International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for April 10th, 2019 GCW’s Spring Break Weekend, Steve Karel Invests in CZW, Toru Sugiura Makes his Deathmatch Debut, Drew Parker Signs with BJW and More

International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for April 10th, 2019

GCW’s Spring Break Weekend, Steve Karel Invests in CZW, Toru Sugiura Makes his Deathmatch Debut, Drew Parker Signs with BJW and More

GCW made yet another stamp on the Wrestlemania Weekend in a way that will no doubt continue.

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GCW rented out White Eagle Hall for Thursday-Saturday and set up 4 blocks each day to run shos. They provided the ring and partnered with Fite.tv to provide the streaming and filming along with other logistics. Overall they hosted 11 shows, 4 of them being GCW run and 7 ran by outside companies. Just 2 weeks before the start Nova Pro out of Georgia had to pull out of their committment due to lack of funding and GCW added a last minute show hosted by Orange Cassidy, along with Bloodsport and Spring Break 1 and 2, that led to 4 total sell outs of 700+ fans each.

Without bluntly stating numbers GCW cleaned up big time with this endeavor. The fees paid by the companies, their own gates, merchandise and record streaming numbers all went right into the company’s pockets.

I attended most all of the shows and they were something really unique. As every show went on the crowds would get more and more acquainted with each other (as well as more and more drunk) and the wrestling became secondary to the experience. I will gladly admit the only shows I physically watched all the way through were the Spring Breaks, most of Bloodsport, AIW and the IWS show. Everything else I just caught pieces of as I mingled with fans and partied it up.

I will try and provide highlights but this was a weekend for socializing.

The highlight of all the non-GCW shows I saw was definitely the sparsely attended IWS show that was headlined by Arik Canon vs. Sexxxy Eddy in an “Alcobrawl” where every few minutes a song played and they had to take shots and beers. Now the wrestlers swore the drinks were real, they sure smelled real, but they pounded back 10-15 shots and a half dozen beers each in 20 minutes flat and were still standing backstage afterwards so I’m not 100% sure what to think. Also on the card was Green Phantom winning a 3 way with Gage and Tremont that went all over.

Every show it seemed like whatever announcer was on duty was dying to do Nick Gage’s introduction.

Another note was on the ISW show on April 4th Viking was supposed to make his return to the US in a Lego Deathmatch. The match had to be renamed after legal letters from the Lego company (and I don’t blame them) and Nick Gage took his place.

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There were some downsides to the weekend. The first was there were definitely faults with the organizing. The standing room tickets really ruined the show for anybody under 6 feet tall and the seating had a lot of complaints with people just filing in and filling seats that weren’t theres. Because of the schedule of fans going from show to show people would come in late, find their seats filled and the staff was so busy they couldn’t help and a lot of people had complaints with spending big money on front row seats and winding up standing.

The second issue was timing that almost ruined one of the shows.

The Blackcraft Wrestling show started at midnight after Spring Break Part 1 on April 5th. The show overall was derided pretty hard online for starting about 25 minutes late and being rushed to the point where the main advertised championship match, Johnny Blackcraft (John Morrison) vs. David Starr, ended in 5 seconds with a rollup. Other matches such as a tag team gauntlet were just turned into a 5 way and most everything was less than 5 minutes including entrances. One more incident saw Justin Credible throw a chair in the ring in a battle royal with no warning and gave Gory a nasty split on his head.

The opening match between G-Raver and Jimmy Havoc in a “Devil’s Den” Deathmatch where they use the chain ropes and other weapons had to eb rearranged. Havoc had his stitches come loose (from an injury he suffered while in Japan) at a show earlier in the day and he had a gaping wound. The big fear was that with so many wrestlers using the GCW ring over the weekend he couldn’t risk another infection (he recently had blood poisoning). At one point they were hoping on securing Nick Gage on short notice but GCW wasn’t interested in burning one of their big matches yet to happen so Shlak was brought in as a last minute replacement. The match was originally going to have glass boards and they would use the chain ropes in spots involving hooks. The match was cut from 16 minutes to 8 and most of the spots were cut as well. Raver won with double knees through a door that was a little botched.

The late start came from not being able to clear the building. Blackcraft staff were under the impression that GCW would clear the building from the last show (Spring Break) but it was on the promotion renting that slot to clear the building. On top of this Blackcraft have a unique all black canvas they use for their shows and there was a lot of confusion in getting this canvas on the mat. Other factors like setting up the chains and a cable for the hard cam breaking just make it worse. White Eagle Hall had a hard 230 AM stop time (3 AM on the final night) so they had to make due with what they had.

