Big Japan “Ikkitousen Finale” 2015
April 19, 2015
Sapporo Teisen Hall
Sapporo, Japan

After a long and bloody tournament, we have finally reached the final day of the Death Match Survivor Tournament. Both the Semi Final and Finals are on this show, which just increases the amount of carnage we will likely see. Around the tournament matches we have other action too, including a big semi-main event with the “strong” wrestlers.  Onto the fun!

Isamu Oshita and Tatsuo Omori vs. Toshiyuki Sakuda and Yoshihisa Uto: Oshita and Sakuda begin the match, they trade holds but both have issues getting an advantage. Sakuda finally gets Oshita to the mat and he tags in Omori but Sakuda gets in control and tags in Uto. Omori and Uto go to the mat, Uto gets away from Omori and they return to their feet. Shoulderblock by Omori, Oshita comes in the ring to help and they double team Uto. Cover by Omori but it gets two. Omori tags in Oshita and Oshita hits a kneedrop on Uto for a two. Oshita works over Uto on the mat but Uto gets into the ropes. Omori is tagged back in, snapmare, and Omori applies a reverse chinlock. Uto finally fights back as they trade blows, but Omori tags in Oshita. Oshita elbows Uto into the corner, but Uto hits a dropkick and tags in Sakuda. Elbows by Sakuda and he dropkicks Oshita in the knee. Dropkick by Sakuda but it gets a two count. Standing moonsault by Sakuda but that also gets two. Sakuda headbutts Oshita but Oshita hits an enzigieri. Dropkick by Oshita and he tags in Omori. Omori elbows Sakuda in the corner and hits a big hiptoss before applying a chinlock. Omori picks up Sakuda but Sakuda gets away and hits a headbutt. Sakuda tags in Uto, lariat by Uto in the corner and he hits a scoop slam. Leg drop by Uto and they trade strikes before Omori hits a dropkick. Oshita comes in and Uto is double teamed in the corner. Backdrop suplex/neckbreaker combination to Uto, cover, but Sakuda breaks it up. Omori puts Uto in a crab hold, he almost makes it to the ropes but Omori drags him back, getting the tap out victory! Solid rookie action here, none of them looked out of place and it was fundamentally very sound. They kept it basic obviously but what they did was good. **1/4

Death Match Survivor Semi-Final (Nail Board Death Match) – Abdullah Kobayashi vs. Masashi Takeda: There are also lighttubes everywhere. The nail board starts the match in the corner, both wrestlers try to put their opponent into it with no luck. They then try to throw each other into the tubes hanging around the ring, and both have better luck with that as both eat the tubes. Takeda rolls out of the ring but Kobayashi goes out after him and continues the tubular assault. Takeda rams Kobayashi’s head into the post and sticks a lighttube into his forehead. They finally return to the ring and Takeda continues sticking a tube into Kobayashi’s head. Takeda kicks some into Kobayashi’s back and he covers him for two. Takeda tries to throw Kobayashi into the nail board but Kobayashi reverses it, sending Takeda into the nails. Kobayashi chops some lighttubes into Takeda’s chest while he is still lying against the nails before un-sticking Takeda and throwing him to the mat. Kobayashi cuts up Takeda’s back and its kinda gross before hitting a headbutt. Kobayashi dives at Takeda but Takeda side steps him and starts hitting him with lighttubes.

Running knee in the corner by Takeda, he then spins Kobayashi around in broken glass before covering him for two. Takeda puts the nail board on the mat but Kobayashi blocks the slam attempt and slams Takeda onto the board. Kobayashi gets some chairs, he puts them on Takeda but Takeda gets up as Kobayashi climbs up to the top turnbuckle. Takeda then joins Kobayashi and hits a quasi-side Russian leg sweep onto the nail board. Takeda kicks Kobayashi but Kobayashi hits a side slam. Kobayashi puts Takeda in a crab hold but Takeda gets out of it by pushing Kobayashi onto the nail board. While Kobayashi is on the nail board, Takeda puts a chair on Kobayashi’s back and then hits it with another chair. Olympic Slam onto the nail board, cover, but it gets a two count. Takeda picks up Kobayashi and he hits a German suplex onto some lighttubes for a two count. Headbutts by Takeda but Kobayashi quickly applies the Karinokai Clutch for the three count! I am so torn. I like Takeda, don’t like Kobayashi. I like nail boards, don’t like lighttubes. So portions I enjoyed, I like the awkwardness the nail board presents as they try to use it without killing each other, but the slow tube-based offense I can do without. Overall entertaining I must admit, although a bit excessive at times. ***

