Jump to content

Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods - Death of the King

Recommended Posts

Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods



Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods is the 3rd oldest wrestling company in the world and has been the dominant promotion in Japan for a few decades now. Its willingness to adapt and change has often been the reason for its consistent and constant success and stability whereas OLLIE and GCG, the two older companies, have refused to evolve for far too long, and if they have, it was then too late.


They have weathered many storms but have always come out with their heads above water. Just last year, they made a significant change when they opted to run a Western-style schedule as opposed to the traditional touring-style in Japan. Although purist hated it, they’ll have to come to accept that outside of a few select promotions, most in Japan have opted for the Western-style of schedule. BHOTWG now tours Japan with periodic house shows while their finest matches and events are seen either on Lords of the Ring, their weekly television series, or on PPV. A newly established Lions of the Ring weekly series promises to highlight the oldest, youngest and newest wrestlers of the BHOTWG roster.


Despite their success, it’s clear BHOTWG have plateau’d and satisfied themselves as the top company in Japan for far too long, and even then, they’ve faced competition from PGHW for the last 2 decades and have not managed to fend it off despite bigger finances and a wider audience. With companies like 21CW in the UK, SOTBPW in Mexico, USPW in the US all showing signs of international growth, BHOTWG is well aware that their territory will be under attack both from within and from without, this switch in schedule may well be an attempt to prepare itself for an international audience.


Their first step in this expansion has been the cancellation of their PPV deal with Emperor Choice and a new deal with HYBOSO. The short-term 3 month deal will see them air in the Early Evening with a bid for an Evening time slot and thereafter Prime Time should the quality of the events prove themselves deserving of it. Although they’ve maintained their deal with Japanese Sports Vision for Lords of the Ring, it’s pretty clear they’ll be looking to step out of it when it expires around September. Their viewership in Hawaii has gotten in the way of expansion goals and its widely expected they’ll be moving over to J-Network East 2 to open their own online subscription service for international viewers.


Its widely understood that the man behind these recent changes is head booker and play-by-play announcer Toru Minamoto who was promoted to the role midway through 2015, replacing freelancer Tasuku Iesada who remains with the company on a short-term deal to facilitate the transition.


The biggest issue going forward for BHOTWG seems to the matter of who will take the mantle from Tadiyuki Kikkawa who has been their ace for almost two decades now (excepting his soiree with INSPIRE). With PGHW having Kozue Kawashima and Masaru Ugaki to lead the way for the next decade, Hyorasu Gakusha and Toshiharu Hyobanshi remaining stars for GCG for the next 3-5 years, and WLW having a trio of stars that will last them for well over a decade in Emerald Angel, Magnum Kobe and Masa Kurata, BHOTWG is desperate to have that same homegrown talent emerge through. 2016 will undoubtedly be a significant step forward for BHOTWG centered around who will be able to lead this company’s international growth. Night of the Burning Hammer ended with Tadiyuki Kikkawa sitting on the Burning Throne with his crown and the Burning World Championship having vanquished the returning Eisaku Hoshino in a blockbuster match. The Kikkawa Army continues to loom over BHOTWG and sit on the Burning Throne. For a year and two months know, the top stars of BHOTWG have sought to accomplish what Kinnojo Horri did when he ended Kikkawa's 17 month reign in 2013, to take the Burning World Championship on their own. Their are rumblings that Koshiro Ino and his NEO faction may have the right of it, to take down Kikkawa and his army, one must have an army of their own.


Show Index



Writer's Notes: Here's another thread that will die a quick death and probably won't even see through its premise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 82
  • Created
  • Last Reply

<p></p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>The Kikkawa Army</strong></p><p><strong>

</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="F1rLueI.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/F1rLueI.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"King" Tadiyuki Kikkawa of the Burning Throne</em></p><p> </p><p>

There are very wrestlers that will stand up to the title of “Greatest” but Tadiyuki Kikkawa undoubtedly would be in that conversation. Where other companies have had struggles at its top, Kikkawa has held control of BHOTWG with an iron fist from very early on his career, having won the Burning World Championship at just 22 years old. You may be inclined to point out that he’s never stepped out of the boundaries of Japan but Kikkawa was not a man who pursued challenges, he was the man challenges pursued. </p><p> </p><p>

Kikkawa’s first Burning World Championship reign was in 1995, 4 years after he made his professional wrestling debut in a victory over Sam Strong, a man who, despite his age, would still go on to hold 4 world titles elsewhere in his career. He would fend off challengers for 2 years before he lost the Burning World Championship. Kikkawa was the sort of man whom would often redeem himself against his defeats whether it was Bruce The Giant, Marat Khoklov, the legendary Hooded Kudo, or the new star Kinnojo Horri. Kikkawa would always have the last laugh. In the 22 or so years Tadiyuki Kikkawa spent in BHOTWG, he held the Burning World Championship for a combined total of 9 years, and counting. </p><p> </p><p>

In 2006, Kikkawa would leave BHOTWG to form the MMA-influenced INSPIRE, a company that would never truly catch on, but Kikkawa is a man who had never been afraid of failure. When he returned in 2009, it was with an INSPIRE army and he took back the throne he never truly lost from Kinnojo Horri, while ending Nakasawa's successful Burning World Championship reign. Horri was able to vanquish the INSPIRE army on his own through sheer force of will in 2013. And yet, professional wrestling isn’t a story that ever ends, Kikkawa wasn't simply going to walk off into the sunset. Horri’s latest reign over BHOTWG ended with the rise of Kikkawa’s new faction, The Kikkawa Army.</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="iMnhbI9.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/iMnhbI9.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"The First General" Tasuku Iesada</em></p><p> </p><p>

“The First General” Tasuku Iesada could absolutely have been the star of any other promotion but he instead pledged his loyalty to the King, Tadiyuki Kikkawa. He was rewarded for when he left BHOTWG with Kikkawa, he truly came into his own as a star for INSPIRE. The man simply known as “Dangerous” returned to BHOTWG to win his first two titles, one a tag team title reign with Kikkawa. There has always been a lingering question as to if Iesada could have challenged Kikkawa’s throne if he’d wanted to, but the man has never so much as made an indication as such and aside from the years before Kikkawa’s first reign, these two have never been on opposite sides of a match. Unfortunately for Kikkawa, his top general has shown signs of weakness and faintness of heart, and there have been many indications that Kikkawa has had to reignite Iesada’s passion but every one of these attempts have lasted shorter and shorter. </p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="VYZTu3O.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/VYZTu3O.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"The Second General" Masaaki Okazaki</em></p><p> </p><p>

“The Second General” Masaaki Okazaki is much like Tasuku Iesada, a man who could have been the star of any other promotion but like Iesada, pledged his loyalty to the King. Okazaki matches Kikkawa and Iesada in sheer brutality and aggressiveness, often leaving his opponents with near dislocated limbs, and ripped skin from his ruthless submissions and strikes. The more veteran of the three, Okazaki hasn’t been the same since his return from INSPIRE and despite his loyalty to Kikkawa, it’s generally understood that he’s the chip in the King’s armor and the reason why Kikkawa’s INSPIRE invasion would be surmounted. Okazaki and Iesada have always grudgingly worked together and although they aren't enemies or even rivals perse, they've often butted heads and clashed, notably an intense King of Fighters series that contributed to the fall of the INSPIRE invasion and saw Okazaki emerge as the champion. </p><p> </p><p>

Nevertheless, “The First General” and “The Second General” are the twin pillars of Kikkawa’s two recent reigns over BHOTWG. These two men are very much near Kikkawa’s level (some may argue are at his level), and so when men like Horri, Nakasawa, and, in the past, Kudo, seek to overcome Kikkawa on their own, they must do it knowing they have to beat three men of Kikkawa’s quality. This is particularly devastating in the feeling out process to these matches when they become increasingly worn out from matches where they have to hold the weight of their team against three men of such quality. By the time the title challenge comes around, they are worn out dealing with a man who has gotten a complete measure of you, and is fresh as can be. </p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="yUn9rT6.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/yUn9rT6.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"The Sun-Kissed Lieutenant" Heihachiro Sakai</em></p><p> </p><p>

Kikkawa’s Army is rounded up by the Lieutenant, Heihachiro Sakai. “Sun-Kissed” Sakai has been called the successor to Kikkawa (as Horri was called and as many others have been called) although Kikkawa has explicitly rejected this comparison despite bringing him into his army after a stellar 2014 showing. Sakai is taking full advantage of working with men like Kikkawa, Okazaki and Iesada to learn and its been immensely beneficial but has also seen a stagnation in his rise up the ladder. How can you rise when the two gatekeepers of the top are your mentors and rebellion will not be remotely tolerated? If Sakai has any delusion of inheriting the Burning Throne he will do well to be reminded that Kikkawa took hold of BHOTWG at the mere age of 22, while Sakai is now 30 with nothing but Kikkawa's halfhearted approval to show for it. </p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="1lOnS1J.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/1lOnS1J.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"Undead Soldier" Hirokumi Saito</em></p><p> </p><p>

