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Puro Fury: BJW Ryugokutan

July 24, 2016 | Posted by Arnold Furious
Big Japan Wrestling
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Puro Fury: BJW Ryugokutan  

BJW Ryogokutan


July 24 2016


We’re in Sumo Hall, Tokyo for Big Japan’s biggest show of the year. A crowd of around 3200 to witness it. Expect large men smashing into each other forcefully for four hours! The main event is a deathmatch so I might have to skip that but otherwise this is my kind of violence.


Daichi Hashimoto & Kazuki Hashimoto vs. Kazumi Kikuta & Tatsuhiko Yoshino

D-Hash is starting to look like his old man. Apart from the highlights, of course. K-Hash has become almost unrecognisable this year, dropping a tonne of weight and going back to his natural black hair. Everything that made him different has gone, which is a little upsetting. This is a hot opener with Kikuta getting kicked a lot but it’s Yoshino, from GUTS World, who gets beaten. Submitted by Daichi. This was a solid start to the show.

Final Rating: ***1/4


Speed of Sounds (Hercules Senga & Tsutomu Oosugi) vs. Billy Ken Kid & Tsubasa

Speed of Sounds are comedy guys. Senga demonstrates this by falling off the ropes during his introductions. The other guys are from Osaka Pro. Billy Ken Kid pops up more frequently than Tsubasa on the Indies. The match mainly consists of Speed of Sounds cheating and doing chuckles while the Osaka Pro guys hit dives. Seeing as it’s 7am on a Sunday at time of writing this is a lot easier to digest than the opening match. Maybe Big Japan should put on more goofy matches to make viewing easier. Although under normal circumstances I’d probably skip this. The match really picks up with some near fall roll ups and the Speed of Sounds boys score the pin with the last of them. This was fine. I’m slightly more awake now.

Final Rating: **1/2


Great Sasuke & The Brahman Brothers vs. Great Kojika, Shinobu & Toshiyuki Sakuda

If you’ve not seen Sasuke in Michinoku Pro recently he’s lost his mind. He’s a cult leader with telekinesis. Kojika turns up dressed like Darth Vader, complete with a crappy light sabre, and it’s Sasuke vs. Kojika in a battle of the Jedi powers! You won’t see that during the G1 this year. Tiny Sakuda entertains me with his hard work and attempts to make the Brahman brothers look like a legitimate team, rather than a pair of water-spitting clowns. Shinobu doesn’t agree with this, because it’s too much like hard work, and instead perches himself on the top turnbuckle with his ass exposed. Sasuke gets dumped on a prone Sakuda, with powder in his eyes, for the pin. This was stupid but the Darth Kojika business is worth snowflakes.

Final Rating: **


Hideki Suzuki & Takuya Nomura vs. Yasufumi Nakanoue & Yoshihisa Uto

Nakanoue is the Kojima clone from Wrestle-1. He’s branching out. Uto is a god damn upstart, who’s only been wrestling for a year, and messes up Suzuki’s 50s greaser hair-do. This will not stand. Nomura is a tiny guy, with about eight weeks in-ring experience, who works like it’s a shoot. Speaking of shoots, when Hideki gets wound up on this show it’s fucking on. He takes absolutely no prisoners. Nakanoue must have pissed in his cereal this morning. Meanwhile Nomura, a Young Boy, takes it to Uto with flash submissions. This match is all kinds of fantastic. They all beat the shit out of each other until one can no longer stand. It’s Hideki Suzuki standing tall over dead bodies when the bell rings. He is the champion of this match. Nomura looked great here. He’s a tiny guy but with powerful strikes and sneaky submissions. He’s got a big future. Nakanoue meanwhile showed more heart and fight here than I’ve ever seen from him. He should legitimately work Big Japan over Wrestle-1.

