Big Mouth LOUD Illusions
review by Kevin Wilson

Date: September 11th, 2005
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 2,086

In the last few years, the craze in Japan has been for the bigger promotions to have little offshoot promotions spring out of them. Whether they are official offshoots (such as SEM) or a renegade promotion (such as Kings Road), there are far more promotions and offshoots of promotions in Japan then anyone can count. Big Mouth LOUD is a New Japan mini-clone that officially is not tied to New Japan. In fact, its main eventer and lead wrestler is Katsuyori Shibata, who had left New Japan the previous year. This is the first show that Big Mouth LOUD would put on and as of the summer of 2006 they are still alive and kicking even though they are at serious odds with New Japan at the moment. Here is their opening card:

- Osamu Kido vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara
- Daisuke Ikeda vs. Katsumi Usuda
- Hiroyuki Ito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- Buck Quarterman and Steve Madison vs. Riki Choshu and Takashi Uwano
- Enson Inoue vs. Gerald Gordeux
- Alexander Otsuka vs. Yuki Ishikawa
- Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kazunari Murakami

You'll probably recognize quite a few of the names, as they are either former New Japan wrestlers, current New Japan wrestlers, or wrestlers that are popular around the indy circuit in Japan. Big Mouth LOUD didn't have any belts (still doesn't), so all of these are your standard matches. It's hard to describe the style since it differs from match to match, but in general it is similar to what LOCK UP is today.... a slightly more physical version of what New Japan is, but not at the same level as BattlARTS.

Osamu Kido vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara
They circle each other to start the match, tie-up, Fujiwara pushes Kido into the corner and he gives a clean break. Tie-up again, this time Kido gets Fujiwara into the corner and he also gives a clean break. Waistlock by Fujiwara, but Kido reverses it with a wristlock. Fujiwara tries to get out of it with a monkey flip, but Kido keeps the hold applied. Back up, Fujiwara finally reverses it but Kido kick him down to the mat. Tie-up, Fujiwara goes for the Fujiwara armbar, but Kido quickly gets to the ropes. On their feet again, side headlock takedown by Fujiwara, but Kido reverses it with a headscissors. Single-leg takedown by Kido and he applies an ankle lock on the mat. Fujiwara gets out of it and again goes for the arm, but Kido re-applies the leg submission hold. Fujiwara reverses it, but both men get to their feet again. Back on the mat, Fujiwara goes for his armbar again, but Kido manages to flip over to his back to get out of it and roll Fujiwara over. They struggle back to their feet, side headlock by Kido, Fujiwara Irish whips out of it, but Kido shoulder blocks him down. Fujiwara gets a hold of Kido's arm and applies an armbar into an attempted cross armbreaker, but Kido gets out of it and they get to their feet again. Kick to the stomach by Kido and he uppercuts Fujiwara into the corner. Fujiwara fires back with his own uppercut, but Kido sneaks in a backslide for a two count. Kido goes for the Fujiwara armbar and gets it applied, but Fujiwara makes it to the ropes. Back up, they tie-up, and Fujiwara pushes Kido down to the mat. Kido goes after the arm again, but Fujiwara applies the Fujiwara armbar. Knees to the face by Kido, Irish whip, and he elbows Fujiwara in the chest. Neckbreaker by Kido, cover, but it gets a two count. Kido applies a headscissors hold on the mat, but Fujiwara gets a foot on the ropes. Uppercuts by Kido, but Fujiwara headbutts him back. Another headbutt by Fujiwara, and he gives Kido another one. Stomps to the back by Fujiwara, he picks up Kido, but Kido sends him to the mat. Fujiwara lands in the ropes however and goes out to the apron, but Kido rams his head into the ring post. Again Fujiwara goes into the ring post, and Kido sends Fujiwara into it a third time. Fujiwara slowly gets back into the ring, Kido forearms him, but Fujiwara comes back with headbutts. Choke by the now bleeding Fujiwara and he puts Kido into a small package for a two count. Fujiwara goes for a suplex, but Kido reverses it and applies an armbar. Kido picks up Fujiwara and knees him in the head twice, sending Fujiwara into the ropes. Punches by Kido, but Fujiwara grabs his leg and applies a crab hold. While Kido is in the crab hold the bell rings, and the match is declared a draw.

