Post by Chris Reager on Nov 14, 2014 2:03:22 GMT -5
More guys, assorted SUMMIT PRO representations...I hope to have IGNITION VS KING IX up soon...would sincerely and genuinely appreciate any feedback at all from anyone on my recent output, thanks guys...
JUNIOR FIFITA [FORGE]
EL GRAFFITI [IGNITION]
RAZOR DRAGON [IGNITION]
* * * * *
I'm in a state of flux at the moment; I've set a huge bar for myself and am trying to work around things to ensure I can keep doing this...this truly is probably one of the only things; if not the only thing that I am truly passionate about...
In the pipeline:
Finishing IGNITION VS KING JHW IX MAELSTROM III SUMMIT PRO: UNIFIED TAG TEAM GRAND PRIX DRIVEN SHOWCASE EVENTS
Post by Tyler Black on Nov 14, 2014 6:34:37 GMT -5
I really love your caws really helps me get a better picture in my head as to who's who in SUMMIT PRO. I really loved the guys who had clear influences from real life counter parts. Can't wait for the next event!
Post by Chris Reager on Nov 24, 2014 7:48:18 GMT -5
SUMMIT PRO: IGNITION VS KING JHW 対 IX Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, Nagoya, Japan
The show opened with the President of KING Kunimura Saito along with the owner of IGNITION Konrad Mitchell and RIPTIDE owner Sovereign Cronyn to hype tonight's event.
The gentlemen entered the ring to raucous applause and showed great respect to the crowd.
A short video highlighted the efforts of both IGNITION and KING in the 2014 SUMMIT PRO Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Kunimura-san extolled the virtues of the talent in KING, especially his son, Kenichi, the current KING Openweight champion, for coming so close in the Grand Prix.
Despite his loss, he took Dan Starling to the absolute limit and gave his all; as a father Kunimura-san was proud of his son's accomplishments.
The microphone went to Konrad Mitchell next who applauded Kenichi's efforts, but hoped he would be up for the challenge of the main event in taking on the three aces of IGNITION; El Graffiti, Ortega and GT Havok.
The two CEOs shook hands and posed for photos by the ringside press, as the SUMMIT PRO gravure idols/models stood by with flowers and the VERSUS trophy to be awarded to the winning promotion of the evening.
The crowd responded with applause as the gentlemen waved to the crowd and exited one by one as the SUMMIT PRO theme started to play; an abridged version of 'The Banishment' by Prong.
The SUMMIT PRO panel - Matt Striker, Carl Jordan and Lee Hunter, welcomed the fans watching, the venue holding a modest 4,000 enthusiastic fans in Nagoya.
The backstage interviewers: Raquel Arrulo from IGNITION while the three beautiful gravure idols/actresses from KING (rotating) Minase Yashiro, Harumi Nemoto and Yukie Kawamura.
KING ring announcer Tetsuo Kaneda and IGNITION's masked ring announcer El Encender` exchanged announcing duties for the evening, taking turns announcing each respective roster member of their own promotion.
Kunimura Saito, representing KING, sat ringside across from his counterpart, Konrad Mitchell of IGNITION, as they had done eight times before in VERSUS, with IGNITION ahead in the series 5-3.
As always, the beautiful VERSUS trophy and bouquets of flowers held by strikingly beautiful Japanese gravure idols would be awarded to the winning promotion of the evening.
There would be one match with title ramifications for MAELSTROM III; top contender for KING JHW Junior Heavyweight title (held by Katsuhiko Yamada), Kiyoshi Genjiro would battle IGNITION's Shintaro Suzuki, who, if he could pull out the win, would be the top contender for El Graffiti's Throttle Engage championship.
SUMMIT PRO: IGNITION VS KING JHW 対 IX
El Verdadero Fuego and Scotty Rictor [IGNITION] VERSUS Satoshi Murakami and Katsumi Kimura [KING]
OF NOTE: Murakami and Kimura brought to mind the speed and agility of the likes of other Japanese junior heavyweights CIMA and KAGETORA, and both excelled in outwrestling their opponents in the opener, which excited the fans in Nagoya.
El Fuego and Rictor individually resorted to cheap tactics to assert themselves as the match wore on; the efforts of Murakami and Kimura proving to test IGNITION's representatives time and time again.
El Fuego stunned Murakami at one point by bringing up his knees in defence of a Senton Splash, and as Murakami clutched his lower back in pain, hastily wrenched him and planted him with a Reverse Brainbuster!
With Murakami out of action momentarily, Rictor swooped on the legal man Kimura and deflected a Dropkick with his arms up, and retaliated with a Double Foot Stomp to a prone Kimura.
El Fuego bypassed the referee to launch himself at Kimura and landed a Frog Splash, which led to a sneering Rictor to land his impressive finishing manoeuvre, the Rictor Scale 630 Senton!
The crowd gasped in amazement as Rictor hastily hooked Kimura's leg and covered Kimura 1-2-3 for the win!
RESULT: El Verdadero Fuego and Scotty Rictor defeated Satoshi Murakami and Katsumi Kimura (12:47) when Rictor pinned Kimura after a Rictor Scale 630 Senton
Backstage, IGNITION interviewer Raquel Arrulo interviewed El Azul and Super Xero in Spanish, with Japanese subtitles appearing onscreen for the viewers in attendance and for those at home.
Both were proud to represent IGNITION in Japan, and despite not being as experienced against native Japanese KINGJHWs in previous VERSUS events, vowed to do all they could to extend IGNITION's lead to 2-0.
Elsewhere backstage, Minase Yashiro interviewed the team of Takahiro Otsuka and Akira Ishimura who were excited to be a part of the event and that they had the opportunity to get KING on the scoreboard with what they promised would be an emphatic victory over the newest IGNITION tag team.
El Azul and Super Xero [IGNITION] VERSUS Takahiro Otsuka and Akira Ishimura [KING]
OF NOTE: A contender for the fastest pace set in a match that did not include Dragon Gate's Masato Yoshino, as Otsuka and Ishimura blended swift and stiff strikes with unrelenting speed against the equally fast IGNITION duo, who wowed the crowd with crisp moves and a daredevil's attitude to boot; breathtaking dives to the outside exciting the crowd.
Despite the fact that both teams could seemingly not gain a foothold against the other, it took a sliver of ruthlessness on the part of Otsuka to cause Nagoya to rally instead behind their masked opponents, as he went to try and remove the duo's masks in a show of disrespect.
The referee repeatedly admonished the KING duo, who agreed to stop only to do it again as time wore on.
A spirited comeback from both El Azul and Super Xero saw Otsuka and Ishimura (who had joined in on trying to unmask their opponents) reeling as they were at the mercy of lucha fighting spirit, but both would be cut off, with Ishimura taking the fight outside to El Azul, and Otsuka taking advantage of a weakened Super Xero after a scintillating DDT.
Amidst a chorus of boos he nailed Super Xero with a Twisting Brainbuster for the win!
RESULT: Takahiro Otsuka and Akira Ishimura defeated El Azul and Super Xero (12:11) when Otsuka pinned Super Xero after a Twisting Brainbuster
The panel discussed the matches to take place so far, a victory apiece for both KING and IGNITION.
They also gave their thoughts for the matches to come, and hoped for IGNITION's sake, no other dirty tactics like what befell the team of El Azul and Super Xero wouldn't happen again.
Backstage, Harumi Nemoto interviewed the newly formed faction in KING amongst the junior heavyweights, the impressive collaboration between Naoki Tamaguchi, Hiroshi Tamura and Ikuto Nakamura; Osorezugun, translated to 'Without Fear Army'.
What made the concept behind the faction unique to KING was that all three men had been previous Junior Heavyweight champions in KING, and had such an interesting mix of styles within the spectrum of junior heavyweight competition.
Tamaguchi had proven himself time and time again as a solid competitor in the ring, able to adapt to many styles of pro wrestling, but was mainly seen as a classic junior heavyweight in the vein of Atsushi Aoki or Koji Kanemoto.
Tamura was a revelation in KING; wiry, lean and athletic, who evoked such sympathy from fans for his never-say-die attitude despite almost always being at an advantage due to his lack of discernible body mass.
He made up for this with an incredible flair for aerial artistry, as if he could channel the likes of Hayabusa in FMW or Kota Ibushi in DDT.
The juxtaposition with these styles along with a tremendous mat game coupled with precision stiff strikes from Ikuto Nakamura, who excelled in catch wrestling, jujutsu and shootboxing presented Osorezugun as a truly intimidating force in KING.
Nakamura brought to mind the best work of Munenori Sawa or a 2005 incarnation of KENTA in NOAH.
Each man took their chance when prompted by Harumi to extol the virtues of their bond as a unit, their belief in what they were doing as a team was warranted and that they had the opportunity to show the world what Osorezugun was capable of.
IGNITION's Raquel Arrulo stood backstage with The Treachery, an established rudo stable, led by the lucha stalwart Lizmark Jr, who led The Treachery with an iron fist.
Along with Tinieblas Jr and Sydistiko, the former Lucha Libre USA stars who had plied their trades all over the world for longer than Osorezugun vowed to put an end to the hype machine of this new faction.
As before, the interview was conducted in Spanish with Kanji subtitles displayed for the viewers at home and in the arena.
Lizmark Jr used the opportunity to expand on the fact that it didn't matter how different each member of Osorezugun was; a new faction was bound to have teething problems and The Treachery would be there to pick up the pieces and humiliate them in Japan!
"The Treachery" (Tinieblas Jr, Lizmark Jr and Sydistiko) [IGNITION] VERSUS "Osorezugun" (Without Fear Army) (Naoki Tamaguchi, Hiroshi Tamura and Ikuto Nakamura) [KING]
OF NOTE: The Treachery were booed vociferously as they made their way to the ring, with all three members lapping up the heat generated.
The members of Osorezugun made their way to the ring next to a resounding sea of cheers, Nagoya very much looking forward to the combined assault that the three members of Osorezugun would bring to this matchup.
After a stirring pair of ring announcements from El` Encender and Tetsuo Kaneda respectively and showering of streamers for Osorezugun, Tinieblas Jr engaged in a fast-paced opening salvo against Tamaguchi, punctuated with passages that allowed the audience to breathe.
It wasn't long before the match degenerated into a six-man peel-off, with legal men Tinieblas Jr and Tamaguchi brawling on the outside, as Tamura and Lizmark Jr exchanged knife-edge chops with aplomb.
Nakamura and Sydistiko pummelled each other with shoot kicks on the outside opposite the legal men, as the referee tried in a futile manner to get order restored in the match.
The match eventually was brought to order by the referee, and The Treachery utilised their long tenured experience as a team to cut the ring in half and focussed on Tamura, whose ability to even arguably outsell Ricky Morton and Dolph Ziggler rallied every fan in attendance into cheering for Tamura to make the desperate tag.
Time wore on and Tamura looked utterly exhausted, only able to keep his shoulder off the mat for a third slap of the canvas thanks to his fiery determination, even in the hands of IGNITION's top rudo faction.
A missed Moonsault from Lizmark Jr saw Tamura crawl desperately towards his corner, inching his way to tag in Nakamura. Lizmark Jr recovered, and hoisted Tamura to his feet, deflating the crowd.
Tamura was gruffly hoisted to his feet, but amazed fans by clocking his veteran opponent with a superb Enzuguri and made the much-needed tag to Tamaguchi instead who asserted himself against Lizmark Jr, with stern and stiff knife-edge chops and amazing manoeuvres that sought to turn the tide on the rudo faction.
Lizmark Jr was able to fend off Tamaguchi and tagged in Sydistiko, who had recovered from the earlier peel-off and mocked Nakamura with stiff shoot kicks to the chest of Tamaguchi, who writhed in pain.
Sydistiko's pride got the better of him, as Tamaguchi ducked the last kick and fired back with a Lariat, and leapt to tag in Nakamura, but Tinieblas Jr interfered and ran in, preventing it!
Tamaguchi legally tagged in Tamura, who shone by ascending the top turnbuckle and nailed a perfect Missile Dropkick on both Tinieblas Jr and Lizmark Jr!
His team mates, Nakamura and Tamaguchi went after them, as legal men Sydistiko and Tamura exchanged stiff shoot kicks and knife-edge chops, until Sydistiko resorted to an Eye Rake and drilled Tamura with a DDT.
The crowd eagerly egged them on, as the fatigue set in on both pairs outside as they slowly tried to prevent the other team from getting back in to break up a potential three count.
Utterly spent, Sydistiko and Tamura groggily made their way to their feet, and again battled with deft kicks to the chest to the thrill of the crowd.
Sydistiko reeled, and shook the cobwebs off, charging at Tamura with a Lariat, who dropped down to avoid it, and wowed the crowd by kipping up in a show of gritty determination!
Tamura wowed the crowd further by hitting a beautiful close-quarters Superkick that almost took Sydistiko's head clean off!
He prevented Sydistiko from falling from the effects of the Superkick, hastily wrenching him into a position where he engaged in a spirited Karate Rush, peppering and hammering a severely weakened Sydistiko who could only cover up as Tamura unloaded on him.
He screamed to the crowd, running on pure fighting spirit and gathered Sydistiko in a Powerbomb position and hoisted him up, but instead of following through with the Powerbomb, he caused mouths everywhere to gape open in amazement and bewilderment, as he grabbed Sydistiko's head whilst in the Powerbomb position, and lurched backwards completely trapping Sydistiko's body leaving his shoulders able to be pinned; a Bridging Package Fallaway Powerbomb!
The move was essentially a take on Kota Ibushi's 'Phoenix Plex' done in the Dramatic Dream Team promotion (DDT) done perfectly, yet exhaustively by Tamura, who pinned Sydistiko with the move for the incredible and successful pinfall!
All six men were attended to after the match by medics and staff.
RESULT: "Osorezugun" (Without Fear Army) (Naoki Tamaguchi, Hiroshi Tamura and Ikuto Nakamura) defeated "The Treachery" (Tinieblas Jr, Lizmark Jr and Sydistiko) (18:03) when Tamura pinned Sydistiko after a Capture Bomb Plex
The panel discussed the intense match they had just witnessed, impressed that KING had now extended the lead to 2-1, and praised the efforts of all six men involved, especially Tamura, whose resilience was unquestioned.
The interviewers, Raquel Arrulo of IGNITION and Minase Yashiro of KING, separately interviewed the opposing teams of the upcoming match.
Raquel interviewed Mantis and Silvestro, collectively now known as Morphosis, who were impressed by the efforts of Osorezugun, and were aware of the individual prowess of both Yoshida and Kawashima, but together would assert themselves as a top team with hopes of going all the way in the upcoming Tag Team Grand Prix to crown new Unified SUMMIT PRO Tag Team champions.
Minase Yashiro interviewed the team of Masahiko Yoshida and Shiro Kawashima, two individuals who had excelled in separate singles endeavours who had been eager at the chance to team together to take on their masked opponents.
Yoshida, seen as KING's best hope of a babyface champion despite coming up short against Kenichi Saito in KING-only cards earlier in the year, had been sidelined with injury.
He had previously been in a tag team with former Junior Heavyweight champion Togi Mizushima but they had gone their separate ways after a loss to current KING Junior Heavyweight champions First Strike; Naoya Nakagawa and Takayuki Momota.
He had also been bested by RIPTIDE's Joe Weaver in the Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix Third Stage.
Kawashima had been knocked out of the Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix in the Third Stage as he didn't take Breckin Stryker seriously. He would not make the same mistake with two gaijin in Silvestro and Mantis.
Both of them promised that the lead would extend further, as Morphosis would inevitably be let down in their chance at showing what they could do in this match.
"Morphosis" (Mantis and Silvestro) [IGNITION] VERSUS Masahiko Yoshida and Shiro Kawashima [KING]
OF NOTE: Elaborate entrances that played on the 'gimmick' for Morphosis; with Mantis' attire ostensibly black and green similar to his namesake, a Praying Mantis, while Silvestro's silver pleathers matched his body paint which brilliantly shone in conjunction with the lightshow as he made his way to the ring with his partner.
The no-nonsense and straight forward approach by both Yoshida and Kawashima was appreciated by the crowd as all four men were showered in streamers as their names were announced.
Essentially a babyface team vs babyface team match, the opening quarters were a textbook display of respect, sportsmanship and a dazzling juxtaposition of high flying lucha libre and shoot kicks and tough strikes; forearms, European Uppercuts and knife-edge chops.
As the match wore on, the crispness and amazing technical lucha libre skills of Morphosis were less effective as Yoshida and Kawashima's tenacity wore them down, their strikes and submission attempts causing both Silvestro and Mantis to reach out to the crowd and feed on the energy to avoid being pinned or submitted.
Yoshida outmuscled Silvestro and brought him into the corner, unleashing shoot kicks in a similar vein to Low Ki or Davey Richards, each kick almost taking Silvestro's breath away, as his silver body paint was mostly washed away due to sweat and exertion.
The last kick was blocked by Silvestro, who brought his forearms together, and as Yoshida was momentarily stunned, Silvestro leapt up to launch a hurricanranna but as he was perched on the shoulders he followed up with a roll-through Sunset Flip for a nearfall!
Yoshida kicked out; stunned, but it was enough for Silvestro to clutch his chest in pain and tag out to Mantis, who was instantly set upon by Yoshida, who laid into Mantis with kicks.
He tagged out to Kawashima who continued the assault, but Mantis, even with a mask, conveyed a pain etched on his face that drew the crowd in with his facial gestures.
He ate a stunning Roundhouse Kick to the head from Kawashima, and fell to the mat like a logged tree, only for a long two count.
Kawashima shook the sweat from his head, and signalled for the Jumping Falcon Arrow which he had used to defeat RIPTIDE's Caden Raith at the First Stage of the Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix.
As Kawashima brought Mantis up, Mantis reversed into a hurricanranna pin which no one saw coming!
Yoshida rushed in to break it up and did so, but ate a Spinning Wheel Kick from Silvestro, which saw him roll out of the ring as Silvestro had tagged in as the legal man.
Moments later Kawashima advanced on both his opponents, only for them to duck under his Lariat attempts with both arms, with Mantis vaulting over the top rope in a massive plancha onto Yoshida which brought the crowd to its feet!
Silvestro though did not launch himself like his partner did, and instead had springboarded onto the ropes after ducking the Lariat and rebounded toward Kawashima who had since recovered from the missed Lariat into a Dragonrana!
Silvestro however changed the course of the Dragonrana, and instead of rolling through continuously in a pinning position, used his inertia to spike Kawashima vertically into the mat!
The crowd came unglued as Silvestro spun into a pinning position and made the successful pinfall, winning the match for his team!
RESULT: "Morphosis" (Mantis and Silvestro) defeated Masahiko Yoshida and Shiro Kawashima (17:01) when Silvestro pinned Kawashima after a Dragon Deathcanranna
The panel discussed the amazing match they had just witnessed, awed by the fact that IGNITION had now tied the scores at 2-2, and once again praised the efforts of all men involved.
Konrad Mitchell and Kunimura Saito shook hands at ringside and posed for Japanese wrestling press photographers during the intermission. A brief video highlighting the matches shown so far was displayed for the crowd in attendance and those watching on iPPV.
Commercial trailers for the first three episodes of the new anime series that would focus on BEAST, FORGE and IGNITION respectively; entitled SUMMIT PRO: Trivium Go Codex, with the inclusion of RIPTIDE and KING to be announced as the series and volumes increased.
Videos of Nigel Newhart's imminent debut for RIPTIDE's next Showcase event which would take place in Tokyo in due course was also shown, along with promos for DRIVEN featuring Sienna Cronyn, MAELSTROM III and endorsement of all by Lady Crothers and Seth Cronyn.
The crowd applauded the well-produced and edited videos which showed 3NWPRO moving past the issues with the WWE and looking to extend their foothold as the consummate professional wrestling company in Japan, alongside NJPW.
The last video shown before the intermission ended was the brackets for the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix to crown Unified SUMMIT PRO Tag Team champions, which would include a total of four teams per promotion, with KING having a total of eight teams, four heavyweight teams and four junior heavyweight teams.
The current individual promotion's Tag Team champions would be given byes into the Grand Prix, with them having to defend their titles against another defending team once the single-elimination tournament would begin.
Endorsement came from Lady Crothers who would make the official announcement at MAELSTROM III as more details came to light.
Once more, the interviewers, Raquel Arrulo of IGNITION and Harumi Nemoto of KING, separately interviewed the opposing teams of the first match after the intermission.
Raquel interviewed Razor Dragon and Equinox, collectively known as La Muerte Roja (The Red Death), who gave their support to their compatriots in IGNITION; Morphosis, for the recent win.
They acknowledged they would be participating in the Tag Grand Prix, and vowed to show a darker side to what IGNITION could do when pushed to the limit.
Harumi Nemoto interviewed the team of Manabu Okamoto and Takeo Shiraishi, collectively known as Furious Senden, who stated their intent to show that the KING JHW athletes were among the best in the world, and they would stop at nothing to show 'The Red Death' that their pride would be their downfall.
"La Muerte Roja" (The Red Death) Razor Dragon and Equinox [IGNITION] VERSUS "Furious Senden" Manabu Okamoto and Takeo Shiraishi [KING]
OF NOTE: True to their namesakes, Razor Dragon and Equinox had predominately red attires; with Razor Dragon a veteran of IGNITION, originally part of the first technicos, along with Ortega and El Graffiti. Equinox was his protégé`, and the two teamed off and on and even faced off against each other, as Razor Dragon had become a rudo and joined forces with El Fuego as Lengua Serpiente (Serpent Tongue).
He eventually came to his senses and became a tecnico again, and teamed with Equinox who in turn had been a leading light as a tecnico, and become the IGNITION Throttle Engage champion.
As of recently, both men were tecnicos in theory but had displayed more ruthless tendencies.
Furious Senden on the other hand were an off-and-on again team that had been stymied time and time again by MERCILESS and the other top junior heavyweight tag teams.
Despite both members having a great look and the ability and talent to match, something hadn't clicked for them and they knew this opportunity was one they couldn't squander.
A plethora of red streamers covered La Muerte Roja as their names were announced by El Encender, and a veritable rainbow of streamers greeted Furious Senden as their names in turn were announced by Tetsuo Kaneda.
A stark difference to the match that preceded it was Razor Dragon and Equinox asserted themselves as crafty and resourceful tweeners, something somewhat unheard of in lucha libre.
Equinox used an error on Okamoto's behalf to cut the ring in half, and exchanged frequent tags with Razor Dragon to wear down their opponent, as a helpless Shiraishi looked on.
Time wore on with Okamoto being on the receiving end of a seemingly never-ending barrage of offense by the quicker adversaries, who excelled in various aerial manoeuvres and Spinal Taps.
Okamoto battled back, catching Equinox off guard and attempted a Roundhouse Kick, but his smaller opponent ducked and snapped a lightning quick Glimmering Warlock which rattled Okamoto, but he shook his head, defying his body to drop to the pain.
Equinox grinned under his red mask, and lunged in for a Spike DDT, but Okamoto leapfrogged Equinox and managed to make the hot tag to Shiraishi, who unloaded strong clotheslines and shoot kicks on legal man Equinox and the interfering Razor Dragon.
The crowd cheered as Shiraishi kept the pressure on the IGNITION tweeners, but it was short-lived as La Muerte Roja rebounded and double-teamed Shiraishi as he wore himself out trying to maintain control.
As Okamoto tried to intervene, Equinox Superkicked him out of the ring to wild applause and some jeers.
Razor Dragon stomped Shiraishi coldly, shouting at him in Spanish to get up as the referee went about restoring order to no avail.
Okamoto rose to his feet, but in a matter of seconds was flattened by a Seated Senton Splash from Equinox from the top rope!
The arena came alive once more as both men lay writhing in pain on the outside, leaving the legal men in the ring.
Shiraishi scored a DDT on Razor Dragon for a long two count, and with the Nagoya crowd behind him, ascended the turnbuckles to attempt a high-flying manoeuvre.
However Razor Dragon recovered and cut Shiraishi off at the pass all while clutching his throbbing head from the DDT, and positioned himself opposite Shiraishi, looking to hit a potential Superplex.
Shiraishi rallied back valiantly but Razor Dragon headbutted Shiraishi, stopping him in his tracks. Razor Dragon motioned a cut-throat gesture, and hoisted his prone opponent up in his patented Razor Dragon Driver, but from the top rope, avalanche style!
He landed the brutal manoeuvre to shocked applause as Okamoto had slid into the ring to break it up, recouped from earlier, but Equinox had followed him in, and prevented him from breaking it up with a sickening Double Foot Head Stomp from behind!
Both masked tweeners were exhausted, but managed to grin at each other as Razor Dragon made the exasperated cover on Shiraishi for the successful pinfall!
RESULT: "La Muerte Roja" (Razor Dragon and Equinox) defeated "Furious Senden" (Manabu Okamoto and Takeo Shiraishi) (15:07) when Razor Dragon pinned Shiraishi after a Razor Dragon Driver
The panel discussed the fact that IGNITION had peeled ahead to 3-2 in a captivating match, impressed by the efforts of all men involved.
SPECIAL: IGNITION Twin Turbo Tag Team champions "La Oscuridad" (The Dark) (El Malicioso and Criptico`) [IGNITION] VERSUS KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight champions Takayuki Momota and Naoya Nakagawa [KING] (non title match)
The interviewers, Raquel Arrulo of IGNITION and Yukie Kawamura of KING, separately interviewed the opposing teams of the special challenge match;' La Oscuridad', otherwise known as 'The Dark', against the KING JHW team 'First Strike'; Takayuki Momota and Naoya Nakagawa respectively.
