FREEDOMS on 1/8/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 8th, 2014
Another new promotion to review! Even if I have to go back eight months, no stone will be left unturned. Yes, in 2016 I will still be reviewing events from 2014, but what can ya do. This event by Freedoms was part of their very long round robin King of Freedom Tag Team Title Tournament. The tournament lasted all the way until March and was used to crown the first ever Freedoms Tag Team Champions. Here are the matches for the event:
- Kenichiro Arai vs. SUSUMU
This will certainly be interesting, I just hope it is also good.
Kenichiro Arai vs. SUSUMU
Arai rolls SUSUMU back into the ring, cover, but it gets a two count. Another cover but it gets another two. Arai picks up SUSUMU and goes for a suplex but SUSUMU blocks it, waistlock by SUSUMU but Arai elbows out of it. Arai goes off the ropes but SUSUMU catches him with a jumping heel kick. Punches by SUSUMU in the corner, Irish whip, and he hits a running elbow strike. Snap suplex by SUSUMU, cover, but it gets a two count. Oklahoma Roll by SUSUMU, but it also gets a two count. Arai and SUSUMU trade punches on their knees, Irish whip by SUSUMU but Arai hits a swinging neckbreaker. Arai picks up SUSUMU and goes for a piledriver but SUSUMU blocks it. Back bodydrop by SUSUMU, he waits for Arai to get up and hits a swinging headscissors. Falcon Arrow by SUSUMU, cover, but it gets a two count. Jumping elbow by SUSUMU in the corner, Arai asks for a handshake and a hug, but Arai knees SUSUMU in the midsection. Jumping piledriver by Arai, he picks up SUSUMU and hits an Inside Cradle for the three count. Your winner: Kenichiro Arai
Match Thoughts: Not a great way to start the show. I'd prefer a show start either with a fast match to get the crowd into it, or a match for a rookie to learn the ropes. This match was neither of those as it was a career not very good wrestler against an aged veteran that doesn't bring a lot to the table. So as you'd expect from that description, this match wasn't very good. It was slow, didn't do anything to get the crowd invested, and just kinda ended without much fanfare. Hopefully the action picks up from here. Score: 3.5
Kamui vs. Minoru Fujita
Kamui picks up Fujita, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a jumping elbow smash. Vertical suplex by Kamui, cover, but it gets a two count. Kamui picks up Fujita, Irish whip, reversed, Kamui moves when Fujita charges in and Kamui kicks Fujita. Kamui grabs Fujita's arm and applies an armbar while hanging over the top rope. Kick to the arm by Kamui, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kamui picks up Fujita and gets him onto his shoulders, but Fujita slides off and pushes Kamui into the corner. Dropkick by Fujita, he picks up Kamui and hits an exploder. Cover by Fujita, but he picks up Kamui. Fujita throws Kamui into the corner and hits a lariat, Fujita puts Kamui up on the top turnbuckle and hits a jumping kick to the head. Fujita joins Kamui on the top turnbuckle and hits a Frankensteiner. Cover, but Kamui barely gets a shoulder up. Fujita picks up Kamui, Kamui slides down his back and he delivers an overhead kick. Sit-down slam by Kamui, cover, but it only gets a two. Scoop slam by Kamui, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Fujita avoids the senton. Fujita then goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a missile dropkick. Kamui gets back up but Fujita levels him with a lariat, Fujita picks up Kamui and he hits a tombstone piledriver. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Fujita applies an ankle hold but Kamui kicks out of it. Back up they trade elbows, but Kamui knocks down Fujita with an overhead kick. Kamui hits a second overhead kick, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Kamui
Match Thoughts: Another swing and a miss. I already lower my expectations for small indies, I understand the chances are I am not going to see the same quality of wrestling I see in the larger promotions. But the structure/flow in this match was just brutal. First of all, Fujita did about 109 dropkicks, he has been wrestling long enough to vary his offense a bit. They were also all over the place, Kamui went for the arm a bit, Fujita randomly went for an ankle hold for no real reason, and then Kamui won after two simple overhead kicks which didn't appear to be a finisher but just a move that he does sometimes. These guys are exactly where they should be - wrestling on an undercard in front of 130 people. It was a touch better than the last match as they kept the action moving for the most part, but still not really a good match. Score: 3.5
Brahman Shu and Brahman Kei vs. Daisuke and Tatsuhiko Yoshino
Match Thoughts: The Brahman's are basically indy sleaze personified. Using silly weapons and having very little actual wrestling ability, for better or worse you know what you are getting with these two. And to be fair their shtick isn't terrible, the crowd generally enjoys them, its just low level indy wrestling for a very niche crowd. At least they keep the pace going as they don't waste time with silly things like rest holds or wearing down opponents, they just enjoy using weird weapons. Daisuke and Yoshino got very little chance to shine here although both looked fine. So it is what it is, but I won't say it was bad, it was just a typical Brahman match. Score: 5.0
