Big Japan on 1/2/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 2nd, 2014
Unlike when I completed a review of a DDT show a few days ago, at least I have reviewed a Big Japan match in the last five years so I am pretty familiar with their product. I don't watch Big Japan much since I am not a big fan of some styles of hardcore deathmatches, but as always I go in with an open mind and I do see some wrestlers I enjoy on the card so I am sure there will be more good than bad here. Here is the full card:
- Takayuki Ueki vs. Yuichi Taniguchi
I'm not feeling too squeamish, so let's get started!
Takayuki Ueki vs. Yuichi Taniguchi
Match Thoughts: A really simple match but it still had its issues. Ueki’s strikes didn’t look like they hurt at all but Taniguchi still stood there and took two long developing strikes anyway. I kept expecting him to move if nothing else to teach Ueki to make his offense look stronger. The ending was expected but Ueki still has some work to do just judging from this one match. Score: 3.5
Jake Crist and Dave Crist vs. Kankuro Hoshino and Masato Inaba
Dave picks up Inaba but Inaba kicks him in the leg and chest. STO by Inaba and he makes the tag to Hoshino. Hoshino goes on the second turnbuckle and hits a diving hip attack. Hoshino picks up Dave with a gut wrench hold and slams him over his head, cover, but it gets a two count. Hoshino goes to pick up Dave but Dave kicks him and tag in Jake. Lariat by Jake to Hoshino, cover, but it gets two. Jake is up first, he picks up Hoshino, Irish whip from the corner, reversed, and Hoshino kicks him low. Inaba comes in the ring; Inaba hits a lariat onto Jake in the corner as does Hoshino. Double vertical suplex to Jake and Hoshino hits a running doublestomp. Senton by Inaba, cover, but Dave breaks it up. Inaba throws Dave out of the ring while Hoshino picks up Jake, Inaba goes off the ropes but Jake throws Hoshino into Inaba. Enzigieri by Jake onto Hoshino, he grabs Inaba and snaps his neck over the second rope. With his head still hanging over the second rope, Jake and Dave then both hit dropkicks from the floor onto Inaba. Dave then holds Inaba for Jake, and Jake delivers a superkick. Inaba falls out of the ring, Jake grabs Hoshino and with Dave they deliver the Killing Spree. Cover, and they pick up the three count! Your winners: Jake Crist and Dave Crist
Match Thoughts: This match was really fun, but it worries me when four minutes of a nine minute match is taken out in a sneaky manner. What was the other half of the match like? But the part that they showed was quite entertaining, I had never seen the Crist brothers (aka Irish Airborne) before but they have some unique moves and added a layer of unknown to the match for me as I never knew what was coming next. For a clipped undercard match, no complaints at all, and it piqued my interest to see if there is a reason the match was clipped or if this is a tag team I should be more aware of. Score: 6.5
Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei, and Shinobu vs. Madoka, Tsutomu Oosugi , and Hercules Senga
Oosugi comes in the ring, they stack the Brahmans in the corner and get the metal box. Madoka sets it up at the Brahmans groin, Senga gets back in the ring and they use his head as a bowling ball, which rams the box into the Brahmans. And hurts Senga. Senga recovers, then all three men hit tope con giros onto their opponents outside of the ring. Madoka slides Shinobu back into the ring, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Madoka puts Shinobu on his shoulders but Shinobu gets out of it and delivers a kick combination. Shinobu goes off the ropes but Madoka blocks the strike, Madoka goes off the ropes but Shinobu levels him with a lariat. Cover, but it gets two. Shinobu picks up Madoka and slams him in front of the corner, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Madoka recovers and pulls his pants down, exposing his ass. The Brahmans come in the ring from behind and shove Madoka face-first into Shinobu’s exposed rear, Shinobu picks up Madoka and holds him for the Brahmans but Oosugi and Senga run back into the ring. Oosugi are thrown out of the ring but by now Madoka is mostly recovered and he moves out of the way of the sign attack, causing Shinobu to get hit. Madoka then hits the Ranhei onto Shinobu, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Madoka, Tsutomu Oosugi, and Hercules Senga
