Bizarre Japanese Death Matches
review by Reed Benson

I recently re-discovered this tape hanging around in my collection and decided that I absolutely had to share it with the fine readers of this website. I purchased it from a local indy wrestler who was looking for some extra cash by selling his old wrestling tapes and DVDs. He insisted that I buy it to see the match outside of a grocery store where someone gets hit with a cash register. I'm sure me giving him five dollars was more important to him than my seeing said match, but my interest was piqued and I had money to spare. I'd heard about some pretty absurd death match stipulations that happened in Japan; matches involving scorpions, eels, balloons full of thumbtacks, and, of course, the "legendary" FMW Anal Bomb Match. I really wanted to see how some of those worked (except the last one, as I unfortunately knew how it worked).

Due to the method in which I purchased this tape, I never received a concrete match listing. I've done my best to search the Internet for the identities of the wrestlers I don't recognize, as well as the promotions the matches took place in. I'm not going to bother with an introductory match listing, so you'll all just have to find out what's on here as we go, just like I did. That just seems apropos.

Bath House Death Match: Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke vs. The Headhunters

From IWA. This match takes place in a bath house or spa of some sort. Gannosuke and one of the Headhunters (let’s say A) start on a big blue mat in the lobby, while Goto and Headhunter B go sit in hot tubs and splash each other while old men wash their hair. Yes, there are people using this bath house.

So Headhunter A chokes Gannosuke and slams him. Gannosuke fights back with a pair of lariats for two. Goto tags in and takes A into the girls room. Now we see why they're having a match show naked girls. Goto throws water at A while girls run around screaming. There's a clip of the boiler room where a guy adds more logs to the furnace. Goto eventually takes A back to the lobby mat and applies a spinning toe hold. Gannosuke tags in and they fight in the spa room. Goto tries to drown Headhunter B. There's a clip of a card being put on a stand, which I think signifies illegal activity, but I'm not sure. During Goto's attempts to drown B, there's an underwater camera shot. Then there's another shot of the boiler room and more are logs added to the fire. In the lobby, Gannosuke applies a cross arm breaker to A. A escapes by biting Gannosuke's calf. Goto continues to try to drown B, and there's a slow motion shot of him trying to regain his breath, followed by a clip of the fire. A applies a half crab, but Gannosuke reverses it into a roll up for two. More drowning attempts and slow mo. Gannosuke applies a leg lock. A apparently submits, because a bell rings and the match is over. Winners: Tarzan Goto and Mr. Gannosuke!

That was certainly bizarre, but not very entertaining. No one did anything interesting, it was just a generic brawl with a lot of water and naked girls who I felt sorry for. Headhunter B never did anything besides get dunked, so it was almost a handicap match. The cinematography got silly near the end with the slow motion, and I really didn't understand the rules. It was confusing and pointless. So, of course, they did it again:

Bath House Death Match: Shoji Nakamaki & ??? vs. Tarzan Goto & Mr. Gannosuke

Another spa match, same situation as before. I don't know who Nakamaki's partner is, obviously. Goto starts with ??? and they do a lot of mat wrestling in this bath house death match. Nakamaki interferes. Goto gets la magistral for a three count, but the match apparently isn't over. Goto takes ??? into the girl's room and throws him in a tub. Wood is added to the fire in the boiler room. Goto and ??? are back in the lobby, beating on each other with baskets and a shoe. Nakamaki and Gannosuke tag in. Nakamaki hits a DDT for two. Gannosuke hits a back suplex for another three count, then takes Nakamaki into the girl's room, but gets thrown in a tub. Nakamaki quickly takes him back to the lobby, then outside to the street. They don't stay out there long. More wood for the fire. Goto and ??? violently splash each other in the tubs. A card is set on a stand. Nakamaki puts Gannosuke in an STF in the lobby. Gannosuke turns it into an arm wringer and brings Nakamaki to the men's tubs and throws him in one. Goto takes over, dunking him. Goto brings Nakamaki to the lobby and small packages him for three. That's three consecutive falls for Goto's team, but the match continues. Back into the girl's room for the regular stuff. More wood for the fire in the boiler room. ??? goes to the girl's room to help his partner, but gets beaten on. Nakamaki catches Goto from behind. They end up in the lobby and Goto makes a tag. They throw the ring announcer into a tub and everyone's fighting now. Gannosuke takes ??? to the lobby and piledrivers him for a three count, even though ??? kicks out. Back to the girls' room. Gannosuke tries a piledriver in a tub, but it doesn't come off well. Back to the men's room. There's a long scene with the two people in the boiler room talking. Goto covers ??? with shampoo in the girls' room and washes him off. They brawl in another room with a hot metal bed. The announcer gets thrown in a tub again. Gannosuke and Goto put ??? in a camel clutch half crab combo. Gannosuke suplexes ??? for two. ??? hits an enzigieri and tries a diving headbutt off of some platform, but misses. Goto tags and hits two front face pancakes for yet another three count. Guess what happens next? Anyway, as they fight in the girls' room, the bell rings and the match finally ends, five falls to zero. Winners: Tarzan Goto and Mr. Gannosuke!