Despite all this they still ran an extended angle where the actor from the Pinhead movies crucified a wrestler as part of their long term ongoing storylines.

Onita’s appearance for GCW wasn’t nearly as monumental as they had hoped when first booking him. Onita was definitely slotted for an appearance on the Spring Break shows, likely in the battle royal and Joey Janela confirmed it months ago on Facebook in a spat with a fan, however his knee surgery made it impossible for him to do anything but walk. Onita still made personal appearances at Wrestlecon and Spring Break Part 1.

The GCW shows themselves had to be of been seen as huge successes.

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Bloodsport opened the weekend at 4 PM on April 4th and so far it has been one of the best reviewed shows of the weekend on the websites I visit. This was a show of “worked shoots” in a ring with no ropes where the matches could only end with TKO, submission or ref stoppage.

Last year’s Bloodsport was promoted by Matt Riddle and this year it switched to Josh Barnett but apparently last year’s was supposed to be Barnett’s show as well but something happened to mix it up. Barnett played an integral role in choosing the talent to book and match making (specifically Hideki Suzuki) and Barnett was not so keen on guys like Masashi Takeda going into it.

The reaction is resoundingly better than last year. Last year saw a lot of “wrestler vs. Shooter” style of match ups while this year they went almost completely in on talent with MMA backgrounds with guys like Frank Mir, Dan Severn, Andy Williams, Timothy Thatcher and Minoru Suzuki in the main event to name a few.

Masashi Takeda defeated Jonathan Gresham in under 8 minutes in one of the more wild matches. Takeda took a spill to the outside which busted his eye open. Takeda seemed to of “snapped” and tried to grab chairs that were all zip tied together. Gresham attacked his eye some more before rolling him into an armbar and catching him with a running knee that knocked Gresham out and ended the match.

Frank Mir defeated Dan Severn fairly quickly and stated he wants to have a professional wrestling match against Brock Lesnar. Good luck.

Chris Dickinson defeated Andy Williams in probably the hardest hitting match and the one I’d recommend over everything else.

In the main event Josh Barnett and Minoru Suzuki went to a draw in a 20 minute time limit and again with a 5 minute time limit over time. It was everything you’d think it was with crazy hard strikes and submission exchanges throughout. The crowd went absolutely ballistic and every one has been praising it since.

Bloodsport was the best reviewed show of the GCW crop of shows to the more mainstream wrestling press. Every one involved raved about the good time and GCW is looking to use the concept elsewhere. Josh Barnett is also leaving the door open for future involvement.

The other big news from Bloodsport was William Regal and Dean Ambrose being in attendance. Regal scouts talent for WWE at most larger indie events but Ambrose is leaving WWE at the moment. Although nothing at all has been said by anybody, outside of an off comment by Ambrose on Jericho’s podcast that he wants to do 1 more deathmatch in his life, I heard more than a few stories from wrestlers, fans and company employees that they heard from a guy who heard it from a friend that Ambrose will appear at X company to wrestle Y wrestler very soon. Nothing I heard sounded very believable. We will see.

Spring Break 1 was easily my favorite show of the weekend. The show lacked the big production videos that they were famous for produced by Giancarlo Dittamo who has since been signed to WWE. With Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt making their way to AEW (Stunt was on All In shortly after debuting at the Joey Janela NY show last year), Giancarlo going to WWE and now AEW making comments about signing Dustin Thomas (more on him in a moment) I think GCW needs to start asking for some sort of check for developmental.

The stand out matches and moments would be Janela returning to take on the returning Marko Stunt (both suffered serious leg injuries last year). Janela came back just over 6 months after his injury when he was expected to be out 9-12. I would expect him to keep a lighter than usual schedule as he continues to heal in anticipation of the AEW launch

Joey Janela’s deal with AEW is sounding like this. He will work full time for AEW, who will be launching TV and a touring schedule in the last quarter of the year, and the talent is allowed and encouraged to keep their indie schedules but there will be an expectation to avoid unnecessary bumps and injuries. The likely scenario would be for most AEW talent to start doing limited indie dates but still appear in other roles when they can such as commentary, more basic tag matches, etc. There is a concerted effort by Janela, Jimmy Havoc and others to push for deathmatches in AEW in some form. I was told Janela will always be tight with GCW no matter what and he was even brought on with an idea that he was a part owner of GCW.