Takeda with an Olympic Slam on the Nail Board

Death Match Survivor Semi-Final (Concrete Block and Salt Death Match) – Isami Kodaka vs. Ryuji Ito: And like the last match there are lighttubes everywhere. They start the match trading more traditional holds until Ito throws Kodaka into the lighttubes. Dropkick by Kodaka and he applies a Tarantula. Ito scoop slams Kodaka onto the concrete blocks, he then puts a block onto Kodaka’s back before hitting it with another block. Ito rubs Kodaka’s head in the blocks, he then puts some salt on one and rams Kodaka into it. Kodaka bails but Ito follows him, throwing salt at him. Back in the ring Ito gets a bunch of tubes and slams Kodaka into them. Ito hits Kodaka with a chair next but Kodaka gets away and hits a side Russian leg sweep onto a chair. Now Kodaka gets the tubes and throws salt into Ito’s face. Kodaka puts salt on the tubes and then hits a side Russian leg sweep onto it. Kodaka then puts some salt down on the concrete blocks and he hits a side Russian leg sweep onto it. Kodaka and Ito trade elbows, Kodaka gets a chair and throws it at Ito. Running elbow by Kodaka, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ito avoids the diving attack. Northern Lights Suplex by Ito but Kodaka kicks out.

Ito slams Kodaka on the pieces of tube and salt, he goes up top but Kodaka avoids the moonsault. Brainbuster by Kodaka, he goes up top but Ito avoids the dive and hits a heel kick. German suplex by Ito but Kodaka ducks the Shining Dragon and rolls up Ito for two. Scoop slam by Ito, he puts a big bundle of lighttubes on Kodaka’s chest and goes to the top turnbuckle but Kodaka recovers and joins him. Kodaka throws the whole bucket of salt at Ito and he hits a Frankensteiner. Ito pops up and hits a Michinoku Driver, he puts some tubes on Kodaka and goes up top, but Kodaka gets his knees up when he dives off. German suplex hold by Kodaka but it gets a two count. Superkick by Kodaka, he puts some blocks on Ito before going up top, and he hits a diving double knee drop onto the blocks. Kodaka quickly goes up and hits another one, cover, but Ito kicks out. Kodaka goes off the ropes and he nails the Isamuashi-zan for the three count! Blocks and salt aren’t the most interesting gimmicks and the tube stuff is just repetitive. I am sure the salt hurts but it isn’t much of a visual, and only one of the moves with the blocks looked really good. I also didn’t like Ito no-selling the Frankensteiner, it was just a poor transition. A few good spots for highlight packages but otherwise disappointing. *3/4

Kodaka with a Concrete Block Diving Double Knee

MEN’s Teioh, Atsushi Maruyama, and Takumi Tsukamoto vs. Tsutomu Oosugi, Hercules Senga, and Kankuro Hoshino: Hoshino and company attack before the match starts and Senga stays in with Teioh as they trade blows. Teioh gets the better of it so Senga bails, Maruyama and Hoshino get in the ring and Hoshino hits a shoulderblock. Tsukamoto strolls in but he gets double teamed. Hoshino stomps Tsukamoto and he tags in Oosugi. Dropkick by Oosugi and he tags in Senga. Irish whip by Senga to Tsukamoto but Tsukamoto hits an enzigieri. Tsukamoto tags in Teioh and Teioh slams Senga to the mat. Teioh fights off all three of them and he hits a vertical suplex on Senga. Teioh tags in Maruyama, Maruyama dropkicks Senga and Senga tags in Hoshino. Maruyama kicks Hoshino in the corner and delivers a jumping kick. Maruyama tags in Tsukamoto and Tsukamoto hits a fisherman buster for two. Oosugi and Senga both deliver dropkicks to Teioh and Tsukamoto before diving out of the ring onto them. Maruyama dives out onto Senga, then Hoshino jumps off the apron down onto all of them. Hoshino slides Tsukamoto in and he hits an STO for a two count. Oosugi and Senga come in the ring and Tsukamoto is double teamed. Senga hits a dropkick on Teioh and then one on Maruyama as well as Tsukamoto. Senton by Hoshino on Tsukamoto but again Teioh fights all three off. Teioh chokeslams Oosugi, Senga goes for a roll-up but Teioh gets out of it and he pins down Senga for the three count! This was a pretty nothing match, just short mid-card filler. *1/2