About as bizarre as the first. Afterwards, the Headhunters appear and attack everyone. They brawl around, pushing each others faces into naked girls' bodies. They end up outside fighting all over the place. The Headhunters eventually leave victorious. All I can say about this match is that I'm glad it's over and I never want to watch it again.

Grocery Store Death Match: Yosuke Kobayashi vs. Seiji Yamakawa vs. Yuichi Taniguchi vs. Bruiser Okamoto vs. Kendo Nagasaki

From Big Japan. We have a red mat in the middle of an outdoor shopping center, surrounded by a chain link fence and a crowd of fans. Nagasaki comes out with a band and cheerleaders. The match starts as a rookie wrestling exhibition, while veteran Nagasaki stands outside the fence with a barbed wire bat. He gets very upset for some reason and storms into the "ring," attacking Yamakawa and Kobayashi as they try to stop him. A brawl ensues as they break through the fence. Nagasaki hits guys with a chair. Bruiser takes Taniguchi over and throws him into a bicycle. Nagasaki beats on Yamakawa and Kobayashi with a large board. Bruiser and Taniguchi throw bikes at each other. Nagasaki slams Yamakawa and Kobayashi through a couple tables with fruits and vegetables on them. Bruiser applies a reverse Fujiwara armbar to Taniguchi. Nagasaki beats on his guys with boards, melons and a box of something that makes a thud on Yamakawa's head. The crowd stares on in confusion and fear. Bruiser throws Taniguchi into a stack of boxes. Taniguchi fights back with boxes and some sort of inflatable advertisement. Nagasaki smashes a heavy rolling advertisement on Kobayashi's head. Taniguchi throws a boom box. Nagasaki douses his guys with soda. Taniguchi throws Bruiser into a wooden stand, then goes and gets a couple drinks from a fridge. Bruiser catches him and sprays shaving cream on his head, then shoves him into a table. The band is now playing and following guys around. Nagasaki beats on his guys with a cash register. The screen pauses and cuts to Yamakawa being tended to by some people. He has an ugly cut on his forearm. They tape him up and drive him away, presumably to a hospital. Back to the battle, Bruiser lays in kicks to Taniguchi. Nagasaki takes Kobayashi into a small restaurant and breaks a placard over his head, then takes him outside and chokes him with a flag pole. Taniguchi pies Bruiser and beats on him in the parking lot. A woman with a head injury is taken into an office and given a towel. Nagasaki takes Kobayashi into a butcher shop and chokes him with meat. They go out back, and Nagasaki lays into Kobayashi. He tries to fight back, but Nagasaki won't have it. Cut to the hospital where doctors examine Yamakawa's cut. Slow motion clips of the fights are shown. Then there's an interview with Yamakawa. But we're not done yet! Now we go back to the fight, where Nagasaki breaks two bottles over Kobayashi's head and throws crates at him. Taniguchi applies a figure four leg lock to Bruiser in a fish store. They end up hitting each other with dead fish. Kobayashi is thrown into a pile of broke electronics. Nagasaki throws a small washing machine at him. Bruiser lays into Taniguchi with more kicks and puts a bag over his head while applying a sleeper. Bruiser covers Taniguchi and gets a three count. Winner: Bruiser Okamoto...?