Match Thoughts: 15 of the slowest minutes of my life. Why you would have the opening match on a debut show be such a slow and uneventful one is beyond me... I felt like I was watching a NOAH show. I understand that these two have history, but don't start the event with these two, have them in the middle of the card as a special attraction. The crowd was obviously bored out of their skulls as they came expecting hard hitting action but instead got to see two men that debuted over 30 years ago roll around on the mat for 15 minutes . Not a good start. Score: 3.0

Daisuke Ikeda vs. Katsumi Usuda
This is much better. Usuda attacks Ikeda as soon as the bell rings, flooring him with a flurry of kicks. Ikeda rolls outside the ring, but Usuda goes out after him and throws him into the guard rail. A kick by Usuda sends Ikeda over the rail, but he brings him back over and throws him into the ring. Overhead slam by Usuda, cover, but it gets a two count. High kick by Usuda, but Ikeda catches the second one and hits a backdrop suplex. Usuda fires back with kicks however, and a shot to the head sends Ikeda sprawling. Back up, knees to the midsection by Usuda, but Ikeda returns with kicks. Usuda catches one however and applies a leg submission hold, but Ikeda kicks his way out of it and knocks Usuda to the mat. Usuda gets back up, but Ikeda punches him right in the face to send him back down. Ikeda goes off the ropes and nails the Dai-Chan Bomber, cover, but Usuda barely kicks out. Ikeda picks up Usuda and goes for the death valley bomb, but Usuda reverses it with a sleeper hold. After a moment Ikeda gets to the ropes however and Usuda has to break the hold. Usuda kicks Ikeda as soon as he gets up, but Ikeda catches one and delivers the death valley bomb. Usuda springs back to his feet and kicks Ikeda repeatedly before punching him to the mat. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Usuda stomps Ikeda as he gets to his feet, but Ikeda catches a kick and applies a single-leg crab hold. Usuda makes it to the ropes, but Ikeda clotheslines him as he gets to his feet. Brainbuster by Ikeda, cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Daisuke Ikeda

Match Thoughts: Add another few minutes to this match and this was exactly what the opener should have been. This was virtually non stop action from bell to bell, and even though the selling wasn't really there, this style works fine if the match is set up as a sprint (which obviously this was). Ikeda isn't getting any younger (nor is Usuda for that matter), but he can still lay in the kicks and hit his trademark spots without any problem. I wish it could have been a little longer, as five minutes is rather short, but the action was pretty solid and the match was a better showcase of what the promotion was striving to do. Score: 6.0

Hiroyuki Ito vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Ito kicks Ishii into the ropes to start the match, Ishii reverses positions with him, but Ito breaks free. Kicks to the leg by Ishii, but they have little effect and Ito returns fire. Ishii pushes Ito into the corner and he chops Ito in the chest. Ito throws Ishii back into the corner and hits a series of kicks, but Ishii regains the advantage and hits more chops. Forearm by Ito, and he kicks Ishii in the chest until he falls to the mat. Choke by Ito in the corner, but the referee eventually gets him to back up and allow Ishii back to his feet. More high kicks by Ito, but Ishii applies a waistlock. Ito gets out of the waistlock by applying a leg lock, but Ishii makes it to the bottom rope. Back on their feet, they exchange kick attempts, but Ito connects with a high knee and applies a front facelock. Ishii floors Ito with a right hook though, but Ito manages to answer the 10 count. Ito kicks Ishii in the head repeatedly until he falls to the mat, and the referee gets him back so that he can administer a 10 count. Ishii gets back up at around 8, he then picks up Ito and slams him down to the mat. Ishii goes for the guillotine sleeper, but Ishii gets out of it and gets into the mount position. Ankle lock by Ito, but Ishii reverses it with a waistlock and he headbutts Ito while he is against the ropes. Ito slowly gets to his feet and the two trade slaps, forearms by Ishii, and Ito goes back into the corner. Ito goes for a series of middle kicks, but Ishii blocks them and forearms him in the head. Ishii goes for a running forearm, but Ishii ducks it and kicks him. Ishii catches the next kick and goes for a backdrop suplex, but Ito gets out of it and floors Ishii with a high kick. Ishii gets back up at 9, but Ito slaps him back into the ropes. Powerslam by Ito and he applies the cross armbreaker, but Ishii makes it to the ropes. Kicks to the arm by Ito, but Ishii slaps him back. Backdrop suplex by Ishii, he picks up Ito and punches him back into the corner. Jumping enzigieri by Ishii, he drags Ito back to his feet and delivers another backdrop suplex. This one doesn't hurt Ito however, and he kicks Ishii in the back. Back up, they trade forearms, and Ishii hits a hard lariat. Ito rebounds back up, so Ishii decks him again. Release German suplex by Ishii, and this time Ito is slower to get back up. Ishii goes off the ropes and hits another lariat, he applies a crab hold, and Ishii has no choice but to submit! Your winner: Tomohiro Ishii

