 16 seconds. The match would get restarted and Kasai and Masaoka would stick skewers in each others heads and then take control of the match with Kasai trying for a Pearl Harbor Splash but Kei would get his knees up. Shu would throw blue powder in Kasai's face and try to hit Kasai with a street sign but Kasai would move out of the way as Kasai would roll up Kei at 9 minutes, 56 seconds with a Rolando Paris Super Express for the win.

Masashi Takeda and Rina Yamashita would defeat the team of Brown Rat Fukki and Kyu Mogami in a Hardcore Match when Takeda would pin Fukki at 9 minutes, 54 seconds with a Reverse U Crash. After the match, Takeda who has been attacking Yamashita since his return back in July to toughen her up was about to shake Yamashita's hand in congratulatory fashion for winning, but Yamashita sensing Takeda would attack her would instead go to attack Takeda who would knock her down and grab a chair with Yamashita escaping out of the ring before he could do anything.

Jun Masaoka and Yuya Susumu going by the group name "Masaoka March" which definitely symbolizes that Masaoka is the leader of the group despite Susumu having the experience edge and more established in FREEDOMS, but this most likely more of a sign that Susumu is not going to get special treatment despite his 10 year association with FREEDOMS after leaving the promotion last year and now coming back. The two would take on the Taiwanesee team of Gaia Hox and Axe from the Puzzle promotion with Susumu making Hox tap out at 12 minutes, 50 seconds with the Crossface Lock with Masaoka offering Hox a spot in the group after the match. Dragon Libre would hit the ring and shove Masaoka out of the way and hug Hox who would hug him back and then help Libre attack Masaoka and Susumu. Libre would go after Masaoka and turn his back when Hox would attack Libre and embrace Masaoka as a new member of their group.

Kamui, Dragon Libre, and Takahiro Katori would defeat the team of Tatsuhito Takaiwa, GENTARO, and Rekka when Libre would pin Rekka at 12 minutes, 41 seconds with the Konon Yoshitonic (Code Red). The opening match would see Toru Sugiura take on Yusaku Ito in a Weapons Death Match in another "Sprint to the Death" with only a ten minute time limit. Ito would climb up to the top of the ladder but Sugiura would climb up and smash Ito over the head and hit a suplex off the ladder followed by hitting Ito with a Swift Driver as he would kick out and the bell would ring as the ten minute time limit had expired for the draw. Click here for highlights of the FREEDOMS 2/15/23 show.

FREEDOMS would then run at the Yokohama Radiant Hall on February 25, 2023 and announce a crowd of 130 fans for the show. The main event would be the FREEDOMS team of Takashi Sasaki, Mammoth Sasaki, Daisuke Masaoka, and Tomoya Hirata taking on the ERE team of Violento Jack, Drew Parker, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Kyu Mogami with ERE all focusing on trying to take out Hirata before Takashi would come in and make the save. Jack and Hirata would then square off and exchange lariats with each other before Hirata would hit him with a rolling elbow. Jack would jump at Hirata with Hirata catching him and dropping him to the mat before hitting a German Suplex to get the pin over Jack at 15 minutes, 52 seconds to build himself up for their title match at Korakuen Hall.

The semi-main event would see Masashi Takeda and Rina Yamashita defeat Jun Kasai and Toru Sugiura at 12 minutes, 54 seconds after Takeda would pin Sugiura at 12 minutes, 54 seconds as Sugiura being built up as the young new face of FREEDOMS and having a near 2 year run as champion is all but pretty much forgotten as he gone back to his wacky character that he was before the main event push and is no longer being protected after losing Masaoka last year in the main event at the Yokohama Budokan. Brown Rat Fukki would defeat Yusaku Ito at 7 minutes, 53 seconds with a Package Piledriver as he didn't need 10 minutes to beat Ito like Sugiura did.

Jun Masaoka, Yuya Susumu, and Gaia Hox now being a three man group has now changed the group name to "F-SWAG" as they would take on the team of Kamui, Dragon Libre, and Takahiro Katori with Libre getting the win at 10 minutes, 56 seconds after hitting Hox with the Konon Yoshitonic for the win. Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Leo Isaka, and Rekka would open the show defeating GENTARO, Brahman Shu, and Brahmn with Takaiwa getting th ewin at 10 minutes, 23 seconds after hitting Kei with a Death Valley Bomb for the win. Click here for highlights of the FREEDOMS 2/25/23 show.

FREEDOMS would then return to the Shin-Kiba 1st Ring on March 12, 2023 and announce a crowd of 144 fans for the show. The main event would be Jun Kasai, Mammoth Sasaki, Daisuke Masaoka, and Tomoya Hirata taking on Violento Jack, Toshiyuki Sakuda, Brown Rat Fukki, and Kyu Mogami in a Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match. Jack and Hirata would square off and both go in and charge at each other with light tubes crashing them into each others bodies. Hirata would come back and clothesline both Jack and Fukki followed by grabbing Fukki and hitting him with a German Suplex for the win at 18 minutes, 7 seconds as Jack would get right in his face with Hirata not backing down.

The semi-main event originally was supposed to be Takashi Sasaki against Drew Parker but Parker would bow out due to injury and instead would be replaced by his mystery tag team partner for the upcoming Korakuen Hall show in Big Japan's Abdullah Kobayashi. Sasaki would try to suplex Kobayashi on a stack of chairs, but Kobayashi would counter and deliver a neck breaker on the stack of chairs instead. They would then begin to fight over a chair with the referee trying to grab it from them resulting in them hitting the referee with the chair and Kobayashi delivering a elbow drop to him. Sasaki and Kobayashi would continue to fight as the referee would call for the match at 8 minutes, 25 seconds and rule it a Double DQ as the two would need to be pulled apart.

Masashi Takeda and Yusaku Ito would team up to defeat Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei after Ito would get the win at 9 minutes, 39 seconds after rolling Kei up with an Inside Cradle. Kamui and GENTARO would defeat Dragon Libre and Rekka after Kamui would pin Rekka at 14 minutes, 23 seconds with the Ionmante. The opening match would see Jun Masaoka, Yuya Susumu, and Gaia Hox defeat Toru Sugiura, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, and Takahiro Ktori at 15 minutes, 44 seconds when Masaoka would pick up the win over Katori after finishing him off his Ambitions maneuver. Click here for the highlights of the FREEDOMS 3/12/23 show.

FREEDOMS would run their first show at the Chigasaki City General Gym on March 18, 2023 and announce a crowd of 405 fans for the show. The main event would be Takashi Sasaki and Mammoth Sasaki defending the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against Violento Jack and Drew Parker. Jack and Parker would focus on Takashi doing double team moves with Parker hitting a Swanton Bomb on Takashi with Mammoth making the save and picking Parker up and delivering a brainbuster to him. Takashi would then pick up Drew and hit him with a Michinoku Driver # 2 before finishing Parker with the D-Geist for the win at 17 minutes, 18 seconds to successfully defend the titles for the second time.