Raquel interviewed the rudo team of El Malicioso, 'Malice' and Criptico`, who hissed in raspy Spanish that they were disappointed they could not hold on to their IGNITION Twin Turbo tag team titles in IGNITION, but realised the scope of competition had to be broad and unpredictable.
They relished the opportunity to show First Strike that they were the more dominant team of the two, and would celebrate into the night after their victory.
Yukie interviewed Momota and Nakagawa, ostensibly KING's version of The Hart Foundation; with Momota being more akin to Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart (though technically still a junior heavyweight) when compared to the short, wiry and quick Nakagawa, who had excelled as a tag team specialist in KING JHW as well as having made it to the Third Stage of the Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix, being defeated by eventual winner Dan Starling of RIPTIDE.
Both men were solidified in the fact that they had defended the titles proudly against top teams in KING JHW though not as regularly as they would have liked. This match would be no different, as the match was a non-title match for both teams.
Nakagawa finished the interview by exclaiming that First Strike Is Deadly(a reference to the Testament song that both men enjoyed) for 'The Dark'.
A vignette hyping the first-ever non-title showdown between the respective Tag Team champions of both IGNITION and KING JHW was shown, with fantastic editing, production and cinematography.
OF NOTE: The Dark made their way to the ring by way of a dark, cryptic and eerie entrance, while First Strike did so with nowhere near as much fanfare.
The announcers took turns to announce the names of their respective promotions' representatives, amidst a sea of multi-coloured streamers.
The match began in earnest, with the First and Second Quarters giving the crowd to digest what they had witnessed, especially with how the previous match ended with a flurry of action.
Criptico` and Malice wrestled deviously yet within the parameters of the rules, showcasing themselves to be sneaky and effective heels as opposed to being altogether cowardly.
Both teams upped the ante` time and time again for ultimate bragging rights against their counterparts; though the rugged determination of the lithe Nakagawa saw him bring the Nagoya crowd to its feet through his never-say-die attitude.
The Dark showed their mettle by withstanding stiff chops and gut-churning shoot kicks from First Strike, who kept their composure despite The Dark attempting to weather the storm to gain an advantage.
All it took was a missed opportunity from Momota, who threw an errant kick at Malice who caught the foot and ducked the follow up Enzuguri.
As Momota regathered Malice shrieked and stomped him mercilessly; grasped his ankle and hurriedly shuffled towards his partner to make the tag.
Criptico` eagerly tagged in and initiated a lengthy passage of domination from The Dark on Momota that effectively saw the ring cut in half, absorbing tons of disdain from the crowd who were in disbelief that Momota, the larger member of First Strike, was dominated as he was.
Momota had absorbed a tremendous amount of offence, something he would not normally be accustomed to, his face a contorted mask of pain reaching out in a futile attempt to Nakagawa, who was riled up at the opportunity to even the odds against The Dark.
Malice got cocky, and attempted a Double Foot Stomp from the second rope, but landed awkwardly as Momota rolled out of the way. As Malice turned around in a slow watusi, Momota grimaced and launched a furiously stiff European Uppercut that staggered Malice well and truly.
Momota groaned and winced as he made his way to make the much-needed tag to Nakagawa, who had Nagoya behind them, cheering wildly with expectation.
Malice recovered and rubbed his jaw, and rushed toward Momota to land a Senton Splash but amazingly Momota noticed Malice running toward him, and stopped moving and let Malice attempt the Senton, only to bring up his knees to deflect it!
Malice grabbed his lower back in pain and shook his head in disappointment as Momota finally managed to tag out to Nakagawa, causing Nagoya to groan the collective guttural "WHOOOOAAAAHHHHH!' in appreciation.
Nakagawa exacted revenge as only he could, despite only being 5"6 his tenacity was by far his biggest attribute, with him unloading violently stiff shoot kicks against The Dark, and echoed the fire and passion he had in his Grand Prix match against 2014 winner, Dan Starling.
The facepaint of Malice had all but worn off, Criptico's mask not as tight as it could be as Nakagawa's barrage of offense saw them worn down and exhausted.
Momota had since recovered and singled out illegal man Criptico, as Nakagawa exchanged weary knife edge chops with Malice.
The referee tried to maintain order, but Momota was hellbent on vengeance on the outside; as legal men Nakagawa and Malice continued on the inside.
Malice reversed an attempted Brainbuster into a sleeper hold, made all the more painful as he was taller than Nakagawa, and his height was leverage enough against Nakagawa.
The crowd rallied behind one half of KING's Junior Heavyweight CKGP Tag Team champions, and reacted positively when Nakagawa used a Jawbreaker to eventually get out of the hold!
Nakagawa pounded the mat in fighting spirit, and as Malice rubbed his throbbing jaw, landed a stiff Superkick to the same jaw, rattling Malice!
Malice looked every bit the creepy skeleton he portrayed, but didn't fall - his eyes bugged out of his head, and he reached out to Nakagawa who blasted him again with an even more violent Superkick which felled him instantly!
Nakagawa roared at the crowd in spirited Japanese as he hoisted Malice up for the Pumphandle Hattori Plow and nailed it, gaining the successful 1-2-3 for the pinfall victory for his team!
RESULT: "First Strike" (Takayuki Momota and Naoya Nakagawa) defeated "La Oscuridad" (Malice and Criptico`) (22:18) when Nakagawa pinned Malice after a Pumphandle Hattori Plow
The panel discussed the fact that KING had levelled IGNITION to 3-3 in a fantastic almost old school match, and extolled the virtues of all parties involved.
A video package was shown for the next match, conveying the athleticism of both men competing in the sole match with title ramifications for MAELSTROM III, again; superbly edited, produced and shot.
The interviewers, Raquel Arrulo of IGNITION and Minase Yashiro of KING, separately interviewed the competitors; Shintaro Suzuki and Kiyoshi Genjiro respectively.
Raquel interviewed Shintaro Suzuki, the only native Japanese star for IGNITION. Like Jushin Liger and Ultimo Dragon, he could speak fluent Spanish, and told Raquel in Spanish and everyone listening via his interview that this was a huge opportunity to him, and he would not waste it.
He acknowledged that he wasn't exactly the youngest member of IGNITION; far from it, he was a veteran looking for a chance to prove he could hang with the excellent talent in IGNITION, and vowed to do all he could to face El Graffiti at MAELSTROM III.
He appreciated the skill of Genjiro, but told him he would be getting the best of Shintaro Suzuki tonight.
Minase interviewed Kiyoshi Genjiro, the only other man from KING JHW to make it far in the Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix, and the man who submitted Kaleb Delta with a Heel Hook,
Genjiro had since had moderate success in KING since being defeated in the Fourth Stage by eventual winner Dan Starling, and promised he would assert himself once more to the upper echelon of KING JHW, vowing to ensure that Suzuki would go home disappointed.
PRE-MAIN EVENT: Kiyoshi Genjiro [KING] VERSUS Shintaro Suzuki [IGNITION] (Winner is #1 contender for respective SECONDARY/JHW TITLE)
OF NOTE: Nagoya witnessed respectful and short entrances for both competitors of the pre-man event; with the respective ring announcers announcing the names of their representatives with aplomb.
After a calm staredown as the streamers fell about them during the announcements, the match got underway; a textbook display of excellent Four Quarters wrestling with a focus on the quick pace from both men.
Suzuki made himself aware of the submission prowess of Genjiro, and avoided any positions where a limb could be exploited by Genjiro.
Unfortunately for him, that mindset of focussing too much on one thing saw Genjiro organically shift his focus from a potential submission attempt instead to focusing on a body part as he did with Kaleb Delta; the second he found an opening he swarmed on Suzuki, and concentrated his attacks in the vulnerable neck of Suzuki, who had left it prone trying for a Back Bodydrop.
Genjiro exploited the weakness of Suzuki's neck by all manners of moves and holds to wear it down, the most explosive being a Brainbuster on his own knee in a similar fashion to US wrestler Adam Cole from ROH/PWG; Nagoya gasped collectively as Suzuki barely managed to kick out.
Suzuki weathered a storm of offense on his targeted neck, but fought back valiantly to the hope of the fans in true underdog fashion.
Unfortunately he was unable to get a foothold in his comeback as Genjiro cut him off at the pass; the killing blow coming when Genjiro caught an errant Suzuki attempting a Moonsault after a scramble and catching him with a stiff Shotei palm thrust.
Suzuki staggered, and ate a Superkick from a weary Genjiro, desperate to make inroads into the title picture.
He yelled at the crowd and wrenched Suzuki into a over-the-shoulder Powerslam position, and after a fee scant seconds of feeling the crowd come apart at the seams of such a physical match, delivered the vicious Fire Thunder Driver for the successful pinfall!
Genjiro was announced as the number one contender for the KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight championship, to challenge Katsuhiko Yamada of MERCILESS at MAELSTROM III!
RESULT: Kiyoshi Genjiro defeated Shintaro Suzuki (21:06) by pinfall with a Fire Thunder Driver
The panel spoke at length about the epic battle they had witnessed; praising both men for their spirit and courage though ultimately noting Kiyoshi Genjiro as the number one contender for Katsuhiko Yamada's CKGP Junior Heavyweight title. KING had pushed ahead to 4-3.
A vignette played hyping the main event, the first ever meeting between the Aces of IGNITION against MERCILESS, the top faction in the junior heavyweight division of KING, displaying also incredibly well-shot, produced and edited footage of past events and promotional shots.
Yukie interviewed MERCILESS, as Raquel Arrulo interviewed El Graffiti, Ortega and GT Havok; the opposing of the upcoming match, the main event.
Renee Young interviewed the three Aces of IGNITION; with GT Havok and El Graffiti mirroring Saito and Yamada in MERCILESS, being singles champions in their respective promotions.
In the case of Ortega, there would not be an IGNITION without him, so it stood to reason that his efforts and place in this main event was justified.
Each man spoke candidly in Spanish about the long-lasting ill will they had suffered at the hands of MERCILESS throughout the lengthy Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix, with Saito engineering a huge ploy to ensure greatness in the yearly tournament.
They each vowed to tie the event; anything to save IGNITION from losing the event when it counted the most, and praised the efforts of all their roster mates in IGNITION.
Yukie interviewed MERCILESS; all of whom looked determined and focussed, most of all Kenichi Saito, who sneered in the background as Yamada and Gannosuke steadfastly spat in furious Japanese about how much pain they would dish out on these 'supposed' aces of IGNITION.
They continued, saying MERCILESS had risen to the top of KING with their alliance with IRON FIST and would cement themselves as the greatest three man faction of all time in Japan.
Saito's mannerisms put Yukie on edge, as she trembled holding the microphone; his presence and aura coming across as truly unhinged yet controlled; his handsome features undone by an ugly scowl that permeated through the screen.
Saito spoke slowly and in a low register; his voice eerily similar to his father's in terms of the tone. He had orchestrated so much in the past, was a proud Openweight champion, and yet could not defeat Dan Starling when it mattered most - despite giving his absolute best.
He shook Starling's hand because he had pride; he acknowledged the better man won; however though he respected Starling's tenacity - he could not extend the same courtesy to IGNITION knowing he had defeated two of them in the Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix already.
He clapped his hands and wished IGNITION well; but said that despite the fact that KING was ahead 4-3, he would pretend it was 0-0, just so that they could rub it in their faces.
MAIN EVENT: GT Havok, Ortega and El Graffiti [IGNITION] VERSUS "MERCILESS" (Kenichi Saito, Takeshi Gannosuke and Katsuhiko Yamada) [KING]
OF NOTE: After emotive and powerful entrances from both sides, the competitors stood across from each other as their names were announced; streamers almost covering the entire ring.
Nagoya responded in kind with patient yet still enthusiastic applause and oddly respectful jeers for all the participants.
The atmosphere was tense; the crowd looking on as all six men remained motionless and stared each other down even after the streamers had been cleared.
The bell rang and the crowd responded with a massive "WHOOOOAAAHHHHH!!!' as they all continued staring each other down, akin to The Shield and The Wyatt Family at WWE's Elimination Chamber 2014 in Minnesota.
After what seemed like several minutes of an emotional staredown, Saito snapped and rushed at Ortega, igniting the crowd as the others quickly caught on and a huge melee broke out!
GT Havok battled Yamada as Gannosuke and El Graffiti wore into each other; a dazzling opening as the peel-off produced brawling not normally associated with IGNITION, most notably.
The referee was put to task trying to re-establish order.
MERCILESS looked to have the upper hand, as Saito savagely unloaded stiff forearm after stiff forearm on a hapless Ortega, who reeled with each strike.
Gannosuke used his weight advantage over the smallest member of IGNITION and insanely popular luchador El Graffiti, who, like Silvestro and Mantis, was amazingly adept at conveying his pain despite wearing a mask.
Yamada, the tallest member of MERCILESS, used his height to keep GT Havok at bay, at one point even lifting him off the ground in a Double Handed Choke against a ringpost!
Eventually the match was brought to order by the referee, with MERCILESS keeping the pressure on their opponents by halving the ring and focussing their attacks on the smallest adversary; El Graffiti.
The crowd rallied behind him, as he reached out at them with gloved hands, as vicious stomps rained upon him.
The match wore on, as GT Havok and Ortega did their best to get Nagoya behind El Graffiti, who absorbed almost inhuman amounts of punishment from MERCILESS, with Kenichi Saito figuratively giving the finger to all those fans who rejoiced when he shook Dan Starling's hand as he mockingly stomped and kicked a defenceless El Graffiti around.
At one point he even parodied Dan Starling's Adulation Heel Kick, bowing as Starling did as vociferous boos rained upon him, causing him to grin broadly.
El Graffiti grasped the left side of his head in pain, and writhed in pain. Saito tagged out as Yamada ran in and wrenched El Graffiti to his feet, and slapped him - hard.
The crowd again reacted as they urged El Graffiti on, and yelled in surprise as one as El Graffiti gritted his teeth after the slap and stomped Yamada's feet one after the other!
Yamada danced in pain as Nagoya cracked a smile, and ralled behind El Graffiti as he launched a desperate Front Foot Dropkick at Yamada's knees!
As Yamada knelt in pain in front of his opponent, El Graffiti summoned the courage and strength to rise again and launched a superbly swift and devastating Sidekick to Yamada's prone face!
El Graffiti, egged on by the baying crowd, shuffled his way to tag out to GT Havok, and did, and Nagoya exploded as GT Havok's speed and precision were attributes were universally praised as wholly unique to him, his poise and grace at times bringing to mind a gymnast or acrobat.
GT Havok executed a gorgeous Standing Phoenix Splash on Yamada after a wicked DDT, with vengeance on his mind for his promotion and his team.
Saito and Gannosuke had tried to assert themselves and broke up the count as Ortega ran in and threw Gannosuke out of the ring, leaving Saito standing alone.
GT Havok had kicked and stomped Yamada out of the ring leaving Saito prone, but despite the numbers disadvantage, he remained steadfast and yelled vitriolic Japanese at them.
Nagoya responded with a massive "WHOOOOOAAAHHHHH!!' as a recovering El Graffiti, who had repositioned himself behind Saito nailed another Front Foot Dropkick at his back causing him to run forward.
He was Dual Clotheslined by GT Havok and Ortega, and the roof exploded as finally Nagoya saw Saito get his own back!
Saito was at the mercy of three huge moves by each of his opponents, the last one being a version of the Tiger Feint Swinging Rope Kick or "619" by El Graffiti which brought the crowd again to fever pitch.
The referee counted to two but before he could slap three Gannosuke made the save, yanking the referee away from doing so.
Yamada had since recovered as well, and stood near Gannosuke, patting him on the shoulder for his quick thinking.
Seconds later the crowd surged again with an all-encompassing "WHOOOOAAHHHHH!" as Ortega and El Graffiti launched themselves at Gannosuke and Yamada by way of Stereo Planchas!
With the referee distracted by what had just happened, Saito and GT Havok rose to their feet in the ring and exchanged stiff shoot kicks at each other's chests, in a show of grit and determination in this dream match.
GT Havok closed the gap and landed a swift Spinning Back Kick that doubled Saito over.
Despite his exhaustion he amazingly jumped on Saito's back as if he were a surfboard, and went to hit a Moonsault as he done many times before.
However as he descended, Saito had regained composure and moved slightly, and timed a knee to the face as GT Havok completed the Moonsault, albeit very unsuccessfully.
Saito disrespected the crowd and his opponent by mocking GT Havok's finishing move gesture, which was similar to the turning of keys in a lock; hence 'IGNITION'.
He slapped GT Havok over and over again, leading him into the turnbuckle and shocked the crowd with a savage Front Thrust Kick which caused GT Havok to snap backwards into the turnbuckle and come out due to the force, leading the crowd to realise the familiar setup to a scene they had seen many times before, and before they knew it, it had occurred.
As GT Havok groggily came out of the turnbuckle, Saito leapt up and snapped a textbook Hurricanranna, and again like many other times, did not let go, rolling through with the momentum and adjusted his legs into a Triangle Choke!
Outside, the four men had recovered, but MERCILESS had desperately clung onto their opponents ensuring they could not enter the ring to break up the submission.
Due to the devastating knee that Saito had used earlier, as well as the pain suffered during the match as whole, which had sailed over 25 minutes, GT Havok had no choice but to reluctantly tap out, causing Nagoya to collectively sigh.
MERCILESS regathered after the exhausting bout and raised each other's arms in victory as El Graffiti and Ortega slowly coming to check on GT Havok.
GT Havok looked despondent and winced in pain from the tightness of the choke, and gazed up at their opponents, who stood exhausted but defiant. Saito wiped the sweat from his eyes and slowly formed a pistol with his right hand and pointed at each of his opponents; El Graffiti….GT Havok….Ortega….
"WHOOOOAAAHHHHH!" Nagoya responded massively to the silent statement made by Kenichi Saito.
IGNITION slowly rose and in a reference to the beginning of the match, all six men stared each other down again as the ring filled with security to break up a potential melee, even after the main event.
Nagoya again responded positively to the event as a whole, realising this VERSUS event had gone above and beyond.
Eventually the teams went their own ways as the CEOs made their way into the ring to hear the official word regarding the VERSUS result.
Lenne Hardt proclaimed MERCILESS the winners of IGNITION VS KING JHW IX, stating KING JHW had won by 5-3.
RESULT: "MERCILESS" (Kenichi Saito, Katsuhiko Yamada and Takeshi Gannosuke) defeated GT Havok, Ortega and El Graffiti (28:08) when Saito submitted GT Havok with a Triangle Choke
The SUMMIT PRO VERSUS models awarded the winning VERSUS Trophy to KING CEO Kunimura Saito along with a selection of flowers, while excited and impressed Japanese press sanctioned by 3NWPRO took several photographs to commemorate the entire event.
Konrad Mitchell visibly expressed his disappointment but remained professional and shook hands with Kunimura Saito.
The post-show panel was joined by Legends Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Terry Funk and tag team specialist Road Warrior Animal who discussed the show in concise yet well-thought out summation with accompanying footage.
Matt Striker thanked the viewers for watching and to catch the next SUMMIT PRO show; the much anticipated and delayed MAELSTROM III, which (due to the delay) would take place in the Super Saitama Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Two huge matches had already been announced since the formal announcement of MAELSTROM III, the main event being RIPTIDE Heavyweight champion Dan Starling defending his title against friend and ally Breckin Stryker (who had solidified the opportunity by defeating WWEs John Cena) and FORGE Eastern Pacific champion Jermaine Oxbow defending the title against perennial FORGE favourite, Ryusuke Tengan (who had defeated his own tag team partner Keiji Sakoda to earn the title shot)
Added now to the card was KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight champion Katsuhiko Yamada defending the title against Kiyoshi Genjiro, who had defeated IGNITION's Shintaro Suzuki.
Post by The Kevstaaa on Nov 24, 2014 16:21:30 GMT -5
Dude this is incredibly intricate. It was hard for me to read some of the early stuff but I loved seeing you incorporate The Shield and The Wyatts. I love that there are CAW representations, my favorites being Rhodes and Newhart. This is cool as hell man. Keep it up.
Post by Devilkiller on Dec 3, 2014 15:35:51 GMT -5
Been a long time man. My creativity level has been ing low. Am I still on your signature? I hope so, because I still stand by my statement.
This is different from anything I've ever seen before. Literally. I'd like to think I'm a pretty damn good text-fedder, creating my own characters during my hiatus and such, but this is ing amazing. I want to do a show one day with you man.
One thing I would like to say, which, maybe it's me and my short attention span, but maybe not be AS descriptive on EVERY thing. I mean keep the matches exactly how you are, but I mean the stuff inbetween. Which, that's just my opinion, and I have short attention span anyway.
I'm going to post my return show hopefully before next Friday, I'm hitting a big creativity burst today so I'll finish most of the matches. But remember, I'm more WWE star based and storyline based, but regardless, hope to see my once, dare I say, "apprentice"(who has since become the master) reply to it!
Post by Chris Reager on Dec 31, 2014 8:00:04 GMT -5
SUMMIT PRO: MAELSTROM III Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
The event opened with a promo from 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn thanking Saitama for hosting the third MAELSTROM supercard for SUMMIT PRO, 'MAELSTROM III', on New Year's Eve 2014.
He spoke passionately and clearly about his love for pro wrestling, and how he was proud beyond measure to see the leaps and bounds SUMMIT PRO as a company had taken in 2014.
As MAELSTROM III would be the last event for the year, and Seth took the time to thank the wrestlers, officials and of course the fans for their support of not just SUMMIT PRO but of pro wrestling in general.
He briefly took the time to distance 3NWPRO and SUMMIT PRO from the homogenised term 'sports entertainment' which was prevalent in the US, and was for all intents and purposes linked with WWE.
He again thanked the crowd as the original venue, the Nippon Budokan, was sold out; hence the change to the larger venue, the Saitama Super Arena.
He was joined by the CEOs of the five promotions that comprised SUMMIT PRO; all of whom shook hands and posed for photos by rapid-moving Japanese press at ringside.
A vignette was shown extolling the virtues of SUMMIT PRO as a whole, as well as key moments from 2014 in SUMMIT PRO's events.
The crowd responded with applause as the gentlemen waved to the crowd and exited one by one as the SUMMIT PRO theme started to play; an abridged instrumental version of 'The Banishment' by Prong.
The SUMMIT PRO panel - Matt Striker, Carl Jordan and Lee Hunter, welcomed the fans watching, the venue holding a sell-out of 25,000 passionate fans in Saitama.
Similar to the recent VERSUS event, the backstage interviewers taking part this evening would be the three beautiful gravure idols/actresses from KING (rotating) Minase Yashiro, Harumi Nemoto and Yukie Kawamura who would interview competitors from KING, FORGE, BEAST and RIPTIDE.
SUMMIT PRO interviewers Minase Yashiro and Harumi Nemoto conversed with Lee and Carl regarding tonight's matches in excited Japanese; while Yukie Kawamura introduced the newest interviewer for SUMMIT PRO; the beautiful and talented Eri Otoguro - making the interviewing team a four piece.
She coincidentally was a co-star to Yukie herself in the 2009 splatter/gore film 'Vampire Girl VS Frankenstein Girl'.
The camera panned to the front row where true legends of puroresu mentioned on the special Three Minutes To…Turmoil in Tokyo were seated and praised with immense fervour and passion from the baying crowd.
SUMMIT PRO: MAELSTROM III
Backstage, The Bloodpack's Kraven stood with his stable and cut a promo on the upcoming match, as interviewed by Harumi Nemoto.
Elsewhere backstage, The Violence Continuum's Cthulu stood with his faction and responded in kind by virtue of his own promo, as interviewed by Minase Yashiro.
A short video package that incorporated footage from the anime series to feature SUMMIT PRO's BEAST was shown, along with a scintillating heavy metal soundtrack and top-notch production.
The Bloodpack: (Kraven, Mictlan and Vortex) [BEAST] VERSUS The Violence Continuum (Cthulu, Reaper and Battlegod) [BEAST]
OF NOTE: Equally impressive entrances for both factions got the event off to a fantastic start; chills were in the air as the dark, elaborate and atmospheric entrances enhanced the personas of the BEASTS competing.
The two factions were not strangers to one another, and a fierce brawl started out with aplomb.
The two leaders singled each other out and chopped each other with reckless and ferocious abandon.
Reaper was the anomaly here; his small stature, demonic and devilish nature coupled with his innate ability to strike with swift and brutal shoot kicks, Double Stomps and lightning-fast chops made him one to watch as he crumpled his former teammate Mictlan in the corner.
Vortex, the tallest and most powerful of The Bloodpack, made a beeline for Battlegod and the two behemoths laid into each other at ringside with stiff, wicked chops and forearms.
As the match wore on with the referee finally able to restore order, and with Battlegod the legal BEAST, he fought tooth and nail against the revolving door of Bloodpack members who kept the pressure on him.
Unfortunately, as Reaper held out his gloved hand to make the tag, Kraven Superkicked Battlegod who backed into Reaper causing him to fall off the apron.
Mictlan and Kraven assaulted Battlegod viciously as he helplessly tried to tag out.
The crowd came unglued as Reaper pounded his fists on the apron after falling off and willed Battlegod to tag out to him!
Battlegod managed to fight off Mictlan and made the hot tag to Reaper, who vaulted into the ring, and screamed in a primordial fashion, ready to kick the hell out of his former master, Kraven!
Kraven held out his hands to an incensed Reaper, whose mannerisms as a true Low Ki/Tajiri-type demon made the crowd gasp with his conviction.
