It would be interesting if Jun Kasai and Atsushi Onita fought

I've been apart of two productions, Death Match Tournament in the summer and then Blood Christmas at the end of the year, but I've always suffered from a shortage of rivals. Is this because the death match world has gotten in a rut, or is it because Jun Kasai himself is stagnant? The situation doesn't change even if I wait, so I decided to move more and more from myself. At Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, I turned on my partner Numazawa. When my injury was healed and I returned to Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, I thought it would be boring to team up with Numazawa again.

Suddenly I betrayed him with a lariat and threw him into the turnbuckle, and made a single combat for March 1st. However, this did not get the fans excited. After all, there are so many people who support Jun Kasai and Numazawa's "045 Evil Monkey Madness", and it makes them ask, which one should I support? It has become a delicate air. Well, the conflict was not started because of me hating Numazawa so we cleared the air after our match.

After this conflict, "045 Evil Monkey Madness" became more united, Takeda and Takumi Tsukamoto were added to form a unit called "B-FAULTLESS JUNKY". This was also an idea to stimulate the death match front of Japan, which was in a little rut. At FREEDOMS, a new "King of Freedoms Championship", KFC for short belt was created, and the tournament battle to decide the first champion started. However, I'm not so interested in the belt, so I didn't have a good feeling about this tournament, and I personally had no theme.

When I was thinking about that, I was chatting with GENTARO, and I suddenly said, "It would be interesting if Jun Kasai and Atsushi Onita fought." Well, I thought there was that too. I didn't have any particular desire to work with Atsushi Onita, but Mr. Onita is well known in the world, and some people still have the image of "Atsushi Onita when it comes to death match." Think objectively and think that "Kasai vs. Onita" is a little interesting and try to move forward with it.

Then, Mr. Onita immediately reacted and appealed my statement, and soon it was decided to confront on the ring. Korakuen Hall on May 2, 2013 will be the first showdown. At this time, the fans at the venue were also divided into the Onita faction and the Kasai faction, and there was a disturbing atmosphere. It was so exciting that the fans would start fighting with each other. So, to put it the other way around, this conflict should have ended after May 2nd.

We faced each other again in the ring, but the matches were not as hot as I expected. Mr. Onita also had a hard time stepping into the world of fluorescent lights and the death matches that I always do, and I felt the atmosphere of "let's not get entangled with Jun Kasai." I try to get rid of that atmosphere, but the more I chase, the more it escapes. I should have done a "current blasting" match, but I didn't prepare for such a match. In the end, the conflict lasted for about three to four months, but somehow it ended without excitement. However, it was a valuable opportunity to experience the human being "Atsushi Onita", and Death Matches the more I think about it.

Losing to Masashi Takeda for the first time

This summer's death match tournament until the final match on August 29th. It's been about 7 to 8 years since I met Takeda at this point. Takeda entered this world longing for Jun Kasai, and he started doing death matches and we had many matches between us, and he was defeated every time by me. I thought it was normal for Takeda to make it to the finals of this year's tournament, but I didn't feel like losing yet. In the semi-final at this time, I had a match against Violento Jack where I won, and my stamina was exhausted going into the match with Takeda, but if I attack him with a certain pace, I can win. I also pulled out the balcony dive and pushed myself to the limit quite a bit, but at the end I was defeated and Takeda got the pinfall for the first time over me. I was disappointed but happy with Takeda's growth.

Yuko Miyamoto

Until then, I had only thought of him as a kid with potential, but after that I started to see him as a rival. Takeda continued to be called "a copy of Jun Kasai", and he seemed to have been moody all the time, and he seemed to have a strong emotions about this battle. It was touching, but as a result, I couldn't win the tournament again. The end of the year "Blood Christmas" I have no choice that I need to have a great match and win. But there is no one opponent for me.

I've been looking for an opponent since the summer, and now it was October and the show was coming up soon. When I was thinking that I should decide soon, there was an event for Yuko Miyamoto in Nagoya, and when it was over, there was a tour in which I would participate for Big Japan Pro-Wrestling which would end in Hiroshima. I ended up staying at Yuko's parents' house for some reason with Yuko. At Yuko's parents' house, we were alone and drinking alcohol, I felt like it was a habit of saying, "I don't have an opponent for the Christmas show."

