Post by Chris Reager on Jun 16, 2015 8:10:33 GMT -5
As has been the case with many wrestling organisations, 3NWPRO extends heartfelt and genuine support and well wishes to the families and close friends of Virgil 'Dusty Rhodes' Runnels and Sir Christopher Lee.
These two individuals have personally inspired two SUMMIT PRO stars, namely Windy Rhodes and Malevolence.
Our thoughts are with them always.
Dusty Rhodes' image courtesy of WWE and Sir Christopher Lee's from Google.
Post by Chris Reager on Jun 26, 2015 20:26:05 GMT -5
As I have finally completed the CAW representations for most of SUMMIT PRO, along with 'bases' for KING's stars, below is an overview of SUMMIT PRO at large...
* * *
As opposed to a weekly episodic TV show like Raw, Smackdown, NXT or Impact in the US; SUMMIT PRO instead has a weekly hour-long 'spotlight' show called "フォーカスポイント" ('Focus Point') of certain events and situations in SUMMIT PRO that give more insight into the stars within SUMMIT PRO.
SUMMIT PRO's governing body and parent company, 3NWPRO, invested in a streaming/VOD service similar to the WWE Network and Netflix called 'APEX'.
In addition, Focus Point is seen on APEX and on TCN, the channel owned by Lady Crothers; itself an affiliate of Japan's NHK and Nippon TV.
Each sub-promotion or roster within SUMMIT PRO holds its own self-sustained cards, called "スポットショー" (Showcase Events).
These Showcase Events are released on PPV on TCN, the channel that broadcasts all SUMMIT PRO PPV events, as well as through the streaming/VOD service, APEX.
* * *
* * * SUMMIT PRO CHAMPIONSHIPS * * *
*RIPTIDE* - RIPTIDE Heavyweight championship (Primary title) - RIPTIDE Openweight championship (Secondary title) - RIPTIDE Tag Team championship (Tag team title) - will be phased out in due course
*BEAST* - BEAST King Beast championship (Primary title) - BEAST Iron Beast championship (Secondary title) - BEAST Dual Beast championships (Tag team titles) - will be phased out in due course
*IGNITION* - IGNITION Turn The Key championship (Primary title) - IGNITION Throttle Engage championship (Secondary title) - IGNITION Twin Turbo championships (Tag team titles) - will be phased out in due course (modelled after Dragon Gate's 'Open The ... Gate' titles)
*FORGE* - FORGE International Heavyweight championship (Primary title) - FORGE Eastern Pacific championship (Secondary title) - FORGE Tag Team championship (Tag Team titles) - will be phased out in due course
*KING* - CKGP Heavyweight championship (Primary title) - CKGP Junior Heavyweight championship (Secondary title) - CKGP Openweight championship ('Tertiary' title - contested between both classes) - CKGP Tag Team championship (Heavyweight tag titles) - will be phased out in due course - CKGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team championship (Junior Heavyweight tag titles) - will be phased out in due course (CKGP stands for Crown King Grand Prix)
* * *
SUMMIT PRO's version of Puroresu News is WAVES; which replaced an initial version of the program called 'Three Minutes To...'; a panel show, which is hosted by former RIPTIDE talent, Carl Jordan and Lee Hunter (who both speak fluent Japanese). They were joined at first by celebrities to discuss recent SUMMIT PRO events, and to announce the upcoming events.
'Three Minutes To...' held five special editions, with former WWE talent and commentator Matt Striker joining the fold as the sole English-speaking analyst. 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn also made appearances to give further insight into particular talent and events.
The fifth edition was a joint press conference held in Tokyo, in October of 2014; Lady Crothers announced on this edition 'Three Minutes To...' would be replaced by WAVES, the only real difference being the name.
The first two episodes of WAVES were very well received; both episodes featured Seth Cronyn being interviewed in English by Matt Striker, their discussion touching on a range of subjects pertaining to the professional wrestling business.
(The third episode will be the next piece of original writing I do, now that DRIVEN I is complete)
* * *
SUMMIT PRO...WHO ARE THESE GUYS? (reminiscent of...)
3NWPRO Owner Lady Laura Crothers - reminiscent of Dame Judi Dench; regal, all-business, immensely wealthy, a polymath and speaks 13 languages. Hardly ever seen on 3NWPRO programming
3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn - reminiscent of Edge circa 2009, speaks Japanese and is amiable and respectful, has had a hand in training every wrestler in some capacity. Credited with the SUMMIT PRO concept. Trained by Dory Funk Sr, and enjoyed a fifteen-plus year career as an in-ring talent, essentially beginning and ending in Japan.
CarlJordan - reminiscent of Shelton Benjamin, former RIPTIDE talent, current commentator for RIPTIDE, co-host of WAVES
LeeHunter - reminiscent of Jeff Hardy (circa '05) former RIPTIDE talent, current commentator for RIPTIDE, co-host of WAVES
Matt Striker - English-language analyst for SUMMIT PRO programming, notably WAVES, VERSUS and MAELSTROM.
BEAST owner/President LordLucius - reminiscent of Father James Mitchell, but African-American and facepainted, evil-looking, but clever and resourceful, deep resonant voice
IGNITION owner/President KonradMitchell - reminiscent of Triple H circa '05 (Motorhead look); laidback individual, but very open to other cultures, travelled, respectful
RIPTIDE owner/President SovereignCronyn - reminiscent of Liam Neeson; grandfather of Seth Cronyn, grizzled, but open to young talent's development
KING owner/President Kunimura Saito - reminiscent of Jun Kunimura; father of Kenichi Saito, stoic, respected businessman who is tough but fair
FORGE up until recently had Seth Cronyn's mentor, Dory Funk Sr, as owner and President, but stepped down in early 2015 due to age and personal issues. Currently the Interim President is Jim Weaver. As of June 2015, Jim Weaver has been sworn in as permanent FORGE President.
* * *
RIPTIDE PRO WRESTLING
1. DanStarling - reminiscent of Kyle O'Reilly circa 2012-2013, Prince Devitt and KENTA, stiff kicks, submissions and fighting spirit; the 'ace' of RIPTIDE
2. KalebDelta - reminiscent of Brian Cage and Anthony Nese, immense power yet breathtaking agility
3. BreckinStryker - reminiscent of Brock Lesnar and Mike Awesome, stronger than Delta, incredibly agile; inhuman strength and tough mindset
4. Winston'WindyRhodes'Rowe - reminiscent of Samoa Joe and Willie Mack, 'fat' but unbelievable fire and charisma; known for Kobashi-like chops and agility
5. JoeWeaver - reminiscent of Dolph Ziggler, Kurt Angle in his prime and Adam Cole; phenomenal workrate, big on psychology, son of FORGE's Jim Weaver; incredibly talented amateur wrestler
6. LeonHarris - reminiscent of Trevor Murdoch and Go Shiozaki, 'bigger' like Windy, powerful and resilient
7. CoreyKnight - reminiscent of Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy, high flyer career babyface, believable Ricky Morton-like selling
8. ZenPike - reminiscent of Kevin Steen (in-ring work only) and Tommaso Ciampa (physique only); clever psychology, crafty
9. JoeyDexter - reminiscent of Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks; identical twin brother to Jesse Dexter, high flyer
10. JesseDexter - reminiscent of Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks; identical twin brother to Joey Dexter, high flyer
11. CadenRaith - reminiscent of Bobby Fish and TJ Perkins; technical and clinical versatile heel
12. JohnnyPrime - reminiscent of Johnny Goodtime and Brian Kendrick circa 2013 PWG; resilient and able to work different styles
13. SamuelPhoenix - reminiscent of latter-day Edge with attire and physique similar to John Cena's; heroic and tough, career babyface
14. Kotaro - reminiscent of Low Ki and The Great Muta circa 1990; unhinged, somewhat similar to BEAST's Reaper but less experienced
15. MasonJones - reminiscent of Mark Jindrak and Sean O'Haire in WCW; young, athletic and poised for greatness, narcissistic
16. DrakeMadsen - reminiscent of Drake Younger in his first PWG match; tough, likeable, versatile
17. MossadHammoud - reminiscent of Tyson Tomko circa 2003-4; agile, athletic wrestler originally from Israel
18. Nigel Newhart - reminiscent of Zack Sabre Jr, Dynamite Kid, Lance Storm and Nigel McGuiness; incredibly talented wrestler from Canada
IGNITION PRO WRESTLING
1. GTHavok - reminiscent of PAC; unbelievably flexible and resilient, the true 'ace' of IGNITION
2. ElGraffiti - reminiscent of Dragon Kid circa 2009 and Rey Mysterio circa '97; masked, smallest wrestler in all of SUMMIT PRO; the heart of IGNITION, incredible luchador
3. ScottyRictor - reminiscent of Billy Kidman circa '98; technical, adaptable to other styles
4. El V Fuego - reminiscent of Eddie Guerrero circa '97; slimy "rudo", charismatic and technical
5. RazorDragon - reminiscent of Ultimo Dragon; masked, resilient, technical and high flying
6. Mantis - reminiscent of Mistico circa 2005; masked, technical, versatile and resilient, tag partner of Silvestro in Morphosis
PICTURE YET TO COME
7. Ortega - reminiscent of Super Crazy circa '99, a veteran of IGNITION, helped it get started, still amazing and epic lucha libre/lucharesu
8. Silvestro - reminiscent of Rey Mysterio circa '02, masked, (trademark silver attire); awesome resilient technical lucha libre/lucharesu, tag partner of Mantis in Morphosis
9. Criptico` - reminiscent of Samuray Del Sol, masked, technical epic lucha libre/lucharesu, however is a "rudo"
10. ElMalicioso - reminiscent of Charly Malice, facepainted, creepy but technical and crafty "rudo"
11. ShintaroSuzuki - reminiscent of TAKA Michinoku, high flying, pays homage to Shawn Michaels often
12. Equinox - reminiscent of Rey Mysterio circa '96, masked, technical and phenomenal lucha libre/lucharesu
13. El Azul - reminiscent of Mistico circa 2006; masked, technical, versatile and high flying
14. Super Xero - reminiscent of Super Nova in CMLL circa 2007, technical, high flying
15. Lizmark Jr. - powerful, resourceful and ruthless
16. Tinieblas Jr. - tenacious, resilient and crafty
17. Sydistiko - frenzied, rabid and merciless
BEAST POWER WRESTLING
1. Bruiser - reminiscent of '80s Road Warrior Animal; facepainted, powerful, wise and resilient, the true 'ace' of BEAST, created BEAST along with Kraven in 1996
2. Reaper - reminiscent of Low Ki and Tajiri; facepainted, the smallest member of BEAST, the most animalistic, fond of stomps, kicks, and quick chops
3. Virus - reminiscent of '90s Road Warrior Hawk; facepainted, the most charismatic member of BEAST, powerful and fond of Lariats
4. Legion - reminiscent of The Warlord in POP; facepainted, silent, aggressive and powerful, 'truly BEASTly'
5. Warbringer - reminiscent of The Barbarian in POP; facepainted, silent, aggressive and powerful, 'truly BEASTly'
6. Cthulu - reminiscent of Papa Shango; facepainted, tough, clever, resourceful
7. Vessel - reminiscent of Big Daddy V; huge big man, like the actual Big Daddy V but can actually wrestle 'better'
8. Bludgeon - reminiscent of Bam Bam Bigelow; big man, powerful and agile, protégé of Bruiser
9. Nightmare - reminiscent of Bruiser Brody; facepainted and powerful, tag partner of Ravage in Bane of Ruination
10. Ravage - reminiscent of Wrath; tall, powerful facepainted and mulleted 'monster'; tag partner of Nightmare in Bane of Ruination
11. Venom - reminiscent of Kane circa '98; brooding, huge and awe-inspiring; tough and powerful
12. Battlegod - reminiscent of Demolition Crush; facepainted, powerful and agile
13. Kraven - reminiscent of The Boogeyman circa 2006; facepainted, powerful, dark and mysterious, created BEAST along with Bruiser in 1996
14. Mictlan - reminiscent of Acolyte Faarooq circa 1999 with Tony Atlas' physique in the '80s; facepainted, brutish, powerful and dark, loyal to Kraven
15. Vortex - reminiscent of The Warlord circa 1991, tall, imposing, powerful and surprisingly agile
16. Animus - reminiscent of The Great Muta (look only); facepainted, athletic and technical
17. Oseron - reminiscent of The Great Kabuki (look only); facepainted, athletic and crafty
18. Miasma - reminiscent of Sting (1997 look only); facepainted, morose yet athletic and skilled
19. Hazard - reminiscent of Demolition Ax; facepainted, powerful and agile
20. Tyrant - reminiscent of Demolition Smash; facepainted, powerful and agile
21. Inferno - reminiscent of Acolyte Bradshaw circa 1999; facepainted, tough, brutish, brawling style
22. Raze - reminiscent of Acolyte Bradshaw circa 2000; facepainted, tough, brutish, brawling style
23. Senium - reminiscent of The Undertaker circa 1994 (SummerSlam look); facepainted, tall, powerful, strong, occult-like, athletic, awe-inspiring
24. Geilt - reminiscent of The Undertaker circa 1996 (Buried Alive look); facepainted, tall, powerful, strong, occult-like, athletic, awe-inspiring
25. Ennea - reminiscent of The Undertaker circa 1997 (SummerSlam look); facepainted, tall, powerful, strong, occult-like, athletic, awe-inspiring
26. Sekem - reminiscent of The Undertaker circa 1998 (WM XIV look); facepainted, tall, powerful, strong, occult-like, athletic, awe-inspiring
27. Nihil - reminiscent of The Undertaker circa 1999 (Ministry look); facepainted, tall, powerful, strong, occult-like, athletic, awe-inspiring
28. Kraken - reminiscent of Kamala (sans the whole Ugandan gimmick); brutish, fierce and powerful
CURRENT BEAST FACTIONS/STABLES/TEAMS:
The Blood Pack: Kraven (leader), Mictlan, Vortex, Reaper
The Pain Division: Virus (leader), Legion, Warbringer
The Violence Continuum: Cthulu (leader), Battlegod
Post by Chris Reager on Jun 30, 2015 8:29:23 GMT -5
...more fleshing out...this time, SUMMIT PRO championships...
* * * SUMMIT PRO CHAMPIONSHIPS * * *
RIPTIDE Heavyweight championship (Primary title)
Currently held by Dan Starling
- i. Starling is the inaugural RIPTIDE Heavyweight champion. So far he has successfully defended the title seven times, which includes two victories against good friend BreckinStryker.