The rest of the factions came out to support their teammates, as Reaper gazed at Kraven with his head tilted oddly, as if he was trying to process what was happening.
Reaper's black demonic pupil-less lenses blinked at Kraven, and he turned around, bowing to Cthulu.
"WHOOOAAAHHH!!' came the crowd's response at this intense standoff and gesture from Reaper.
Reaper gritted his sharp shark-like teeth and exhaled; his teammates in The Violence Continuum confused and bewildered at his actions.
He quickly shot a glance back at Kraven and looked forward again at Cthulu, and shocked the crowd by spitting black mist into the face of his master, Cthulu!
He writhed in agony and was felled by an errant kick to the face by Reaper!
The crowd erupted at the heel turn by Reaper!
Mictlan and Vortex attacked Battlegod as Kraven laughed cruelly.
Reaper knelt at Kraven's feet and without looking at him, held up his hand.
Kraven grinned evilly and stroked the palm of Reaper's outstretched gloved hand; a primeval gesture, almost ape-like which signified Reaper's allegiance to The Bloodpack, and not The Violence Continuum.
Mictlan hit the Desecration Driver on Battlegod to take him out, as Reaper viciously kicked his former master Cthulu and offered the tag to Kraven.
Kraven took a microphone before ending Cthulu; and said in his unmistakable raspy and resonant voice:
(I am the master of the demon, Reaper. Welcome back to the Bloodpack, my son.)
Cthulu, with a mass of black mist stinging his face, was primed for Reaper's Demon Stomp, which was an incredible sight; a Moonsault off the top rope transitioned into a Double Foot Stomp to the chest!
Mictlan, Vortex and Reaper brought him to his feet and Kraven again laughed maniacally, and nailed his sadistic Pantheon Chasm (Inverted Choke Throw) for the win!
The bell sounded to end the match, as the new Blood Pack stood on all four corners of the ring.
Accompanied by their brooding theme music (Five Finger Crawl by Danzig) with a dark almost macabre light/pyro show, it was an impressive sight to see The Bloodpack reign supreme.
RESULT: The Bloodpack defeated The Violence Continuum (15:58) when Kraven pinned Cthulu after a Pantheon Chasm
The panel discussed what they had just witnessed as The Bloodpack was victorious thanks to the defection of Reaper back to them; The Violence Continuum truly humbled by this act of treachery.
Backstage, the RIPTIDE Tag Team champions, Windy Rhodes and Leon Harris cut a promo on the upcoming match, as interviewed by Yukie Kawamura.
Elsewhere backstage, Johnny Prime and Drake Madsen responded in kind by virtue of their own promo by new interviewer Eri Otoguro.
RIPTIDE Tag Team champions Windy Rhodes and Leon Harris [RIPTIDE] VERSUS Johnny Prime and Drake Madsen [RIPTIDE] - NON TITLE
OF NOTE: The ecstatic fans in Saitama rallied behind Windy Rhodes, who by far and away was the most revered athlete competing in this match.
Windy just had 'it'; he truly connected with the fans despite his apparent physical shortcomings, being overweight and at times was slow in his movements.
His charisma and personality though had people gravitate to him by his never-say-die attitude and propensity to take a ton of offense and still find the will to fight on.
Previously he had had issues with his own partner, Leon Harris, and the cause of such a discord, Johnny Prime, who had enlisted the help of young go-getter Drake Madsen to help him against the champs.
As had been mentioned previously, the individual tag team championships of each promotion would soon be dissolved with the advent of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix.
Due to start in the coming months, it would conclude with the inaugural SUMMIT PRO Tag Team champions being crowned.
Leon Harris had promised in the earlier promo that he would be a team player and wouldn't allow the transgressions of the past be a factor, much like the RIPTIDE VS WWE event where the three of them lost to the Wyatt Family due to Prime's ego.
Johnny Prime drew Windy's ire by attacking him at any chance he could; even going so far as to spit on him as he manhandled Harris.
The crowd directed a ton of heat toward Prime, who lapped it up.
Madsen, somewhat of a bystander in this, did his best to keep the pressure on Harris, grounding him with textbook wrestling.
Prime interfered time and time again, causing his partner to become agitated.
Harris used the slight break to make the much-needed tag to Windy, who was cheered like a hero as he stormed into the ring and charged after Prime, who promptly scattered out of the ring.
Madsen took Windy by surprise, nailing him with a quick Neckbreaker and a nasty Knee Drop to the face.
As Madsen came off the ropes, Prime made a blind tag in hopes of pinning Windy, only for Madsen to angrily shove Prime out of the way.
He felt resigned to the fact he had become a part of this match only for Prime's selfish reasons.
Prime spat at his own partner; his attitude truly conveying to the crowd that he was a pathetic coward.
Madsen, irate, charged at his own partner but was cut off by the referee as Windy nailed Prime with a vicious and much-needed Lariat!
Prime recovered slowly, his body trembling in pain from the Lariat, and begged off from Windy.
Windy hoisted him to his feet and backed him up into the corner turnbuckle and motioned to the crowd, who responded positively, eager to see Windy's rapid-fire knife-edge chops ala` Kenta Kobashi.
Prime, however was able to poke Windy in the eyes and rushed at his partner to tag out, only for Madsen to drop off the apron, refusing to tag in!
Harris rushed in and levelled Prime with a Shoulder Tackle as he turned around and dropped down, getting in the face of Madsen.
The two argued as Windy recouped and got into position as Prime got to his feet, hoisting him for a Samoan Drop!
After a few seconds he kipped up and performed a Standing Moonsault as tribute to young independent wrestler Willie Mack.
Prime, winded, was brought to his feet hastily by Windy who unleashed one chop to a deafening response; his hand coming up high on Prime's chest.
He winced and ended up in the corner, realising too late that he was (no pun intended) primed for a barrage of knife edge chops which brought Saitama to its feet!
Harris and Madsen battled outside with Madsen using his quickness to his advantage, peppering Harris with leg kicks which staggered him, and left him prone for a DDT on the floor.
Windy raised his arms to the crowd, and signalled for his Old School Piledriver as he reached down to grab a winded and indignant Johnny Prime.
As Windy pulled him into position, Madsen ran past Windy and hit a Springboard Dropkick back toward him, saving Prime, who revealed a chest as red as Windy's own wrestling trunks.
Madsen nodded at Prime, realising that a win over Windy in Japan was motivation for a career upsurge, and dragged him to the corner so he could tag in.
As he did, Windy recovered and nailed a Superkick on Madsen, catching him straight in the face!
He staggered, with Windy unleashing more chops on him, Madsen's prone body ricocheting off the ropes and back onto the broad tough hands of Windy, who had noticed that Harris lay unconscious outside.
The last chop saw Madsen, chest as red as his partner's, lay on the mat clutching his chest in pain.
Prime gritted his teeth and yelled at Windy, using the ropes to vault himself into the ring.
Unfortunately for him, Windy noticed in time and nailed a perfect Austin Aries-like Punt Kick to the top of his head and roared; grabbing him instantaneously in the Old School Piledriver!
Before landing it though, he used his strength to walk over to Madsen, and proceeded to make the roof come off the Arena as he piledrove Prime ON TOP of a prone Madsen!
Balling his fists in fighting spirit, he ascended the top rope and motioned to the crowd, hitting a flawless Windsault on Madsen for the successful pinfall!
The bell rang to signify the end of the match, and Tetsuo Kaneda announced Windy and Harris as the winners.
Trainers helped Leon Harris, Drake Madsen and Johnny Prime as an exhausted and pained yet exhilarated Windy Rhodes celebrated as his music played.
RESULT: Windy Rhodes and Leon Harris defeated Johnny Prime and Drake Madsen (14:57) when Rhodes pinned Madsen after a Windsault
The panel discussed what they had just witnessed, amazed once again at the fortitude and special aura that Windy Rhodes brought to the table, wondering also where to go from here for Prime and Madsen.
The thoughts extended to the future of Rhodes and Harris in the Tag Team Grand Prix.
Backstage the newest interviewer for SUMMIT PRO, Eri Otoguro, interviewed 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn about the special Battle Royal taking place, originally called the '2014 SUMMIT PRO Supremacy in Tokyo Cup' but would now be called '2014 SUMMIT PRO Supremacy in Saitama Cup'.
Seth revealed that the Battle Royal feature four competitors from each of the promotions, with KING having four each in both the Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight divisions.
He mentioned there could be a surprise or two as well.
2014 SUMMIT PRO 'Supremacy in Saitama' Battle Royal - Winner receives the 'Supremacy in Saitama Cup'
OF NOTE: KING ring announcer Tetsuo Kaneda announced the match; explaining the rules first, mentioning that a competitor would be eliminated by throwing your opponent over the top rope with both feet landing on the ground.
The other main clarification was that members from the same promotion could work together, but ultimately there would be one winner - and that winner would win the trophy and the acclaim of the Supremacy in Saitama Cup.
In six groups of four came the competitors representing their respective promotions, with IGNITION, FORGE, BEAST, KING HW, KING JHW coming out; each with the respective themes of each of the promotions and the entrance flair they usually exhibited.
'Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse' by Dimmu Borgir for BEAST.
'People Of The Sun' by Rage Against The Machine for IGNITION.
'Between The Hammer And The Anvil' by Judas Priest for FORGE.
'K.I.N.G' by Satyricon for both KING HW and KING JHW.
RIPTIDE came out last and with good reason - two never-before-seen athletes in SUMMIT PRO walked side by side with Corey Knight and Kaleb Delta of RIPTIDE as 'Dreamcatcher' by ERRA played.
The crowd responded positively as the two newcomers stood proudly on the apron before entering the ring.
The first competitor was about 6"1, 234 lbs, and wore an attire similar to that of Bret Hart; a handsome young man with steely resolve and piercing eyes.
It was none other than Nigel Newhart making his debut for SUMMIT PRO!
The second of the competitors received seemingly undying applause; despite not being anywhere near as tall or heavy, the competitor was someone who was always trying to prove herself - it was the debut of Sienna Cronyn, representing RIPTIDE by virtue of DRIVEN!
The ring was filled with twenty-four different personalities and athletes, all of whom looked intently at each other in hopes to be the inaugural winner of the Supremacy in Saitama Cup.
The biggest bullseyes were on Sienna and Nigel; the two kept together almost back to back, facing outward, expecting a mass assault as soon as the bell rang.
A mass of strikes and blows abounded as the competitors battled for their own survival, with every athlete giving their all to stay in contention.
Vessel asserted himself early, snatching up Lizmark Jr and Kazuharu Yasuda in each hand and choke-tossing them over the top rope at the same time, though Lizmark landed first - the first man to be eliminated!
Daisuke Mirashima found an opening to eliminate Kenjiro Kojima, while Keiji Sakoda battled Inferno in a precarious situation to find himself almost eliminated.
Draco Koloff, the tallest man in the match, hammered Toshihiro Nobunaga with stiff forearms, staggering the KING alumnus.
Draco sneered and hastily applied the Russian Claw, causing Nobunaga to writhe in pain, with Draco backing him up against the ropes and shoved him backwards to eliminate him.
Junior Fifita engaged in a massive clinch with Vessel, their mass sectioning them off from everyone else in an isolated corner.
They were pounced on by a gaggle of hopeful men trying to use teamwork to eliminate the biggest threats, as Nightmare, Hazard, Stan Bryant, Masato Takahashi, Kaleb Delta and Kazuya Yamazaki conspired to do just that.
With the ring somewhat more empty than it was before, Sienna was singled out by Razor Dragon. An errant kick from Sienna was blocked, with Razor Dragon throwing her to the mat facefirst.
He grinned as he stepped on the backs of her knees and slapped her kidneys, thrusting her arms backwards, and strapped on the Mexican Surfboard to the surprise of the crowd!
He shrugged her off after ten seconds, dusted off his hands and was almost eliminated by a beautiful Dropsault by GT Havok!
In the corner with the mass of humanity struggling for supremacy, it came undone as Draco Koloff made his way over to the throng assembled.
With two huge hands, he latched the Russian Claw onto Hazard and Takahashi, bringing them away from the melee.
Vessel used that opportunity while others were distracted to heave Nightmare and Kazuya Yamazaki over the top rope with all his colossal strength and mass!
Masahiko Yoshida battled Corey Knight in another corner, as Kenichi Saito faced off with Nigel Newhart in the centre of the ring.
The first real opportunity to show SUMMIT PRO what he could do, Nigel and Kenichi Saito lunged at each other like rivals from another age; Nigel's amateur wrestling skill took down Saito (no stranger himself to catch wrestling), and the two exchanged seamless and to be frank, exquisite chain wrestling that made Saitama react with praise normally associated with the likes of Pancrase/hybrid MMA legends Masakatsu Funaki, Kazushi Sakuraba and Minoru Suzuki.
Kaleb Delta was targeted by Stan Bryant with clubbing elbows, but found himself cut off by Daisuke Mirashima, who unleashed a furious shotei palm strike that knocked Bryant loopy.
The crowd erupted as GT Havok, who had escaped most situations when caught by bigger opponents ran and leapt off of Delta's shoulders and launched a Double Foot Dropkick at both Mirashima and Bryant!
Mirashima staggered, and Bryant was almost eliminated, as they were near the ropes.
Havok recovered and tried in vain to finish what he started, and was joined by Ortega and Razor Dragon.
Kaleb Delta shook his head in disbelief at what had transpired, and grabbed Ortega and Havok by the backs of their necks and hurled them OVER Mirashima and Bryant, eliminating them!
Mirashima hit a stiff Savate Kick on Bryant, eliminating him as well!
Razor Dragon, enraged, went to go after Delta, but was stopped in his tracks by a furious Sienna Cronyn, who had since recovered from the Surfboard from earlier. She dropkicked both of his knees, dropped him to his front.
She signalled to Delta to move clear, but he had been targeted by Mirashima, and the two battled elsewhere.
Sienna gritted her teeth and stood with her feet either side of Razor Dragon's head, and twisted her body; her movements causing a neckbreaker-like reaction to Razor Dragon, who writhed in pain.
Keiji Sakoda, who had been busy battling Hazard, saw Razor Dragon prone and hoisted him up, only to be surprised as Sienna rushed up and launched a Busaiku Knee to Sakoda, which caused him to stagger backwards to the ropes, all while he held a groggy Razor Dragon on his shoulder.
She roared and rushed forward and executed a Rope Assisted Tiger Feint Kick ("619") but used her legs to snatch Razor Dragon's head and finished with a Head Scissors Takedown, eliminating him in spectacular fashion!
She skinned the cat to enter back into the ring.
Sienna gazed at a stunned Sakoda and smiled, and aimed a Superkick at his nose.
The force of which had him clutch his face in pain, as he stood prone at the ropes.
Sienna roared with exertion as she jumped high and delivered a Jumping Calf Kick which hit him squarely in his chest.
The momentum sent him over the top rope, eliminating him!
Elsewhere, Inferno eliminated Masato Takahashi with a vicious Big Boot, but he in turn was eliminated by Draco Koloff, with a vicious Russian Sickle.
Masahiko Yoshida managed to best Corey Knight in a precarious situation on the top rope, Saitama gasped as Yoshida finally eliminated Corey by hitting a stiff Glimmering Warlock which sent him crashing through a table at ringside!
Fifita strong-armed his way into knocking down the immense Vessel, and charged into Mirashima and Delta, who could not get the upper hand on each other.
The collision crushed Mirashima into the turnbuckle with Delta sandwiched between Mirashima and Fifita!
Hazard and Draco made their way over as the others in the match desperately imposed their will trying to survive.
With all of IGNITION eliminated, speculation from the commentators ran the gamut for the next promotion to be eliminated in full.
Draco eliminated Delta in devastating fashion, a sickening Russian Sickle over the top rope which saw the force of it back Delta up against the guardrails outside.
Vessel battered Draco along with Fifita as Mirashima was eliminated by Hazard with a brutal Big Boot; KING HW being eliminated in full after IGNITION.
Nigel and Saito, who had literally been on the mat the entire time the rest of the goings-on had occurred, stalemated many times, but one result to the crowd was clear - Nigel was a revelation and a welcome addition to RIPTIDE; his wrestling skill was exemplary, and Saito looked more than capable in taking on someone he'd never faced before.
Yoshida targeted Sienna, knocking her down hard with a vicious Lariat, and dragged her briskly to her feet in another effort to try and eliminate her.
Sienna absorbed a plethora of chops and even kicks to the stomach by a motivated Yoshida, as he vaulted her over the top rope, but amazingly she hung on, and gripped the ropes to stay in the match.
Yoshida angrily reached over the ropes to grab her, but Sienna mustered the strength to quickly release the ropes and grabbed his arm and threw her legs up in a Flying Armbar position!
Saito and Nigel rolled under the ropes and engaged in warfare out of the confines of the ring, the two embroiled in almost a street fight mentality, a far cry from the breathtaking wrestling they indulged in earlier.
Draco and Fifita managed to eliminate Hazard, as Vessel caught his breath, and urged himself to win as the sole BEAST left.
Fifita launched a Savate Kick at Vessel, who luckily caught the kick, and instead thrust Fifita's foot in Draco's direction, catching the Russian Goliath in the chin!
Vessel splashed Fifita in the corner, and turned to lunge himself at Draco, the force of which knocked both of them over the rope at almost the exact same time!
Visibly frustrated, Vessel continued to attack Draco as he got to his feet.
He shocked the crowd by powerbombing the massive Russian on the floor!
Security stepped in to stop Vessel as medical staff treated Draco on the spot.
Sienna released the Armbar, and rested briefly as Yoshida gasped in pain.
She crawled back in, and watched intently as Fifita shook the sweat from his face, a pained expression on his face.
The match had sailed over twenty five minutes, and there was only five competitors left - with Fifita the sole Heavyweight.
Saito and Nigel had rolled back in, and unfortunately for them, had done so in the path of the Tongan.
They glanced at each other, and to Fifita, and without a word, got to their feet and battled Fifita together!
Yoshida instinctively scrambled to his feet and charged at Sienna, who unleashed a vicious pop-up knee strike to the face ala` Roderick Strong.
She unloaded a furious barrage of forearms and chops to Yoshida, who covered up after regaining some of his consciousness.
Sienna blasted him with a Roundhouse Kick which saw him propped up on the ropes.
She went to follow up but was attacked from behind with a scary-looking Backbreaker from Saito, who had broken free of Fifita and Nigel.
Fifita struggled with Nigel who had channelled his inner Bret Hart, and targeted the legs of the massive Tongan.
He managed to peel Nigel's fingers away from his leg, and Headbutted him for good measure.
Saito picked up Sienna easily and hurled her like she was a lawn-dart at Fifita, her face catching him in the shoulder.
Sienna fell to the mat in a writhing heap, unintentionally bleeding hardway due to the angle her face, specifically her brow, had caught Fifita.
Yoshida and Saito looked at each other in silent uneasy respect, and went to grab Sienna, but Fifita charged at them with the remaining energy he had.
His force was enough to fell them with authority.
He shook his head as he looked at Sienna, who moved slightly, clearly in a great deal of pain.
Her beautiful face and long blonde hair were now soaked with her own bright red blood.
Fifita bent down to gently pick her up only to receive a sickening pair of Front Foot Dropkicks to either side of his face from Saito and Yoshida!
He staggered and leaned across the ropes, clutching his head in pain.
Yoshida hurriedly yelled at Saito to grab his leg and help hurl him over the ropes.
Saito responded with a vicious slap and roared in Yoshida's face: "あなたがクソ何をすべきかを私に教えていない！" (YOU DON'T F**KING TELL ME WHAT TO DO!)
A stunned Yoshida felt his face after the slap, and lunged at Saito, who cruelly Punted him as he came close.
Saito glanced at Sienna, and grabbed her by her breasts, which caused an outpouring of boos from the crowd.
Saito grinned devilishly and licked Sienna's face where there was no blood, and smeared her blood over her own breasts, throwing her to the ground like a ragdoll.
A heaping of boos rained upon Saito as he soaked it in.
He raised her to her feet again by her hair and kicked her sharply in the abdomen.
Nigel came to his senses after the Headbutt from Fifita, and gasped in shock as he saw Sienna's blood covering her face, her hair and her body, thanks in part to the sadistic nature of Saito.
He covered her body as Saito went to kick again, leaving Saito confused but content.
He stomped Nigel mercilessly, much like his stable's namesake, all while Nigel did his best to protect an already bloody and somewhat exploited Sienna Cronyn.
Fifita regained his composure as well, and went to rush at Saito, but a hand on his foot stopped him - it was Yoshida.
Fifita balled his fists and roared, grabbing Yoshida gruffly and hoisting him to his feet.
He turned him toward the ropes and went to eliminate him but Saito stopped stomping Nigel to turn around.
He launched himself with a Hesitation Dropkick at Fifita's back, stopping him in his tracks, saving Yoshida.
With Yoshida prone and Fifita momentarily stunned, Saito summoned all the strength he could to eliminate Fifita, but the Tongan was too strong.
Fifita turned around but Saito nailed him with a stiff Enziguri, and as he fell forward, catches him in a Flatface DDT.
Saito winced, and went back over to Nigel, who had recovered slightly, and scooted through his legs and slapped on an adrenaline-charged Sharpshooter as Saitama roared in appreciation!
Saito screamed in pain, but was drowned out by the crowd.
Through his pain he watched as Sienna slowly rose, and looked at him with hate-filled eyes; her blood was almost all over her face and around her cleavage and chest.
As Nigel kept Saito in the Sharpshooter, Sienna grimaced and slowly rose as Saitama rumbled in anticipation.
She stood behind Nigel, her legs either side of Saito's body and reared Saito's arms back, her right foot positioned behind his head.
She turned back to Nigel whilst in the position and said something, which resulted in a synchronised release from Nigel and Curb Stomp from Sienna!
The two exchanged a fist-bump and waved to the crowd, exhausted and in Sienna's case; bloodied but not beaten.
Yoshida slowly regained consciousness and made a beeline for Sienna, but walked straight into a superbly executed Chris Adams-like Superkick that staggered him.
Nigel picked up the pieces, hoisted him up over his shoulder, and nailed a scintillating Tombstone Piledriver, in tribute to The Dynamite Kid, 'the Dynamite Tombstone'.
Sienna was looked at by doctors at ringside but shooed them away, her adrenaline kicked in, and did her best to regain her composure as Fifita again got to his feet.
He stalked her, though initially his body language seemed to convey that he was sorry for the amount of blood she had lost.
Sienna rushed at him and unloaded furious kicks and forearms, but they had little to no effect on the Islander; he motioned to her to get out for her own good.
As he cornered her he was attacked from behind by Nigel Newhart, who attempted to hit him with a Russian Legsweep, anything to get him away from Sienna.
Try as he might, he couldn't budge him, and Fifita roared in anger, and in Brock Lesnar fashion, grabbed him hastily, transitioning him into a Samoan Drop, though Nigel countered in a Crucifix, and eventually ended up in Sleeper Hold, backpack style!
Nigel didn't notice that Saito had recovered, and was trying to revive Yoshida, who eventually did.
Sienna saw this and went to hit a Sliding D on Saito but he pulled a groggy Yoshida in the way instead.
As Sienna rose, Saito levelled her with a Lung Blower. He grimaced in pain from the Curb Stomp from earlier, amazed at the tenacity of the Cronyn girl.
As Fifita went over the ropes in a final bid to rid himself of Nigel, Nigel's agility and dexterity helped him more than Fifita's, and the two hung from the ropes with their arms above them; their legs thrashing about in a mad hope of cheating gravity.
Saito rubbed his head and slowly ventured out onto the apron and made a handgun symbol at both Fifita and Nigel, and kicked both their hands, sending them crashing to the mat to a huge sigh of disappointment from the crowd.
Saito made his way back in and slowly surveyed the situation; only Yoshida and Sienna remained.
Yoshida had absorbed a ton of offense and had last been rocked with a devastating version of the Tombstone Piledriver by Nigel Newhart, who, incidentally was cheered for his heroic efforts after making it to the final five.
Sienna rubbed her jaw as she rose to her feet, the crowd astounded by the desire and iron will she possessed, and though her bleeding appeared to have to have stopped, the toll it had taken on her was immense.
Saito was worse for wear but had weathered the storm.
He advanced on Sienna, looking to have her fall prey to his Hurricanranna/Triangle Choke combination.
He slapped her as she stood opposite him, and pushed her roughly against the turnbuckle.
He grinned as he slapped her a few more times, and again went to push her into the turnbuckle for his combination, but Sienna scurried under his legs and ducked as a spirited Yoshida rushed in with a Yakuza Kick that stunned Saito!
Sienna backed away as Yoshida stomped Saito mercilessly. He paused only after exhausting himself in doing so, and brought Saito to his feet.
Saito struggled against Yoshida but was silenced after a receipt of the slap from earlier.
Saito didn’t move; he furiously spat in Yoshida's face and pushed him away, looking to follow up with his take on the Superkick, but Yoshida moved and it left Saito looking stunned as he kicked nothing, only to be felled by Sienna's tribute to her brother via the Bolt Cutter!
As soon as Sienna landed it, Yoshida grabbed her by the hair and once again hoisted her up to throw her over the top rope.
He was shocked beyond belief when Sienna used the momentum to step up on the middle rope, followed by the top rope and bounced backwards onto his shoulders into an Electric Chair!
Whilst on his shoulders, she jumped up and caught Yoshida's head in a tight Head Scissor Takeover, her impetus driving Yoshida over the top rope and to the mat below!
Utterly spent, she lay exhausted on the mat as did Saito; the only other one to outlast the opponents they had faced and defeated so far.
The end was so close.
