Originally published at Matt Tremont's Destiny: The Road to Onita
Matt Tremont’s Destiny
October 31st, 2020, Williamstown, New Jersey Matt Tremont is pinned by Rickey Shane Page in a No Rope Barbed Wire, 200 LightTube Deathmatch putting an end to Matt Tremont’s storied Professional Wrestling career. The air was thick with spooky dust and all that could be heard was the crunch of glass beneath their feet. It was a match filled with beautiful wrestling violence, callbacks to prior matches, and more importantly, purpose. One year later the Bulldozer comes back for his biggest challenge yet. There are wrestlers with better fundamentals, better bodies, and move sets but there is NO ONE in independent wrestling that can tell a story like ‘The Bulldozer’ Matt Tremont. This match with Atsushi Onita isn’t just another match: it’s about redemption, it’s about delivering what other promotions have continually failed to do, it’s about Tremont’s final love letter to his best friend and fallen brother Danny Havoc and it’s about providing the man who created it all one last shot at his Destiny.
At the young age of 32 years old, Matthew Tremont has done it all in the world of professional deathmatch wrestling, he has won every single major Deathmatch Tournament in the world: Tournament of Death, Tournament of Survival, King of the Deathmatch, Carnage Cup Champion, Game Changer Wrestling World Champion, and Combat Zone World Heavyweight Champion. He has been thrown off scaffolding, his skin has been pierced and torn with barbed wire and glass, his forehead impaled with various instruments of violence. The hitch in his step and the ‘horn’ of scar tissue on his forehead act as a constant reminder of what this man has put his body through not for himself, but for the art. At GCW Ready To Die 2017, he defended the Game Changer Wrestling World title against the newly free Nick Gage. These two icons put on a match that no doubt shortened their careers, the blood loss alone was absurd. These two had an absolute war that included a Trestle of tubes, concrete pavers in the ring, and a mid-match call to take down the ropes and replace them with barbed wire. By the end of the war, there was no white left on their bodies, they were just red. After the match, Tremont got on the mic and told Gage that while he was away in prison, Tremont took it upon himself to continue what Gage and the other original CZW legends started; bringing the best deathmatch wrestling in the entire world on American Soil. “I put this sport on my back when nobody asked me to.” It was his purpose.
Onita vs. Tremont: Once in a Lifetime
This story with Onita has been going on since 2017 when Matt Tremont in the middle of the CZW ring called out FMW and Onita. He goaded Onita, saying that Japan was scared to face the Bulldozer and that Onita didn’t have it anymore. Eventually, Onita accepted The Bulldozers challenge, and the match was set, May 8th, 2017, The Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees Township, New Jersey. Billed as Once in a Lifetime this was to be THE ultimate match in CZW history. Their world champion vs. the creator of the deathmatch. Like always, Matt Tremont carried the feud with his talking, cutting blistering promos on the innovator of the deathmatches; everyone was waiting with anticipation as both men came down the ramp. Special cameo by Sam Roberts who is seen right up on the guardrail. Moments in, the match fell apart and it turned into a 6-man tag. Onita, Hideki Hosaka and Raijin Yauchi vs. Matt Tremont, Rickey Shane Page, and Danny Havoc. The trio of American Deathmatch legends helped the other FMW stars through the match as much as they could, selling their asses off, and taking most of the offense. They had a couple of exploding barbed wire baseball bats but that was about it for the explosions. It was an utter disappointment.
This double-cross and lackadaisical booking from CZW killed any good faith their fans had left with the promotion and since then the promotion has been a shell of itself. The match left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth, and they quickly moved on to the next feud, leaving this massive disappointment in their rear-view mirror. From the ashes of this atrocity, birthed Game Changer Wrestling where Matt Tremont went on to win their World Title and compete in some of the most legendary matches in the company’s early history.
The Death of Danny Havoc
On May 31st, 2020, the wrestling world learned of the death of Grant Berkland aka Danny Havoc. Having recently come out of retirement that February for GCW’s tour of Japan where he was able to team with his friends Matt Tremont and Alex Colon in numerous matches, most importantly with headlining in Korakuen Hall. A bucket list item for Matt Tremont that stated he specifically wanted Danny there for. The impact Danny Havoc had on the Deathmatch scene cannot be overstated; he truly changed the way in which deathmatches were laid out, approached, and executed. No longer were we forced to watch larger men hitting each other with stuff for the sake of hitting each other with stuff, the violence and weapons had a purpose. The matches were laid out like any other match would be ultimately working towards the crescendo of violence. The moves between the violence mattered. Danny possessed a hybrid style of both highflying and hard-hitting, and the style which we see today from the likes of Alex Colon, Takeda, AKIRA, Atticus Cogar, Reed Bentley, Drew Parker, Jimmy Lloyd comes directly from the mind and influence of Danny Havoc. Danny’s impression on the business will continue to be felt in the wrestling world because he and Matt Tremont opened their own training school and promotion in 2016, the Hardcore Hustle Organization, H20.