- ii. Starling won a Grand Prix to crown the first champion at RIPTIDE V, last defeating his mentor Seth Cronyn in the Finals.
RIPTIDE Openweight championship (Secondary title)
Currently held by Joe Weaver
- i. Weaver is the second-ever RIPTIDE Openweight champion. So far he has successfully defended the title four times, which included two victories against KalebDelta. He last defended the title against Caden Raith at MAELSTROM III.
- ii. The inaugural champion was BreckinStryker, who Weaver defeated in a 'Breaking Point' match at RIPTIDE VII. He successfully defended the title five times, which included two victories over WWE's Cesaro, and one against WindyRhodes.
RIPTIDE Tag Team championship (Tag team title) - will be phased out in due course
Currently held by Windy Rhodes and Leon Harris
- i. Rhodes and Harris are the fifth RIPTIDE Tag Team champions. So far they have successfully defended the titles twice, which included one victory against BrianKendrick and PaulLondon. They also defeated The Dexters and Johnny Prime and Caden Raith in a Triangle match.
- ii. The inaugural champions were Kaleb Delta and Breckin Stryker. They successfully defended the titles three times, which included one victory against FORGE's Viktor and Ivar Koloff.
- iii. The next champions were Jesse Dexter and Joey Dexter; The Dexters. They successfully defended the titles once, which was against NJPW's Time Splitters (KUSHIDA and Alex Shelley).
- iv. The next champions were Zen Pike and Caden Raith. They successfully defended the titles twice, which included one victory against Corey Knight and SamuelPhoenix.
- v. The next champions were Jesse Dexter and Joey Dexter; The Dexters - becoming the first and only two-time RIPTIDE Tag Tag champions. They successfully defended the titles three times, which included one victory against IGNITION's Morphosis.
- iv. Due to the manifest handed down from Lady Crothers at Three Minutes To...Turmoil in Tokyo, the RIPTIDE Tag Team championships will be retired by the end of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix.
Out of interest: Venom is (so far) the only Triple Crown champion in BEAST history.
BEAST King Beast championship (Primary title)
Currently held by Bruiser
- i. Bruiser is the fifth BEAST King BEAST champion, in his second reign; first BEAST to accomplish this feat. In this second title reign he has successfully defended the title eight times, which included two victories against Venom, Kraven and Vessel and one each against Reaper and Nightmare. His most recent defense was against Vessel at BEAST X.
- ii. The inaugural champion was Bruiser. He successfully defended the title four times, which included two victories against former friend Kraven.
- iii. The next champion was Vessel. He successfully defended the title five times, which included one victory over former champion Bruiser, and one against Venom. He also notably defended the title against Mammoth Barnett of FORGE.
- iv. The next champion was Kraven. He successfully defended the title three times, which included one victory over Lance Hansen of FORGE.
- v. The next champion was Venom. He successfully defended the title twice, which included one victory over Cthulu.
BEAST Iron Beast championship (Secondary title)
Currently held by Virus of The PainDivision.
- i. Virus is the fifth BEAST Iron BEAST champion. So far he has successfully defended the title once, which was against Cthulu in a rematch, which took place at BEAST X.
- ii. The inaugural champion was Kraven. He successfully defended the title four times, which included one victory each against former friend Bruiser and Venom.
- iii. The next champion was Venom. He successfully defended the title three times, which included one notable victory against Heihachi Miyamoto of KING.
- iv. The next champion was Vessel. He successfully defended the title four times, which included two victories against Virus.
- v. The next champion was Cthulu. He successfully defended the title twice, which included one victory against Virus.
BEAST Dual Beast championships (Tag team titles) - will be phased out in due course
Currently held by Legion and Warbringer; The Pain Division.
- i. Legion and Warbringer are the fourth BEAST Dual BEAST Tag Team champions. So far they have successfully defended the titles five times, which included one victory over Onslaught (Bruiser and Venom) and two against Bane of Ruination (Nightmare and Ravage). They last defended the titles against KolossalMiscreation (Bludgeon and Kraken) at MAELSTROM III.
- ii. The inaugural champions were Bruiser and Kraven. They successfully defended the titles five times, which included two victories against The Pain Division (Legion and Warbringer)
- iii. The titles were vacated when Kraven was injured and subsequently left BEAST.
- iv. The next champions were Nightmare and Ravage; the Bane of Ruination, who won the titles in a Triptych Match at BEAST VI that included The Pain Division and Kolossal Miscreation. They successfully defended the titles twice, which included one victory against Perilous Oppression (Hazard and Tyrant).
- v. The next champions were Bruiser and Venom; Onslaught. They successfully defended the titles three times, which included one victory over Kolossal Miscreation (Bludgeon and Kraken)
- vi. Due to the manifest handed down from Lady Crothers at Three Minutes To...Turmoil in Tokyo, the Dual BEAST Tag Team championships will be retired by the end of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix.
Out of interest: El Graffiti is (so far) the only Triple Crown champion in IGNITION history.
IGNITION Turn The Key championship (Primary title)
Currently held by GT Havok.
- i. GT Havok is the fourth IGNITION Turn The Key champion. In this title reign he has successfully defended the title seven times, which included two victories against former friend ScottyRictor, and two victories over El V Fuego.
- ii. The inaugural champion was El V Fuego. He successfully defended the title twice, which included one victory over El Graffiti.
- iii. The next champion was El Graffiti. He successfully defended the title five times, which included two victories each over El V Fuego and LizmarkJr.
- iv. The next champion was RazorDragon. He successfully defended the title three times, which included one victory over Ortega.
- i. El Graffiti is the fifth IGNITION Throttle Engage champion in his second reign; he is the first IGNITION star to accomplish this feat. In this second title reign he has successfully defended the title five times, which included three victories against arch-rival El V Fuego.
- ii. The inaugural champion was Ortega. He successfully defended the title twice, which included one victory against RazorDragon.
- iii. The next champion was ScottyRictor. He successfully defended the title twice, which included one victory over Silvestro.
- iv. The next champion was ElGraffiti in his first reign. He successfully defended the title six times, which included victories over Criptico, RazorDragon, ShintaroSuzuki, Equinox and El V Fuego. This particular reign spanned over one year.
- iv. The next champion was ShintaroSuzuki. He successfully defended the title three times, which included one victory against Equinox.
- v. The next champion was RazorDragon. He successfully defended the title three times, which included one victory against Mantis.
IGNITION Twin Turbo championships (Tag team titles) - will be phased out in due course (modelled after Dragon Gate's 'Open The ... Gate' titles)
Currently held by Criptico and El Malicioso; La Oscuridad (The Dark)
- i. Criptico and El Malicioso are the fifth IGNITION Twin Turbo Tag Team champions. So far they have successfully defended the titles twice.
- ii. The inaugural champions were El Graffiti and Ortega. They successfully defended the titles four times, which included two victories over La Oscuridad (The Dark).
- iii. The next champions were Razor Dragon and El V Fuego; 'Lengue Serpiente' (Serpent Tongue). They successfully defended the titles twice, which included one victory over El Graffiti and Ortega.
- iv. The next champions were Mantis and Silvestro; 'Morphosis'. They successfully defended the titles three times, which included one victory over La Muerte Roja(The Red Death)
- v. Due to the manifest handed down from Lady Crothers at Three Minutes To...Turmoil in Tokyo, the IGNITION Twin Turbo championships will be retired by the end of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix.
FORGE International Heavyweight championship (Primary title)
Currently held by Steve Wilson.
- i. Wilson is the sixth FORGE International Heavyweight champion in his second reign; first FORGE star to accomplish this feat. So far in this reign he has successfully defended the title eight times, which includes victories over Tetsuya Sekimoto of KING, Venom of BEAST, Mammoth Barnett, Takeshi Morishima of NOAH and DracoKoloff.
- ii. The inaugural champion was Lance Hansen, who won a lengthy Grand Prix to crown the first champion at FORGE IV, last defeating Steve Wilson in the Finals. He successfully defended the title twice, including a victory over Draco Koloff.
- iii. The next champion was Crusher Brannigan. He successfully defended the title four times, which included two victories against Miles Roper.
- iv. The next champion was Steve Wilson in his first reign. He successfully defended the title three times, which included one victory against Crusher Brannigan in a rematch.
- v. The next champion was Junior Fifita. He successfully defended the title three times, which included one victory against Mammoth Barnett.
- vi. The next champion was Lance Hansen in his second reign; second FORGE star to accomplish this feat. He successfully defended the title twice, which included one victory against Jim Weaver.
- i. Oxbow is the inaugural FORGE Eastern Pacific champion. So far in this reign he has successfully defended the title three times, which includes victories over MilesRoper, CrusherBrannigan and JimWeaver.
- ii. Oxbow won a Grand Prix to crown the first champion at FORGE V, last defeating KeijiSakoda in the Finals.
FORGE Tag Team championship (Tag Team titles) - will be phased out in due course
Currently held by Crusher Brannigan and Mammoth Barnett
- i. Crusher Brannigan and MammothBarnett are the fourth FORGE Tag Team champions. So far they have successfully defended the titles once against former champions Sampson and Drake in a rematch.
- ii. The inaugural champions were Keiji Sakoda and Ryusuke Tengan; 'TEN-KODA'. They successfully defended the titles five times, which included two victories over KING's IRON FIST, The Koloff Bros and once against Sampson and Drake. TEN-KODA made history in SUMMIT PRO by becoming inaugural tag team champions of two different promotions, FORGE and KING.
- iii. The next champions were IvarKoloff and ViktorKoloff; 'The Koloff Bros'. They successfully defended the titles twice, which included one victory over Miles Roper and Jim Weaver.
- iv. The next champions were Terry Sampson and Robbie Drake. They successfully defended the titles three times, which included victories over TEN-KODA and Wilson and Hansen.
- v. Due to the manifest handed down from Lady Crothers at Three Minutes To...Turmoil in Tokyo, the FORGE Tag Team championships will be retired by the end of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix.
CKGP Heavyweight championship (Primary title)
Currently held by TetsuyaSekimoto of IRONFIST.
- i. Sekimoto is the fourth KING Crown King Grand Prix (CKGP) Heavweight champion. So far in this reign he has successfully defended the title a record seven times, which includes victories over SethCronyn before his retirement, Bruiser of BEAST, KeijiSakoda of FORGE, SatoshiKojima of NJPW, DaisukeMirashima and AtsushiNakano. This reign has spanned nearly two years, cementing Sekimoto as a top talent in KING.
- ii. The inaugural champion was HiromichiOyama, who won a lengthy Grand Prix to crown the first champion at KING VI, last defeating YoshihiroFujihara in the Finals. He successfully defended the title five times, including a victory over Puroresu legend GenichiroTenryu, as well as notable victories against Koji Koshiwada and Kazuya Yamazaki. This reign spanned over two years. This reign cemented Oyama as a perennial top contender and star in KING.
- iii. The next champion was HeihachiMiyamoto. He successfully defended the title five times, which included victories against MitsuhiroKoshinaka, KintaroHayata and respected puroresu veteran YujiNagata. This reign spanned over 18 months. This reign solidified Miyamoto's work ethic and status as a top-tier talent in KING.
- iv. The next champion was SethCronyn, becoming the first and only gaijin to hold the title (so far). He successfully defended the title six times, which included victories over KazuyukiIchikawa, MakotoUtada, one of his heroes MasatoTanaka of ZERO-ONE, NaomichiMarifuji of NOAH and HeihachiMiyamoto in a rematch. This reign spanned over two years. This reign (along with his inaugural Openweight championship reign) reinforced Cronyn's connection with the fans as THE top gaijin in 3NWPRO and later SUMMIT PRO, not to mention solidified his career as a top star in Japan.
- i. Yamada is the seventh KING Crown King Grand Prix (CKGP) Junior Heavyweight champion. So far in this reign he has yet to successfully defend the title. His next challenger is KiyoshiGenjiro.
- ii. The inaugural champion was HiroshiTamura, who won a lengthy Grand Prix to crown the first champion at KING III, last defeating MasahikoYoshida in the Finals. He successfully defended the title seven times, including a victory over Puroresu legend Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, as well as notable victories against AkiraIshimura, ManabuOkamoto and Dragon Gate's BxB Hulk. This reign spanned over 16 months.
- iii. The next champion was TakayukiMomota. He successfully defended the title a record ten times, which included victories against NaokiTamaguchi, NobuhikoOgawa, TakeoShiraishi, NOAH's NaomichiMarufuji, IGNITION's GT Havok, RIPTIDE's Dan Starling and KenichiSaito. This reign spanned over two and a half years and cemented Momota as a top star in KING.
- iv. The next champion was IkutoNakamura. He successfully defended the title four times, which included victories over Katsumi Kimura, Kiyoshi Genjiro, TogiMizushima and Takayuki Momota in a rematch. This reign spanned over a year.
- v. The next champion was Kazuharu Yasuda. He successfully defended the title three times, which included victories over Hiroshi Tamura, DDT's Kenny Omega and Kenichi Saito. This reign spanned 11 months.
- vi. The next champion was Naoki Tamaguchi. He successfully defended the title four times, which included victories over Takahiro Otsuka, Naoya Nakagawa, KenjiroKojima and RIPTIDE's Corey Knight. This reign spanned over 14 months.
- vii. The next champion was Togi Mizushima. He successfully defended the title four times, which included victories over Satoshi Murakami, Katsuhiko Yamada, TakeshiGannosuke and Dragon Gate's Masato Yoshino. This reign spanned over 9 months.
CKGP Openweight championship ('Tertiary' title - contested between both classes)
Currently held by Kenichi Saitoof MERCILESS.
- i. Saito is the fourth Crown King Grand Prix (CKGP) Openweight champion. So far in this reign he has successfully defended the title a record seven times, which includes victories over Akira Ishimura, Kazuharu Yasuda, RIPTIDE's Windy Rhodes, NJPW's Naomichi Marufuji and Toshihiro Nobunaga. This reign has spanned nearly 16 months, cementing Saito as a top talent in KING.
- ii. The inaugural champion was Seth Cronyn. President of KING Kunimura Saito commissioned a new championship to be contested between Heavyweights and Junior Heavyweights without stringent restrictions on weight class.
Cronyn won a lengthy Grand Prix to crown the first champion at KING VIII, last defeating Koji Nakata in the Finals.