Sienna crawled to the ropes, her left hand clutching her ribs, and her face a proverbial 'crimson mask'.
Saito stirred, and shook his head slowly at the pain he felt from the force of the Bolt Cutter, which was Sienna's take on her brother's version of the Ace Crusher.
Saito inched forward after rolling onto his stomach to crawl after Sienna, who lay resting on the bottom rope.
Saito closed in and moved faster trying to catch her, but Sienna gathered seemingly the last of her strength to adjust and grab the second rope.
As Saito lunged, Sienna brought her feet up and drove them down in an axe-like motion, a sickening-but-satisfying Double Foot Stomp on his head that caused him to clutch his already throbbing head in pain!
Sienna clutched her fists and signalled to the crowd.
She roared "これは今で終了、埼玉！" (This ends now, Saitama!)
Saito slowly got to his feet and stared at Sienna defiantly, and reached out to her.
Sienna exhaled deeply as she gripped his hair, and channeled Toshiaki Kawada, landing rapid fire kicks to the already-pained head of Saito, capping it off by firing off a vicious forearm that staggered him.
After the forearm shot, she grasped his hair again, bringing him up to her level.
Sienna gripped the ropes and leaned back, throwing her legs around his head in a Hurricanranna position, and vaulted backwards to hurl him over the ropes and out to the floor for the much-deserved and indelibly hard-fought victory!
The bell rang to signal the end of the match; a jaw-dropping display of grit and determination!
Sienna was attended to by the doctors at ringside and her brother, 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn showed a mix of immense pride and dutiful worry, as any brother would.
The gravure idols at ringside presented Sienna with the trophy as she was attended to.
She weakly raised her arms in victory and mouthed her appreciation for the outpouring of support from Saitama, who chanted her name again and gave a standing ovation, moving her to tears.
RESULT: Sienna Cronyn outlasted twenty three competitors in the Saitama Cup Battle Royal (40:22) when she last eliminated Kenichi Saito
The panel was astounded as was the crowd; an intense Battle Royal that lasted over forty minutes; over forty minutes of incredible, athletic and downright awe-inspiring pro wrestling.
They praised the efforts of everyone involved and again were flabbergasted and excited as Sienna had won the Supremacy in Saitama Cup in incredible fashion.
The panel had joined in on the standing ovation, with Matt Striker the most fanatical of Sienna Cronyn, saying a performance like that belongs to a special performer, and Sienna Cronyn just showed the entire world she is the embodiment of a DRIVEN WOMAN.
He went a step further to say anyone who thought she was a 'Diva' just because she was blonde and buxom was out of their minds.
Backstage, the KING BEAST champion; 'KING of BEAST', Bruiser, and his on-again-off-again ally/foe, the imposing Venom, each cut scintillating and engaging promos in gravel-throated Japanese about the upcoming match, as interviewed by Yukie Kawamura.
Elsewhere backstage, their counterparts in FORGE; the FORGE International Heavyweight champion Steve Wilson and his own on-again-off-again friend and opponent in Lance Hansen responded in their own way, with their own passionate and well-meaning promos in Japanese, as interviewed by Harumi Nemoto.
Bruiser and Venom [BEAST] VERSUS FORGE International Heavyweight champion Steve Wilson and Lance Hansen [FORGE]
OF NOTE: A tough act to follow the jaw-dropping Battle Royal, but the fans in Saitama were brought to their feet as the familiar strains of 'Lightning To The Nations' by NWOBHM mainstays Diamond Head shook the Arena to the core, signalling the arrival of the FORGE tandem, Wilson and Hansen!
They eagerly awaited their opponents, who, just like the top stars in any promotion, had fantastical and vast atmospheric entrances; Bruiser's and Venom's was punctuated by the incredibly pummelling riff from their entrance theme, the awe-inspiring 'World Eater' by seminal death metal band Bolt Thrower.
Semi-retired FORGE talent 'Funkmaster' Miles Roper announced Wilson and Hansen, and the crowd responded by almost covering them completely in red and blue streamers.
BEAST announcer Malevolence announced Bruiser and Venom in his regal, resonant voice, and again Saitama replied by heaping black and red streamers over the BEASTS.
All four men stood opposite each other, face to face, much like the many great standoffs in pro wrestling and sports entertainment history (with the exception of anything John Cena has done) as Saitama relished the thought of who would strike first.
The signature "WHOOOAAHHHH!' from the crowd that instantly defined the crowd as passionate Japanese, all of whom had gravitated to these men, all four of whom who had excelled in Japan and had no desire to leave, resonated with the men as they stared at each other.
They all realised this match had the potential to be a five star classic, in the vein of the Four Corner of Heaven in '90's AJPW, the very style and aura they had built upon.
Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, Bruiser and Wilson started off; their history as the top star and champion in their respective promotion echoed the other's accomplishments.
Bruiser was almost a god-like figure in Japan, his savvy that helped create BEAST was something Japan revelled in, their appreciation of 'kaijin' (humanoid monsters)in addition to the well-known 'kaiju' monster movies like Godzilla saw Bruiser's acumen for creating something different and yet relevant to the Japanese fans made him revered as such.
He was incredibly imposing, with a mohawk and fierce warpaint stopping most in their tracks.
His greatest attribute was his Iron Jaw; he famously defeated Seth Cronyn in an exhibition match in BEAST's early days with no damage to his face after receiving a sickeningly stiff forearm that Seth launched at Bruiser.
It resulted in Seth legitimately breaking his forearm due to that one strike.
Wilson, a former high school wrestling coach, wrestled all over the States and Japan, often mistaken for his almost-namesake, the legendary 'Dr Death' Steve Williams.
With a football background and a tremendous wrestling pedigree, Wilson was committed to FORGE when it began and soon made a name for himself by being a top star in FORGE as Williams' career in Japan petered out and he returned to the US for WWF and WCW.
A punishing First Quarter ensued, as the rivals eschewed the normal catch wrestling ethic and instead engaged in a long and gruelling collar and elbow tie-up.
After several instances of clean breaks from either man, they upped the ante with ferocious forearm strikes and stinging chops; both men hardly moving from the impact, instead all too consumed with making the last chop harder than the last.
The two stalemated and roared at one another in fiery Japanese "あなたがタグアウト！" (you tag out!).
The crowd caught on and appreciated their effort and watched as both Bruiser and Wilson tagged out at the same time, which brought Venom and Hansen in.
Venom was nearly 7ft tall; incredibly built and truly awe-inspiring, his aura akin to The Undertaker in the early '90s - his mere look was enough to drive fear into anyone.
He had been part of Bruiser's faction Onslaught early on.
Venom was instrumental in the training at the Universum and this endeared him to Bruiser.
Ironic also that this match would see Bruiser and Venom as a team, as opposed to opponents, as they did at MAELSTROM II.
Lance Hansen, in a similar fashion to his partner Steve Wilson, came from Texas and was an athletic all-star, excelling in wrestling and college football.
Much like the famed and revered Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen, The Funks and Dusty Rhodes, he went to West Texas State and formed a kinship with Wilson due to the similar situation they found themselves in as compared to the stars who had made it in Giant Baba's AJPW; Stan Hansen and Steve Williams.
They persevered to make it their own way in FORGE once it came to fruition and began a lasting rivalry/friendship that drew fans in wherever they went.
Venom and Hansen traded forearms with staggering stiffness; Hansen eventually winning out due to the sheer mass he had on his side.
A plethora of straight-up stiff slams and strikes from Hansen saw him maintain control over Venom, who instinctively winced every time Hansen unloaded seemingly ungodly strikes to keep him grounded.
After a period of time where Venom had been dominated effectively by Hansen and Wilson, he was able to get measure of revenge on Hansen who had missed with a Short Range Lariat.
Venom drove Hansen's neck down in a Neckbreaker, though instead of hitting the mat first, he changed it to his knee, which elicited a big response from the crowd.
Venom tagged out to Bruiser, who wasted no time in putting the boots to Hansen, and cut him off from tagging out to Wilson.
The match ebbed and flowed with sterling tag team wrestling from four huge singles stars, this match for all intents and purposes a dream match for not just BEAST or FORGE fans, but SUMMIT PRO fans all over.
As the match wore on and the crowd was truly invested in everything the competitors dished out at each other, Bruiser found the wherewithal to show Saitama what he believed they wanted to see, his powerbomb finisher, the MegaBomb.
It took on a life of its own, the MegaBomb; fans just loved the visceral way he delivered the move - a truly powerful version of the Jackknife Powerbomb.
He hoisted Hansen into position after roaring with the crowd "メガ爆弾!" (MEGA BOMB!) but was attacked from behind by a desperate Wilson.
Venom had recovered from a High Angle Backdrop and prevented Wilson from following up, as Bruiser regrouped and smashed Wilson right in the crook of his neck with a vicious Lariat!
Hansen, who had also regrouped, raised his arm for his Lariat and aimed for Bruiser.
Bruiser, however, ducked out of the way leaving Hansen careening into a Big Boot from Venom that staggered him!
Wilson had reeled from the Lariat and made his way to his feet, barreling into Venom who had just delivered a Chokeslam on Hansen after the Big Boot.
Bruiser gritted his teeth and advanced on Wilson again, but Wilson's adrenaline kicked in and he lunged at Bruiser, attempting a Spear Tackle.
Bruiser brought his knee up and stopped Wilson in his tracks, but was astonished as Wilson no-sold in an epic display of defiance, and went nose to nose with Bruiser!
The crowd responded positively, their applause and cheers fuelling the aces of their respective promotions.
All of sudden, as Wilson stared intently at Bruiser, his left arm was grabbed by Venom and encircled around his own throat - Venom was hoisting him up for the Devil's Cut-Throat Driver!
Wilson struggled, but the intense Venom tightened his grip and transitioned him into the move and nailed it!
Hansen recovered too late from the Chokeslam and from his knees peered up at the two monsters he had battled ferociously.
Despite Wilson being unable to move from the scintillating nature of Venom's finisher, Hansen stubbornly refused to give in, and tried to attack Bruiser and Venom by himself, but to no avail.
After Bruiser jarred him with a stiff European Uppercut, Venom took over as Hansen reeled and got him up for a Crucifix Powerbomb.
However, instead of releasing it, Bruiser moved near him and grimaced as he took Hansen's body from Venom, and with Venom's help, nailed a brutally impactful Mega Bomb for the win!
The bell rang to signify the end of the match; Malevolence announced Bruiser and Venom as the winners!
He added that '…The Onslaught is upon us.'
RESULT: Bruiser and Venom defeated Steve Wilson and Lance Hansen (25:28) when Bruiser pinned Hansen after a MegaBomb
The panel discussed the match before heading into the intermission, in awe of the combined efforts of all; the match receiving high praise for the energy and power it invoked in the crowd.
3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn addressed the crowd, thanking them again for their support for the event, and especially their support of his sister.
He reassured everyone that she was being looked after by great doctors, and has been floored with the support from everyone who had viewed the match and shared their feelings.
He apologised to the fans as well as Saito-San as he had heard that Kiyoshi Genjiro had injured his knee in training and could not challenge Katsuhiko Yamada for the KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight championship tonight.
He asked everyone to turn their attention to the big monitors, which showed hype videos for the next series of Showcase events and the next volumes of anime and manga series 'SUMMIT PRO: Trivium Go Codex'.
The anime and manga series would focus on all five promotions comprising SUMMIT PRO.
The screen showed the special guests in the front row, as the CEOs of SUMMIT PRO shook hands with all of them, thanking them for their attendance and support.
Backstage, the RIPTIDE Openweight champion Joe Weaver, flanked by Team Weaver, cut an fervent and stern promo on his opponent Caden Raith, as interviewed by Harumi Nemoto.
Elsewhere backstage, Caden Raith replied in his own fashion by way of his own clinical and serious promo, as interviewed by Eri Otoguro.
RIPTIDE Openweight champion Joe Weaver [RIPTIDE] VERSUS Caden Raith [RIPTIDE] - title match
OF NOTE: Joe Weaver had previously defended against Windy Rhodes, Zen Pike and Kaleb Delta, and even defeated WWE's Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match at the much-talked about VERSUS event for both WWE and RIPTIDE.
Caden Raith had manoeuvred his way into this shot, complaining about how he and two RIPTIDE rookies lost against the WWE at the WWE VS RIPTIDE event, despite the one being pinned.
Never one to back down, Weaver granted him the shot, and the match was set for MAELSTROM III.
After impassioned entrances and the announcements made for both men by Tetsuo Kaneda, Joe and Caden engaged in a textbook First Quarter feeling-out process. Joe's wrestling skill matched the tenacity and drive of Caden, who seemingly had something to prove.
As the match wore on into the Second Quarter and early Third, Caden resorted to a tactic that worked for many other performers from varying eras; he worked the knee. He figured if Joe couldn't use Project Weaver (which needed both knees to perform properly) he would be in with a chance.
Despite Caden's best efforts in putting pressure on Joe's knee, (which Joe sold impressively) Joe did not stay down, his fighting spirit and dedication to being RIPTIDE Openweight champion on display for Saitama and the world to see.
Caden's reliance on punishing Joe's knee saw Joe's resourcefulness come into play, as he showed heart and dexterity by ensuring his shoulder did not stay down for a three count.
Caden took a chance trying to impose his will on Joe by stealing Project Weaver, only for Joe to back out of the position and fire a stiff European Uppercut at Caden.
As Caden stumbled, Joe followed up with a Go Behind German Suplex which stunned the crowd!
Due to the pressure on his knee he couldn't bridge the Suplex but used the opportune time to recover.
Joe began his comeback as Caden tried to switch up his strategy, managing to fasten a tight Sleeper on Joe!
The crowd rallied as Joe swayed; they urged him to remain steadfast and he did, transitioning into a Back Suplex but Caden held on!
The two engaged in a forearm war, which Caden ended with a thumb to the eye.
He came off the ropes and attempted to dropkick Joe's knee, but incredibly Joe scouted the move and leapt over Caden as he slid into position!
As Caden came back, Joe blasted him with a stiff, beautifully hit Superkick with his other leg which left Caden stunned and prone, standing groggily in front of Joe.
Joe balled his fists and motioned to the crowd who beckoned for him to hit Project Weaver!
He double Caden over and got him in position, but struggled initially due to the damage done to his knee.
Caden shrugged him off, himself weary due to the Superkick and attempted an angry Lariat that caught Joe off-guard and turned him inside out!
As Caden went to pin him, Joe kicked out at one!
He shook furiously, his fists clenched, the fighting spirit flowing through him.
Caden had a worried look on his face; he had come too far and proved he was a contender, at least in his mind.
He threw a Leg Kick at Joe, who caught it!
Saitama came alive again, in expectant hope of what Joe had in mind.
He pulled Caden's leg further in, at the same time rocking him with a stiff forearm.
As Caden stood in Joe's vicinity with his leg prone, Joe executed a breathtaking T-Bone Suplex that saw Caden bounce off the mat with ferocious impact!
"これは、埼玉それです！" (This is it, Saitama!)
He brought Caden got to his feet slowly, his hands rubbing his neck in pain.
Caden defiantly slapped Joe, and struggled to break free from him.
Joe heaved Caden up in a Back Suplex, only for Caden to squirm free.
As Joe turned around, Caden attempted a Lung Blower, only for Joe to hold on to his legs, leaving Caden in mid-air!
His strength was incredible; as he held Caden in the prone position he transitioned into a Piledriver!
Amazingly, after hitting the Piledriver, he didn't let go - he screamed with impassioned fury as he brought Caden up as he himself rose, and nailed Project Weaver with force for the successful pinfall!
The sound of the bell signaled the end of the match; Tetsuo Kaneda announced the winner and still the RIPTIDE Openweight champion - Joe Weaver!
The crowd applauded the efforts of both men, as Joe was embraced by his family and Caden was helped by trainers at ringside to recover.
RESULT: Joe Weaver retained the RIPTIDE Openweight championship by pinfall after defeating Caden Raith (20:03) with Project Weaver - fourth successful title defense
The panel discussed the athleticism and never-say-die attitude that Joe displayed, and gave credence to the efforts brought forth from Caden Raith, who, despite losing, still showed himself to be a top contender in RIPTIDE.
Backstage, the IRON BEAST champion; Virus, and the DUAL BEAST Tag Team champions, Legion and Warbringer, stood imposing while Minase Yashiro nervously stood holding a microphone near Virus. Both Legion and Warbringer did not speak, so Virus, as he always did, cut an eloquent and harsh promo on IRON FIST in his unique voice and cadence.
Elsewhere backstage, their opponents in KING; the current KING CKGP champion Tetsuya Sekimoto and his cohorts in IRON FIST - Koji Nakata and Heihachi Miyamoto replied in gravelly Japanese in a hasty promo, as interviewed by Eri Otoguro.
Virus, Legion and Warbringer 'The Pain Division' [BEAST] VERSUS Tetsuya Sekimoto, Koji Nakata and Heihachi Miyamoto [KING]
OF NOTE: IRON FIST entered first, Sekimoto looking more angry than normal, despite wearing the KING CKGP title proudly.
Nakata and Miyamoto looked just as angry as their leader, awaiting The Pain Division with bated breath.
The main riff from 'March Of The Fire Ants' by Mastodon played which signified the arrival of The Pain Division; who made their way to the ring looking every bit the monstrous-looking barbarians they did.
Their cold, unflinching stares turned the Japanese fans into fearful yet wild things, as they cheered the entrance which was akin to a death metal event with the pulsing lighting and the robust sound of Mastodon pounding through the arena.
Tetsuo Kaneda and Malevolence exchanged announcing duties, with their respective charges draped in different coloured streamers as their names were called.
The match, a rematch of the first MAELSTROM event, showed both teams at the peak of their respective games; the last matches either teams had were victorious.
Despite the fact The Bloodpack had won a number one contender's match for Legion and Warbringer's DUAL BEAST Tag Team titles at the Showcase event earlier in the year, that match would not go ahead due to the re-structuring of the Tag Team division across SUMMIT PRO.
This left The Pain Division, namely Legion and Warbringer, focussed on the task at hand; along with the other tag team champions in SUMMIT PRO they would begin the awaited Tag Team Grand Prix with a bye.
They had a chance with this match to right two wrongs; the chance to avenge the loss from MAELSTROM I and to prove to all that they were without a doubt the benchmark as far as tag team wrestling was concerned within the realm of SUMMIT PRO.
A face-off ensued with all six men opposite each other in a fashion to other great standoffs; and as if struck by lightning, all six hammered each other at the same time!
They peeled off; Sekimoto and Virus, Nakata and Legion and Miyamoto and Warbringer; all six engaging in huge separate brawls that saw the referee uselessly trying to restore calm.
A plethora of snug forearms, echoing knife-edge chops and violent Big Boots punctuated each of the brawls, until eventually it was brought to order.
Every man was a heavyweight in the very essence of the word; no weak link to be exploited, the match wore on with both teams going out of their way to try and decimate the other.
The match bore many significant nearfalls that truly tested both teams, with the Third Quarter nudging The Fourth as the time neared half an hour.
With Legion the legal BEAST battling his counterpart in Nakata, Sekimoto shoved the referee and charged in, breaking up a Powerbomb attempt from Legion.
The floodgates opened as Virus and Warbringer stormed the ring, attacking Nakata and made a beeline for Sekimoto and Miyamoto, spilling onto the floor!
The referee screamed at the carnage that had unfolded before him, and found a higher note as Legion set jaws to drop as he flattened Nakata and charged at the referee, but instead of flattening him too, vaulted over the top rope onto the mass of bodies outside!
"WHHHOOOOAAAAHHHHHHH!!" Saitama came unglued at the sight of a huge powerhouse like Legion going all out to try and ensure victory for his team.
Minutes later, Nakata rolled in to the ring, and brought in a dazed Legion.
Warbringer had gotten away from Sekimoto and Miyamoto, and stood in the way of Nakata trying to pin Legion.
Nakata was gruffly brought to his feet by Warbringer, who angrily headbutted him, and shoved him backwards into a waiting Virus who levelled him with a Northern Lariat!
Sekimoto and Miyamoto came in and were targeted instantly by Warbringer and Virus; the two battled their IRON FIST opponents and cleared the ring for Legion and Nakata to continue.
Nakata, rubbing his neck, walked straight into a massively impactful Lariat from Legion, who had gotten his second wind!
Saitama rumbled as Legion gruffly heaved Nakata to his feet and silently mouthed "ブラックドラゴン" (Black Dragon)
The four outside had expended all energies on each other, Sekimoto wowing the crowd by being able to hit his Black Ogre Bomb on Warbringer outside!
Virus avenged his stablemate by nailing Miyamoto with the Contagion Lariat!
Both Sekimoto and Virus attempted to get back in the ring but the referee made the count as Legion pinned Nakata after the Black Dragon DDT; giving the win to The Pain Division!
The bell rang as Malevolence proclaimed the winners of the match to be BEASTS' own Pain Division.
RESULT: The Pain Division defeated IRON FIST (29:38) when Legion pinned Nakata after a Black Dragon DDT
The panel extolled the virtues of The Pain Division, amazed at the closeness of the trio as a unit, but gave praise to IRON FIST for their perseverance.
Matt Striker commented how there had to be a third chapter in this saga between these two titan-like factions.
A video package/vignette is shown showing a Year In Review for 2014 in SUMMIT PRO; focussing on the many leaps and bounds made by the company as a whole.
FORGE's 'Funkmaster' Miles Roper announced the following match as the pre-main event, and would be a title match for FORGE's secondary title, the Eastern Pacific championship.
A vignette showing how Ryusuke Tengan earned the shot at the title, held by Jermaine Oxbow, is shown.
Backstage, the challenger, Ryusuke Tengan was interviewed by Eri Otoguro, and spoke candidly about how he wished his partner well in the Battle Royal, and not expecting him to be eliminated by Sienna Cronyn. He spoke about his first real championship opportunity and thanked the fans for their support.
Elsewhere backstage, the champion, Jermaine Oxbow, cut a respectful yet stern promo about how much the title means to him, as interviewed by Yukie Kawamura.
PRE-MAIN EVENT - FORGE TITLE MATCH: FORGE Eastern Pacific champion Jermaine Oxbow [FORGE[ VERSUS Ryusuke Tengan [FORGE] (title match)
OF NOTE: This was the fourth defense for Oxbow, who had previously defended the title in FORGE-only cards in New Zealand, Russia and Germany, with wins over Miles Roper in Germany, Crusher Brannigan in Russia and Jim Weaver in New Zealand.
At FORGE V KING III, Oxbow defeated KING's Daisuke Mirashima in a match for the respective primary title opportunity, which Oxbow won.
Originally he had been scheduled to face Steve Wilson but the match had been scrapped due to the title vs title nature of the match, which was not to FORGE President Dory Funk Jr's liking.
Instead, as MAELSTROM III had been delayed, the card was reworked to include the 'dream' tag team match with the title opportunity for Tengan against Oxbow positioned as the pre-main event.
Tengan made his way to the ring to his theme music, a Japanese entrance theme reworking of 'The Final' by Dir En Grey. announced by Miles Roper.
The champion, Oxbow, made his way to the ring to his theme music, 'Bulls On Parade' by Rage Against The Machine.
Before the announcements were made, former NWA World Heavyweight champion, WWE Hall of Fame inductee, one of Seth Cronyn's most respected peers and the President of FORGE, Dory Funk Jr read from an official page sanctioning the match with his words translated in Japanese by Tetsuo Kaneda.
Streamers were thrown with respect at both competitors, who approached the match in a very sportsman-like manner; the First and Second Quarters an exceptional example of fluid and competitive pro wrestling.
Oxbow's power was near the level of RIPTIDE's Breckin Stryker or his fellow FORGE rostermate in Draco Koloff, and while Tengan was nowhere near as powerful, he made up for the loss in brute strength with incredible verve and tenacity.
Tengan kept Oxbow on his toes with exceptionally hard-hitting knife-edge chops, something he had in common with many of the great wrestlers to excel in Japan.
Oxbow weathered the chops and shoot kicks from the wily Tengan and used his superior wrestling ability to ground and frustrate his foe.
As the match wore on, Oxbow grunted and stifled his pain to execute huge powerful suplexes and slams that were to take Tengan down and keep him down.
Tengan fought back nobly, amazingly showing courage under fire and grit that confounded Oxbow.
The match neared its climax as huge nearfalls were exchanged; Oxbow and Tengan fought tooth and nail for supremacy.
Tengan caught Oxbow unawares with a beautifully executed Koppu Kick, rattling him.
He followed up with a stiff Savate Kick to the throat and a Lariat - but it didn't knock Oxbow down!
Oxbow teetered and staggered, only to receive a kick that doubled him over, leading Tengan to signal for his Nonbatsu Powerbomb!
Despite his best efforts, he couldn't execute it, and was backdropped by a weary Oxbow.
As Tengan got to his feet, he was run over by a freight train of an STO by Oxbow, who looked to get his second wind.
Oxbow regained his composure and waited patiently, waiting for Tengan to rise. When he did, Oxbow used his football history and almost an ode to the likes of Rhino, Goldberg or Edge, speared Tengan almost out of his boots!
Two huge impactful moves by the champ saw Saitama rumble in response, but they hadn't counted Tengan out yet.
However, after taking such impressively hard-hitting moves from Oxbow, it took its toll, and after the Spear, Tengan stumbled into a huge forearm shot that rocked him.
Oxbow took that opportunity to double him over and in a supreme show of strength and power, delivered an insanely dangerous-looking Totalitarian Domination (Dominator) and covered Tengan for the win!
