wrestling / Video Reviews

Furious’ FREEDOMS Unchain Night Review 8.11.19

September 6, 2019 | Posted by Arnold Furious
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Furious’ FREEDOMS Unchain Night Review 8.11.19  

We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. FREEDOMS is mainly a death match promotion but at the same time is incredibly wholesome. Which is why it’ll probably never amount to anything in the big scheme of things but I’m here in support of Jun Kasai.

GENTARO vs. Chikara: Chikara is slightly younger, at 37 years old, but they’re both moderately surly veterans. Chikara has long pants and GENTARO has a moustache that makes me suspicious of him. He looks like he’s about to sell someone a fake ID. Chikara spends the match trying to overcome his superior elder and gets the crowd somewhat fired up in the process. Neither man is what you’d call “good” and their movements in setting spots up is a bit cringeworthy. GENTARO hooks an STF and gets the tap out. This was ok. Final Rating: *3/4

Takashi Sasaki vs. Dragon Libre & Naoki Kamata: Sasaki is the promoter and has been wrestling for 22 years. The other two have a combined five years under their belt and were trained in FREEDOMS. Both of the younger men get bullied with Dragon Libre doing some particularly good cowardly begging off before Kamata bashes Sasaki in the nuts. This is FREEDOMS so that’s technically fine. Kamata’s aggression is sufficient that this really should have been a singles match. Maybe next time. Sasaki ends up submitting both guys with half crabs. I’m not sure what this was supposed to do for either Kamata or Libre but one guy got sneaky stuff in and the other did some decent comedy. Final Rating: **

Yuya Susumu vs. Toru Sugiura: Sugiura I’ve seen wrestle in a few different places including taking a job for YOSHI-HASHI on one of those Lions Gate shows. He’s a decent wrestler but there’s a reason he’s not getting more of those type of bookings. Susumu is capable of some excellent athletic feats but lacks the savvy to integrate them into the fluid storytelling of a match. The match is a lot better when they just stand up and unload with strikes, which gets the crowd into the action too. And then it ends. Final Rating: **1/2

Jun Kasai & Tomoya Hirata vs. Gunso & Mataro Aoki: Hirata looks most unprepared for a death match setting and is wearing small black trunks like Jumbo fucking Tsuruta. The match starts with some sort of rave music playing (I am badly dating myself here, I don’t know what else to call it). Kasai bleeds all over the place and this is sloppy as hell. I like that the music plays throughout though. It creates a very different atmosphere to anything I’ve seen in serious wrestling for quite some time. I’m quite partial to Kaiju Big Battel and they also play music throughout their shows. This isn’t actually as violent as expected but it is quite good. Hirata in particular strikes me as a solid talent. He’s only in his third year so that’s promising. He has to put up with some particularly shitty double teams from the other guys but his own work is good. I wrote more about this but my PC crashed and I don’t remember what I said. Final Rating: ***

Kings of FREEDOM Tag Team Championship – Mammoth Sasaki & Violento Jack (c) vs. Minoru Fujita & Kamui: This is naturally a very violent match with barbwire, tables and weapons galore. Minoru Fujita gets a bad rap because he was a mediocre wrestler in a big promotion (whether you look at his New Japan work or anything at DDT level or higher) but here he’s fine. This definitely qualifies as the “violent crap” as XPW used to refer to death match stuff. There’s a lot of stuff in this match where it’s just violence for the sake of it. They don’t tell an overarching story, they don’t set spots up organically. It’s just one guy hitting another with plunder, then some blood, then more plunder and rinse, repeat. There are way too many spots where one dude is just standing there waiting for it to happen. There are slight improvements as the match progresses but it’s also hampered by one of my least favourite wrestling things; if it’s this hyper violent match why does it have to conform to tag team rules? Seeing one guy on the apron while his partner is being savaged by barbwire makes no sense to me. Either you have rules in a match or you don’t. There are some pretty major issues with the big spots here too. Fujita takes a piledriver off the apron through a table that becomes nothing but a flat back bump through a table from Jack. At least try and make it look dangerous, that’s the whole point of the spot. The match is littered with other shitty spots like reversed cradles off top rope splashes and other nonsense. Jack hits a DVD on a barbwire board to beat Fujita and the champs retain. This was extremely patchy and loaded with stuff I didn’t enjoy. Final Rating: *3/4

GCW Tag Team Championship – Los Mazisos (Ciclope & Miedo Extremo) (c) vs. Masashi Takeda & Kenji Fujimoto: The champs are from Mexican promotion DTU. The ropes have light tubes attached and the combination of extreme violence and lucha-libre easily makes this the best match on this show. The bloodshed and carnage is better put together than the previous match, although they do insist on maintaining the rules of tag team wrestling. They do a good job of setting spots up here and using the tags to be of effect to the flow of the match. Takeda, predictably, knows exactly how to break of bunch of light tubes and make each one seem interesting and different. Takeda is obviously in a different class. At one point countering a move into an armbar in broken glass before pulling out a knife. If you don’t tap out to the armbar, I’ll stab you in the head! Takeda gets dropped on his head an awful lot in this match and there comes a point where you worry about a dude’s health. The match is notably dragged down by Fujimoto who looks clumsy and unnatural. But even with his shortcomings it’s hard to not enjoy the match as its so well constructed. The Mexican lads retain via light tube assisted top rope splash on the unfortunate Fujimoto. Final Rating: ****

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
The main event obviously salvages what was a particularly poor show. In general I’m told FREEDOMS is a promotion where the main event is good but the undercards are pretty terrible. Like a death match Zero1. That was definitely true here. Skip to the end.