He successfully defended the title five times, including victories over Dragon Gate's Masaaki Mochizuki, NJPW's Yuji Nagata, as well as notable victories against Kendo Ishida, Shingo Takashima and Puroresu legend JunAkiyama. This reign (along with his CKGP Heavyweight title reign) spanned over 15 months, further cementing Seth Cronyn as a perennial top star in KING and SUMMIT PRO, by and large.
- iii. The next champion was Tetsuya Sekimoto. He successfully defended the title six times, which included two victories against Seth Cronyn in rematches, essentially continuing their feud from the Heavyweight title picture. He also defended the title against respected puroresu veteran Hiroyoshi Tenzan, along with victories over AtsushiNakano, TakayukiMomota and NOAH's ShueheiTanaguchi. This reign spanned over 11 months, further solidifying Sekimoto as a top talent in KING and puroresu as a whole.
- iv. The next champion was Daisuke Mirashima. He successfully defended the title twice, which included victories over Takeshi Gannosuke and NOAH's Takashi Sugiura. This reign spanned over 7 months.
KING CKGP Heavyweight Tag Team championship (Tag Team titles) - will be phased out in due course
(CKGP stands for Crown King Grand Prix)
Currently held byMasato Takahashiand Kazuya Yamazaki; RISE AND OPPOSE
- i. MasatoTakahashi and KazuyaYamazaki are the fifth KING CKGP Heavyweight Tag Team champions. So far they have successfully defended the titles once against former champions Ya-Shima in a rematch.
- ii. The inaugural champions were KeijiSakoda and Ryusuke Tengan; TEN-KODA' They successfully defended the titles twice, which included a victory against KING's IRON FIST in a five-star match. TEN-KODA made history in SUMMIT PRO by becoming inaugural tag team champions of two different promotions, FORGE and KING.
- iii. The next champions were Tetsuya Sekimoto and Heihachi Miyamoto; IRON FIST. They successfully defended the titles twice, which included a rematch against TEN-KODA.
- iv. The next champions were Daisuke Mirashima and Toshihiro Nobunaga. They successfully defended the titles four times, which included victories over IRON FIST, Ootoko-Gun, BRUTE and R-RAMPAGE.
- v. The next champions were Shingo Takashima and Kazuharu Yasuda (Ya-Shima). They successfully defended the titles once in a match against RIPTIDE's 'TheDexter Bros'.
- vi. Due to the manifest handed down from Lady Crothers at Three Minutes To...Turmoil in Tokyo, the CKGP Heavyweight Tag Team championships will be retired by the end of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix.
KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team championship (Tag Team titles) - will be phased out in due course (CKGP stands for Crown King Grand Prix)
Currently held by Takayuki Momota and Naoya Nakagawa; FIRST STRIKE.
- i. Takayuki Momota and Naoya Nakagawa are the third KING CKGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champions. So far they have successfully defended the titles five times, including one victory against former champions Furious Senden and MERCILESS in rematches.
- ii. The inaugural champions were Kenjiro Kojima and Masahiko Yoshida. They successfully defended the titles three times, which included victories against AkiraIshimura and Takahiro Otsuka, Katsumi Kimura and Shiro Kawashima and Satoshi Murakami and Kiyoshi Genjiro.
- iii. The next champions were Hiroshi Tamura and Ikuto Nakamura (prior to becoming Osorezugun). They successfully defended the titles twice, which included a rematch against Kenjiro Kojima and Masahiko Yoshida.
- iv. The next champions were Takeshi Gannosuke and Katsuhiko Yamada; 'MERCILESS'. They successfully defended the titles four times, which included victories over Hiroshi Tamura and Ikuto Nakamura in a rematch, IGNITION's La Oscuridad and Koji Koshiwada and Kendo Ishida.
- vi. Due to the manifest handed down from Lady Crothers at Three Minutes To...Turmoil in Tokyo, the CKGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team championships will be retired by the end of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix.
(I will also introduce the DRIVEN championships when able)
Post by Chris Reager on Jul 2, 2015 8:14:30 GMT -5
On APEX, a brief interview was conducted by FORGE backstage interviewer Kyoko Fukada with FORGE's own International Heavyweight champion, Steve Wilson, who eschewed pleasantries and in a gravelly voice gave his thoughts on appearing on 3RW's 'Saturday Night Slam'.
私は、契約締結のような「派手」なものの一部であるように、誠意を持ってそこに行き、ほとんどの部分でうまく処理しました。しかし、私の相手は私に無礼を示し、終身アスリート、パフォーマーとチャンピオンとしての私の地位を軽視しました。 (I went there in good faith, to be part of something 'showy' like a contract signing, and for the most part was treated well. However, my opponent showed me disrespect and belittled my standing as a tenured athlete, performer and champion.}
これは誰でも私を疑う、特に私の相手に知られてみましょう。3RWはサミットPROに近づき、最善を求めていました。彼らは今、最高のを持っている、と私はFORGEや他のSUMMIT PRO才能の私の同胞のための賛美と賞賛を最大限に6つのサブプロモーションの中で広がることを意味します。 (Let this be known to whoever doubts me, especially my opponent. 3RW approached SUMMIT PRO and wanted the best. They now have the best, and I mean that with the utmost of praise and admiration for my brethren in FORGE and the other SUMMIT PRO talent spread out amongst the six sub-promotions.)
He nodded at Kyoko and continued.
私たちのスチールケージマッチの前に私の相手から半分世界中で、ここ大阪で座って、私はどのように良いあなたに言うつもりはありません。私はあなたが表示されます、と私は失敗しません - あなたの身ぶりは、氏ルガー私に何かを証明しました。あなたが恐れています。私はその恐怖を公開し、あなたが決して存在しなかった知っていた痛みの側面が表示されます。 (I am not going to sit here in Osaka, halfway across the world from my opponent before our steel cage match and tell you how good I am. I will SHOW you, and I will not fail - your gesturing proved something to me, Mr Luger. You are afraid. I will expose that fear, and show you the side of pain you never knew existed.)
Kyoko asked him about his in-ring altercation with Luger.
はい、私は土曜日の夜スラムに物理的に関与しました。私はインパクトの何かをする必要性を見て、私の機会を得ました。私のキャリアまたはFORGEのものを踏襲している誰もが機会を利用して、ちょうどそれをやって私からあまり何も期待しないだろう。私はマットの誇り学生ですしかし、私は、サミットPRO以外の会社で行われたものに反対しています。今のところ、そのケージに、私はなしでそれを証明します - 私が取得し、それはだかどうかルガーは、ホーガン、フレアーまたはそれらのto-doリストから地雷を消去したい他の名前のように私の40代にもかかわらず、私は同じように良い与えることができますルガーに対する疑いの影。 (Yes, I got physically involved on Saturday Night Slam. I saw a need to do something impactful and took my opportunity. Anyone who has followed my career or those in FORGE would expect nothing less from me doing just that, taking advantage of opportunities. However, I am opposed to those done in companies other than SUMMIT PRO, as I am a proud student of the mat. Despite being in my forties, I can give just as good as I get and whether it's Luger, Hogan, Flair or any other name wanting to erase mine from their To-Do list - for now, in that cage, I will prove it without a shadow of a doubt against Luger.)
Kyoko thanked Wilson for his time, and signed off as hype trailers for SUMMIT PRO's return commenced.
WAVES - Episode 3 with 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn and Matt Striker; third interview, BEAST IX Showcase Event and DRIVEN I Showcase Event wrapup SUMMIT PRO: Tag Team Grand Prix - Third Stage SUMMIT PRO Showcase Event SUMMIT PRO: Trivium Go Codex (anime series); 'SUMMIT PRO - KING: 指導者は、フォロワーありません (Leaders, Not Followers)'
Post by Chris Reager on Jul 3, 2015 3:39:30 GMT -5
SUMMIT PRO: SPOTLIGHT ON...BEAST POWER WRESTLING
The concept of BEAST started in the late '90s, when two journeymen wrestlers, who had become disillusioned with how professional wrestling had been portrayed in the US, and who were used as talent in Japan for fledgling promotions without any hope for career advancement, (mainly due to being gaijin), decided to think outside the box.
The two men in question would become Bruiser and Kraven.
Despite the two putting on sterling matches in promotions like FMW, EXILE, FIGHT, REAL, SPIRIT and SPARTAN, as opponents and tag team partners, they were seen as two exceptional grapplers but little else.
They had held tag team gold but fans at that time in Japan had said farewell to three incredible performers in different ways - the passings of legends Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta were unfortunate, as was the retirement of gaijin legend Stan 'The Lariat' Hansen.
With these sad deaths of Baba and Jumbo and the retirement of Hansen, the future Bruiser and Kraven were affected just as much as anyone; some of their favourites and in Hansen; he was the reason they wanted to perform in Japan.
The two had clicked with each other and were good friends, their bond extending past the wrestling business but also to their fondness for the Godzilla 'Gojira' films and '80s facepainted powerhouse tag teams like The Road Warriors, Demolition and Powers of Pain.
A chance encounter with a young Seth Cronyn in FMW in December of '97 (who in turn had himself met with Lady Crothers) triggered a creative spike in both men, who were astonished the billionaire and royal businesswoman had found a young man who inspired her to offer something different in professional wrestling, in Japan or otherwise.
Lady Crothers' first promotion, THRESHOLD, existed to give a platform for gaijin to succeed, as AJPW legend Mitsuharu Misawa's defection from AJPW to form the new company NOAH saw a de-emphasis on gaijin talent to work with top-level Japanese names.
Drawing on their own interests, the two men who would become Bruiser and Kraven worked on a concept whilst competing in THRESHOLD and other Japanese independents, and after a time, they presented it to Lady Crothers, who was floored at the originality and novelty of the concept.
The concept fit in with the culture and way of life in Japan, paying homage to the 'kaiju' movies that both men enjoyed. With a clever twist on the term 'gaijin' for 'foreigner', Bruiser and Kraven became 'kaijin'; or 'humanoid monsters'.
Lady Crothers signed both men as talent and executive producers for the BEAST concept; which started initially as a tag team within THRESHOLD and EXILE. She asked them to relocate to Osaka which they did, and after two years with THRESHOLD and other independents like EXILE, FIGHT, REAL, SPIRIT and SPARTAN, had become incredibly popular with the Asian market due to the amazing dedication of the characters, the originality of the idea and the aura they emitted.
As pro wrestling was always in essence a brotherhood, other talented gaijin who had the foundations for something to be fleshed out in BEAST were signed, created a character that fit within the BEAST ethos and added more layers of mystique to BEAST, which was becoming an incredible entity.
More talent adhered to the rules inherent in the BEAST promotion, with factions and stables adding that awe-inspiring element to truly larger-than-life characters embodied by grateful gaijin who thrived in a promotion and concept that resonated with fans across Asia. One integral key was an intense respect for kayfabe.
Drawing not just on kaiju monster movies, they also drew on facets of culture around the world that clicked with fans who looked at wrestling in a totally different way to what was offered in the US, and in the national companies in Japan; AJPW and NJPW. This extended to comic books/manga, anime, science fiction/fantasy films, demonology, heavy metal music (black metal in the case of Seeds Of Hate), ghost folklore in Japan, 'yurei', especially 'onyro', or vengeful ghosts (in the case of Occasus) and more.
Facepaint was a given for most talent, with those who donned it capturing the essence of the BEAST they portrayed to a finite science. As of 2015, the only two BEASTS to not wear facepaint are Venom and Vessel.
Bruiser and Kraven also worked on making the matches mean something, as opposed to just having one BEAST face another with little consequence - thus themes of power, darkness, triumph and desolation were implemented, to great success.
They changed as much as they could to differentiate the product from every other product at the time, including naming the main event of shows 'The Primus' (as an ode to gladiatorial battles of ancient Rome). They had different names of matches, including the Dominion Absolute (Tornado Rules), Triptych Match (a Three Way Dance), Warfare Match (Nine BEAST elimination match), Kraken Match (Eight BEAST elimination match) and Turmoil Match (Twelve BEAST elimination match) just to name a few.
A training school was commissioned, dubbed the BEAST Power Training Universum, where, in character, Bruiser and Kraven oversaw the training of would-be BEASTS. The first successful nine graduates were known as The First Surge, and were split into three factions - Occasus, Seeds Of Hate and Hellfire Eternal.
Behind the scenes, Bruiser and Kraven ran the shows, promoted them, booked them, hired the arenas, trained the talent, worked with them on articulating their characters. Kraven suffered an injury during the early years of BEAST causing the newly-created Tag Team titles, the Dual BEAST Tag Team championships, to be vacated. However, even on one good leg he still helped where he could.
Onscreen, they ensured a figurehead ran the company who people would look at and know straight away that he calls the shots. That man was Lucius Kraven, Kraven's real-life brother. He would eventually tweak his ring-name to 'Lord Lucius'.
They also conceived the idea of a facepainted ring announcer, portrayed by non-wrestler Malevolence, who spoke eerily similar to veteran actor Christopher Lee, and a facepainted female dance troupe` called The Mysterious Tigerlily Divina who would dance during the intermission on BEAST Showcase Events.
A facepainted individual wearing a suit with a strange mask named 'Arkane' provided backstage interviews, his voice deep and resonant, akin to actor Keith David and Tom Hardy's Bane in 'The Dark Knight Rises'.
Along with these ideas, Bruiser and Kraven extended the idea to a demonic Yakuza-influenced facepainted commentating team called 'Kenryoku Dasshu' (Seizure of Power), portrayed by Kodoku and Fuwa.
Since 2000, BEAST performed independent shows all over Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. They became the first promotion to join the pantheon of SUMMIT PRO.
Below are WWE 2K14 CAW representations of BEAST talent:
Post by Chris Reager on Jul 4, 2015 0:11:36 GMT -5
SUMMIT PRO: SPOTLIGHT ON...KING PRO WRESTLING
KING PRO WRESTLING began as a sister promotion to Lady Crother's THRESHOLD promotion, which was her first attempt at running a pro wrestling promotion, with help from the likes of Hall of Famer Terry Funk, whose name in Japan was legendary.
Smaller independent shows with few stars scattered across Japan and South Korea like EXILE, FIGHT, REAL, SPIRIT, SPARTAN all had alliances with KING in the early days.
The focus of puroresu around the time of these small shows being run was mainly on the mass exodus of AJPW talent to NOAH, led by puroresu 'god', Mitsuharu Misawa, while NJPW soldiered on bravely.
The time of two dominant national promotions was over, as a litany of small independents like FMW, Michinoku Pro, ZERO-1 and DDT flourished in their own way.