The bell rang to signify the end of the match as Roper announced the winner and still FORGE Eastern Pacific champion, Jermaine Oxbow!
Both men were exhausted after the match and attended to by paramedics.
RESULT: Jermaine Oxbow retained the FORGE Eastern Pacific championship by pinfall after defeating Ryusuke Tengan (20:10) with Totalitarian Domination - fourth successful title defense
The panel discussed the amazing match they had just witnessed, praising the iron will of Ryusuke Tengan who proved that he was a more than capable singles star in addition to his work as a tag team wrestler with Keiji Sakoda.
Of course they praised the champion, who had retained in impressive fashion, and would look to 2015 to further prove his dominance.
RIPTIDE's Tetsuo Kaneda announced the final match, the main event - a 2/3 falls title match for RIPTIDE's primary title, the RIPTIDE Heavyweight championship. A vignette showing how Breckin Stryker earned the shot at the title, held by Dan Starling, is shown.
Backstage, the challenger, Breckin Stryker was interviewed by Harumi Nemoto, and spoke firmly and respectfully about the year he has had and how he and Starling are good friends, and how they bring the best out of each other.
He made a promise to himself that he would cap off 2014 with a title win, knowing he would bring his best and that Starling ALWAYS brought his.
Elsewhere backstage, the champion, Dan Starling, cut an impassioned and sportsman-like promo about how much Breckin's friendship means to him, in addition to the title, as interviewed by Minase Yashiro.
MAIN EVENT - RIPTIDE TITLE MATCH: RIPTIDE Heavyweight champion Dan Starling [RIPTIDE] VERSUS Breckin Stryker [RIPTIDE] (title match)
OF NOTE: This was the seventh defense for Starling, still the inaugural champion who had been 'tested but not bested' when it came to the title.
After defending against Breckin earlier in the year at the RIPTIDE X Showcase event, as well as the top talent in RIPTIDE such as Joe Weaver, Kaleb Delta, Corey Knight and Windy Rhodes, Starling had come out victorious in the three-month long Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix, taking on the very best talent in SUMMIT PRO, and further proving himself to be a top talent, a draw in Japan and a star who had what WWE wanted - but would never have; not that Starling wanted anything to do with them anyway.
A mindset that was shared by his opponent and good friend Breckin Stryker.
The guys in RIPTIDE had a unified mentality; a vision that was enhanced by each of their individual paths in meeting with Seth Cronyn and realising what professional wrestling meant to them.
That was a love of competition, a love of professional wrestling and a kinship, a camaraderie and rapport they all had with each other, realising that to become better at what they wanted they needed to work with talent that WAS better - this could only be achieved in Japan and with the reach of SUMMIT PRO.
For Breckin, defeating WWE's Cesaro and John Cena were impressive accolades that he was proud of, but ultimately, like Starling, like Seth; if he felt that was as good as it got, he'd have failed.
Complacency was the mindkiller; and despite not being overt in terms of babyface or heel, it didn't matter in Japan - they wanted to wrestle to the best of their ability and to bring other guys to their level.
It is how Windy Rhodes became a star, it is how Corey Knight and Kaleb Delta showed what they could do and how it resonated with the fans in Japan - all because of guys like Starling and Breckin unselfishly trained rigorously in Japan in all facets of the business under the tutelage of Seth Cronyn.
'Everyone wants the other guy to get better so that they have someone else to work with,' he once famously said. 'The time that you feel you've made it to the top and you've nothing left to achieve, I will have no hesitation in letting your contract expire for missing the point.'
'Don’t be like Taz, who became a big star in ECW and left after getting to the top and didn't help make any other stars,' he also said. 'You can be a star, and make other guys into stars.'
'As soon as he got to the WWE he had no protection; his weaknesses were exploited straight away because of the difference in business. Don't ever forget - what you see on TV in the US is not the be all and end all of pro wrestling; in fact it barely is even that! What Terry Funk taught me is pro wrestling, and that's what I'm teaching you.'
Starling and Breckin caught on the fastest; and between them ushered in an aura of amazement and 'cool' - RIPTIDE was new, fresh and fit in amongst the other promotions within SUMMIT PRO, and gave rise to wrestlers who wanted to do more than survive in pro wrestling - they wanted to thrive, and thrive they did.
To the present, and Breckin Stryker made his way to the ring to his theme music, 'Silent Wars' by Arch Enemy.
The champion, Dan Starling, made his way to the ring to his theme music, 'Tranquil' by Darkest Hour.
As before, and as it was a title match, before the announcements were made, RIPTIDE President Sovereign Cronyn read from an official page sanctioning the match in Japanese.
The two men were completely swathed in streamers as their names were announced, the young boys at ringside and the referee taking a few moments to clear the ring of the streamers.
The bell rang to signify the start of the match, with a quick Japanese reiteration over the speakers that this match would be a two out of three falls match.
Both men shook hands to start, and began an earnest and decidedly one-sided grappling exchange, with Breckin's immense strength and force the resultant factor each time a clean break was called.
The First and Second Quarters were all Breckin; the sportsmanship was there, but it needled into Starling with him knowing that he was playing into Breckin's hands, and would ultimately need to change it.
After Breckin executed a sterling Back Side Slam, Starling scooted out as Breckin moved to transition over and kipped up.
Once he had kipped up he instantly rolled backward, leaving space between him and Breckin, who had risen slowly.
Starling unloaded a vicious shoot kick at the broad chest of Breckin, the pain reverberating through his body and giving Saitama the chance to respond with volume.
Breckin groaned in pain, and was at Starling's mercy; his kickboxing pedigree served him well as he realised trying to mat-wrestle Breckin was a fruitless endeavour.
The Third Quarter elicited huge responses to go with the huge exchanges; the two men gave their all just as they had done every time they faced each other.
Breckin's power was ungodly, snatching up Starling after a missed opportunity, and flung him across the ring by way of an Overhead Release Belly to Belly Suplex!
Starling absorbed a tremendous amount of pain from Breckin, who was finding his groove and needed to establish himself in this two out of three falls match.
Breckin heaved Starling to his feet and looked to Powerbomb him on the apron as he done to John Cena!
The crowd rallied, and Starling broke free, desperately throwing shoot kicks at Breckin in hopes of slowing him down; his chest had been lit up due to the frequency of the kicks.
Breckin caught one of the kicks, and met Starling's face with an imposing forearm to the jaw.
At close quarters, he tried his Overhead Suplex again, only for Starling to somehow land on his feet on the outside!
As he turned around, Breckin nailed him with a Superkick that was designed to stun him, not fell him.
He did, and Starling stood uneasily, the pain taking its toll.
Breckin lifted Starling up in a Military Press, and incredibly threw him back in the ring through the top and second ropes!
In an ode to Brock Lesnar, he jumped in one motion to the apron, and jumped over it; adrenaline coursing through his veins.
Starling unsteadily got to his feet, only to narrowly duck a Big Boot from Breckin.
Breckin turned around after he missed only to receive a staggeringly brutal Roundhouse Kick to the head that dropped him to his knees.
Starling screamed at the crowd: "私は得られません!" (I WILL NOT YIELD!)
He gathered his strength and went to hit another move on Breckin, who rubbed his head and was heaved into position for the Unyielding Alarm Clock.
Breckin countered instantly, turning Starling's attempt into a Vertical Suplex, which he transitioned amazingly into a devastating Orange Crush Powerbomb!
Starling was somehow able to get his shoulder up, to the astonishment of the fans.
Breckin, sweating profusely and breathing hard, paced himself and slowly brought Starling to his feet, heaving him onto his shoulders in a Fireman's Carry.
Starling squirmed out of the position, his adrenaline kicking in - he responded with a Fireman's Carry of his own to attempt the Go 2 Sleep!
The crowd buzzed at the action, and continued as Breckin was close to receiving a GTS!
Starling was aghast however as Breckin reversed of his own volition, and transitioned Starling into a Tombstone Piledriver!
Unbelievably, as he did to Cesaro earlier in the year; once he hit the Tombstone he didn't release - he grunted with effort and roared as Saitama lost it; watching as Breckin slowly rose to his feet after one Tombstone had already been delivered.
He nailed the second one in a similar fashion to The Undertaker ending the career of Shawn Michaels in WWE at WrestleMania 26; as he jumped with impact and force, putting an emphatic end to Starling in the first fall as he pinned him successfully!
FIRST FALL: Breckin Stryker pinned the RIPTIDE Heavyweight champion Dan Starling by pinfall (15:00) with the Ultimate Breckin Tombstone Piledriver
The bell sounded as Tetsuo Kaneda announced a one minute rest period that took effect after Breckin won the first fall; precious seconds which he used to his benefit.
Starling was attended to by the staffers at ringside, as within one fall the two had exerted themselves in the most epic and stout of ways.
Once they resumed, Breckin looked spent, and gazed at his friend who was tested beyond measure.
The fall consisted of spellbinding storytelling and brilliant selling; both men were in their element as they channelled their heroes from AJPW; Tsuruta, Misawa, Kobashi, Taue, Kawada, Hansen, Williams and Gordy; and to a lesser extent (but important nonetheless) Sasaki, Akiyama, Takayama and Mutoh.
They hammered each other, feeding off the energy of the crowd, with vicious yet slow forearms that smacked with enough force to send their sweat flying.
Starling was a revelation; he doggedly remained in the fight, his experience in epic and stellar performances was rivalled by his opponent, who tried to stay in the game.
Breckin faltered after missing a Lariat giving Starling a window to hit a Lung Blower.
Running on pure adrenaline, Starling thrust a Downward O'Reilly Stomp to Breckin's head after the Lung Blower, followed up with a ferocious forearm smash to Breckin's face.
On spaghetti legs, Breckin shook his head and reached for Starling who paced himself and Superkicked Breckin in the back of the head!
Breckin woozily staggered forward, as Starling's fighting spirit came to the fore as he grabbed Breckin around the waist and attempted a German Suplex!
Breckin recovered, however still spent physically, broke out of the attempt and went to strike Starling with an elbow, but missed as well as Starling ducked and somehow managed to heave Breckin backwards into a Northern Lights Suplex for a long nearfall!
Starling, sweating bullets, mouthed a single sentence to himself; '…with a thousand words to say but one…'
That word was 'Yield'.
Breckin rose to his feet again, as Starling's fire burned bright and he briefly gazed at the crowd who were agog at the breathtaking aura of the match.
Another series of shoot kicks from Starling that swiftly thwacked off of Breckin's chest with the exclamation point coming from another brutal Roundhouse Kick that caught Breckin in the head, with Starling's right foot awkwardly coming away after the strike.
With Breckin prone, Starling mustered his strength to hoist Breckin up for the Unyielding Alarm Clock and delivered it with violent impact to tie the falls 1-1!
SECOND FALL: RIPTIDE Heavyweight champion Dan Starling pinned Breckin Stryker by pinfall (15:00) with the Unyielding Alarm Clock
As before, the bell sounded and Kaneda announced that a one minute rest period was in effect as both men lay on the mat, breathing heavily and undoubtedly sore and pained beyond all measure.
The crowd, having been taken through a surging rollercoaster of ups and downs throughout the whole night, were hanging on every movement from both Starling and Breckin; two men they had found a resonance with Japan as a whole.
In a scene similar to Kobashi and Sasaki from NOAH Destiny 2005, both Breckin and Starling, drenched in sweat, threw errant strikes at each other, waiting for the other to land their hit.
After a few minutes, both men went face to face, nose to nose, their foreheads touching as they refused to give in.
A furious forearm strike battle ensued, with Breckin managing to get the upper hand.
He pounded the mat, willing himself to continue, only to receive a vicious kick from Starling aimed at his collarbone!
Starling grabbed Breckin by the hair and doubled him over, and attempted the Kawada kicks to the forehead, just as Sienna had done earlier.
He landed a few kicks only for Breckin to defiantly no-sell in a show of fighting spirit!
Breckin roared at Starling and levelled him with a short range Breckin Machine Lariat!
He gruffly brought him to his feet and raised Starling in a Powerbomb position, but Starling scrambled out and nailed a Back Cracker on Breckin with force!
Breckin howled in pain, but refused to writhe in pain on the mat.
Starling balled his fists and hit a Hayabusa-inspired Tornado Kick to Breckin's face and again followed up with a deft Superkick to the back of Breckin's head!
As Breckin staggered, Starling fired up for the last time, and grabbed Breckin with effort in an Argentine Backbreaker position.
The crowd responded in kind.
With extreme exertion and total finality Starling summoned the strength to nail a vicious Inverted Go 2 Sleep on Breckin's already wounded head!
Starling made the emotional and exhaustive successful pinfall as Saitama chanted the 1, 2, 3 along with each slap of the mat by the referee.
The bell rang to signify the end of the match as Kaneda announced the winner and still RIPTIDE Heavyweight champion, Dan Starling!
Both men were exhausted after the match and attended to by paramedics.
FINAL RESULT: Dan Starling retained the RIPTIDE Heavyweight championship by pinfall after defeating Breckin Stryker 2 falls to 1 (45:00) with the Unyielding Alarm Clock/Inverted Go 2 Sleep - fourth successful title defense
The SUMMIT PRO theme music played and the officials made their way to the ring, along with the interviewers and announcers.
Seth Cronyn walked with a microphone in his hand, and mentioned as it was New Year's Eve it was only fitting that they end the biggest show of 2014 with a bang.
He announced that SUMMIT PRO would see in the New Year with the fans in Saitama and all around the world.
One by one, members of the entire SUMMIT PRO roster came to the ringside area, enjoying the moment to see the fans up close as 2014 neared its end.
The final person to come out was Lady Laura Crothers herself, who was overwhelmed by the atmosphere and appreciation from the crowd.
The ring had almost filled up but had left the centre clear, as Starling and Breckin had slowly recovered, helped by their peers.
The two embraced in a moment that was applauded by all in the arena, and commented in a professional manner by the commentary panel.
Crothers joined Seth in the ring to give her praise to both Breckin and Starling.
The puroresu legends were invited to come into the ring to meet with everyone as the time came to ring in the New Year.
Post by The Kevstaaa on Jan 1, 2015 11:48:23 GMT -5
Man, this was pretty long. I appreciate all of the effort that goes into this. Love the 411mania.com shoutout. The names Bloodpack and the Violence Continuum are both damn good. Great write up in general. Loved the main event going 45 minutes and the Japanese, I assume, translation for "I WILL NOT YIELD!" Badass. The Reaper heel turn was another favorite part of mine. Keep this up and check out my WWE 2012 sim if you get the chance. It's over on the Sims Board but the link is in my sig. I re-book WWE 2012!
Post by Chris Reager on Jan 9, 2015 9:54:16 GMT -5
WAVES - Episode 1 (波 - エピソード1)
We are welcomed to the first episode of Waves (formerly 'Three Minutes To') and the first piece of programming for 3NWPRO in 2015 by way of an impressive opening vignette for SUMMIT PRO.
The show was broadcast on TCN and Nippon TV, as well as available as featured content available for streaming on SUMMIT PRO's website.
Like the 'Turmoil in Tokyo' episode of 'Three Minutes To', it would be decidedly different from every other incarnation of 'Three Minutes To...' to date.
It would still function as a recap show of the most recent events in SUMMIT PRO, namely the amazing IGNITION VS KING JHW VERSUS event and the incredible MAELSTROM III.
The main difference was that 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn would address certain issues heading into 2015, and set certain misconceptions to bed.
The scene was set; the camera panned across a well-mannered and polite Japanese audience in Osaka to a brightly lit studio with a three-person panel, hosted by SUMMIT PRO commentator Carl Jordan.
His broadcast colleague, Lee Hunter sat to his left along with Matt Striker, who flanked him to the right.
As he could not speak Japanese, Matt Striker's dialogue would be translated live to the crowd by a translator, while Kanji subtitles are displayed for the viewers at home.
Carl Jordan: あなたのすべての秘密 - の島、新年あけましておめでとうございます、あなたにこんばんはと2015年最初のテレビ放映SUMMIT PROショーのためにご参加いただきありがとうございます！
(Good evening to you, Himitsu-No Shima, Happy New Year to you all and thank you for joining us for the first televised SUMMIT PRO show for 2015!)
Lee Hunter: これは今の波として知られている3分と同じ静脈、内のすべての新しい要約ショーです。私たちは、2014年の最後の2つのイベントを議論されますが、IGNITION VS KING JHWと大渦巻きIIIは、マット•ストライカーはSUMMIT PROと、一般的にレスリングのビジネスについての深さにセス•クローニンにインタビューされることは言うまでもありません。
(This is the all-new recap show in the same vein as Three Minutes To, now known as Waves. We will be discussing the last two events of 2014, IGNITION VS KING JHW and MAELSTROM III, not to mention we will show you the interview by Matt Striker with 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn. It will be an in-depth interview about SUMMIT PRO and the professional wrestling business in general.)
The panel discussed the following topics at length along with accompanying video footage of:
VERSUS: IGNITION VS KING JHW IX
Focus is on the card as a whole; but specifically:
The emphatic showing of Osorezugun against The Treachery The impressive performance of Morphosis against Masahiko Yoshida and Shiro Kawashima The match between the two respective tag team champions (IGNITION's 'La Oscuridad' and KING JHW's 'First Strike') The number one contender's match for the KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight title between Kiyoshi Genjiro and Shintaro Suzuki The dream six man tag match between MERCILESS and the Aces of IGNITION.
Focus is on the card as a whole; but specifically:
The betrayal and defection of Reaper from the Violence Continuum back to the Bloodpack The breathtakingly incredible showing of Sienna Cronyn in the Supremacy in Saitama Cup Battle Royal The impressive debut of Nigel Newhart and the the actions of Kenichi Saito toward Sienna Cronyn The injury to Kiyoshi Genjiro causing the match between him and Katsuhiko Yamada for the KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight title to be postponed The solidification of the RIPTIDE Four with great showings from Windy Rhodes, Joe Weaver, Breckin Stryker and Dan Starling The epic nature of the matches between KING HW and BEAST - Hansen/Wilson VS Bruiser/Venom and IRON FIST VS The Pain Division; awarded five stars by WON Jermaine Oxbow's dominance as Eastern Pacific champion in FORGE The 2/3 falls match between Breckin Stryker and Dan Starling for the RIPTIDE Heavyweight championship, also awarded five stars in WON
After the discussion by the panel of the two events, Carl and Lee talk about the interview that was taped on the day after New Year's Day between Matt Striker and Seth Cronyn.
The interview was conducted in Seth's offices in Osaka, and would be in English, with their dialogue translated via Kanji subtitles for the viewers at home.
Matt Striker: Happy New Year to you all and thank you for your company; I am here with 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn, fresh off of a huge Pay Per View event; the sold out MAELSTROM III! Thank you for being here today Seth, I know you're busy.
Seth Cronyn: You're very welcome Matt; and Happy New Year to you too! Sleep is a luxury right now; as a company we're buzzing, MAELSTROM III was a success in every facet of the word, and we couldn't be prouder. I would also like to thank New Japan Pro Wrestling and Global Force Wrestling for the incredible 'Wrestle Kingdom 9' show at the Tokyo Dome; as a fan I was floored at the show from top to bottom, it's events like this that make me proud to be in the pro wrestling business.
Seth Cronyn: I'd like to quickly take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year, including the supportive people at Tyler Black 's GWF and Wicked 's GWV.
Matt Striker: Agreed; I called the show with Jim Ross; GFW did a stellar job producing the event. Seth, the leaps and bounds SUMMIT PRO has made this past year alone has been incredible; as you know success is measured in a very finite manner - how do you feel about those that feel the need to constantly compare SUMMIT PRO to other wrestling promotions as a gauge of this success?
Seth Cronyn: Professionally speaking, to me it comes with the territory; you put out a product to a fanbase that wants to see the type of product they are interested in. It turns out, as it happens, to be in the same vein as what you see when you watch professional wrestling in the US or elsewhere. The difference is, we do not claim to be 'sports entertainment'; we do not desperately seek approval from mainstream American sensibilities. I acknowledge the term, but think more of Unbeatable Banzuke, Ninja Warrior and monster trucks when I think of 'sports entertainment'. It does not accurately define SUMMIT PRO. We offer something completely original, completely unique and different to absolutely everything else out there that happens to take place in a wrestling ring.
Matt Striker: For someone like myself, who grew up loving professional wrestling, I can honestly say SUMMIT PRO is 100% unlike any other professional wrestling on the planet - I am honoured to work here and be part of something so trailblazing. Can you tell us what inspired you to do something so different?
Seth Cronyn: I appreciate you saying that. My interests…my interests, not just in professional wrestling, but all the sub-cultures and miscellanea that makes our world so unique - I realised if you're honest about these influences and how they tie into something you're 100% passionate about, they will resonate with people who are of the same way, and by turns they influence others.
Matt Striker: What in particular do you like in this regard?
Seth Cronyn: The coverage we get here in Japan from the Japanese press; our product resonates with fans and the articles of our shows, upcoming or recently performed, are written up by the diligent press here which we appreciate. Standard rumour mill stuff you get in the US does not really fly over here.
Seth Cronyn: Anyway…interests…when I met Lady Crothers, I was renting a tiny apartment in Roppongi, eating noodles and rice, saving all my yen. I had a wealth of interests around me at the time; music, film, television, even cooking. I am a HUGE Iron Chef fan, by the way, and have been a music fan since I was young. I was wrestling for Atsushi Onita's FMW, thankful for a job as Terry Funk had put in a good word for me. He told me in Japan he and 'Junior' (his brother Dory Jr) had turned the tide of how gaijin (foreigners) were looked at in Japan and was a huge star. Not on the level of say Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair, but a huge star in Japan nonetheless. I guess I'm something of an anomaly; I never wanted to pursue a career in professional wrestling in the US, as the options and creativity are quite limited, especially with there really only being one game in town, the WWE.
Matt Striker: You honestly never wanted to wrestle for WWE? Does this mean I'm better than you? (laughs)
Seth Cronyn: (laughs) I respect the hell out of everyone who works there as a performer, but for me personally, no, it wasn't for me. I had wrestled professionally for over ten years, mainly in Japan, and was instrumental in getting 3NWPRO off the ground and the whole SUMMIT PRO concept to take flight. WWE's model of how they operate is VASTLY different to us; I can't stress that enough. They produce hours and hours of content for television in the US and for their Network. with their flagship show, Raw, being three hours but only producing about forty minutes of total actual in-ring wrestling. You just can't compare that to SUMMIT PRO, just like what you see in NJPW to what the WWE does; they are two completely different beasts. Same with TNA, ROH, AAA and this new Lucha Underground - all vastly different to each other but similar in terms of the core focus - pro wrestling.
Matt Striker: But people will compare no matter what, right?
Seth Cronyn: Just like the music business; something becomes popular, and all of a sudden 'clones' appear but they are their own entity, it just so happens they are 'lumped' together due to some type of laziness. Just look at Nirvana's success; Pearl Jam's, Soundgarden's - to the uninitiated; they look similar, so they must be the same, right? Same with Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Korn - all lumped together, so again, they must be exactly the same.
Seth Cronyn: For example, look at how over BEAST is here. INSANELY over. The amount of work that goes into how unique and powerful an entity BEAST is as a whole is huge; but yet a team that has been in the WWE developmental system for ages that has a look that is slightly similar to The Road Warriors/Legion of Doom gets BURIED by their own 'commentators' on their flagship show. Essentially what that says to me is 'We don't care about these guys, so neither should you.' I am not impressed by The Ascension; but that's because of what I've seen - if they had an outlet to do something better than squash nobodies in NXT or shout very Road Warrior-esque promos perhaps I'd give them a try, but BEAST is going strong just fine how it is. We are currently training some hopefuls as we speak.
Matt Striker: That is very fair and sound reasoning right there; and to be honest, it is not far off the mark.
Seth Cronyn: Regarding the comparison - note that I said 'uninitiated' - I realise not every single fan that watches wrestling cannot differentiate but from the millions and millions of comments and Tweets and posts and all the rest of it on the Internet, you wouldn't know it, would you?
Seth Cronyn: Anyway, you bring up a great point Matt; and that's the reach of the WWE, which I won't deny whatsoever. The thing is though, I'm not a fan of this idea that if you don't make it to the WWE, then you're a failure as a professional wrestler somehow. If you have never wrestled in Madison Square Garden, then you're missing out in a huge way of wrestling in the most hallowed of arenas. What is that? Why is that? That to me, is a form of propaganda. Well done to WWE though, because again, they have the reach and the resources to make people believe that.
He sipped his water and continued.
Seth Cronyn: This goes back to what you opened this interview with; these 'comparisons' people make on social media and on the countless dirtsheets across the States. This interview will make it to the States and people will dissect the 'juiciest' parts of it to make out like Seth Cronyn is bitter and jaded. They will say he had to flee to Japan to make a living; but personally I can't fathom the egregious nature of how people are when they are essentially words on a screen. Does it mean my day ends? No…I can't stop it, and I don't let it get to me - people will talk whatever the medium, that's just how it is.
Matt Striker: This is a very apt description of what goes on around the world when it comes to the interactivity of fans and the product. Can I ask if you heard the CM Punk podcast with Colt Cabana, or the Vince McMahon one with Steve Austin?
Seth Cronyn: I know it’s true; the Internet is the metaphorical gateway to the thoughts of millions of so-called experts who've never been in a wrestling ring to give their thoughts on something they see on TV or PPV. They analyse, break down and scrutinize the smallest things that are being presented and share their opinion on it with like-minded people; some even present what they know as fact and get off on feeling like the King of the Internet by shutting down fans' opinions with more knowledge. That's a sign of the times, and I realise this is something that will not change, so this may seem like a generalised statement, but for the most part, it's true. People who are 'fans' stick with watching it for so long because they love it and have done so for ages, but few have the willpower to say 'I'm done' and actually go through with it.