No, it's not over yet! Nagasaki breaks through a glass door with Kobayashi and beats on all of them with a broom, a fishing net, bags of some food product, whatever he can find. Kids are running around picking up souvenirs. Adults are unhappy with the damage. There's a brief moment where there's some text on the screen, then we have Nagasaki with the other three guys back in the makeshift ring. He piledrives Kobayashi and pins him. He lariats Bruiser and puts him in a Boston crab, and Bruiser submits. He slams Taniguchi and applies a cross arm breaker, and Taniguchi submits. Real Winner: Kendo Nagasaki!

Not only was this bizarre, it was brutal. Apparently, this was Nagasaki teaching his students a lesson. The match was insane; Nagasaki hit these guys with blunt objects that left marks. Yamakawa was actually lucky he was cut, because he was spared a further beating. As bad as I felt for these guys getting killed, I have to admit that it was pretty interesting to watch, and much better than the spa matches. Bruiser and Taniguchi's fight was entertaining as a comedy match, too. The match must have been an inspiration to a couple guys, as Yamakawa and Kobayashi would go on to become Big Japan stars Ryuji Yamakawa and Abdullah Kobayashi, respectively.

No Rope Barbed Wire Match: Shark Tsuchiya vs. Megumi Kudo.

From FMW. Barbed wire matches typically start with teases that someone's going to go into the wire, and this match is no different. Shark's entourage interferes early, choking Kudo from outside the ring. Kudo is the first to meet the wire off an Irish whip. Shark and friends cut Kudo's forehead with the wire. Shark uses a barbed wire kendo stick to hit, cut and choke Kudo. Bad Nurse Nakamura tries to hit Kudo with the kendo stick, but she misses and hit's Shark. Kudo goes for a rana, but Shark pushes her off and shoves her into the wire. Another Shark minion throws a table in. Shark tries to powerbomb Kudo onto it, but it gets knocked over and Kudo is just powerbombed to the mat. Shark tries again, and this time Kudo hit's the table but it doesn't break. Shark covers for two. Bad Nurse assists Shark in powerbombing Kudo through the table, and Shark gets a two. The table still isn't fully broken, so Shark atomic drops Kudo onto it. Kudo fights back and slams Shark through the table. Shark gets a sickle and uses it on Kudo's head. Kudo fights back and hits an axe kick. Kudo uses a piece of the table to block the sickle, then hits Shark with it. Shark gets whipped into the wire, and Kudo follows with a back avalanche. Kudo uses the kendo stick, then gives it to another girl and lets her hit Shark. Kudo lays in some kicks. Kudo chokes Shark with the stick and uses it in some form of a cobra clutch. Fisherman's suplex by Kudo for two. Shark dodges a charge and Kudo hits the wire. Back suplex by Shark for two. Powerbomb by Shark for two. Shark's entourage cuts a strand of barbed wire and Shark uses it to hit and lariat Kudo, then covers for two. Kudo escapes a powerbomb and DDTs Shark onto the barbed wire kendo stick for two. German suplex by Kudo, but one of Shark's girls hits her with the stick. She tries to chokeslam Kudo, but Kudo arm drags her and throws her into the wire. Kudo dropkicks Shark into the wire and hits a tiger driver for two. She hits a tiger driver on a chair for two. She escapes a back suplex and pushes Shark into the wire. Kudo hits the Kudo driver for the pin. Winner: Megumi Kudo!

That wasn't very bizarre, at least not for a death match. Maybe just the fact that two women are wrestling in barbed wire is peculiar enough to warrant its inclusion. It's always nice to see Kudo, especially as the smaller underdog against the large, painted-up monster woman.