Match Thoughts: Not really a bad match per se, although I can't call it particularly entertaining. I like no selling to a degree, but Ito seemed to go a bit overboard at the end by not selling the backdrop suplex or a few of the lariats. The match structure was also a bit odd, as they were going for the 10 count knockout early on, but by the end the referee was no longer telling the other wrestler to step back so he could administer the count. It would have been better if they had done it consistently one way or the other. I will give them credit for working stiff without being dangerous, even though Ishii's nose was bleeding by the end of the match. Both of these wrestlers are young though (Ito actually reached the finals of the New Japan Young Lions Cup in 2005), so they have time to gain experience and put on matches that aren't so simple. Score: 5.0

Buck Quarterman and Steve Madison vs. Riki Choshu and Takashi Uwano
Quarterman and Choshu start things off. Choshu gets Quarterman into the corner but he gives a clean break. Side headlock by Choshu, Quarterman Irish whips out of it, but Choshu shoulderblocks him down. Snapmare by Choshu and he applies a reverse chinlock. Choshu tags in Uwano, who comes off the top with a club to the back of Quarterman. Chops by Uwano in the corner, snapmare, and he kicks Quarterman in the back. Eye poke by Quarterman, Irish whip, reversed, and Uwano hits a hiptoss. Scoop slam by Uwano, he goes off the ropes and connects with a jumping knee. Cover, but Quarterman quickly kicks out. Uwano tags in Choshu, takedown by Choshu and he goes for a crab hold, but Quarterman is too close to the ropes. Uwano is tagged back in, and he stomps on Quarterman while he is on the mat. Quarterman gets back up and applies a side headlock, allowing him to tag in Madison. Snapmare by Madison and he applies a headscissors on the mat. Roll-up by Madison, but it gets a two count. Madison applies a butterfly lock and goes for a suplex from that position, Uwano blocks it, so Madison drives him back into his corner and tags in Quarterman. Small package by Quarterman, but it gets a one count and he tags Madison back in. Scoop slam by Madison, he goes off the ropes and stomps Uwano in the face. Madison re-applies the butterfly lock, but Uwano drives him back and tags in Choshu. Kicks by Choshu in the corner, snapmare, and he applies a reverse chinlock. Headscissors by Choshu and he tags in Uwano while he keeps the hold applied. Uwano picks up Madison, scoop slam and he hits a leg drop. Cover, but Madison quickly kicks out. Clubs to the back by Uwano, but Madison is back up and they trade blows. Low blow by Madison, he picks up Uwano and tags in Quarterman. Club to the back by Quarterman and he chokes Uwano against the ropes. Quarterman tags Madison back in, snapmare, and he hits Uwano in the back of the head. Madison picks up Uwano and delivers the side Russian leg sweep. He then goes off the ropes, but Uwano catches him and hits a uranage. Uwano tags in Choshu, and Choshu stomps Madison while he is still on the mat. Madison gets away for a moment though and pushes Choshu into the corner, Irish whip, and he forearms Choshu in the face. Scoop slam by Madison, he goes to the top turnbuckle, but Choshu rolls out of the way of the diving headbutt. Lariat by Choshu, cover, but Quarterman quickly breaks it up. Choshu tags in Uwano, and he delivers a dropkick. Chop by Uwano on Madison, Irish whip, reversed, but Uwano hits the running STO. Cover, but it gets a two count. Uwano picks up Madison and chops him, but Madison chops him back and the two trade strikes. Uwano eventually ducks one though and hits a German suplex hold, but the pin attempt is broken up. Quarterman hits Uwano while he is in the ring anyway, and Madison delivers a brainbuster to Uwano. Cover, but again he gets a two count. Madison picks up Uwano, hits a scoop slam and goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Choshu runs in and kicks Madison for stealing his move. Quarterman runs in though, takes care of Choshu, and hits a backdrop suplex on Uwano. Madison then hits Uwano with a lariat, cover, and he picks up the three count pinfall! Your winners: Buck Quarterman and Steve Madison

