PRO WRESTLING FREEDOMS
HOT FREE PEOPLE 2022
MAY 3, 2022
YOKOHAMA, KANAGWA, JAPAN
Watch: Samurai TV!
We’re here for the biggest show in the history of Pro Wrestling FREEDOMS! With 762 fans in the new Yokohama Budokan building, FREEDOMS drew their best attendance since the pandemic has started. Although other promotions did better in the Budokan, which was opened 2020 with a Stardom show, FREEDOMS can be proud of that attendance without lowering the ticket prizes like other smaller companies did at the Yokohama Budokan.
DRAGON LIBRE, LEO ISAKA, REKKA & TAKAHIRO KATORI DEF. SHO-KI, VAN VERT JACK, VAN VERT NEGRO & YOUSEI ESTRELLA (7:40)
FREEDOMS versus MYWAY in the opener. For the folks who aren’t aware of MYWAY, they’re a very small independent promotion out of Fukuoka with a main focus of Mexican lucha libre. All of them were masks in this match, too. A couple of them are also working DDT, especially DDT’s Teen shows or Fukuoka-based shows. You can guess it, the match was mostly based on solid high flying and fast-paced action. Out of all people it was Dragon Libre who got the win for his team with a Yoshitonic on Sho-Ki, his teammates were pretty pumped for him as he’s mostly the loser in every match he’s in. ** 1/2
UWA WORLD JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
KENGO DEF. TATSUHITO TAKAIWA © (15:05)
363 – This is the number of days veteran Tatsuhito Takaiwa held the UWA World Junior Heavyweight championship to this day. The former New Japan man seemed like an unstoppable force in the smaller weight class, how can a man like Kengo overcome the odds today? Especially when Kengo got pinned by the champion just two months ago. Although Takaiwa is already 49 years old, he’s one of the best workers out there not signed to a major company in Japan. He tried to destroy the challenger on the ground or while standing but Kengo came back every time. He even kicked out of the DVD twice. Kengo hits a brainbuster just for two, the frogsplash was also just for two. Kengo climbed the top rope again, hits a frogsplash to Takaiwa’s back and another one in the right position to win the title. It’s Kengo’s first title in FREEDOMS, he may held this very championship before but back when the title was still with the Tenryu Project. *** 1/4
JUNKYARD TORNADO TAG TEAM DEATHMATCH
RINA YAMASHITA & TAKASHI SASAKI DEF. E.R.E (KYU MOGAMI & TAKAYUKI UEKI) (13:02)
The match starts with a keyboard fight between all four participants and some cool spots with a bobby car when Sasaki shoved Rina, she sat on the bobby car, into the E.R.E team. I really like these Junkyard matches, they’re always garnished with creative spots and weapons, though. Some weapons of choice were a paint roller, clothes rail with t-shirts on or the legendary singapore cane. While Takayuki Ueki has great charisma and personality, his partner Kyu Mogami does not. Mogami is clearly the most boring member of E.R.E by a country mile and still not fitting for me. Anyway, the match like the match headlines says, a junkyard. Weapons were everywhere, the ring was littered with all kinds of stuff. Sasaki won the match with the Junkyard Driver on a pile of chairs. A bit of a standard finish here while just before they were a cool sequence with a brainbuster combination and a flying Yamashita with a chair underneath here. *** 1/4
GENTARO & MASATO TANAKA DEF. KAMUI & MAMMOTH SASAKI (15:24)
Mammoth called out his former promotion colleague Masato Tanaka for a singles match and still we got this tag match. The good thing was that these two gentleman started the match with fire and slapped each other across the chest numerous times, forearms left and right and shoulder tackles everywhere. I was pretty sad when GENTARO and Kamui got tagged in, but they proved me wrong. They were fun, too. Not that exciting like my beefy boys but still I enjoyed them. Mammoth brought his a-game to the match, worked his back off to impress. I liked the finishing sequence between Kamui and Masato Tanaka with several near falls from Kamui, nevertheless, it was Tanaka who pinned the masked man after the Sliding D. Afterwards Mammoth still asked for a singles match with “Dangan” and Kintaro Kanemura appeared in a Hugh Jackman Wolverine shirt to dance his traditional dance with all four guys, what a night. *** 1/2
BARBED WIRE BOARD & GADGET BOARD ALPHA MASK VS. PAINT DEATHMATCH
VIOLENTO JACK DEF. KENJI FUKIMOTO (13:53)
It all started when Fukimoto stole Jack’s mask after he pinned him and asked for a mask versus facepaint match, Jack accepted the challenge gladly. Fukimoto attacked Jack immediately with his shopping cart and tried to rip Jack’s mask off. Still the UNCHAIN man was the first man to be thrown into one of the boards when he hits the gadget board face first. I have to say I love it when Fuki bleeds, Jack hammered a gusset plate to his painted forehead and it made so much drama with the red blood pouring down the white face paint. Just seconds later Fukimoto became an angler when he had Jack on his fishing pole with the hook in Violento’s mouth, what a creative spot. These two can’t miss with each other, the crunch time was excellent with Fuki even stealing Jack’s finisher. Jack wrapped barbed wire around his waist, hits a big splash from above just for one and Fukimoto kicked out of the piledriver, too. Jack converted a pinfall attempt into the Mexican stretch but was able to win the match with the package piledriver. Fukimoto isn’t allowed to use his face paint ever again, poor lad. *** 1/2
SHUJI ISHIKAWA DEF. TOMOYA HIRATA (10:22)
Everyone knew Hirata wouldn’t have a chance of beating Shuji Ishikawa here, but man I was super excited for the match because Hirata can only become better when he fights studs like Big Shuji. While I really enjoy deathmatch Hirata I also like his ability to go toe to toe with an opponent like Shuji. You know what you’re here for when you see these two guys, beefy boi action! You don’t need many fancy moves to impress me, just two big guys hammering each other with forearms and elbows, throwing each other around and hitting shoulder blocks, I love it. Unfortunately Hirata did a tope suicida through the ropes and injured himself quite a bit which was a real bummer. He worked the match to the end but you could saw that he was hurt. Hirata fought bravely, Ishikawa nearly killed him with a series of headbutts which made Hirata bloody. After the Splash Mountain it was over. *** 3/4
“MURDER OF BLOOD” BEAUTY MURDER & SAFETY PINBOARD ALPHA RATED-R DEATHMATCH
JUN KASAI DEF. TOSHIYUKI SAKUDA (21:08)
Kasai and Sakuda have a very special bond. As Kasai said in his autobiography Sakuda was one of the few wrestlers out there who made him feel something special, he really like Sakuda as an opponent in a deathmatch and saw something in him. He brought him to FREEDOMS in 2018, Sakuda left Big Japan to do much more deathmatch style stuff independently which he did pretty regularly in FREEDOMS since the start of the pandemic. However, Sakuda and Ueki created E.R.E alongside Jack and Masashi Takeda and the rest is history.
