Kuishinbo Kamen vs. Ebessan (Kikutaro)
January 13, 2013
Osaka Pro Kuishinbo Kamen Produce

Reviewed by Neil David (VOW Author Page / Eurograps Express)

Gifted by Fred Morlan (VOW Author Page / The Good, The Bad, and the Hungee)

I want to preface this review with a disclaimer – I like laughing. I laugh several times a day. I sometimes laugh four or even five times a day during the holiday season. However, my podcast listeners (Eurograps Express / @EurograpsExp) will know that comedy doesn’t belong in wrestling.

With that in mind, I should have loved this match because there was certainly no comedy here. I am familiar with Kikutaro, with his face like a pound-shop Frank Sidebottom, because he’s instilled a Pavlovian instinct that sends me scrambling for a ‘skip’ button whenever he wrestles. I wasn’t familiar with Kuishibo Kamen and first impressions led me to believe that his odd garb might have been an attempt to raise awareness of what happens to monkeys during animal testing. This was a mistake; he’s supposed to be a clown.

This opened with the mise-en-scene of light-hearted family entertainment, which I hate. The light cabaret music and the cheering children made me hope this was a strange ruse and there was a cavalcade of barbed wire-wrapped weapons waiting patiently under the ring. There wasn’t, and it was only a deathmatch in the sense that it made me wish I was dead.

The two contenders, bravely, decided not to open with wrestling. They did forward rolls instead. When they did wrestle, it was a body slam and a headlock. There would be a suggestion of a dive but it would be robbed from us at the last minute. Hilarious.

This speaks directly to my distaste for comedy wrestling. If it actually involved wrestling, it would be a lot better. Far too often, it’s the match that gives the wrestlers a break. I understand that, but I don’t understand why the wrestling fan would enjoy it. The same people who laugh at this match probably laugh during Shakespeare’s comedies, share cat memes, and say things like “take my updoot, good sir” on Reddit. Losers, in other words.

There was a springboard moonsault, the only moment that tickled anything within me.

Weirdly, they decided to have a relatively normal match halfway through. It was too late for me, however. My rage was already uncontrollable. I was red-faced with anger, and my cholesterol was doing hot laps around my clogged arteries. I was frantically searching for Misawa matches to watch on my phone, semi-naked in the garden. Only the self-flagellation of the grey northern English winter and the stoicism of the King’s Road could erase the dark spots this match has blotched onto my soul.

I don’t know who gifted me with this match. I hope they live on my side of the Atlantic, though, because I need to post them some coal, and I don’t want to spend too much on shipping.