Match Thoughts: These wrestlers just didn't click at all. Uwano and Quarterman seemed to be the main culprits... I don't know if it was the language barrier or the fact that they had not wrestled before but they were not on the same page. When Choshu was in there the match was decent, but unfortunately he spent most of his time on the ring apron. I think there is a reason that Quarterman and Uwano didn't spend a lot of time together in the ring, as the times they were both in there they seemed lost. This match was also really different then the others, as the last two matches had no Irish whips but this one had a handful. Overall pretty rough, unless the sole purpose was to get Choshu on the card I am not really sure why this match even took place. Score: 3.5

Enson Inoue vs. Gerald Gordeux
Gordeux was Inoue's "mystery opponent." Gordeux connects with a high kick to Inoue before the match has even started and knees him against the ropes out of the ring. After a moment Inoue gets back in and they trade low kicks. Inoue gets Gordeux into the corner, but they break cleanly. Slap to the back of the head by Gordeux and he gets Inoue into the corner before pushing him down to the mat. Gordeux goes for another high kick, but Inoue ducks and gets him down to the mat. Inoue goes for the cross armbreaker, but Gordeux blocks it and gets in a mount position before punching Inoue in the face. Gordeux tackles Inoue back to the mat, punches him while in the mount position and then quickly applies the cross armbreaker. Gordeux gets to the ropes though and Inoue has to break the hold. Back up, kick to the chest by Gordeux and he punches Inoue from the mount, but again Inoue goes for the cross armbreaker. After a moment he gets it locked in and Gordeux has to submit! Your winner: Enson Inoue

Match Thoughts: This came across to me at more of an attempt at UWF-I style then anything else, with the problem being that I don't think the wrestlers could really pull it off. It was designed to look like a MMA fight, but in an MMA fight you don't have people kicking people before the bells rings (normally) and you wouldn't turn your back to your opponent like Inoue did on at least one occasion. They also showed a real limited moveset, as Gordeux was mostly only doing high kicks and Inoue was only going for the cross armbreaker. I don't really know how to rate this, so I am not going to, but I don't think the match really worked. Score: N/A

Alexander Otsuka vs. Yuki Ishikawa
Well I know who I am rooting for here, Otsuka is the man. Tie-up to start, Otsuka gets Ishikawa into the ropes, but Ishikawa rolls out of it and applies an ankle lock. Otsuka easily gets out of it and lets Ishikawa back up only to tackle him back to the mat. They roll around jockeying for position, but Ishikawa breaks free and both men are back on their feet. Tie-up, Otsuka gets Ishikawa to the mat and goes for the cross armbreaker, Otsuka blocks it, but Ishikawa grabs the ankle instead. Otsuka spins out of the hold, Ishikawa goes for an enzigieri, but Otsuka blocks it. Back up, they headbutt each other, but Otsuka applies a waistlock and gets Ishikawa to the mat. Ishikawa applies an armbar while on the bottom position, but Otsuka rolls out of it and goes for the cross armbreaker. Ishikawa quickly reaches the ropes, and both wrestlers get back to their feet. Takedown by Otsuka, but Ishikawa reverses positions with him and applies a hammerlock. Knee to the ribs by Otsuka and he goes again for the cross armbreaker before grabbing the ankle and applying an ankle lock. Ishikawa gets out of it by getting a hold of Otsuka's ankle, but Otsuka grabs the bottom rope after struggling to get out. Kick to the head by Ishikawa and he connects with a knee. Another kick by Ishikawa, but Otsuka headbutts him to the mat. Ishikawa goes back on the attack with a kick to the ribs, but Otsuka jabs him in the midsection. Uppercut by Otsuka, Ishikawa punches him back, and the two trade blows. Double leg takedown by Otsuka and he applies a leg lock, but Ishikawa makes it to the ropes. Waistlock by Ishikawa, but Otsuka rolls out of it and goes back to the leg. Ishikawa gets to the ropes and gets to the mount position, punching Otsuka repeatedly in the face. Otsuka gives Ishikawa a hard slap to get out of it, and they get to their feet to continue the exchange. Ishikawa goes for a takedown, but Otsuka gets out of it and headbutts Ishikawa to the mat. Ishikawa gets back up and takes Otsuka to the mat while applying an armbar. Otsuka wiggles his way to the ropes though and Ishikawa has to break. Back up they trade blows, and Otsuka snaps off a hurricanrana. He keeps the hold applied with the arm trapped for a submission hold, but Ishikawa makes it to the ropes. Otsuka picks up Ishikawa and hits a brainbuster before giving Ishikawa a few rotations with the old Giant Swing. Otsuka follows that with a deadweight release German suplex, he picks up Ishikawa again and applies a full nelson, but Ishikawa blocks the dragon suplex attempt. Ishikawa applies a reverse chinlock, but Otsuka gets out of it quickly and applies a front facelock before hitting another German suplex. He keeps a hold around Ishikawa's waist and goes for another one, but Ishikawa reverses it with a grounded ankle lock. Ishikawa then picks up Otsuka and hits a release German suplex and follows that with a head-droppingly wonderful backdrop suplex. A sleeperhold is applied by Ishikawa, and the referee calls for the bell! Your winner: Yuki Ishikawa