Stern but fair businessman Kunimura Saito, who had business enterprises away from pro wrestling (mainly Destiny Vocal Entertainment, his J-Pop and K-Pop centred venture) founded a company along with his wife, Kumiko.
Their son, Kenichi, excelled in kickboxing, catch and freestyle wrestling along with MMA but wanted to be a top star in puroresu.
Initially known as 'SANCTITY'; the meaning behind it resonating with Kunimura Saito, a man who wanted to instill a sense of reverence within puroresu for his son to dedicate himself to.
Saito's SANCTITY promotion ran small but successful shows in Osaka, with a co-promotion with similarly small promotion SPARTAN helping to stand out from the pack of other shows running in Japan.
The shows were bolstered by the feud stemming between former classmates turned enemies IRON FIST (Heihachi Miyamoto, Tetsuya Sekimoto and Koji Nakata) against TEN-KODA (Keiji Sakoda and Ryusuke Tengan)
Kenichi Saito would be tested against the likes of Takayuki Momota and Kendo Ishida, other aspiring Junior Heavyweights looking to come into their own as SANCTITY continued.
As time went on, Saito's SANCTITY became a resilient and stable promotion, and saw freelancers from the smaller companies eventually come across exclusively to SANCTITY; as the first company to cease operations was Sapporo-based independent FIGHT.
After FIGHT was dissolved into SANCTITY, Saito renamed the promotion 'Pro Wrestling KING' , feeling that the time of SANCTITY had been the foundation for something greater, and to be KING of pro wrestling in Osaka was his new goal.
What made Saito's approach different from the other independents was the production value; while still small budget, the feel and aura of the promotion coupled with the sterling in-ring action saw KING gain a lot of traction.
Still, Saito felt something was missing, as he added more independent talent and essentially built on the origins of what RING OF HONOR in the US had started out as - a homebase for independent talent.
What was missing was diversity - a complete lack of gaijins saw a completely domestic Japanese roster battle for supremacy within two divisions. Saito sought to add to this, thinking one talented gaijin in the vein of Stan Hansen would prove to be a welcome opponent for the talent in KING.
At the same time, Seth Cronyn had established a good name for himself in Japan and South Korea, namely due to his good looks, natural charisma, superb in-ring work and intelligence that surpassed his years.
His well-documented passage into the business by learning under Dory Funk Jr held tremendous weight as well. He had the same idea, after hearing how successful KING was becoming with a back-to-basics Strong Style approach to pro wrestling in Osaka.
He was wrestling full-time for a number of promotions in Japan, most prominently FMW, and was perfecting his Japanese and having weekly meetings with Lady Crothers about the next plan of attack after the successful operation of BEAST.
Saito and Seth missed their first phone calls to each other, as they unknowingly sought each other out, but eventually made contact and brokered a deal that saw him as the first gaijin to compete in this new promotion.
With BEAST, THRESHOLD and KING establishing themselves in different parts of Asia at the same time, the smaller promotions would cross-promote where possible, with eventual FORGE alumni performing between the likes of EXILE, SPARTAN and SPIRIT.
With Seth Cronyn leading the way as a gaijin talent and working between all these promotions, it didn't take long before the future FORGE alumni followed suit, along with BEAST, giving fans an unprecedented and at times revolutionary promotional warfare, with KING serving as the bastion for certain Japanese talent.
Eventually as Saito grew KING respectably within Japan and noting that the partnership with Seth Cronyn was great for his business (who was backed by Lady Crothers at the time), and the THRESHOLD promotion delivering something different, he made the aggressive move to buy out the likes of SPARTAN, SPIRIT and EXILE and absorb the talent into KING.
During this time, the company was able to source its own Dojo to train the talent and develop potential new talent.
Before he could pounce on EXILE, Lady Crothers absolved it back into THRESHOLD, and proposed a business allegiance with KING, in the same vein as how BEAST had come into the fold. Saito's moxie had impressed Crothers indelibly, however.
In a press conference attended by a vast throng of wrestling media, Lady Crothers shook hands with Kunimura Saito and the partnership between Crothers' sports arm of her business empire, (TGOC) 3NWPRO, and Pro Wrestling KING was born.
The Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight rosters for KING had been fleshed out, and before long established stars of puroresu; names like Genichiro Tenryu, YujiNagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Naomichi Marufuji, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, Masato Tanaka, Shuehei Tanaguchi, Masato Yoshino, Jun Akiyama and others even had title opportunities in KING.
Saito had succeeded in making a company become a viable option in Osaka, and worked with Lady Crothers and Seth Cronyn along with his wife Kumiko as executive producers, bookers, promoters and in Saito's case, an on-air figurehead with his real-life son Kenichi coming into his own as a top level Junior Heavyweight.
They hired anime voice artist Tetsuo Kaneda as the official announcer for KING, and through connections Saito had with DVE, was able to hire gravure idols HarumiNemoto and Minase Yashiro as backstage interviewers for interviews with the talent leading up to the matches.
Eventually these lovely ladies would joined by Yukie Kawamura and later Eri Otoguro, becoming known as 'The Gravure Four'.
The main attraction of KING throughout the years was the in-ring action, with various slow-burn and lengthy feuds that caught the imagination of the audiences, from:
The hard-hitting Heavyweight tag team feud pitting Ootoko-Gun (Big Man Army) of Shoichi Onizuka and Makoto Utada against R-RAMPAGE (Ryoto Hirabayashi and Ryuji Kitazawa)
The almost MMA-like shoot wrestling style wars between Heavyweights Hiromichi Oyama and Yoshihiro Fujihara
The rise and rise of Takayuki Momota, the most dominant CKGP Junior Heavyweight so far in KING
The cross-promotional supercards that predated VERSUS and MAELSTROM in SUMMIT PRO, involving the likes of BEAST and FORGE against KING's talent
The dominance of IRON FIST in the Heavyweight division and the breakthrough of Kenichi Saito as the top Openweight heel in KING history, forming a Junior Heavyweight faction into what would be known as MERCILESS
The feud between Seth Cronyn and Tetsuya Sekimoto that traversed several years and different title divisions and reigns between the two
IRON FIST against TEN-KODA; the pinnacle feud that for all intents and purposes made KING a player in puroresu
The varied tag team division between both divisions, with only two teams ever being able to hold win both championships; FIRST STRIKE(Takayuki Momota and NaoyaNakagawa) and Ya-Shima (Kazuharu Yasuda and Shingo Takashima)
The formation of Osorezugun (Without Fear Army); a faction consisting of three former CKGP Junior Heavyweight champions; Naoki Tamaguchi, Hiroshi Tamura and Ikuto Nakamura
Since 1999, SANCTITY/KING performed independent shows all over Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore and Indonesia. They became the second promotion to join the pantheon of SUMMIT PRO.
Below are the bases for the talent in KING (taken from Page 1), spread amongst the Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight divisions:
(Included are the bases for key people in KING.)
KING PRO WRESTLING
President of KING, KUNIMURA SAITO - based on Jun Kunimura from Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Audition
One of the Executive Producers, and wife to KUNIMURA SAITO, mother to KENICHI SAITO; KUMIKO SAITO - based on Tamlyn Tomita
Ring announcer TETSUO KANEDA - based on Nakamura Shido II from Jet Li's Fearless
Japanese-language commentator AKITOSHI SHIRAI - based on Hiroyuki Sanada from Ring, The Last Samurai, The Wolverine
Japanese-language commentator NOBUHIKO TAKASE - based on Ryo Ishibashi from The Grudge, Audition
Backstage interviewer HARUMI NEMOTO, part of the 'Gravure Four'
Backstage interviewer MINASE YASHIRO, part of the 'Gravure Four'
Backstage interviewer ERI OTOGURO, part of the 'Gravure Four'
Backstage interviewer YUKIE KAWAMURA, part of the 'Gravure Four'
HEIHACHI MIYAMOTO - reminiscent of Kensuke Sasaki circa 2005; powerful, resilient, epic with ungodly strength
TETSUYA SEKIMOTO - reminiscent of Yoshihiro Takayama circa 2006; tall, stiff, powerful; a true alpha male, stern, epic and brutal at times
KOJI NAKATA - reminiscent of Mr Gannosuke circa 1997; big, broad, powerful; tough and crafty
MERCILESS (formerly DK-KOJI-GUN):
KENICHI SAITO - reminiscent of KENTA circa NO MERCY heel turn; crafty, stiff, more submissions-based; lethal and cunning
TAKESHI GANNOSUKE - reminiscent of Yoshinobu Kanemaru circa 2008; versatile junior heavyweight, explosive when necessary
KATSUHIKO YAMADA - reminiscent of Kazuchika Okada (just before becoming 'Rainmaker'; tall, athletic and polished; ruthless and epic
OSOREZUGUN (Without Fear Army):
NAOKI TAMAGUCHI - reminiscent of Atsushi Aoki; versatile, resilient and athletic
HIROSHI TAMURA - reminiscent of Kota Ibushi; breathtaking agility and poise, incredible heart and psychology
IKUTO KAWAGUCHI - reminiscent of Munenori Sawa; clinical, technical and stiff, resilient competitor
* * *
KING Junior Heavyweights:
SATOSHI MURAKAMI - reminiscent of CIMA circa 2007-2008; athletic and charismatic
KATSUMI KIMURA - reminiscent of KAGETORA circa 2011; athletic and resourceful
SHIRO KAWASHIMA - reminiscent of YAMATO circa 2009; charismatic, athletic and resourceful
KIYOSHI GENJIRO - reminiscent of 'H'(Hayabusa's alter ego in FMW); crafty, with fighting spirit and versatility
NAOYA NAKAGAWA - reminiscent of Ikuto Hidaka; quick, agile and courageous
NOBUHIKO OGAWA - reminiscent of HARASHIMA; stoic, athletic and agile
MASAHIKO YOSHIDA - reminiscent of Katsuhiko Nakajima circa 2008; top babyface in KING for junior heavyweights, excels in stiff shoot kicks and submission-based wrestling
TAKAHIRO OTSUKA - reminiscent of KUSHIDA; quick, agile and athletic
AKIRA ISHIMURA - reminiscent of Kotaro Suzuki; resilient, quick and versatile
TOGI MIZUSHIMA - reminiscent of Naruki Doi circa 2009; stoic and deft competitor, athletic and agile
KENJIRO KOJIMA - reminiscent of BxB Hulk circa 2007; handsome, charismatic and incredibly athletic and agile; career babyface
TAKAYUKI MOMOTA - reminiscent of Masaaki Mochizuki; stiff, resilient and agile
MANABU OKAMOTO - reminiscent of Akira Tozawa; tough, resourceful and clever
TAKEO SHIRAISHI - reminiscent of Minoru Tanaka; resilient, athletic, has a background in kickboxing and Muay Thai
SHINGO TAKASHIMA - reminiscent of Gedo circa 2006; stout, tough, resilient
KAZUHARU YASUDA - reminiscent of Naofumi 'Yoshi Tatsu' Yamamoto; sleek, agile and athletic; favouring quick shoot kicks
* * *
DAISUKE MIRASHIMA - reminiscent of Takeshi Morishima; huge, powerful and imposing
TOSHIHIRO NOBUNAGA - reminiscent of Takashi Sugiura; crisp, solid and athletic
MASATO TAKAHASHI - reminiscent of Jun Akiyama; stoic, stiff and intense
KAZUYA YAMAZAKI - reminiscent of Yuji Nagata; powerful, resourceful, charismatic
Post by Chris Reager on Jul 4, 2015 9:02:40 GMT -5
WAVES - Episode 3 (波 - エピソード3)
Fans of SUMMIT PRO were welcomed to the much-anticipated and belated third episode of WAVES; the delay coming after many developments in the world of professional wrestling in 2015 for SUMMIT PRO.
The SUMMIT PRO signature video, set to 'The Banishment' by Prong (the theme for SUMMIT PRO) is played, intercut with superbly-edited footage of SUMMIT PRO in action.
Broadcast on TCN and Nippon TV, WAVES was made available as featured content available for streaming on SUMMIT PRO's VOD service, 'APEX'.
WAVES served as a recap and discussion show of the most recent events in SUMMIT PRO, loosely comparable to Samurai TV's 'Puroresu News'.
The main shows to be discussed and recapped would be:
SUMMIT PRO TAG TEAM GRAND PRIX: SECOND STAGE SUMMIT PRO SHOWCASE: DRIVEN I
3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn would return to address more topics with Matt Striker in the third interview between the two.
The camera panned across a civil and reverent 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.
Matt Striker's dialogue would be translated live to the crowd by a translator, while Kanji subtitles would be displayed for the viewers at home.
Carl Jordan: こんばんは秘密 - いいえ志摩、およびTCN上またはAPEXのすべて見WAVESエピソード3へ。私たちは私たちに参加していただきありがとうございます。これは、これからしばらくされている、と私たちはあなたのすべてを逃しました。 SUMMIT PROは成長を続け、我々はボックスの外側を考えることを望む真の情熱的なプロレスファンのサポートによって吹き飛ばされています。ありがとう。
(Good evening Himitsu-No Shima, and to all watching WAVES Episode 3 on TCN or on APEX; we thank you for joining us. This has been a while coming, and we have missed all of you. SUMMIT PRO continues to grow, and we are blown away by the support of true passionate wrestling fans who wish to think outside the box. Thank you.)
Lee Hunter: こんばんは、良いはあなたのすべてにここにいます。それはWAVESのためにここにカール•ジョーダン、リーハンターとマット•ストライカーのだ - エピソード3、長い時間が来ます。我々はすべてが上昇しているバーが表示され、その一部になりたい - 全体が波及効果を引き起こして、ステップアップしているように半年間はすでにプロレスリングによって行ってしまったのは驚くべきこと。私たちは最後のあなたを見たので、私たち3人SUMMITのPROで行われた劇的な発展をこの拡張休み中SUMMIT PROの最後の二つのイベントを議論するだけでなく、アウトラインになります。マット•ストライカー率いるセスクローニンと待望のインタビューでは、同様に来て、非常に多くのことを楽しみにしてされます！
(Good evening, good to be here with you all; it's Carl Jordan, Lee Hunter and Matt Striker here for WAVES - Episode 3, a long time coming. Amazing that half the year has gone by already and pro wrestling as a whole has stepped up, causing a ripple effect - we all see the bar being raised and thrive on being a part of it. The three of us will be discussing the last two events for SUMMIT PRO during this extended hiatus, as well as outline the dramatic developments made in SUMMIT PRO since we last saw you. The long-awaited interview with Seth Cronyn headed by Matt Striker will be coming up as well, looking forward to that very much!)