Match Thoughts: With this low quality video I couldn’t tell the Brahmans apart, luckily they did everything together so it didn’t actively matter. This kind of match always leaves me annoyed more than anything else, as some of the wrestlers in it are quite skilled but this type of match doesn’t really give them a chance to show it. It is more just goofy nonsense, which is fine but I just know they are capable of more. Plus let’s face it, the Brahmans are pretty useless. But using Senga’s head as a bowling ball was cute and there certainly were no boring parts, so it wasn’t a complete wash. Score: 4.5
MASADA and Masaya Takahashi vs. Saburo Inematsu and Mototsugu Shimizu
Inematsu goes off the ropes and he hits a Polish Hammer, cover, but Takahashi breaks it up. Takahashi throws Inematsu into the corner and hits a splash followed by a vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets two. Scoop slam by Takahashi, he gets a stack of chairs and puts it onto Inematsu. Rolling senton by Takahashi to Inematsu on the chairs, cover, but Inematsu kicks out. Takahashi picks up Inematsu and goes for a German suplex, but Inematsu blocks it. Shimizu hits Takahashi in the back with a chair and hits a backdrop suplex. Shimizu grabs Takahashi and goes for a Fisherman Buster but MASADA comes in the ring and breaks it up. MASADA powerbombs Shimizu onto a chair, cover, but Inematsu breaks it up. Takahashi takes Inematsu out of the ring, while in the ring MASADA stabs Shimizu in the face, sticking sticks of some sort into his head. MASADA picks up Shimizu and hits a brainbuster, he then picks up Shimizu and hits a second brainbuster. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: MASADA and Masaya Takahashi
Match Thoughts: Well besides the ending being a bit unnecessary (stabbing someone in the face seems a bit harsh for a clipped mid-card match), at least the brainbuster made sense as a finisher since he had sticks jabbing out of his head. Not all of this was shown which is surprising since it was only an eight minute match in the first place. Pretty basic brawling with nothing to set it apart, at least not in a positive way anyway. Score: 4.0
Kanemoto now hits the Facewash in the corner, ending with a pair of running ones. Kanemoto picks up Hashimoto and hits a piledriver. Cover, but Hashimoto kicks out at two. Kicks to the body and head by Kanemoto, he goes to run off the ropes but Hashimoto grabs him around the waist. Kanemoto elbows out of it and goes off the ropes anyway but Hashimoto hits a lariat. Hashimoto picks up Kanemoto and elbows Kanemoto, Irish whip, reversed, but Hashimoto moves when Kanemoto runs in and kicks him into the corner. Running Facewash in the corner by Hashimoto and he delivers a dropkick. Hashimoto picks up Kanemoto and hits a snap DDT, he picks him up again and kicks him in the side of the head. Cover by Hashimoto, but Kanemoto kicks out. Hashimoto picks up Kanemoto again and hits the Falcon Arrow, he goes off the ropes and delivers the PK. Cover, but again Kanemoto gets a shoulder up. Both wrestlers slowly get up and they trade elbows and slaps while on their knees, they get back on their feet while continuing to trade strikes until a jumping kick by Kanemoto sends Hashimoto to the mat. Cover by Kanemoto but it gets a two count. Kanemoto goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers the moonsault, cover, but it still gets two. Kanemoto picks up Hashimoto and applies the Ankle Hold. Hashimoto is eventually able to make it to the ropes, Kanemoto kicks Hashimoto in the leg until he falls down and re-applies the Ankle Hold. Hashimoto quickly reverses it into an Ankle Hold of his own, but Kanemoto reverses it back. Hashimoto reverses it back again, but Kanemoto is able to reverse the Ankle Hold yet again. This time Hashimoto can’t reverse it and he taps out. Your winner: Koji Kanemoto
