Big Japan on 1/4/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: January 4th, 2014
Location: Shin-Kiba 1st RING in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  322

This event was released as one half of a two hour show, sharing the other half with a DDT event that I already reviewed.  So that is why it is an abbreviated show, but luckily instead of airing a bunch of clipped matches they showed four complete matches.  Each match is a hardcore match with a different gimmick.  Here is the full card:

- Tables Match:  Jake Crist and Dave Crist vs. Tsutomu Oosugi and Hercules Senga
- Fluorescent Lighttubes Death Match: Danny Havoc vs. MASADA
- TLC Death Match: Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto vs. Ryuji Ito and "Black Angel" Jaki Numazawa
- Fluorescent Lighttubes + Nail Board Death Match: Masashi Takeda vs. Takumi Tsukamoto

For the record, Big Japan didn’t really go out of their way to cut out the ‘BJW strong style’ matches because this event only had one such match anyway.  All the other matches were hardcore matches as well.  So hopefully they picked the best four to air, which would be logical.

Jake Crist and Dave Crist vs. Tsutomu Oosugi and Hercules Senga
This is a tradition Tables Match, so first team to put both of their opponents through a table will win.  Loose tag rules, so possibility of random chaos.  Senga ends up in the ring with Dave, Dave goes off the ropes but Senga delivers a dropkick. Senga tags in Oosugi as Jake comes in the ring, Oosugi and Jake trade elbows, Oosugi goes off the ropes and goes for a tilt-a-whirl move but Jake catches him and slams Oosugi to the mat.  Senga dropkicks Jake out of the ring, Dave comes in the ring in his place but Senga knocks him back.  Dave chops Senga against a table in the corner but Senga moves when Dave charges in.  They take turns trying to throw each other in the table with no luck, Oosugi comes back in the ring, double Irish whip to Dave but he rebounds out of the corner with a double elbow strike.  Dave grabs one of the tables and sets it up near the corner.  Dave puts Senga onto the table and  goes up to the second turnbuckle, but Oosugi pulls Senga off the table.  Oosugi joins Dave up on the top turnbuckle and goes for a Frankensteiner, but Dave blocks it and hits a sit-down powerbomb through the table.  Jake runs in and grabs Senga, Irish whip and he hits a lariat.  Jake sets up the table, he picks up Senga and puts him onto it and then picks up Oosugi and puts him onto the top turnbuckle.  Jake tries to suplex Oosugi onto Senga but Senga gets up and jumps off the table, hitting a missile dropkick onto Jake which sends both Jake and Oosugi down to the floor.  Dave gets back in the ring, he props the table up and grabs Senga, clubbing him in the back.  Senga shoves off Dave and Oosugi comes in the ring with a swandive elbow strike.  Oosugi stomps Dave onto the table, goes out to the apron but Jake grabs him from the ramp.  Jake and Oosugi trade elbows on the ramp, Senga springboards back into the ring towards Dave but Dave quickly gets off the table. 

Dave goes for a face crusher onto Senga but Senga has no hair so the move misses.  Senga and Oosugi suplex Jake onto the ramp, and Oosugi sets up a table while Senga pounds away on Dave.  Senga picks up Dave and with Senga they go for a double vertical suplex through the table, but Dave blocks it.  They throw Dave into the wall and put him onto the table.  Senga and Oosugi then climbs up over the entrance way into the crowd, and both jump down onto Dave with a double plancha, sending Dave through the table.  So now Dave and Oosugi have both gone through tables.  Senga throws Jake back into the ring as Oosugi brings in Dave, and Senga sets up a table in the corner.  Senga slams Dave into the table, double Irish whip to Jake and Dave but they both grab the ropes.  Oosugi and Senga charge them, but Jake and Dave back bodydrop them out to the aprons and then dropkick them off the apron down to the floor.  They get a running start in the ring and sail out onto Senga and Oosugi with stereo tope suicidas.  Dave then gets in the ring while Jake gets on the apron and they hit a stereo tope con giro/moonsault combination.  Dave puts Oosugi back in the ring, Oosugi fights him off but Dave hits a cutter.  Senga returns to the ring and hits a DDT onto Dave, but Jake connects with a superkick.  Another kick by Jake and he hits a Tiger suplex, but Oosugi comes in the ring with a swandive doublestomp to Jake.  All four wrestlers are slow to get up, Oosugi grabs Dave but Dave chops back both Oosugi and Senga.  Dave goes off the ropes but he eats a double superkick.  Dave is thrown into the corner while Senga sets up a table, Oosugi puts Dave onto the top turnbuckle and both go up top with him, but Jake runs in the ring to push Senga and Oosugi out to the floor.  Jake brings the table out of the ring and sets it up on the floor, he then gets back on the apron and grabs Senga. Jake goes to set up Senga with the Killing Spree, but Senga pushes him off.  Senga charges Dave but Dave kicks him back and this time Jake gets him up.  With Dave still on the top turnbuckle they hit the Killing Spree down to the floor through the table.  Your winners:  Jake Crist and Dave Crist