Final Rating: ***3/4


Yokohama Shopping Street Six Man Tag Team Title Death Match Iron Maiden ~ run to the hell ~, Decision Match

B Faultless Junkies (Jaki Numazawa, Masashi Takeda & Takumi Tsukamoto) vs. Abdullah Kobayashi, Takayuki Ueki & Masaya Takahashi

I’m not mad keen on death matches but Big Japan hyped this one by playing Iron Maiden for five minutes so now I’m all-in. Who cares if fat Abby is out here dressed like a samurai? Ueki, noted goofball, shows up with a table he’s super-glued thumbtacks to. Why would you do such a thing? Jaki goes around stabbing people with a Stanley knife because he thinks he’s New Jack. I am not cool with this. Various barbwire boards are destroyed and blood occurs. It’s a good job they switch canvas between matches. I’m also thrilled that Big Japan’s canvas no longer looks disease ridden. That white one was legitimately disgusting. My eyes were in danger of rotting out by looking at it. Abby throws in some ‘spots’, which include an awful Slingblade and an even worse Shining Wizard. They’ve actually built an Iron Maiden for this match, which is basically a four-sided mini-cage covered in disgusting violence like barbwire and such. Abby climbs onto it and hits a Savage Elbow off the top onto Jaki for the win! This was sickening at times but Wile E. Coyote fun at others. I wish they could find a happy middle ground where the matches entertain without making me cringe quite so much. Apart from Abby’s ‘wrestling’ this was fine though.

Final Rating: **3/4


Ryuichi Kawakami vs. Daisuke Sekimoto

Kawakami has been out for eight months with a knee injury. He was already injured, badly, when he wrestled on Tenryu’s retirement show last November. Kawakami clearly wants to prove his fitness by going toe to toe with a monster like Sekimoto. The result is a goddamn war. Kawakami wants to prove he’s fit and Sekimoto wants to destroy him with strikes and stretches. There are a lot of heavy strikes going on. Kawakami has a bizarre obsession with proving his knee is fine and hits a brainbuster over it. Why would you do such a thing? Wrestlers are crazy people. Kawakami has benefitted from weight training during his absence and his upper body looks in great shape, which aids him on the strike duels. Sekimoto has too much for him though and finishes with the Chaos Theory. This was rock solid. There’s no such thing as a bad Sekimoto match. Kawakami looked relatively rust free.

Final Rating: ***1/2


All Asia Tag Team Championship

Yankee Two Kenju (Yuko Miyamoto & Isami Kodaka) (c) vs. Hikaru Sato & Atsushi Aoki

Sato’s comb-over is getting longer. He needs to sort that out. It’s not a good look for someone who has a reputation as a legitimate shooter. The champs get streamers. They’re in an odd spot because they were Big Japan regulars but now they’re, sort of, representing AJPW. The crowd love them anyway and they’re the favourites. Aoki & Sato are the invading All Japan guys. Sato is barefoot, as per usual, which is perhaps not the best idea after that thumbtack-fest earlier. Aoki & Sato work over Isami’s arm, which is technically proficient but not the most thrilling of matches. An issue I have with Kodaka is his ability to trade with bigger men when his arms look like wires. Maybe it’s the forearm guards but it’s not a look I’m into. Yuko hot tags in and promptly gets his arm worked over. He at least has a counter, turning into Sato’s kicks to protect his injured arm. Of course now he has an injured back but at least the arm is less injured. The match ends up breaking down, like all tags seem to nowadays, and they tease a belt change. Both champs get tied up in submissions and Aoki gets the verbal submission after hooking both arms. This was perfectly fine although I sense I’m not as into Yankee Two Kenju as the rest of the world. Morten VH, delightful gentleman that he is (and responsible for the stream I watched), had this at 4 ½ stars. Not seeing that. Sorry Mort!

Final Rating: ***1/2


BJW Tag Team Championship

Twin Towers (Shuji Ishikawa & Kohei Sato) (c) vs. SMOP (Akebono & Ryota Hama)