Tony Deppen beat Dustin Thomas. He is an indie wrestler with just a few months experience who is very easy to spot in that he has no legs. Deppen attacked him in the crowd and Dustin proceeded to fly all over. He did a lot of lucha moves and throws which built to him hitting a springboard 450 splash from the outside to Deppen in the ring. This moment really should’ve been the pin as the place exploded but they continued and Deppen won in the end with heel antics. A really crazy match a lot like Marko Stunt’s debut against KTB. Deppen himself should really be in a company like AEW as he has everything you’d want in a midcard heel.

Gage defeated Ohtani in a dream match. The match was pretty good but ended with a flash pin out of nowhere. I know there were issues with Ohtani through the weekend where he was either injured or unwilling to do a lot of bumps in his matches over the weekend (in one match he took only 1 bump) and Gage got on the mic and basically said this is the finish Ohtani requested and apologized to fans.

The Invisible Man vs. Invisible Stan match was really something unique that I was not looking forward to and wound up loving every second of it. The match was played out by a ref doing all of the known reactions amd motions for spots like “boo/yay” punches, sit down slug outs, rolling 2 count exchanges, a balcony dive and finally a table exploding in the corner. The ref really deserves the MVP for his performance and I wouldn’t be shocked if other companies copy this.

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In the main event Masashi Takeda defeated Jimmy Lloyd in the first ever Spring Break deathmatch. Both got great reactions but Takeda was definitely the bigger star especially since half the crowd were obviously not GCW regulars and were “out of town hipsters”. The match had about 40 or so lighttubes, gusset plates, a scissors board, a razor board and a weedwhacker, plenty of shit to call it a deathmatch. There were a few janked up spots early on but it picked up steam quickly and you had all the usual spots from each. The scariest moment came when Takeda put a scissor board against Lloyd’s chest in the corner and gave him a running knee. In an image that will live on forever Lloyd lays in his own blood before reaching up and feeling the scissor resting on his throat. He freaked out and threw the scissor away. A great visual but they were fine.

Takeda won with his U-Crash reverse DDT on lighttubes. After the match they hugged and played to the crowd. Takeda once told me if he ran a company it would be like GCW. He talks openly that he likes the US style of deathmatch with more speed and he loves the US deathmatch fans.

I did not attend the pancake breakfast the next morning but apparently there were no pancakes. I also did not attend the Orange Cassidy show but I heard mostly good things.

Spring Break Part 2 was definitely a clusterfuck. I arrived early and behind the building all you could see was wrestlers. Wrestlers behind the building, coming up and down the stairs, drinking beer, getting ready, going over the match, just wrestlers everywhere. Someone then told me the battle royal would have 54 wrestlers, then I heard 55, then 60 and then I just walked inside to watch this spectacle.

There were only a few matches before the Clusterfuck battle royal. The show started quite late, almost 40 minutes late, as they were waiting for people to arrive from ROH/NJPW at MSG which didn’t end until almost midnight. When they started there were only 300 or so people in the building despite selling 700 tickets months ago. This is where a lot of the issues with seating came from. By the end of the show the building was jam packed as usual.

Jungle Boy, who made an emotional return the previous night in a scramble match after the passing of his father, defeated Janela. LA Park defeated Masato Tanaka in a mostly one sided match when he put him through 2 tables. The match was a bit of a let down and I heard from a few people that Park was incredibly hard to work with. No surprise there since he carries the same rep in Mexico.

LAX defeated the Rock and Roll Express in the best actual match of the night and holy shit did the R&R show that they could move. The R&R still wrestle a semi-regular schedule so anyone who has seen them knows this but they pulled very few shortcuts and Ricky Morton even his a Canadian destroyer. Earlier in the day at Wrestlecon Morton was scaring the hell out of a friend of mine by dancing around and getting guys in the ribs. After the match LAX gave them an emotional tribute.

Finally came the Clusterfuck. I don’t really know where to begin or how to review this. The big draw was the return of Necro Butcher. Necro is only 45 but looks much older and walks very gingerly with heavy knee supports. Him, Shlak and Markus Crane were the first entrants. Shlak and Necro did the Takayama/Frye punching spot before the next entrants came out. Because of the time constraints they were sending people out every 20-30 seconds it seemed.

The wrestlers just kept coming and coming but because of the time nobody did much. Necro mostly just stayed in the corner and would get up to KO guys every now and then. Essa Rios entered, looked bloated as hell, did nothing and just left. I’m not even sure he was eliminated. Takeda entered and had a square off with Jimmy Lloyd who eliminated him over the top rope.