Yuko then said, "Oh, I can do it. But if I am going to do it with you, that means that we have to have a construction site scaffold death match," he said casually, "Oh, that's fine." From someone else's point of view, he had an attitude toward a senior Death Match fighter, that would make someone think "Is he a jerk?", but I was in trouble with finding an opponent, and I was really grateful and decided on this match immediately. However, I'm not really good at high places. Especially at this time, I really didn't like scaffolds and became really nervous, and I was anxious for about a week before the match. However, once the match starts, the feeling of being scared disappears.

Until then, I didn't know the difference in power of using the scaffold in a match, but at this time I was pushed quite a bit, because I used the height difference as a performance, and the match had a lot of excitement. At the end, I lost the match. After the match, Yuko got on the mic and I got the impression he was done doing this type of match.

When I saw "Weekly Pro" magazine that covered the show, the barbed wire board match between Takashi Sasaki and Kenichiro Arai, which was the semi-final on the show, was more applauded and was reported with one page in color. My match with Miyamoto only ended up getting one photo. I was very happy with the content of the match, but I remember being disappointed that it wasn't recognized as good of a match as much as I thought it was.

Reasons why I couldn't go to Big Japan Pro-Wrestling

Since the latter half of 2013, I haven't been able to go up to Big Japan Pro-Wrestling. At that time, fans and people in the industry often asked me why I don't appear for Big Japan Pro-Wrestling. In terms of business, there are some parts that can be transferred and some parts that can not be transferred between Big Japan Pro-Wrestling and FREEDOMS in terms of conditions and positions. Besides, at Big Japan, I can't do the death matches I want to do.

Fans often ask me, "What's the difference between a Big Japan and FREEDOMS Death Match?" Nowadays, I think that the difference between each group has been conveyed to the fans.

Tomoaki Honma and Minoru Fujita

For some reason there were many events where my past and present intersected. From a certain route, Mr. Honma who is my senior quit New Japan Pro-Wrestling, so I got a message that he can do FREEDOMS. I've always wanted to do a death match with Honma, so I thought it would be interesting and offered him a spot in UNCHAIN. At the time, Mr. Honma got involved with us and he had a singles match with Kamui and he regained the atmosphere of the old days, but there were some aspects he did that I did not understand.

On the day of a show, he said "I might not be able to wrestle because I am injured," and then suddenly I could not get in touch with him anymore. Mr. Honma at this time had various circumstances. However, it was difficult to use him with these issues, so I wondered who I can have fill in the gap for him him, and I thought only Mr. Fujita could. Mr. Fujita had left ZERO1 and joined Tokyo Gurentai, but before I knew it, he had moved to the Kitakyushu region, and I was told although he was still active he was only willing to work in that area.

I called him to see about him joining UNCHAIN and he agreed. I currently did not have an opponent for the upcoming Korakuen Hall show for FREEDOMS on May 2, 2014. Mr. Fujita raised his hand and said "I'll do it." The match format was decided as a "Barefoot Pushpin Death Match" the last time I had done a Barefoot Thumbtacks Death Match in 2005 and I did not want to do it anymore after that. This format is difficult in many ways. If a thumbtack sticks in your barefoot, it hurts, and they are scattered all over the ring, and it becomes impossible to attack and defend yourself in the ring. It's really painful, but it's a problem that looks comical from the viewer's point of view. Among many death match items, it is often said that the thumbtack is the most familiar with the customer, so the pain is transmitted to the customer. I've always been a skillful wrestler, but I have become deeper and more mature. When I was in Big Japan, I was really just a child, so I thought experiencing these various things in my life, whether sweet or sour increased my human power. I was reminded after this that I was growing up without knowing it.

Where the past and the future intersect

After along time an offer from overseas came. A one-day tournament called "CZW Tournament of Death" to be held on June 14, 2014, it is a historical and prestigious tournament in the American death match world. But to be honest, I don't really like going abroad. I'm not good at flying, and I'm not use to foreign food. So, at first, I went to the United States with the feeling of reluctance, and decided that I had to win the championship because I was going to have such a hard time. So, when I went there, it was fun. I don't hate the American death match freaks, and I feel like I'm at a festival. At the tournament I fought Matt Tremont in the first round, Danny Havoc in the second round, and MASADA in the finals to win to be declared the winner. Having won the American death match tournament, I have no choice but to win the Japanese death match tournament now. The 2014 Death match tournament challenged me with that feeling. This year, for me, there were many cards where the "past" and "future" intersected.