The veteran Hirokumi Saito can thank Tadiyuki Kikkawa for a great deal of his success and is undoubtedly the hardest working soldier in the Kikkawa Army, doing all the dirty work and often sacrificing himself in the stead of the generals and his king. He’s never really seen eye to eye with Sakai who quickly moved from making himself a sacrificial peon to surprising his tougher opponents with clever wins. Saito is passed his prime now, and his greatest success actually comes from before his arrival in BHOTWG when he tore up the Japanese independent scene. Despite that, his fading prime won’t stop him from getting in the way of any arrow meant for the King and every army needs its pawns. </p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="SD64Vjd.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/SD64Vjd.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"The Fang"</em> VENOM</p><p> </p><p>

VENOM is very much the odd man out of the Kikkawa Army. The only Junior Heavyweight in the army, and rarely competing much with the rest of the Kikkawa Army, it’s never been totally clear why he belonged among them, only that he was. Early on, VENOM benefited from this relationship with help from Saito in getting him into becoming a Burning Junior title contender but when it came time to take the belt, he could never deliver. Recently he has reignited his friendship with fellow junior Yoshii Shiomi with hopes of recapturing their tag team success and justify his position in the Kikkawa Army. Tadiyuki has been openly looking for a new Junior recruit who can compete for the Burning Junior championship, and its clear VENOM’s time with the army may be cut short if he and Yoshii cannot deliver. </p><p> </p><p>

Tadiyuki Kikkawa’s latest reign has been highlighted by the arrival of his Burning Throne. The Burning Throne left at the top of the stage before his title-defenses, and brought to the ring for him to sit on and cut his biting promos from have become a significant image of his recent reign. Kikkawa is widely regarded as Burning’s ace but has never really acted as such. He’s truly a King more than anything else, and a tyrannical one but the BHOTWG fans have always enjoyed watching the most brutal man in wrestling brutalize the most domineering of opponents from the Khoklov’s and Giant’s to most recently the PGHW superstar, “Unbreakable” Eisaku Hoshino. </p><p> </p><p>

Heading into 2016, the question remains as it often has in BHOTWG, will anybody be able to take down Kikkawa’s Army. The arrival of NEO and the recent failure of Hoshino has sparked a current among the BHOTWG that armies MUST be formed to take down Kikkawa. It is up to Hiroaki Nakasawa, Kinnojo Horri, and perhaps even the isolated Eisaku Hoshino, to see if they will push their pride aside and form their own armies to end Kikkawa’s tyranny over BHOTWG. And yet, Kikkawa’s Army isn’t done growing with eyes on acquiring the other three prizes of BHOTWG. </p><p>


Link to comment
Share on other sites

<blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="LlamaSquad" data-cite="LlamaSquad" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>Looking forward to this. With the Burning Throne, you’ve basically made Kikkawa Triple H. <img alt=":)" data-src="//content.invisioncic.com/g322608/emoticons/smile.png.142cfa0a1cd2925c0463c1d00f499df2.png" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /> It’s great to see more puroresu diaries on the forums.</div></blockquote><p> </p><p> I feel like Kikkawa's even worse than Triple H. Can you imagine if Triple H was hogging the spotlight all the way from 1995 to 2016. I mean he's hogged for a ton but injuries, and a slower rise to his first reign means he's not Kikkawa levels.</p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="Rhyme1234" data-cite="Rhyme1234" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>I agree with kikawa looking like triple h lol. By the way why would you create a thread telling it would die a short death, I mean why?</div></blockquote><p> </p><p> I'm self-depreciating.</p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="Historian" data-cite="Historian" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>I will be following this one closely. And can I say, that’s an excellent thread title!</div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Merci!</p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="Bigpapa42" data-cite="Bigpapa42" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>I'm all in for this, Jon. Looking forward to seeing what your vision of Burning Hammer is. <p> </p><p> The PPV carrier switch is an interesting move. Something I haven't done in my own Burning Hammer saves, but it makes sense.</p></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Totally motivated by the BHOTWG thread. Yeah, there's no reason not to make the move. Bigger audience, more money. I want to get into a rhythm before I commit to 83-89 rated PPV expectations though.</p><p> </p><p> The TV bit was a bit harder to think about. And obviously I'm sticking with Western schedule instead of going back to touring. </p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="Voeltzwagon" data-cite="Voeltzwagon" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>Looking forward to this one!</div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Thanks!</p><p> </p><p> --</p><p> </p><p> </p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>NEO</strong></p><p> </p><p> <img alt="xYLhAjs.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/xYLhAjs.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>"The Prodigal Son" Koshiro Ino</em></p><p> </p><p> In 1998, the prodigy of Hooded Kudo, one of the greatest wrestlers in BHOTWG history, debuted, his name was Koshiro Ino. Ino quickly built for himself a reputation as a future BHOTWG star and challenged for the Burning World Championship on many occasions. In 2006, he reached the peak of his time in BHOTWG with a tremendous Burning World Tag Team Championship reign alongside Tadakuni Toshusai. The eighth month reign put both Ino and Toshusai on the map as main event contenders and it was widely understood that at 29 years old, alongside Hiroaki Nakasawa and the 24 year old quickly-risen star Kinnojo Horri, the three wrestlers would go on to lead BHOTWG after the INSPIRE exodus. However, just a year after Tadiyuki Kikkawa left, Koshiro Ino announced he would be leaving to wrestle for Total Championship Wrestling.</p><p> </p><p> Fast forward 8 years later, and the Prodigal Son has returned. While Ino’s announced return at 37 years old was hotly anticipated, he was widely criticized for having wasted 8 years in America, 8 years of his prime most notably, and 8 years where if he’d proven himself, he could’ve been the star of BHOTWG, and even taken Kikkawa’s spot where Nakasawa and Horri had failed to firmly do. The mixed (bordering negative) reception for Ino who was supposed to wrestle Heihachiro Sakai in a Special Return match at Night of the Burning Hammer 2014, led to him canceling his return.</p><p> </p><p> Ino instead officially made his return without any announcement at The Burning Path a day later after the main event of Black Magic (Yasunobu Masuno & Yasuhiko Taira) versus Kinnojo Horri & Tadakuni Toshusai. Although there was a somewhat positive reception when the initial thought process was that he’d come to save Toshusai & Horri from the post-match Black Magic assault, Ino simply watched, expressionless if not disinterested, until the deed was done and then left. The same would happen for subsequent months. The Black Magic would outright stop caring about victories and defeats and simply focus on dismantling their opponent, often Horri & Toshusai being the victims of it but certainly not limited to those two, though Black Magic was kept apart from Kikkawa Army. </p><p> </p><p> Eventually, Toshusai who had defended Ino to that point had enough and called out Ino in an interview, demanding to know why he kept standing aside, and watching. Ino’s first words were brief and distanced, he simply wondered why he should bother helping Toshusai? The inconclusive response pushed Toshusai to a singles challenge against his old friend. The main event of Fire Dream of the Immortals resulted in a critically panned PPV, and a significant demand in refunds (which BHOTWG delivered on). The main event never truly happened. Koshiro Ino was sitting on the apron when the bell rang, and as soon as it did, Black Magic were in the ring beating on Toshusai, and the bell rang again. Ino finally joined in on the assault by hitting the Kobra’s Bite (One-handed Electric Chair Driver) on his old partner. </p><p> </p><p> Ino took hold of the mic and for once finally spoke at length. He berated Toshusai and the BHOTWG fans for thinking he had any responsibility towards them, after they demonstrated they had no responsibility towards him. He returned home and he was rejected, and he shouldn’t have been surprised considering BHOTWG’s history since he’s left. He received a call from an old mentor and was told something he'll hold dearly to himself above all else, the only man he has a responsibility to is himself. He’s not here to save BHOTWG, he’s here solely to do what’s beneficial to himself.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="rPP2TLr.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/rPP2TLr.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>"Demon Bulldozer" Yasuhiko Taira</em></p><p> </p><p> The other two members that form NEO are the Black Magic pairing Yasuhiko Taira & Yasunobu Masuno. Debuting in 1996, 2 years before Ino, Taira was very much meant to become a star and yet never truly rose up to that potential. Although Taira has a Burning World Championship reign to his name, and took advantage of Ino’s departure to become Nakasawa and Horri’s rival, the man never firmly entrenched himself in the main event seen and the return of INSPIRE all but killed his attempts at finding footing at the top.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="cB85UgG.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/cB85UgG.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> "Endless Avalanche" Yasunobu Masuno</p><p> </p><p> Yasunobu Masuno joined 2 years after Koshiro Ino and although he’s always looked like he could be the star of BHOTWG, he had even less of an opportunity than either Taira or Ino. Much like Taira, from the moment INSPIRE returned, his hopes of becoming one of BHOTWG’s top stars were dashed. Their attempts at proving themselves with the INSPIRE belt King of Fighters ended with both men shown to be less than worthy of the crown and vanquished by the INSPIRE invaders. </p><p> </p><p> BHOTWG which had, despite its inclination towards Western modern tendencies, still maintained its values, finally saw them dashed by Black Magic in 2014 who put Nakasawa on the shelf for more than a year with a heinous post-match assault. For the bulk of 2014, Black Magic had gone from using standard heel tactics to giving no regard for the rulebook. They cared very little for victory and would often find themselves on the losing end through disqualifications, and count-outs. On more than one occasion they were suspended for over a month for their actions. Considering Taira held the King of Fighters belt for the bulk of 2014, it did little for the title's pedigree as he very rarely defended it, and retained it through dishonorable means. A defeat at the hands of Kikkawa where his army nullified the presence of Masuno helped bring the King of Fighters belt back to the Kikkawa Army where it was promptly retired by Kikkawa. </p><p> </p><p> Tadakuni Toshusai was the first to tire of Black Magic’s behavior and after finding himself out of Burning World Championship title contention, Horri joined the rivalry with Black Magic which culminated in two sketchy singles match victories for the faces at Night of the Burning Hammer. </p><p> </p><p> When asked about their relationship with Koshiro Ino, and why they were now associated, Black Magic were as flippant as Ino himself, asking “why not? Black Magic does what it wants. Koshiro Ino does what he wants. They can do what they want together. Who will stop them?” </p><p> </p><p> Black Magic and Koshiro Ino’s rebellious behavior would oddly enough see them favored by the crowd over time. Their nonchalant attitude, indifference, and lack of respect for Horri, Toshusai and in the very rare encounters, even Kikkawa Army made them hot favorites and the NEO merchandise caught on. No reasoning was ever given for the NEO name, although the undercurrent thought was that NEO were the heralds for a new era in BHOTWG. The incident at Fire Dream of the Immortals and Black Magic’s suspension legitimized NEO as true rebels in the company, and helped lift up a company that may have been dulled into a formulaic Kikkawa Army reign. If Kikkawa Army wasn't main eventing a Lords of the Ring or PPV, then often NEO were. </p><p> </p><p> Night of the Burning Hammer 2015 concluded with Ino wrestling his first full match and obtaining his first clean victory over the trio of the returning Hiroaki Nakasawa, Kinnojo Horri and Tadakuni Toshusai who were never truly unified in purpose. Ino, when asked why NEO finally abided by the rules, admitted he enjoyed the sight of seeing BHOTWG three biggest stars outside the Kikkawa Army lose, and being shown that their ways clearly weren't good enough. He guaranteed that Nakasawa, Horri, and Toshusai would all follow in his footsteps no matter what the fans wanted and no matter what their values were. Those who refused to move forward, would be left behind, that was his prediction.</p><p> </p><p> Entering 2016, the fans are hoping NEO are done fooling around and will finally clash with Kikkawa Army, a rivalry that was often teased but never truly followed through. There is also the question of whether BHOTWG can maintain NEO’s behavior without going too far and alienating its fans as it nearly did at Fire Dream of the Immortals, often receiving criticism for their non-finishes and for almost giving up Ino’s entire return year for their long running angle. BHOTWG has proven itself willing to sacrifice a great deal, and even humble its notoriously egomaniacal CEO before the fans with Ino’s subtle but snide remarks about the departure of his mentor, so it's unlikely they'll allow NEO to be anything other than a success.</p></div><p></p><p></p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p>Welp. I got carried away, maybe.</p><p> </p><p>