Match Thoughts: What an odd little match. The first large chunk of the match was really good but the random trading Ankle Holds at the end was bizarre. They had done no real leg work leading up to that point and were mostly just doing strikes and kicks. Then suddenly they decided to trade Ankle Holds until Kanemoto won. I liked that Kanemoto gave Hashimoto an equal amount of offense and Hashimoto did a good job portraying the underdog trying to overthrow the veteran, I just wasn’t a big fan of the ending. Score: 6.0
Jun Kasai, Jaki Numazawa, and Masashi Takeda vs. Yuko Miyamoto, Ryuji Ito, and Danny Havoc
Miyamoto and Numazawa are sent for an Irish whip, and all three of their opponents kick them to the mat and hit elbow drops. Most wrestlers leave the ring leaving Miyamoto and Kasai, Miyamoto goes up to the top turnbuckle but Kasai blocks the diving clothesline. Irish whip by Kasai to the corner but Miyamoto hits a lariat. Miyamoto picks up Kasai and slams him in front of the corner, he goes up to the top turnbuckle with a light tube, but Kasai has recovered. Kasai picks up Miyamoto and slams him into the light tubes in the corner, lariat by Kasai and a cover, but it gets a two count. Numazawa comes in the ring and drops Miyamoto with the Schwein, Kasai goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the Pearl Harbor Splash, cover, but it is broken up. Havoc and Takeda trade punches in the ring, waistlock by Takeda, Havoc goes off the ropes but Takeda hits a release German suplex. Takeda goes off the ropes and hits a knee to the chest, cover, but it gets a two count. Takeda picks up Havoc and tries to slam him into the remaining trap, but Havoc blocks it. Miyamoto comes in the ring and dropkicks Takeda in the chest, which knocks both him and Havoc into the corner, setting off the trap. Miyamoto grabs Takeda and hits the Yankee Driver, cover, but Kasai breaks it up. Numazawa comes in the ring as well, double Irish whip to Miyamoto but he hits the handstand rebound elbow strike. They call out of the ring and Miyamoto sails out onto both of them with a tope con giro. In the ring Havoc puts Takeda on his back and hits a Death Valley Driver. Ito then comes off the top turnbuckle with the Dragon Splash, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Yuko Miyamoto, Ryuji Ito, and Danny Havoc
Match Thoughts: The corner mouse traps to me are a bit overly contrived, which Big Japan enjoys doing, as I don’t think it would hurt any worse than just being thrown into a bundle of light tubes. Anyway for this type of brawl it was fine, but the match was too short and had too many people to really get into a groove. It was mostly just a few minutes of brawling, wrestlers hit their finishing moves, and one team wins. Nothing terrible, just an average match. Score: 5.0
Shinya Ishikawa and Ryuichi Kawakami vs. Shuji Ishikawa and Yuji Okabayashi
This gives Okabayashi time to tag in Shuji, Shuji knocks Shinya off the apron and then throws Kawakami into the corner. Running lariat by Shuji, he slams Kawakami in front of the corner and hits a second turnbuckle doublestomp. Cover, but it gets a two count. Shuji picks up Kawakami, Irish whip, and he knees Kawakami in the stomach. Shuji picks up Kawakami and applies an arm trapped choke. Kawakami wiggles to the ropes and gets a foot on the bottom rope to force a break. Shuji picks up Kawakami and goes for a slam but Kawakami gets out of it. Waistlock by Kawakami, Shuji elbows out of the hold but Kawakami elbows him back and the two trade blows. Kawakami gets the better of it at first but Shuji hits a knee, Kawakami comes back with a German suplex but Shuji hits a running knee as Kawakami gets up. Both men tag out, Shinya applies a sleeper to Okabayashi, Okabayashi elbows out of it but Shinya hits an elbow. Okabayashi chops Shinya down to the mat before hitting a running powerslam, cover, but it gets a two count. Okabayashi picks up Shinya and puts him in the Argentine Backbreaker, but Shinya punches out of it. Octopus Hold by Shinya but Shuji breaks it up. Kawakami comes in and throws Shuji out of the ring, while in the ring Shinya picks up Okabayashi and elbows him into the corner. Irish whip by Shinya and he hits a pair of running elbow smashes, cover, but Okabayashi kicks out.
