PRO WRESTLING FREEDOMS
NO PAIN NO GAIN 2022
JUNE 23, 2022
SHIN-KIBA 1st RING
I’m back with yet another FREEDOMS review! I’ve missed doing a review for the last two shows due to private business (The May show had a very good title match between Masaoka and Sakuda you can watch) but I came back at the right time. Why you may ask? Just four days ago at a non-taped show death match star Drew Parker made his “official” FREEDOMS debut and joined E.R.E!
BRAHMAN KEI & BRAHMAN SHU DEF. LEO ISAKA & REKKA (8:51)
The odd brothers are back after three months without an appearance in FREEDOMS and I have to say I didn’t miss them that much. After all those years watching Japanese wrestling they simply can’t entertain me and it’s more of a bathroom break for me. Especially if you saw the exact same match back in March. Still, Rekka did a dick flip, a spot you didn’t see for years now, and got pinned just seconds later. **
DRAGON LIBRE & KAMUI DEF. VAN VERT JACK & YOUSEI ESTRELLA (10:16)
MYWAY versus FREEDOMS continues when these two collided in the second match. Pretty much to sum it up, decent high-flying skills by the Fukuoka boys and a bit more grumpiness by the FREEDOMS team. Jack and Estrella are only sixteen years old which is insane how good they’re working with such a young age, don’t want to say they’re made for more but they’re a decent act on the undercard of Japanese independent shows. While Kamui was impressed by the lads and fist-bumped them, Dragon Libre wasn’t and no-sold them. Shithousery as it best! ** 1/2
GENTARO & TATSUHITO TAKAIWA DEF. KENGO & VAN VERT NEGRO (12:52)
Kengo’s reign as the UWA World Junior Heavyweight champion is a weird one so far. He won the title on the biggest show in the history of the promotion, broke Takaiwa’s 363 days as the champ and it felt like a fresh breath in the junior division. However, Kengo lost every (!) match since then, besides a title match against Van Vert Negro on May 27, and even got beaten by GENTARO in a non-title singles match. Obviously, interactions between GENTARO and Kengo were the most intense, however, Van Vert Negro had another impressive performance and I want to see him more. While GENTARO and Kengo had yet another awkward stare down at the curtain, Takaiwa pinned Negro after his DVD. A challenge was made and we could see the title match at FREEDOMS’ next Korakuen show on July 10th. ***
TAKASHI SASAKI DEF. TAKAHIRO KATORI (15:22)
Sasaki can still go, that’s for sure. Yes, he’s not that good like a decade ago obviously but he’s good enough to have a singles match here and there sometimes. Katori never scored a singles victory in FREEDOMS since his debut for the promotion in 2018 and I did not expect a win here either. He’s a nice little undercard always being happy wrestler with talent, while he wrestled guys like Takaiwa, Kasai and others before in singles encounters they clearly see something in him in the years to come. He’s only 22 years old! Katori got a decent amount of offensive time here but was stopped by the D Geist from Sasaki. The match was a bit too long for my taste since there wasn’t anything really exciting though, still pretty decent. ***1/4
FLUORESCENT LIGHTTUBES DEATH MATCH
E.R.E (DOBUNEZUMI FUKKI, DREW PARKER, TOSHIYUKI SAKUDA & VIOLENTO JACK) DEF. DAISUKE MASAOKA, JUN KASAI, TOMOYA HIRATA & TORU SUGIURA (19:00)
This will be Drew Parker’s first FREEDOMS death match! The match started right before the bell when the E.R.E guys attacked the face team and started a wild brawl. Jun Kasai and Drew Parker had the first interactions with the light tubes, they did not smash them across each other heads but more over their own heads. Creepy dudes! The action took place outside for a few minutes until Toru Sugiura and Violento Jack came back into the squared circle to do some wrestling moves, yay wrestlin’, however, a bunch of guys slid into the ring and another brawl started. Similar to his world title-winning countryman Drew Parker played some darts, he threw the darts to Sugiura’s back and the former King of FREEDOM World champ was battered by all E.R.E members for quite some time.
Sugiura suffered, but he ultimately came back with a brutal elbow strike with a tube to Jack and even got the opportunity to tag in Masaoka and I was so pumped to see him and Drew Parker in the ring. The addition of Parker was a masterstroke, you can have so many fresh match-ups with him and him in a crazy death match with Jun Kasai or Daisuke Masaoka will be insanely incomparable to his run in Big Japan for example. I really enjoy these wild FREEDOMS death match brawls with chaos, cool spots and maniacs in the ring, to be honest they literally have no equal in the death match scene. Surprisingly Fukki pinned Sugiura which is another good built to a potential tag team title match between the tag champs and the E.R.E dou of Kyu Mogami and Fukki. E.R.E attacked everyone who got in the ring and even destroyed promoter Takashi Sasaki with a light tube strike. The heels just wanted to destroy Jun Kasai when suddenly Masashi Takeda made his return after a six months hiatus and to the surprise of the Shin-Kiba crowd he attacked his stablemate E.R.E and came to the rescue of Kasai and the others. Wow! This was unexpected for me and I’m so overwhelmed to see him back after the tragic loss of his wife at the beginning of the year. Takeda turned on E.R.E! ***1/2
While the Shin-Kiba shows aren’t the biggest highlights of FREEDOMS, they’re always enjoyable. I feel like it was a nice little show with a cool main event highlighted by the comeback of Masashi Takeda. With the addition of Drew Parker and Takeda coming back the next months could be pretty awesome!
We’ve got a show in Sendai headlined by a death match between Toru Sugiura and E.R.E’s Dobunezumi Fukki and also a six-man tag team death match with champ Daisuke Masaoka, Jun Kasai and Takashi Sasaki on the one side and the E.R.E trio of Drew Parker, Toshiyuki Sakuda and Violento Jack on the other. Sendai will be the last stop before the big Tokyo Death Match Carnival Vol. 1 show out of the legendary Korakuen Hall where Masashi Takeda will have his comeback match. The show is on July 10th but will be shown on Samurai! TV nine days later.
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