Sabu vs. Hayabusa

From FMW via hard camera. Sabu goes after Hayabusa's legs, but Hayabusa cartwheels away. Hayabusa hits some spinning jump kicks, Sabu goes outside, and Hayabusa hits a tope con giro not 30 seconds into the match. Back in the ring, Hayabusa nails a dropkick to the face for two. Sabu kicks him and tries a slingshot leg drop, but misses. Then they go into the mat wrestling that you would expect at the start of the match. Sabu flips over Hayabusa off an Irish whip and smashes him with a forearm. Sabu hits a sunset flip powerbomb to the floor just off camera. Sabu brings a chair into the ring and uses it to do a dive. He brings Hayabusa in and hits a leg lariat for two. Sabu throws Hayabusa outside and sits him in a chair, then gets in the ring and does a tope onto him. Sabu throws a chair into the ring, but it just rolls out the other side. Sabu throws Hayabusa in, gets another chair and hits him over the head, then hits Air Sabu in the corner. Cover and a two count. Sabu hits a slingshot leg drop, then goes for another and misses, Hayabusa hits a slingshot side kick. He lands a high spin kick and a standing moonsault for two. Sabu trips Hayabusa and gets a one count. He applies a toe hold briefly, then a side headlock takeover. Sabu whips Hayabusa to a corner, Hayabusa backflips out over him, ducks a clothesline, and dropkicks Sabu to the floor. He hits a top rope Asai moonsault onto Sabu. Back in the ring, Hayabusa does a moonsault and lands with his legs on Sabu. Sabu sits up and yanks him off. Sabu hits a leg drop, then does an Arabian press for two. Sabu gets a table and sets it up outside. He hits Hayabusa with a chair, DDTs him and hits an Arabian facebuster. Sabu sets Hayabusa on the table outside and goes for a top rope somersault senton, but Hayabusa moves. Looks like Sabu overshot it anyway. Hayabusa gets in the ring and waits for Sabu. Sabu comes in and slides him back out onto the table, then tries a slingshot somersault senton. I can't tell if he hit it, but Hayabusa gets in the ring first, so I'll assume he didn't. Sabu finally gets back in the ring and Hayabusa hits him with a spin kick to the back of the head for two. Hayabusa hits a tombstone piledriver and goes up top to hit the shooting star press for the pinfall. Winner: Hayabusa!

Hayabusa looks frustrated after the match. He and Sabu shake hands, though.

That wasn't bizarre, nor was it a death match. However, it was a solid match from these two, though not quite the blow away one might expect. It seemed more like a first-time meeting that would lead to a bigger rematch later. I don't know if it did, though. Sabu's botches hurt it a little for me, and it would've probably come off better had I seen it from multiple camera angles.

Barbed Wire Bat Match: Mitsuhiro Matsunaga vs. Mr. Pogo

I presume this is from early FMW, or W*ING. The wrestlers start at opposite ends of the arena while the announcer counts down from ten. Then they run into the ring and try to get the bat first. Matsunaga does, so Pogo leaves the ring and gets him to follow. One of Pogo's friends hits Matsunaga from behind, and then Pogo does the same and steals the bat. Pogo beats on him with the bat and takes him out to the hallway. After a little beating, he takes him back to the ring and cuts his face and back open with the bat. Pogo takes Matsunaga into the crowd, where Matsunaga starts fighting back. They beat each other into things. Pogo brings a big piece of metal into the ring and DDT's Matsunaga over the ropes onto it. Pogo piledrives Matsunaga on the metal for two. He splashes Matsunaga for two. He lariats Matsunaga for two. Pogo gets the barbed wire bat, but Matsunaga takes it from him and removes some of the wire. He kicks Pogo, and the wire gets caught on his pants, so he basically kicks it into Pogo's shoulder. He wraps Pogo in the wire and beats on him, then hits a missile dropkick. Matsunaga applies a sleeper, and Pogo escapes by falling out of the ring. Matsunaga jumps off the apron onto him. Pogo gets a bottle from under the ring and pours its contents onto Matsunaga, then blows fire at him. Matsunaga's head catches fire, and a bunch of people surround him and put it out. The referee raises Pogo's hand. Winner: Mr. Pogo!