</p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>The Stars of BHOTWG's Heavyweight Division</strong></p><p> </p><p>

As you surely understand by now, Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods has been Tadiyuki Kikkawa’s playing ground for the last two decades. Occasionally he has been besieged, and his greatest threat outside of foreign forces like Raul Hughes, Bruce The Giant, and most recently Marat Khoklov, has been the legendary Hooded Kudo. Even Hooded Kudo, for all his accomplishments and his destiny as a member of the Hall of Immortals, pales in comparison to the legend of Tadiyuki Kikkawa. The arrival of Kikkawa on the main stage put an end to Kudo’s run as BHOTWG’s greatest star. Kudo had one significant victory, vanquishing a still-maturing Kikkawa to end his first reign, but that was also the only time Kudo would overcome Kikkawa, and Kikkawa would return to take his title back less than a year later.</p><p> </p><p>

Since 1998 when Tadiyuki Kikkawa would defeat Kudo, only 3 native wrestlers have been able to win the Burning World Championship, and only one of those reigns has been hailed at credible for happening after Kikkawa’s return. </p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="sHqYnPO.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/sHqYnPO.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"Hurricane" Kinnojo Horri</em></p><p> </p><p>

34 year old “Hurricane” Kinnojo Horri is the only wrestler who has come closest to being the “natural successor” to Tadiyuki Kikkawa. Just a 13 year pro, Kinnojo Horri showed the youthful aptitude that Kikkawa had demonstrated as a young wrestler, and quickly moved past the status of a young lion to challenge the best of the company. Having debuted in 2002, Horri found the spotlight when he pulled off an upset on Masaaki Okazaki, one of the most vicious and dangerous wrestlers in the company. The picture of Horri having his hand raised by referee “Blue Eyes” Okura Umeki, with his eye swelled shut and a busted lip while a pissed off Okazaki looked on from outside has become an iconic imagery for Horri.</p><p> </p><p>

Kikkawa wanted to bury any comparisons between the 22 y/o and him, so he surprisingly challenged Horri during his 3rd Burning World Championship reign, offering him an opportunity to truly live up to comparisons. As hard as Horri tried, he was decisively defeated in 15 minutes. All this did was serve to reinvigorate Horri who would have another pair of title shots against Kikkawa and do moderately better each time. In their third bout, Horri infamously survived two Kikkawa Lariat’s, and a Kikkawa Driver, demanding the Burning Lariat. Horri nearly received it but collapsed, it seemed the Kikkawa Driver had been enough. Horri continued to pester Kikkawa when he wasn’t competing, often offering his hand to whoever was challenging Kikkawa, or rivaling the likes of Iesada or Okazaki. </p><p> </p><p>

In 2006, Tadiyuki Kikkawa famously announced his intentions to leave BHOTWG, and it triggered Horri’s finest period as a character. He could not allow Kikkawa to leave while the man was still for all intents and purposes, undefeated. The match did not reach 20 minutes but was one of the most brutal and hard-hitting match you could find. Horri who would often play the “face-in-peril” as a youth facing veterans, was the aggressor for once and it was one of the sole moments where Kikkawa looked the underdog simply trying to survive. Horri’s victory may be credited to avoiding the Burning Lariat and hitting his trifecta of Spinebusters across the match to finally have defeated the undefeated. A year later, at the age of 25 years old, Kinnojo Horri would become Burning World Champion.</p><p> </p><p>

Horri would become a nightmare for the next man on this list and become the most dominant figure in BHOTWG since Tadiyuki Kikkawa and Hooded Kudo. His second reign would be tragically ended by Tadiyuki Kikkawa who had returned to BHOTWG 3 years earlier but had been for the most part kept apart from his “successor”. Their renewed rivalry was a brutal one highlighted by great promos from Kikkawa where he would call Horri his “Little Prince” after garnering the title of King for himself. Horri’s second reign would be ended on their first singles encounter when Kikkawa would finally unleash the Burning Lariat on him and leave no doubt as to who was better. They would face two more times during the early part of Kikkawa’s reign and despite the increasing brutality and length of the match, Kikkawa’s Burning Lariat was not something Horri could overcome.</p><p> </p><p>

After distracting himself with an intense rivalry against Taira & Masunobu, the Black Magic pairing, one which saw him finally avenge himself for his title loss to Taira from 2008, and survive the Wrecking Ball, one of the most protected finishers in BHOTWG, Horri was finally ready to go to war with Kikkawa once again. During Kinnojo Horri’s 10 Year Anniversary show, he would face off against Tadiyuki Kikkawa with the Burning World Championship on the line. For the first time since Kikkawa had unleashed the Burning Lariat just 10 years earlier on Bruce The Giant, the Burning Lariat was kicked out of. On the verge of hitting the 30 minute time limit, Kikkawa’s second attempt at the Burning Lariat was countered into the Hurricane Spinebuster and Kikkawa would lose his crown.</p><p> </p><p>

Of course, Horri’s fairy tale ending could only last so long. Horri’s 9 month title reign which saw Kikkawa gather his army, would end at the hands of the “King” who would not go quietly into the night. Horri who had gone through the Iesada Special II, the Okazaki Explosion, the Sakai Suplex and still had his arm bandaged up from his refusal to tap out to Okazaki’s Angular Arm Bar in matches leading up to his duel with Kikkawa, couldn’t get up from the Burning Lariat this time around. </p><p> </p><p>