My opponent in the first round was Mr. Buffalo. Mr. Buffalo is about 3 years older than me, but I had almost no contact with him until this match. I heard that Mr. Buffalo was doing death matches during the IWA Japan era, and when he did glass death match, he was seriously injured needing many stitches. Maybe he has trauma from that, but the match was in Osaka and that's Buffalo's home, so I thought let's go crazy and the match format became a "Glass Death Match". Since he was seriously injured, I can instinctively win, but Buffalo is crazy and he's not afraid of the glass at all. He showed amazing guts, and we both became super bloody, and we had a pleasant death together for the first time in a long time for me. I won this match, then beat Takeda in the semi-finals making up for the previous year's humiliation. The opponent in the final was a surprise in The Winger. Mr. Winger at this time continued to win while saying something like "I don't want to do a death match" and still made it up to the finals. Mr. Winger is a big senior who was already in the main when I entered Big Japan.

He has always been kind to me, and he never had to be. Besides, even though he is Japanese, he has adopted a Mexican mentality so it's appropriate that he's calm and always late, but he's not sloppy. We are both founding members of FREEDOMS, and I've had a long relationship with him, but I'm still not sure what kind of person he is. Perhaps there was more to him that we didn't know about, and I can only say that he's really elusive. This final match was also me getting entangled in The Winger's world and eventually I lost. Instead of being eliminated, the losing jinx at the production box office became even stronger, and I was heading straight for a losing streak. I just want to win the KFC championship. The next thing I aimed at was the KFC belt. The title holder at this time was Yuji Hino. I lost a hardcore match to Hino earlier in the year on March 13th, so I wanted to revenge.

The title match was took place on September 16th at the local Ichinoseki show. I know how to deal with the insane powerhouse type like Hino because I worked with Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi in Big Japan. However, Hino had the most power of all the Japanese wrestlers I've ever wrestled, and I had a lot of trouble. However, at this time, my desire to repay my debt prevailed, and I got the three count with a backslide bomb. I became the 3rd KFC champion. However, this belt is still fresh and uncolored. Hino had it, so it felt like a strong guy would always be the ones with it. But since I now have it, I wanted to dye this belt in the color of the Death Match. I decided to make all the title defenses a death match, and on October 16th, I defended against Takashi for the first time. I won the match and then defended it against Takeda at "Blood Christmas", but I lost to Takeda again and lost my belt. However, because this belt had now had the color of the death match on it, it was now a true belt that belonged to FREEDOMS.

More and more people are trying to become death match wrestlers. One of them is Daisuke Masaoka. It was surprising to me that Masaoka participated in the death match tournament. Masaoka formed "Skecoma Seeds" with Hi69 (currently Nioh) and SUSUMU (currently Yuya Susumu), and I honestly wondered "what does this guy want to do?" Then he said to me something like "I really want to do a death match" and I said that was a lie. I felt like he thought if he did a death match, he would get a little attention. Actually, I've seen a lot of guys who ran away by touching death match for a while, so if you actually do it rather than saying it in words, you can understand your resolution. So I let him enter the Death Match tournament, where he lost to Takumi Tsukamoto in the first round. Around autumn, Masaoka had his first singles death match with me at Radiant Hall in Yokohama, and this match was really interesting. It was a unique death match and he was a good partner, and thought he was getting close to becoming one.

Around the same time, Toru Sugiura also started to do death matches, but he could not handle it, and he ran away from it like an ass. Around this time, I wasn't very responsive to the juniors I faced such as Susumu and Ryuichi Sekine of Kaientai Dojo, and I would defeat them them while thinking "This was boring", but as a result, the seeds I sowed around this time will make them grow up in a few years. While continuing to shed blood every day in the ring, another thing I was crazy about was "parenting." I almost appeared at my son's school events. I went to see the athletic meet, and also held a learning presentation, a half-coming-of-age ceremony, and a graduation ceremony. I'm always there at parent events.