Not bizarre by my standards, but holy cow, that fire spot was scary. Pogo being wrapped in barbed wire looked painful, and the cut on Matsunaga's back was sick. The crowd was really behind Matsunaga, which made the match seem really important. I also noticed the late Victor Quiñones accompanying Pogo, and Kintaro Kanemura was at ringside as well.

Electrified Barbed Wire Barricade Double Hell Match: Atsushi Onita vs. Mr. Pogo

This is what early FMW was built on. Two sides of the ring have no ropes or barbed wire, and there are beds of barbed wire at ringside. The match takes place outdoors. They lock up and push each other towards the barbed wire. Onita hits a DDT and tries to roll Pogo into one of the beds of wire. Failing, he picks him up and headbutts him, then DDTs him and tries to roll him into the wire again. Pogo fights back and hits some headbutts. Onita stumbles back into the barbed wire (in ring), which explodes. Pogo gets a stick and breaks it to make a point, then stabs Onita in the back a number of times. Pogo DDTs Onita and covers him for two. Onita headbutts Pogo and tries to push his face into the barbed wire. They tease Pogo falling out of the ring into one of the beds of barbed wire. Onita does a lot of headbutts. Pogo removes a boot and hits Onita with it. Then he removes his other boot and chucks it into the crowd (?). Lariat by Pogo for two. Pogo goes to get his stick, and Onita grabs him in a sleeper from behind. Pogo escapes using the stick and stabs Onita some more. Pogo pushes Onita into the exploding wire again. Pogo gets a flaming stick and blows fire at Onita, who rolls off into a bed of barbed wire, which explodes. Another wrestler attacks Pogo, but gets thrown into the exploding barbed wire. Onita makes it into the ring before the referee counts to twenty and saves the other wrestler. He shoves Pogo into the wire, which doesn't explode. So, he throws him into the other side, and this time, it does. Then he DDTs him and gets a three count. Winner: Atsushi Onita!

Again, not bizarre by my standards, but I have seen about a dozen of these before. Certainly a bizarre name, though. Anyway, this was your basic exploding barbed wire match between two wrestlers who know a combined total of three moves. Afterwards, Pogo spits more fire on Onita, and a bunch of wrestlers come to help him. Mike "The Gladiator" Awesome accompanies Pogo to the back. Then there's some scenes of Onita being helped to an ambulance.

And I'm guessing this is from some other commercial release, because we transition into another match...

Electrified Barbed Wire Exploding Ring Cage Match: Atsushi Onita vs. Mr. Pogo

The best part of this match is that the referee is covered in haz-mat gear. Onita DDTs Pogo right on the bat and tries to push him into the cage. Pogo fights back and tries to do the same. Pogo almost gets whipped into the cage, but stops himself. Onita headbutts him and applies a sleeper. Pogo escapes and stomps on him. Onita applies a headlock, and both of them back into the ropes, but don't get close enough to the cage. Pogo finally pushes Onita into the cage, and it explodes. Pogo pulls a spike out of his pocket and stabs Onita a lot in the back. He actually stabs him in the head this time, too. This goes on for a while. Onita finally fights back with headbutts. Pogo uses the spike again, Abdullah-style. Pogo shoves Onita into the exploding cage. Pogo takes his boot off and hits Onita with it. A clock appears in the corner, counting down from five minutes, and a siren sounds. Pogo DDTs Onita for two. Pogo gets his fire stick and lighter fluid and spits fire, but Onita rolls out of the way. Pogo drops the stick, still flaming, and Onita tries to throw him onto it. They both stumble into the referee, and they all hit the exploding cage. Onita DDTs Pogo onto the fire, but the referee is still out. Onita drags him over and gets a two count. Onita DDTs Pogo onto the fire again, but the ref screws up the count. Onita DDTs Pogo one more time (no fire) and gets the three count. Winner: Atsushi Onita!