HIROKI and Daisuke Masaoka vs. Kenji Fukimoto and Karate Brahman
Masaoka tags in HIROKI, and HIROKI stomps Fukimoto. Snapmare by HIROKI, he picks Fukimoto back up, Irish whip, and he delivers a dropkick. Cover by HIROKI but it gets a two count. HIROKI picks up Fukimoto, snapmare, and he tags in Masaoka. Masaoka picks up Fukimoto, snapmare, and he tags in HIROKI. Snapmare by HIROKI, cover, but it gets a two count. HIROKI tags in Masaoka, and Masaoka throws Fukimoto into the corner. Scoop slam by Masaoka and he hits a reverse splash. Cover, but it gets a two count. Masaoka tags in HIROKI, and HIROKI punches Fukimoto in the corner. Snapmare by HIROKI, he goes out to the apron and hits a slingshot senton. HIROKI gets the banana peel, he picks up Fukimoto and throws him into the corner. HIROKI shoves the banana peel into Fukimoto's mouth before tagging in Masaoka. Double Irish whip to Fukimoto into the corner but he avoids HIROKI and hits a lariat onto Masaoka. Fukimoto makes the hot tag to Brahman, double Irish whip to Masaoka and they take turns chopping Masaoka in the head. HIROKI walks over, double Irish whip to HIROKI and they hit a double punch to the stomach followed by a double chop. Body press by Fukimoto to HIROKI, he goes back to Masaoka and throws him into the corner before hitting a lariat. Brahman charges Masaoka but Masaoka moves and rolls up Brahman for a two count. Masaoka wraps up Brahman in a submission hold but Fukimoto breaks it up. Masaoka picks up Brahman, snapmare, Masaoka goes off the ropes but he slips on a banana peel. Fukimoto runs in and hits a package piledriver onto Masaoka, he then puts Brahman on Masaoka for the three count cover. Your winners: HIROKI and Daisuke Masaoka
Match Thoughts: I am not sure what my expectations were going into this match, but regardless they were too high. The snapmare is not a move normally done to really hurt your opponent. It sets them up, either for some type of running strike, or a reverse chinlock. HIROKI and Masaoka apparently are convinced the snapmare is a devastating move as they kept doing it without any type of follow-up. Snapmare, pick-up, snapmare, pick-up, snapmare, pin attempt. Exciting stuff. The ending spot with the banana peel beyond just being silly really didn't work since Masaoka didn't even slip on the banana peel. Just dreadful stuff from start to finish, the split second that it looked like Masaoka and Fukimoto were really trying was cool but sadly it didn't last very long. Score: 2.5
Great Kojika and The Winger vs. Mammoth Sasaki and Toru Sugiura
Irish whip by Winger but Sugiura hits a rebound crossbody out of the corner and makes the hot tag to Sasaki. Sasaki punches Winger into the corner, Irish whip, but the referee never saw the tag as Kojika was distracting him. He gets Sasaki back out of the ring while Kojika shoulderblocks Sugiura in the corner. Headbutts by Kojika and he twists Sugiura's arm in the top rope. Kojika tags in Winger, Sugiura tries to tag in Sasaki but Winger pulls him back. Armbar by Winger but Sugiura quickly gets a foot on the ropes. Winger goes back to Sugiura's arm but Sasaki runs in to break it up. Kojika comes in and applies a kimura to Sugiura but Sugiura gets a foot in the ropes. Kojika tags in Winger, Winger picks up Sugiura and he hits an armbreaker. Winger stops Sugiura from tagging in Sasaki and makes the tag to Kojika. Kojika picks up Sugiura and hits a double chop. Sugiura manages to dropkick Kojika and finally makes the tag to Sasaki. Winger runs in, Sasaki slams Winger to the mat and then grabs Kojika. Sasaki goes for a powerbomb but Winger distracts him. Sasaki goes for a powerbomb again but Kojika blocks it. Eye rake by Kojika and he hits Sasaki low. Kojika tags in Winger, punches by Winger to Sasaki, he goes off the ropes but Sasaki hits a chokebomb. Sasaki tags in Sugiura, and Sugiura hits a trio of elbow drops. Cover, but Kojika breaks it up. Sugiura picks up Winger and elbows him into the corner. Irish whip by Sugiura, reversed, Sugiura chops Winger back and slams him into the corner. Rolling senton by Sugiura in the corner and he hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Sasaki comes in and he slams Sugiura onto Winger. Cover, but Kojika breaks it up. Sasaki throws Kojika out of the ring and then goes out after him. Sugiura goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick to Winger. Cover, but it gets a two count. Elbows by Sugiura, he goes off the ropes but Kojika trips him from the floor. Japanese Leg Roll Clutch by Winger and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Great Kojika and The Winger