I felt that there was something strange as both the children and the teachers looked at me weird. When my son was in elementary school, there was a program called "Reading a Book". Once a month, parents participated in the homeroom in the morning and read aloud the book in front of the students, and Kami would say, "Wouldn't it be interesting if you go?" so I tried to participate. When I actually went there, only mothers read aloud, and I was the only one who came as a father. Even so, after participating several times, the principal showed interest in the fact that it was rare for a father to come in the history of storytelling at this elementary school, and he came to see us. Then the principal asked me, "What do you do for work?", so I answered "I'm actually doing professional wrestling," and he asked why don't I do it at the school? The story went on and on, and I decided to do an event wrestling at an elementary school with the theme of "eradicating bullying" in a special moral class. Rings can't be built, so we put a mat in the gymnasium and the FREEDOMS members simulated a wrestling show like a play with the theme of eradicating bullying with the children watching overjoyed, but in the end it was the principal who seemed to be the most happy.

After my son became a junior high school student, I was in charge of making bento boxes, so I made bento boxes everyday. My son was so cute that I couldn't help it, so it was normal for me to make lunch boxes and pick them up.

Participating in other promotions

I've come to receive offers from various organizations other than FREEDOMS. I have always worked for DDT and 666, but around this time I am starting to get offers from WRESTLE-1, and various women's promotions like Ice Ribbon and Kana Pro which was sponsored by ASUKA who is now in WWE.

I don't draw a line in professional wrestling which is a normal rule between men's and women's groups. I think men and women should get involved if they face off in the ring, so I have no resistance to mixed matches. Depending on the situation, there are times when we have comical matches, but we do not cut corners in professional wrestling itself, and it is my belief that even if it is a woman, I will strike them, put moves on them, and do it firmly. Besides, when a male wrestler goes up to the ring of a women's professional wrestling promotion, there is an atmosphere that is not very welcome from the fans, but there is a place where I am accepted flatly. Well, I may not be seen as a man by fans or female wrestlers, as I might be thought of as a character in a horror movie.

"Mr. Kasai has a character that stands out among the others," said "Makai," a promotion that is a fusion of professional wrestling and theater, as I decided to participate for them.

The first three or four times I worked there were just sword fights without dialogue. Then they asked the next three or four times that I say a line or two while I am in a standing position, and my movement was really narrowed down to the music, so it was quite difficult to practice and perform. In addition to that, the number of lines gradually increased, so I thought, "This is beyond my control," and faded out. About 10 years ago, when I played "Romeo and Juliet" with Numazawa in Big Japan Pro-Wrestling, I was still young and I knew all the lines, but when I was in this "Makai" promotion, I could not remember everything. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I'm aging, and I am a little crazy because I have taken too many bumps. I can only speak fluently on the mic when I am just saying what I am thinking, so it may not be possible for me to remember scripted lines.

In WRESTLE-1, where I participated regularly, I joined Manabu Soya and AKIRA's "New Wild Order" and went on a rampage. This unit was really fun and inspiring. WRESTLE-1's professional wrestling is different from the style I've been doing so far, and in addition to body-to-body collision, I learned how to assemble a match and things like inside work, so I really did learn something.

The best bout at this time was Manabu Soya & Jun Kasai vs. Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo at Korakuen Hall on July 12, 2015. I was able to have more matches than I expected, the audience was excited, and I took off with the tag belt, so it was very impressive. Pro-wrestling, which I was able to embody for the first time, has a certain career, but I felt that I could evolve further by touching a style different from the one I came up with. In that sense, I remember the match against Shuichiro Katsumura at "Theater Pro-Wrestling Kacho Fugetsu" on July 20th. As the name suggests, it was a really small venue called Oji Small Theater, and it was a box office with only two matches, Hideki Suzuki vs. Ultraman Robin and Shuichiro Katsumura vs. Jun Kasai. That's why it is not seen much and few people talk about it, but personally it was quite interesting and stuck with me. When the offer first came, Shuichiro Katsumura had only the image of Shooto.

That's why there is no point in fighting in a martial arts-like match over there. To put it the other way around, I thought he was a good partner to show off Jun Kasai's professional wrestling brain and skill. The match was the origin of professional wrestling, or the development was such that bad and scary wrestlers rampaged to the fullest like I used to see when I was young! Wrestlers like Tiger Jeet Singh, Abdullah the Butcher, and The Sheik, who are scary just to approach, plunge the venue into the depths of horror. For the first time, I was able to embody such professional wrestling myself. I think Katsumura was also freaked out in this match, or maybe he was just being professional.