Horri came no closer to defeated Kikkawa in 2015, and his year ended mired in a rivalry with the newly formed NEO. After a defeat at the hands of NEO, Kinnojo Horri finds himself in a spot he’s never been in before, he’s plateau’d. Much as he did the two times he defeated Kikkawa, Horri needs to figure out a way to overcome both NEO and the Kikkawa Army if he wants to return to his spot at the top of BHOTWG.</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="IaGsArd.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/IaGsArd.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>Hiroaki "Aitch" Nakasawa</em></p><p> </p><p>

If you were to point out the two most significant wrestlers for BHOTWG outside of Kikkawa after the new millennium, then Horri is one of them, and the other is Hiroaki Nakasawa, mostly simply called “Aitch”. Nakasawa debuted in 1996, shortly into the Kikkawa-era of BHOTWG. Nakasawa never looked like he would be the Ace of BHOTWG. He’s a no-nonsense, no frills, no glam type of wrestler. The only indication that Nakasawa had moved past his young lion stage was a muscular physique and he’d started winning. </p><p> </p><p>

Nakasawa’s best clashes have come with characters the most unlike him, the theatrical or showboating members of the roster. The best highlights of how distinct he is comes as the big events, particularly Fire Dream of the Immortals and Night of the Burning Hammer where his opponents elaborate entrances and costumes make his simple walk down the ramp in black trunks and boots look their most modest. Nakasawa’s climb up the ladder was slow and steady but there has never been a more reliable competitor and foe than Nakasawa. Alongside Ino and Horri, he was seen as one of the three heads that would takeover after Kikkawa’s shocking departure, and then two when Ino left as well. </p><p> </p><p>

With Bruce The Giant’s return to BHOTWG, it looked very much as if there would be another dark age in BHOTWG such as the one from 2000 to 2003 where Bruce dominated BHOTWG as Burning World Champion and wrestled very sparingly. After Horri, Ino, and both Black Magic members failed to defeat Bruce The Giant, the “least interesting” wrestler in BHOTWG got to face the most interesting one. It was one of the rare times Bruce The Giant saw in a man’s eyes absolutely zero fear. The uber-manly showdown saw Nakasawa test himself as much as possible, outright slapping Bruce, demanding another open-palmed slap to the chest, and an absolutely tremendous headbutt (in which Nakasawa had to half-jump to land) that caught Bruce in the teeth and left Nakasawa’s forehead bleeding and Bruce’s mouth busted and actually caused the Giant to topple over backwards in a loss of balance. With Nakasawa’s Powerbomb and H-Bomb variations impossible against Bruce, it was his debuting Sudden Impact Lariat that took out Bruce, a move that has begun reaching Burning Lariat levels of infamy. </p><p> </p><p>

Nakasawa’s biggest shortcoming and personal flaw has been his inability to defeat Kinnojo Horri and it has driven Nakasawa crazy. Although they’re often paired up, Nakasawa’s hyper-competitive spirits causes him to absolutely hate Horri’s guts, and probably the reason why Kikkawa Army has such an easy hold on BHOTWG. His anger stems from the fact that he cannot beat Horri. It was Horri who would end both of Nakasawa’s dominant Burning World Championship reign, and in Nakasawa’s sole attempt to end Horri’s own, Horri became the first man to kick out of the Sudden Impact Lariat as well as he had with Burning Lariat. A leg injury (kayfabe caused by Black Magic) prevented him from having his 4th try at Horri, and from ever challenging Kikkawa who he has never beaten in their periodic encounters either. </p><p> </p><p>

He ended 2015 returning to a loss while teaming with Horri & Toshusai against NEO and many are wondering what’s next for Nakasawa. No one sees him as the man to dethrone the Kikkawa Army and he’s not been able to overcome Horri. Although Nakasawa will go down as a legend, he will never be recognized as a true BHOTWG great in the way that Kudo, Kikkawa, and surely Horri will. In 2016, recovered from his injury, Nakasawa must realize he needs to change that perception.</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="Q46ilec.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/Q46ilec.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> </p><p>

We’ve seen the three-headed faction of NEO, the Kikkawa Army which features Kikkawa, Okazaki, and Iesada, all stars in their own right, and just now Horri and Nakasawa. There is only one other man deeply linked with BHOTWG who could deserve inclusion here and yet everyone else we’ve mentioned may groan and roll their eyes at his inclusion, he’s “The Street Dog” Tadakuni Toshusai. They’ve called him Ryu Kajahara reincarnated and the most entertaining wrestler in Japan, but few are willing to call him a great wrestler, and his peers will forever shun the idea of him being a BHOTWG star. His only true credentials are a great Burning World Tag Team Championship reign with Koshiro Ino that put him on the map about 9 years ago.</p><p> </p><p>

Toshusai, despite the lack of respect from his peers, has always been beloved by the crowd, and the BHOTWG staff has clearly seen his qualities. Often he will be given the role of closing out shows with his immensely entertaining promos, he’s the main event fall guy, he’s the one you go to to get heat on others, or to make another character more likable. Toshusai has often challenged for the Burning World Championship and the King of Fighters belt (when active) for a guaranteed entertaining defense. There are few workers who are better at getting the crowd behind them when they’re on verge of losing than Toshusai. His match(es) with Bruce the Giant, Tadiyuki Kikkawa, Yasuhiko Taira, and Hiroaki Nakasawa have all been heralded for his performance, although his affairs with Kinnojo Horri have demonstrated the sort of opponents he should avoid.</p><p> </p><p>

Few realize just how good Toshusai truly is, and the fact that he is the youngest of every other star we’ve mentioned so far. Few paint Toshusai as a future Burning World Champion but the man is only 33 years old and has gone toe to toe with the best of BHOTWG. As it is, he is trying to solve his own issues with the returning Koshiro Ino and NEO, but there are whispers wondering if Toshusai could be the man to dethrone Tadiyuki Kikkawa?</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="0pyVMWZ.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/0pyVMWZ.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> </p><p>

There is only one more man that must be mentioned here, “Killing Machine” Eisaku Hoshino. Depending on how you regard PGHW, he has credentials to match anyone else on this list, and possibly surpass them, he is restricted to the bottom here not for lack of credentials or skills but because his time with BHOTWG is fleeting and he’s not really regarded as BHOTWG star. Hoshino rose to prominence as part of PGHW’s Golden Generation, having won both the Elite and Elite Tag Team Series as well as the Glory and Glory Tag Crown titles, often on more than one occasion. Ten years into his time at PGHW, he shockingly left the company to become a freelancer after his relationship with rival Nobuatsu Tatsuko reached its boiling point.</p><p> </p><p>

He went on to wrestle for GCG, WEXXV, WLW, and even BHOTWG in the following years and then dropped off the map in 2009 to become a politician. Night of the Burning Hammer 2015 marked his return where he faced off with Tadiyuki Kikkawa in an incredibly hyped match. The press conference before the match saw Eisaku Hoshino toppled Kikkawa over while he was on the Burning Throne and staff rushed before Okazaki and Iesada could get their hands on Hoshino. In the forty minute spirited affair, Hoshino’s 6-7 years without wrestling came to haunt him and Kikkawa was able to come away with the victory after a Kikkawa Driver.</p><p> </p><p>

Like Iesada, Hoshino’s time with BHOTWG isn’t expected to be long, but Hoshino has claimed that he would love to be the only man to have ever held the Glory Crown and the Burning World Championship, and he will continue his war against the Kikkawa Army. Hoshino’s time is running out to accomplish such a goal however, and certainly he will have a hard time finding anyone in the BHOTWG willing to help him.</p><p> </p><p>

