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Unread 08-04-2018, 10:51 AM
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Default Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods - Death of the King

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.

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Show Index
2016
Writer's Notes: Here's another thread that will die a quick death and probably won't even see through its premise.
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Unread 08-04-2018, 10:52 AM
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Unread 08-04-2018, 10:56 AM
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Championships
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Unread 08-04-2018, 12:16 PM
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The Kikkawa Army



"King" Tadiyuki Kikkawa of the Burning Throne

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.

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.

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.


"The First General" Tasuku Iesada

“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.


"The Second General" Masaaki Okazaki

“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.

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.


"The Sun-Kissed Lieutenant" Heihachiro Sakai

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.


"Undead Soldier" Hirokumi Saito

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.


"The Fang" VENOM

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.

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.

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.

Last edited by Jon The GOAT : 08-05-2018 at 11:20 AM.
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Unread 08-04-2018, 12:24 PM
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Looking forward to this. With the Burning Throne, you’ve basically made Kikkawa Triple H. It’s great to see more puroresu diaries on the forums.
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Unread 08-04-2018, 12:27 PM
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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?
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Unread 08-04-2018, 01:03 PM
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At least he gave a warning, unlike some people... *cough* me *cough*
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Unread 08-04-2018, 01:05 PM
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Oh lol.
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Unread 08-04-2018, 01:11 PM
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I will be following this one closely. And can I say, that’s an excellent thread title!
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Unread 08-04-2018, 03:27 PM
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I'm all in for this, Jon. Looking forward to seeing what your vision of Burning Hammer is.

The PPV carrier switch is an interesting move. Something I haven't done in my own Burning Hammer saves, but it makes sense.
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Unread 08-04-2018, 05:54 PM
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Looking forward to this one!
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Unread 08-04-2018, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LlamaSquad View Post
Looking forward to this. With the Burning Throne, you’ve basically made Kikkawa Triple H. It’s great to see more puroresu diaries on the forums.
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhyme1234 View Post
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?
I'm self-depreciating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Historian View Post
I will be following this one closely. And can I say, that’s an excellent thread title!
Merci!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigpapa42 View Post
I'm all in for this, Jon. Looking forward to seeing what your vision of Burning Hammer is.

The PPV carrier switch is an interesting move. Something I haven't done in my own Burning Hammer saves, but it makes sense.
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.

The TV bit was a bit harder to think about. And obviously I'm sticking with Western schedule instead of going back to touring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voeltzwagon View Post
Looking forward to this one!
Thanks!

--

NEO


"The Prodigal Son" Koshiro Ino

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


"Demon Bulldozer" Yasuhiko Taira

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.


"Endless Avalanche" Yasunobu Masuno

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.

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.

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.

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?”

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.

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.

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.

Last edited by Jon The GOAT : 08-05-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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Unread 08-05-2018, 11:18 AM
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Welp. I got carried away, maybe.

The Stars of BHOTWG's Heavyweight Division

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.

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.


"Hurricane" Kinnojo Horri

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Hiroaki "Aitch" Nakasawa

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.



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.

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.

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?



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.

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.

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.

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.
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  #14  
Unread 08-06-2018, 12:24 PM
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Bigpapa42 Bigpapa42 is offline
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Digging the context and backstory posts. Fills out the history a bit. Love that.
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  #15  
Unread 08-06-2018, 06:52 PM
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siah463 siah463 is offline
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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.
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