Finally towards the end Session Moth Martinez, Maria Manic and other women wrestlers entered the ring and started tossing every one they could. They brought out lighttubes and destroyed Jimmy Lloyd with tube shots. Chris Dickinson was dumped over the top rope and finally they crucified Janela against the ropes as the feed went off the air. This was to play up the “Janela is a sexist” hashtag after no women were booked on the GCW cards. In the building the match just kind of ended and every one was tired and confused. Finally the announcer just said “Thank you for coming to Spring Break, please exit the building.” They were supposed to end by 3 and they ended around 310 and they had to clean up the building as fast as possible.

White Eagle Hall was a great “GCW Style” venue. It always felt packed and electric and a little illegal which was the vibe I wanted for my first shows. The first night I saw the building staff really running around putting out fires (literally, the first night fans were setting fires outside with Janela) but the rest of the weekend went much smoother.

Coming out of it GCW has a shitload of announcements.

On April 25th they return to the Voltage Lounge in Philadelphia for a show called Crime Wave and have announced Tony Deppan vs. Joey Janela, Marko Stunt, Ophidian, Jonathan Gresham and the return of Mance Warner (more on him in a moment). That already makes it a much more stacked line up than the last Voltage Lounge show. The show will likely be sold out by the time you read this.

Mance being in the show means something but I don’t know what. Mance no showed an old Compound show in early 2018 when DJ Hyde made wrestlers “choose” between CZW and GCW. Mance chose CZW and went on to win their world championship at Cage of Death. Mance is pretty big on the indies now and is a featurd player on MLW television where Jim Cornette puts him over every chance he gets. To see him on the GCW show says a lot about the status of CZW and what their priorities are now.

Then on May 3rd they return to Asbury Park for The Block Is Hot where they already announced MJF.

The next cards announced are for May 4th in Chicago for a show called The Last One’s Left where Mance Warner will take on Nick Gage. Gage defeated Mance over the weekend at a Collective show already and I can’t imagine Mance will win this bout either. Orange Cassidy is also announced.

No word on how they’ll get the entire crew from NJ to Chicago in a day. Should be fun.

Also on the schedule is TOS 4 on June 1st which will be at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City. Expect a big announcement pretty soon for that.

There is also a “Mystery Show” scheduled for July 4th. Be prepared for that one.

They will also be announcing a lot of stuff for the Japan dates in August coming soon. There are several fans waiting to purchase plane tickets and they should get most of the itinerary soon now that Spring Break is over. The first match I would say is a total lock would be Lloyd vs. Takeda in a rematch.

Finally in news that should surprise nobody GCW is eyeing new markets for the second half of 2019. I really don’t know any other indies that have shows booked this far out in advance.

The tale of CZW will either end soon or see a resurgence as they just announced that Steve Karel is investing in the company in some form. Karel has invested in several companies including ECW right before it went bankrupt. Joey Styles said Karel’s magic fix was to cut every one’s salary in half. He also invested in Women’s Extreme Wrestling, UWF and more before they went under. Karel owns Stonecutter Media and the deal will apparently help CZW in distributing shows on PPV and other streaming formats.

I don’t see how you can spin this as a game changer in the positive. Karel doesn’t have a good track record and distributing shows is nothing new in 2019 when you have platforms like Fite.tv that have taken most of the big marketshare. CZW has streamed through Highspots in the past but to a lot of bad results with choppy or downright non-working streams that needed to be refunded. CZW is as cold as it has ever been and putting the shows on a little-known streaming platform won’t change anything.

Previously Dave Marquez invested in CZW to try and turn it into a television product with a pilot filmed that went nowhere (no word on if Marquez is still involved at all) and there were rumors from several angles in the Summer of 2018 that CZW was for sale outright and that they were running month to month with no long term vision.

Over Mania weekend they were the only company to run a show opposite of the ROH/NJPW show and the pictures and clips I’ve seen were average. About 100 people in a dark room sitting on their hands while talent did every highspot you can think of in the ring. House of Glory did a run in to continue the feud that was started at the last CZW show. Mance Warner defeated Dan Maff in the main event. I’m sure there was a more low-key event over the weekend but this was definitely one of the most low key.

They’ve also announced the first entrant in the TOD will be Session Moth Martinez. They tweeted out that “petitions work” and she’s on due to fan outcry. The petition was started last fall but I can’t find it online and the link leads to a dead page. Martinez is a UK indie darling who has been gaining steam and helped lighttube to death Jimmy Lloyd at Spring Break 2. There is also a petition to bring in Big F’n Joe from RISE for the TOD.

