Big Japan Pro Wrestling is back with their fan appreciation day! This was held on the 18th of February and the card is stacked. My favorite wrestler Isami Kodaka is in the main event with his buddy Yuko defending their AJPW tag titles against Hoshino and Inaba who I like but not overly. We talked more in depth on Puro in the Rough but Okabayashi was concussed during his match with Daichi on this show. This show features all of my favorite wrestlers in Japan (minus a ton). We got Daisuke Sekimoto, Seiya Sanada, Yuji Okabayashi, Isami Kodaka, Yuko Miyamoto, Kohei Sato, Shuji Ishikawa, Masashi Takeda, Ryuichi Sekine, The Brahmans, Ryota Hama, Hideki Suzuki, and the rosters’ like. I LOVE BIG JAPAN!
Really good opening match. They had the freedom to put on a solid back and forth match in the opener which is rare in puroresu. Lots of kicks form Kikuta and Sekine. So stiff. These boys are killing one another. Sakuda is a little pocket rocket, he is probably 5″2 but he is solid and athletic. He did a moonsault standing! He missed a split-legged moonsault and tapped out to a modified lion-tamer.
Maruyama and Shinobu are very good on the ground, well…so are all four guys to be honest. I love a little bit of grappling to start a bout. Stream cut out and came back when Yuji was concussed with a damn rolling kick from Hashimoto! Daichi is unbelievable and him in Big Japan is best for business. Crazy action from everyone involved and even concussed Yuji is trying but he is very sluggish which is to be expected. I send my love to Mr. Okabayashi. Stream cut out again and it landed on Shinobu making the BJW Strong Champion tap out with an arm-bar. Korakuen was nuts and chanting Shinobu’s name loud and clear. It warms my heart that a 666 roster member defeated the BJW top guy. Will need to rewatch but from what I saw it was a ***1/2 match.
Very good match that wasn’t revolved around weapons, the weapons were just a piece to the puzzle. Wild brawl to begin with and Takeda is bleeding within seconds of the bell ringing. Abby is crazy over and he should be the man; and is adorable. Good mix of comedy and violence. Kobayashi teased jumping off the over hanging of where the stairs are in Korakuen but he wimped out so instead he and Takeda suplexed Takahashi through a barbed wire board. Yeah I just really liked this because the weapons weren’t the focus, the moves were. Abby did an assisted swanton bomb from the top which I popped huge for. Takeda came from Kiyoshi Tamura’s U-FILE camp and thus has learned a vast variety of MMA tactics and he has competed in MMA. He won with a reverse Bloody Sundae. I expect Kobayashi and Takeda to beat Kamatani in the future.
Water is a flying brothers! I LOVED THIS MATCH SO MUCH. The Brahman’s have made me their biggest fans even if they cause a drought in Japan. So much comedy in all the right places. This wasn’t a ‘wrestling’ match — it was sports entertainment and when done right it is the best thing in the world. Ueki did his usual hip toss spot but he ended up getting hip tossed by the ref! A Burberry jacket was involved at one point but that soon got wet but hey there way a ‘burberry’ chant in Korakuen Hall! Ueki just may be one of the top comedic workers in the world. Japanese comedic workers blow away the US comedic workers. Ito finally got in the match and didn’t want to fuck around so he threw a chair at Ueki’s head, hit an enzugiri and pinned him. BEST FINISH EVER, Just watch the finish and you will be happy.
The Towers are over huge with the Big Japan audience. Hama currently has one of the best wrestling themes in the universe. This was an excellent match from start to finish. Hama fits perfect in Big Japan and they book him so much better than WRESTLE-1 where he is a monster but never does anything of importance. Ryota Hama is a Top 50 wrestler in the world without a doubt and for that matter Kohei Sato and Shuji Ishikawa are in the Top 25 current wrestlers in the world. I hate when people say they dislike Hama, the dude is incredible and is easily the best big man in wrestling besides maybe The Big Show and is still incredibly athletic at his age. This match defines the word ‘stronk’. Everything from the knees, kicks, forearms, suplexes all looked great and made me not take my eyes away from the screen. Shuji Fk’n Ishikawa did a rain-maker clunk headbutt! The dude has a death wish god bless. Shuji was able to knock down Hama with a lariat but Hama quickly recovers and hits a 550lb flying crossbody! Hamakami have really improved as a team, they have excellent chemistry and a great dynamic of stronk monster and smaller stronk monster. Kohei pinned Kamaitani with a jumping pile-driver. This will set up a match down the road for the BJW tag belts.
Another fantastic strong battle of muscular men. I’m going to keep harping on how much TNA sucks because they dropped the ball on one of the best in the business in Sanada. The 2 years in TNA somewhat hurt his career but now he is back on track and rebuilding the brand of Seiya Sanada. Tons a mat work early on, Suzuki and Sekimoto made the first bump count. Suzuki attempted his butterfly suplex but Sekimoto back dropped him. That was the first bump. Korakuen gave a huge reaction for a damn back drop. It’s wrestling psychology kiddos and Suzuki and Sekimoto are masters at that. Sekimoto and Suzuki has a fantastic match in the ZERO-1 Fire Festival last year and ever since then I have wanted another match between the two — and at the BJW Ikkotsen I believe they are in the same block so I’m hype. So much action, just like the match before where there was a ton of suplexes and stiff strikes. The stiffness may scare some people but strong style is my favorite type of wrestling so BJW is the promotion for me and Sekimoto is the man for me. Wait??? That sounded weird. Seiya Sanada Tiger Suplexed Uto for a near fall and quickly applies the Dragon Sleeper for the submission victory.
Fantastic professional wrestling contest. Isami and Yuko are probably the two most underappreciated wrestlers on the planet. Hoshino and Inaba did good but oh boy Yankee Two Kenju are without a doubt the best team in wrestling. They are both amazing singles competitors as well. The crowd was solid throughout this match, reacting loudly when they needed to but during the closing 5 minutes they were all screaming. Heisei Gokudu were definitely the heels in this match but just slightly. The crowd loves Yankee Two Kenju just like me. This match lasted just shy of 18 minutes and was the easiest 18 minute match to watch. I watched at 1 AM and I am still FIRED UP. Kodaka’s timing is impeccable whether it’s his kicks or diving double knees, he always knows when to connect. This is one of the matches were I didn’t write notes and I just enjoyed it. Kodaka and Yuko’s performances respectively in this match was unreal and it’s a travesty if you don’t watch this match. Hoshino and Inaba brought it on this evening. This was easily my favorite match of Heisei Gokudo Combi. They are just two chubby dudes that use their size and weight advantage perfectly. Yuko won, retaining the titles for Yankee Two Kenju when he hit a twisting senton and a moonsault on Hoshino.
Big Japan delivers once again man! Not enough people who vote for the WON year end awards watch BJW but if they did it would be everybody’s favorite promotion. EVERY DAMN CARD has at least one thing that is great. BJW never has bad cards. Not one much was below ***. Daisuke Sekimoto is the trainer of the BJW dojo and has been for a while; so you can thank him for all the amazing youngsters coming out of Big Japan Pro Wrestling. If you’re pressed for time, just watch the last three matches. Have a good one!