The semi-main event would be Jun Kasai, Toru Sugiura, and Daisuke Masaoka defeating Toshiyuki Sakuda, Brown Rat Fukki, and Kyu Mogami when Kasai would get the pinfall over Fukki at 12 minutes, 31 seconds after hitting him with a Pearl Harbor Splash. A women's match on the show would see Nanae Takahashi and Saori Ano defeat Hiroyo Matsumoto and Maya Yukihi when Takahashi would get the win at 13 minutes, 31 seconds with the Passion Clutch over Yukihi. Tatsuhito Takaiwa and GENTARO would team up to defeat Tomoya Hirata and 2AW's Kotaro Yoshino when Takaiwa would pin Yoshino at 12 minutes, 41 seconds with the Death Valley Bomb. Kamui, Dragon Libre, and Takahiro Katori would defeat F-SWAG's Jun Masaoka, Yuya Susumu, and Gaia Hox when Katori would pin Hox at 7 minutes, 41 seconds with a Hurricanrana for the pinfall. The opening match would see Masashi Takeda defeat Rekka at 7 minutes, 55 seconds with a German Suplex to get the win. Click here for  highlights of the FREEDOMS 3/18/23 show.

FREEDOMS will return to Korakuen Hall on March 23, 2023 with the main event of Violento Jack defending his King of Freedom World Championship against Tomoya Hirata in a Glass Board Death Match. The semi-main event will be Drew Parker's last ever death match as he teams up his death match mentor Abdullah Kobayashi to take on Jun Kasai and Masashi Takeda. Kamui will defend his King of Freedom Jr. Heavyweight Title against Dragon Libre. Takashi Sasaki, Mammoth Sasaki, and Daisuke Masaoka will team up to go up against Toru Sugiura, Rina Yamashita, and Yusaku Ito in a Hardcore Match. Tatsuhito Takaiwa, GENTARO, and Rekka will go up against ERE's Brown Rat Fukki, Toshiyuki Sakuda, and Kyu Mogami. The opening tag match will see F-SWAG's Jun Masaoka and Yuya Susumu against Ryukyu Dragon's Guruken Mask and his partner Takahiro Katori.

The A-Team returned to the Tokyo Oji Basement Monstar on March 5, 2023 and announced their usual 150 fans for the show. The main event saw Dylan James defending his WEW Heavyweight Title against the former champion Super Tiger with James picking up the win at 14 minutes, 22 seconds with a choke slam to successfully defend the title for the second time. The semi-main event saw Tomohiko Hashimoto, Rion Mizuki, and Kaz Shibano defeat Daisaku Shimoda, Hiroshi Yamato, and Kota Nagashima when Mizuki would pin Nagashima at 14 minutes, 14 seconds with an Atomic Bomb for the win. Bryan Ishizaka, Iori Sugawara, and Jin would defeat Joji Otani in a 3 on 1 handicap match when Ishizaka would pin Otani at 12 minutes, 52 seconds after Ishizaka would Otani with the Pay Dirt as Jin would pick up the pinfall at 12 minutes, 52 seconds for the win. HASEGAWA and Bambi would team up to defeat the team of Raiden and Takumi Sakurai with HASEGAWA would get the win over Raiden at 10 minutes, 26 seconds with a Crush La Magistral. The opening match would see Kosaku Tonozaki defeating Hashinosuke at 9 minutes, 51 seconds with a Shikon Lariat for the win.

Mr. Gannosuke recently went over the topic of Atsushi Onita's retirement match from May 5, 1995. Gannosuke who had left FMW the week prior due to issues between Onita and Goto ended up watching the FMW May 5, 1995 Commercial VHS tape a couple of months after the show happened to see how his friend Hayabusa had done in the biggest match of his career. Gannosuke stated that he was watching the end where Onita and Hayabusa are backstage and Onita stated something very strange. It was Onita telling Hayabusa to "Never allow me to return to the ring again!" Gannosuke said he thought "Why would he say such a thing?" while watching.

Gannosuke then points out in the video and he does not understand how but Onita began to deal with financial difficulties while retired. Onita in his own book doesn't say anything about him dealing with financial difficulties, but does mention that the money he did lend a friend a good portion of the money he made during his retirement tour and his Kawasaki Stadium retirement match who desperately needed it, but ended up never giving the money back to Onita. Although that would mean he would have lent his friend millions of dollars and never got it back. Gannosuke told a story that Onita during his peak was just given a $500,000-$600,000 dollar car for free as Onita just being seen driving around in it was advertisement for the car.

That would have probably been around 1994 with Gannosuke saying Onita ended up selling the car in either 1995 or 1996 to make up for all the money he had lost. Gannosuke then mentions that after Onita sold FMW that he only sold 47% of the company to Arai and Onita kept 53% of it. Arai's book states that he bought 50% of it and Onita's step father Mr. Matsubara kept his 50% that he already had prior to Onita's retirement and that is why Onita could just come back when he wanted to and Arai couldn't stop him.

Gannosuke states that there is a lot that he can not talk about in the video. Someone in the comments section on YouTube stated "Gannosuke only could talk about half of what he wanted to talk about on this topic" with Gannosuke responding "more like 1/100th". Gannosuke is obviously saying that Onita's "don't let me return back to the ring" line meant that he already knew he was going to come back to the ring before he ever retired.

This has been a long time discussion among those in the inner circle of FMW on whether Onita retired knowing he was coming back. Arai makes it seem like Onita wanted nothing to do with pro-wrestling after his retirement in his book including no wrestling magazines were allowed in his office. Mitsuhiro Matsunaga in his book writes that he really does not believe the talk that Onita planned on coming out of retirement because he was around Onita all the time in 1994 until he turned back heel and saw just how done he was at that point with his injuries and mental state of not only wrestling but running a wrestling company.

Mr. Pogo though in his book pretty much confirmed that Onita always in the back of his mind planned on coming back. Pogo wrote how Onita had a secret meeting with Pogo, Shoichi Arai, and Go Ito several months after his retirement (August 1995 would be the most likely month) and told them that he wanted Pogo to be kept strong for when Onita came out of retirement and they could renew their feud when Onita decided to come back. Pogo who had lost a lot of luster right away after Onita retired and other than a couple of matches with Matsunaga was not really doing much other than just being another member of Lethal Weapon with The Gladiator pretty much becoming the top heel in the company at this point.