The TOD will be June 22nd at the Coliseum on Vorhees, NJ making it the first ever indoor TOD. I’ve been told the building isn’t very big and would seat 400-500 at maximum. They no longer run the farm in DE after tighter regulations.

Any promoters who want to send news or upcoming cards/results to be included please email me at deathmatchnews@gmail.com or contact me on Twitter @intlwrestling.

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Shaheen from the THT Network has launched a website at https://www.nuclearheatgraphics.com/ for his graphic design work. He sells artwork and also takes commissions. He will also have a booth at CZW and GCW Jersey shows.

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On March 31st Freedoms ran their first Korakuen Hall show of 2019 main evented by Jun Kasai vs. Kenji Fukimoto but the real main match of the show was Toru Sugiura making his deathmatch debut against Masahi Takeda in a lighttubes and ladders deathmatch. Sugiura has been the upper midcard babyface with Freedoms for a few years and recently started promoting his own shows using the Freedoms office in Shinkiba and his home town of Nagoya.

He has done soft deathmatch spots before with barbed wire, thumbtacks and sparing lighttube shots but with Masaoka out they needed some new talent and he stepped up to the plate. On one hand he had one of the best deathmatches of 2019 so far but he also suffered a fairly severe injury that would turn off most people from ever coming back.

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Early in the match Takeda stuck a lighttube chunk in his mouth and ripped it out and it sliced the right side of his mouth in half like the Joker. Despite this the match continued another 10 minutes and they had a great sprint. I was with 2 American fans (from the Grill ’em All burger restaurant in LA who advertise on the GCW canvas) who have attended tons of shows in the states but were blown away by the craft involved in this match.

Lots of big kickouts, sprint spots, big bumps, big builds before Takeda win with the U-File Crash.

After the match he required stitches to close his mouth but says he is only getting started.

In the main event Jun Kasai defeated Kenji Fukimoto in a no-canvas, glass board alpha deathmatch with the alpha being a bed of pottery plants. This just wasn’t very good. Fukimoto is ok at best at this point and it was a paint by numbers match.

Afterwards Kasai berated Fukimoto as “losing it” and being the weak member of UNCHAIN. He begin demanding Fukimoto get up and shake his hand before Minoru Fujita stepped in and said Kasai was crossing the line before challenging him. Kasai will face Fujita in the main event of the May 2nd Korakuen Hall show.

The show drew around 700 fans which sounds awful but thats the average attendance for this show every year. I don’t think the May 2nd show will do more than a thousand with a weak main event either.

Drew Parker will be heading to BJW as a signed talent, the first foreign signed talent in a long long time, possibly since Masada in the mid 2000’s. Parker will be training and living at the BJW dojo and going on full tours starting in May. No word on how long the contract will last but as long as he works out (and no reason he shouldn’t) it’ll probably be open ended for both parties.

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Parker went over as part of the Sendai Girls promoted Fight Club Pro show in January and did some spots with BJW along with Jimmy Havoc and Ricky Shane Page. Havoc and RSP came back for the Ikkitousen tournament. BJW is high on Havoc who gained a decent amount of fan support because of his “kawaii” look but with his aEW commitments it wasn’t in the cards so Parker was next in line for the spot. It is interesting since Parker has been wrestling for GCW and has already been announced to face Jimmy Lloyd in the opening round of TOS 4.

Also coming in May is Josh Crane. Crane’s spot can be credited to an article Taka Nakayama, from the Freebirds Store in Japan, wrote as part of hsi monthly Dropkic blog about Crane’s childhood with abusive parents. Crane’s sister (who he has adopted as her guardian) drew a picture of Death Kami, the BJW logo, that caught the eye of many fans the article was retweeted more than any other article he had written. It gained enough momentum to warrant bringing Crane in and fulfilling his lifelong dream.

On April 7th BJW ran a show in Sendai as part of the “Gold Festival”. During the day Takashi Sasaki, Freedoms co-owner and former BJW long term champion, had his first match in BJW in many years when he teamed with Ryuji Ito to defeat Masaya Takahashi and Takayuki Ueki in a lighttube deathmatch. Later that evening Sasaki teamed with Kasai to defeat Kenji Fukimoto and Violento Jack in another lighttube deathmatch. Also on the show was Toru Sugiura and Tomoya Hirata.

It is a sign that Freedoms and BJW are more open to working with each other after separating to not infringe on each other as they attracted much of the same fan base. The companies have traded talent with Kenji Fukimoto appearing for BJW tours and Kasai appearing at last year’s 11/11 Sumo Hall show while Freedoms has used up and coming BJW contract talent Sakuda recently.