These are the four biggest Heavyweight stars in BHOTWG who are not with NEO or the Kikkawa Army. Next, we’ll take a look at the biggest stars of the Junior division. </p></div><p></p><p></p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="Bigpapa42" data-cite="Bigpapa42" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>Digging the context and backstory posts. Fills out the history a bit. Love that.</div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Thanks! <3 </p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="siah463" data-cite="siah463" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>I've never gotten into doing BHOTWG saves because of the roster size, I usually end up just doing PGHW,It's really cool to read all this history, my interest is definitely there.</div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Yeah, the roster is huge, plus I think most people have that early game bug of wanting to sign a few guys, especially in Japan when you want to beat the loyalty system. I'm a bigger fan of PGHW & BCG actually but BHOTWG are still pretty cool and I think there's a ton of fun stuff I can do with it. </p><p> </p><p> ---------</p><p> </p><p> </p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>The Four Heavenly Kings</strong></p><p> </p><p> Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods has had one feature that has long allowed them to stand apart from Golden Canvas Grappling throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and afterward from Pride Glory Honor Wrestling in the last two decades: their Juniors division. It was only past the new millennium when companies like World Level Wrestling, EXODUS 2010, Pro Wrestling SAISHO would emerge to cash in on what had for a long while been an unrivaled feature of Japan’s biggest company. Even then, none of the three companies have had the financial power or reputation to truly rival BHOTWG.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="PGDaete.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/PGDaete.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="U4Lsskg.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/U4Lsskg.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="Aj3Uvtr.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/Aj3Uvtr.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>Elemental I, Elemental II & Optimus</em></p><p> </p><p> The Juniors division can be divided into two distinct eras, the era of Elemental I & II and Optimus from 1981 to the tail-end of 2004 and the era of the Four Heavenly Kings: Elemental III, Marihito Masuko, MYSTIC Dragon & Sensational Dragon from 2006 to present-day. The first era saw the three champions exchange the Burning Junior Championship for 14 years (with the exception of a brief Stunner Okazawaya reign). From ‘95 to 2000, there was a brief attempt to transition the division away from the trio with Burning Takashita (now BURNING Exile in EXODUS 2010), Naoya Ashikaga (career ending injuries), The Great Hisato (toxic backstage), Tom Gilmore (returned to the US), Miyamae (unwillingness to commit to BHOTWG), and the next four years saw Elemental II and Optimus continue their rivalry. There is one man who successfully aided in the transition between these two eras, and who found success in both, The Awesome Kiyaru, but we’ll delve more into him later.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="851311K.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/851311K.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>Sensational Dragon</em></p><p> </p><p> March 2006, 21 years old Sensational Dragon began a new era in the Junior division when he defeated Super Joshuya for the Burning Junior Championship. Widely regarded as one of the best big-match performers in BHOTWG, let alone the world, Sensational Dragon has been stealing the show for the past decade and at only 30 years old, hasn’t slowed down a bit. His blue dragon mask remains one of the most prestigeous masks in the world, and his performances have been rewarded countless times. Sensational Dragon is equal to the Awesome Kiyaru and Elemental III in the most Best of the Super Juniors victories, and with his recent victory, he has matched Elemental II in most Burning Junior Championship reigns, now 3-shy of Optimus’s 8. </p><p> </p><p> Sensational Dragon is regarded as one of the best high flyers in the world today (many have wished for a match with WLW’s Emerald Angel to settle the score), and his rivalry with fellow Heavenly King Marihito Masuko has reached Elemental vs. Optimus levels of infamy. Dragon’s success coming at a young age has swelled his ego and made him the least liked of the Four Heavenly Pillars. Now, enjoying his 5th Burning Junior Championship reign, Sensational Dragon has made his next two goals clear: win his 4th Best of the Super Juniors to set a new record, and to do what none of the Four Heavenly Kings have managed to accomplish yet, hold the Burning Junior Championship for a year and solidify himself as the King of Kings. He came close in his 3rd reign, only to see Black Cobra put an end to it at the 11 month mark, and again in his 4th reign only for Elemental III to soil it at the 10 month mark. After a four year gap without the belt, Sensational isn’t eager to ever let it go again.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="MoJtm7G.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/MoJtm7G.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>"Purple Demon" Marihito Masuko</em></p><p> </p><p> Dragon’s biggest rival, “Purple Demon” Marihito Masuko, has always been a favorite of the Four Heavenly Kings because he’s often been the underdog due to his small size. His vibrant purple wig with horns sticking out, and his distinct white paint have always been a pleasurable sight, and you’re like to find a ton of kids out there in the crowd matching his attire even more than you might any of his rivals. Masuko is fortunate in that he was able to wrestle Elemental, Elemental II and Optimus more frequently than the other kings, and actually compete with them for the Burning Junior Championship. </p><p> </p><p> While Sensational Dragon made his mark by winning the Burning Junior Championship, Masuko indicated to Dragon that he was in fact better than him with a star making victory to defeat him for the Best of the Super Junior trophy that very same year. At Night of the Burning Hammer, Masuko went on to defeat Dragon a second time in December to win his first Burning Junior Championship. The two have ended each other’s Burning Junior Championship reign a total of 4 times since. Masuko’s career is already gold laden with 2 BOSJ victories, and 3 Burning Junior reigns, his most recent one just ended by Dragon. </p><p> </p><p> Masuko has own significant issue he will want to overcome going forward, and that is the idea that he is the weakest and worst of the Four Heavenly Kings despite being the oldest and having compete with the first era. Many believe Masuko will be the first of the Four Heavenly Kings to fall off the throne and with the countless rising stars in the Juniors division, and a ballooning amount of talent outside of BHOTWG, Masuko needs to prove himself in 2016 as deserving his spot.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="H25SCK2.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/H25SCK2.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>MYSTIC Dragon</em></p><p> </p><p> MYSTIC Dragon, a year younger than Sensational Dragon, may be able to blame his lack of credentials simply on the fact that he arrived in BHOTWG only in the last 6 years. The second generation star who has refused to cite whom he’s descended from, has often claimed that being the best of the Four Heavenly Kings is his destiny. It very well might be but if anyone comes in the way of MYSTIC Dragon’s success it might not be anyone other than himself. It’s long been rumored that his inheritance has been a shadow cast over him throughout his youth, and one that has left him succumbing to demons. </p><p> </p><p> Nevertheless, MYSTIC Dragon did not waste time breaking the new stranglehold on the Burning Junior Championship when he arrived, quickly proving himself with a Burning Junior Championship reign less than a year from the date he signed with the company. MYSTIC’s rivalry with Elemental III has been pretty apparent over the past 6 years, although one might say its very much been led by MYSTIC who for some reason or another has often been more aggressive and antagonistic towards the inheritor of the Elemental mask. </p><p> </p><p> Having already held the Burning Junior Championship twice, MYSTIC has cited his big goal for 2016 to be a win in the prestigious Best of the Super Junior tournament, a tournament which has seen him fall short a total of 3X in the finals; twice to Elemental III, and once to American Optimus.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="h7wwKb2.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/h7wwKb2.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>Elemental III</em></p><p> </p><p> The last of the Four Heavenly Kings is the one with the biggest baggage on his shoulders, Elemental III. No one knows if Elemental III wrestled before he was chosen to wear the mask, but his debut in August 2007 with Elemental II against Black Cobra & American Optimus marked the beginning of what might go down as the career of the greatest Junior of all time. At the age of 21 years old, Elemental III matched Sensational Dragon’s feat with his first Burning Junior Championship, a title he went on to win two more times. That very same year he won the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, less than 12 months into his debut, a tournament he would go on to win two more times. He also has the distinction of having Burning Junior Tag Team Championship reign with fellow Heavenly King Marihito Masuko. </p><p> </p><p> Elemental III is regarded as a complete success and if he were to retire today at just 28 years old, he would already have lived up to the legacy and been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and yet, Elemental III still has a long career ahead of him. Elemental III holds very much the same goals as Sensational Dragon, a record breaking 4th Best of the Super Juniors reign. He has also made subtle indications that he would like to do something none of his predecessors have done, prove himself against the heavyweights. That may just be fantasy and there’s no indication from President Kaneko that there will be any cross-fighting between divisions.</p><p> </p><p> 2016 promises to have more of the same for the Juniors division, the Four Heavenly Kings stealing show and exchanging the spotlight between each other. The Best of the Super Juniors will specifically be a tournament to watch with MYSTIC hoping to win his first, Elemental III and Sensational competing to break records, and Marihito desperate to establish himself as on part with his fellow kings.</p><p> </p><p> Next, we take a look at three of the finest heavyweight tag teams.</p></div><p></p><p></p><p> </p><p> <em><strong>Notes</strong></em>: I've got 7 more of these posts coming. They're as much for new readers as they are for me to get to know my roster better~ BHOTWG starts with 56 wrestlers so it's a lot to get through for sure. I think since we're through with the big names, it should be a bit easier to get through the rest of the roster.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a BHOTWG man myself, I'm definitely reading along. <img alt=":D" data-src="//content.invisioncic.com/g322608/emoticons/biggrin.png.929299b4c121f473b0026f3d6e74d189.png" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" />
