Big Japan "BJW-ZET" 2014
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: February 26th, 2014
Location: Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 185 

This event was released as one half of a two hour show, sharing the other half with a DDT event. At least on these combined TV shows, Big Japan is pretty good at showing full matches or only slightly clipped matches, so we get to see all of the matches that actually did make tape. Even if it was only half the event. Here is the portion of the card being reviewed:

- Hideyoshi Kamitani vs. Manabu Soya
- Shinya Ishikawa and Takayuki Ueki vs. Shiori Asahi and Ryuichi Sekine
- Kazuki Hashimoto vs. Kohei Sato

So not a lot made tape but we will enjoy what we get!

Hideyoshi Kamitani vs. Manabu Soya
They lock knuckles to start the match, Soya pushes Kamitani down and gets him into the ropes, but he gives a condescending clean break. Chop by Kamitani but Soya chops him back. They trade chops, dropkick by Kamitani and he hits a second one but Soya doesn't go down. Finally a third dropkick knocks Soya off his feet, Kamitani picks up Soya and goes for a bodyslam but Soya elbows him off. Scoop slam by Soya and he chops Kamitani to the mat. Chops by Kamitani but Soya hits an elbow. Snapmare by Soya and he applies a reverse chinlock. Kamitani gets a foot on the ropes, Kamitani gets back up but Soya hit a scoop slam. Crab hold by Soya but Kamitani crawls to the ropes to force a break. Elbow drop by Soya, he picks up Kamitani and he elbows Kamitani in the back. Irish whip by Soya but Kamitani kicks him back and hits a second turnbuckle missile dropkick. Dropkick in the corner by Kamitani, Irish whip, and Kamitani hits another dropkick. Hiptoss by Kamitani, cover, but it gets a two count. Kamitani applies a crab hold but Soya muscles out of it. Back up, chops by Kamitani and he hits a dropkick, Kamitani goes off the ropes but Soya hits a shoulderblock. Soya picks up Kamitani, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a lariat followed by a bulldog. Neckbreaker by Soya, cover, but it gets a two count. Soya picks up Kamitani and hits a backdrop suplex. Crab hold by Soya but Kamitani gets a hand on the ropes to force a break. Soya picks up Kamitani, Irish whip to the corner but Kamitani moves out of the way of the lariat and hits a school boy for a two count. Kamitani goes for a backslide but Soya gets out of it, kick by Soya and he hits a vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Wild Bomber by Soya, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Manabu Soya

Match Thoughts: Soya has really grown on me over the years and I really like his look, but I think he gave the young wrestler a bit too much here. They started with Soya being the 'monster' but Kamitani knocked down Soya during their very first exchange and Kamitani controlled a good portion of the match. I'd rather have seen Soya control it with just a few hope spots for Kamitani. Aside from not being a big fan of the structure, it wasn't a bad match overall, it just didn't really put over Soya like it probably should have. Score: 5.0

Shinya Ishikawa and Takayuki Ueki vs. Shiori Asahi and Ryuichi Sekine
Ishikawa and Asahi start things off. Ishikawa and Asahi lock knuckles, Ishikawa pushes Asahi to the mat but Asahi reverses positions with him. Side headlock takedown by Asahi, reversed into a headscissors by Ishikawa but Asahi reverses it back. Ishikawa gets out of the hold and both men return to their feet, as both wrestlers tag out. Ueki and Sekine circle each other, tie-up, Irish whip by Ueki and Sekine shoulderblocks him down. Kick to the back by Sekine, he picks up Ueki and he tags in Asahi. Sekine scoop slams Ueki and tags in Asahi. Asahi hits a slingshot doublestomp on Ueki, Asahi goes out to the apron and hits a second one, and then a third. Cover by Asahi, but it gets a two count. Another cover, but again Ueki kicks out, as Asahi transitions the kickouts into various offensive moves. Ueki fights back with clubs to the chest but Asahi elbows Ueki into the corner. Irish whip by Asahi but Ueki elbows him back and hits a rebound crossbody for a two count. Ueki tags in Ishikawa, Ishikawa goes off the ropes and hits an elbow smash onto Asahi. Sekine comes in the ring but Ishikawa fights him back and hit a backdrop suplex. Ishikawa picks up Asahi and hits an elbow, but Asahi elbows him back. They trade shots, eye poke by Asahi and he goes off the ropes, but Ishikawa catches him with a stretch hold. Asahi reverses it as they trade stretch hold attempts, Irish whip by Asahi, reversed, and Ishikawa hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count.