Onita suggested that Pogo leave FMW and become a freelancer and only work bigger FMW shows and work for other promotions in the mean time. Pogo was very nervous about this and although he was taking a pay cut from FMW which was going to happen regardless, he insisted he would still get paid what he would have got paid as if he had been on the tour. This gamble ended up working for Pogo as other companies like Tenryu's WAR, Great Kojika's Big Japan, The Great Sasuke's Michinoku Pro, and other companies were willing to pay $1,000 dollars per match to bring Pogo in plus taking care of his travel and hotels. Pogo ended up deciding to just go back to FMW full time in the Spring of 1996 after an issue with Tenryu's WAR that left Pogo's young boy Magnitude Kishiwada with a broken jaw from the hands of Tenryu.

Another YouTube comment on Gannosuke's video briefly mentions reading Pogo's book and this secret meeting taking place, and then adds the comment that many people were speculating on Onita planning on coming out of retirement right away and upsetting sponsors and fans for spending a lot of money on the basis of Onita leaving wrestling at the very least a good period, and that Tarzan Goto also felt that Onita was never really planning on retiring long term and that there would be a lot of blow back that would come his way for being apart of the match when him and Onita were already acting like a divorced married couple at this point, and this was a deciding factor on Goto, Gannosuke, and Ichihara leaving FMW.

Gannosuke who did a whole video 18 months ago about why he left FMW never mentioned this topic when giving the reasons why he was the one that decided to leave FMW for Goto's sake with Goto following him, but Gannosuke did up end up liking that comment left on YouTube. I think that it is pretty obvious that Onita always knew in the back of his mind that he would be coming back, but was just done with pro-wrestling for the time being and would take something like a three year break, but then when the money issues started taking place, and he wasn't making it back by being the movie star that he was hoping to be, his plan of probably coming back in 3 years ended up getting rushed to just 18 months and upsetting so many people by coming back so soon after making so much money on the notion that he was leaving wrestling for good.

Katsutoshi Niiyama is a name that only hardcore FMW fans know and remember despite him being with the promotion for seven years through out the most popular time. Niiyama was originally the second behind Hayabusa on the face side at the start of the New FMW in 1995 after Onita's retirement. He was quickly surpassed by Masato Tanaka and by 1996 was already floundering in the midcard with no real direction or notable feuds until he would turn heel in 1997 and join up with his former tag partner Mr. Gannosuke who had recently returned. Niiyama would end up losing to Koji Nakagawa on April 29, 1997 at the Yokohama Arena with Niiyama hugging Nakagawa after their match.

There had been a report online years ago that hug with Niiyama having recently turned heel and doing a babyface thing was what ended up getting him fired. That is something that unless I specifically heard it from someone in the company I have just believed to be a internet rumor. Niiyama after leaving FMW ended up joining up with his teacher Tarzan Goto for his Shin-FMW promotion and eventually just became a part time wrestler doing spot bookings in Nagoya where he lives up until retiring in 2011.

The Prince Mitsumoto YouTube channel did a interview with both Mitsuhiro Matsunaga at his steak house restaurant to get another wrestlers opinion on Niiyama and then he interviewed Niiyama himself in his hometown of Kariya City. Matsunaga had previously wrote in his 2009 book that Niiyama is one of the few FMW wrestlers (the other being Gosaku) that ended up having a disappointing career overall as he should have ended up doing more than what he did. Matsunaga in the video interview more focused about how Niiyama was on Hayabusa and Hisakatsu Oya's side of turning FMW into a strong style promotion rather than a Death Match promotion after Onita's retirement. Matsunaga could understand why Hayabusa and Hisakatsu Oya wanted to go the strong style route because that suited their style better, but he didn't understand why Niiyama would who because of his submission background went along with it but his ability to use it in actually having good pro-wrestling matches did correlate for him.

Matsunaga was very against the idea knowing that a independent promotion not doing death matches just could not draw as they could not be as good as New Japan or All Japan in the ring, so why be something less than the bigger promotions instead of being something different. He gave Hayabusa the benefit of the doubt at the beginning because he did see how tremendous Hayabusa's skills were, but after a couple of months and the FMW shows were not doing well like he expected, he wanted to call it off and and he and the W*ING guys were able to go back to doing death matches. Matsunaga stated that because of Niiyama's lack of improving that Masato Tanaka who could do so much more in the ring than Niiyama resulting in Niiyama just becoming an afterthought.  Matsunaga had actually known Niiyama years before FMW as they coincidentally along with Tsubo Genjin all tried out for the New Japan Dojo on the same day, but were all rejected.

Niiyama in the interview stated that he struggled through out his entire time in FMW. He originally came in as The Shooter in 1990 but both Onita and Tarzan Goto were not happy with how he was progressing so they changed his gimmick to The Great Punk and then they still felt like he was not at a level that he was at they dropped that gimmick and had him start over again and shave his head and begin just going by Niiyama instead. It was one thing for Niiyama to know that his elders (Onita, Goto) were unhappy with his performance, but it was another when younger wrestlers (he didn't say who) were talking shit about him because he wasn't very good. Niiyama agreed with Matsunaga's comments about him not being that great of a wrestler, but during the New FMW time he thought he was still managing to get over despite not being that good in the ring so he himself doesn't understand how he lost his spot because it should matter how over you are with the fans, more so than how good you are. I actually asked Hayabusa about Niiyama's departure when talking to him one time, but it was one of the few times the language barrier was too difficult for me to comprehend his answer, which based off Niiyama's answer it's probably something Hayabusa didn't really want to give the most honest answer anyway.

Niiyama did admit jealousy in the interview towards Hayabusa as Ezaki came in after him and then was able to take the spot as FMW ace in just four years after Onita's retirement in 1995. Hayabusa specifically requested that Tanaka take Niiyama's spot as the number two babyface for the FMW side since Tanaka was so much better than Niiyama. Niiyama stated the younger wrestlers talking shit about him in 1997 is what made him decide to leave FMW. He ended up starting up his own restaurant in 2001 although after the death of his father and then him being diagnosed with the early stages of cancer which he was able to beat it, his health issues prevented him from running his store every day and he ended up closing it down in June 2010. Niiyama has just been living a private life since and stopped taking bookings in 2011. Most of the topics that he has with Prince Mitsumoto are more about the past as I couldn't pick up anything about what Niiyama is doing nowadays, although Mitsumoto admitted it took many negotiations to finally get Niiyama to agree to appear on his show.