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="BurningLariat" data-cite="BurningLariat" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>Long time lurker first time poster here, keep up the good work! Your write ups so far have been fascinating. It's always interesting to see other people's take on your favourite TEW company <img alt=":)" data-src="//content.invisioncic.com/g322608/emoticons/smile.png.142cfa0a1cd2925c0463c1d00f499df2.png" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Happy to be the receiver of your first post O_O hope you enjoy the read~</p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="MisterRomanini" data-cite="MisterRomanini" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>I'm really loving these character posters. MAkes their motivations clear for everyone who's not familiar with BHOTWG (including me). Can't wait to see the first show!</div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Thanks. It's helping me out a ton too!</p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="Derek B" data-cite="Derek B" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>As a BHOTWG man myself, I'm definitely reading along. <img alt=":D" data-src="//content.invisioncic.com/g322608/emoticons/biggrin.png.929299b4c121f473b0026f3d6e74d189.png" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> I checked your BHOTWG thread, and though it had not reached the first show, it was immensely informative and helpful for me. And obviously your BHOTWG Discussion Thread posts have given me plenty of ideas too. </p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="MHero" data-cite="MHero" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>IngoberNEObles I see.<p> </p><p> Digging this so far Jon, rich backstory is my kind of backstory.</p></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> There's no other analogy for "coolest stable in Japan" than LIJ. </p><p> </p><p> </p><blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="James The Animator" data-cite="James The Animator" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>As somebody who first got into the Cornellverse by playing BHOTWG, I am definitely subscribing to this diary. Don't sleep on Mitsunari Fugunaga, though. He was a great Taz-like wrestling machine heel when I played a BHOTWG save.</div></blockquote><p> </p><p> I hope Fugunaga impresses. He gives me Ishii vibes (render helps) so that's an automatic win for me. With Iesada & Hoshino's starting freelance status, there's no reason Fugunaga can't be a regular at the top of the card. </p><p> </p><p> --------</p><p> </p><p> </p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>The Stillborn Tag Team Division</strong></p><p> </p><p> It would be disingenuous to claim that tag team wrestling in BHOTWG has ever reached the same pedigree and prestige that singles wrestling has. While the Burning World Championship (re-)debuted in 1981 along with the Burning Junior Championship, and the Best of the Super Juniors tournament appeared in 2000, it took until December 2002, and September 2005 for a Burning World Tag Team and Burning Junior Tag Team championship to appear in BHOTWG lore. In the Burning World Tag Team championship’s decade-plus of activity, only a single-wrestler would be elevated from Burning World Tag Team to Burning World Champion: Yasuhiko Taira. Taira would win the Burning World Championship just a month after acquiring one-half of the tag titles, and hold them simultaneously for 8 months. Aside from Yasuhiko Taira, the only other Burning World Champion to have held the title was Tadiyuki Kikkawa. It’s widely understood that Kikkawa simply held the title to say he’d done it, and to keep him away from the Burning World Championship after he’d returned from INSPIRE.</p><p> </p><p> There are arguably four teams that are synonymous with the Burning World Tag Team championships: Black Magic’s Yasuhiko Taira and Yasunobu Masuno who have held the belts twice and are now members of NEO; Shimedzu & Natsu Miyamae who were both juniors and wrestled for it before the arrival of the Burning Junior Tag Team champions, Miyamae now wrestles as a singles in the heavyweight division while Shimedzu lingers in the juniors division, they held it twice; Sanetomo Shiraishi & Sessue Kawate the inaugural champions held the belts 4x until Sessue Kawate’s retirement after their last reign in 2014; and record-holding 5X champions Chuichi Sanda and Eiji Hamacho who most recently lost the belts in November 2015. </p><p> </p><p> <img alt="okovZ36.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/okovZ36.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="fs4RxQ9.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/fs4RxQ9.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>"Explosive" Chuichi Sanda and "The Raging Bull" Eiji Hamacho</em></p><p> </p><p> “Explosive” Chuichi Sanda and “The Raging Bull” Eiji Hamacho are incredible tag team wrestlers but neither of them would have the pedigree and reputation they have today if not for the other, and yet they are easily the best tag team in BHOTWG history. Despite having a combined near 55 years in BHOTWG, Eiji and Chuichi’s only main events for BHOTWG have come when challenging the team of Black Magic, and Kikkawa and Iesada during their respective tag title reigns, and their sole Burning World Championship challenges have come during Yasuhiko Taira’s reign - a significant part of the criticism of Taira’s reign comes from these weak title defenses. Still, their biggest claim to fame is also the fact that they’ve been the reason why borderline main event wrestlers Taira & Masuno have not had the tag title success they should have in a relatively shallow division. </p><p> </p><p> Sanda & Hamacho are two of the company’s elder-statesman and are nearing the end of their respective careers, there’s a general belief that they’ve held the Burning World Tag Team Championship for the last time but they’ve resisted criticism and Sanda has been particularly determined to ensure that if they are walking away, then they are walking away passing the torch to a team that deserves it, not a disrespectful wrestler reliant on his size for success and his late blooming veteran partner. Some may be arguing for the tag team division to move forward and truly reach its potential but Sanda & Hamacho have insisted that 2015 will not be the last time they hold their belts.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="5j9d6tC.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/5j9d6tC.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="At4o4r7.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/At4o4r7.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>Toshiki Shibanumo and "Baby Elephant" Nissho Yuasa</em></p><p> </p><p> Current Burning World Tag Team champions Toshiki Shibanumo and Nissho Yuasa have not earned any plaudits for ending the reign of Sanda & Hamacho. Toshiki, a 29 year veteran, isn’t expected to last much longer in BHOTWG and this second reign with Yuasa is expected to end with either Sanda & Hamacho taking back the belt or a tag team with long term or main event potential taking it. Shibanumo is an average worker who would never appear on anyone’s favorite list nor will he ever show up in any hall of fame or find even much of a career behind the scenes post-retirement. </p><p> </p><p> His partner “Baby Elephant” Nissho Yuasa should be credited for both reigns, has held the belts once before pairing with Shibanumo while teaming with Kanishoki, and even held the Burning Openweight Championship long before he became a reliable tag team wrestler. While Yuasa is only 35 years old, has a great look, experience and is perfectly solid in the ring, there’s very much a reason why he has stalled in the tag team division. Yuasa’s inability to reach the “epic” match lengths typical of BHOTWG main events, and a notoriously bad attitude behind the scenes has kept him from reaching his potential. Yuasa could play a pivotal role in reshaping the tag team division but it would be necessary for him to find a suitable partner that will mirror him in age and experience or that will compensate for it in speed and stamina, Shibanumo and Kanishoki were not those partners but he nevertheless managed the task of helping them reach the peak of their careers.</p><p> </p><p> Shibanumo will be determined to prove the wrestling world that he is better than he’s been shown to be for the last near three decades, but Yuasa’s laziness will make that a troubling affair. Yuasa has nothing to gain from this reign, and many are expecting that to be their undoing. </p><p> </p><p> <img alt="eCoQzvh.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/eCoQzvh.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="9noW5zi.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/9noW5zi.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>"The Octopus" Matthew Keith and "Technical Thriller" Tatsuya Toshitala</em></p><p> </p><p> The last tag team to be mentioned here has only recently formed and no pedigree to their name. The pairing of "The Octopus" Matthew Keith and "Technical Thriller" Tatsuya Toshitala was thrown together haphazardly and yet began gathering momentum as a notoriously challenging team to beat. Matthew Keith, a 7 year veteran and son of a former Burning World Champion, and Tatsuya Toshitala, a 6 year veteran and Japanese independent wrestling sensation, are both being heralded as future Burning World Champions, and that’s not something that is often said of a BHOTWG tag team. Keith and Toshitala are the smallest of BHOTWG’s tag teams and yet its their technical expertise that has made them immediately dangerous. They can pick apart nearly all of their bigger opponents, and their in-ring awareness has been shown to match even that of Hamacho & Sanda. </p><p> </p><p> Here’s the catch: few believe Toshitala and Keith will last long-term as a pairing, and many believe that if they do live up to their potential, BHOTWG will push them past the Burning World Tag Team championships. Matthew Keith is regarded as a wrestling prodigy in most corners and the idea of him living up to Sam Keith’s legacy in BHOTWG (however brief), has made for an intriguing story for BHOTWG. While Toshitala isn’t quite on that level of esteem, he is seen as the successor to Okazaki’s throne as the most dangerous submission wrestler in Japan and with Okazaki on the tail-end of his career, there’s a ready made space for Toshitala to fill for himself. </p><p> </p><p> There are arguments that between NEO, Kikkawa’s Army, and Nakasawa, Horri, and Hoshino, it’s time BHOTWG take advantage of a stacked heavyweight main event to fix the shallow heavyweight division and taking advantage of immense talent like Toshitala and Keith could be just the centerpiece BHOTWG needs to truly surpass their rivals in PGHW.</p><p> </p><p> Next up, we'll take a look at the Junior tag team division! </p></div><p></p><p></p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="LlamaSquad" data-cite="LlamaSquad" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div>"The Octopus" is a brilliant nickname. <p> </p><p> If this diary does indeed die quickly, I would be rather annoyed, and we're not even through the backstory!