Match Thoughts:  First of all, I have to point out that the finishing move, while looking well executed, busted Senga up hardway on the top of his head but he wrestled the next night so I guess he was ok.  I haven’t seen a tables match in a while so even though it is not a new concept it still felt fresh and allowed for some different match opportunities.  I have seen the Crist brothers before and they certainly have their style down pat, love it or hate it.  Chaotic match but I tip my hat to them as there were no real miscues or moments of hesitation, they were all on the same page.  Some serious psychology/selling issues, which isn’t a surprise, but a smooth and entertaining match overall.  Score:  6.5

Danny Havoc vs. MASADA
Lighttubes are attached to the ropes on two sides.  Tie-up to start and they trade elbows.  Uppercut by MASADA, Irish whip, reversed, but MASADA slams on the breaks before hitting the lighttubes and bodyslams Havoc.  Havoc gets back up and throws MASADA out of the ring, MASADA gets on the apron but Havoc dropkicks him down to the floor.  Havoc goes out to the apron but MASADA pulls him down and throws Havoc into the crowd.  They battle up into the bleachers and trade chops, and Havoc rams MASADA’s head into the seats.  Havoc slides MASADA into the ring and hits a slingshot leg drop.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Havoc gets a lighttube and rakes MASADA in the face with it.  Havoc picks up MASADA, Irish whip, and Havoc goes for a Death Valley Bomb but MASADA rolls him up for a two count.  Havoc charges MASADA but MASADA moves and Havoc goes into the lighttubes.  MASADA gets Havoc into the corner and punches him in the stomach.  He then gets two lighttubes, puts them into Havoc’s shirt and gets a chair, but Havoc moves when MASADA charges in. 

MASADA trips Havoc, and while he still has the lighttubes in his shirt MASADA puts a chair on Havoc’s chest and punches him repeatedly.  MASADA gets his wooden sticks and stabs Havoc in the head with them, making them stick out of his head.  MASADA gets a chair and puts some lighttubes on it, he then grabs Havoc and goes for his finisher but Havoc gets out of it. MASADA throws the lighttubes at Havoc and hits a vertical suplex onto the chair.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  MASADA grabs a few lighttubes and smashes them in the middle of the ring, he picks up Havoc and slams him down onto the spot with the broken glass.  MASADA then drags Havoc around the ring a bit and applies an STF.  Havoc inches to the ropes and is able to force the break.  MASADA picks up Havoc, Irish whip, reversed, and Havoc rolls up MASADA for a two count.  Lariat by MASADA, he picks up Havoc and puts him on his shoulders but Havoc rolls off.  Elbow by MASADA and he hits an uppercut, but Havoc catches him with a dragon suplex hold for a two count.  Havoc picks up MASADA and hits the Death Valley Bomb, cover, and he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Danny Havoc

Match Thoughts:  A bit too garbagesque for my personal taste, but the bigger issue is that the match ended so quickly.  MASADA was dominating the match, using the weapons and in general tearing Havoc apart, but he is pinned after two quick moves (that don’t use weapons).  MASADA is a pretty respected member of Big Japan at this stage so I was surprised to see him go down without much of a fight.  At least do the finisher into a chair, or some spikes, or something to explain why a badass like MASADA goes down after a suplex and a death valley bomb.  The ‘spots’ weren’t as entertaining as they were in the last match as general lighttube mayhem is a bit played out at this point.  Just a below average match all the way around.  Score:  3.0

Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto vs. Ryuji Ito and "Black Angel" Jaki Numazawa
This is a TLC Death Match, and there are ladders in two corner, a table in another corner, and a stack of chairs in the fourth corner.  We are actually starting the match with ‘tag rules,’ let’s see how long this lasts.  Kodaka and Numazawa start off first.  Irish whip by Kodaka  to the corner with the ladder but Numazawa slides down, Kodaka charges Numazawa but Numazawa gets Kodaka to the mat.  Back up, Irish whip by Numazawa but Kodaka hits a modified Sling Blade.  Kodaka goes off the ropes and dropkicks Numazawa out of the ring, while Miyamoto runs over and knocks Ito off the apron.  They all brawl at ringside, as Ito puts Miyamoto onto a table.  Ito then goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the Dragon Splash down onto Miyamoto, breaking the table (for the most part).  Numazawa and Kodaka end up back in the ring, Kodaka goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a corkscrew crossbody.  Kodaka charges Numazawa but Numazawa dropkicks him in the knee.  Kneebreaker by Numazawa, and he gets a chair.  Numazawa puts one chair onto Kodaka’s leg, then gets another chair and throws it at him.  Numazawa tags in Ito, and Ito hits Kodaka in the knee with the chair.  Hit to the back with the chair by Ito and he hits Kodaka in the stomach before hitting him in the back again.  More hits with the chair by Ito, and he places the ladder on the mat with a chair on top of it.   Ito picks up Kodaka and tries to slam him, but Kodaka elbows out of it.  Scoop slam by Kodaka onto the chair and ladder, he sets up a chair in the ring and tags in Miyamoto.  Miyamoto goes up to the top turnbuckle with a board and hits Ito in the head with it. 