He nodded and continued.
Seth Cronyn: Regarding the podcasts, I did; I listened to both with the RIPTIDE roster at the KING Dojo. Corey Knight is handy with video and audio editing, and was able to edit the video of both Punk's interviews without Colt Cabana's presence as much on there; his unpreparedness and lackadaisical approach to it when we initially listened to it took us out the moment. It was a great listen, I felt, and we have no reason to doubt the sincerity of CM Punk. The part that resonated with me the most was the fact Triple H switched Punk's acting role with Randy Orton's due to the smallest of issues. I have a great deal of respect for CM Punk and his originality that he brought to pro wrestling; it is a shame that he has no more love for it.
Matt Striker: At one point, would you have wanted to sign him to SUMMIT PRO?
Seth Cronyn: His uniqueness enthrals me; he was a very entertaining and charismatic 'Superstar' in the WWE that still had credibility with his in-ring work due to his time on the indies and ROH. I will admit, I spoke to Lady Crothers and the Board of Directors about it; we could have accommodated him but I'll be honest - I'm not sure he would have thrived in SUMMIT PRO. He would need to deliver in the ring, and I would be reticent in my belief that he could 'keep up' with us.
Matt Striker: Just back to the CM Punk/Randy Orton movie issue that you said hit home for you regarding Triple H…can I ask if the reason for this resonance is because of the way the WWE and RIPTIDE co-promotion went?
Seth Cronyn: Absolutely; it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I must admit, especially the unbelievably unprofessional conduct of John Cena, a man who I must say I have still not met and have no desire to. I do not doubt that he is a great guy outside the ring in the States what with his charity work, but here, when dealing with SUMMIT PRO and Breckin Stryker, in Japan no less, was nothing short of the unfunniest joke you could think of.
Matt Striker: What about the Vince McMahon podcast interview with Steve Austin? What were your thoughts on that?
Seth Cronyn: As before, I listened with the RIPTIDE guys in the KING Dojo. The way Vince cringed at the words that pertained to 'wrestling' and 'pro wrestler' was noteworthy to us; it was nothing new to us but something still unsettling to hear in that seemingly confrontational way. What's so bad about those words? We'll take them! ROH will take them! NJPW has, and then some! The thing that also stuck out to us was how Vince tried to come across as a normal human being; I have met him and he didn't strike me as normal in any way. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, it's true - I'm guessing you've heard Paul Heyman's story about him and how he hates sneezing as an example! WWE is his creation, he has no time for anything else, and let me deal with Triple H with the co-promotion between WWE and SUMMIT PRO (namely RIPTIDE) for the few shows that we did last year.
Matt Striker: How far back did the co-promotion with WWE go; and what do you think of the media-related things they are doing outside of the standard Raw and Smackdown?
Seth Cronyn: At first it was positive; none of us were terribly familiar with WWE's product apart from the PPVs that Lady Crothers purchased for SUMMIT PRO to watch and study every month.
Matt Striker: Can I stop you there quickly? That's a very interesting notion to reveal.
Seth Cronyn: Oh, of course! As a company we watch their PPVs; not just WWE's but New Japan's, even TNA's when they did them. The ROH ones this past year were fantastic for the most part, especially 'Final Battle' as well, and as I said at the start, New Japan's recent 'Wrestle Kingdom 9' was amazing. Matt, we study what everyone else is doing, to see what works for them and what we feel we could do better and then produce in our own manner; our own style. In a way, we are learning what works for those promotions when it comes to presentation and flow; the format we have for our shows works for us, but we are always learning. Seeing the current US product's take on it is something we NEED to see done first-hand to ensure what we retain is 100% 3NWPRO.
Matt Striker: That's fantastic; they say you are always learning in the pro wrestling business, and that's proof positive right there. In essence, seeing what others do and reinforce your own ideas or use inspiration in some way?
Seth Cronyn: That's why I hired you Matt; you were a square peg in a round hole there - here, you understand what we need to get across and what you said is 100% correct. With regard to the inspiration; you could say that, but it's imperative to us that SUMMIT PRO retains its own aura, but yes, if we can be inspired by something and by turns create something based off of our machinations, all the better. Better to consider many things than nothing at all.
Matt Striker: Amazing viewpoint, and thank you.
Seth Cronyn: Hey, if you have the right people around you, they motivate you to do the absolute most you can with the time afforded to you, and that's why you're here. Onto your question though, the fact that WWE is producing this Total Divas reality show stuff, the Slam City stuff, the direct-to-DVD stuff with Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones is indicative of their company of where it is right now. They have Lego-like toys called Stack Down; they are a PG product, they are venturing into certain projects that they hope will resonate with fans of a certain age and that's fine; more power to them.
Seth Cronyn: What that does though is create this awareness of WWE as an entertainment company, not a wrestling company, and that's precisely what they want - as I said just now, all the power to them. Like CM Punk, I don't harbour any ill will towards the WWE; I really don’t. They are changing with the times as best they can; just don’t tell me that if you are a sports entertainment company and hold PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING EVENTS namely WRESTLEMANIA and have two of my mentors in your Hall Of Fame that I don't matter as a former PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER. Don't tell me that any of the 1000+ people in my employ that work just as hard as your company does delivering a PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING product to those in another timezone that want it. Oh, and that you don't know who Breckin Stryker is!
He again paused to have a sip from his glass of water.
Seth Cronyn: Oooh boy, the press and the Internet are gonna have a field day with that one, aren't they?
He and Matt laughed.
Seth Cronyn: The crux of it is, Matt, is that the WWE is not the be all and end all. If you look hard enough, there is other stuff out there to sate you if you are passionate enough about pro wrestling. In Japan, we are blessed; you see I thank the crowd every time I go out there, and I always will - thanks to them, SUMMIT PRO is giving the guys that believe in our vision a platform to ply their trade to the best of their abilities, and I will always be grateful. I've lived here since late '98 and consider my other house in California my holiday house. I want to be here in Japan, and so do all my friends who love being here and working.
Matt Striker: Amazing passion, so great to hear. Can we go back to your relationship with Triple H in terms of the co-promotion? How did it come about and what were your impressions of him?
Seth Cronyn: Yes, as I said it was very positive at first; WWE's signing of independent talent that I have been aware of for many years was a strong indicator for me to do business with them. SUMMIT PRO was on their radar after a RIPTIDE showcase event in Osaka earlier in the year. KENTA had attended the show and met with my good friend Keiji Sakoda from FORGE, who was injured at the time, and mentioned WWE was in Japan for live events.
Seth Cronyn: Somehow, Sakoda had mentioned to KENTA that WWE was not far away and word and/or tweets must have made their way to Triple H, who contacted me about our company. Within the time that he was in Japan he and I discussed many things, and got along well. He saw Breckin and Kaleb in action that night and was impressed with both, and asked me specifically about their contract situation. I told him they were with me for some time, and they had lives in Japan, with neither willing to relocate to Florida in the US.
Matt Striker: What was his reaction to that?
Seth Cronyn: Well, he was perplexed; he didn't realise that some guys can actually make a living in Japan and are not adverse to living in a foreign country. Regardless, he was impressed with both Breckin and Kaleb and asked if I'd heard of NXT, to which I said I had. He was also amazed that I was only 37 (at the time) and yet I had created something as diverse and original as SUMMIT PRO.
Matt Striker: Did he propose a talent exchange of some sort?
Seth Cronyn: Yes, he did, but I was adamant that the guys I trained, my guys, wrestle a stiffer, harder, more punishing style and any talent they'd send me would need to up the ante. I proposed a VERSUS co-promotion, and said RIPTIDE VS NXT would be a good idea; his 'Arrival' and 'Takeover' shows had done well in a small arena setting and the thought of young talent on both sides of the world would be an interesting idea. The fact that the guys from the indies I was keen on working with like the former El Generico (Sami Zayn) and PAC (Adrian Neville), not to mention Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Cesaro appealed to me as well; the key here was the wrestling ethic.
Matt Striker: I must admit, RIPTIDE VS NXT sounds like a great idea; and again - Ziggler VS Weaver was just an incredible match, voted four stars in WON.
Seth Cronyn: Thanks - it's all about the young talent, that's what I wanted this co-promotion to focus on, but the contrast between two companies with a similar vision. Along with FORGE's Jim Weaver, another good friend of mine, I travelled to the US to meet with Triple H at the Performance Center. I was blown away by the facility; hell, we both were. Jim and I trained a group of young hopefuls and I later engaged Triple H again about the idea. He said he couldn't do NXT and RIPTIDE, for whatever reason, and instead said for certain matches sprinkled in on different SUMMIT PRO events, like MAELSTROM, before committing to a full-blown VERSUS card.
Matt Striker: And even then, it had to be RIPTIDE VS WWE, not RIPTIDE VS NXT, right?
Seth Cronyn: That's right. I acquiesced, thinking that this still had the potential to offer something new and groundbreaking regardless. It must have done well, because in October TNA and Keiji Mutoh's Wrestle-1 promotion co-promoted 'Bound For Glory' but unfortunately for them it didn't do too well from what I've heard…I can only imagine that our show influenced them in some way, I could be wrong however.
Matt Striker: You mentioned various companies before; why is it that you do not share the mindset Vince McMahon does about not mentioning other companies or even other wrestlers?
Seth Cronyn: Myself and Lady Crothers have had many discussions about this; we're not sure why Vince's mind works that way - Matt, you worked for him and you probably don't even know yourself; certainly can't blame you for that. The short answer everyone knows is that Vince doesn't acknowledge things that he didn't create. Here's what I don't get though, and bear with me: He created the character of The Undertaker for Mark Calaway; a Western undead mortician, gets his powers from an urn held by a cleverly-named manager called Paul Bearer. Great character, and no one can dispute the fact that The Undertaker is a legend in this business.
Seth Cronyn: He called The Dingo Warrior 'The Ultimate Warrior' who would prove that an intense, visually captivating and larger-than-life ethos in a performer, and that made him a star. When Triple H came in he was called something different before settling on Hunter Hearst Helmsley; it works. Even Steve Austin is tweaked, with 'Stone Cold' added. All these performers were headliners and made a huge amount of money for the WWE; as they were the intellectual property of the WWE. Vince acknowledging certain other stars and other promotions doesn't benefit him in any way, so they don't do it. It's only when a certain property is well within the confines of WWE's mentality that they will release something acknowledging this other property; like the War Games DVD set or the Mid South Wrestling DVD set, but will have their logo on it - it's business, after all.
Matt Striker: Of course, 2014 saw the most popular star to never be under WWE contract to finally appear in WWE; Sting.
Seth Cronyn: As a kid watching Jim Crockett Promotions and the early WCW, Sting was an incredible addition to the roster; his matches with Ric Flair are up there with some of our essential viewing at SUMMIT PRO HQ. His charisma was off the charts; a likeable babyface that did the most he did with the TV time he had. Big fan of Sting, always have been. A shame that his appearance at WWE's Survivor Series resulted in no further signs of him. At his age, we can't expect miracles, no matter what he does.
Matt Striker: Can we talk about your sister, Sienna? She blew people's minds, mine especially at MAELSTROM III. What's her story?
Seth Cronyn: I am a very protective and cautious big brother; she was my biggest fan when I became a wrestler, as she was a tomboy as a kid. It was the two of us, my grandfather, and my estranged brother after my parents passed. Wrestling was a bond that united us. Sienna was a very active kid; she excelled at everything from track to volleyball to soccer and even Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Matt Striker: Wow, that's incredible to hear. I imagine the Cronyn family was active as a whole?
Seth Cronyn: Absolutely; but for Sienna, being the only girl, it was great to see how diligent she was; I'm so very proud of her. She had a chance to be part of a women's soccer team but got injured after securing her spot; reluctantly they had to give her spot to someone else.
By this time, I was in Japan working matches in FMW and watching matches in All Japan and New Japan as a fan. I comforted her over the phone as she was distraught about being injured. I paid for her to come to see me in Japan, and to give her a break from her stresses once she healed up.
Seth Cronyn: She was amazed I could speak and read Japanese and watched those matches with me, amazed at what she saw - she was completely inspired, and when she said she wanted to be a professional wrestler too. I was immensely proud of her when she asked to see female puroresu; joshi, and gravitated towards the work of Manami Toyota, Megumi Kudo, Bull Nakano, Akira Hokuto and Kyoko Inoue. She is friends with former SHIMMER wrestlers Tomoka Nakagawa and Ayumi Kurihara, who both helped her learn Japanese, along with me where possible.
Matt Striker: That's amazing; she truly moves like no other American female pro wrestler I've ever seen. What happened to her in the Battle Royal is a hot topic though; the bloodloss and the despicable actions of Kenichi Saito are still on people's minds. Your thoughts?
Seth Cronyn: I commend my sister for everything she has done and has still to do in wrestling; she's 23 and has trained extensively to get here - no free passes because I'm the CEO. Her bleeding in the match is something that was completely unexpected, but it showed tremendous character and wherewithal from her as an athlete to persevere; people who raised red flags about it do so purely because she's a woman. She's incredibly tough.
Matt Striker: Do you believe she was helpless? She was groped by Kenichi Saito more than once and slapped around.
Seth Cronyn: At those particular intervals, sure, I believe she was unable to defend herself, but she persevered, and used the degradation; if you want to call it that, to her benefit, and found a way to win against a top talent; one of twenty-three tremendous SUMMIT PRO athletes. Yes, I'm pissed at Saito, we've never seen eye-to-eye and probably will, but he knows that a Cronyn is someone you don't mess with.
Matt Striker: Well, Seth, I'm going to be honest; I could talk to you for hours about how pro wrestling and life in general; SUMMIT PRO is in very good hands indeed. Before you go, could you please share the interests you mentioned earlier and how they influence you?
Seth Cronyn: I like to think I'm kind of kindred spirits with Chris Jericho; he's a bit older than me but he has a similar mindset as it pertains to interests outside of wrestling, namely music and writing. If not him, definitely CM Punk as well - his way of life and what shapes him is something I can relate to. I've been a fan of heavy metal music for a long time, have dabbled in writing; be it a screenplay or novel, have seen countless movies and TV shows and appreciate pop culture and satire. There are so many different facets of things within these interests that have intrigued me in so many ways and incorporating ideas taken from them for SUMMIT PRO is a joy.
Seth Cronyn: I mentioned music; namely heavy metal. The similarities as a sub-culture between that and pro wrestling for me are too many to ignore - but it is that way because I looked for them and found them; someone else necessarily wouldn't. When BEAST became a reality I spoke with Kraven and Bruiser about using heavy music for entrance theme music, noting the gamut of music within the realm of metal would work with BEAST's vision; and I was right. Not every BEAST theme song is like hearing an Obituary album, but each performer is unique and as such there are unique themes for each that resonate with each of them. For that, I'm very proud, and continued this with our music department for the other promotions within SUMMIT PRO.
Matt Striker: Thanks so much Seth, it has been a pleasure, I look forward to when we next speak.
Seth Cronyn: The pleasure is mine Matt, thanks again; appreciate it!
* * *
Back in the studio, the audience and the panel unite to applaud the lengthy interview conducted by Matt Striker.
Carl Jordan: 私が先に行くと、それを言うでしょう。それはマットが、そこにもあなたの努力と私たちはそこに信じられないほどの誠実さと洞察力のために私たちの最高経営責任者（CEO）、セス•クローニン、として持っている先見の明に心から感謝のためにあなたに行われ幻想的なインタビューだった。
(I will go ahead and say it; that was a fantastic interview Matt, well done to you for your efforts there and our sincere thanks to the visionary we have as our CEO, Seth Cronyn, for the incredible honesty and insight there.)
Lee Hunter: 同意する;私たちの観客があまりにもないため、セス•クローニンは、サミットPROの繁栄を確保するために休むことなく働いており、2015年には、すでに同社にとって重要な年になりつつあります。それでは、次の二つのイベントを見てみましょう。鶴田記念アリーナを完売しているBEASTのためになります第一段階と2015年の最初のショーケースイベント、 - SUMMIT PROタッググランプリのスタート！
(I agree; as our audience does too; Seth Cronyn has worked tirelessly to ensure that SUMMIT PRO thrives and 2015 is already shaping up to be an important year for the company. Let's take a look at the next event; the start of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix - First Stage and the first Showcase Event for 2015, which will be for BEAST, who have sold out the Tsuruta Commemorative Arena!)
Attention was drawn after the video packages to the next event; the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix - First Stage.
SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix - First Stage
"The Treachery" (Tinieblas Jr and Sydistiko) [IGNITION] VERSUS Corey Knight/Zen Pike [RIPTIDE]
"Seeds of Hate" (Oseron and Miasma) [BEAST] VERSUS Eric St. Paul/Stan Bryant [FORGE]
CHALLENGE MATCH: Kaleb Delta [RIPTIDE] VERSUS Tatsutoshi Shimizu [KING]
"The Dexters" (Jesse Dexter/Joey Dexter) [RIPTIDE] VERSUS "Akuma Afterglow" Nobuhiko Ogawa and Kenjiro Kojima [KING JHW]
REMATCH FROM VERSUS: "La Muerte Roja" (The Red Death) Razor Dragon and Equinox [IGNITION] VERSUS 'Furious Senden' Manabu Okamoto and Takeo Shiraishi [KING]
"R-RAMPAGE" (Ryoto Hirabayashi and Ryuji Kitazawa) [KING] VERSUS "Hellfire Eternal" (Inferno/Raze) [BEAST]
SPECIAL PRE-MAIN EVENT: Nigel Newhart [RIPTIDE] VERSUS Kenichi Saito [KING]
MAIN EVENT: Terry Sampson/Robbie Drake [FORGE] VERSUS "Brute" (Kintaro Hayata and Mitsuhiro Koshinaka) [KING]
A video package hyped the event, along with footage of all the teams in action; the two singles matches having importance on this card; both Kaleb Delta of RIPTIDE and Tatsutoshi Shimizu of KING returning from respective injuries in a challenge match to solidify their presence in their respective promotions.
The pre main event was a match made in light of the actions during the Supremacy in Saitama Battle Royal at MAELSTROM III; the vitriolic nature of the two who initially targeted each other and made it to the final five was lauded as a potential MOTY candidate.
The crowd responded with a great deal of applause as the well-produced video displayed the matchups.
The panel discussed the matchups before moving on to the first Showcase Event (ショーケースイベント) for 2015, which would be BEASTS' return to Osaka for a Showcase Event (the last was in South Korea)
SUMMIT PRO SHOWCASE: BEAST XI
BEAST TRIPTYTCH MATCH: The Bloodpack (Mictlan and Vortex) VERSUS Bane of Ruination (Nightmare and Ravage) VERSUS Occasus (Senium and Geilt)
BEAST TRIPLE THREAT: Venom VERSUS Sekem VERSUS Animus
SPECIAL GRUDGE MATCH: Cthulu VERSUS Reaper
DUAL BEAST TAG TITLE MATCH: Tag Team champions The Pain Division (Legion and Warbringer) VERSUS Kolossal Miscreation (Bludgeon and Kraken)
PRE-MAIN EVENT: IRON BEAST TITLE MATCH: Virus VERSUS Kraven
MAIN EVENT - KING BEAST TITLE MATCH: Bruiser VERSUS Vessel
Again, a video package hyped the event, along with footage of BEAST in action in recent times; a somewhat stacked card that would see all the titles on the line.
The panel discussed the first two matches, BEAST's take on the three-team elimination tag match; The Triptych, would start proceedings, followed by two leaders of respective factions competing for supremacy against each other and against a stalwart of BEAST in Venom.
The fallout of MAELSTROM III and the defection of Reaper back to The Bloodpack was a hot topic and a much-anticipated match on the card.
The Pain Division, who would be entered into the Tag Team Grand Prix in the stages to come, would be the first SUMMIT PRO championship team to potentially lose their titles and be replaced in the Grand Prix.
The return of Kraken galvanised Kolossal Miscreation as Bludgeon and Kraken would team together in an effort to dethrone the champions.
Kraven, emboldened by the return of Reaper to his Bloodpack, would be tested one-on-one against the reigning IRON BEAST champion and leader of The Pain Division, Virus. The defeat against Bruiser lit a fire under Kraven to look elsewhere for a path to dominance, and it begins for him with a title he once held, the IRON BEAST championship.
Vessel's rampage during the Supremacy in Saitama Battle Royal at MAELSTROM III was a testament to his sheer size and power; his win at BEAST X as part of Kolossal Miscreation helped Lucius Kraven decide that Vessel would be the next logical contender for Bruiser's KING BEAST championship.
The crowd applauded the superbly-done and at times slightly dark video that displayed the matchups.
Carl Jordan: 皆様;私たちと一緒にいるために再度ありがとう、これはサミットPROの最初のエピソードされています：波は、我々は、我々は2015年に最高の何に戻ったときにすぐにお会いしたいと考えています (Ladies and gentlemen; thank you again for being with us, this has been the first episode of SUMMIT PRO: Waves, we hope to see you soon when we return to what we do best in 2015.)
The panel thanked the fans, as more applause emanated from the audience, as the screen faded to black on the first episode of WAVES.
For the fans who watched either on TCN's broadcast, Nippon TV's or on the SUMMIT PRO website's online streaming service, special well-crafted and edited promo shorts hyping the next shows; the first for 2015 for SUMMIT PRO, along with other shorts hyping SUMMIT PRO as a whole played sporadically.
Post by Chris Reager on Feb 6, 2015 3:14:54 GMT -5
SUMMIT PRO: TAG TEAM GRAND PRIX I - FIRST STAGE Osaka Sento Arena, Himitsu-No Shima, Osaka Prefecture
The show opened with a video package of all the tag teams participating in the event tonight.
3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn, along with the respective Presidents of SUMMIT PRO's promotions, opened the show on the stage to hype tonight's event, and made their way to the ring.
The gentlemen entered the ring to applause, and in return showed great respect to the crowd.
As Seth went to speak, he was cheered seemingly endlessly; the positive responses he'd had from pro wrestling fans since Waves - Episode 1 spoke volumes of his character and how he was viewed in Japan.
Once it died down, Seth Cronyn welcomed the fans and announced that the First Stage of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix was finally here, and would eventually crown the best tag team in all of SUMMIT PRO, with the inaugural champions to defend the newly created SUMMIT PRO Tag Team championship titles on rival events against top tier talent.
Sizes, weights and ability/skill would be fair game for all teams competing.
For someone like Katsuhiko Yamada of KING JHW, who was also the KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight champion, the potential to be a double champion was there and it was enticing to speculate.
All five promotions would be represented, and RIPTIDE and KING would do battle in two separate special singles matches.
Each President took turns with the microphone to extol the virtues of their respective promotion's prospects in the Grand Prix, as attention was drawn to the large screens and displayed the brackets for the First Stage of the Grand Prix matches.
Seth mentioned that SUMMIT PRO would come out all guns blazing in 2015, and this was the first shot to be fired, so to speak.
It was at that point that Lady Crothers made an unexpected appearance to the strains of 'Heaven and Hell' by Black Sabbath.
The crowd came alive to welcome Lady Crothers, who stepped between the ropes with help from minders at ringside, and shook hands cordially with her Presidents.
She saved the last for Seth and hugged him warmly.
She promised she wouldn't take up too much time, and thanked Osaka for their support of SUMMIT PRO in 2015, noting again the upgrade from the Tsuruta Commemorative Arena to the Osaka Sento Arena, meaning another sellout.
She would have footage to share of an important event during the intermission (after The Dexters VS Akuma Afterglow) which was integral to the growth of SUMMIT PRO.
After getting the crowd involved in asking which promotion would reign supreme tonight, she left to genuine applause from her staffers and the audience.
Japanese press scrambled to take pictures of Lady Crothers as she departed the ringside area.
The Presidents thanked the audience once more and bowed in respect, they exited one by one but Seth stayed in the ring, holding up his hand to add something to what had already been said.
He said that in 2014, SUMMIT PRO had made a real impact in professional wrestling by being a very different animal; and it was only a matter of time before other promotions would sit up and notice the supposed 'new kid on the block'.
He mentioned this is how the partnerships with NOAH, AJPW and WWE started, but dissolved for whatever reason.
In 2015, the wrestling world had been wowed with NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 9 in early January, and had given nothing but high praise for ROH's Final Battle 2014 and SUMMIT PRO's MAELSTROM III.
Seth said that due to Matt Striker's position in both SUMMIT PRO and Jeff Jarrett's GFW, he had been able to have a meeting with both Jeff Jarrett of GFW and Kaneme Tezuka of NJPW.
He added that he was close to signing a partnership deal that would see both ROH and NJPW allied with SUMMIT PRO with the potential for VERSUS supercards and a potentially even bigger Wrestle Kingdom 10 in 2016; injuries and scheduling permitting.
He had also sat down with Joe Koff and Cary Silkin of ROH, having been a fan since the days of CM Punk, Samoa Joe and Nigel McGuinness, and was also very close to a partnership deal with Sinclair Broadcasting and ROH for a similar VERSUS supercard deal and prospective talent exchange.
This was incredibly exciting news, and the crowd responded as such.
Seth again thanked not just Osaka but Japan as a whole for their support of professional wrestling, and for being open-minded about the nature of competition and spirited athletic endeavours you could only get with SUMMIT PRO and promotions that they had allied with.
He bowed to the crowd as the SUMMIT PRO theme started to play.