Mostly the same as before, but I liked how they played off the fire from the last match by having Onita seeing it coming and avoiding it. Psychology in an electrified barbed wire match is bizarre! Afterwards, the clock still has about two minutes left. An exhausted Onita tries to pull the referee to safety, but he's dead weight. As the clock gets close to the end, Onita pulls the ref's body and Pogo close and covers them. The time runs out and the C4 around the ring explodes, leaving a lot of smoke. Onita comes to as wrestlers come in and pour water on the ref before carrying him out. Onita screams a bunch and holds Pogo like he's dead. The ring crew carries Pogo out on a stretcher. Onita stands triumphantly in the ring. Then he cuts a promo. This was all pretty dramatic.

Fans Bring the Weapons Match: The Pitbulls vs. The Public Enemy

From W*ING. Pitbull #1, Gary Wolfe, starts with Rocco Rock. Wolfe stomps on Rock and bites him and whips him into a corner hard. He whips Rock into the opposite corner, but Rock springs to the top rope and backflips over him. Wolfe superkicks Rock, though, and throws him out of the ring. Grunge helps Rocco up, and Wolfe yells, "Give him to me!" Rocco rolls in and gets whipped to the ropes, but hits a quebrada onto Wolfe for two. Pitbull #2, Anthony Durante, tackles Rocco. Rocco audibly tells Wolfe to "c'mon, get out, go." Wolfe gets up and attacks Grunge. They go outside, where Wolfe hits Grunge with a stick and Grunge hits him with a chair. In the ring, Durante suplexes Rocco. They go outside the ring and everyone brawls with weapons. There's an umbrella, a bucket and a coat hanger used. Durante somehow gets a flaming stick and tries to stab Rocco with it, but he holds it off. Wolfe weakly taps Grunge with a barbed wire bat in the ring. Grunge takes it and hits Wolfe slightly harder. Brawl brawl brawl. Durante hits Rocco with a bicycle wheel. Brawl brawl brawl. Rocco brings a bat with nails into the ring. Durante surprises him with a roll-up for two. Brawl brawl brawl. Grunge hits Durante with some giant kiddie scissors. Wolfe uses a VCR. Rocco tries a fancy lucha move on the ropes and gets clotheslined out of the ring. We've got a frying pan. Grunge gets a two count on Durante. Durante piledrives Rocco onto a frying pan. Wolfe takes the worst whip into chairs ever. Durante puts a table on the top ropes, then puts Rocco on it. Grunge DDTs Wolfe outside. Durante gets onto the table on the top rope and slams Rocco off of it for two (Grunge saves). Grunge is bleeding. Rocco does a dive from the top rope table onto Durante on the floor. Grunge hits a reverse DDT on Wolfe and Rocco hits the Drive-By senton for the pinfall. Winners: The Public Enemy!

No psychology, no prolonged selling, and if you couldn't tell, it was really hard to call, due to all the brawling and back-and-forth camera work. It was very sloppy, but it was kind of fun to see these two teams in Japan. That's actually the only thing bizarre about it, though some of the weapons used may seem a little odd to the casual viewer.

Electrified Barbed Wire Barricade Double Hell Match: Atsushi Onita vs. Masaji Aoyagi

The match is slightly clipped. Aoyagi opens up on Onita with kicks and sends him into the wire first. He does more kicks, but Onita catches one and applies a half crab. He escapes through sheer leg strength. Clip. Onita hits a back suplex and applies some sort of arm submission. Onita's arm and back are bleeding. Aoyagi escapes Onita's grasp and kicks him some more. Onita falls off into the exploding bed of barbed wire on one side of the ring. He beats the count into the ring and gets kicked again. They tease him getting counted out, but he gets up. Aoyagi hits more kicks. Onita grabs him and throws him out into the other exploding barbed wire bed, but he falls in, too. Aoyagi gets back into the ring first. Mr. Pogo comes over and spits fire at Onita, but he still makes it into the ring at the last second. Onita shields himself from a series of kicks. Clip. Onita gets kicked down and the count starts. He gets up and gets more kicks. Onita shoves Aoyagi, who has removed his gi, into the exploding wire. Onita powerbombs Aoyagi. He gets up by eight, so Onita powerbombs him again. He doesn't get up this time. Winner: Atsushi Onita!