While these shows were going on Freedoms ran a Youngdams show at Shinkiba, also on April 7th, where Shunsuke Sayama won a one night tournament defeating Tomoya Hirata in the main event. Afterwards he challenged Masashi Takeda with an emphasis on his MMA background. Shunsuke was a member of the ASUKA Project roster before it folded last month. He has been on most Freedoms shows since then. When I spoke to him he was very emphatic that he would not be doing deathmatches. We will see. Shunsuke is a Yokohama native and works at Bar 045 when not wrestling.

Upcoming BJW has the Ikkitousen semi-finals on April 13 and the finals April 14 in Sapporo. The 13th will have Masashi Takeda vs. Abdullah Kobayashi  and Isami Kodaka vs. Toshiyuki Sakuda. The winner will face Masaya Takahashi at the Yokohama Bunka Gym on May 5th. Given Japanese storytelling and booking sense I would put my money on Kobayashi since Takahashi initially defeated Kobayashi to win the belt for the first time in 2017.

Kobayashi wrestles with a shoulder support and really looks bad but he still wrestles every night.

***News & Notes***

Guanatos Hardcore Crew will be doing a deathmatch tournament outside Tijuana on May 5th.

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Yoshihisa Uto is getting his own BJW curry box set.

Big Mac Smack, the former manager of the Wifebeater in CZW, has suffered some pretty serious health problems. You can help him and his family out at http://www.supportful.com/2806dd3d-f66c-47fd-affc-09d3e551ea62

JC Rotten’s Trainwreck company had announced some upcoming shows.

First will be May 17th in Memphis, TN where the Rejects will make their debut.

Then they will be hosting the Souther Sickness Cup deathmatch tournament across 2 days on October 18 and 19 in the back lot behind their building in Memphis, TN. Announced so far is

1. Project M.O.N.I.X fka Pat Monix
2. Markus Crane
3. Cole Radrick
4. John Wayne Murdoch
5. Orin Veidt
6. Calvin Tankman
7. Kody Rice
8. Rob Marsh
9. Alex Zayne
10. Zodiak
11. Casanova Valentine
12.Eddy Only
13.Shlak!

The total will be 24 participants so this will be everybody available it seems.

Zona 23 has announced new shows in May and June so they found some new sponsors.

The Crimson Cup will take place on August 19th in LA. announced so far are Viking, Casanova Valentine, Randi West, Markus Crane, BC Killer, Damien 666, Bestia 666, Matt Tremont, Ray Basura and Homeless Jimmy.

Company Websites

http://pw-freedoms.co.jp/
http://bjw.co.jp
http://www.dovepro.net/

Company Twitters

https://twitter.com/IWAMidSouth

Watching the Japanese deathmatch scene has never been easier but it isn’t perfect. Obviously the Real Hero Archive (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5rK95X3mRiiSDNvTnQ0aUhWODg) has most every show you could ever imagine up there including most all Freedoms shows and a ton of classic hardcore puroresu.

The Mutton and the Ham Youtube Channel for a lot of classic FMW, IWA, BJW and also current BJW, Freedoms and odd show spots (https://www.youtube.com/user/MuttonAndTheHam)

The Official BJW Youtube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/bjwmovie) goes through moods of uploading a LOT of content. During the 2017 Ikkitousen they were uploading 2 or 3 tournament matches a day.

You can find a lot more Youtube channels by searching for the Japanese name of any of your favorite wrestlers (such as this match featuring Takeda and Kasai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWU-NWQt_GI from an indy), a lot of handicam/phone footage or those notorious DVD only shows but there is little consistency.

BJW has a subscription streaming service called BJW Core and is 888 yen a month (about $8 USD) located at http://www.bjwcore.com

IWA Midsouth is available on http://powerbomb.tv

Bahu sells a TON of classic, hard to find hardcore puro as well as current Freedoms DVD’s. You can contact him at http://fmwwrestling.us/FMWLibrary.html

Freedoms shows are harder to get. The smaller shows, despite having crazy matches on the regular, are only filmed half the time and are only sold as DVD exclusives at shows (that I would buy if I had owned a DVD player in the past 6 years) so they rarely make it to Youtube or Real Hero. The larger shows from Korakuen are broadcast on Samurai TV on a 2-3 week delay without commentary and with muted music entrances and only 1 camera shots but for whatever reason these only appear sporadically on the normal avenues so good luck.