Brahman Shu, Brahman Kei, and Takayuki Ueki vs. “Black Angel” Jaki Numazawa, Shinobu, and Masaya Takahashi: Jesus, this match is 15 minutes long. The match starts with Brahman shenanigans but Shinobu hits an Asai Moonsault. They all battle outside the ring, including the use of push carts, until Shu rolls Numazawa into the ring. Kei also comes in as Numazawa is double teamed, Ueki comes in as well and rubs his chest on Numazawa’s face. Shu and Kei come in with the bowling ball and luggage, using it on Numazawa in the corner. Ueki gets in the ring but Shinobu and Takahashi do also, as Ueki is now the one that is double teamed as the Brahmans seem to have disappeared. Takahashi scoop slams Ueki, he puts the luggage on him and hits an elbow drop. Shinobu slams Ueki then Numazawa throws a stuffed bear at him. Numazawa grabs Ueki and puts him onto the ropes, Numazawa then gets in the ropes but he slips and nothing really happens. Ueki tags in Shu, Kei comes in too and both kick Takahashi. Numazawa is then double teamed, Kei gets the luggage and he rams it into Numazawa.

Kei puts Shinobu up on the luggage as Shu gets the bowling ball, but Takahashi stands guard. Shu throws the ball through anyway, knocking Shinobu off the luggage. Takahashi fights off the Brahmans and he tags in Shinobu. Ueki is also tagged in and Shinobu hits a missile dropkick. Ueki is lariated in the corner, Shinobu goes up top but he is grabbed before he can jump off. Numazawa oil checks Ueki, he then rams Shu’s face into Ueki’s ass. We end up with Shinobu and Ueki alone in the ring and they trade elbows. Ueki gets his gun, and Ueki puts it in Shinobu’s ass. Shinobu gets out of it and hits a lariat on Ueki, cover, but it gets two. Scoop slam by Shinobu, he goes up top and he nails the S.E.X., but the pin is broken up. Shinobu goes off the ropes but he is attacked from the floor with a Yield Sign. Ueki covers Shinobu, and he picks up the three count. This was weird and not really what I consider a quality wrestling match. I’m not sure why Big Japan has these same basic characters doing the same basic match on every card, even if I thought it was entertaining it would get old. But I don’t so there is really no benefit for me. Very skippable. 1/2*

Daisuke Sekimoto, Yuji Okabayashi, and Yuko Miyamoto vs. Hideyoshi Kamitani, Ryuichi Kawakami, and Kazuki Hashimoto: Miyamoto and Hashimoto start off and they trade holds back and forth. Miyamoto tags in Sekimoto and Sekimoto shoulderblocks Hashimoto. Hashimoto applies a hammerlock and tags in Kawakami. Sekimoto dropkicks Kawakami and Sekimoto tags in Okabayashi. Kawakami and Okabayashi tie-up and Kawakami hits a shoulderblock. Scoop slam by Okabayashi and Kawakami tags in Kamitani. Okabayashi tags in Miyamoto and he works over Kamitani’s arm. Scoop slam by Kamitani and he tags in Hashimoto. Eye rake by Miyamoto and he tags Sekimoto. Sekimoto and Hashimoto trade strikes, Kamitani is tagged in and he elbows Sekimoto in the corner. Sekimoto knocks Kamitani to the mat but Kamitani gets away and tags in Kawakami. Kawakami chops Sekimoto but Sekimoto hits a scoop slam and tags in Okabayashi. I am assuming this match gets going at some point, it has been shockingly uneventful so far. Okabayashi chops Kawakami as they trade blows, German suplex by Kawakami but Okabayashi fires back with a lariat. Miyamoto and Hashimoto are tagged in and Miyamoto hits an overhead suplex. Miyamoto goes up top and he jumps off with a chop to Hashimoto. Hashimoto kicks Miyamoto down in the corner, Miyamoto fights back but Hashimoto hits a dragon screw leg whip. Face washes by Hashimoto in the corner to Miyamoto but Miyamoto ducks the PK.