I presume Aoyagi was some kickboxer or karate expert-turned-wrestler. I guess that explains why the match appeared to be under a hybrid of kickboxing a pro wrestling rules. I guess that's bizarre. At least there was a different element to it this time, rather than a Pogo stab-fest.

Now we see the aftermath of some other match that took place in a ring floating in a swimming pool. Onita comes out and beats up Kintaro Kanemura and some other guys. Apparently, Mr. Pogo attacks Kanemura, too. Onita rides a raft to the ring, where a bloody Tarzan Goto is. Onita tries to talk to him, but gets shoved away. Goto leaves Onita in the ring.

Electrified Barbed Wire Dynamite Pool Double Hell Match: Atsushi Onita, Mr. Gannosuke & Niiyama vs. Mr. Pogo, The Gladiator & Hosaka

Elimination can occur via pinfall or throwing someone into the water, which triggers an explosion. Pogo's team attacks right away. Someone uses a barbed wire bat. The hard camera is pretty far away, and most of the guys are wearing similar clothes, so it's hard to tell them apart sometimes. Gladiator splashes a guy and hits an Awesome Bomb on another. Pretty soon, he body slams Niiyama into the pool to eliminate him. Pogo uses a sickle on Onita, grinding it into his gut. Gladiator leg drops Gannosuke for two. Gladiator accidentally lariats Hosaka, and Gannosuke tackles Pogo. This allows Onita to get the barbed wire bat and take control. Gannosuke shoves Gladiator from the ring into the pool to eliminate him. Pogo blows fire at Gannosuke and gets a two count. Clip. Gannosuke shoves Pogo out of the ring, then dives onto him. Both of them fall into the pool. It's down to Onita and Pogo. Onita whips Pogo into the barbed wire. Onita hits a powerbomb for the pinfall. Winners: Atsushi Onita, Mr. Gannosuke & Niiyama!

Now we're really back into the bizarre. What a wacky idea. It worked all right for them, I guess, though the exploding barbed wire was only used once, so it seemed kind of pointless. The match was really short, too, at least for something that looked like it took a lot of preparation. They did surprisingly well on transitioning between eliminations, though, which you probably wouldn't expect in such chaos.

Next we see a peaceful-looking street between a few houses through the cameraman's eyes. We go into a house to find Shoji Nakamaki and a bunch of friends sitting around a table talking and eating. Outside, Bob Baragail shows up and flexes his muscles. There's a slow motion clip of the Crypt Keeper running down the street waving a barbed wire bat. Baragail spray paints "F*** YOU" on the door and starts breaking it in with a sledgehammer. Crypt Keeper shows up and attacks the windows and paper walls with his bat. After a good long time of property damage, Nakamaki confronts Baragail. Some dude pops out of a closet and calls for the bell. A bell rings somewhere, and we have a match...

House Death Match: Shoji Nakamaki & ??? vs. Bob Baragail & The Crypt Keeper

More IWA weirdness. Of the two places online that had this match listed, both had different names for Nakamaki's partner: Hiroshi Ono and Takashi Okano. I don't recognize either. Crypt Keeper breaks into the house and beats on ???. Baragail takes over on Nakamaki. Some other guys are standing around watching. The two teams are slamming their opponents' heads into walls. Crypt Keeper tries to drown ??? in a toilet. Baragail stomps on Nakamaki and forcefully busts him open with his fists and teeth. A crowd has gathered outside, and an airplane flies over head...don't know why that was important to show. Nakamaki tries a couple comebacks with headbutts. He finally finds some success with a DDT. ??? manages a little offense on Crypt Keeper, but he's mostly getting his butt kicked. Nakamaki puts a sleeper on Baragail. Crypt Keeper takes the fight out to the porch and almost gets thrown off of it. Nakamaki DDTs Baragail again. Baragail regains control and slams Nakamaki's head on the floor really hard a number of times, then works over his forehead cut. ??? puts Crypt Keeper in a figure four leg lock. He escapes by tearing a piece of wood off of a shelf and hitting ??? with it. I'm suddenly noticing that there are sound effects for almost every punch, kick and bump. Crypt Keeper and Baragail switch opponents. Crypt Keeper beats on Nakamaki with a door. There's suddenly some slow motion with a voice-over and depressing music. Brawl brawl brawl. ??? actually starts fighting back on Baragail. He hits him with the door and sends him down some stairs. Crypt Keeper takes Nakamaki out to the porch. Nakamaki's screams are now scaring children. Baragail blow fire or something; there's some dramatic cinematography showing an explosion of some sort. Baragail uses a small table on ???. Nakamaki and Crypt Keeper go down stairs. They're all together in one room now. Nakamaki turns a table upside down and breaks its legs, then throws Baragail into it. He tries to put Baragail in a submission, but Baragail counters and works his cut some more. Crypt Keeper and ??? fight in a kitchen. Baragail stands on Nakamaki's throat and kicks his head, then applies a keylock. Brawl brawl brawl. Nakamaki DDTs Baragail for two. He picks him up and DDTs him again for three. Winners: Shoji Nakamaki and ???!