Akebono and Hama are the two fattest fucks in wrestling. Hama has been working his big fat ass off recently though and the Twin Towers are an incredible big man team. We may be in for serious carnage. Hama is an extraordinary individual. He’s so fat he can barely walk or get off the mat when he’s down but he can do rolling sentons perfectly. Shuji figures Hama’s poor conditioning can be exploited and forces him to the run the ropes four times. He’s fucked! What a fantastic spot. Sato can then kick at Hama with impunity because he’s completely gassed. The redness in his face is hilarious. What’s less hilarious is the utter state of Akebono. He’s in horrible condition and looks close to being hospitalised, again. Shuji looks like a Dragon Gate speedster in comparison. Some of the interaction is unfortunately laughable due to the poor condition of the challengers. Hama taking an Irish whip is funny until it’s into the corner, then it’s just embarrassing. The champs get to look all kinds of great by hitting a double suplex on ‘Bono and Shuji literally throws Hama. Big knee finishes SMOP’s shorter member off. Champs retain. Some decent comedy here plus some ridiculous bumps from Hama. Akebono is in a sad state though and needs to put seriously consideration into his career post-wrestling because he’s done. People seemed to like this more than me too but I tend to weight technical prowess slightly higher than match structure. The structure was good, the work, especially from Akebono, less impressive.

Final Rating: **3/4


BJW Strong World Heavyweight Championship

Yuji Okabayashi (c) vs. Hideyoshi Kamitani

Kamitani has been aging rapidly since hitting the main event scene. He lost a tooth last month and is taking his beatings like a man. They’ve teased him going over Okabayashi before and perhaps the timing is right for a change of the guard. However the fans have voted the deathmatch into the main event spot so maybe they’re not keen on the idea. Much like New Japan fans wanted no part of babyface Naito at Wrestle Kingdom 8. Due to this clashing with G1 I was hoping for the show to be done by this point, or at least this match being done. As it kicks off we’re 15 minutes out on G1. This is not likely to be a sprint. Generally the big BJW title matches are epics. The storyline is a simple one; Okabayashi is the monster champion who’s been dominant for over a year (since July 20 2015). Kamitani has tried before (Death Vegas, December 2015) and cannot unseat Okabayashi. So he has to find new ways to unsettle the Man. What results is a gruelling contest, loaded with hard work, strikes and exhausting body slams. The chops in this match are painful to watch and Okabayashi destroys poor Kamitani for daring to step up to him. Kamitani doesn’t feel like he’s on Okabayashi’s main event level but they still get superb teases due to Okabayashi’s beet-red head approach to selling submissions. He looks as if he’s about to explode. When he escapes Kamitani is punished and the heavy lumber really arrives. As if the earlier strikes were merely a set up for Okabayashi’s real attack. Kamitani takes an absolute pasting and somehow survives the Golem Splash. Kamitani’s comeback after that is truly epic and he drops Okabayashi with two massive lariats before a high angle back suplex gets the job done. SHIN CHAMPION!

Final Rating: ****1/4


Scaffold and G Shock Death Match

BJW Death Match Heavyweight Championship

Ryuiji Ito (c) vs. Kankuro Hoshino

I freely admit deathmatches are not my thing. Maybe when I was 18-25 and the sight of such hardcore crap angered up the blood. In my late 30s? Not so much. We have a scaffold, which is two ladders set up with a bridge in between. Even with the lack of height it looks like a recipe for disaster. They work up to the big spots with an assortment of plunder and bleeding. Ito even dives off the balcony over the entrance to put Hoshino through a table. I like that Hoshino is tied to the table to make the spot more realistic. The match does plod a little in between weapons shots and high spots. This is an issue with deathmatches and the matches tend to succeed (or fail) based on the insanity of the matches biggest spots. This one relies heavily on breeze blocks, because light tubes are not allowed in Sumo Hall. Eventually, when neither guy can get a pin, they decide to use the scaffold. It does not look safe. Ito hits a rana off the fucking thing, which might be the least safe spot of the year. That’s amazing but they follow it up with salt and syringes, which is not in my comfort zone. The sight of Ito standing there with a syringe stuck through the side of his mouth is not my idea of professional wrestling. Hoshino does take the belt eventually by hitting a senton off the scaffold. If they’d left the syringe out of this match I might have loved it. It’s still good though.

Final Rating: ***1/4

The final score: review Good
The 411
My star ratings are at the low end of the review scale compared to people who regularly watch Big Japan so I may be missing some key storyline elements coming in. I try and regularly watch Big Japan but there are only so many hours in the day! Regardless of my snowflakes being lower it was a very enjoyable show. The closing death match would have been a legitimate classic without the stomach churning syringe spot and the Okabayashi-Kamitani match was fried gold.