The Separate Ways Tour
Following the death of his best friend Danny Havoc, Matt Tremont decided to announce his retirement tour– The Separate Ways Tour. Beat up, gaining weight, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Tremont laid out the final challenges of his career, setting dates with the who’s who of the Deathmatch world; ultimately leading to the final boss, GCW World Champion Rickey Shane Page. Each match was punctuated with Tremont’s words adding to the importance and purpose to each of his final encounters. It is a shame that this all took place during the height of the pandemic as Tremont and company would have sold out shows at capacity. He dedicated each of his final matches to Danny Havoc, routinely beckoning his name and executing subtle tribute spots throughout his final bloody encounters, continually begging for his rivals to put him out of his misery. The separate ways tour consisted of matches against the following: Marcus Mathers, John Wayne Murdoch, Alex Colon, Eddy Only, the team of Chris Bradley & Kristian Ross, the team of Bill Carr and Dan Barry, a 13 man tag match, and finally Rickey Shane Page.
The Last Extravaganza
“Rickey Shane Page, You want to retire me motherfucker, then you’ll be the man to do, put me, put me out of my fucking misery.”
The challenge was laid and the stage was set, H20’s biggest weekend of shows where they would crown the first-ever Danny Havoc Hardcore Champion and where Matt Tremont would take his final bow. Accompanied by his wife who was wearing one of Danny Havoc’s flannels and carrying his battle-ax, the Bulldozer walked the aisle one last time to face the best deathmatch wrestler in the world, Rickey Shane Page. A rematch of their incredible 2016 Tournament of Death Final which also saw Rickey Shane Page secure the victory. Journey’s Worlds Apart hits and the Bulldozer makes his way down the aisle one last time. Flanked by his loving wife who is wearing one of Danny Havoc’s flannels and carrying one of his battle axes, the capacity crowd at the H20 wrestling center erupts as their hero, our hero, soaks in the adulation one last time. The ring is surrounded by Light tubes, Tremont swipes at them as he enters the ring, cutting his arm open; he smiles, reveling in the pain one final time. He drops to his knees in the center of his ring as he’s showered in streamers as the capacity crowd breaks out in a Bulldozer chant. RSP blows a kiss to Tremont’s wife as her husband is introduced for the final time. As the bell rings the crowd breaks out into a Thank You Tremont chant as the two start their war. Emil J notes that Matt Tremont has done over 20 plus No Rope Barbed wire matches throughout his career to RSP’s 5 or so. Rickey breaks the glass first, unloading on Tremont’s back and head, immediately cutting the bulldozer Open. Rickey has the advantage to start the match eventually breaking all the tubes from the farthest side of the ring onto Tremont as he starts carving away on the mangled forehead of the Bulldozer. Less than 5 minutes in Tremont is bleeding from his head, arms, and elbows. Tremont bails to the floor but RSP doesn’t give him any time to rest as he hits a suicide dive through the Light tubes onto Matt Tremont, sending both men crashing and burning, A spot which was a call back to their epic encounter at Tournament of Death. The momentum is now in Tremont’s favor as he goes to work on the leader of 440H. Tremont exposes RSP’s chest and starts breaking tubes across his pecs. RSP begs off but The Bulldozer doesn’t care, returning the favor by unleashing a flurry of glass onto RSP. With her husband bleeding on the mat, Chrissy Tremont enters the ring telling RSP to stop, she hits him with a low blow and breaks a bundle of tubes over RSP’s head as the crowd goes crazy. Both men are on their knees, a box of tubes between them as they go about breaking tubes. Both men are leaking as the canvass is shimmering with the broken glass. The crowd breaks into a brief Danny Havoc chant as Tremont climbs the ladder to the widows walk screaming at RSP to join him on the platform to put him out of his misery. RSP joins Tremont on the platform as they start exchanging punches as the Danny Havoc Memorial Banner looks on between them. RSP throws Tremont off the balcony through a contraption of Doors, panes of glass, and a massive light tube bundle only for a two count. Emil J proclaims that “Rickey Shane Page is going to have to murder Matt Tremont”.
Staggering to his feet RSP begins throwing bundles of Tubes at Tremont’s bloody body, screaming “don’t make me do this Matty.” RSP covers Tremont for a two count, blood staining the mat. Rickey Shane Page hits a Death Valley driver for the victory. RSP stands up and stares at the Danny Havoc banner as he leaves the ring, leaving our hero in a pile of glass and blood.
The most decorated Deathmatch wrestler ever laced up his boots for the final time.
Onita calls out the Bulldozer
On June 23, 2021, a video was released on Atsushi Onita’s Twitter goading and challenging the now-retired Bulldozer into one more match. Standing on the beach holding a barbed wire baseball bat, Onita questioned if Matt Tremont was scared to face him in the match that Onita made famous. The roles were reversed as now Onita was the one saying that the other was scared, that he shouldn’t care what other people say, and that he should do what he wants to do. Onita proclaims that he is going to come to the United States to fight Tremont, whether Tremont wants him to or not. The tables had turned from 2017 and now the Bulldozer was the one being called out, he was the one being called scared.