</p></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> Borrowed it from Jonathan Gresham <3 Technically Matthew Keith is a big guy, most likely about Roman Reigns-sized so he's a pretty thick Octopus xD</p><p> </p><p> I hope it doesn't die quick. I've got quite a bit of plans and a ton of ideas I want to go through. </p><p> </p><p> ---</p><p> </p><p> </p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>A Trio of Legendary Junior Pairings</strong></p><p><strong> and the one trying to usurp them</strong></p><p> </p><p> Although it took 3 more years before the Junior division got its own tag team championships, many would argue that the Burning Junior Tag Team champion holds much more prestige than its heavyweight alternates. Compared to the Burning World Tag Team championships, the Burning Junior Tag Team champions have seen 6 former or future Burning Junior champions hold it: The Awesome Kiyaru, Optimus, Super Joshuya, Black Cobra, Elemental III, and Marihito Masuko. In spite of the heavyweight belt’s 3 year advantage, the Burning Junior Tag Team titles have had just as many different champions and pairings hold their belts, highlighting higher competition and a deeper division. </p><p> </p><p> There are quite a few teams that have made of the Burning Junior Tag Team division their home, and particularly four that distinguished themselves from the pack the most. VENOM, who we saw in NEO, is among these four next to Yoshii Shiomi but will be excluded from this list and Yoshii will be found elsewhere as well. Taking the place of Yoshii & VENOM will be a newly rising tag team that has been working hard at their craft together for 8 years now and are hoping to finally hold their first Burning Junior Tag Team championship, but before them we’ll see 3 teams that have each held the belts a total of 3 times.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="LGYOmfB.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/LGYOmfB.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="r74PVhY.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/r74PVhY.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>"The Electric Live Wire" Hyosuke Kokan & "The Big Fight Player" Kansuke Konda</em></p><p> </p><p> The current Burning Junior Tag Team champions, “The Electric Live Wire” Hyosuke Kokan and “The Big Fight Player” Kansuke Konda won the titles at Silencing Dragons in 2015 by beating American Panther. The near 20-year veteran is at-once a talented technician, and a tremendous high flyer despite being a year shy of 40, and since joining the company in 2003, has been a regular fixture in both the Burning Junior championship scene (a title he’s never managed to win) and the Burning Junior Tag Team championship scene. Along with Konda, he is the second holder of the Burning Junior Tag Team Championship.</p><p> </p><p> Kansuke Konda has never held the Burning Junior championship and yet is widely regarded as one of the greatest juniors of all time. Konda has been with BHOTWG since 1998, and besides his great team with Kokan, is most notorious for his hyper-competitive spirit and his frequent participation in the heavyweight division. No junior has had success breaking down the barriers between both divisions like Konda who holds his 6 month Burning Openweight championship reign as the finest accomplishment of his career (VENOM is the only other Junior to have held the belt, having won it from Iesada and lost it 2 months later). </p><p> </p><p> The 3X Burning Junior Tag Team champions remain as competitive as they ever have and despite entering their 40s, have yet to really miss a beat. Although they have 3 title defenses in the bag, the pair are aware that American Panther and Kiyaru/Scorpion will be respectively looking to hold their record 4th reign, and that Yoshii Shiomi and VENOM will be hoping to make it a 4-way tie for most reigns. All three of those teams are aware that they’ve got the toughest possible challenge if they want to reach those goals with Kokan and Konda holding the belts.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="Dt8YR1C.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/Dt8YR1C.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="iDVBh06.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/iDVBh06.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>The Awesome Kiyaru & "The Gold and Black Attack" Golden Scorpion</em></p><p> </p><p> The team they defeated to hold the belts is the legendary pairing of The Awesome Kiyaru and Golden Scorpion, the very first holders of the belts. From 1995 to 2000 when BHOTWG sought to move away from the Elemental, Elemental II, and Optimus dominance of the Burning Junior title, the was only one man that managed to live up to their legacies and who is seen as the chief contributor to the transition between the first era of Juniors and the modern era of Juniors: The Awesome Kiyaru. </p><p> </p><p> The four time Burning Junior champion has the unique honor of having won his last two reigns from Elemental II, and Elemental III and is easily the 4th most iconic junior of all time, at least until the Four Heavenly Kings finish up their own careers. Kiyaru’s biggest success undoubtedly comes from winning the Best of the Super Juniors 3 times in a row and being in a few more finals. Although it’s typically felt that the Four Heavenly Kings have good chances of surpassing Kiyaru when all is said and done, there have been many arguments that Kiyaru may in fact be the greatest junior of all time, period. The 27-year pro has competed and beaten wrestlers from both eras, is the only one to have won the BOSJ consecutively, the only one to have multiple Burning Junior and Burning Junior Tag Team reigns, and many feel, the reason why the Four Heavenly Kings even have the reputation they have today. </p><p> </p><p> “The Gold and Black Attack” The Golden Scorpion is a veteran himself with 21 years under his belt, all of which were spent with BHOTWG aside from a brief loan spell in the US where he held his only singles belt: the TCW Cruiserweight championship. Scorpion will always look the lesser man to The Awesome Kiyaru but you’d be lucky to find a man who wouldn’t be. Scorpion has often challenged for the Burning Junior championship and gone far in the BOSJ but it’s never come together for him as a singles wrestler in Japan. </p><p> </p><p> It’s quite possible that Golden Scorpion has held the Burning Junior Tag Team titles for the last time with The Awesome Kiyaru, but Scorpion still has an opportunity to make something of himself as an individual wrestler or help Kiyaru end his career with another record under his name. For The Awesome Kiyaru, he goes down as a guaranteed hall of famer, and there have been rumors that he will be looking for someone to inherit his one-of-a-kind mask in the way Elemental and Optimus saw their masks passed on. It has been further theorized that this inheritor of The Awesome Kiyaru mantle could even pair up with Golden Scorpion. Of course, the important question resides in who will hold it and if they can live up to such a legacy. </p><p> </p><p> <img alt="0WIVccA.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/0WIVccA.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="abUxLUj.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/abUxLUj.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>American Optimus & Red Panther</em></p><p> </p><p> The third illustrious pairing that has to be sighted is that of American Optimus and Red Panther, collectively known as 3X Burning Junior Tag Team champions American Panther. The gaijin pairing sit next to Bruce The Giant, Black Cobra and Dread as the only gaijins to have multiple title reigns in BHOTWG (Raul Hughes’s King of Fighters reign occurred under the INSPIRE banner and not the BHOTWG banner). Considering Bruce and Dread are Hall of Immortals inductees, and Cobra on the verge of being one, American Panther could be said to have overachieved. Although Red Panther is still only 33 years old, neither are even remotely considered to become future members of the illustrious wrestling hall of fame. </p><p> </p><p> American Optimus is, to date, the only inheritor to the Optimus name. Formerly going by Black Eagle and a veteran of the American independent scene, American Optimus is likely fortunate that he was chosen to inherit the American Optimus name because a lot of his success can be attributed to that, at the same time, what is a perfectly great career is seen as not great enough considering he inherited the title of a man who is a Hall of Immortals inductee himself, a record 8-time Burning Junior champion, and 2-time BOSJ (in spite of being 45 at the time of his second win). At 41 years old, American Optimus is unlikely to hold even one Burning Junior championship reign, and though he has a tremendous tag team history, a BOSJ win to his name, and will undoubtedly become a BHOTWG hall of famer, his career simply pales in comparison to Optimus’s. In fact, many have been citing a need for a proper, younger inheritor to the Optimus name, such as Optimus’s own protege Eagle Kawasawa (currently working for GCG).</p><p> </p><p> Red Panther, a high flying Canadian wrestler once known as Phenomenal E, is lucky not to have those expectations on his shoulder. Red Panther is only 33 years old, and there’s a genuine belief that once American Optimus retires, Red Panther could very well prove himself among the Four Heavenly Kings. Others believe that American Optimus’s retirement could mean a return to the west for Red Panther. Red Panther remains under the shadow of his partner’s name, and it’s something he’s aware he will need to step away from at some point.</p><p> </p><p> Heading into 2016, American Panther will be seeking to hold their 4th Burning Junior Tag Team championship, but underneath that obvious goal, both are determined to break the monopoly of the Four Heavenly Kings and hold their first Burning Junior championships. American Optimus is well aware that his time is running out and Red Panther is desperate to prove he has worth in BHOTWG beyond his pairing with American Optimus. The hope is that this doesn’t fracture one of the great junior tag teams in Japan.</p><p> </p><p> <img alt="52XoD67.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/52XoD67.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /><img alt="fXtau0F.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/fXtau0F.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> <em>"Lightning Streak" Reijiro Hiraki & "Omnipotent" Masakazu Kaima</em></p><p> </p><p> When Reijiro Hiraki and Masakazu Kaima decided that they would begin competing in the Burning Junior Tag Team division, they were well aware that there were four great tag teams they’d need to compete with, much like the Four Heavenly Kings of the singles division.</p><p> </p><p> “Lightning Streak” Reijiro Hiraki will likely rue that he wasn’t chosen to inherit the Elemental III mantel, and he has shown that in his aggressive demeanor when faced with the man, but he’s likely the only man who regrets that decision. Still, at only 29 years old, Hiraki is an incredible high flyer, a top tier technician, and has shown the physicality to compete with heavyweights. There are many rumors he may eventually move up to the heavyweight division. </p><p> </p><p> “Omnipotent” Masakazu Kaima is an extremely well-rounded wrestler capable of wrestling any styles, but visibly a step behind Hiraki, and unlikely to ever move up a weight class should Hiraki choose to. Kaima isn’t ever expected to compete for a Burning Junior championship, but he and Hiraki have the potential to become Burning Junior Tag Team champions if they can gather some momentum over the year. </p><p> </p><p> Heading into 2016, the goal remains as it always has for this duo - to beat the dominant teams of the Burning Junior Tag Team division and ensure their names go down in the history book as well but it’s hard to discount the fact that Hiraki has always seen himself as deserving of something more, and should he pursue those ambitions, Kaima may find himself lost in the pack. </p><p> </p><p> Next, we glance at 6 of the heavyweight's rising stars.</p></div><p></p><p></p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<p></p><div style="text-align:center;"><p><strong>The Manly Future of BHOTWG</strong></p><p><strong>