SUMMIT PRO's announce team, Lee Hunter, Carl Jordan and Matt Striker, commented on the in-ring actions, with Carl and Lee amazed at the extra bit of news Seth mentioned; looking to Matt who grinned broadly, happy in the knowledge that he had been the one to set up the meeting for Seth to meet with Jeff Jarrett and Kaneme Tezuka.
Lee brought up that it was Seth who initially got in touch with ROH just to express his appreciation for Final Battle 2014; Koff and Silkin insisted on a meeting, which Seth agreed to.
The screens showed the Gravure Four; the Japanese actresses/models (with the exception of Eri, who was from Thailand) who were the backstage interviewers for SUMMIT PRO - Yukie Kawamura, Minase Yashiro, Harumi Nemoto and Eri Otoguro (the newest addition).
Performing backstage interviewing duties for IGNITION was Raquel Arrulo, while Tetsuo Kaneda, El Encender` (IGNITION) and Lenne Hardt (formerly of PRIDE, recently rejoined SUMMIT PRO) would perform ring announcing duties intermittently.
The facepainted tall thin man known only as Malevolence was BEAST's ring announcer, with his deep resonant voice akin to actor Christopher Lee making him a unique attraction in his own right.
A short video package highlighting the teams participating in the First Stage of the Grand Prix was shown, as well as a rivalry/grudge 'feel' section of the video that focussed on the two RIPTIDE VS KING singles matches.
SUMMIT PRO: TAG TEAM GRAND PRIX I - FIRST STAGE
Backstage, Tinieblas Jr stood with his partner Sydistiko and cut a promo on the upcoming match, as interviewed by Raquel Arrulo in Spanish. Elsewhere backstage, Corey Knight and Zen Pike responded in kind by virtue of their own promos, as interviewed by Minase Yashiro.
The Treachery: (Tinieblas Jr and Sydistiko) [IGNITION] VERSUS Corey Knight / Zen Pike [RIPTIDE]
OF NOTE: Corey Knight and Zen Pike, ostensibly a veteran/rookie team, did not have the teaming experience that The Treachery had, but Corey, a perennial underdog, coupled with the larger yet crafty youngster in Zen Pike was an interesting juxtaposition.
Corey had the intangible gift of being able to sell offense from his opponents in a manner that had people truly worrying about his welfare; this was something the fans in Japan loved about him.
They also loved the fact that apart from wrestling, he was a musician and video editing wizard, and behind the scenes worked with SUMMIT PRO on creating music videos for vignettes.
Zen Pike was a brash young punk who believed the world owed him a favour, and was reined in by Corey to set him straight.
Pike turned a corner after an overwhelming defeat in the US against Breckin Stryker and sought to emulate Corey's teachings.
Both Corey and Zen came to the ring to applause; the frenetic shriek of 'I'll Go Until My Heart Stops' by Alaskan metal band 36 Crazyfists that Corey had remastered pumped up the crowd.
The Treachery came to the ring next; 'Rip Out Your Eyes' by Ill Nino attacking the senses as the rudos made their way inside the ring. Tetsuo Kaneda announced Knight/Pike while El Encender` announced The Treachery.
The Treachery attacked Pike and Knight right after the bell sounded, gaining the upperhand from the get-go.
With Zen taken out of the ring by Sydistiko, Lizmark Jr asserted himself by attacking Corey with vigour; knife-edge chops and messy slams keeping Corey wincing in pain and looking for help from Zen.
The match wore on with Corey absorbing a ton of offense but never giving up; knowing how important this match was for RIPTIDE.
Sydistiko tagged in frequently and used his quickness to his advantage, at one point stretching Corey in an unbelievably painful Octopus Hold as Zen urged Corey to hold on.
Corey defied the pain as best he could, and thanks to a misjudged attack from Sydistiko, managed to tag out to Zen to a smattering of applause!
Zen, with the hot tag, was fired up and cleaned house on The Treachery, with the two rudos eventually begging off, astounded at the fire that Zen possessed.
He got overzealous and as he shot forward to launch a Double Front Foot Dropkick at them but they moved, and as he lay prone, both hit him with elbow drops at the same time.
Corey raced over to break it up but was overpowered by Lizmark Jr, and the two scrambled out of the ring, hitting the ringside area hard.
With the referee focused on Corey and Lizmark Jr, Sydistiko snarled and nailed a stiff Superkick to a winded Zen Pike.
He followed up with sickening stiff shoot kicks to Zen's broad chest.
As Zen staggered, Sydistiko heaved him into a Front Facelock, and dropped Zen with a scintillating Spike DDT!
The crowd gasped in shock as Sydistiko gruffly hooked Zen's leg and covered him 1-2-3 for the win!
The bell clanged to signify the end of the match; fans tersely let down at the fact Knight and Pike could not prevail.
RESULT: The Treachery defeated Knight / Pike (13:57) when Sydistiko pinned Pike after a Spike DDT
At the commentary desk, Jordan, Hunter and Striker discussed the match, noting how good it was to see that Zen Pike had committed himself to turning over a new leaf, but his efforts were not enough here.
A graphic showing the First Stage field had Pike/Knight eliminated with The Treachery going through as the first team to do so.
Backstage, Eric St. Paul and Stan Bryant for FORGE each cut a promo on the upcoming match, as interviewed by Eri Otoguro in English (subtitled translations for home viewers)
Elsewhere backstage, a trembling Yukie Kawamura held the microphone for the leader of BEAST's Seeds of Hate faction, Animus, who cut a seething promo on behalf of his charges in Seeds of Hate.
A trailer for the newest episode from the SUMMIT PRO anime series for BEAST entitled 'SUMMIT PRO - BEAST: 神々、モンスターと悪魔の(Of Gods, Monsters and Demons)' was shown as part of the first volume 'Trivium Go Codex'.
Seeds of Hate: (Oseron and Miasma) [BEAST] VERSUS Eric St. Paul / Stan Bryant [FORGE]
OF NOTE: Seeds of Hate was forged in the Universum as a conundrum; instead of being powerhouses in the vein of The Pain Division, they instead resembled corpse-painted black metal musicians who had more than a bit of muscle and had a penchant for theatrics, violence and a nihilistic view of the world.
St. Paul and Bryant were two journeymen wrestlers who had had a lot of experience in the smaller independent leagues, before eventually impressing the likes of The Funks who informed Seth that they were worth checking out; and they were, joining the ranks of FORGE and drew favourable comparisons to the likes of Bob Orton Jr and Barry Windham.
Animus led his followers in Seeds of Hate, Oseron and Miasma, to the ring as 'From The Cradle To Enslave' by Cradle of Filth played; the symphonic yet pummelling black metal song highlighted perfectly by the dark trio by their shadowy appearance as they made their entrance.
The contrast was immense as Eric St. Paul and Stan Bryant made their way to the ring as Cathedral's 'The Unnatural World' played to applause, but nowhere near the amount of visuals.
Malevolence announced Seeds of Hate while Lenne Hardt announced St. Paul and Bryant.
Animus stood stoically on the outside, as Oseron and Miasma gazed at their opponents intently.
Miasma, as if possessed by a demon, charged at Bryant and caught him off guard, hammering him with quick strikes and kicks.
Bryant managed to create some distance and caught Miasma with a deft Big Boot, and went to follow up but was tripped up by Animus at ringside.
St. Paul angrily went to go after Animus for the interference but was stopped by the referee, who conveniently didn't see it.
Oseron came in illegally by slapping his own hand to make the slap sound as the Japanese referee was occupied with St. Paul and stomped Bryant mercilessly; the empty look on his face matched by his brethren in Seeds of Hate.
Bryant's height was thankfully a saving grace for him as he was able reach out to tag to St. Paul from an area of the ring that Oseron thought he had him scouted in.
St. Paul charged on Oseron and mowed him down with fierce blows as the match wore on; Oseron's corpsepaint smeared and stained.
It was Oseron's turn to eat some offense as St. Paul and Bryant used effective double teams to frustrate Miasma who looked on, and Animus, who stared blankly from the ringside area.
Try as they might, they couldn't keep Oseron down for a count of three, and he resorted to a quick yet violent knee to the midsection on Bryant to get away and tag out to Miasma.
Miasma kept the pressure on Bryant, who reeled in pain from the quick and painful strikes from his opponent; his hands always looking to reach out to St. Paul in a futile attempt to tag out.
St. Paul, who had had enough of Bryant taking the offense, interfered and levelled Miasma with a brutal Lariat.
As the referee went to restore order, Animus and Oseron focused attacks on an already weakened Bryant, who was in dire straits and needed to tag out.
Miasma recovered, and got up slowly, facing his partner. He moved gradually, as if he was going to tag out, but quickly snapped out of it and rushed at St. Paul, and knocked him off the apron!
With very little preparation, Miasma launched himself over the ropes in a tope` and landed on St. Paul with a thud!
Bryant wheezed and raised himself to his feet, before Oseron nailed him from behind with an impactful Northern Lariat!
Oseron gazed at Animus, his hateful stare burning a hole in his follower, who slowly nodded with approval.
He brought Bryant to his feet with a fistful of hair, and smashed him with a violent forearm, which threw Bryant's head back!
Bryant valiantly threw blind haymakers in an attempt to save face, but Oseron put a stop to that with a vicious Roundhouse Kick that almost caved in Bryant's head!
On the outside, St. Paul desperately tried to climb back in but Miasma held on to his legs, preventing him from interfering.
A groggy Bryant was in prone position for Oseron's version of the Tombstone Piledriver; the Blackest Incarnation, a quicker version of the Tombstone that made Matt Striker almost jump out of his seat!
Oseron exhaustively hooked Bryant's leg and covered him for the successful pinfall as the crowd cheered!
The bell sounded as the match ended; the fans still aghast at Seeds of Hate but could not help but be impressed at their 'strategy'.
RESULT: Seeds of Hate defeated St. Paul / Bryant (12:53) when Oseron pinned Bryant after The Blackest Incarnation Tombstone
At the commentary desk, Jordan, Hunter and Striker discussed the match, amazed at the toughness of Bryant, how headstrong St. Paul was, but overall how clever Seeds of Hate were to find a way to win and move on in the Grand Prix.
A graphic showing the First Stage field had St. Paul/Bryant eliminated with Seeds of Hate being the second team to advance.
The commentary team briefly spoke about the special challenge match that would see two impressive athletes make their return from injury represent their promotions; RIPTIDE and KING respectively.
Backstage, Kaleb Delta spoke with Minase Yashiro in spirited Japanese, thankful for the opportunity to come back from injury and show everyone that he is on par with the best talent in SUMMIT PRO; promising that Shimizu would know this firsthand.
Elsewhere backstage, Tatsutoshi Shimizu replied to Kaleb Delta's promo with a snapping, angry promo of his own, intent on breaking Delta in half, as interviewed by Harumi Nemoto.
A video set to 'Burn' by Throwdown hyping both athletes was shown, with great editing and edifying both as top tier talents in their respective promotions.
SPECIAL CHALLENGE MATCH: Kaleb Delta [RIPTIDE] VERSUS Tatsutoshi Shimizu [FORGE]
i]OF NOTE: Kaleb Delta, part of the RIPTIDE Four, had a strong following as a result of the hard work he had put in as RIPTIDE talent.
Essentially a bodybuilder with breathtaking strength and a quiet charisma that Japan had gravitated to, Delta was a non-nonsense competitor who was grateful for every opportunity to succeed in Japan, like his best friend Breckin Stryker.
He put RIPTIDE ahead of his own welfare at times, as he loved pro wrestling so much. 'I'm just a meathead living my dream,' he once said.
He unfortunately had been injured before MAELSTROM III in training, and had watched the show, happy for Starling and Breckin, but wishing he could have made it on the show somehow.
Tatsutoshi Shimizu, along with several talents in KING had immersed themselves in the crossover appeal of mixed martial arts and pro wrestling; notably Shimizu himself, MERCILESS, Osorezugun and more.
It was a natural progression as the very style in puroresu lent itself to that visceral and physical ethos, and Shimizu, who uncannily looked like NJPW's Katsuyori Shibata, had happened upon leaning more towards this very physical style; 'Strong Style'.
As this is an extremely punishing style, Shimizu had pushed himself too far in training, ironically injured in the same manner as Kiyoshi Genjiro, the number one contender for the CKGP Junior Heavyweight championship.
Kaleb Delta made his entrance as 'Ruin' by Lamb of God played; a heavy, rhythmic beat pulsating throughout the Sento Arena, portraying a serious Kaleb Delta as a force to be reckoned with.
Tatsutoshi Shimizu came to the ring as serious as his opponent, as a Japanese rendered synthetic entrance theme in the vein of FORGE's Ryusuke Tengan played; Shimizu's theme music though being an instrumental version of Naglfar's 'Mirrors Of My Soul'.
Tetsuo Kaneda announced both men, as a heap of streamers was thrown and strewn across them, accompanied by loud applause and cheering.
Both men stared intently at each other, and as the bell sounded, both charged at each other, pounding each other with hellaciously stiff forearms in a classic Strong Style-type battle.
Delta went for his backfist, but Shimizu ducked and fired a lethal shoot kick at Delta's chest, lighting him up.
They transitioned from forearms to shoot kicks, with the crowd's eyes glued; watching as if it was a tennis match, as both men's legs arched back and struck the other's chest with meaty smacks.
Neither man had even performed a manoeuvre as yet; they had a lot to prove to Osaka and all of SUMMIT PRO.
The initial eruption of tremendously stiff strikes died down, as Delta looked to ensure his conditioning was up to par, having noted how well-conditioned Shimizu had been in the past (and was sure to still be).
Passages of control for both men took their toll, as slams, suplexes and more strikes were exchanged; again neither man able to get a foothold on the other.
The crowd was seemingly split down the middle; they were impressed with both men equally; cheering them vociferously.
As the match wore on, the efforts bore similarities to the stiffness of Togi Makabe against Tomohiro Ishii at NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 9, which in itself was a showing of Strong Style in 2015 of heavyweight wrestlers of true heart and talent.
The match continued to have exchanges of nearfalls between the two, with the crowd still behind each man split down the middle.
Delta took advantage of a missed kick from Shimizu and nailed him perfectly with the backfist that he had added to his repertoire, which stunned Shimizu!
With Shimizu's back turned to him he clutched him from behind in a Dragon Suplex position; the crowd erupting for Delta's version of the Dragon Suplex, his strength and power coming in very handy with this particular move.
Shimizu broke free and instead attempted an Enzuiguri; nailing Delta in the back of the head.
Incredibly, Delta burned with fighting spirit and pounded his fists into the mat, shaking his head free of sweat, his comeback was in effect!
Shimizu gritted his teeth and pummelled Delta with furious stiff strikes that ate into his reprisal; but Delta turned it around in one second with a gargantuan slap to the face that echoed Antonio Inoki!
Shimizu, groggy, ate a Shinsuke Nakamura-like knee buried in his abdomen from Delta, who hastily wrestled him into a messy yet brutal-looking German Suplex!
As Shimizu got to his feet, Delta ran past him, bounced off the ropes and decapitated him with a Lariat that seemingly came from Stan Hansen himself!
Deafening cheers abounded as Delta hoisted a staggering woozy Shimizu to his feet and gestured to the crowd for his Dragon Suplex; the Delta Dragon!
A beautiful bridge from an exhausted Delta was counted by the referee; 1-2-3 for the successful pinfall!
The bell sounded and both men were attended to; the fans grateful for such a truly captivating match, as the commentators were nothing but glowing in their praise for both men, especially Delta, who showed why he was a deserved member of the 'RIPTIDE Four'.
RESULT: Kaleb Delta defeated Tatsutoshi Shimizu (18:42) by pinfall with the Delta Dragon Suplex
As mentioned earlier by Lady Crothers, the intermission saw footage from a recent press conference at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, with Lady Crothers as part of a panel.
The press conference was to formally announce the launch of SUMMIT PRO: DRIVEN, 3NWPRO's foray into joshi puroresu, spearheaded by Sienna Cronyn.
Lady Crothers sat at the long table, smiling and waving before beginning her speech, which focused on highlighting the strengths of women's wrestling in Japan and how it is vastly unique (and in some ways) and in her honest opinion superior to all other female pro wrestling on the planet.
Lady Crothers reiterated how important professional wrestling was to her, and as a strong woman who had been successful in every facet of her life, expected nothing less from her 'sisters-in-arms' in Japan.
She briefly shared a story of how, like Sienna Cronyn, she had first seen a match between Manami Toyota and Kyoko Inoue, and was immediately impressed, knowing that in Japan women were the furthest thing from the WWE label, 'Divas'.
The match resonated with her, and as SUMMIT PRO continued to grow, she knew there would be a time to usher in her chance to provide a platform for 3NWPRO's joshi puroresu, and DRIVEN was it.
She mentioned that at the Three Minutes To…Turmoil in Tokyo special edition press conference that at that stage DRIVEN had entered a partnership with joshi promotions ICE RIBBON and Pro Wrestling.
She went on to say that she along with 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn had been able to secure a partnership with another joshi promotion; World Wonder Ring Stardom; otherwise known as simply スターダム (Stardom).
The crowd applauded the news, as it meant to them that Lady Crothers respected how things operated in Japan.
She knew better than to create a promotion in Japan and try to sign away established stars to her promotion; that she wanted nothing more for DRIVEN to succeed in the vein of the major promotions.
Continuing in the vein of 'succeeding', she segued beautifully into edifying the abilities and traits of the fierce and beautiful Sienna Cronyn, the winner of the Supremacy in Saitama Battle Royal 2014.
Lady Crothers introduced Sienna Cronyn to the crowd, who received her proudly, causing her to almost blush with overwhelming emotion.
Sienna was joined by her two friends and mentors; Ayumi Kurihara and Tomoka Nakagawa, both retired, but had been integral in helping to tutor and train Sienna in the Japanese language and joshi puroresu.
She introduced the respective owners of ICE RIBBON, Pro Wrestling Wave and Stardom:
Emi Sakura (formerly) of ICE RIBBON Yumi Ohka of Pro Wrestling Wave Fuka, Nanae Takahashi and Yuzuki Aikawa of Stardom
The women were warmly greeted by the audience and the press; and each took their opportunity after the obligatory handshake photo ops with Lady Crothers to speak about how much they were looking forward to working with DRIVEN, and how it would excel in addition to joshi puroresu as whole.
Lady Crothers took the opportunity after all had spoken to describe the qualities of the person she knew had the experience and wherewithal to be President of DRIVEN.
She introduced the President of DRIVEN, Sienna Cronyn's idol in joshi puroresu and one of the finest, (if not the finest) female professional wrestlers on the planet, the 'Flying Angel' Manami Toyota!
The hotel erupted in applause for Toyota, who made her way to the conference panel, and shook hands with Lady Crothers as flashbulbs aplenty went off from the press to preserve the moment.
Toyota posed for photos with the entire panel, notably having to calm down Sienna who had broken down in tears with happiness to be in the same vicinity as her joshi idol.
The Japanese press and the audience ooohed and ahhhed; a refreshing sight to see in this day and age where reverence for one's favourite performers did not come across as false or pretentious.
The panel, led by Lady Crothers, answered questions from the press about DRIVEN and how it would operate, as well as how would the alliances with the three joshi promotions factor, along with other questions, some even taken from the audience in attendance.
Lady Crothers assuaged fears that DRIVEN would be just another joshi promotion that would start off strong and fizzle out; she argued that due to her business acumen with TCGOC and the fact she was essentially a polymath; incredibly well-versed in a litany of academic, business and economic pursuits.
She mentioned she had won a lawsuit against WWE (who had filed one against 3NWPRO due to Breckin Stryker's actions against John Cena at WWE VS RIPTIDE) without an issue meant she would see this through.
Lady Crothers mentioned that the championships had yet to be announced, but asked for everyone's attention to view the large screens, where a highlights video would play to show the roster, with the women's names shown before their highlights package.
The DRIVEN roster boasted beautiful and talented women from Japan, the US, India, China, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, Canada and the UK; cementing the fact that Lady Crothers spared no expense for a truly global field of talented female athletes.
Fuka, Nanae Takahashi and Yuzuki Aikawa, all from the glamorous Stardom promotion, were renowned for the crossover appeal of gravure idols in professional wrestling in Japan.
Yuzuki Aikawa, who was the most famous joshi performer in terms of crossing over from gravure idol modelling into professional wrestling/mixed martial arts, applauded 3NWPRO's direction of finding and developing the DRIVEN women's roster; all of whom along with Sienna, had backgrounds in modelling for print, television and fashion.
This was reinforced with the hiring of the Gravure Four; the models/actresses who worked SUMMIT PRO events, interviewing various talents backstage.
The DRIVEN women had been in training alongside RIPTIDE, KING and FORGE in their respective dojos, and had even made the excursion to the US to view promotions such as SHIMMER, ChickFight, WSU and SHINE.
Lady Crothers had obtained a truly international assembly of beautiful and determined, nay, driven women.
She took the time to announce, one by one, the talented women competing for DRIVEN, to thunderous applause and polite groans of coveted affection for the women's striking beauty and in some cases, flawless poise and grace.
Lady Crothers introduced:
From the United States; Sienna Cronyn, Keisha Hamilton and Tanisha Landon!
From South Korea; Raina Ji-Kyung and Kumiko Nakayama!
From Australia; Mikayla Benson!
From China; Sun Xiao-Jing!
From the United Kingdom; Lucy Renshaw and Kayana Dawson!
From India; Priya Roshan!
From French Canada; Sophie Geroux!
From Mexico; Eliana Velez, Carmen Mendoza and Isabelle Vasquez!
…and from Japan; in no particular order: Tamika Ito, Yasumi Fujita, Tatsumi Shindo, Sadaka Kisugi, Satori Onizuka, Asumi Ishimoto, Hiromi Oshiro and Narumi Tamayama!
A swarm of photographers almost fell over each other trying to take photos of the women, who did not look out of place at a red carpet premiere.
Each DRIVEN woman was embraced openly by Lady Crothers and more photo opportunities were taken as the women took their moment to shine as a team; before Lady Crothers ended the press conference on the bright and positive note - a change in women's pro wrestling was in the air, and SUMMIT PRO was DRIVEN behind this change.
The audience in the arena applauded as the footage ended; to them they saw it as a truly momentous occasion and an indicator of the growth SUMMIT PRO was making as a whole.
The panel echoed those sentiments in their discussion before the Grand Prix resumed; with Matt Striker astounded at the level of talent procured by Lady Crothers.
He noted that while at this time there were no 'household' names for DRIVEN, if Sienna's performance was anything to go by, DRIVEN would be talked about for some time.
Backstage, Jesse and Joey Dexter cut a promo each on their opponents for the upcoming match, interviewed by Eri Otoguro, stressing how important it was for them as brothers.
Elsewhere backstage, Nobuhiko Ogawa and Kenjiro Kojima replied by way of their own promos, as interviewed by Yukie Kawamura; emphasising in their own way how important this match was for them.
The Dexters (Jesse Dexter and Joey Dexter) [RIPTIDE] VERSUS Akuma Afterglow [Nobuhiko Ogawa and Kenjiro Kojima [KING]
OF NOTE: Jesse and Joey Dexter, former two-time RIPTIDE Tag Team champions, had been assessing their careers as a top tier tag team within SUMMIT PRO, having changed gears upon their second title reign. Constant comparisons to The Young Bucks hounded them at every turn, and instead of letting it get to them, they embraced it, eschewing the pride and honour inherent in RIPTIDE and embraced it as a cocky, conceited tag team.
They went about defending their titles in a cowardly fashion, before being defeated by current champions Windy Rhodes and Leon Harris at RIPTIDE X in the UK.
Akuma Afterglow had formed strangely outside of KING; Swedish melodic death metal band Soilwork had toured Japan and coincidentally Ogawa and Kojima attended the concert together as fans.
Noting that the singles division was quite cluttered, they decided to form a team to challenge the likes of MERCILESS, and did so as the song 'Akuma Afterglow' was announced. The rest, they say, is history.
The Dexters came to the ring to mainly jeers and mild applause; the rhythmic electronic beat and somewhat soft dubstep-sounding pulse of 'Can You Feel My Heart' by British former deathcore band Bring Me The Horizon.
Akuma Afterglow made their way to the ring next to their namesake song by Soilwork.
Lenne Hardt announced both teams as streamers rained upon both teams.
The Dexters threw their streamers at Akuma Afterglow, and attacked them straight as the bell sounded, gaining momentum amidst a chorus of boos. Joey dumped Ogawa out of the ring as Jesse snapped humiliating jabs at Kojima.
The brothers from RIPTIDE used their experience to their advantage, utilising double-teams on a hapless Kojima to their advantage.
Similar to Corey Knight of RIPTIDE, Kenjiro Kojima of KING was a case study in selling and psychology; his lithe frame squirming in pain as The Dexters used quick tags to the detriment of Kojima's welfare.
The Dexters, distinguishable only due to the colours blue and green on their tights, were a defiant exhibition of heelish tactics and frustration for Osaka, punishing Kojima and taunting Ogawa at every opportunity.
Kojima, worse for wear, managed to bring his knees up as Jesse tried to land a Running Shooting Star Press; he followed through by kipping up and deftly ramming both feet into Jesse's face by way of a stiff Double Foot Dropkick!
Osaka willed him on as he threw caution to the wind and landed a Moonsault with his knees to the already weakened abdomen of Jesse; essentially a Kneesault!
Jesse writhed in agony as Joey looked on, mortified! Kojima finally managed to tag out to Ogawa to the delight of the fans, firing due to the hot tag and causing Joey Dexter to wince in pain as he chopped him without mercy, leading him into a corner.
