Paradise Hotel 51

Where Gaming Dies

Chapter 4 – Hybrid (UWH – Makoto Higaki)

After the collapse of UWH, Sumisu followed Makoto Higaki into his newfound promotion, High Class, where he wanted to develop his Hybrid style. There, he has to fight Boss Rotten, Win Harlock and Mitsuru Mizuki before getting his re-match with Higaki. Afterwards, he decides to leave High Class to challenge the larger world of martial arts.

High Class is based on Pancrase. In reality its founder, Masakatsu Funaki (Makoto Higaki), originally joined the Fujiwara Family after the 1991 split of UWF. It was only in 1993 that he split from Fujiwara to found Pancrase, taking with him a good portion of its talent and crippling the promotion, leading to Fujiwara fighting as a freelancer inside NJPW. Champion Road omits this passage, instead treating Pancrase (High Class) as a fourth company born from the UWF (UWH) split.

Pancrase’s name was based on the word Pankration, ancient Greek wrestling, which Higaki even mentioned in the previous chapter. The promotion advocated for “perfect meritocracy”, and Funaki, who also studied boxing, used it as a platform to develop Hybrid Wrestling. As such, Pancrase managed to gather some interest in other martial artists and foreigners. “Second Kill” was a buzzword created around Pancrase, in relation to how their fighters were able to crush their opponents “within seconds”.

Boss Rotten
Bas Rutten

Boss Rotten is based on Bas Rutten, who was scouted by Pancrase during its early days in a RINGS dojo in Holland. His nickname in the game, “Soldier of Second Kill”, as well as his bloodthirsty nature, are based on Rutten’s first few fights in Pancrase, where he crushed his opponents in a matter of seconds, almost killing Ryushi Yanagisawa.

Win Harlock is based on Ken Shamrock. He was originally part of the Fujiwara Family, but left for Pancrase in September of 1993. Earlier that year, in May, he fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship where he developed a rivalry with Royce Gracie. In the game, the UFC was renamed as Gruesome Fighting Championship, and Royce Gracie became Voice Staycie, with Harlock claiming he would join the next edition to have his revenge on Staycie.

Win Harlock
Ken Shamrock
Mitsuru Mizuki
Minoru Suzuki

Mitsuru Mizuki is based on Minoru Suzuki, another wrestler who was part of the Fujiwara Family and became a founding member of Pancrase. Despite that, his wrestling style was mostly orthodox, not really picking up on Pancrase’s Hybrid style, which is what his characterization in the game is based around.

Makoto Higaki is based on Masakatsu Funaki, the founder of Pancrase. In this chapter, he is defeated by Sumisu and bids him good luck when fighting in other rings.

Makoto Higaki
Masakatsu Funaki