Match Thoughts: The best match of the night so far. This was an entertaining ground-based match that really reminded me of some of the recent BattlARTS I have seen. The reason I love Otsuka, amongst other reasons, is that he is one of the few wrestlers that hits his suplexes in what I call a "deadweight" style... meaning that his opponent doesn't jump, he just lifts them up and drops them on their head. It gives the match a much more realistic feel to it besides the fact that it looks awesome. Ishikawa looked good as well, and even though a match like this probably won't blow you away they did a solid job of putting on a realistic-looking and entertaining match. Score: 6.5

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kazunari Murakami
Shibata charges Murakami to start the match, misses, but manages to apply a waistlock and get Murakami to the mat. Shibata goes for a kick, but Murakami avoids it and both men are back up. Tie-up, kicks to the chest by Shibata, but Murakami fires back with kicks of his own. Shibata goes for an armdrag, but Murakami slams on the breaks and applies the sleeper. Knee to the head by Shibata to get out of it and he ducks a high kick by Murakami. Takedown attempt by Murakami, Shibata avoids it, but Murakami stomps Shibata down in the corner and chokes him with his boot. Shibata rolls out of the ring to regroup, but gets back in under his own power. Kick and knee to the midsection by Shibata, Irish whip, and he delivers a spinning heel kick. Reverse chinlock by Shibata and he applies a body scissors as well, but Murakami elbows out of it. Both wrestlers go for ankle locks, but Murakami gets his cinched in first. Single leg crab hold by Murakami, but he releases it so that he can go back to the ankle. Shibata eventually makes it to the ropes though and Murakami releases the hold after a moment. Back up, single leg takedown by Shibata and he applies a leg lock. Both wrestlers get tangled up in the ropes though and the referee separates them as they get back to their feet. Murakami goes for a kick, but Shibata catches his leg and elbows it. Shibata goes for a suplex, but Murakami grabs the top rope. Uppercuts by Shibata in the corner and he kicks Murakami repeatedly in the chest and face. Jumping kick by Shibata and he nails a running dropkick to the head. Another dropkick to the head by Shibata while Murakami is slumped in the corner and he gives him a third one. Now it is Shibata that chokes Murakami in the corner, but Murakami rolls out of the ring. After a moment Murakami gets back in, and they trade mid-kicks on each other. Murakami eventually gets the better of it, but Shibata floors him with a high kick to the head. Back up, they trade punches, and both men end up lying on the mat after Shibata knocks down Murakami with a stiff jab. Shibata is up first and he knees Murakami in the head. Backdrop suplex by Shibata and he delivers the FK. Cover, but Murakami kicks out. Shibata goes off the ropes and goes for another kick, but Murakami catches his leg and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Murakami then goes off the ropes, hits a PK, and picks up the three count pinfall! Your winner: Kazunari Murakami

Match Thoughts: Why Shibata lost is beyond me, since he is supposed to be the ace of the promotion and Murakami is not really above Shibata in the puroresu pecking order. Not a bad match, although from the structure of the match I was expecting it to be a bit longer. The crowd was extremely into it though, which is always a plus, and both of these wrestlers are good at making their strikes look painful (probably because they are). As I mentioned, since less then a minute before the ending both wrestlers were on their feet in good condition I was expecting the match to go longer, and the last move by Murakami looked less painful then a lot of the other moves in the match. Overall it was fine though, but it is far from a "must see" match. Score: 6.5

Final Thoughts:

For a debut show, this was perfectly acceptable. It usually takes promotions a few shows to really find their own identity, and you could really sense that here as they had such a mix of styles. The main problem with the show is that there aren't any matches that stand out. There were a handful of good, solid matches but none that were good enough that you should immediately run to your nearest Big Mouth LOUD retailer in your area to pick it up. I'd only recommend getting this if you are a fan of Shibata or want to see what this new promotion is like, but for the casual fan you aren't missing anything if you don't get this show.

Mildly Recommended

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