Kojima used the opportunity to rest as Ogawa lit up the illegal Dexter brother Joey's chest with knife edge chops, eventually causing him to cower away and even escape the ring, clutching his chest in pain.
Jesse Dexter had recovered, and waited for Ogawa to turn around, blasting him with a deft Superkick for a long nearfall!
Outside, Joey and Kojima engaged in a battle of attrition, hurling each other into the small guardrails, looking for the upper hand.
The Dexters would gain it as Jesse Dexter amazed the crowd by seemingly telepathically communicate with his brother as Joey poked Kojima in the eyes, leaving him prone for a Senton Splash over the top rope that crumpled Kojima!
Joey made his way back into the ring as the referee yelled uselessly at Jesse to get back in the ring.
Behind his back, a groggy Ogawa got to his feet, only for Joey Dexter to strike him down with a Superkick of his own!
He groaned with effort as he helped his brother up, and rolled him into the ring, shouting words of encouragement.
Jesse shook his head free of the cobwebs, and went to pin Ogawa, who kicked out at 1!
Joey joined his brother, jaws agape at the tenacity of Ogawa.
He slowly reached for the ropes as Osaka egged him on, the referee trying in vain to get Joey out of the ring.
Joey pretended to get out of the ring, and pointed at Kojima who stirred outside, distracting the referee.
With the referee distracted, The Dexters lined themselves up across from Ogawa, and nailed a Dual Superkick on him, felling him instantly!
Joey took his leave, and prevented Kojima from breaking up the pin as Jesse scaled the turnbuckle and after a bit of posturing, delivered a perfect Phoenix Splash!
The crowd urged Ogawa to kick out but ultimately gasped in disbelief as Jesse grasped Ogawa's leg and covered him 1-2-3 for the win!
The bell sounded to denote the end of the match; fans split by the spirited efforts of Akuma Afterglow and resigned to the fact that The Dexters had triumphed.
RESULT: The Dexters defeated Akuma Afterglow (12:49) when Joey Dexter pinned Nobuhiko Ogawa after a Phoenix Splash
At the commentary desk, Jordan, Hunter and Striker discussed the match, amazed at the fighting spirit of Akuma Afterglow, juxtaposed by the effective strategy by a former championship team in The Dexters.
A graphic showing the First Stage field had Akuma Afterglow eliminated with The Dexters advancing; the third team to do so.
Backstage, La Muerte Roja cut a stern promo on their opponents in Spanish, as interviewed by Raquel Arrulo.
Elsewhere backstage, Furious Senden responded in kind by manner of their own promos, as interviewed by Harumi Nemoto.
A short video showing highlights of the first encounter of these teams played, set to 'In The End' by Linkin Park.
La Muerte Roja (Razor Dragon and Equinox) [IGNITION] VERSUS Furious Senden (Manabu Okamoto and Takeo Shiraishi) [KING]
OF NOTE: The second matchup between the two teams; the first being on the most recent VERSUS instalment, IGNITION VS KING JHW.
The two teams battled fiercely back in late November, and now again, two months later, would do so again.
The match at the VERSUS event saw La Muerte Roja utilise a somewhat malicious strategy on their opponents, and thus had won that exchange.
This time however, prestige of the highest honour would be on the line; the opportunity to be amongst the top teams to advance to the next stages of the Grand Prix.
Furious Senden came to the ring to a loud ovation; the strains of 'I.V' by X Japan enthralling the crowd.
La Muerte Roja came to the ring next; with 'Suffocate' by Motograter ringing through the arena, the team bathed in red light as they stepped through the ropes.
Tetsuo Kaneda announced Furious Senden while El Encender` announced La Muerte Roja.
Both teams were shrouded in streamers, and as the bell sounded, attacked each other, peeling off into the opposite corners of the ring to try and force their will on the other.
Both Okamoto and Shiraishi had learned from their previous encounter and went on the offensive; doing their best to ensure that Razor Dragon and Equinox could not gain an unfair advantage.
Catching both Equinox and Razor Dragon off-guard with their new-found aggression, both members of Furious Senden ensured they would not be the whipping boys they were in the initial meeting.
Legal men Okamoto and Equinox battled in a test of wills, with Okamoto focused on Equinox's left knee; the rationale being to ground him and making sure he could not take to the air.
With quick tags made abundant by Furious Senden and essentially a one-legged Equinox writhing in pain, the tables had turned on La Muerte Roja.
A frustrated Razor Dragon shouted desperate encouragement to the weakened Equinox, who struggled in vain to escape the tactics employed by Furious Senden.
Shiraishi overstepped his mark with a missed Foot Stomp and Equinox kicked his legs out from under him with his one good leg, scrambling furiously to tag out to Razor Dragon.
He did so, and the crowd reacted as Razor Dragon's precision with his strikes tested both Shiraishi and Okamoto.
Razor Dragon got swept up in the adrenaline rush that he missed with a Roundhouse Kick on Shiraishi, only to be levelled with a Complete Shot from Okamoto for a nearfall.
Razor Dragon endured the same offense inflicted by a determined Okamoto, however had been able to stave off being pinned.
With some luck, he dodged an attempted Moonsault from Okamoto, and tagged back out to Equinox.
Equinox flew, springboarding his way towards Okamoto, however was intercepted by Shiraishi who Dropkicked Equinox as he descended!
With Razor Dragon incensed, Shiraishi used the distraction to his advantage, and drilled him with a DDT after cutting him off.
Shiraishi used two Baseball Dropkicks to kick him out as Okamoto looked assured in his conviction, and gestured to the crowd that the end was nigh for Equinox.
Razor Dragon stubbornly fought Shiraishi on the outside, as the referee pleaded with them to get back in.
Okamoto hauled Equinox to his feet and slapped him - hard.
He followed up with a stiff shoot kick to Equinox's small chest.
Equinox clutched his chest in pain, and stood wracked with pain as Okamoto followed up the kick with a loud Glimmering Warlock!
He got Equinox into position for the Shinda Reberu Brainbuster; a dazzling brainbuster that put Equinox away.
The crowd reacted in amazement as Okamoto hooked Equinox's leg; pinning him for the successful for the win!
The bell clanged to signify the end of the match; fans impressed with the new outlook from Furious Senden.
RESULT: Furious Senden defeated La Muerte Roja (13:39) when Okamoto pinned Equinox after a Shinda Reberu Brainbuster
At the commentary desk, Jordan, Hunter and Striker spoke fondly of the match, noting there had to eventually be a rubber match between Furious Senden and La Muerte Roja; as the teams showed a competitive edge that was of the very essence of what the Grand Prix was about.
Ostensibly it was a huge confidence booster for Furious Senden, moving forward.
A graphic showing the First Stage field displayed Furious Senden advancing and La Muerte Roja eliminated.
Backstage, R-RAMPAGE cut a harsh and guttural promo on their opponents, as interviewed by Eri Otoguro.
Elsewhere backstage, Hellfire Eternal replied with an equally guttural promo, as interviewed by Yukie Kawamura.
R-RAMPAGE (Ryoto Hirabayashi and Ryuji Kitazawa) [KING] VERSUS Hellfire Eternal (Inferno/Raze) [BEAST]
OF NOTE: Hellfire Eternal were a battle-tested and feared duo in BEAST; despite never holding the Dual BEAST Tag Titles they had engaged in lengthy battles with the top teams in BEAST.
Both Raze and Inferno recalled the aura of The Acolytes pre-APA, with black and red motifs on their attire long before WWE's 'The Ascension' ever thought about becoming 'Superstars'.
Hulking, imposing and burly; Hellfire Eternal eschewed mass pageantry and elaborate theatrics for cold barbarism.
The two 'Rs' in 'R-RAMPAGE' (Ryoto and Ryuji) were kindred spirits in the same vein as NOAH's Takeshi Rikioh and Takeshi Morishima; two big men (though admittedly Ryuji was bigger than his partner) had struggled to find consistency since joining forces.
Both men had a background in Judo and proved to be a unique combination in KING.
Hellfire Eternal came to ring amidst darkness punctuated by red lighting; the visceral and pounding 'As Above So Below' by Behemoth instantly getting the crowd's attention.
R-RAMPAGE entered the stage next; as a Japanese instrumental version of 'Conflict of Crisis' by Argument Soul played, looking as stern and foreboding as their counterparts.
Tetsuo Kaneda announced R-RAMPAGE while Malevolence announced Hellfire Eternal.
Despite being covered in streamers, both teams shrugged them off and clashed as soon as the bell sounded!
A huge Strong Style forearm battle started the match off as both teams took turns unleashing stiff forearms and receiving the same; with Kitazawa's strikes edging out Inferno's.
Unfortunately for Hirabayashi, Raze overpowered him with seemingly shoot-like right hands, with the two backing into a corner as Kitazawa and Inferno were finally forced back to their corners.
The match had little in the way of actual manoeuvres and running of the ropes; ostensibly an exercise in brutality and perseverance with Hellfire Eternal gaining a measure of advantage by weakening Kitazawa repeatedly.
With the crowd appreciative of the sheer mass and unmitigated force of power thrown behind each for strike, it came down to who wanted it more.
The answer was both teams did, but Hirabayashi was constantly singled out purely because he was not as big physically as his partner.
Raze and Inferno used this to their advantage, despite attempts from Kitazawa to ensure R-RAMPAGE were still in the fight.
The Third Quarter was in effect (for this 'type' of match) as both teams battled for supremacy; a spirited comeback from Hirabayashi saw Inferno reeling.
Inferno was able to reverse a DDT attempt by Hirabayashi, and instead of going down with him, slipped his head out of the Front Chancery, leaving Hirabayashi to land on his back in pain.
The match devolved again, and though Inferno was able to tag out to Raze.
Kitazawa and Inferno peeled out of the ring to hammer each other with strikes as Raze sized up Hirabayashi and mowed him down with a sickeningly meaty-sounding Lariat!
Hirabayashi, with a lot of heart, managed to kick out to the delight of the crowd.
Raze looked around; urged on by the baying crowd, and signalled the end as Inferno shockingly nailed a Tombstone Piledriver on Kitazawa on the outside!
Hirabayashi groggily got to his feet, only for Raze to growl in his face and brutishly hoisted him up for the Scorched Earth Reality! (Crucifix Sitout Facebuster)
The referee raced into position to slap his hand to the mat for the successful pinfall!
The crowd showed their appreciation for a hard-fought win from Hellfire Eternal.
The bell tolled at the end of the match; fans breathless from the emphatic display from both teams.
A graphic showing the First Stage field displayed Hellfire Eternal advancing and R-RAMPAGE eliminated.
RESULT: Hellfire Eternal defeated R-RAMPAGE (14:44) when Raze pinned Hirabayashi after Scorched Earth Reality
At the commentary desk, Jordan, Hunter and Striker were aghast at the level of stiffness in the match, impressed with the fighting spirit of R-RAMPAGE and ferocity of Hellfire Eternal, who no doubt would want nothing more than to eventually lock horns with a team that had bested them several times; The Pain Division.
Backstage, Nigel Newhart spoke with Harumi Nemoto in quiet but dignified Japanese, eager to show Japan and the world that he is deserving of the endless amount of praise for his in-ring prowess and that he would be just as DRIVEN as his friend Sienna Cronyn, and ensuring Kenichi suffered defeat yet again.
Elsewhere backstage, Kenichi Saito stood with his faction, MERCILESS; arrogant as always, but reserved a sliver of respect for Nigel due to his showing at the Battle Royal at MAELSTROM III.
He snapped in rapid fire guttural Japanese in a manner similar to an angry Yakuza boss from a movie that he would see that sliver of respect sliced into nothingness as he would finish what he started with Sienna, and had no qualms going through Nigel to do it.
Yukie Kawamura shook, barely able to hold the microphone properly.
A video set to 'Numbered Days' by Killswitch Engage hyping both athletes was shown, with excellent editing, portraying both as elite talents in their respective promotions.
SPECIAL PRE-MAIN EVENT: Nigel Newhart [RIPTIDE] VERSUS KING CKGP Openweight champion Kenichi Saito [KING] (non title)
OF NOTE: Nigel Newhart was a name people mentioned when you had a discussion of fantastic elite-level in-ring 'workers'; for years he had travelled the world, plying his trade on independents but never 'fit in' anywhere due to his style.
His style was the epitome of the most incredible mat technicians, just jazzed up for the modern era with a 'Calgary' twist (despite hailing from Edmonton). The likes of Lou Thesz, Karl Gotch, Dory Funk Jr, Ray Stevens, Johnny Saint, Greg Valentine and Stu Hart were heroes to Nigel; in addition to (somewhat) more recent stars like The Dynamite Kid, Bret 'Hitman' Hart, Lance Storm, Nigel McGuinness, the former Prince Devitt and Bryan Danielson.
A true student of the game, Nigel incorporated elements from just about everyone he watched and fused it with his own intuitive way of 'working'; it wasn't long before his name caught the attention of Seth Cronyn.
Nigel had worked on undercards of several shows in Japan, to high praise, but due to fiscal matters those companies had no place for him, and he was compared unfavourably to Zack Sabre Jr in the US due to his catch wrestling experience.
Seth put the feelers out and watched Nigel compete in a match in South Korea; floored by how easy he made wrestling look, but could still sell and make a good match great and a great match amazing.
Nigel was happy to sign with SUMMIT PRO, as the concept of the promotion fit perfectly with his hybrid style.
He trained with Seth's 'SCW' promotion, the 'feeder' for RIPTIDE before making his debut at MAELSTROM III, and was heralded as a highlight on an already stacked card due to his efforts.
Kenichi Saito was still the Openweight champion of KING, though he would not be defending the title tonight.
He had an incredible 2014, making it to the finals of the Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix by defeating top talent in SUMMIT PRO, his reign as Openweight champion stretched to just over a year and the alliance with IRON FIST was icing on the cake.
Kenichi was the type of person who just rubbed you up the wrong way; his skill was certainly something to behold, and essentially ruled the entire Junior Heavyweight division in KING by way of fear.
He saw himself as the very embodiment of KING; his father Kunimura was a very important man being the President of KING - Kenichi held himself to the standard his father set, every bit his father’s son. He acknowledged that SUMMIT PRO was the best thing for KING, but was raised to be naturally wary of 'gaijin', something he argued would be the same for the same 'gaijin' if raised similarly, with feelings towards those in the East.
Regardless, Kenichi, an only child, excelled in sports but gravitated towards ones of a contact nature, and immersed himself in the likes of kickboxing, boxing and MMA.
After a certain amount of time he made the transition to pro wrestling, and was impressed with none other than Toshiaki Kawada and his extremely punishing and stiff style.
He looked to emulate that, as well as bring in elements of his personal life; being a natural 'heel' and using a faction to gain advantage where possible.
Nigel Newhart made his entrance as 'This Could Be Any City In The World' by now-defunct Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire played; almost anthemic in its delivery, it fit Nigel perfectly, in both the title reflecting his travels and the catchiness of the chorus.
Kenichi Saito arrived next with MERCILESS in tow, a stoic look on his face as he slowly made his way to the ring; Dir En Grey's 'Merciless Cult' playing to great effect, as it fit Kenichi as perfectly as Nigel's song fit him.
Tetsuo Kaneda announced both men, as a mass of streamers was thrown and scattered across them, accompanied by deafening applause and wonderment.
As was the case with Delta and Shimizu, both men stared at each other, neither man blinking. The bell sounded after the streamers were finally cleared, and the referee karate-chopped the air to signify the beginning of the match.
Both men circled each other, readied, their eyes never breaking their hold on the other.
Nigel swooped in, attempting a single leg takedown, and just narrowly missed being kicked in the face by an angry Saito.
A feeling out process started in earnest by Nigel, who looked to further impose his will if given the opportunity. He realised as someone who trained in kickboxing that going head to head with Saito was not the wisest of choices.
Saito surprised Nigel by matching him on the mat, and the two grappled for supremacy, much like they did in the MAELSTROM III Battle Royal, before it got out of hand, of course.
The match sailed past ten minutes with both men exchanging a wealth of strikes, holds, suplexes and slams, with neither man able to press the advantage.
The two were very well matched; but Saito's disposition was the complete opposite to Nigel, who was a likeable down-to-earth Canadian of simple tastes.
Saito's offsiders in MERCILESS; Gannosuke and Yamada, were soon joined by IRON FIST at ringside as Nigel and Saito stalemated yet again in the ring. The referee, dubious as to why IRON FIST were spread out as they were, did his best to ensure there would be a winner.
Saito made the mistake of attempting a Superkick as Nigel rose; but Osaka came unglued as Nigel caught the leg, kicked Saito's other leg out from under him, and stretched him in an inhumanly-looking painful Stretch Muffler!
Saito screamed in agony - Nigel had sinched it in tight!
MERCILESS got up on the apron to distract the referee, giving IRON FIST the opening to break up the hold, stomping Nigel in anger.
MERCILESS backed off, as the referee returned to officiating.
The crowd rooted for Nigel, and booed Saito and the factions at ringside.
Saito winced in pain; a look of concern etched on his face as he had never been stretched like that by a gaijin before.
After a period of Saito trying to rub feeling back into his legs and lower back, he put the boots to Nigel and tried to return the favour, by first targeting Nigel's knee.
Nigel fought Saito off, kicking him away from attacking his knee, and kipped up, smashing him with fierce European Uppercuts.
Saito scrambled and tried to kick Nigel's knee out from under him.
Nigel caught the knee, and to the astonishment of the crowd, swapped the catching hand, ducked under Saito's leg and Powerbombed him from a Leg Capture position!
He rolled through as Saito hit the mat from the Powerbomb, and locked in an Indian Deathlock, and bridged it, as Osaka revelled in the ring mastery from Nigel Newhart!
Saito's already damaged leg was under more pressure from the Indian Deathlock, coupled with the extra pressure from the bridge, as Nigel gripped Saito's jaw!
This time, IRON FIST distracted the referee and MERCILESS broke up the submission attempt from Nigel, amid a chorus of boos.
Nigel, frustrated, grabbed Saito by the hair, and brought him to his feet.
He balled his fists and slugged Saito in the gut with a measured right hand, doubling him over.
As he doubled him over, he furiously pointed at both MERCILESS and IRON FIST, and cut his throat with a gesture akin to The Undertaker; signifying the end!
The crowd came alive for Nigel, eager to see him prevail against the top 'heels' in KING.
With Saito doubled over, Nigel winced in effort and brought Saito up in a Vertical Suplex, holding him for a few scant seconds.
What happened next cemented Nigel as the cream of the crop in RIPTIDE; with fan's plans to extend the RIPTIDE Four to a RIPTIDE Five or even RIPTIDE Six, with Windy Rhodes' placement a necessary point for discussion.
Nigel concentrated his strength into the Suplex, but instead of falling backwards, brought Saito forward and instantaneously transitioned into the Dynamite Tombstone!
The commentators screamed; Osaka groaned and swelled with deafening noise and both MERCILESS and IRON FIST looked shocked beyond belief!
The referee raced in position to count as Osaka counted as well.
Before the three, IRON FIST and MERCILESS came to their senses and interfered, pushing the referee out of the ring.
The crowd booed vociferously as six men in two factions decimated Nigel Newhart, stomping without mercy and greeting Nigel by way of six different finishing moves, the last of which from Heihachi Miyamoto shook the ring - the feared Black Ogre Bomb.
The fans booed as the men helped up a spent Kenichi Saito; and managed to get out of the ring as members of RIPTIDE ran to the ring to check on Nigel, among them Dan Starling, Windy Rhodes, Kaleb Delta and Breckin Stryker.
The ring bell clanged again and again; and as it finished, Tetsuo Kaneda announced that the referee had decreed the match a no contest due to excessive interference from MERCILESS and IRON FIST.
RESULT: No Contest due to interference by MERCILESS and IRON FIST (19:40)
At the commentary desk, Jordan, Hunter and Striker discussed what had just occurred in depth; on the one hand excited that Nigel Newhart had showed Japan that his signing was not failed hype; he was legitimately a serious contender with showings that got people talking.
On the other hand, Saito and MERCILESS/IRON FIST had deprived the Grand Prix of a potential classic in the making; though it was most definitely not over for both men.
They spoke highly of the matches that had occurred and announced that the main event was only minutes away.
A vignette hyping the Second Stage by way of Waves - Episode 2 was shown, as well as the next BEAST Showcase, BEAST XI.
Backstage, BRUTE spat out a fiery and passionate promo on their opponents, as interviewed by Harumi Nemoto.
Elsewhere backstage, Terry Sampson and Robbie Drake replied with an impassioned and determined promo in English, as interviewed by Minase Yashiro. (Kanji subtitles for those watching at home)
MAIN EVENT: BRUTE (Kintaro Hayata and Mitsuhiro Koshinaka) [KING] VERSUS Terry Sampson/Robbie Drake [FORGE]
OF NOTE: Sampson and Drake were former FORGE Tag Team champions, having been defeated for the titles at MAELSTROM II by Mammoth Barnett and Crusher Brannigan.
They had since tried to claw their way back to the top of the heap, and had been on a bit of a roll, defeating the likes of Viktor and Ivar Koloff at FORGE X in New Zealand, as well as the KING CKGP Tag Team champions Masato Takahashi and Kazuya Yamazaki in a non title match at FORGE VS KING III.
Time would tell if they could make history in SUMMIT PRO.
Hayata and Koshinaka were former Sumo wrestlers who had made the transition to puroresu; though the two were quite young the fact they were big men (Hayata especially)meant they paid their dues until deciding to form a team.
Influenced by the raw 'smash-mouth' power and grit of NOAH's Takeshi Morishima; the two had impressed in the KING heavyweight division.
Sampson and Drake came to the ring proudly; their first main event match. Fear and wonder took them as 'Breaking The Law' by Judas Priest played, satisfying the crowd immensely.
BRUTE entered next; a Japanese instrumental version of 'Land Of Confusion' by Genesis played, which also satisfied the crowd.
Tetsuo Kaneda announced BRUTE while Miles Roper announced Sampson and Drake.
Both teams were cheered avidly by the crowd; they represented heart, passion and a universal love of pro wrestling, and as such had streamers strewn over them as their names were announced.
A respectful yet authoritative aura surrounded the main event, as the two teams stood resolute in their determination to be proclaimed the winner.
A textbook First Quarter from both teams led to a hard-hitting yet controlled Second Quarter; BRUTE leading the charge as it swayed into the Third Quarter.
In contrast to the earlier 'big man' match with Hellfire Eternal and R-RAMPAGE, the amount of stiff strikes was nowhere near as much; instead Sampson and Drake utilised strong suplexes and frequent tags to stifle their opponents; epic nearfalls punctuated with groans from the crowd.
Koshinaka took the brunt of the offense much to the annoyance of Hayata; one too many times saw him flustered and shoved the hapless referee aside to turn the tides!
The crowd roared as Hayata asserted himself to the fullest, laying waste to the respect from earlier, and hammered Sampson and Drake with ferocity!
The match ebbed and flowed with a big match feel, as the teams indulged in a 'Tornado' setting, pummelling one another away from their partners, outside and even in the crowd!
Eventually, the legal men, Sampson and Koshinaka, returned to the ring, and Sampson stunned Koshinaka with a swift One-Handed Chokeslam after a missed Lariat!
Outside, amongst a throng of fans, Hayata stunned the crowd with a tremendous Belly-To-Belly Suplex on Drake whilst in the crowd! Drake slumped against the guardrail as a fatigued Hayata composed himself.
Inside the ring, Sampson gestured to the crowd for the finish, only for Koshinaka to rush him with a Running Knee to the gut; he transitioned into a Backdrop Driver for a long nearfall!
In a show of fighting spirit, Sampson no-sold in the vein of the legendary Kenta Kobashi, screaming and clutching his fists!
Koshinaka was flushed with a look of worry, and lunged forward for a Lariat; Sampson met him head on and launched a swift but brutal Big Boot.
With Koshinaka down, Hayata tried to come in but Sampson dropped a brawny leg across the back of Hayata's head as he slid under the ropes!
Sampson scrambled to his feet as Hayata seethed in pain, and angered, lunged after him but was stopped in his tracks by arms wrapped around his legs - Robbie Drake had recovered!
Inside, as Koshinaka rose to his feet, Sampson gruffly positioned him up for the British Piledriver!
Koshinaka squirmed and yelled to Hayata who was desperately trying to get Drake off from around his legs.
As Koshinaka tried to pull away, Sampson pre-empted him, and measured him quickly for a jarring Knee Trembler!
With Koshinaka stunned, Sampson hastily got him into position once more for the British Piledriver, but this time added a small jump - the impact was almost sickening!
Sampson hooked Koshinaka's leg for the pinfall…the referee slapped the mat…
Hayata finally kicked a weakened Drake away and went to break up the count, but he was inches away from breaking it up to no avail!
The referee pointed excitedly at the timekeeper as Miles Roper announced Sampson and Drake as the winners!
The bell sounded to signify the end of the match; the fans enamoured with the sterling efforts given by both teams.
RESULT: Sampson and Drake defeated BRUTE (16:28) when Sampson pinned Koshinaka after a British Piledriver
A graphic showing the First Stage field displayed Sampson and Drake as the final team from the First Stage advancing, with BRUTE eliminated.
At the commentary desk, Jordan, Hunter and Striker discussed with vigour the astounding main event; and as a highlights video of the entire event played, they spoke about the level being raised for the Second Stage, but not before BEAST対 IX; the Showcase event to be held in due course.
They thanked everyone for watching, as footage of the DRIVEN Women's press conference closed out the event.