Tuesday, August 6, 2019

[Real GUTS Army] We Are Real GUTS Army Vol. 2 (8/4/19)

I attended Real GUTS Army's, "We Are Real GUTS Army Vol. 2" on August 4 in Tokyo. The promoter of Real GUTS Army is Guts Ishijima, who may be familiar to fans from his appearances over the years in promotions such as WAVE and DDT. Ishijima was previously the owner of a different small promotion, Guts World. Although it was short-lived, Guts World sometimes drew big crowds for a promotion its size. Guts World had the potential for big things, and the same can be said for Real GUTS Army.

Along with its own roster, Real GUTS Army utilizes freelancers and talent from a variety of Japanese promotions, the most notable ones at this event being Kenichiro Arai from Dragon Gate, and Fuminori Abe and Shuhei Washida from DDT. There was also a lot of international flavor at this event. Zombie Dragon from China's Middle Kingdom Wrestling faced TORU for the vacant CCW Canadian Heavyweight Title. Although he was unsuccessful in his attempt to win the title, Dragon definitely left an impression on everyone at the event. He posed a tough challenge against TORU, and on a personal note, Dragon stole my soda during the match.

It may sound strange to you that a Canadian title is now in a Japanese promotion. The CCW Canadian Heavyweight Title is one of the most prestigious Canadian titles in pro-wrestling history, and there is an interesting story regarding how it made its way to Japan and Real GUTS Army.

In the late 1990's, the CCW Canadian Heavyweight Title was won by Okumura (who currently wrestles for CMLL). He was a member of the Tokyo Pro Wrestling roster and unsuccessfully defended it at a TPW event in February 1998 in a match against Bad News Allen, who is better known from his time in WWE as, "Bad News Brown". TPW went inactive not long after this match, the title becoming inactive along with it.

It was revived in Japanese independent promotion Pro Wrestling Alive in 2017 with the beginning of a tournament for the title, which was won by Shuo Fujiwara at the beginning of 2018. He defended the title in both Japan and China, and was defeated for it by Guts Ishijima in December 2018, therefore bringing the title to Real GUTS Army. He vacated the title due to injury, which led to the match between TORU and Zombie Dragon to decide the new champion.

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