* * *
The panel discussed the following topics at length along with accompanying video footage of:
SUMMIT PRO: TAG TEAM GRAND PRIX - SECOND STAGE
Focus was on the card as a whole:
Appreciation of the highest order for outgoing FORGE President Dory Funk Jr, with Jim Weaver becoming new President of FORGE
Nigel Newhart's assertion at the start of the event against IRON FIST and MERCILESS
The venerable Ya-Shima of KING besting RIPTIDE upstarts Drake Madsen and Kotaro in the Grand Prix
The shocking rudo switch made by Morphosis to defeat IGNITION brethren in El Azul/Super Xero in the Grand Prix
The strategy implemented by slimy RIPTIDE heel Johnny Prime to defeat one half of the RIPTIDE Tag Team champions, Leon Harris in a Grudge Match
The KING/BEAST Strong Style war that saw BEAST's Bane of Ruination edge out KING's Ootoko-Gun to advance in the Grand Prix
MERCILESS of KING taken to the limit by the first BEAST team to be eliminated in the Grand Prix, Perilous Oppression
Russian domination for FORGE as The Koloff Bros schooled RIPTIDE's Mason Jones and Mossad Hammoud in the Grand Prix
The first-ever showdown between RIPTIDE's Breckin Stryker and former TNA/ROH/independentSamoa Joe; a highly-heated and stiff contest
Another amazing chapter in the ongoing feud between MERCILESS and TEN-KODA; truly impressive veterans adding a sterling match in their resumes`, and a worthy main event in the Grand Prix
SUMMIT PRO SHOWCASE: DRIVEN I
Focus was on the card as a whole:
The fact the only male who appeared on the show was 3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn - making this event historically significant for a vast number of reasons
Reverence and respect to the pioneering joshi talent who were in attendance to see SUMMIT PRO's DRIVEN WOMEN make history
The amount of promotion for the event and the support from entertainment celebrities in Japan
The international team of Priya Roshan and Mikayla Benson impressing Sendai, despite defeat by Yasumi Fujita and Tatsumi Shindo
China's Sun Xiao-Jing besting South Korea's Raina Ji-Kyung in a well-received match
The team of Mexican DRIVEN Women taking on three of DRIVEN's Japanese finest in a tremendous Trios match
The unofficial 'Team UK'; Lucy Renshaw and Kayana Dawson besting the affable 'girls next door' team of Sadaka Kisugi and Tamika Ito
French-Canadian Sophie Geroux's different look and vibe, and her defeating the beautiful and sweet Narumi Tamayama, whose 'never-say-die' attitude appealed to the crowd
The incredible main event pitting friends Sienna Cronyn (2014 Supremacy in Saitama Battle Royal Winner) and Asumi Ishimotoagainst the serious Keisha Hamilton and Tanisha Landon, with the seemingly impossible submission finish from Sienna Cronyn, the Cronyn Plight
After the discussion by the panel of the two events, Carl and Lee briefly discussed the interview between Matt Striker and Seth Cronyn, which was taped recently.
The interview was once again conducted in Seth's offices in Osaka, and were conducted in English.
Their dialogue was translated via Kanji subtitles for the viewers at home.
* * *
Matt Striker: A familiar scene, one that I am very excited about - but first of course, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us, Matt Striker here with the CEO of 3NWPRO, former KING CKGP Heavyweight and Openweight champion, Grand Poobah of all things SUMMIT PRO, it's Seth Cronyn! Thank you for your time, how are you?
Seth Cronyn: (laughs cordially) Thank you Matt, what an introduction! Appreciate it, good to be here; I'm well thanks, hope you are too. I've been incredibly busy lately.
Matt Striker: Precisely the reason this third interview is so important; can you please fill us in with what has transpired for SUMMIT PRO since DRIVEN I?
Seth Cronyn: It's been a blur, it really has. A wonderful blur, don't get me wrong, but many sleepless nights, working constantly. Firstly, our exposure as a company and promotion has swelled exponentially since DRIVEN 1, which was a huge success. The importance of that show cannot be understated, I imagine you, Carl and Lee will expand on this on WAVES…Don't take this as the lazy 'shots fired' or whatever it is the 'IWC' say, but we gave women, not 'Divas' chances, and on that night at Korakuen Hall, I was the only male to appear on the card - and I didn't wrestle.
The entire card was contested between females, we had female interviewers, female commentators, female ring announcers - and we didn't orchestrate it to rub it in anyone's faces, but we believe in this roster, and they succeeded beyond our wildest dreams - incredibly happy for everyone.
Seth Cronyn: Since that event, SUMMIT PRO expanded our reach, still giving back to the countries that supported us from the start, namely Japan of course…Canada, UK and South Korea as well…but all of a sudden I was contacted by PodcastOne in the US, and asked if I would like to be interviewed by any of the wrestling-related hosts on that channel.
Matt Striker: Wow, so that's the combined might of Steve Austin, Jim Ross, Chris Jericho, Roddy Piper and Goldberg…what happened?
Seth Cronyn: Oh, not just them, but Colt Cabana's, Jim Cornette's, Sam Roberts' and even Ric Flair's, along with WrestleTalk TV in the UK as well, it was very overwhelming. I considered them all, and politely declined them all on what I considered to be fair and respectable grounds. The two I had trouble declining were Jim Cornette and WrestleTalk TV.
Matt Striker: Could you elaborate on those grounds?
Seth Cronyn: With all respect to those podcast hosts I named, each had traits that would not give the justice needed to what I'm trying to accomplish, no matter how nice they are to my face. I won't go into them, but I'd rather just say that the approach here in the East is better for me, where I don't get interrupted or thrown by long-winded questions.
Matt Striker: That would've given you even more exposure in the US - isn't that what you wanted?
Seth Cronyn: Matt, it's been some time since our last interview, and if you recall toward the end of Episode 2 of WAVES I mentioned I would look to rectify that. I don't believe this is the time, especially how I feel about the US wrestling scene and the approach with their 'dirtsheets' and politics. This extends to former SUMMIT PRO supporter, 411mania.com.
Seth Cronyn: I sought out counsel from my mentor Terry Funk, who told me he was proud of everything I did, but since Dusty Rhodes passed he had a hard time enjoying wrestling, which was understandable. He said the wrestling business in America is in a state of flux at the moment and that if American companies and personalities are interested in SUMMIT PRO, that there was nothing wrong with keeping them waiting a little while longer.
He sipped his water and continued.
Seth Cronyn: I was devastated by the news of Dusty Rhodes' passing, as I imagine we all were; I met him last year at the NXT Performance Centre when Jim Weaver and I attended ahead of the RIPTIDE VS WWE event (which we all know about by now). A class act, a wonderful human being, and the very reason many of SUMMIT PRO's stars got into this business, none moreso than one of my students, Winston Rowe (who changed his name to Windy Rhodes in honour of Dusty, even while he was still with us). Winston identified with Dusty immensely; his weight, his charisma, his perceived shortcomings given his size, but how he captivated people was amazing. Winston channeled the aura of Dusty into something inherently 'Winston Rowe' to become 'Windy Rhodes', and I am so very proud of him. I tear up thinking how hard this kid has worked, and continues to do so.
Matt Striker: That is so great to hear, and I believe the world over, people know for a fact that Dusty Rhodes was truly a pioneer in the business, bar none. So, back on point, you believed it wasn't the right time to invest in the US market?
Seth Cronyn: I'll be brutally honest here; I don't think there will EVER be a perfect or right time to do so…wrestling in the US is a passé ideology to the stars of the combined promotions within SUMMIT PRO…especially guys from FORGE and especially Bruiser and Kraven from BEAST, who unfortunately were around at a time when wrestling was hotshotted and focusing on a boom period as opposed to what actually occurred between the ropes.
Seth Cronyn: We've heard from Chris Jericho, someone who has had a stellar career but ultimately WANTED to go to the WWE, which is of course based in the US. On the other side of the world, Fergal Devitt, someone I identify with as someone who spent a long time in Japan, always wanted to make it to the WWE, and did so - now? He's one of the hottest acts in NXT. Good for him. Someone like CM Punk, Zack Sabre Jr or Low Ki though; THESE are the guys that intrigue me - they saw WWE differently, that it is not the be all and end all when it comes to wrestling/sports entertainment. For Sabre Jr, a technical wizard, he has no wish to go there whatsoever, and is a mainstay of NOAH, a former business alliance of SUMMIT PRO.
He adjusted in his chair and continued, passionately.
Seth Cronyn: I feel I have to clarify for those that would seek to twist my words…I'm American, I do not hate America, never have, never will. I just honestly never wanted to make a living wrestling in the US. Same as Low Ki, as it turns out. He went to the WWE for the experience, made something of it, knew it wouldn't last and excelled wherever he went after that - he's 35, doing great. I personally would love to sign him for SUMMIT PRO, perhaps as a freelance recurring talent. CM Punk saw it as a pitstop and has moved on to a new love of his; and good for him.
Matt Striker: I just find it strange, personally, that there seems to be a demand for SUMMIT PRO in the US but you don't want to pull the trigger. You honestly feel that because the guys in FORGE were slighted in the past you owe it to them not to return?
Seth Cronyn: Great question, some fire, I like it! No, that is not true. I believe the fans in the US do not want to see SUMMIT PRO on their soil…yet. They merely want to hear from me or someone else via a podcast and try to dissect and scrutinize something I have personally invested in, try to make it something trivial like it's a headline on one of the many dirtsheets there, essentially cutting the legs off of something unique and popular in countries other than them.
Matt Striker: You're saying the whole wrestling fanbase in the US is jealous? Were the ROH cross-promoted shows with NJPW not a success?
Seth Cronyn: No, Matt - you're thinking too small, and you're comparing us as a company to established promotions that resonate with 'smart' fans. Put it this way, and understand me - there is no ill will or disrespect to the US wrestling fanbase as a whole, but SUMMIT PRO's future does not hedge on their support.
Matt Striker: Too small? What do you mean?
Seth Cronyn: The US has WWE, TNA, ROH. Regardless of size and reach, they are companies known the world over. They also have indies like PWG, CZW, EVOLVE, Dragon Gate and more than I couldn't possibly remember the names to. They also have Lucha Underground. They have plenty,wouldn't you say?
As 3NWPRO CEO, I have to think about the best interests of every performer in all the sub-promotions that make up SUMMIT PRO. Considering the immense steps we have taken in the last few years without US involvement, I'd say I'm perfectly fine with that - and that means SUMMIT PRO is too.
Matt Striker: Do you believe that if the tide was to turn, and if SUMMIT PRO found a groundswell of support in the US that an excursion to perform there wouldn't be out of the question, even if you had guaranteed supporters wanting to witness a VERSUS event live?
Seth Cronyn: (chuckles) I won't rule anything out. At this time though, SUMMIT PRO is doing exceptional business around the world and in our adopted homeland, Japan. We're seen in over 100 countries via APEX, and tour countries as distant as Dubai, Norway and Taipei.
Matt Striker: Let's talk about the developments. What is first on your agenda in terms of these developments?
Seth Cronyn: Our weekly hour-long show, often called a 'spotlight-type' show, 'Focus Point' is doing very well on APEX, with episodes intended to focus on every single talent within SUMMIT PRO. We have been able to partner with 'Squared Circle Productions', and 'PFI Promotions' in the US to spread more knowledge about SUMMIT PRO as an entity, which is probably what led to your questions about the US before.
He adjusted in his seat and continued.
Seth Cronyn: We have been helped enormously by the contributions of Wicked'S GWV in Ontario, Canada, which helped us define which part of North America to focus on when we tour. Thanks very much to them, if they're watching.
Seth Cronyn: Our fanbase cares about the in-ring product, they care about the performers in the ring, they care about why certain wrestlers will face each other, they care about who wins and who loses, and if you lose - what do you do to assert yourself and get back in the winner's column.
He sipped his water and continued.
Seth Cronyn: I won't disclose numbers, but APEX has a wonderful amount of subscribers in over 100 countries, with added content regularly. We have added a third volume of twelve episodes for our anime series, 'SUMMIT PRO: Trivium Go Codex', which is for KING. With BEAST and IGNITION, that's 36 episodes of great anime with the actual wrestlers performing the voices. Add to that the sheer amount of matches and other footage compiled from the video libraries for defunct promotions like SPARTAN, EXILE, SPIRIT, REAL, FIGHT etc. But don't worry, I don't have plans for a reality show like Tough Enough.
Seth Cronyn: With APEX gaining traction, Focus Point doing well, and all six promotions doing great things, finding your identity is something to behold. Case in point, the promotion '3RW' in the South of the US that has done all it could to get our attention. Their CEO, Jacob Roode, reached out to 3NWPRO after being impressed with our product and asked if they could book FORGE International Heavyweight champion and good friend of mine, Steve Wilson, for their 'War Between The Four' event. It'll be in a non-title steel cage match; which is an interesting introduction to 3RW's fans to see Steve in action straight away.
Matt Striker: How is this development shaping up?
Seth Cronyn: Cautiously; I don't know much about Jacob Roode or his methods, but 3RW seems to be in line with the JCP/UWF/Mid-South style of pro wrestling or 'rasslin', so it will be very interesting. Make no mistake here, Steve Wilson is as tough as they come, he is well-versed in Strong Style and King's Road, as well as catch-wrestling and shoot. I'm not saying this as a means to imply that 3RW may employ an underhanded tactic to see Wilson look foolish back on American soil, but simply stated, he is no joke, he's incredibly popular here in Japan and I'm looking forward to seeing him defeat his opponent at 3RW's 'Free 4 View' event.
Matt Striker: He made an appearance on 3RW programming, 'Saturday Night Slam', the contract signing…he was involved also in the main event, making a physical interjection after the match and standing toe-to-toe with Hulk Hogan himself, correct?
Seth Cronyn: Yes, he did. This furthers the animosity between Luger and Wilson, as well as gives a preview of what Hogan vs Wilson could look like.
Matt Striker: Is it true 3RW were interested in pursuing more talent to appear for them?
Seth Cronyn: That is true, yes. We were approached about members of BEAST appearing as a tag team to challenge The Road Warriors for the 3RW Tag Team titles. Lord Lucius spoke to me about the proposal but ultimately he asked me to pass on that BEAST would be politely declining the invitation. For some reason they requested Bruiser and Kraven, who at this point in their careers are rivals; teaming them together makes little sense.
Matt Striker: Would you be open to more of these invitations?