Fluorescent Light Tubes that hit Tenryu

I satisfied my hunger by participating in other groups, but I also encountered an unexpected "stimulus" in the FREEDOMS ring. Announced that he will retire in November 2015, and by then he had been traveling to various groups, Genichiro Tenryu, announced he would also work FREEDOMS. On March 23th, Korakuen Hall, Tenryu-san teamed up with Mammoth and Hi69 to face me, Takashi, and Kojika-san. When this card was decided, I thought I'd hit Tenryu with a fluorescent light tube. Since I met Genichiro Tenryu who is known as Mr. Pro Wrestling during this time, I think it's important that I face against him and he remembers it. Since he's going to play with me, I was waiting for an opportunity when the match started to get me prepared. When Tenryu was standing in the corner around the middle stage of this match, I thought this was an opportunity and approached Tenryu with a bundle of fluorescent light tubes kept under the ring. With such a veteran player, even if you try to attack with a weapon, you often feel like "you're the heel". At this time, I thought it would be the case. However, Tenryu-san kept his eyes on me, who swung up the fluorescent lamp bundle, and did not move with a face like "Come on." and I don't hesitate to hit a bundle of fluorescent lights over Mr. Tenryu's head.

The cheers of the customers at that time was amazing. I'm probably the first person to hit Tenryu with a fluorescent light tube. However, Mr. Tenryu was satisfied with a "I received it" in a later comment, and he had barked "Fuck you!" at me during the match, so he may have been prepared from the beginning. I was able to regain my spirit when I went up against the legend.

Kasai vs. Ito

When I thought that the Death Match front was still stagnant, the "Asakusa Friendship Association" was organized on February 27th. By this time, Big Japan Pro-Wrestling and FREEDOMS had already stopped working together, but this was a promotion event sponsored by a third party, so a match between the wrestlers of both groups was organized, and I also had a match for the first time in a long time with Ito.

When the box office was announced, I printed a poster with Ito lined up and started selling tickets at the venue, but sales did not grow as expected. I wondered if "Kasai vs. Ito" wasn't attracting attention anymore, and when I asked some people, everyone seemed to think "Kasai and Ito aren't going to face off against each other anyway." because Big Japan and FREEDOMS were so far apart that Kasai and Ito would be in different matches on the same show. I couldn't believe it so when I announced the card and then the tickets were sold out in no time. The match announced was Kasai and Numazawa vs. Ito and Masaoka. I had a lot of fun wondering what Ito was like after a long time, but at this time, I got the impression that it was "Ryuji Ito of Big Japan Pro-Wrestling" in both good and bad ways. However, since I had been doing a lot of professional wrestling under normal rules, I was happy to have a solid death match for the first time in a long time, and it made me feel good.

Speaking of seeing someone for the first time in along time, on October 10th, there was a box office called "Tokyo ONE NIGHT STAND" by the Tokyo Gurentai, where Sabu and Tommy Dreamer, from the legendary ECW promotion, crossed over the sea. I will be in a match against them.

But I didn't really like ECW, and I didn't intend to go retro with them, so I came alone to the T-shirt of "CZW" and didn't join the last commemorative photo with my middle finger. On the contrary, I was made aware that I am still at the forefront as a death match fighter and that I am currently evolving. At this time, I teamed up with Masato Tanaka, and Mr. Tanaka was also at the forefront of the present progressive tense. I was taken care of by Mr. Tanaka when I was in ZERO1, and I was with him in "Makai". I don't say this much, but my most respected Japanese professional wrestler is Mr. Tanaka. I think his way conditioning to stay in good shape, the way he assembles the match, and the expressiveness are all top notch. I was inspired by Mr. Tanaka, and my motivation has increased. My opponent of this year's "Blood Christmas" was Takeda who can go crazy. Takeda took the KFC belt from me at Christmas the previous year and held the belt for a year.

This would be a revenge match for me. The match format is "Death Face Glass Board Death Match" using four glass boards. No more losing streak. While dyeing each other's whole bodies with bright red blood as if we were wearing Santa Claus costumes, at the end I beat Takeda with a headbutt and two reverse tiger drivers.

Click here for Jun Kasai's Autobiography Part 7