Reverse chinlock by Shinya and he applies a sleeper with a body scissors. Okabayashi gets a foot on the ropes to break it up, Shinya picks up Okabayashi and hits a series of elbows. Cover, but it gets two. Shinya goes off the ropes but Okabayashi ducks the lariat and puts Shinya in the Argentine Backbreaker again. Kawakami runs in to break it up, Shuji then comes in and throws Kawakami out of the ring. Shuji stays in the ring, they throw Shinya into the corner and both men hit strikes. Lariat by Okabayashi, cover, but it only gets a two count. Okabayashi picks up Shinya and goes for a powerbomb but Shinya gets out of it. Shinya goes for the Octopus Hold but Okabayashi pushes him off and they trade elbows and chops. Okabayashi goes off the ropes, elbow by Shinya and he hits a jumping kick. Irish whip by Shinya but Okabayashi slams on the breaks when he goes for a dropkick. Okabayashi runs off the ropes and hits a lariat, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Shuji Ishikawa and Yuji Okabayashi
Match Thoughts: It felt like this match ended too soon. They were still going neck and neck, trading holds, and suddenly Okabayashi wins out of nowhere with a lariat. And it is not like the lariat is his death move as he had already hit others in the match, this match just seemed more to fuel the Kawakami vs. Shuji feud than anything else (they brawled after the match ended). But the match was still good, there were some solid strike exchanges and “big man” action. It just felt like it wasn’t ready to be over yet before it was over. Score: 6.5
(c) Isami Kodaka vs. Takumi Tsukamoto
Tsukamoto grabs Kodaka and goes for a Fisherman Buster but Kodaka elbows out of it and slams Tsukamoto onto the light tubes. Kodaka grabs a bunch of light tubes and kicks them into Tsukamoto’s back. Kodaka picks up Tsukamoto, Tsukamoto punches him off but Kodaka kicks him and then kicks some light tubes into his chest. Kodaka goes off the ropes but Tsukamoto ducks, Kodaka goes off the ropes again but this time Tsukamoto hits a scoop slam. Irish whip by Tsukamoto from the corner and Kodaka goes full speed into the ladder. Tsukamoto then throws Kodaka into the other corner and connects with a superkick. Tsukamoto gets the ladder and lays it down flat in the middle of the ring, he picks up Kodaka and goes for a suplex on the ladder but Kodaka blocks it. Kodaka goes for a suplex but Tsukamoto blocks that, and then Tsukamoto hits a Fisherman Suplex onto the ladder. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tsukamoto gets his metal box on a pole and goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Kodaka moves when he jumps off. Kodaka then grabs it and rams Tsukamoto with it. Kodaka throws the weapon in the corner, he then goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody, but Tsukamoto rolls through it for a two count. Back up they trade elbows which Kodaka gets the better of, he puts a light tube down in the middle of the ring and scoop slams Tsukamoto onto it. Tsukamoto quickly gets back up, puts down his own light tubes and slams Kodaka into them. Kodaka gets back up, gets a bunch of light tubes and again slams Tsukamoto into them. Tsukamoto returns to his feet, puts down more light tubes and slams Kodaka into them, Kodaka gets up and slams Tsukamoto, and the two trade body slams back and forth. Both men end up exhausting themselves, Kodaka is up first and hits a backdrop suplex.
