Big Japan Wrestling
BJW Ryogokutan 2018
November 11, 2018
Ryogoku Kokugikan
Tokyo, Japan

Attendance: 3,880

Takuho Kato & Yuki Ishikawa def. Akiyori Takizawa & Akira Hyodo

This was your typical hot young boy opener match. It’s clear that Big Japan is putting a lot more emphasis on mass than most other promotions, which shouldn’t be a shocker if you look at their strong division.

Takuya Nomura & Fuminori Abe def. Shinobu & Koju Takeda

A good fiery match that was designed to put over the Nomura and Abe team. They are likely the next challengers of Nakanoue and Hama as they hold a win over them from the Saikyo Tag league. Abe got to show off his dynamic offense. Then Nomura took the heat for a bit to show off his selling before he absolutely murdered Takeda with some really stiff slaps and kicks. He then knocked him out with a head kick and pinned him for the three.

Yoshihisa Uto & Kazumi Kikuta def. Okami

This is a major Big Japan show and one of the rules of their major shows is that Hideyoshi Kamitani has to lose his match. Okami easily outclassed their opponents here. Kikuta is easily the worst guy in the strong division and I don’t see anything that he brings to the table. His look is horrendous and his wrestling skills are sub-par. Looks like Uto will be getting a bit of a push upon his return to the strong division and we’ll see if it leads anywhere or if it will fizzle out like it normally does. Kamitani took Uto’s finish completely on his knees, which made it look very low impact. An ok match that was carried completely by Okami.

Great Kojika, Shiro Koshinaka, Brahman Shu & Brahman Kei def. Speed Of Sounds (Tsutomu Oosugi & Banana Senga), Tatsuhiko Yoshino & Kota Sekifuda

Lots of water, lots of Kojika looking confused. If 2018 Shiro Koshinaka is the best worker in the match its not a good match. At least the live crowd seemed to enjoy it.

Yuko Miyamoto, Takumi Tsukamoto & Kyu Mogami def. Minoru Fujita, Kankuro Hoshino & Ryuichi Sekine

A quick time filler on the card that was ultimately entirely meaningless. At least we got to see the Mega Hammer, which is always nice. Also, Kankuro Hoshino deserves better.

Ryuichi Kawakami def. Yuji Okabayashi

This is Okabayashi’s big return after over a year on the shelf and what a return it was. He sold his ass off here to put over Kawakami. Kawakami systematically tore apart Okabayashi’s left arm with some stiff forearms and kicks, before tapping him out with an armbar. He came across incredibly dominant here and I expect him to be next in line for a Strong title shot. Okabayashi got in some of his trademark offense, but otherwise this was Kawakami’s chance to shine and he delivered. A great match and I’m looking forward to Kawakami’s upcoming title match and Okabayashi being back to form immediately, which should make for some exciting matchups in the Strong division.

BJW Tag Team Title Table Crash Match
Ryota Hama & Yasufumi Nakanoue (c) def. Takayuki Ueki & Toshiyuki Sakuda

Everytime I see Hama I marvel at that mans body shape. There really is no one else like him in wrestling. We get the obligatory sumo spot, which is very appropriate in this case given the venue of the show. Maybe its because of the look but Sakuda reminded me of a Flock era Billy Kidman here. He was just a little shit that was completely out of his debt against these two heavyweights, but he refused to back down and got smacked around for his trouble. Hama splashed Ueki through a table from the apron and kudos to Hama for taking that bump. A fun title defense to establish the champs as a dominant team.

BJW Junior Heavyweight Title
Kazuki Hashimoto (c) def. Yuya Aoki

This match was all about Aoki proving himself to Hashimoto. It started out with Hashimoto not taking his opponent seriously and toying with him. However, Aoki managed to stand up to him and by the end of the match, they were competing as equals. This match was a huge step for Aoki even though he fell short. He has officially graduated from young boy status now. The future of the strong division with him and Nomura is very bright and I’m looking forward to what he will do from here. Another good match, but not quite on the same level as the Okabayashi vs Kawakami match.

Madness Massacre Returns Battle Of Killing Weapons Death Match
Abdullah Kobayashi & Ryuji Ito def. Jun Kasai & Jaki Numazawa

Jun Kasai has a long and complicated history with the promotion, while Abdullah Kobayashi eats, sleeps, breaths and bleeds Big Japan. While it is a tag this match is really all about these two facing off once again. As I’ve said Ito has aged pretty badly and these days looks like the guy that does your taxes. If your accountant also did death matches on the side. This was more of a collection of greatest hits rather than a match. It was fine for what it was.

BJW Strong World Heavyweight Title
Daisuke Sekimoto def. Hideki Suzuki (c)

The Strong title is once again back on the ace of the division. I don’t expect this to be a very long reign, to be honest as this feels like a reset after the whole Hideki Suzuki experiment. While this match wasn’t as good as their previous encounters it was still a very good match. Suzuki was grinding Sekimoto into the mat like he did during their time limit draw earlier this year. But in this case, Sekimoto managed to power out at the end and put Suzuki away with a German suplex.

BJW Death Match Heavyweight Title Ryougoku Barricade Of Death Double Board & Double Barricade & Alpha Death Match
Masaya Takahashi defeats Masashi Takeda (c)

It is officially over, after 449 days and nine successful defenses potentially the greatest Death Match title reign is over. And it went out with a bang. While this match didn’t quite live up to my expectations, which is unsurprising since they were unrealistically high, it was nonetheless a great death match. Both men pulled out all the stops trying to maim each other.

Unfortunately, they did somewhat botch the big spot of the match when Takeda lost his grip on a sunset flip powerbomb from the turnbuckle to the outside. He did recover nicely though to deliver a nasty looking sitout powerbomb to the outside through a bed frame covered in barbed wire. Takeda tried to go for the Reverse U-Crash multiple times but Takahashi managed to slip out time after time. Takahashi then dumped an entire bag of salt on Takeda and jackhammered him into the salt, which looks like it sucked to take for both man. So Takahashi is ascending back to the top of the division and could see this reign go on for a little while to properly establish him as the new ace of the division.

Final Thoughts

Overall this was a very strong effort from Big Japan. The undercard mostly delivered and was aimed at getting the younger generation over, which is always positive. Meanwhile, the main events were all at the very least good matches, while I would call the Okabayashi vs Kawakami match truly great. We will see how many of the pushes started here will be successful. If the young guys continue their strong development Big Japan might be on the cusp of a very strong period. This show is a perfect jumping on point for people wanting to get into Big Japan. It has all the elements that make the promotion great and some of the people on this show started their path to greatness here.