Numazawa runs in, Irish whip to Miyamoto but Miyamoto hits a belly to belly suplex.  Miyamoto and Ito trade strikes, jumping kick by Miyamoto, Irish whip, reversed, but Miyamoto hits a lariat for a two count cover.  Miyamoto grabs the ladder and lays it in the ring, he picks up Ito  and goes for the Yankee Driver but Ito slides down his back.  Ito then picks up Miyamoto and slams him on the ladder before tagging in Numazawa.  Numazawa grabs the ladder and lays it in the ring, he throws Miyamoto into the corner and hits a lariat followed by a face crusher.  Dropkick by Numazawa, he gets a running start but Miyamoto moves out of the way and Kodaka hits a lariat onto Numazawa in the corner.  Jumping double knee by Miyamoto to Numazawa, then both Miyamoto and Kodaka hit dropkicks.  Cover by Miyamoto but it gets a two count.  Miyamoto elbows Ito off the apron while Kodaka grabs the ladder and hits Numazawa with it. Kodaka sets up the ladder near the corner, he slams Numazawa in front of it before climbing up to the top of the ladder.  Ito comes back in the ring and joins Kodaka on the ladder, and they trade elbows near the top of it.  Ito gets the better of it and hits a superplex off the ladder down to the mat.  Miyamoto sets up the ladder in the corner and grabs Numazawa, and he Irish whips Numazawa into the ladder.  Miyamoto then picks up the ladder and chucks it at Numazawa, he goes off the ropes but Numazawa catches him with a hurricanrana.  Kodaka comes in the ring but he sails right back out with a tope suicida onto Ito.  Miyamoto and Numazawa trade blows, Irish whip by Numazawa, Miyamoto goes for the handstand rebound kick but Numazawa moves out of the way.  Kodaka runs into the ring, Numazawa elbows him back, but this gives Miyamoto time to recover and he hits the Fire Thunder Driver onto Numazawa.  Cover, but Ito breaks it up.  Kodaka comes in the ring and he trades elbows with Ito, they then start trading punches and both wrestlers fall out of the ring hurt.  Still in the ring, Miyamoto slams Numazawa in front of the corner and goes for a moonsault, but Numazawa gets his knees up.  Shineway by Numazawa, but Miyamoto kicks out. Numazawa goes off the ropes, but Miyamoto ducks the lariat and sneaks in a backslide for the three count!   Your winners:   Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto

Match Thoughts:  It is interesting to think that 10 years ago when I was getting into Puroresu, Ito was almost seen as a ‘new breed’ of death match wrestlers as he was young, in good shape, and had a large move set that involved a lot more than weapon shots.  Now he is still a good wrestler, but is not in great shape, is scarred up, and has stepped aside for the next young wave of death match wrestlers.  This match was better than the last, having three different types of weapons allowed them to have more variety but they really didn’t do any ‘big’ spots with them.  The Plancha Splash to the outside through a table is almost a normal spot these days (Masato Tanaka tries to do it in every match), and while the ladder superplex was nice it is not a rare spot either.  I don’t even think this match had any blood, imagine that.  The chair spot with Ito and Kodaka in the middle of the match was a bit odd, but I liked the stretch run and the young(er) Miyamoto sneaking in the win against his elder.  Certainly not a bad match, but didn’t have any memorable moments and just seemed run of the mill.  Score:  5.0