and the Burning Path they must walk</strong></p><p> </p><p>

In 35 years, there have only been 13 different Burning World Champions, only 5 of these have come after the year 2000. Only 2 wrestlers who have debuted since the year 2000 are among these 5. This is all to say, the Burning Path is the hardest path to walk in all of professional wrestling and only the greatest can have the honor of calling themselves a Burning World Champion, most can only hope to challenge for it. Nevertheless, countless wrestlers seek the Burning Path in order to find themselves in that illustrious hall of former Burning World Champions, and there’s a reason legends like Sam Strong, Sam Keith, and Bruce The Giant have come to Japan to solidify their legacies by holding the most prestigious gold in all of professional wrestling. </p><p> </p><p>

I preface an introduction of the future of the Burning Path with this information to let you know that while these are 6 of the brightest heavyweights in all of Japan, the odds are slim to none that any of them ever become a Burning World Champion. Its a cynical take but all walkers of the Burning Path are informed that odds are they will not fulfill their dreams the way they might if they’d joined any other of Japan’s, or the world’s, illustrious companies. Of course, the trick is to see the change in the eyes of those who hear this information, and to see who ignores it and continues charging down that Burning Path. This list will merely be alphabetical and contains 6 heavyweights under the age of 30 years old but past the status of Young Lion.</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="ojCFIaS.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/ojCFIaS.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>Atsumori Takemura</em></p><p> </p><p>

Atsumori Takemura was briefly known as “Ace” in order to emulate Hiroaki Nakasawa until he was reprimanded and viciously beaten by his mentor for taking such a title without having the skills or credentials to back it up, he no longer has a nickname. The 25 year old 5 year veteran is a BHOTWG homegrown talent and the successor to Hiroaki Nakasawa when he eventually retires. Few were aware Takemura was no longer a Young Lion since, like Nakasawa, he maintained his very modest attire and simply managed an upset pinfall victory over Hirokumi Saito during a multi-man match. He’s still very green and often the reason for his team’s losses. Since Nakasawa’s injuries, he’s had an incredibly hard-time as a Young Lion and was often viciously beaten by his veteran opponents, especially Kikkawa’s Army and NEO. A well-rounded worker, it’s still unlikely Takemura is able to match Nakasawa’s accomplishments in the ring, but he’s certainly going to be a reliable upper midcard and future Burning World challenger for the next decade and a half.</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="6Whdq6S.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/6Whdq6S.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"Muscle Monster" Gonkuro Kamioka</em></p><p> </p><p>

“Muscle Monster” Gonkuro Kamioka is 6 foot 4 and 270 pounds with a body that’s a perfect combination of muscles and bulk, soft and tough. Gonkuro Kamioka’s bright smile, immense strength, and positive demeanor have made him one of the most likable men in all of professional wrestling. If there was any wrestler who wasn’t remotely discouraged by the thought of the Burning Path it is the most optimistic man on earth, Gonkuro. At 28 years old, and a 7 year pro, Gonkuro had his start at Hinote Dojo where he dominated and won all titles the company had to offer. He found his way in BHOTWG when the company closed and has quietly become a cult-favorite of the company. Gonkuro regularly provides awesome feats of strength that leave in men like Kikkawa and Ino dumbfounded. He may never become a Burning World champion, but this man will probably never stop trying. </p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="hh5m79c.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/hh5m79c.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"Your Daddy" Ieyoshi Shimakage</em></p><p> </p><p>

“Your Daddy” Ieyoshi Shimakage is the sort of man that is instantly detestable. He has a very lazy demeanor, doesn’t care much for his physique, has very little respect for his opponents (something that often got him physically battered by the likes of Nakasawa, Kikkawa’s Army, Fugunaga, among others when he was a Young Lion), and pisses just about everyone off. Despite that, no one can deny Shimakage’s potential. He’s a deceptively tough wrestler and has had some tremendous ten minute brawls with the likes of Nakasawa and Fugunaga that have gotten many Western fans into watching BHOTWG, and for some reason, his “dad-bod” has gotten him his share of the audience. Undoubtedly, this is a man who likely won’t hold a Burning World Champion but will give many Burning World Champions tough and brutal challenges.</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="to0ks8J.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/to0ks8J.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"Hidden Gem" Murai Enomoto</em></p><p> </p><p>

“Hidden Gem” Murai Enomoto is 29 years old and a 10 year veteran, after spending the first half of his career on the Japanese independent circuit, he was eventually hired in 2011. A solid technician and capable wrestler, Murai Enomoto will likely spend another 20 years in BHOTWG before retiring having never accomplished anything in his time there. Enomoto’s best odds of success will come solely if he can find his match in a tag team pairing and use that to thrust himself into a career that’s more than “roster backbone” in the way Chuichi Sanda and Eiji Hamacho managed. Until then, expect Enomoto to fill out the card, beat some young lions, and put over the rest of the guys here who have some modicum of potential to do something more.</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="llmp7qs.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/llmp7qs.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"The Golem" Ryushi Sato</em></p><p> </p><p>

“The Golem” Ryushi Sato has a permanent scowl on his face. Short by heavyweight standards at 5’11 but stocky and muscular, Sato is often the heavyweight division’s number one underdog. He’s a fine technician and brawler and there are way too many GIFs running around of Sato meeting a man like Nakasawa and trying to meet him strike for strike. Sato has had plenty of awesome brutally hard-hitting matches with Gonkuro Kamioka and Taro Shionoya down in Hinote Dojo that made Hinote Dojo a western favorite for a while. Sato has earned the Hinote Dojo Triple Crown and has plenty of time to grow in BHOTWG but his best odds remain for him to find a tag team partner and take advantage of the space that’s opening up in that division to once again adorn himself in gold.</p><p> </p><p>

<img alt="cZmYuJQ.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/cZmYuJQ.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p>

<em>"The Wrecking Ball" Taro Shionoya</em></p><p> </p><p>

“The Wrecking Ball” Taro Shionoya is one of the biggest wrestlers in BHOTWG and his arrival on the scene in 2013 shook up a roster that had been physically dominated for a long time by Black Magic and Nissho Yuasa (with the exception of Marat Khoklov’s brief time with the company). 28 years old with a decade of experience under his belt, he spent most of his career in Hinote Dojo with an All-Japan title reign and some absolutely brutal fights with Sato and Kamioka. Shionoya is fortunate that he’s such a physically imposing man because he’s lacking behind Sato and Kamioka when it comes to in-ring skill, and he’s still working on his physical health beyond sheer power. Although some believe he’s destined to have a ceiling in the way Yuasa has, many have argued Shionoya is already Yuasa’s match, a better figure backstage, and has plenty of time to exceed Yuasa with youth on his side. Shionoya’s advantage over the rest of his peers here is that his unique size makes it so that although he probably won’t ever become a Burning World champion, he will be a man that can easily gather some momentum and be a believable threat to anyone who holds that belt.</p><p> </p><p>

As I’ve mentioned early, odds are NONE of these men ever hold the Burning World Championship, but it is up to them to prove this statement wrong and to break through the tight wall that is slowly coming over the main event scene. Sanetomo Shiraishi, the oldest wrestler in the company, has commented that the best odds these men have of holding gold is to become tag team wrestlers the way he did, or hope that President Kaneko sees it fit to introduce new titles in BHOTWG. Masaaki Okazaki, the 27 year veteran and longtime main event wrestler, has only held two King of Fighters (and only one of them under the BHOTWG banner) and commented that he welcomed any of these rising stars to try to break Kikkawa’s hold on the company, but informed them they’d have to go through him first. The only absolute sure thing we can say about this crop of men is that they are bringing an increasingly hard-hitting and physically brutal style to BHOTWG which should at least leave the stars of BHOTWG with welts to remind them who they’ve crossed.</p><p> </p><p>

Next, we'll see the seven Juniors who are hoping to break the Four Heavenly Kings' stranglehold on the Burning Junior championship. </p></div><p></p><p></p>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<blockquote data-ipsquote="" class="ipsQuote" data-ipsquote-username="Jon The GOAT" data-cite="Jon The GOAT" data-ipsquote-contentapp="forums" data-ipsquote-contenttype="forums" data-ipsquote-contentid="45692" data-ipsquote-contentclass="forums_Topic"><div><p> There's no other analogy for "coolest stable in Japan" than LIJ. </p><p> </p></div></blockquote><p> </p><p> <img alt="dQNfgqI.jpg" data-src="https://i.imgur.com/dQNfgqI.jpg" src="<___base_url___>/applications/core/interface/js/spacer.png" /></p><p> </p><p> OG MAD BLANKEY says hello.</p>
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...