This past Sunday marked the 20th anniversary of Kodo Fuyuki's passing on March 19, 2003 due to rectal cancer. Kodo Fuyuki is one of the more interesting characters in pro-wrestling he becomes even more intriguing as I go through old interviews he did as well as having read his wife's book about the last year of his wife that details some unknown stories about Fuyuki during his life and things that took place after his life ended. He is definitely a topic I will have to do a FMW Stories episode on soon enough as there is so much that is not known about his interesting life and interesting afterlife. I did a write up how him and his influence on the Entertainment Wrestling era on FMW as well everything it lead to including to what he feels like ultimately lead to his passing just a year after FMW closed down at

Chiba 2AW Square

All Japan 4/15/23
Nagoya International Conference Hall

Atsushi Onita & Yoshitatsu vs. Takao Omori & Black Menso~re *AJPW All Asian Tag Team Titles Tornado Bunkhouse Exploding Barbed wire Bat Death Match*

DDO 4/16/23
Niigata Bandajima Multi Purpose Plaza Large Lot

Atsushi Onita & Shunma Katsumata & Toi Kojima vs. Sanshiro Takagi & Joey Janela & Takeshi Masada *Exploding Barbed wire Death Match*

FREEDOMS 4/16/23
Hiroshima Industrial Hall West Building

FREEDOMS 4/20/23
Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring

FMW-E 4/29/23
Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market

Atsushi Onita & Raijin Yaguchi & Ricky Fuji vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Mystery Partner & Mystery Partner *Exploding Barbed wire Death Match*
Mr. Pogo & Onryo vs. Takumi Sakurai & Boogie Man *Back house Fire Death Match*
HASEGAWA & Mystery Partner vs. Naoshi Sano & Mystery Partner
Maku Donaruto & Miss Mongol vs. Brahman Shu & Brahman Kei
Shota Nakagawa vs. Nene ∞ D.a.i

FREEDOMS 4/30/23
Osaka Hirano Kumin Hall

Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Big Japan 5/4/23
Yokohama Budokan

FREEDOMS 5/14/23
Okinawa Nishihara Town Citizen Exchange Center

A-Team 5/21/23
Tokyo Sumida Ward General Gym

Tomohiko Hashimoto vs. Satoshi Kojima
Minoru Suzuki vs. HASEGAWA
Takashi Sasaki & Jun Kasai vs. Iori Sugawara & Jin
Daisaku Shimoda & Raiden & Takumi Sakurai vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Yoshitatsu & Black Menso~re
Bryan Ishizaka vs. Rion Mizuki *WEW Jr. Heavyweight Title Match*
Hashinosuke & Bambi vs. Joji Otani & Momoka Hanazono
Eito & Naoh Yamada vs. Tamasa Matsui & Sakura Mizushima
Kosaku Tonozaki & Magic Killer # 1 & Kota Nagashima vs. Koji Kanemoto & Super Tiger & Kaz Shibano

FREEDOMS 5/25/23
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring

FREEDOMS 6/22/23
Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring

Jun Kasai Productions 7/6/23
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Jun Kasai Productions 7/20/23
Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring

Aichi Kariya Industrial Promotion Center Aioi Hall

FREEDOMS 8/11/23
Yokohama Budokan

Jun Kasai Productions 8/28/23
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Tokyo Shin-Kiba 1st Ring

FREEDOMS 10/11/23
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

I have gathered all the results of shows from Big Japan/ZERO1/666 shows in 2023 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 (Last updated: 3/28)

Added: 2/8

Atsushi Onita finally got his long awaited wish and that was having a explosion death match in All Japan. Onita originally wanted to be in a exploding barbed wire death match against Masa Fuchi for the All Japan October 28, 2000 Budokan Hall show. Both Toshiaki Kawada and Masa Fuchi turned Onita down feeling that was not something Giant Baba would have wanted on his All Japan show. Onita would end up appearing for All Japan for the first time since his 1985 retirement three months later for the All Japan Tokyo Dome show on January 28, 2001 teaming with Terry Funk against Abdullah the Butcher and Giant Kimala II in a bloody brawl.

Onita would return to All Japan where he would win the All Japan All Asian Tag Team Titles on November 27, 2016 at Sumo Hall with Masa Fuchi. Onita would request to have another explosion death match in the promotion with Dory Funk, Jr. turning him down telling him no Death Matches in All Japan.

Onita's most recent request would finally be heard as Onita would team up with Yoshitatsu to challenge Kendo Kashin and NOSAWA Rongai on February 4, 2023 at the Tokyo Haichioji Esforta Arena in a Exploding Barbed wire Baseball Bat Tornado Bunkhouse Death Match.

Kendo Kashin would end up laying Yoshitatsu down on a table and try and hit him with the exploding bat, but Yoshitatsu would end up managing to get out of the way with Kashin hitting the table instead. NOSAWA would then take the bat and hit Onita with it for the first explosion in All Japan's 50 year history. NOSAWA would then take a guitar and smash it over Onita's head, but as he would go for a cain shot he would be met with green mist in his face.

Yoshitatsu would then grab NOSAWA and Onita would try to spit green mist in his face again, but this time NOSAWA would move out of the way and Onita would spit the green mist in Yoshitatsu's face instead. Yoshitatsu and NOSAWA would both be down and stagger to get up with Onita and Kashin grabbing the exploding bats with Onita hitting NOSAWA and Kashin hitting Yoshitatsu with them at the same time for a double explosion although it would be Onita that would fall down on NOSAWA to get the win at 9 minutes, 13 seconds to win the All Japan All Asian Tag Team Titles for a second time. Click here for highlights of the All Japan 2/4/23 show with Onita in it.

This could have been the final time that NOSAWA would be pinned by Onita. NOSAWA due to health issues he has been dealing with plans to retire at the NOAH February 21, 2023 Tokyo Dome show. This was the 43rd time that Onita had pinned NOSAWA going back to August 26, 2013 for NOSAWA's Tokyo Gurentai promotion. Most of the pins would come in six man tags for Super Battle FMW shows with Onita pinning NOSAWA starting in 2015 leading all the way to Onita's 2017 retirement which saw him pin NOSAWA again. Since coming out of retirement the following year, Onita had pinned NOSAWA several more times, but none since 2020 as the two have not really worked together as much.

Atsushi Onita would return to DDT on January 7, 2023 at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market as he would team up with Shunma Katsumata and Toi Kojima to take on Sanshiro Takagi, Akito, and Soma Takao in a Aerial Time Bomb Explosion and Exploding Barbed wire Baseball Bats Death Match. This stipulation of the match would be that if Onita's team won then they would win the DDT management roles with Onita becoming President of DDT. If the DDT team were to win, they would win Onita's trademark of "current blast" for an explosion match. Akito would manage to nail Onita with the exploding barbed wire bat to the chest knocking him out of the match for a little bit.

The Takagi team would take turns knocking Shunma Katsumata out with Takagi hitting him with a Stunner and leaving in the ring as the Aerial Explosion sirens would begin. Onita would get back in the ring and climb over Katsumata's body as the explosion over the ring would go off. Takagi would then go for the exploding bat, but Katsumata would grab it from him and nail Takagi with it. Onita would then come in the ring and spit green mist in Soma Takao's face following by hitting him with the exploding bat for the explosion and cover Takao at 12 minutes, 33 seconds for the Onita team win.