Masashi Takeda vs. Takumi Tsukamoto
This is a Lighttubes and Nail Board Death Match.  Tie-up to start, waistlock by Takeda and he pushes Tsukamoto to the mat, but Tsukamoto applies a side headlock.  Takeda gets back to his feet and tries to run Tsukamoto into the nail board, but Tsukamoto blocks it.  Side headlock takeover by Tsukamoto, headscissors by Takeda and both men return to their feet.  Both wrestlers get a lighttube and break it over their own heads before trading elbows.  Knee by Tsukamoto and he throws Takeda towards the board, but he slams on the break.  Takeda kicks Tsukamoto towards the board, he gets a running start and does a somersault, but Tsukamoto moves and Takeda goes back-first into the nail board.  Tsukamoto throws Takeda out of the ring and rams him into the ring post.  Tsukamoto puts Takeda up onto the apron and joins him, he goes for a backdrop suplex but Takeda blocks it.  Elbow by Takeda and they trade shots, jumping kick by Takeda and he suplexes Tsukamoto off the apron into a pile of chairs on the floor.  Takeda slides Tsukamoto back into the ring, he gets the board with the little cups on it and pushes it into Tsukamoto’s head.  He then puts it on the mat, grabs Tsukamoto and hits a scoop slam onto the cups.  Cover by Takeda but it gets a two count.  Takeda puts the board onto Tsukamoto’s back, he gets a chair and hits him with it.  Takeda picks up Tsukamoto, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, but Takeda drop toeholds Tsukamoto into the second turnbuckle.  Takeda gets a few lighttubes, puts them across Tsukamoto’s back and dropkicks them.  Reverse suplex by Takeda, cover, but it gets a two count. 

Takeda grabs a few chairs and puts them onto Tsukamoto’s head, and he hits the chair with another one, driving the chair into Tsukamoto’s face.  Cover, but it gets a two count.  Takeda then gets the nail board and puts it towards the middle of the ring, he picks up Tsukamoto and goes for a German suplex onto the board, but Tsukamoto blocks it.  Elbows by Tsukamoto, he picks up Takeda and tries to throw him on the board but that is blocked as well.  Kick by Takeda, he picks up Tsukamoto and delivers a side slam onto the nail board.  Cover, but Tsukamoto somewhat gets a shoulder up.  Takeda picks up Tsukamoto and puts him up on the top turnbuckle in front of the nail board, he goes up top as well and goes for a superplex, but Tsukamoto blocks it.  They trade elbows while still on the top turnbuckle, and Tsukamoto headbutts Takeda and kicks him off, making him fall onto the nail board.  Cover by Tsukamoto, but Takeda gets a shoulder up.  Tsukamoto picks up Takeda and goes for the Killswitch, but when Takeda blocks it he hits a tiger suplex hold for a two count.  Back up, scoop slam by Tsukamoto in front of the corner and he puts a lighttube onto Takeda’s chest.  Tsukamoto goes up to the top turnbuckle but Takeda rolls out of the way of the senton and hits Tsukamoto with the lighttubes.  Takeda goes off the ropes but Tsukamoto hits a kick, sweep by Takeda and he delivers the Shining Wizard for a two count cover.  Takeda picks up Tsukamoto, goes to the nail board and slams Tsukamoto onto it.  Cover, but Tsukamoto quickly kicks out.  Takeda gets a lighttube bundle, he hits an Olympic Slam and then hits Tsukamoto with the lighttubes.  Cover, but again it gets two.  Takeda drags Tsukamoto to his feet, he picks up Tsukamoto and hits the U Crash onto the Nail Board.  Cover, and this time he picks up the three count.  Your winner:  Masashi Takeda

Match Thoughts:  Not a bad match for what it was. At least the Nail Board is not over-played by Big Japan so it adds a degree of danger to the match, even though I think they constructed the board to make it as safe as possible (not saying that is a bad thing).  Tsukamoto seemed a bit out of his league in this match as Takeda was handling the bulk of it, but even without the gimmicks they both seem like really solid wrestlers.  I wouldn’t have minded if it was a bit longer since it was the main event and was more evenly contested, but with a different stipulation and two young wrestlers that didn’t need any real ‘breather’ time, it was a solid hardcore match.  Score:  6.0

Final Thoughts:

Best Match: Jake Crist and Dave Crist vs. Tsutomu Oosugi and Hercules Senga. As far as hardcore matches go, I thought this was a good one.  The “Tables Match” isn’t a match type we see near as often anymore and it allows for some different types of spots which kept the action varied.  There was non-stop action with little downtime, and there were some sick spots such as the finishing move.  That is about all you can ask for from a hardcore match.

MVP:  The Crist Brothers.  Also known as “The Irish Airbourne,” these two are known for putting on fast paced matches with a variety of deadly moves.  They have been teaming so long they have great chemistry and their matches generally go really smooth such as the one on this card.  They are not master technicians or anything but are very good at what they do.

Overall:  Since only half the event has aired, all the matches shown were of the hardcore variety, for better or worse.  I will say that the matches all had different focuses which is great for changing things up, as one had tables, one had lighttubes, one was TLC, and the last had a nail board.  Unfortunately the middle matches were not inventive or very entertaining which dragged the event down, but the Tables Match and Nail Board Match were perfectly acceptable hardcore wrestling.  This event would really be more for Big Japan completist since there are only four matches but if you want a smorgasbord  of hardcore wrestling this wouldn’t be a bad pick-up.

Grade: C-

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review completed on 3/15/14