You can direct any questions, comments or thoughts to me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/intlwrestling

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International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for January 29th, 2019 Carnage Cup Cancelled, a Commentary on the Event and Kevin Brennan, Jun Kasai Returns to Action, Results and Upcoming Shows for ICW, H20 and GCW and More

International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for January 29th, 2019

Carnage Cup Cancelled, a Commentary on the Event and Kevin Brennan, Jun Kasai Returns to Action, Results and Upcoming Shows for ICW, H20 and GCW and More

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The 2019 Carnage Cup has been cancelled. On January 29th the Facebook event was deleted and later on Rob Marsh broke the news that the event was officially not going to happen. Later on Freakshow, who has been a mainstay of IWA Deepsouth, posted some screenshots of private messages with Kevin Brennan, the notorious promoter of the event. Continue reading

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International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for January 16th, 2019 GCW’s 400 Degreez, Kasai and Masaoka out with knee injuries, Takahashi vs. Kodaka and other upcoming BJW notes, Onita prepping for surgery and more

International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for January 16th, 2019

GCW’s 400 Degreez, Kasai and Masaoka out with knee injuries, Takahashi vs. Kodaka and other upcoming BJW notes, Onita prepping for surgery and more

GCW has set the wrestling world on fire with legendary dream matches, cross country tours, international talent, resurrecting PCO but they had to remind us they’re also the most ludicrous deathmatch company in the world.

On January 12th GCW ran “400 Degreez” in Chicago. It was their first time back since the NGI 3 in August and sadly the Gali Arena is long gone. Instead they ran in the Summit Park District Building which looked like a gymnasium. It was a big change of pace from the usual dimly lit bars and arenas they’ve been running. I personally liked the Asbury Park venue for aesthetics but a few people told me they liked this place better because of the better lighting and lines of sight. The show was promoted as a “deathmatch” show from top to bottom in a callback to the Howell, NJ shows where there were very few stipulations announced but every match was designed for carnage. Continue reading

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Lucha Espectacular! A Brief Intro to Mexico

Arena Coliseo San Ramon Puebla

Although not really growing up with lucha libre, I’ve certainly grown to understand what professional wrestling is in Mexico and in some ways was a reason in moving to Mexico and gaining the knowledge of what lucha libre is.

The last few years in general have been something of a renaissance for me as a wrestling fan. For a while, I was mainly keeping up with what was going on in mainstream US wrestling (so WWE and TNA) and going on-and-off with ROH. Upon moving to China, I started to watch more NJPW since it was a surging promotion and a curiosity for Japanese wrestling grew which worked out perfectly given that I was living much closer to Japan and had the ability to watch live wrestling shows there. Pretty soon I was in tune with what was going on with wrestling both in the US and Japan.

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International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for January 4th, 2019 Freedoms Bloody Christmas Report, Kasai to GCW, Toshiyuki Sakuda Interview, 佐久田俊行 インタビュー, GCW and Fight Club: Pro in Japan, BJW Reports, GCW’s The Dynasty Report and 400 Degreez Preview and More

International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for January 4th, 2019

Freedoms Bloody Christmas Report, Kasai to GCW, Toshiyuki Sakuda Interview, 佐久田俊行 インタビュー, GCW and Fight Club: Pro in Japan, BJW Reports, GCW’s The Dynasty Report and 400 Degreez Preview and More

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Going in to Bloody Christmas on December 25th Freedoms was promoting Jun Kasai challenging for the KFC title against Masashi Takeda in a rematch from August 28th which set record business for Freedoms and sold out Korakuen HAll. Takeda won the title on May 2nd from Violento Jack and had defenses against Miedo Xtremo and Jun Kasai. Kasai had headlined the 2017 Bloody Xmas losing to Violento Jack and this felt like a “redemption” story where Kasai had come back and defeated Jack in Odate earlier this year as well as defeated Daisuke Masaoka who had humiliated him by cutting his hair.

The show drew 1,376 fans, about 300 less than in August, for the card which I also found to be one of the best overall cards Freedoms ever put on. For starters the Brahmins, a comedy team that wind up on almost every indie show in some fashion who run around spitting water on everybody with a few key spots that are funny twice, were not on the card at all.

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International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for December 15th, 2018 CZW’s Cage of Death and State of CZW, GCW G-Code Review and Upcoming Shows, Kasai vs. Takeda at Freedoms Bloody Christmas and the Full Card, H20’s Upcoming Schedule, Kobayashi Injured and More

International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for December 15th, 2018

CZW’s Cage of Death and State of CZW, GCW G-Code Review and Upcoming Shows, Kasai vs. Takeda at Freedoms Bloody Christmas and the Full Card, H20’s Upcoming Schedule, Kobayashi Injured and More

David Grooms, a long time fan of a lot of the wrestlers we cover, sadly passed away this week. Wish his family and friends nothing but the best.

