UWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship: Meido Xtremo def. GENTARO (c)***3/4
Going into this, I was intrigued a lot. You have one of Mexico’s best independent talent going up against LONG time Japanese indie veteran GENTARO. I have said numerous times that GENTARO looks like he should be much better than he ism, but never really delivers that next level performance. He proved me wrong here. I realized that GENTARO is at his best when he is in a technical warfare. That’s exactly what this was, Japanese technical wrestling against Mexican technical wrestling. This was a better version of Pentagon Jr. vs. Zack Sabre Jr. from BOLA 2015. They traded holds back and forth, focusing on body parts and selling! IT WAS GLORIOUS. Medio still got some of his impressive stuff in like his Asai moonsault and moonsault presses. Medio is in the running for most underrated in 2016. He’s so goddamn great, especially in Japan. In the end Meido got the win and became the new UWA Jr. Heavyweight Champion with a dead lift German suplex hold. A hell of an opener.
Isami Kodaka def. Chikara***
HAHAHA! HOLY MOTHER OF THE ANTI CHRIST, I THINK ISAMI KODAKA IS THE ONLY MAN ON EARTH TO EVER GIVE CHIKARA A GOOD MATCH. This was immensely entertaining with very solid action from Isami. You have to accept it at this point, that Chikara is not a good worker and never will be. Yet he is over with the crowd and has a name because of his grandfather (Rikidozan). Isami’s offense and antics made this match three stars. I know I give Isami Kodaka lots of love but my god he made Chikara’s offense look good and was bumping around like a mad man for him. This isn’t one of Isami’s best matches all year–no question. BUT when I am doing my WOTY voting this match will play a fairly large part in why I have Isami so high on my list. He can make anything good. Everything he touches is good. In the end Isami made Chikara tap to the Manjigatame. The crowd chanted for Chikara post-match.
KING of FREEDOM WORLD TAG CHAMPIONSHIP: Yuya Susumu & HAYATA (c) def. Mammoth Sasaki & Toru Sugiura***3/4
My god. This was another banger! Seriously; if the top three matches deliver this could be a Japanese indie show of the year contender. This was a goddamn great tag match with superb action. All the guys in this match are criminally underrated. The fella that stood out to me the most was Toru Sugiura. He was the best worker in the match and was just so on point with all of his offense. He’s definitely not a small man and he was doing corner dropkicks like Cesaro or Okada. Mammoth is getting up there in age and physically is banged up, but he can still go with the best of them. This was Yuya & HAYATA’s first title defense, with it being a successful one! Yuya tapped out Toru for the victory. Great stuff.
Violento Jack, Takashi Sasaki & Shuji Ishikawa vs. Jun Kasai, Masashi Takeda & Kenji Fukimoto***1/2
First off, I just got to say … I love how Shuji Ishikawa is retired from deathmatches but he only does deathmatches in FREEDOMS. I love the big dog with all my heart. This was another super entertaining, high energy match with elements of great wrestling and weaponry. Kasai is over like Kobashi circa 2003 to the FREEDOMS crowd. Although to be fair Kasai is over everywhere he goes. Kenji Fukimoto didn’t offend me in any way and didn’t stick scissors in his arm, so he gets a pass from me. Ishikawa took some bumps including one onto a ladder. The big story here though was GUNSO, who owns and operates DOVE PRO, invading the match to attack Kasai. Not many people knew who he was but was booed heavily for attacking their god. GUNSO attacked Kasai leading to Violento Jack hitting Kasai with a package piledriver for the victory. Kasai was pissed off. GUNSO will be wrestling Kasai on Boxing Day for FREEDOMS at Korakuen Hall.
The Winger 25th Anniversary Match: TAJIRI def. The Winger***1/4
This went 17 minutes long and I feel like I need to watch it again because I feel as though it was great but it didn’t hit me on the first watch as being great. Much like Yukio Sakaguchi vs. Minoru Suzuki, it was good on the first watch but when I went back and watched again I thought it was a great match. I love that TAJIRI is working FREEDOMS just two weeks prior to working NXT Osaka. This was a technical warfare again and the crowd was all over it. The crowd was full of Winger fans. It was great to see an entire FREEDOMS audience so enthralled by two veterans putting on a mat based clinic. It did pick up towards the end with both guys hitting their big moves. Winger is getting up there in age but is still taking some insane bumps. In the end TAJIRI put away his IWA buddy with a buzzsaw kick.
KFC Contendership Decision: Daisuke Masaoka def. Yuko Miyamoto***1/2
This was a super fun match; the perfect match to get Masaoka ready for his biggest match of his career on Boxing Day. Yuko Miyamoto is more experienced than Daisuke in big time matches, but Daisuke most certainly brought it here. Daisuke is one of the most underrated dudes and I think it’s like that because he is in FREEDOMS (editor’s note: seems to be a constant theme here) which doesn’t make tape that often and because he does deathmatches. Well, guess what? It’s 2016 and you can be great at deathmatches and a great technical wrestler as well. The whole FREEDOMS roster is a prime example of that (except Kenji Fukimoto). This bout was full of high impact moves like fire thunder drivers, flashy stuff like an Asai Moonsault from Daisuke, and Yuko Moonsaults. Lots of violence as well. In the end Daisuke pinned Yuko with his Rokura Kai which is a metora but he came off a ladder delivering the move which looked amazing.
FREEDOMS PRESENTS: THE WINGERS 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Very Good - 7.5/10
This show was fantastic and I urge you to watch every match. Nothing was actively bad. Hell, even the Chikara match was good! FREEDOMS will continue to be one of the most underrated promotions in the world. In my eyes they are doing deathmatches better than anyone else in the world. They have the perfect mix of deathmatch guys and guys who can wrestle with the best. Thank you for reading.