As a result of the victory Onita not only would Onita win the presidency of DDT but also become the store manager of DDT's Drop Kick bar which I feel the risk/reward for DDT on this bet was not fair. Onita would state though that he lived too far away from Shinjuku to actually be the bar manager and so he would be the honorary manager instead. Katsumata then would state he wanted to do another explosion death match for the next booked show at the Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market on March 19th and if anyone in DDT was willing to compete in it. HARASHIMA would come and drag Kazuki Hirata with him that they would compete and they want to win the "current blast" trademark for DDT at the show.

Onita would then announce that he still planned on keeping his president title and that he was forming a new wrestling promotion called 'DDO" which stood for Dramatic Dream Onita and as it's a take off of what Onita named his DDT move. Onita told Katsumata that he would be Vice President and Kojima will be the Managing Director with the DDO promotion taking over the March 19th booking at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market show with HARASHIMA and Kazuki Hirata on the opposing side. Click here for highlights of the DDT 1/7/23 show with Onita in it.

There was some confusion on my end last update over the Last Fighters Colosseum show. The original name for the show was Bugs Factory promoted by movie producer BILLY who had helped out Fire Blast Wrestling financially with the explosion matches last year. Then almost the entire card lineup besides Yuko Miyamoto vs. SUGI changed and there was an event called Last Fighters Colosseum on the same day and the building, so I was under the impression that it was just two separate shows running back to back at the same building on the same day. What it really was though, was a name change of event to "Last Fighters Colosseum" for January 14, 2023 at the Kawasaki Club Citta.

They would not announce an attendance for the show with the main event being once again changed to Atsushi Onita, Raijin Yaguchi, and Naoshi Sano taking on Chainsaw Tony, The Super Beast, and Boogey Man in a Exploding Barbed wire Blast Board and Exploding Barbed wire Bats Death Match. The main event was sponsored by FMW-E promotion with the undercard being connected to the Fire Blast Wrestling promotion which might have resulted in the name change of the show. The show did air on TwitCast making it the first FMW-E/Fire Pro event aired in full since 2021.

The Onita team would be accompanied by the girl singing group "Masked Girls" and the Japanese mascot Chiitan.  Chiitan had been an unofficial representative of the city of Susaki in Kochi which gained popularity in 2018 by doing dangerous violent stunts. The city of Susaki despite the notoriety of the mascot would end up disassociating itself from it because of its crazy stunts that were receiving negative attention. Chiitan would eventually end up getting brought up on John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show on HBO in 2019 with the Chiitan Twitter account starting a social media feud with John Oliver before Twitter would end up suspending Chiitan's account.

The match would start with Sano and Chiitan knocking down Boogey Man before Sano would grab a hold of the Boogey Man with Chiitan turning on the exploding barbed wire bat. Boogey Man would end up knocking the bat down and hitting Chiitan with the explosion knocking the mascot down as it would leave the match after being knocked out. Chainsaw Tony would then setup an exploding barbed wire board and charge at Raijin Yaguchi who would grab Tony and bring him down with both of them feeling the explosion. Boogey Man would then begin to go after the Masked Girls outside the ring and throw them in the ring and turn on the exploding bat. Onita would get in the ring to try and make the save but Super Beast would grab the bat and smash Onita with it although a lot of would come back and push Super Beast back. Yaguchi would then knock Super Beast down and hit Boogey Man with an Olympic Slam before both him and Onita would hit with a double exploding bat shot with Onita getting the win at 9 minutes, 59 seconds after covering Boogey Man. Onita would then do his Onita Theater followed by the Masked Girls performing to end the show.

The semi-main event would be Ricky Fuji having his second match back after his stroke, Seigo Tachibana going by Masao Hanabata, and movie producer BILLY taking on Mr. Pogo, Onryo, and Masked Fire in a Exploding Barbed wire Bat Exploding Coffin Death Match.

Mr. Pogo would end up trying to use an exploding sickle during the match, but BILLY would pick up a chair to block it causing a huge explosion knocking them both down. Onryo and Masked Fire would then grab a hold of BILLY as Pogo would end up hitting him with an exploding barbed wire bat shot. Ricky who was very limited and the only bump he would take was him doing his Kamikaze along with Hanabata would end up shoulder tackling Pogo down to the mat. BILLY would hit Masked Fire with an exploding lariat and place Masked Fire in the coffin. Pogo would try and make the save for his partner but Hanabata would then hit Pogo with a chair knocking him down on the coffin followed by BILLY hitting Pogo with an exploding bat shot to the back for an explosion to give the BILLY the win at 14 minutes, 52 seconds as the exploding bat shot was all they could do, as they could not actually have the coffin actually explode inside the building like they could when running a show outside. BILLY originally would say that was his first and last match, but after seeing all the compliments and comments about wanting to see him again, BILLY stated that he might be open to doing another match.

FMW-E announced that the promotion would be returning on April 29, 2023 at the Yokohama Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetables Market. This would be an actual FMW-E show unlike last year that had a similar nearly 5 month break from December to the end of April, but last years April show was just for a sponsored event with someone else putting up the money to promote under the FMW-E name and this time it will actually be the FMW-E putting up their own money. It will be interesting to see if this the beginning running every four months or so or possibly even more frequently after pretty much going from December 2021 to December 2022 without a running an event where they were putting up their own money. Click here for highlights of the Last Fighters Colosseum 1/14/23 show.

FREEDOMS would hold their first show of the new year on January 3, 2023 at the Shin-Kiba 1st Ring where they would announce a crowd of 278 fans for the show. The opening match would be the rare big draw of the event as Jun Kasai and Masashi Takeda would take on each other in a singles match for the first time since December 25, 2018 in a Self Board Death Match.

Due to it being an opening match it would only have a 10 minute time limit so they would have to turn it into a sprint. Kasai would end up delivering a piledriver off the turnbuckle to Takeda and then go for a larat but be hit with a German Suplex, but Kasai would pop up right away and deliver a Reverse Tiger Driver. They would exchange strikes and headbutts before Takeda would deliver a Reverse U Crash Kai on Kasai on a fork board and get the win at 8 minutes, 46 seconds with Kasai just barely missing out on getting his shoulder up in time. The two would then flip each other off before getting down on the mat and bowing to each other followed by Kasai hugging Takeda. I would still think the plan would be to do this match again in August at the Yokohama Budokan which Kasai wanted to do last year.