Match Thoughts: Kojika didn't really take any bumps in this match, which is good, since he is over 70 years old. I don't really think a 70 year old wrestler should be in the tournament, it seems like a disadvantage for Winger, but what can ya do. Aside from that weakness, it wasn't a bad match. The structure was a predictable one and one we have seen thousands of times but at least it had one, which has been uncommon on this card so far. It was silly for Sasaki to tag out so quickly though after getting the hot tag, he was clearly the better wrestler and probably should have stayed in once Sugiura finally tagged him. So a flawed match but not a terrible match and the best match on the card so far. The score is generous but I am taking what I can get at this point. Score: 5.5
Jun Kasai and Masashi Takeda vs. Takashi Sasaki and Tatsuhito Takaiwa
Kasai drops Sasaki in the turnbuckle, Sasaki kicks Kasai in the stomach but Kasai fires off a lariat. Kasai lariats Takaiwa as well, Kasai and Sasaki trade elbows, Sasaki goes off the ropes but Kasai hits an enzigieri. Kasai grabs Sasaki and goes for the Tiger Driver but Sasaki blocks it. Superkick by Sasaki and he tags in Takaiwa. Takaiwa lariats Kasai in the corner, Takaiwa puts Kasai on the top turnbuckle and joins him, Kasai elbows Takaiwa back off the top turnbuckle and charges Takaiwa, but Takaiwa kicks him and hits the Michinoku Driver. Takaiwa picks up Kasai, Takeda runs in the ring but Takaiwa lariats him. Takaiwa gets Kasai onto his shoulders and hits the death valley bomb. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takaiwa picks up Kasai but Kasai catches him with the double underhook facebuster. Takaiwa gets back up but Kasai hits a brainbuster. Kasai and Takaiwa tag out, Sasaki hits an enzigieri on Takeda and then a lariat. Sasaki goes off the ropes and hits a second lariat, he goes off the ropes again but Takeda catches him with a cross armbreaker takedown. Takaiwa breaks it up, Takeda picks up Sasaki and kicks him into the corner. Irish whip by Takeda and he hits a knee in the corner. A second knee by Takeda, cover, but it gets a two count. Takeda picks up Sasaki as Kasai gets back in the ring, double Irish whip to Sasaki and they both kick him in the chest. Kasai picks up double underhook facebuster, Takeda knees Sasaki in the face and covers him, but it gets a two count. Kasai goes up to the top turnbuckle goes for the Pearl Harbor Splash, but Sasaki gets his knees up. Takaiwa runs in and plants Kasai with the death valley bomb, Takeda comes in but Takaiwa knocks him down with a lariat. Takaiwa picks up Takeda, double Irish whip from the corner and Takaiwa hits a lariat. Sasaki hits a lariat as well, he puts Takeda up on the top turnbuckle and joins him, hitting a superplex. Takeda punches Sasaki but Sasaki hits an enzigieri. Kick to the head by Sasaki, cover, but I guess Kasai breaks it up. Scoop slam by Sasaki to Takeda, cover, but it gets a two count. Cross armbreaker by Takeda to Sasaki, and he then puts Sasaki in the Mega Rubber. Sasaki fights it for a minute but can't get out and he submits! Your winners: Jun Kasai and Masashi Takeda
Match Thoughts: A pretty basic match but not a bad one. It was serious, which is a plus, and had four capable wrestlers in it. Sadly this is the only match on the card I can say both of those things about. But they kept the action up from start to finish, had some drama and nearfalls, and the action was pretty crisp. It didn't do a lot to take the match to the 'next level' so to speak, as it didn't have any big moves and the match ended somewhat suddenly with a submission that had not been built up to, but it was still a very solid match. A good way to end an otherwise lackluster event. Score: 6.5
Best Match: Jun Kasai and Masashi Takeda vs. Takashi Sasaki and Tatsuhito Takaiwa. This was the best match by default but it really was a solid match. It was fought in a serious manner, which I think matches in a tournament should be, and all four acted as if it was an important match. The match never dragged as they kept up the action, and it was a fitting main event.
MVP: Masashi Takeda. He picked up the win in the main event, which is important, but he also was probably the best wrestler on this card. I shudder to think what the average age of the wrestlers on this card was but Takeda is pretty young and he still moves around very well since he is not broken yet. Takeda helped set up his team as the team to beat in the tournament.
Overall: Oy. I typically do enjoy indy wrestling but not of this style. It didn't have interesting gimmicks, it wasn't funny, it wasn't fast paced, it was just a drag for much of the card. The event was full of veterans well past their primes, wrestlers that are broken, or wrestlers that are just average in wrestling ability. The main event was fine as all four of them are solid, I am just afraid that Sasaki put most of their best wrestlers in one match at the expense of the rest of the card. I am not sure who the target audience is here but this is what I would consider 'not good' indy wrestling.
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review completed on 9/15/14