Seth Cronyn: I'm not 100% sure at this juncture; Wilson is doing this to 'test the waters' and see how 3RW does business, but if I'm being honest, I'd want to focus on where SUMMIT PRO can grow to, now that DRIVEN have had their first Showcase Event.
Matt Striker: Let's talk about DRIVEN. Your sister was amongst a stellar event, partnering with her friend Asumi Ishimoto against two serious women in Keisha Hamilton and Tanisha Landon. The finish to the match is up there with some of the best I've ever seen - Sienna's flexibility was insane!
Seth Cronyn: I'm so proud, you know, just a proud older brother who watched the match backstage with my grandfather, Sovereign. That finish was an added exclamation point for this night, and it sounds like I'm rehashing clichés, but this night was as important to SUMMIT PRO as Barely Legal was for ECW in '97. A lot of hard work for a big payoff, and thankfully it did work.
Seth Cronyn: Hiromi Oshiro's tribute to the Spider Twist (innovated by Mariko Yoshida) was incredible to see, and my sister's Cronyn Plight was out of this world, I'm so happy and proud of all of the girls; talent, announcers - everyone.
Matt Striker: We have seen the girls interviewed many times leading up to the event and at the event itself, was there ever a design as to how it would work with the international female talent working amongst the domestic Japanese talent?
Seth Cronyn: No; Lady Crothers oversaw certain parts of the process, but for the most part it was myself, Lance Hansen, Jim Weaver, Keiji Sakoda and Ryusuke Tengan of FORGE that helped the girls train and realise how different this vision of joshi would be to companies like Stardom and Ice Ribbon. Being in Japan, of course there would be more native talent, but the international talent just fell into place perfectly for us.
Matt Striker: You mentioned Stardom. What is the current relationship like?
Seth Cronyn: Tenuous at best, considering that as of July 2015, Yoshihiko decided to retire and was even given a retirement ceremony. None of us here at 3NWPRO agreed with that, as Act Yasukawa has not returned from the injury and likely won't; I'm not sure about Stardom's future, but it just drives us at 3NWPRO to ensure DRIVEN does not share a similar fate.
Matt Striker: 2015 has had some great moments so far in pro wrestling. Apart from SUMMIT PRO, anything stand out to you at all?
Seth Cronyn: Jay Lethal winning the ROH World championship and the ROH and NJPW's cross-promotion, most definitely. The success of Lucha Underground and seeing Super Dragon return in PWG albeit as a heel as well.
Matt Striker: Before you continue, any news on that development concerning ROH?
Seth Cronyn: Sadly talks have stalled at this time, moreso from ROH's standpoint. There is an issue in the US concerning action figures being made of ROH wrestlers, somehow it involves the WWE and it's a tad messy…can't say much more than that.
Matt Striker: I see you mentioned Lucha Underground; we spoke about it on Episode 2 as well, my thoughts for a VERSUS event against IGNITION would be amazing, as a fan. I commentate there too, so it would be fantastic in my opinion.
Seth Cronyn: Thank you Matt, and yes, it would be great, but this one is tricky, as Lucha Underground is produced and owned by companies that have nothing to do with wrestling, whereas the talent are either working on the US indies or in AAA. I'm positive I can work something out as time goes on though.
Matt Striker: How about New Japan? You mention ROH has stalled, but what about New Japan as a viable partner?
Seth Cronyn: New Japan are fantastic, they really are. The annual Wrestle Kingdom events are a joy to watch, and the company is going from strength to strength. I am very close to inking a VERSUS event with New Japan, but as opposed to a promotion within SUMMIT PRO against them, they want the ENTIRE SUMMIT PRO promotion to be represented…that in itself on a card like Wrestle Kingdom would be exhaustive.
Seth Cronyn: Regardless, I'm excited for the future of SUMMIT PRO and want to thank the wrestling fans around the world that take an interest in what we do - it means a great deal to us, so thank you.
Matt Striker: That's great to hear Seth. Thank you again for your time, for all you have done for SUMMIT PRO and we look forward to seeing you at the Third Stage of the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix!
Seth Cronyn: You're too kind; thanks again. With regards to the next Showcase Event, it will be for RIPTIDE, as we cross the world to thank our friends in Canada, namely Ontario's own Wicked's GWV, by way of a small cross-promotion against Ontario independent promotion Smash Wrestling. Thanks again Matt!
* * *
Back in the studio, the audience and the panel came together to thank both Matt Striker and Seth Cronyn for the lengthy interview.
Carl Jordan: おかげで再びマット！どのような素晴らしいインタビュー。あなたは今、3のための3つだと、それが私たちの最高経営責任者（CEO）を聞くことがとても素晴らしいですが、私たちのメンターは、我々はそんなに愛して、この信じられないほどのスポーツやビジネスについてあなたとそう公然と情熱的に話します！
(Thanks again Matt! What a wonderful interview; you're three for three now, and it's so great to hear our CEO, our mentor speak so openly and passionately with you about this incredible sport and business we love so much!)
Lee Hunter: 合意された、カール - マットは、あなたは再びそれをやりました！セス•クローニン - 当社の最高経営責任者（CEO）、私たちのメンターとなしその他のようなビジョンを持った男にもう一度感謝します！
(Agreed, Carl - Matt, you've done it again! Thanks once more to our CEO, our mentor and a man with a vision like none other - Seth Cronyn!)
Matt Striker: それを非常に多くの人に感謝 - 私たちは今SUMMIT PROのためにスケジュール次の二つのイベントを見てみましょう！
(Appreciate it very much guys - let us now look at the next two events scheduled for SUMMIT PRO!)
* * *
Attention was drawn to the next SUMMIT PRO event; the SUMMIT PRO Tag Team Grand Prix - Third Stage.
* * *
SUMMIT PRO TAG TEAM GRAND PRIX - THIRD STAGE
"MERCILESS" (Takeshi Gannosuke and Katsuhiko Yamada) [KING JHW] VERSUS Seeds Of Hate [BEAST]
"YA-SHIMA" (Kazuharu Yasuda and Shingo Takashima) [KING] VERSUS "The Treachery" (Tinieblas Jr and Sydistiko) w/ Lizmark Jr [IGNITION]
"The Koloff Bros" (Ivar Koloff and Viktor Koloff) [FORGE] VERSUS "The Dexters" (Jesse Dexter and Joey Dexter) [RIPTIDE]
"Morphosis" (Mantis and Silvestro) [IGNITION] VERSUS "Furious Senden" (Manabu Okamoto and Takeo Shiraishi) [KING]
"IRON FIST" (Heihachi Miyamoto and Koji Nakata) [KING] VERSUS "Hellfire Eternal" (Inferno and Raze) [BEAST]
DRIVEN'S WOMENS TRIOS MATCH: Narumi Tamayama, Sienna Cronyn and Asumi Ishimoto [DRIVEN] VERSUS Sophie Geroux, Tanisha Landon and Keisha Hamilton [DRIVEN]
MAIN EVENT: "Bane Of Ruination' (Nightmare and Ravage) [BEAST] VERSUS Terry Sampson and Robbie Drake [FORGE]
* * *
A video package hyped the event, along with footage of all the teams in action.
The Third Stage was comprised of the winners of the First Stage taking on the winners of the Second Stage.
In a contrast to the first Stage of the Grand Prix, the two non-Grand Prix matches were signed by DRIVEN's President Manami Toyota to feature a singles match between two impressive athletes who deserved an opportunity at a singles match in Hiromi Oshiro and Mikayla Benson.
The other match would see essentially two matches from DRIVEN I combined into one; a rematch of sorts for Narumi Tamayama against Sophie Geroux, whilst being on opposing sides of Sienna Cronyn and Asumi Ishimoto against Tanisha Landon and Keisha Hamilton.
The crowd applauded the as the video displayed the matchups.
The panel discussed the matchups before moving on to the next Showcase Event (ショーケースイベント) for 2015, which would be RIPTIDE XI, held in the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
As mentioned by Seth Cronyn, this RIPTIDE Showcase Event would be the first held in Ontario, Canada, and would be a mini-VERSUS event against Ontario's own Smash Wrestling promotion.
Wicked's GWV promotion in Ontario, a proud supporter of SUMMIT PRO, put Sovereign Cronyn in touch with Smash Wrestling, in hopes of producing an event to sell out the Powerade Centre.
* * *
SUMMIT PRO SHOWCASE: RIPTIDE XI
The Dexters (Joey and Jesse) VERSUS Drew Gulak and Biff Busick [SMASH]
Zen Pike, Corey Knight and Leon Harris VERSUS Mason Jones, Mossad Hammoud and Johnny Prime
Breckin Stryker and Kaleb Delta VERSUS Michael Elgin and Johnny Gargano [SMASH]
Nigel Newhart, Caden Raith and Samuel Phoenix VERSUS Matt Cross and The Super Smash Bros (Player Uno and Stupified) [SMASH]
PRE-MAIN EVENT: RIPTIDE Openweight champion Joe Weaver VERSUS Chris Hero [SMASH] (non title)
MAIN EVENT: RIPTIDE Heavyweight champion Dan Starling VERSUS Windy Rhodes (non title)
* * *
A video package hyped the event, along with footage of Smash Wrestling.
The panel discussed the card after the video had finished, praising the growth of RIPTIDE as a promotion. They noted Windy Rhodes was in the main event, perhaps a nod of tribute to Dusty Rhodes, of whom he was a huge fan, as Seth Cronyn mentioned in the interview with Matt Striker.
Carl Jordan: それは来てしばらくしているが、私はあなたがすべてはそれは待つ価値があったことを同意すると確信しています。あなたの会社のためにどうもありがとうございます、私たちはタッググランプリの第3段階のために大阪でお会いします！
(It has been a while coming, but I'm sure you will all agree that it was worth the wait. Thank you so much for your company and we will see you in Osaka for the Third Stage of the Tag Team Grand Prix!)
The panel thanked the fans, and in return the audience applauded as the end signature for WAVES was shown.
Fans watched SUMMIT PRO either on TCN's broadcast, Nippon TV's broadcast or on the SUMMIT PRO website's online VOD subscription service, 'APEX'.
Special well-crafted and edited promo shorts hyping the next shows were shown for:
SUMMIT PRO TAG TEAM GRAND PRIX: THIRD STAGE (to be held in the Sento` Arena, Himitsu-No Shima, Osaka, Japan)
SUMMIT PRO SHOWCASE EVENT: RIPTIDE XI (to be held in the Powerade Centre, Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
Post by Chris Reager on Jul 5, 2015 7:48:04 GMT -5
SUMMIT PRO: SPOTLIGHT ON...RIPTIDE PRO WRESTLING
RIPTIDE PRO WRESTLING was formed from the ashes of Lady Crothers' EXILE promotion in Japan, which was a small independent that ran monthly shows mainly in Osaka, Kobe and Nagoya.
With Seth Cronyn a gaijin star in Japan thanks to his work in THRESHOLD, KING, FMW and more; and in addition to the partnership he had formed with Lady Crothers he was being spread too thin and sought to help how gaijin could be perceived in Japan.
Opposed to finding former WWE talent who had gone through the cycle of having a run in WWE, only for their contract to be terminated and the debut or return of said star working in Japan, Seth Cronyn expressed the idea of honing talent in America for the sport in Japan to Lady Crothers.
Lady Crothers' sports arm of her company, 3NWPRO, was open to a developmental system of sorts, in the same vein of the Pro Wrestling NOAH dojo in California.
With Seth still in his twenties he was not ideal to be a trainer, as he was in the midst of maintaining a superb track record of hard-hitting matches, most notably against IRON FIST's Tetsuya Sekimoto.
At this time, KING was doing quite well, BEAST was gaining ground and the foundation of FORGE as THRESHOLD continued as a viable force in its own right meant that the scene was healthy for Seth's proposal to come through.
Lady Crothers, enamoured with the work ethic, passion and drive that Seth had in and out of the ring, bestowed upon him the mantle of CEO of 3NWPRO, at the 'old' age of 28.
With there being some time for the next short tour of Osaka and Kyoto, Seth reluctantly reached out to his grandfather, Sovereign Cronyn, a former boxing promoter, for help.
Behind the scenes, Seth's relationship with Sovereign had been strained due to the rift between the two that started when Seth took it upon himself to become a pro wrestler.
Sovereign was against the idea of Seth leaving the US to live and learn in Japan, insisting he stay in the US to hone his craft or quit and train to become a boxer instead.
Despite the years that had passed, Sovereign had been kept informed of Seth's ascension to becoming a bonafide star in Japan and admitted he was wrong, and the two slowly reconciled.
Seth unveiled his idea to Sovereign who was visited by his grandson and Lady Crothers, signing on with 3NWPRO as a producer, and made arrangements to open a pro wrestling Dojo in northern California in addition to his boxing gym.
With pro wrestling being quite a sparse industry in the US with the exceptions of the independents, and larger entities in ROH and TNA, not to mention the powerhouse 'industry leader' WWE, after Seth finished certain dates for KING he embraced the repaired relationship with his grandfather and set about training the first wave of talent that came through the doors in the Dojo.
They made no bones about the fact that they were training committed talent to exceed expectations and to make a name for themselves in the Far East.
The initial wave of talent featured a varying degree of individuals who were drawn to the concept of the as-yet unnamed promotion, and featured the likes of Dan Starling, Breckin Stryker, Kaleb Delta, Joe Weaver, Corey Knight, Lee Hunter, Carl Jordan and Windy Rhodes.
Each of the young men brought something completely different to the table, and even in their young careers knew that to succeed in Japan was a measuring stick of your worth as a competitor.
Having learnt the valuable lesson from his hero, Terry Funk, to work with others to ensure that there would be a future for the wrestling business, Seth motivated each of the First Wave to draw on their own backgrounds and influences to excel in Japan.
They did just that, training and working hard in the US and touring Japan in small bursts, performing within THRESHOLD, SPARTAN, and EXILE. They also were tutored in the Japanese language, which Seth had finally mastered before he turned 30.
The Second Wave consisted of Jesse Dexter, his twin brother Joey Dexter, Leon Harris, Zen Pike, Caden Raith and Johnny Prime.
THRESHOLD at the time was involved with KING and BEAST, as the precursor to what would become known as SUMMIT PRO - promotions with pre-existing working relationships and different approaches to pro wrestling.
With the Japanese audiences warming to the other gaijin thanks to the unselfish actions of Seth Cronyn, the foreign talent within what would be known as FORGE and RIPTIDE got the best learning experience in puroresu and professional wrestling, with Seth and Sovereign noticing the buzz around the First and Second Waves, and sought to act upon the momentum.