The main event would be Toru Sugiura and Tomoya Hirata defending their King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against Takashi Sasaki and Mammoth Sasaki in a Weapons Death Match. Sugiura and Hirata would deliver some double teams to Takashi followed by Hirata hitting a tope to both Takashi and Mammoth. The weapons would then come out as Sugiura would begin to choke Takashi with a chain followed by Mammoth using a nailboard tooth brush on Hirata's forehead. Sugiura would then charge at Mammoth and get caught and hit with choke bomb from Mammoth who would follow that up by hitting him with Falcon Arrow, a double Mammoth Home Run, and then finally a 29 Years Old to get the pin at 23 minutes, 46 seconds to win the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles ending the 53 week reign as tag team champions for Sugiura and Hirata.

The semi-main event would be Kamui defending his King of Freedom Jr. Heavyweight Championship against Takahiro Katori with Kamui picking up the win after hitting Katori with his Iomante (Kudo Driver) at 14 minutes, 18 seconds to defend his Jr. Heavyweight Title for the first time. Drew Parker and Violento Jack would team up against Rina Yamashita and Jun Masaoka with Jack putting Masaoka in the Mexican Stretch to make him tap out at 12 minutes, 59 seconds with Jack getting on the mic and challenging Parker for the next shot at the King of Freedom World Championship.

Tatsuhito Takaiwa, GENTARO, and Leo Isaka would defeat Toshiyuki Sakuda, Brown Rat Fukki, and Kyu Mogami after Takaiwa would put away Fukki at 9 minutes, 1 second with his Death Valley Bomb. Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei would defeat Rekka and Gaia Hox after Shu would roll up Hox to get the win at 7 minutes, 42 seconds with Nobody's Perfect in what would have been the opening match for a normal show. Click here for highlights of the FREEDOMS 1/3/23 show.

FREEDOMS would then return to Shin-Kiba 1st Ring on January 19, 2023 and announce a crowd of 139 fans for the show. The main event would be Violento Jack and Brown Rat Fukki taking on Drew Parker and Kyu Mogami in a ERE Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match. Jack and Parker would begin striking one another before they would both grab light tubes and begin smashing them over each other's heads. Jack would pick Parker up on his shoulder with Parker delivering a reverse frankensteiner followed by a Superkick with Jack getting up right away and hitting him with a lariat, and Parker getting up right away and delivering a running double knee to Jack's head. Jack would then go up against Mogami and hit him with a Violent Breaker followed by putting him in the Mexican Stretch to make Mogami tap out at 15 minutes, 48 seconds to build up Jack for his challenge for Parker's title at the February 2nd Korakuen Hall show.

The semi-main event would be a Double Board Death Match between Jun Kasai and Toru Sugiura against Masashi Takeda and Yusaku Ito with Ito delivering a Russian Leg sweep on a barbed wire board with Sugiura countering with a backbreaker on the barbed wire board followed by a Swift Driver with Takeda having to make the save. Kasai and Takeda would then square off with Kasai landing a punch to Takeda followed by a Pearl Harbor Splash to Ito and then Sugiura would pick up Ito and finish him off at 15 minutes, 8 seconds with the Soul Driver as the respected Kasai vs. Takeda feud continues.

Takashi Sasaki, Mammoth Sasaki, and Rina Yamashita would take on Tatsuhito Takaiwa, GENTARO, and Tomoya Hirata with Takaiwa wanting it to be known that he wanted a shot at the tag titles before hitting Takashi with a Death Valley Bomb and getting the win at 14 minutes, 29 seconds with Takaiwa and GENTARO issuing a challenge for the tag team titles at the upcoming Korakuen Hall show.

Kamui, Dragon Libre, and Takahiro Katori would defeat Jun Masaoka, Rekka, and Gaia Hox with Kamui picking up the win at 11 minutes, 1 seconds with a Revolution Style Kamui Clutch on Hox to get the pinfall. Masaoka would announce that he would have a mystery partner for his tag team match against Kamui and Dragon Libre at the upcoming Korakuen Hall show. The opening match would see Takumi Tsukamoto team up with fellow Basara wrestler Lil Kraken to defeat Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei at 8 minutes, 7 seconds when Tsukamoto would pin Kei with a Schmidt Style Backbreaker. Click here for highlights of the FREEDOMS 1/19/23 show.

FREEDOMS would then run their first Korakuen Hall show of the year on February 2, 2023 and announce a crowd of 410 fans for the show. The February Korakuen Hall show has always been a tough sale as last year Masaoka vs. Ueki did a similar 416 last year. This was also the first Korakuen Hall show for FREEDOMS that fans could yell instead of clap as well. The main event would be Drew Parker defending his King of Freedom World Championship against Violento Jack in a No Canvas Glass Boards Death Match.

Jack would begin to take out the boards in the ring and then place a glass board on it and look to Package Piledrive Parker through it, but he would escape and hitting a running double knee sending Jack through the glass board. Parker would then hit a Swanton Bomb on Jack with his head hitting the board as Jack would grab him and deliver a released German Suplex followed nailing Parker with the Amatalan on a stack of light tubes and then break a beer bottle over Parker's head before placing him in the Mexican Stretch with Parker giving up at 20 minutes, 38 seconds as Violento Jack would become the four time King of Freedom World Champion. Jack would cut a promo about how he speaks Spanish, Parker speaks English, and the fans speak Japanese but it doesn't matter. Death Matches are all the the same language. Jack and Parker would fist pump afterwards.

FREEDOMS dealing with the issue that they've really been dealing with the last couple of years since Sugiura was champion where they only have so many challengers for the title with such a thin roster. I would imagine you have to have Jack hold the title until August at the Yokohama Budokan, but you Jack vs. Kasai has been done to death, you can maybe do Jack vs. Masaoka one more time, same for Jack vs. Sugiura and I don't even know who you plan to dethrone Jack as Masaoka just had a run with the belt last year, Sugiura had a long run and went through everyone himself, and Kasai has already had so many runs as champion. The only fresh name is Hirata who they would need to start speeding up his progress in how they push him if they plan on him becoming the next guy this year. The only other name would be Takeda who has already had multiple long term runs as champion as well.

The semi-main event would be Takashi Sasaki and Mammoth Sasaki defending the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles against Tatsuhito Takaiwa and GENTARO. Takashi and GENTARO would square of with GENTARO taking him to the mat. Takaiwa and GENTARO would then both end up hitting flying elbow drops off the turnbuckle on Takashi, but when Takaiwa would try and superplex him off the turnbuckle, Mammoth would come over and knock GENTARO off the apron and hit Takaiwa with an Awesome Bomb and then a 29 Years Old as Takashi would Takaiwa with a D-Geist to get the win at 19 minutes, 34 seconds to defend the King of Freedom Tag Team Titles for the first time.

