BJW Death Vegas 2016
Watch: The RealHero Archive
Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium – Yokohama, Japan
Yuji Okabayashi & Yasufumi Nakanoue def. Yoshihisa Uto & Kazumi Kikuta***
This was expected to be a hot opener and that’s what it was. Nothing earth shattering but all the work was well done. The big talking point on Twitter was how Okabayashi main evented this show last year and was now in the opener. The team of Yuji and Nakanoue isn’t anything new, they actually unsuccessfully challenged for the tag titles a few months back. Uto looked very good here and Kikuta was Kikuta, but Okabayashi brought something out of him that I haven’t seen recently. Yuji was just so full of charisma. He no sold Kikuta’s corner dropkick andsimply went to town on the young boy. It was a shoot. He put Kikuta away with the Argentine back breaker.
Tsutomu Oosugi, Hercules Senga, Atsushi Maruyama & Shinobu def. Shu Brahman, Kei Brahman, Jaki Numazawa & Tatsuhiko Yoshino ***
Tatsuhiko Yoshino got to debut his new gimmick on a really big stage! This was glorious. Even if you’re not a fan of the Brahman’s antics you can’t skip this. It was a perfect mix of comedy and awesome wrestling. The foursome of S.O.S, Shinobu & Maruyama is so cool, you could see them team up anywhere from Michinoku Pro to BASARA to BJW. It’s a quality bundle of freelance talent. Shinobu was the grumpy old man here and beat the life out of Yoshino the whole match. It was so funny. There was the classic bowling ball spot of course, Jaki dropped the ball on his head. Maruyama got to shine with his pin point kicks. Triple tope’s from S.O.S & Maruyama that Shinobu follows up by hitting his Asai Moonsault. Shinobu killed Yoshino with a lariat to get the W.
Table Crash Deathmatch: Takayuki Ueki & Masaya Takahashi def. Masashi Takeda & Takumi Tsukamoto**3/4
This was decent stuff, table matches usually suck but BJW (and occasionally) WWE do them very well. Takeda was wonderful here and a crazy bastard. They go straight to brawling through the crowd, on the stage. Takeda shows his strength by suplexing the kayfabe brothers at the same time. Takeda was being Isami here and just ended up hurting himself more than his opponents. He suplexed Takahashi off the apron which must of sucked. In the end Ueki drove Takumi through a table to get the victory.
Ryuichi Kawakami & Kazuki Hashimoto def. Ryota Hama & Daichi Hashimoto***1/2
Ah, yes. This match! It was very good! Writing this review a day later I can’t remember a ton aside the Hashimoto’s murdering one another but that’s why I write notes (thanks Meltz). The Hashimoto’s start off grappling pretty nicely but it very quickly it turned into the shoot we all expected. Kazuki turned into Mutoh out of nowhere hitting a dragon screw followed by a figure four. Hama’s job in this was to squash Kazuki throughout with leg drops and elbows. Kawakami is looking like his former self, he laid in chops and forearms on the giant lad. Daichi’s kicks had some extra mustard on them. In the end Kawakami pinned Daichi! I hope Daichi wrestles Kazuki one-on-one very soon.
Tetsuori Fluorescent Light-tube Tag Deathmatch: Yuko Miyamoto & Isami Kodaka def. Ryuji Ito & Toshiyuki Sakuda***3/4
These guys did it again! Like I said in my preview, these guys had a hell of a match in the Saikyo Tag League and this time I believe it was slightly better than their original match. The added cage and extra light tubes were gladly welcomed. It was wonderful to see Twitter loving this match and all the deathmatches for that matter. Early on Sakuda did some LUCHA, hitting a rana on Yuko. Isami stabbed Sakuda with a light tube. Isami is out of control. Someone needs to get him and put him in a home. Yuko bodyslammed Sakuda onto an open chair–OUCH! Yankee were football tackled into the light tube cage which was an awesome visual. Isami showed off his freaky strength by dead lifting Ryuji Ito into a suplex. Sakuda did a hurricanrana to Isami off the top of the cage which was freaking insane! Sakuda was superplexed but he no sold it! Sadly he was hit with a fire thunder driver. Double knees from Isami followed up by a moonsault off the top of the cage from Yuko puts away the newest member of the deathmatch division.