Between grandson and grandfather, and with help from Lady Crothers, they likened the change in status quo and achievement of a dream for the young competitors being in line with the term 'Waves', (for First and Second) and using clever wordplay, chose 'RIPTIDE' as it reflected the stance they had - going against the current of mainstream US wrestling/sports entertainment.
RIPTIDE was born out of this mindset, and with the focus being on exceptional young talent who actually didn't want to use it as merely a stepping stone to the WWE; they genuinely wanted to make a name for themselves in Japan and build from there.
In addition to the Stateside Dojo, the company was able to source another Dojo in Osaka, known as the 3NWPRO Dojo to train and hone new and existing talent.
Sovereign oversaw the completion of both Dojos, and booked RIPTIDE alongside Terry Funk, who had graciously helped get it off the ground as Seth had gotten the ball rolling.
In a similar scene to KING, a press conference was attended by a large gathering of wrestling media, and Lady Crothers shook hands with Sovereign Cronyn as the partnership between Crothers' sports arm of her business empire, (TGOC) 3NWPRO, and RIPTIDE Pro Wrestling was born.
As the talent was primarily American, Sovereign marketed the promotion differently and gave it a different reach than the likes of KING, BEAST and the future FORGE.
Being able to wrestle the '3NW' style and work in Japan, along with travelling to countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Dubai, Scandinavia and India in addition to their former home base of northern California set RIPTIDE apart.
Established names from the US scene like Drew Galloway (Drew McIntyre), Johnny Mundo (John Morrison), Colt Cabana, Tyrus (Brodus Clay), Crimson, TedDiBiaseJr, DougWilliams, BrianKendrick, PaulLondon, ColinDelaney, ChrisMasters and more performed in RIPTIDE, notably at RIPTIDE's tenth Showcase Event, RIPTIDE X, in Lady Crothers' hometown of Islington, in London.
With Seth Cronyn's in-ring career still maintaining a high standard, RIPTIDE had broken through as a wholly original and unique brand within 3NWPRO.
Seth would focus on his in-ring career, simultaneously wrestling for KING and RIPTIDE, allowing Sovereign to take the reins as President, and worked on booking the shows within the realm of 3NWPRO's pre-SUMMIT PRO.
RIPTIDE initially utilized the talents of young ring announcer Takeo Shibasaki who had previously worked for SPARTAN, SPIRIT and EXILE.
The commentators, Nobuhiko Takase and Akitoshi Shirai, like Takeo Shibasaki, had worked for the aforementioned promotions before coming into the fold.
Shibasaki doubled as a backstage interviewer for RIPTIDE before the advent of The Gravure Four.
As RIPTIDE grew, both First Wavers Carl Jordan and Lee Hunter could not keep up with the frenetic pace and gracefully stepped away from the ring, opting to help behind the scenes as the English commentators (despite also being able to speak Japanese). They would also become the co-hosts of 'Three Minutes To…/Waves'.
Shirai and Takase comprised the Japanese language commentary team for KING, RIPTIDE and later FORGE events, as well as the future SUMMIT PROMAELSTROM events.
Many times in the US it was said behind the scenes, among dirtsheets and what-have-you, that promotions needed to focus on young talent - and here was a promotion doing just that, but eschewed the aura and atmosphere of other American promotions.
A Third Wave was formed, with Mason Jones, Kotaro, Drake Madsen, Samuel Phoenix and Mossad Hammoud making the cut. At the time of writing, there is a simultaneous Fourth and Fifth Wave to be announced down the line.
RIPTIDE was booked similarly to KING, with the focus being on the heart and determination of the athletes, who connected with the crowds in their own ways, notably:
The incredible rise of 'The Man Who Does Not Yield', Dan Starling, still the inaugural RIPTIDE Heavyweight champion and winner of the 2014 Junior Heavyweight Grand Prix
The similar rise of Breckin Stryker, who infamously 'shot' on WWE's John Cena during their main event match at WWE VS RIPTIDE I; his incredible strength and athleticism connecting with the Japanese crowds
Kaleb Delta defeating WWE's Rusev and KING's Tatsutoshi Shimizu, looking to gain momentum into 2015 after injury
The acquisition of Canada's Nigel Newhart; a superior athlete in the vein of Zack Sabre Jr and Dynamite Kid
The Dexter Bros becoming the first and only two-time RIPTIDE Tag Team champions
The early RIPTIDE Showcase events, which saw the First Wave excel in their own ways
Johnny Prime coming into his own as a conceited heel
The slow-burn feud pitting the top stars of RIPTIDE against KING's Kenichi Saito and his MERCILESS faction
Openweight champion Joe Weaver's dominance as RIPTIDE Openweight champion
The bond between the fans and Windy Rhodes, who innocently channeled the aura of Puro legend Kenta Kobashi
The appearance of more of RIPTIDE's talent being able to show what they can do, notably the Third Wave
The first ever Israeli-born wrestler to perform for RIPTIDE, Third Waver Mossad Hammoud
Since 2005, EXILE/RIPTIDE performed independent shows all over Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Scandinavia, Canada, the UK, Dubai and India. They became the third promotion to join the pantheon of SUMMIT PRO.
Below are the bases for the talent and key people in RIPTIDE (some taken from Page 1) along with CAW representations
3NWPRO CEO Seth Cronyn - reminiscent of Edge circa 2009, speaks Japanese and is amiable and respectful, has had a hand in training every wrestler in some capacity. Credited with the SUMMIT PRO concept. Trained by Dory Funk Sr, and enjoyed a fifteen-plus year career as an in-ring talent, essentially beginning and ending in Japan.
RIPTIDE owner/President Sovereign Cronyn - reminiscent of Liam Neeson; grandfather of Seth Cronyn, grizzled, but open to young talent's development
Carl Jordan - reminiscent of Shelton Benjamin, former RIPTIDE talent, current English-speaking commentator for RIPTIDE, co-host of WAVES
Lee Hunter - reminiscent of Jeff Hardy (circa '05) former RIPTIDE talent, current English-speaking commentator for RIPTIDE, co-host of WAVES
RIPTIDE ring announcer Takeo Shibasaki - reminiscent of Ryuhei Matsuda from Nana
Post by Chris Reager on Jul 8, 2015 7:56:43 GMT -5
SUMMIT PRO: SPOTLIGHT ON...IGNITION PRO WRESTLING
IGNITIONPRO WRESTLING started as a small independent promotion in San Diego, CA.
As opposed to the somewhat confusing and complex histories of the other promotions within SUMMIT PRO, IGNITION was created as a relatively simple lucha-inspired promotion in San Diego.
A masked luchador named Karnage who had worked all over the world, notably in the US and Japan besides his native Mexico had trained a promising young talent named Ortega.
Karnage had been forced to retire in a 'Career vs Career' match in AAA, where he lost to Lizmark Jr. In reality, his knees had deteriorated due to his frenetic in-ring style and he opted to help from behind the scenes in a training capacity.
Despite the talent Ortega possessed and the good intentions Karnage had for him, he could not gain the experience necessary to blossom into the star he felt he could be.
With the rise of lucha-inspired promotion Dragon Gate, and their feeder system, Toryumon, Karnage sought to do something in a similar vein to help aspiring students have options.
He sent Ortega on foreign excursions to the UK, Canada and Japan, while he tried to start up his own agency to represent him.
In another area of San Diego, an assorted crew of luchadors who worked sporadically for West Coast independents (mainly in southern California) were keeping up with the scene at large for pro wrestling, and noted their situation was similar to those of the eventual FORGE stars.
Leading the crew was the charismatic El V Fuego, who had tapped into channeling his true personality to present a rudo you loved to hate.
He was supported by the 5"2 dynamo El Graffiti, who was the second coming of Rey Mysterio, but with incredible tenacity and resilience.
At an independent show in San Diego, fate brought the crew together with Karnage, who was managing Ortega.
Ortega defeated Razor Dragon in the main event of the show, and after the event, the crew (which included Mantis, Silvestro, Criptico`, El Malicioso and Equinox) discussed their careers with both Karnage and Ortega.
All parties decided that opportunities to excel in lucha were there, but at the cost of what they wanted to achieve for their characters.
They felt that the scope of certain promotions like CHIKARA and PWG were too geared toward humour and chanting from the crowd, and wanted to distance themselves from it.
Ortega was beyond grateful to have been helped in his career by Karnage but unselfishly felt that he as a talent and as a hopeful businessman could do the same for the assembled throng - they all wanted to expand on their lucha libre beginnings.
They came to terms and agreed that Karnage would become the agent for the group, in a similar situation as Puro legend Kensuke Sasaki whose company KensukeOffice/DiamondRing supported rising star KatsuhikoNakajima.
In Northern California, a young wrestler named KonradMitchell had suffered a career-ending knee injury, eerily similar to what had befallen Karnage.
He had worked for promotions along the West Coast and some in Canada, and like Karnage, still loved the business and wanted to give back to it.
He had a few friends who he had worked with, and despite the injury wanted to help them where he could - these friends were Shintaro Suzuki, GT Havok, Scotty Rictor, El Azul and Super Xero.
Their style was reminiscent of the US independents of the early-mid 2000's, a mix of what was prevalent in PWG, ROH, and TNA's X-Division.
Two agencies within independent pro wrestling in a similar area of the US? Serendipity. Added to this providence was an EXILE show being held in Pasadena at the time.
Despite being a far way away for both Karnage's crew and Mitchell's, both parties were interested spectators, wanting to see what the Japanese company would do for their show in California.
After being blown away by the approach and in-ring styles of EXILE (which would eventually become RIPTIDE though with some of KING's Junior Heavyweights) with mainly Japanese talent and the First Wave (Starling, Stryker, Delta, Weaver, Rhodes, Knight, Jordan and Hunter) they individually gave their thanks to the promotion's booker, who just happened to be Seth Cronyn.
His arm still feeling the effects of the fracture suffered from his Forearm Smash against BEAST's King BEAST champion, 'Iron Jaw' Bruiser, Seth had engineered the successful short US excursion for EXILE, and was happy to talk to both Karnage and Mitchell about their feelings on the pro wrestling business.
With Lady Crothers in Japan tending to KING, BEAST and THRESHOLD/FORGE, Seth had time to return to the US to help mold EXILE's foreign and native talent to working in front of different crowds.
Even though the tour was short, Seth proposed an idea to both Karnage and Mitchell with respect to how they had assembled their talents to form their own promotion.
Karnage and Mitchell couldn't help but be impressed by the work ethic and accessibility that Seth had; his presence and affability belying his 28 years.
Seth explained his vision for pro wrestling, how he knew there was more than what was out there - taking a risk by leaving everything he knew behind him to carve out a career in Japan and inspiring others along the way cemented his love for pro wrestling and the brotherhood inherent in it.
Seth left it up to Karnage and Mitchell to come together with their respective crews, and to formulate an idea for their promotion.
Together they drew on their experiences and interests, and took the 'originality' idea Seth suggested to them to heart, building upon the idea of how physically fast their talents were.
Expanding on the thought of speed, they felt the word 'IGNITION' worked two-fold; with the ignition of an idea sparking a partnership that finally felt complete and absolute to them.
The idea was fleshed out further with allusions to speed; and this was solidified with the introductions of their titles, namely the Turn The Key, Throttle Engage and Twin Turbo championships.
Holding regular shows in San Diego, the newly-christened IGNITION breathed new life into the independent scene in southern California.
The collective thought with IGNITION would be to have Spanish as the main language spoken, so Ortega enlisted the help of his cousin Raquel Arrulo, an aspiring Latin singer, to be the backstage interviewer for IGNITION.
IGNITION would eventually enlist the services of a masked ring announcer named 'El Encender' (The Light); but the biggest coup would come when an old foe of Karnage's would join the ranks of IGNITION; Lizmark Jr, who would bring his cohorts Sydistiko and TinieblasJr as 'The Treachery' as rudos.
In a show of good faith, Lady Crothers purchased the rights to the characters of 'Lizmark Jr', 'Sydstiko' and 'Tinieblas Jr' and 'The Treachery' trademark to get some publicity for IGNITION.
The commentators, Maximo` Valdez and JavierMoreno; former college friends of Ortega, had majored in Communications and were signed on to be the announcers for IGNITION, with both men doing so in Spanish.
With the likes of BEAST, KING, RIPTIDE and FORGE reinforcing a certain type of style of pro wrestling in Japan for 3NWPRO, Seth Cronyn kept up with IGNITION where possible, and made a scheduled visit to meet with Karnage and Konrad Mitchell regarding IGNITION's future.
With Seth's vision, all parties agreed that the unique attraction of IGNITION would fit perfectly within the realm of what was to become SUMMIT PRO. One meeting with Lady Crothers in San Luis Obispo sealed the deal for IGNITION's future.
For the fourth time for 3NWPRO, a small press conference was attended by a large gathering of wrestling media (this time in Los Angeles).
Lady Crothers and Seth Cronyn shook hands with KonradMitchell and Karnage respectively, as the partnership between Crothers' sports arm of her business empire, (TGOC) 3NWPRO, and IGNITION Pro Wrestling was born.
IGNITION proved to be a hit, and the scope of the promotion would resonate with largely Latino audiences, who loved the different approach given, but with a lot of familiarity which ticked all the boxes for them.
Booked by Karnage behind the scenes while Konrad portrayed the on-screen President, IGNITION relied on being a unique and passionate artform in its own right.
Over the years there were incredible moments and circumstances in IGNITION, notably:
El Graffiti cementing himself as the true heart and enigma of IGNITION; the smallest competitor but yet had become the only Triple Crown champion in IGNITION history (as of this writing)
The natural rivalry between IGNITION and KING's Junior Heavyweight division, which (so far) as yielded nine different VERSUS events to critical acclaim
The steadfast approach of tecnicos like Ortega, El Graffiti and GT Havok against rudos like The Treachery or La Oscuridad
The promotion-defining feud between El V Fuego and El Graffiti
Various star-rated matches featuring certain members of the roster, and a total commitment to the idea of IGNITION as an entity unto itself
Since 2008, IGNITION performed independent shows on the West Coast in the US, primarily in Los Angeles and as far as Tijuana in Mexico. They would eventually relocate to Osaka, in Japan, as part of SUMMIT PRO. They became the fifth promotion to join the pantheon of SUMMIT PRO.