Jun Kasai, Toru Sugiura, and Daisuke Masaoka would take on Masashi Takeda, Yusaku Ito, and Rina Yamashita in a Tornado Death Match. This would be Masaoka's return to the ring since being out of action after the December 1st Shin-Kiba show. Masaoka cited a neck injury which he has been dealing with going back to being hit with a Fire Thunder off a ladder onto a guard rail from Takeda back on November 10, 2020.

Masaoka would place a fork board over Takeda's body and go up to the top with Takeda getting up and powerbombing Masaoka onto the forks. Ito would then climb up on a guard rail on the turnbuckle but Kasai would end up throwing a chair at his head and delivering a Reverse Tiger Driver off the turnbuckle. Kasai would then go for the skewers, but Ito would grab them from him and stick them in his own head instead and headbutt Kasai, but then be met with a punch by Kasai and a Reverse Tiger Driver to get the win at 15 minutes over Ito.

Jun Masaoka's mystery partner would be revealed as Yuya Susumu with a new blonde haircut making his return to FREEDOMS after a little over 10 months to defeat Kamui and Dragon Libre when Susumu would hit the Front Crash on Libre at 10 minutes, 2 seconds over Libre. Susumu would challenge Kamui for the King of Freedom Jr. Heavyweight Title which would I assume be at either the March 18th show in Chigasaki or March 23rd at Korakuen.

Susumu who began working for NOAH as well in December 2020 and began to get booked so often that he felt it would be better financially to just work NOAH and made the decision to leave FREEDOMS after the March 29, 2022 Korakuen Hall show. Susumu never signed a contract with NOAH but worked with them exclusively into September 2022 after he would suffer an injury and be out of action for five months. Nothing has been officially announced about Susumu's status in either FREEDOMS or NOAH, but it seems Susumu will continue to be a regular with the promotion as he has been a heel on Twitter talking about being a true FREEDOMS Jr. Heavyweight wrestler and wanting to show Gaia Hox what a true FREEDOMS Jr. Heavyweight wrestler is all about with Dragon Libre responding that Susumu is not a true FREEDOMS Jr. Heavyweight wrestler because he left the promotion.

Toshiyuki Sakuda, Brown Rat Fukki, and Kyu Mogami defeated Tomoya Hirata, Leo Isaka, and Rekka with Mogami getting the win with the X Wolf Wrath at 8 minutes, 36 seconds over Rekka. The opening match would see Takahiro Katori and Gaia Hox defeat Brahman Shu and Brhaman Kei when Hox would get the win at 7 minutes, 3 seconds with a Package Piledriver over Kei. Click here for highlights of the FREEDOMS 2/3/23 Korakuen Hall show.

FREEDOMS announced that they would be returning to the Yokohama Budokan on August 11, 2023. They had left a Golden Week spot open in the event that they were to book the building for that week like they did last year, but apparently that did not end up taking place and they are booked for August. They would end up booking a Golden Week show at Korakuen Hall which they had done from 2012 to 2020 before 2021 COVID prevented them from having a show followed by the Yokohama Budokan show last year. They also had already booked a Korakuen Hall show on May 25th to follow the possible Yokohama Budokan show earlier in the month, so now for the first time FREEDOMS will run Korakuen Hall twice in the same month and will run a record 9 times this year on top of the big March 18th show in Chigasaki and the Yokohama Budokan show. The other note is that because of the August 11th booking they have cancelled their planned August 10th show at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring and instead booked a show in Aichi and the Kariya Industiral Promotion Center Aioi Hall on August 6th instead.

The A-Team would hold their first show of the year on January 22, 2023 at the Tokyo Oji Basement Monstar where they would announce a crowd of 150 fans for the show. The main event would be for the WEW Tag Team Titles as Tomohiko Hashimoto and Super Tiger would defend their titles against So Daimonji and Ishiriki with Tiger making Ishiriki tap out at 16 minutes, 29 seconds to his New Octopus Hold to successfully defend the titles for the first time. The semi-main event would be for both the WEW Jr. Heavyweight and DEP Openweight Championship with Bryan Ishizaka defeating Takumi Sakurai at 13 minutes, 13 seconds after hitting him with his Pay Dirt for the win to become both the WEW Jr. Heavyweight and DEP Openweight Champion. Kotaro Suzuki defeated A-Team's Kota Nagashima in a Special New Years Match at 12 minutes, 13 seconds after finishing Nagashima off with a Running Elbow. HASEGAWA, Joji Otani, and Hashinosuke defeated Iori Sugawara, Magic Killer # 1, and Jin when HASEGAWA would pin Jin at 12 minutes, 8 seconds after with a Death Valley Bomb for the win. The opening match would be Raiden and Kosaku Tonozaki defeated Daisaku Shimoda and Bambi when Tonozaki would roll up Bambi at 10 minutes, 40 seconds for the win.

The next A-Team show would again be at the Tokyo Oji Basement Monstar on February 5, 2023 and they would again announce a crowd of 150 fans for the show. The main event would be WEW Heavyweight Champion Dylan James defending his title against Kosaku Tonozaki at 13 minutes, 57 seconds after hitting Tonozaki with a choke slam for the win to defend the title for the first time. The semi-main event would be Tomohiko Hashimoto and Super Tiger defending their WEW Tag Team Titles against Daisaku Shimoda and Ryoji Sai when Tiger would pick up the win over Shimoda at 14 minutes, 50 seconds with a Tiger Atomic Bomb to defend the titles for the second time. Bryan Ishizaka would defend his WEW Jr. Heavyweight and DEP Openweight Titles against Takeshi Irie successfully at 14 minutes, 59 seconds after using his Pay Dirt to get the win to defend the titles for the first time. Raiden, Takumi Sakurai, and Joji Otani would defeat HASEGAWA, Hashinosuke, and Bambi when Otani would pick up the win over Hashinosuke at 15 minutes, 20 seconds with a Diving Body Press. Iori Sugawara and Jin would defeat Rion Mizuki and Kazu Shibano after Iori would pin Shibano at 14 minutes, 40 seconds with a Quaral Bomb. The opening match would see So Daimonji defeat Kota Nagashima at 10 minutes, 21 seconds with the Black Rain.

JCTV concluded their 21 part YouTube series on FMW with Mitsuru Saito and Sugisaku J Taro looking back at the Entertainment Era with Mr. Gannosuke joining them for the last ten or so episode as he was able to provide information on FMW that the two just simply didn't have while just being commentators during a specific time frame. The discussion of the FMW's Entertainment Era came up and specifically the Yokohama Arena.

The FMW November 23, 1999 Yokohama Arena show was FMW's big gamble at trying to earn back the money that they had slowly been losing since 1997. They were paid millions of dollars by DirecTV to change to the Entertainment route but in the process they also were going to have to spend a lot more money on their production quality as a result so after all the money spent they still were having to depend on the attendance to make or break them as a promotion despite all the money given to them by DirecTV to change directions as a promotion.

