PRO WRESTLING FREEDOMS
I’M THE STAR OF THE GW! 2022
APRIL 21, 2022
SHIN-KIBA 1st RING
FREEDOMS is back in Shin-Kiba with a small card of only five matches, headlined by a tag team title defense of Tomoya Hirata and Toru Sugiura. We’re only twelve days away of the biggest show in the companies history when FREEDOMS will go to the Yokohama Budokan. For more FREEDOMS go and read my first review here on Voices of Wrestling!
GENTARO & MAMMOTH SASAKI DEF. LEO ISAKA & REKKA (10:13)
Although Leo Isaka and Rekka aren’t real FREEDOMS guys, the two lightweights are welcomed guests over the last months to lose in the opening matches, just like today. I have to say I like the combination of these two guys, they bring some fresh energy to the table of the “division” which is heavily dominated by old guys. With Mammoth Sasaki in the mix, this match had this David vs. Goliath type of charm, I enjoyed the work of Mammoth with Isaka and Rekka the most. Mammoth got the win with his 29 Years Old brainbuster on Rekka. **1/2
More importantly was the post-match, when Sasaki challenged ZERO1 wrestler Masato Tanaka to a match on the big Budokan show. Count me in!
TATSUHITO TAKAIWA DEF. DRAGON LIBRE (10:17)
Dragon Libre’s last singles win was in November 2019 against now-retired young boy Naoki Kamata, since then he is on a big losing streak and obviously, he still is after the match with the UWA World Junior champ Tatsuhito Takaiwa. Libre started the match with a series of dropkicks which surprised the veteran for quite a bit, but the former New Japan man bounced back pretty fast and gained the control over the match. Takaiwa stretched Dragon’s leg in every possible angle, the latter reached for the ropes to rescue himself on multiple occasions but got battered even more. A small comeback was made by Libre with a cutter and a small package for two, but it was more of a gentle breeze. **1/2
UWA WORLD JR. HEAVYWEIGHT NEXT CHALLENGER DECISION MATCH
KENGO DEF. TAKAHIRO KATORI (12:59)
Highly fitting to the last match it was time to find a new challenger for the dominating UWA Jr. Champion! Katori came out with a rabbit mask and stuffed bunnies with him and I absolutely loved that Kengo came out and kicked those stuffed bunnies across Shin-Kiba. Like the last match, it started with a lot of mat wrestling stuff, ground and pound and sluggish action. The crowd wasn’t super into it either, it felt like just one guy applauded them when they did a move. Not going to knock on them that hard, but it felt emotionless and lifeless. When Katori was on the wheel the match went a bit more exciting for me, but it was Kengo who pinned Katori after a frogsplash. ** 1/4
BRING IN EXCITING ITEMS DEATHMATCH
E.R.E. (KYU MOGAMI, TAKAYUKI UEKI, TOSHIYUKI SAKUDA & VIOLENTO JACK) DEF. UNCHAIN (JUN KASAI, KENJI FUKIMOTO & RINA YAMASHITA) & TAKASHI SASAKI (13:41)
The match started with a big brawl of all competitors and while E.R.E. got the upperhand first, it was Rina Yamashita and Takashi Sasaki who struck back pretty fast. Yamashita grabbed Takayuki Ueki by his family jewels and hits him with a lariat straight away and then the combatants in the ring changed to Kasai and Sakuda. The two have a special relationship with each other and so Sakuda was the first to be thrown into thumbtacks by his former mentor. Just seconds later Fukimoto hits Jack with a Playstation 1, the super old grey one of course, only to get hit by Sakuda with the console and be double-teamed. Violento Jack bled like a pig through his mask due to the hit with the PS1, he got insanely mad and tried to hurt Fukimoto even more but the painted man got the last laugh with a suplex onto chairs instead.
Jack was on spaghetti legs when Rina Yamashita came into the ring, like always he was fired up and suplexed Jack onto a barbed wire chair. Ueki interrupted the pinfall attempt. It was a back and forth match, not like the matches before, in every corner of my screen something happened. Surprisingly Jun Kasai ate the pinfall by Toshiyuki Sakuda after a Swanton Bomb assisted with a pin board, which will lead to a Kasai versus Sakuda singles match at the Budokan. Fun match! *** 1/4
KING OF FREEDOM TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP – FLUORESCENT LIGHTTUBES DEATH MATCH
TOMOYA HIRATA & TORU SUGIURA © DEF. DAISUKE MASAOKA & KAMUI (19:32)
What a cool matchup! The current tag champs against the former tag champs, Masaoka and Kamui were the champs in 2015, and you also got the challenger and the reigning King of FREEDOM World Champion in it. What else could you want? The latter began the fight in the ring with some action on the mat and the traditional teasing of “Who will be the first man to go into the lighttubes?”. It’s Kamui people! The masked veteran got thrown by Hirata into the tubes and was attacked by both titleholders with lighttubes, obviously Masaoka came to the rescue of his partner and the two hit simultaneously a moonsault from the top rope out of the ring on the tag champs. A bunch of tubes already got broken when Kamui kicked three tubes to Hirata’s back and chest and even threw a ladder onto the big boy just for fun. Kamui did a cool spot when he suplexed the ladder on Hirata while he had a pile of tube’s on his chest.
The challenging team got control over the fight when Hirata was in the squared circle. Former KFC World champ Toru Sugiura, who will be in america for GCW’s Tournament of Survival this year, couldn’t turn the tables around right away and got destroyed by both Kamui and Daisuke Masaoka. Luckily enough he always got his shoulder into the air at the right time. The hot tag to Hirata was made and “Soul Meat” team took over with some cool double team moves. After a hard work on Kamui it was Sugiura who pinned Kamui after the Soul Driver to defend their tag belts.
The last two matches were fun, like always the hardcore/deathmatch stuff of FREEDOMS is fun as hell and the best stuff you get in Japan or worldwide, while the undercard can be a hit or miss sometimes and it was definitely the case on today’s show. I couldn’t get into it that much even though I like Takaiwa pretty much for example.
With Masaoka – Sugiura, Kasai – Sakuda, Violento Jack – Fukimoto and Sasaki & Yamashita – Mogami – Ueki we’ll see some cool and fresh matchups on May 3 at the Yokohama Budokan. While I’m not super excited for the non-deathmatch stuff it will still be a great show, I guarantee it.
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