Below are the bases for the talent and key people in IGNITION along with CAW representations:
IGNITION President KONRAD MITCHELL - reminiscent of Triple H circa '05 (Motorhead look); laidback individual, but very open to other cultures, travelled, respectful
KARNAGE - wizened ex-luchador, integral to the creation of IGNITION. Mysterious and well-spoken, KARNAGE is the booker of IGNITION.
IGNITION ring announcer/backstage interviewer RAQUEL ARRULO
IGNITION ring announcer EL ENCENDER
IGNITION Spanish-language commentator JAVIER MORENO - based on Gael Garcia Bernal from Blindness
IGNITION Spanish-language commentator MAXIMO` VALDEZ - based on Clifton Collins Jr from Dirty
Post by Chris Reager on Jul 9, 2015 8:29:23 GMT -5
9th of July 2015.
SUMMIT PRO's APEX featured another interview conducted by FORGE backstage interviewer Kyoko Fukada, as she interviewed FORGE's International Heavyweight champion, Steve Wilson, ahead of his showdown in Jacob Roode's 3RW.
Kyoko was joined by Japanese actress and model Yoko Maki, who showed respect to a suited Wilson, who sat opposite them in a studio with his title belt proudly sitting on a table between them.
Taking turns, both women asked Mr Wilson about the comments made by Mr Luger on recent 3RW programming:
(Yes, I caught what he said. I am a proud man. I am not making anyone out to be anything they are not, I am simply stating facts here. I am a champion, I am proud to wrestle in Japan as FORGE International Heavyweight champion and I seek only the best. Luger stepped up as the best 3RW has to offer, so time will tell who will make the impact they talk about.)
(I will give respect to Luger for his accomplishments as the longest reigning champion in 3RW. I hope he and 3RW give me the same respect for my accolades as FORGE International Heavyweight champion, and being the first in history to be a two-time champion, let alone defend it successfully eight times. You are not a bad guy, Luger…you are a puzzle that I will solve when I come to 3RW.)
(I feel good, I have been training hard for this; at my age you can't take any shortcuts with respect to training. This a big deal for FORGE, SUMMIT PRO and 3NWPRO. I look forward to taking on two competitors I've never been in the ring with before. Fans of FORGE, SUMMIT PRO and 3RW…you will not want to miss what happens when I, Steve Wilson, become a double champion.)
Kyoko and Yoko thanked Wilson for his time, signing off as trailers for SUMMIT PRO programming played.
SUMMIT PRO: Tag Team Grand Prix - Third Stage SUMMIT PRO Showcase Event - RIPTIDE XI featuring Canada's Smash Wrestling SUMMIT PRO: Trivium Go Codex (anime series); 'SUMMIT PRO - KING: 指導者は、フォロワーありません (Leaders, Not Followers)' SUMMIT PRO: Focus Point: 'Reap...As We Have Sown...REAPER'
Post by Chris Reager on Jul 10, 2015 6:51:45 GMT -5
SUMMIT PRO: SPOTLIGHT ON...FORGE PRO WRESTLING
FORGEPRO WRESTLING was shaped from the remains of Lady Crothers' THRESHOLD promotion in Japan; similar to EXILE and SPARTAN, which was a small independent that ran infrequent shows mainly in Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo.
Somewhat in the vein of Paul Heyman's ECW, whereby the promotion itself seemed to consist of performers that had deficiencies in certain areas and as a whole was portrayed as a 'misfit collection' of stars; THRESHOLD (which would become FORGE) attracted journeymen grapplers who for whatever reason could not resonate with American audiences.
A seemingly disparate crew of talented workers, they each plied their trade where they could, finding that the US had truly moved toward either the WWE or WCW during the Monday Night Wars.
The crew would come together from different parts of the US trying to make a living but knowing they were better than being subjected to becoming 'jobbers'.
With payoffs just not there, the 'hardcore style' of ECW leaving a lot to be desired, the folding of Jim Cornette's SMW leaving another option laid to waste and the stigma of 'wrasslin' being applied to any wrestler who did not seem to resemble what was shown on Monday nights, the crew, led by former high school wrestling coach JimWeaver (no relation to Johnny Weaver) reneged on promises made to themselves to never wrestle in Puerto Rico due to what had transpired with Bruiser Brody in '88.
Before it could happen, however, the acquisition of Steve Wilson and Lance Hansen into the group got the attention of famed Japanese promoter Giant Baba and his promotion AJPW.
The main gaijins in AJPW at the time were Stan 'The Lariat' Hansen, who Lance Hansen strongly resembled, while Steve Wilson resembled 'Dr Death' Steve Williams, another top gaijin at the time.
The crew (close to 25 members strong) would work underneath in Japan, being afforded time to excel while also working Stateside for small independents mainly in California and Texas.
They would never really challenge the top stars at the time in AJPW but once the exodus of AJPW talent to the newly formed NOAH promotion occurred, none of their contracts were picked up, leaving them once again wondering 'what do we do now?'
Thankfully for them, a young American wrestler named Seth Cronyn, who had a similar style and look to Shawn Michaels and Edge had noticed them, not just as a fellow American, and appreciated their work.
With the support of the enigmatic Lady Crothers, Seth had formed a business partnership with her sports arm of her business empire, '3NWPRO' and the two had tapped into something with the concept of BEAST in Osaka.
A business meeting was held between Lady Crothers, Seth Cronyn and the crew led by Jim Weaver.
After hearing how much they individually loved and respected the business, but hated the fact that in America, every opportunity to wrestle was taken away with angles hotshotted on TV all in the name of ratings, Crothers listened to every story and was taken with these men and their collective plight.
She noted that some of them had even learnt conversational Japanese in an attempt to show that they wanted to work in Japan, and had done so for several years without much success.
They realised Misawa's vision for NOAH was not to be reliant on gaijin, and NJPW was steamrolling with the likes of Ten-Koji, Chono, Sasaki and Mutoh, additionally giving them little hope of working with any top stars.
The very thought of a self-sustained gaijin promotion in Japan managed by a prominently wealthy gaijin businesswoman who wanted opportunities for dedicated wrestlers to succeed, regardless of where they originated from, was the basis for THRESHOLD, her first promotion.
Certain members of what would become BEAST were amongst the crew, as were future FORGE stars; all making their marks as talents working a Strong Style approach to wrestling, which harkened back to the '70's with Antonio Inoki, Tatsumi Fujinami and Yoshiaki Fujiwara.
As time went on, some members of THRESHOLD would break off into what would become BEAST, as THRESHOLD soldiered on, the native talent from independents EXILE, FIGHT, REAL, SPIRIT and SPARTAN proving to be a hot commodity to work against for the rise of THRESHOLD.
Eventually, with BEAST gaining notoriety as a truly original entity unto itself, the promotion and brand of BEAST being the first promotion maintained by 3NWPRO, Crothers felt there was money to be made in more promotion versus promotion atmosphere.
The initial pre-SUMMIT PRO'VERSUS' cards drew a lot of interest in Osaka, which was 3NWPRO's home base. Crothers and Cronyn made it clear to the figureheads of AJPW, NJPW and NOAH that they did not want to compete with them, that they merely wanted to perform in Japan.
They also showed that a union of a British noble and a creative young American could do something vastly different to what was going on in the US at the time, which was the fallout of the Monday Night Wars, the so-called 'Ruthless Aggression' era.
Cronyn noted that WWE had perhaps taken cues from them by having 'Raw' take on 'Smackdown' as separated brands. Crothers agreed, noting that supposed industry leaders would do things like that; with the effect making the uneducated masses believing that they had that idea the whole time. WWE's 'Attitude Era' did the same thing to ECW in some respects in the late '90's.
The main strength of what would become SUMMIT PRO was that the company focused instead on pushing themselves creatively, inside the ring and out.
With diverse talent and a single-minded focus of the men competing truly wanting to perform primarily in Japan, Lady Crothers focused her energies along with SethCronyn where they could - BEAST, KING, EXILE (RIPTIDE) and THRESHOLD (FORGE).
In the years that followed, the climate in puroresu in Japan had changed to where there were gaijins on almost every promotion, winning tournaments and championships.
THRESHOLD would differ slightly in that the entire roster would be made up of international talent, with the biggest acquisitions being the formidable team of Keiji Sakoda and Ryusuke Tengan, 'TEN-KODA', a legendary tag team who held the distinct honour of being the inaugural KING CKGP Heavyweight Tag Team champions and FORGE Tag Team champions.
Just as KING's President, Kunimura Saito had changed the name of the promotion from SANCTITY to KING, and Seth had changed EXILE to RIPTIDE, Lady Crothers felt THRESHOLD had served its purpose and the time had come to move on to a new name to reflect the aura and atmosphere of the promotion.
Watching one of her favourite matches in her downtime, the 5-star rated match between Misawa and Jumbo from June in 1990, she loved every time Jumbo would raise his arm and the crowd would emit a guttural 'WHOOOOAAAAHH!'
She loved Jumbo Tsuruta so much she put money toward a venue to be built in his honour on Himitsu-No Island; the Tsuruta Commemorative Arena.
She knew those days were sadly gone, but during a conversation with Seth Cronyn and Steve Wilson about the match, mentioned she wished she could have forged a career in Japan earlier so that she could have appreciated it earlier.
Seth noted her use of the word 'forged' and mentioned it mirrored what the THRESHOLD crew were trying to do; forge a new chapter for their wrestling careers in Japan. Another serendipitous encounter, a slight tweaking to 'FORGE' by Steve Wilson and a name for the promotion that resonated with the reason it existed, just as BEAST, KING and RIPTIDE did.
As opposed to RIPTIDE, whereby the approach was the future talent, FORGE was more of a chance for the crew that had been through so much turmoil to finally have something they could be proud of, their moment to shine.
With the key focus for FORGE being promotional warfare between KING's Heavyweight division and BEAST, the three promotions continually co-promoted and were strengthened due to the association.
FORGE would also take cues from RIPTIDE and travel outside of Japan, finding a fanbase in countries like Canada, Russia, Indonesia, Scandinavia, India and New Zealand.
With the Japanese audiences warming to the other gaijin thanks to the unselfish actions of Seth Cronyn, the foreign talent within what would be known as FORGE and RIPTIDE got the best learning experience in puroresu and professional wrestling.
Despite focusing on RIPTIDE and KING, Seth would compete for FORGE in a VERSUS-type event, where he faced Bruiser. In an incredible match, it was revealed Seth fractured his forearm when striking Bruiser with a blow, whereas Bruiser was legitimately nicknamed 'Iron Jaw'.
During the time off for the injury, behind the scenes Seth would contact his mentor, Dory Funk Jr, and ask for him to be the onscreen President for FORGE, of which Funk accepted.
For the third time for 3NWPRO (BEAST did not hold a press conference), a press conference was attended by a large gathering of wrestling media, and Lady Crothers shook hands with Dory Funk Jr as the partnership between Crothers' sports arm of her business empire, (TGOC) 3NWPRO, and FORGE Pro Wrestling was born.
FORGE began gaining notoriety from established names from the US scene like Fit Finlay, who had credibility and fit in on a Showcase Event for FORGE.
Native established talent like NOAH's Takeshi Morishima, Go Shiozaki and Naomichi Marufuji along with freelancers like Minoru Suzuki and Yuji Nagata, helped FORGE's credibility in acclaimed matches against the likes of Junior Fifita, Steve Wilson, Hank Stevens, Crusher Brannigan and Draco Koloff.
Lady Crothers had given Dory Funk Jr the jurisdiction for FORGE, but still kept a watchful eye over the talent in hopes that the very core of FORGE would not be diluted.
Terry Funk, Seth Cronyn's hero, would book FORGE with his brother, before having to quit the post, as would Dory Jr as President, who would be replaced by JimWeaver, who also handled the booking duties.
Due to the sharing of non in-ring talent within 3NWPRO, initial commentary was handled by the team for KING and RIPTIDE, Nobuhiko Takase and Akitoshi Shirai, with Carl Jordan and Lee Hunter eventually handling the English side for FORGE.
Former WWE talent and commentator Matt Striker made his debut for SUMMIT PRO via FORGE X, a Showcase Event held in New Zealand.
With the 'Gravure Four' established for SUMMIT PRO, prior to their inception, FORGE would enlist the talent and beauty of actress and singer Kyoko Fukada, who would serve as the backstage interviewer and occasional ring announcer.
FORGE connected with the audiences in their own ways, and was booked similarly to KING and RIPTIDE, the focus and intention on conveying to the crowd their respective love of pro wrestling, be it via resilience, fortitude and strength, notably:
The stellar matches from the cream of the crop of FORGE; Steve Wilson, Lance Hansen, Junior Fifita and Jermaine Oxbow, to name but a few
Steve Wilson and Lance Hansen's on-again off-again rivalry, be it as tag partners or opponents - they also were the first two men to become two-time FORGE International Heavyweight champions
TEN-KODA making history becoming the inaugural tag team champions of both FORGE and KING's CKGP Heavyweight Tag Team division
Jermaine Oxbow being (so far) undefeated as FORGE Eastern Pacific champion
The five-star rated match between Bruiser and Venom of BEAST against Lance Hansen and Steve Wilson for FORGE at MAELSTROM III
FORGE's 6 match wins to KING's 2 match wins at SUMMIT PRO: KING VS FORGE 対 III
The natural co-promotion between KING's Heavyweight division and BEAST
The reliable talent like Bob Henson, Stan Bryant, Eric St. Paul and Hank Stevens.
Since 2000, THRESHOLD/FORGE performed independent shows all over Japan, South Korea, Russia, China, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Scandinavia, the UK, New Zealand and India. They became the fourth promotion to join the pantheon of SUMMIT PRO.
Below are the bases for the talent and key people in FORGE (some taken from Page 1) along with CAW representations
JIM WEAVER - President of FORGE. Semi-retired FORGE talent, father of RIPTIDE's JOE WEAVER. Accomplished amateur wrestler in his day, and part of the driving force as to FORGE becoming an entity
CARL JORDAN - reminiscent of Shelton Benjamin, former RIPTIDE talent, current English-speaking commentator for RIPTIDE, FORGE, KING, co-host of WAVES
LEE HUNTER - reminiscent of Jeff Hardy (circa '05) former RIPTIDE talent, current English-speaking commentator for RIPTIDE, FORGE, KING, co-host of WAVES
MATT STRIKER - English-language analyst for SUMMIT PRO programming, notably WAVES, VERSUS and MAELSTROM. English co-commentator for FORGE, RIPTIDE, KING
KYOKO FUKADA - Backstage interviewer and occasional ring announcer
'FUNKMASTER' MILES ROPER - Semi-retired, main ring announcer for FORGE