Shoichi Arai wanted the Yokohama Arena show to kind of be like their big WrestleMania event where all eyes would be on them and their Entertainment Pro-Wrestling product. The goal was that if this show did well, it would get FMW back to becoming a profitable promotion as FMW was still a promotion that could still turn it around at this point. Saito, J Taro, and Gannosuke talked about the event and even in another video watched highlights of the event as it was the most remembered FMW show for this period of the company.

The show was considered a failure by Shoichi Arai in his book stating that it did not do as well as he had hoped and so much money went into the showing including bringing in Shawn Michaels, The Funk Brothers, and the ECW guys as well as paying for the Octagon Cage that was used for Kodo Fuyuki vs. Masato Tanaka on top of all the lighting for the big arena. I had always been told the show did 11,000 legit in a 16,000 so when reading what Arai wrote about the show being such a failure I figured that the number I was told must have been wrong and it had to have been much lower than that.

Saito on the video mentions the show did about 70% though which would put it at about 11,000 people and Gannosuke stated that if the event was held today it would be considered a success (NOAH announced 8,433 for the final Great Muta show on January 22nd this year).

The picture above was taken right before the Tanaka vs. Fuyuki match which might be the only shot of the building not darkened that night and definitely does not look like there's 70% in the building. Although it's probably not the fairest picture since it was taken at intermission, but if the 70% full and 11,000 total number is close to true, you have to wonder why they would put themselves in a situation where 70% in such a big building would be considered a failure, but that's a question that only Shoichi Arai would really would have had that answer.

Mr. Gannosuke stated that fans have came up to him and stated that they stopped watching once the ring started to have yellow ropes (the red mat always stood out to me more than the yellow ropes to it) and there's so many layers on why FMW felt the need to make the change in direction that I will end up writing a whole book on here if I get into it, but a big negative factor for the change in direction was that not only did it lose a large number of hardcore fans and replaced them with not as many fans that were into the entertainment style, but also those entertainment fans did not create the same atmosphere and electricity especially at Korakuen Hall that the hardcore fans that were there before the mat turned red and the ropes turned yellow were able to create that made FMW a promotion that you felt you needed to be there live to be apart of an amazing atmosphere that was lost even if there were more actually good wrestling matches during the entertainment era.

I also wanted to make note from my last update about JCTV and using FMW video footage and whether they actually owned any of the FMW video footage. JCTV was a big creditor to FMW during its last couple of years with the promotion and lost out on a lot of money after FMW closed down in 2002. That probably put them in line for receiving ownership of some of the FMW video footage. That said, whatever FMW video footage they gained ownership of, I do not believe they actually used for their YouTube series as it seems like they just went the easier route of just using footage from the easily accessible FMW Story of the F 5-8 commercial video series that pretty much shows the entire time line of the last couple of years of FMW in just four videos.


One of my favorite topics to talk about is the FMW video library. I have talked about it a bunch on here over the last couple of years, but I wanted to talk about the FMW video footage that I know exists, but probably will never be seen.

Back in 2016, I had pretty much every FMW TV and commercial tape collected and numerous handhelds. I had asked Hayabusa years ago if he owned footage of his debut match on May 5, 1991 and he told he did, so I knew that footage existed but had no idea how to get it. After he passed, I really wanted to get a hold of his debut match to add to his career music video that I wanted to make of his. My friend Max got me in touch with promoter of the FUCK promotion Tsubasa Shiratori who had been a long time collector of rare FMW handhelds and was beginning to sell of his collection after previously selling dubbed videos of his tapes for years and years. Shiratori offered to sell me the rest of the tapes he had all at once which would have been 127 tapes and probably equaled out to about $3,000 dollars which I was not willing to spend at the time.

In hindsight, I wish I would have just made the purchase even though I already had a bunch of the 127 tapes he offered, but it probably would have just been easier as I ended up purchasing a bunch of the tapes anyway through out the next couple of months, meaning I ended up having to pay the pricey shipping multiple times as well, and I ended up missing out on a bunch of shows as a result as he sold them to other people.  They were really cool looking VHS tapes as he would cut and tape magazine pictures from the shows on the tapes.

There were numerous tapes though that I never had the opportunity to purchase as they had already been sold before I ever contacted him. When he was selling his videos in 2016 he created a thank you page on his website for everyone that purchased tapes from him to thank him and list what tapes they purchased from him. That thank you page is not up on the internet anymore, but finding the address of it, I was able to use the Internet Wayback Machine and go through everything and come up with a list of all the FMW handhelds videos that exist, but most likely will never be seen. I also included where the show took place as well as the main event and other noteworthy things that came from the show.

I personally don't believe these shows will ever be found, and I am sure there are ton more FMW handhelds not on the list that exist that I just don't know about, and some of those shows not on this list might even come into existence as there some FMW handheld shows last years that popped up after a Japanese tape trader went through his list and was willing to sell some shows I didn't know existed had been filmed in the crowd nearly 30 years ago. I also included a list of Players TV shows that covered the Hayabusa era that were released online back in 2011 but were never saved by anyone as far as I know. These are a little more likely to be found since they were available for so many years and anyone from Japan could have bought them and saved them, but it would have to take finding the right person that would not only had the mindset to save them, but to keep them as well and I haven't found one of those yet.

All of this trying to find lost video tapes is like trying to find a buried treasure in a different language, and even though the footage listed did exist, doesn't mean it still does if a person who purchased has lost the tape or the tape footage has deteriorated  over the years. You can find my list of the 100 FMW tapes with footage that has existed but not found at

Two years ago I posted my Hayabusa figure collection. I wanted to show an updated look of it. I have the two different Inspire 12 inch figures there in the back in the dark, the four different CharaPro figures in their boxes, the entire collection of the FMW series from 1999 as well as several customs of different colors of that type of figure, the two official HAO (the big head ones) as well as two different colored customs, two custom Funko Pops, a custom Hasbro figure of him in blue with the FMW logo next to him, two Chella Toy figures in their boxes on the sides, a Lucha doll custom towards the back, two awesome 3D designs of him posing up near the front made by Assui88 on Twitter, four of the five plush dollars (missing the red one) that were released by FMW, and 2 official minis along with 10 other custom ones. It has been fun collecting all these through out the years, hopefully I will be able to find some more incredible customs as there are so many people doing an awesome job honoring an amazing wrestler.

FREEDOMS/A-Team/FMW-E/Production Shows News 2022 (January - December 2022)

FREEDOMS/A-Team/FMW-E/Production Shows News 2021 (January - December 2021)

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)

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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)