Handspring elbow strike by Miyamoto and he tags in Sekimoto. Sekimoto throws Hashimoto into the corners and he puts Hashimoto in an Argentine Backbreaker. Okabayashi and Miyamoto do the same to Kawakami and Kamitani but Kamitani throws Miyamoto out of the ring and saves his partners. Okabayashi and Sekimoto both lariat Hashimoto and they hit a double backdrop suplex. Sekimoto applies a Scorpion Deathlock to Hashimoto but it is broken up. Sekimoto and Hashimoto trade elbows but Okabayashi comes in to help, and Sekimoto hits a lariat on Hashimoto. Cover, but it is broken up. The ring is cleared as Sekimoto picks up Hashimoto, and he hits a delayed brainbuster for a two count. Okabayashi comes in, he slams Hashimoto and Miyamoto hits a moonsault. Sekimoto grabs Hashimoto and delivers a deadlift German suplex hold, picking up the three count! This one just took a long time to get going, the last few minutes were great and nothing before that was bad, it was just kinda flat. Maybe they intentionally didn’t go all out so as to not upstage the tournament, but this was disappointing for the participants in the match.  **1/2

Death Match Survivor Tournament Final (200 Lighttube Match) – Abdullah Kobayashi vs. Isami Kodaka: They both start off with lighttubes and do a lighttube duel, and both take turns breaking tubes in the middle of the ring. They trade holds as Kobayashi gets Kodaka to the mat but they return to their feet as Kodaka throws Kobayashi into the tubes. Kobayashi falls out of the ring and Kodaka sails out onto him with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Kodaka continues his assault and he hits a jumping knee in the corner. Side Russian leg sweep by Kodaka into the broken glass, he puts more tubes on the mat and hits another side Russian leg sweep. Kodaka then does the same onto the concrete blocks, as this match isn’t going well for Kobayashi. Kodaka gets some tubes but Kobayashi blocks his attack and knocks him to the mat. Lighttube headbutts by Kobayashi in the corner and he pulls the nail board onto the mat. Kobayashi pushes Kodaka’s head into the nails, then back up he chops Kodaka in the throat. Dragon screw leg whip by Kobayashi and he hits a second one. Leg lock by Kobayashi but back up Kodaka hits a hurricanrana. Kobayashi puts some tubes on the nail board but Kodaka gets away. Leg sweep by Kobayashi, he charges Kodaka but Kodaka drop toeholds him into the barbed wire board. Kodaka goes up top and he hits a diving crossbody, he then hits a swandive dropkick to Kobayashi’s knee. Kodaka punches Kobayashi and Kobayashi punches him back as they trade shots. Jumping lariat by Kobayashi and he hits a Uraken, but Kodaka comes back with a superkick.

Kodaka puts some blocks on Kobayashi’s chest, he goes up top and hits a diving double knee drop. The concrete blocks don’t break so he stacks them on Kobayashi again, hitting it a second time. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Kodaka gets a bundle of tubes and puts them onto Kobayashi’s chest, but Kobayashi gets his knees up when Kobayashi jumps off. Kobayashi grabs Kodaka but Kodaka hits a vertical suplex for two. Karinokai Clutch by Kobayashi but this time it only gets a two count. Shining Wizard by Kobayashi, he picks up Kodaka and hits a piledriver onto the nail board. Cover by Kobayashi, but it gets a two count. Kobayashi throws a bunch of lighttubes at Kodaka and he does it a second time. Kobayashi keeps doing that for a minute and he hits a dropkick. Kodaka kicks him back but Kobayashi hits a back bodydrop. Kobayashi puts Kodaka in a crab hold, and Kodaka taps out! Your winner of the match and the tournament: Abdullah Kobayashi! Let’s see, a lot to think about here. First, I am sure they had their reasons but I don’t like the end of a big death match tournament being a normal crab hold, it just doesn’t feel right. The match was a little too lighttube for my tastes but I liked when the different elements were brought in. The match flowed well and neither seemed to slow down any even though they wrestled earlier. Good pacing and spaced out spots helped the match a lot, they bounced between the different weapons well and it helped the match never seem stale. Overall very solid, I just wish it had more big moments and that the ending was more epic. ***1/2

Piledriver onto the Nail Board!

Final Thoughts: Compared to the last Big Japan event I reviewed on 3/31, I thought this one was a step behind. The non-tournament matches were meaningless fluff, there was nothing there I would recommend. As for the tournament matches they were just a bit too lighttube-oriented as all three involved them. I just like some variety in my death matches. I did enjoy the nail board (don’t look at me like that, I’m not sadistic, I just think it creates a great visual) and the main event was entertaining, it just didn’t live up to my expectations compared to the last show. There is definitely some good stuff here for death match fans, but not anything for ‘strong’ fans and overall I can’t really give this one a recommendation.

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