The introduction of this chapter differs slightly depending on which promotion Sumisu fought in during chapters two to four.
As Sumisu returns to Japan, he finds out that two of the biggest promotions have come together to host the first Japanese Wrestling Championship since the era of Rikiozan. He is welcomed by Akira Saeba; If Sumisu had met him before when fighting in the UWH, Saeba will welcome him back to Japan. On the other hand, if Sumisu chose to join Olive Japan or View Japan, this will be their first meeting, but they’ll bond immediately due to their common ancestry as Wakamoto students. Saeba, who wants Sumisu to face him in the finals, will act as his second, as he fights Mr. K, Thunder Ryu and Katsushi Okita. In the finals, Sumisu is defeated by Saeba, and due to the unspoken law, he has to abandon the Japanese mat.
Akira Saeba is based on Akira Maeda. At this point in his career, after the split of UWF, he founded the international martial arts network RINGS (called GONGS in Champion Road). The quote attributed to him in the chapter’s introduction was actually the slogan of his organization, “RINGS will declare the strongest man in the world”.
The tournament presented in this chapter is likely a fusion of two different events, the Mega Battle Tournament (メガバトルトーナメント) of 1993, which was ran by Maeda and RINGS, and the March 1994 Revolution Rumble ran by WAR, Genchiro Tenryu’s promotion.
It seems that in the world of Champion Road, the two promotions came together to host an all-out Japanese Championship. The Red Zone he mentions is the Japanese term for the Redline, meaning a wrestler must break through his limits. It has been kept as such for consistency with the translations of No More Heroes and Champion Road Beyond. His sister Reiko is an original character created for the game.
If Sumisu and Saeba are meeting for the first time, he’ll mention training under Ittetsu Wakamoto. This is true to life, as Maeda was indeed one of Kotetsu Yamamoto‘s disciples in his NJPW dojo, going as far as to say that the sound of his Cadillac’s engine was enough to terrify him.
Sumisu’s first opponent, Mr. K, is based on Koji Kitao. He used to be a Sumo Wrestler and Yokozuna until 1990, when he made his debut in NJPW, later moving to SWS and ultimately to WAR, following Genchiro Tenryu. He was known for his knee attacks and low roundhouse kicks.
In 1994 he founded the Kitao Dojo as part of WAR.
His second opponent, Thunder Ryu, is based on Genchiro Tenryu. His FirePro nickname is likely based on Tenryu’s real-life entrance song, Thunderstorm by Masayoshi Takanaka.
During his stay in AJPW in the 80s he fought in a Tag Team with Jumbo Tsuruta (Tommy Bomber) against Stan Hansen (Star Bison) and Bruiser Brody (Big “The Great” Bull). While they lost the match, they still managed to leave an impression, tying with their mentors Giant Baba and Dory Funk Jr. in second place.
He left AJPW in 1990 for SWS and then, after the promotion collapsed, he founded WAR in 1992.
Thunder Ryu also appeared in No More Heroes (2007) as Travis’ master.
Sumisu’s third opponent, Katsushi Okita, is based on Atsushi Onita. He made his debut in AJPW, but later founded Frontiers Martial-Arts Wrestling (shortened as FMW and called Independent World in Fire Pro) in 1989 with a minuscule budget of 50.000 yen, which is likely why Saeba describes him as a man of miracles in the game.
It pioneered the rise of independent wrestling promotions, and, moreover, it was also the first one to allow both men and women to fight.
The promotion specialized in hardcore fights, even using barbed wire and live fire as part of its shows, hence Okita’s scarred visage in the game.
The Gojo he mentions in the game is Hunter Gojo, the Fire Pro nickname of Tarzan Goto. Goto had been scouted by Onita as he founded FMW and was one of the first ones to join the newly founded promotion, the two of them starring in the first barbed wire match in August 1990.