Kohei Sato & Shuji Ishikawa def. Hideki Suzuki & Takuya Nomura****
An absolutely tremendous professional ass kicking exhibition here. For real, I’m shocked Nomura is alive and walking after this match as he was murdered numerous times. This was one of the best fights all year and one of the matches you show people who say you don’t get hurt in wrestling. Hideki and Shuji started off slow with the grappling. Kohei and Nomura got in and Kohei no sold everything Nomura threw at him then just killed him with a shoot headbutt. Shuji started to shoot on Nomura with stomps to the head and neck and AHHHH I LOVE YOU NOMURA. He applied a stretch muffler then dead lifted him, going in circles like Cesaro’s swing. Hideki gets the tag and saves his son, exploder and German suplexes to Shuji. Takuya unleashed on Sato with kicks. Then he got killed again and was finished with a piledriver.
BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship: Daisuke Sekimoto def. Hideyoshi Kamitani***
If you’re reading this that means you’ve probably already seen this show, meaning you’ve seen this match. Hence you know it wasn’t good. Maybe saying it wasn’t good is a little cruel, but it was a huge disappointment, as was Kamitani’s entire reign as champ. He was the super hot underdog rookie only a year or so ago but that shine wore off and the crowd realized “oh crap, this dude is getting pushed QUICK.” His match with Okabayashi is the only memorable thing from his title run. The matches with Nakanoue & Kawakami are not worth watching, much like this. The work wasn’t horrendous but it was a Kamitani special which isn’t good. When he works the style of match that Strong BJ or Ishikawa works he is amazing but his style of match is horrendous. They start off very slow for like 10 minutes, then his opponent takes control allowing a Kamitani comeback which is very lackluster, then Kamitani applies a stretch plum for two straight minutes. Then, finally, come the near falls. The final minute or so of his matches are usually great but that wasn’t this match. Sekimoto dropped Kamitani right on his head with a release German suplex. It was the scariest German I might have ever seen. Then he hit an Argrentine driver/Burning Hammer to win. It shocked me and the crowd. Kamitani didn’t come off looking strong. I thought it was an audible because of the German on the neck. I’m happy Sekimoto is champ because that means more great matches.
BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Championship - Fluorescent Light-tube Double G Shock Deathmatch: Abdullah Kobayashi def. Kankuro Hoshino***3/4
Imagine a deathmatch featuring two dads would be leaps and bounds better than a Sekimoto singles match! This was damn good and the ultimate spectacle. This is what drew all the fans to the building. This was one of the best deathmatches this year and another Hoshino banger. Kankuro Hoshino needs more credit for all the eyes he drew on to the deathmatch division. He had great matches with Ito, Isami and now Abby. Many insane and scary moments throughout like a DDT onto light tubes. At one point they were just throwing everything in sight at one another, it was hilarious. It was like two drunk dads getting into a biff at the local pub. Abdullah showed so much fighting spirit just walking through light tube shots. There was a German suplex onto the stairs. A diving Senton onto the stairs. In the end the Hoshino tapped to a Boston-Crab! YES, A BOSTON CRAB! I LOVE THE DEATHMATCH GRAPS.
Very Good - 7.5/10
Nothing like a SOTY and not even close to BJW's best show of the year but it was still a hell of a good time. It airing live added to it. Big Japan is going to be interesting the next few months. They have their titles on the two biggest stars to come from BJW, as I like to call the old guard. Hoshino is old but isn't 1995 BJW old. BJW is going to keep growing and I'm very happy for them. Thank you for reading!