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Any promoters who want to send news or upcoming cards/results to be included please email me at deathmatchnews@gmail.com or contact me on Twitter @intlwrestling.

Myself and Mike from the Deathmatch Cult Facebook pages have launched a Podcast Network called the Wrestling Cult which you can subscribe to at https://anchor.fm/wrestlingcult. You can find the Deathmatch News Radio where we review shows, interview promoters and wrestlers and go over all the news in these articles in depth, The History of FMW, the new Kawasaki Dreaming show with Bahu and Mike and we have more plans in the future.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO CONSIDER SUPPORTING US

Myself and Mike from the Deathmatch Cult put a lot of effort into this newsletter and the Deathmatch News Radio podcast. We are trying to expand this brand as we are doing more in depth interviews with legends and current stars in deathmatches such as Mad Man Pondo, Todd Gordon, Matt Tremont, Brett Lauderdale, Japanese stars like Masashi Takeda and more.

This is all done out of our love for the genre of deathmatch wrestling but the more support we get the more invested we can be! We have started a Patreon account with multiple tier levels of support that give access to interview archives, early podcast access and more.

HTTP://PATREON.COM/DEATHMATCHNEWS

Shaheen from the THT Network has launched a website at https://www.nuclearheatgraphics.com/ for his graphic design work. He sells artwork and also takes commissions. He will also have a booth at CZW and GCW Jersey shows.

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This newsletter is compiled with a lot of help. I get results of shows from @BahuFMW at bahufmw.com, pro-wrestling365.com, purolove.com and puroresuspirit.com, Dramatic DDT at https://dramaticddt.wordpress.com/, IWA Midsouth Results from https://chadsanidiot.com/, news and notes from @strigga, @brothermort and a ton more people as well as the promotions websites. I have a network of friends on Facebook including the Deathmatch Cult Page owner Mike Pedroncelli, @BuckyHinz, @therealdim and many more.

Continue reading

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International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for December 4th, 2018 PCO signs with ROH, Masashi Takeda gets married, Hayabusa’s 50th Birthday, H20 Bloody Burgers, Big F’n Joe in a Taipei Deathmatch and more

International Deathmatch and Hardcore Wrestling Update for December 4th, 2018

PCO signs with ROH, Masashi Takeda gets married, Hayabusa’s 50th Birthday, H20 Bloody Burgers, Big F’n Joe in a Taipei Deathmatch and more

Any promoters who want to send news or upcoming cards/results to be included please email me at deathmatchnews@gmail.com or contact me on Twitter @intlwrestling.

Myself and Mike from the Deathmatch Cult Facebook pages have launched a Podcast Network called the Wrestling Cult which you can subscribe to at https://anchor.fm/wrestlingcult. You can find the Deathmatch News Radio where we review shows, interview promoters and wrestlers and go over all the news in these articles in depth, The History of FMW, the new Kawasaki Dreaming show with Bahu and Mike and we have more plans in the future.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO CONSIDER SUPPORTING US

Myself and Mike from the Deathmatch Cult put a lot of effort into this newsletter and the Deathmatch News Radio podcast. We are trying to expand this brand as we are doing more in depth interviews with legends and current stars in deathmatches such as Mad Man Pondo, Todd Gordon, Matt Tremont, Brett Lauderdale, Japanese stars like Masashi Takeda and more.

This is all done out of our love for the genre of deathmatch wrestling but the more support we get the more invested we can be! We have started a Patreon account with multiple tier levels of support that give access to interview archives, early podcast access and more.

HTTP://PATREON.COM/DEATHMATCHNEWS

Shaheen from the THT Network has launched a website at https://www.nuclearheatgraphics.com/ for his graphic design work. He sells artwork and also takes commissions. He will also have a booth at CZW and GCW Jersey shows.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 11.09.19 AM.png

This newsletter is compiled with a lot of help. I get results of shows from @BahuFMW at bahufmw.com, pro-wrestling365.com, purolove.com and puroresuspirit.com, Dramatic DDT at https://dramaticddt.wordpress.com/, IWA Midsouth Results from https://chadsanidiot.com/, news and notes from @strigga, @brothermort and a ton more people as well as the promotions websites. I have a network of friends on Facebook including the Deathmatch Cult Page owner Mike Pedroncelli, @BuckyHinz, @therealdim and many more.

Continue reading

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