Ishikawa charges Asahi in the corner but Asahi kicks him back and tags in Sekine. Sekine charges Ishikawa in the corner and hit a double knee followed by a series of kicks to the chest. Sekine goes off the ropes and hits another knee, he picks up Ishikawa but Ishikawa gets off his shoulders. Ishikawa ducks a Sekine high kick and delivers a dropkick, giving him time to tag in Ueki. Ueki picks up Sekine and clubs him into the corner, Irish whip by Ueki and he hits a body avalanche in the corner. Another Irish whip by Ueki and he hits a second one, Ueki goes for a scoop slam on Sekine but Sekine blocks it. Sekine goes for a kick but Ueki knocks him back. Scoop slam by Ueki, cover, but Sekine kicks out at two. Ueki picks up Sekine, Irish whip, back kick by Sekine and he hits a fireman's carry takeover. Sekine tags in Asahi, and Asahi kicks Ueki in the face. Irish whip by Asahi and he hits a jumping heel kick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Asahi goes for an Octopus Hold, Ishikawa runs in the ring but Asahi releases the hold and kicks Ishikawa in the head. Asahi goes back to Ueki, snapmare, and he kicks Ueki in the back of the head. Cover, but Ishikawa breaks it up. Sekine runs in the ring to take care of Ishikawa, while Asahi applies a grounded Octopus Hold on Ueki who quickly submits! Your winners: Shiori Asahi and Ryuichi Sekine

Match Thoughts: A very solid tag match although not spectacular. Asahi looked great here and got over on both Ishikawa and Ueki without any issues. Ueki and Sekine did very little, perhaps their parts were clipped out but it definitely was presented as Ishikawa vs. Asahi as the primary feud. The action was really crisp, the 'battling' Octopus Hold attempts was a bit goofy but since both Ishikawa and Asahi use the move as a finisher it wasn't the worst thing in the world. Overall a good mid-card match that got over what it was trying to. Score: 6.5

Kazuki Hashimoto vs. Kohei Sato
Tie-up to start, but they break cleanly. Tie-up again, Sato pushes Hashimoto into the ropes but he gives a mostly clean break. Kick to the leg by Hashimoto but Sato kicks him back. They trade leg kicks which Sato gets the better of without much of an issue, but Hashimoto gets back up to continue. Sato knocks Hashimoto into the corner but Hashimoto chops his way out of it and the pair trade chops. Hard elbow by Sato, Hashimoto returns fire but Sato wins that exchange as well. Kicks to the back by Sato, he picks up Hashimoto and he hits a scoop slam. Hashimoto slowly gets back up and elbows Sato but Sato knees Hashimoto in the stomach. Sato applies a chinlock but Hashimoto gets a foot on the ropes. Headbutt to the midsection by Hashimoto as he gets back up, elbows by Hashimoto but Sato headbutts Hashimoto. Kick to the back by Sato and he clubs Hashimoto. Kicks to the leg by Sato and he applies a single leg crab hold. Hashimoto gets to the ropes to force the break, Sato waits for Hashimoto to get up and goes for a kick, but Hashimoto catches his leg and hits a dragon screw leg whip.

Kicks to the chest by Hashimoto but Sato returns with his own kicks to the chest. Sato kicks Hashimoto back into the corner, Sato charges Hashimoto but Hashimoto moves out of the way. High kick by Hashimoto and he hits the face wash in the corner. He hits a second one, Hashimoto picks up Sato and goes for a backdrop suplex, but Sato blocks it. Elbow to the back of the head by Sato but Hashimoto hits the backdrop suplex. Hashimoto goes off the ropes and hits a PK, cover, but it gets a two count. Hashimoto picks up Sato and goes for a suplex, but Sato blocks it and hits a falcon arrow. Both wrestlers slowly get up and trade elbows, Hashimoto goes off the ropes and hits an elbow smash and two more, and Hashimoto hits a series of headbutts. High kick by Hashimoto, cover, but it gets a two count. Hashimoto goes off the ropes but Sato knees him in the stomach. High kick by Sato and he hits a scoop brainbuster. Piledriver by Sato, cover, but Hashimoto kicks out at two. Sato picks up Hashimoto and hits the German suplex hold, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Kohei Sato

Match Thoughts: In a lot of ways this is the opposite type of match than what I normally prefer. Lots of strikes and not a whole lot else going on, and since Sato won the vast majority of the strike battles it came across as Hashimoto not having the best strategy to beat Sato. The strikes were certainly snug, I will give them that, but Sato's lack of emotion or displaying that Hashimoto was a threat hurt the match as a whole. I mean I realize they were fighting in front of less than 200 fans so it may not have been a priority to have an earth-shattering match, but it was still a disappointing main event. Score: 4.0

Final Thoughts:

Best Match: Shinya Ishikawa and Takayuki Ueki vs. Shiori Asahi and Ryuichi Sekine. This was the only match on the card that I enjoyed so it sort of won by default, but it was a fun match. Even with the dead weight, the Ishikawa/Asahi exchanges were good and made we want to see a long singles match between those two which I think was the point. Could have used more time or less clipping, but still enjoyable.

MVP: Shiori Asahi. Asahi was clearly the MVP of the best match on the card. He got the better of Ishikawa, the BJW Strong World Heavyweight Champion, and got the pin. This sets up a number of things for the promotion, depending on what direction they want to go in. Asahi was very crisp with his strikes as well and really put on a good performance.

Overall:  It is hard to be fair on an overall score for what was only half of a TV show. I can only speak for this half here, but it wasn't very good. This was a small 'house show' type of event, I mean there wasn't even a death match on the card which is obviously unusual, and some of the wrestlers seemed to just be going through the motions (although Sato generally looks like he is just going through the motions). Definitely nothing here anyone needs to go out of their way to see, or probably even see at all.

Grade: D

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review completed on 6/22/14