The Bulldozer Responds
Framed with the Danny Havoc Memorial banner behind him, in an empty H20 Arena, The Bulldozer said the following:
“It’s not that easy, you know it’s not that easy, I stood there not even a year ago and said I don’t want to retire but I have to. I tell my kids every week that everything I do and said for over 15 years I said with purpose, that night had a purpose behind it even on my way out. 15 fucking years I did this, I did this, there are people who walk in now that think this is a game. They don’t pay no dues, they don’t do a goddamn thing. I saw this set up a lot (no rope barbed wire), many many fucking times. I was supposed to be a man of my fucking word and stay away from this toxic decrepit fucking business, that I fucking hate, that I fucking love. I don’t…, break tubes over his head, I haven’t been hit with one of these in a long time, a long fucking time. And now the man, now Onita wants to call me out, I was supposed to stay retired, I was supposed to be a man of my fucking word. I was supposed to walk down that aisle one last time and go out with peace of mind but nobody would let me do that but I didn’t think out of everybody, OUT OF EVERYBODY it would be YOU…Onita. I didn’t think it would be you; the guy I called out four years ago, it was supposed to be Once in a Lifetime and we all saw how that went. I watched for the last year people come into a game and a genre that I didn’t put on my fucking back when nobody asked but I did it. I did it the right way. I did it for those who came before me, I did it for the art, I did it for the sport, I did it because I FUCKING love it and I still do even after the last year when I didn’t think I loved it anymore, but I do now more than ever and I’ve got fucking purpose behind it. Because now the story is on the last chapter, we all know because Matt Tremont loves talking story, Matt Tremont loves talking about purpose; and I got the biggest purpose of all to come back to something I gave my fucking word to, my fucking word to and now you want me to come back, you know who don’t want me to come back? Every single cocksucker in Deathmatch Wrestling because all I’ve been hearing them say for the last year something I never had to fucking say, ‘I’m the best in the world, I’m the best in the world’. Would you stand here in barbed wire and tell the world just how good you are, when there’s nobody here, I never had to because I wasn’t a fucking mark for myself.
Back to that book, it is now August the very same month when it was supposed to be what it was supposed to be 4 years ago, and I stand nah I kneel in my ring, in the house that I retired in because I have a notice for the entire wrestling world and you…Onita. Two days after my birthday, I turn 32 this year, I am as old as the dream that you have had yourself to be able to do THE match that hasn’t been done before on United States soil. We tried before but they couldn’t get the fucking job done. But I will, because I have to, not retire, no not retire, I have to, I have to come back and show everybody who pissed and moaned all over what I did and those that came before me did. Onita, you just said via social media just like everybody does now that I am scared, I am not scared of anyone, I am not scared of no man, I am not scared of anything in my entire life except my wife. Onita, I will say this again as I get down on my knees with a smile on my fucking face again but this time it will become a reality, because it is our destiny. On October 31st, one day and a year after I retired, I come back and we dance one more time. No Rope Barbed Wire Current Blast Explosion Deathmatch. Unlike before, NOW we will smell those furious smells of gas, we will bleed, we will do it all. Here, here’s the difference, here’s the difference Onita and this is what everybody thinks, you’re all wrong, Onita you are going to come here, here in America versus me. ONE on ONE how it should’ve always been, on my soil, in the US. October Thirty Fucking First it is our DESTINY. Onita, challenged Accpeted because I am back, because I wanted to, I owe it to my kids, I owe it to my wife, and for the first time in my whole fucking life I’m going to be selfish for once I AM DOING THIS FOR ME. Destiny awaits Onita, ONITA ONITA ONITA ONNNNNIITTAAAAAA.”
The crunch of the glass beneath his feet is reminiscent of his final scene in the very same ring just under a year ago. A noticeably slimmer Bulldozer explains his reasoning as to why he is going to go back on his promise to accept this match. He’s doing this for his students, his wife, himself, and most importantly for Grant (Danny Havoc). One year and a day after he retired, he would come back to face Onita in a no rope barbed wire, current blast exploding deathmatch. Onita wanted it in Japan but Tremont wouldn’t budge setting the date for Trenton, New Jersey at the Trenton Thunder Ballpark. This is to be the biggest match in the history of H20 Wrestling, the biggest match in independent professional wrestling, and the magnum opus of Onita’s career. Finally getting to do a proper exploding barbed wire deathmatch in America. Tremont is flying in Onita’s engineers to fully ensure that there are no mistakes, there are no embarrassments, and that the explosions are executed correctly. The last thing anyone wants is a repeat of the AEW situation. The toll of anticipation and gravity of the situation has been weighing on the Bulldozer. The purpose behind his words, the purpose behind the moves, the reason for the violence will all come to fruition. 16 years for Tremont, over 30 years for Onita, all leading to this one night, on an autumn night in a minor league baseball park in Trenton, New Jersey.
This past week Tremont released one final promo video which features him outside the baseball stadium that will house this epic encounter. Tremont is going to write one last chapter in his book of beautiful wrestling violence, weaving the final narrative ending with a simple promise. That there will be purpose and passion behind the violence and that they are going to blow each other the fuck up because it’s their Destiny.