That was bizarre, but not quite as bizarre as the spa matches. However, like the spa matches, it went on way too long and became extremely repetitious. I guess the only difference is the lack of water and naked women. Nakamaki and ??? go outside and thank the crowd for watching. Then there are credits while Baragail breaks things. But the tape's not over quite yet.

Atsushi Onita & Dick Murdoch vs. Masanobu Kurisu & Joe LeDuc

Old FMW fancam. They all receive flowers, but Kurisu throws his out. Onita and Murdoch attack with their flowers. LeDuc takes Onita outside while Murdoch punches Kurisu. They all end up outside soon, punching and kicking and throwing each other onto tables and chairs. Kurisu takes Onita into the ring and beats on him with his boot, Memphis-style. LeDuc tags in beats on Onita. Onita is busted open already, and LeDuc works at opening the cut more. Kurisu comes off the top rope with the boot onto Onita. He does very little offense that doesn't involve the boot. LeDuc tags in and bites Onita. Onita finally gets the tag after a jumping forearm to LeDuc. Murdoch punches LeDuc numerous times, but can't knock him down, so he breaks out a dropkick that does the job. LeDuc is bleeding now, as Murdoch uses his elbow on LeDuc's head. He and Onita take turns punching LeDuc. Murdoch hits an elbow drop, but Kurisu breaks up the cover. Murdoch grabs him with a two-handed choke lift, but doesn't hold him up for long. Onita blasts Kurisu with a chair from outside. Murdoch uses the chair to squeeze Kurisu's head. Onita chokes LeDuc with a belt. Murdoch leaves Kurisu alone long enough for him to get the chair and prepare to fight back. For whatever reason, he decides to hit the turnbuckle and scare some fans, so Murdoch gets the upper hand and holds him for Onita to hit with a chair. Murdoch goes after LeDuc, but Kurisu grabs him from behind and holds him. Murdoch ducks LeDuc's punch, so he hits Kurisu. Onita attacks LeDuc, and Murdoch rolls Kurisu up in a small package for the pin. Winners: Atsushi Onita and Dick Murdoch!

Not a bizarre brawl, but certainly a bizarre pair of teams. The crowd seemed to love Murdoch almost as much as, if not more than, Onita. As a match, it was a decent brawl with a couple confusing transitions. LeDuc was quite fat here. The match would have been great with Lance Russell on commentary, and maybe a brainbuster finish. Afterwards, someone runs in and attacks Murdoch, and a bunch of other wrestlers get involved. I couldn't recognize any of them.

Final Thoughts: That was a mess of a tape. It had some novelties, but a lot of it was just dumb. I watch these spa matches and my understanding of the Japanese culture plummets. I already owned all of the exploding barbed wire matches, so that took away some of my enjoyment of the tape. I’ve seen enough Megumi Kudo that her match wasn’t anything special. Hayabusa and Sabu was fine, but not worth the price of the whole video. I enjoyed the grocery store brawl in the same way I enjoy watching RealTV or World’s Scariest Police Chases. If you’re really interested in seeing any of this stuff, check Ebay to see if someone’s selling it for cheap, or look around and see if it’s on another compilation.


Back to Compilation Reviews