The “Psychopath Boy” never has beaten Jun Kasai before in a singles match and so Sakuda was motivated and crazy like he always is. He threw Kasai right into the board and even stomped Kasai’s ugly face onto the needles and gave the “Crazy Monkey” an acupuncture session for free. Kasai got his revenge when Sakuda had the same treatment just minutes later. It wasn’t a surprise that these two maniacs do spots like no one else does on the show: Sakuda impaled Kasai with a metal stick from one cheek to the other, Kasai bombed Sakuda onto knives which opened the latter pretty badly on the back or the usage of the metal sticks and skewers throughout the match. Not even a tiger driver onto a pile of chairs and forks or the legendary Pearl Harbour Splash brought the win for Kasai but the Cross-Arm Stimulation piledriver did. **** 1/2
KING OF FREEDOM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
NO CANVAS, DOUBLE CHIMERA BOARD & BLOOD WEAPONS DEATHMATCH
DAISUKE MASAOKA © DEF. TORU SUGIURA (27:58)
A match between friends, rivals and partners. They started in Aichi in different local promotions and made their way together to FREEDOMS to fight for the biggest prize in deathmatch wrestling on the biggest show in the history of the promotion. Although Sugiura is the longest-reigning champion, he has never beaten Daisuke Masaoka before in a singles outing.
No canvas matches are something. Every maneuver has to think twice about it, even a standard thing like a fast lock up on the ground can hurt you pretty badly. It took quite a bit for the first weapon usage, Sugiura went face-first into a barbed wire board and got his forehead carved by Masaoka on the board. Sugiura pulled out a gigantic hammer with thumbtacks on it and headbutted it onto Masaoka’s foreheard, the blood poured out of the champ’s face like a waterfall. I liked it when they played with hitting power moves on the exposed canvas, they selled he very good and you felt with them when they hit the canvas. Every single move felt more hurtful and the risk of getting injured was raised significantly. It went pretty crazy when Masaoka told the ringcrew to get rid of some of the wooden planks to prepare the Chimera Board on the free place of the ring. Sugiura threw Masaoka through the board and the ring, the crowd gasped, man what a crazy scene. Masaoka needed to climb from the hole into the ring again just to be nearly killed by Sugiura with a piledriver, but the champ kicked out. The last minutes of the fight were absolutely insane, Sugiura kicked out of a piledriver by Masaoka just moments later he couldn’t resist anymore when the champion hits his moonsault double knee drop onto the Chimera Board. I need a break now, jesus. **** 3/4
Despite the fact that light tubes were not allowed in the venue FREEDOMS Hot Free People 2022 was a success. I enjoyed the show from the first to the last match with the last two matches were the stuff why I was watching it. The best deathmatch action on the planet. I loved the friendship story in the main event and the mentoring story in the semi main event between Jun Kasai and Sakuda. Not gonna lie with Masashi Takeda on the deathmatch side and maybe Yuya Susumu on the non-deathmatch side, the show would be even better. Great show!
A bit confusing for people is the airdate of this show. While the show was held on May 3, the show was shown on Samurai TV! on May 15. FREEDOMS had a show on May 12 at Shin-Kiba where some important stuff happened, since I won’t review the last show, I want to show you what happened.
Despite his loss at the Yokohama Budokan, Toshiyuki Sakuda beat the KFC titleholder Daisuke Masaoka in a six-man tag team match and challenged Masaoka to a titlematch at Korakuen Hall on May 27! Also pretty interesting was that a masked wrestler helped E.R.E to win that very main event and the guy had many similarities with Kenji Fukimoto. He was called Dobunezumi Fukki which literally means brown rat Fukki. Still no words why Fukimoto apparently joined his former enemies. Also Kengo got his first challenger in MYWAY’s Van Vert Negro. So we’ve got the following matches for the Korakuen Hall show:
- Deathmatch: Toru Sugiura vs. Kyo Mogami
- UWA World Jr. Championship: Kengo © vs. Van Vert Negro
- Deathmatch: Takashi Sasaki & Jun Kasai vs. E.R.E (Dobunezumi Fukki & Violento Jack)
- King Of FREEDOM World Championship: Daisuke Masaoka © vs. Toshiyuki Sakuda
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