Kodaka sets up the super tall ladder near the corner, he slams Tsukamoto in front of it and puts a bundle of light tubes on top of him. Kodaka climbs to the top of the ladder but Tsukamoto is up and shakes it. Kodaka falls down to the turnbuckle, he then climbs the ladder with the light tube bundle while Kodaka climbs the other side. Tsukamoto hits Kodaka with the light tubes, he then grabs Kodaka and hits a vertical suplex from the top of the ladder down to the mat. Tsukamoto gets a bunch of light tubes onto Kodaka’s chest and hits a senton out of the corner, he then goes up top with his metal box on a pole and hits Kodaka in the head with it. Tsukamoto hits Kodaka with it again, he picks up Kodaka and goes for the Killswitch, but Kodaka blocks it. Tiger suplex hold by Tsukamoto, but Kodaka kicks out at two. Tsukamoto picks up Kodaka, scoop slam in front of the ladder, and Tsukamoto climbs halfway up, but Kodaka rolls out of the way of the twisting senton. Big boot by Kodaka and he drops Tsukamoto with a brainbuster, cover, but it gets two. Kodaka grabs a bundle of light tubes, puts it on Tsukamoto’s chest and goes up to the top of the ladder, nailing the double knee drop. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Kodaka picks up Tsukamoto, he goes off the ropes but he misses the Isamuashi Zan. Superkick by Tsukamoto, cover, but it gets a two count. Tsukamoto gets the ladder and lays it down in the middle of the ring, he then puts some light tubes on it as well. Tsukamoto picks up Kodaka and hits the Killswitch onto the light tubes and ladder, cover, but Kodaka kicks out at two. Tsukamoto puts some light tubes onto Kodaka, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Kodaka is up and hits Tsukamoto from behind. Kodaka then joins Tsukamoto, but Tsukamoto elbows him off. Kodaka comes back and climbs up top again, but again Tsukamoto elbows him off. Kodaka does a kip-up and hits Tsukamoto before he can do a move, he goes up top again and this time he hits a side Russian leg sweep off the top turnbuckle. Kodaka gets some light tubes but Tsukamoto ducks his attack and hits an enzigieri. Kodaka tosses Tsukamoto some light tubes and punches him in the chest, but Tsukamoto blocks the Isamuashi Zan. Quick kick to the head by Kodaka, he goes off the ropes and this time is able to deliver the Isamuashi Zan. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner and still champion: Isami Kodaka
Match Thoughts: I gotta be honest, I am just kind of over the light tubes. I understand why they use them, it adds some intrigue but do minimal actual damage to the body (obviously they get cut up from rolling around the ring in them but they tend to be superficial cuts, not gushers). But I have seen them so many times that it has lost any type of ‘wow’ factor. On the plus side, they didn’t spent a lot of time setting up these big moves which happens sometimes and they kept a decent pace throughout the match. The dueling body slams was odd but I guess that is the hardcore version of running off the ropes and trying to knock your opponent over. It wasn’t bad, I just was waiting for most the match for the bigger spots such as the ones using the ladder that to me were more exciting, such as the diving double knee drop. I know the light tubes aren’t going anywhere, I just like a little variety in my death matches. Score: 6.0
Best Match: Shinya Ishikawa and Ryuichi Kawakami vs. Shuji Ishikawa and Yuji Okabayashi. This match won’t rock your world or anything, but was a good “strong style” match with wrestlers that don't mind hitting each other really hard. All four wrestlers were given a chance to shine and overall it was a really solid match.
MVP: Isami Kodaka. While he is a bit goofy at times, he gave and took some big moves in the main event and came out the victor. He is different than the last guard of Big Japan (Ito, Kasai, etc.) which is also an added bonus. Plus it is nice his finisher is just a “regular” move and not an overly contrived big spot that realistically would be hard to set up.
Overall: Almost all of the matches were at least clipped a little bit, which as you probably know I am not a big fan of. I think that is one reason none of the matches really went over the line of “really good”, some of them just felt incomplete and I could tell that I was missing something. The main event was perfectly fine but aside from a few spots it was just your average light tube death match. An above average experience overall since there was a good variety of action here, but no match made this event something that is a “must see.”