review by Kevin Wilson
The Date: December 25th, 2006
The Location: Shin-Kiba 1st RING
Announced Attendance: 350 Fans
Ever since Apache Pro closed I have been a little bit bummed out, so I pulled this older event out to review to help cheer me up. A "Jun Kasai Production," the entire event is a Death Match Tournament. I am a huge fan of one night tournaments, and since they are done very rarely these days I tend to buy them even if they aren't highly praised. Or praised at all. The event has a nice mix of Apache Pro and Big Japan wrestlers and hopefully it will have some fun carnage. And the last match uses real glass, not the fake crap that they used in the other Apache Pro event I reviewed. Since it has been awhile I didn't spoil the event with the line-up below, that way if you don't know who wins you can read along in suspense. Here is the card:
Death Match Tournament
Round 1: Madman Pondo vs. Jun Kasai
Round 1: GENTARO vs. Yuko Miyamoto
Round 1: The Winger vs. Tomoaki Honma
Round 1: Hi69 vs. Takashi Sasaki
Semi Final: Pondo or Kasai vs. GENTARO or Miyamoto
Semi Final: Winger or Honma vs. Hi69 or Sasaki
Finals: Barbed Wire Spider Net Glass Crash + Alpha Death Match
Madman Pondo vs. Jun Kasai
Oh goodie, we get to start with Madman Pondo. Pondo throws Kasai out of the ring to start the match, and Pondo joins him after getting a giant knife. He hits Kasai in the head with the handle a few times but Kasai gets it from him and hits him in the head. Kasai takes Pondo up into the bleachers and rams his head into the seats. Back to ringside, punches to the stomach by Pondo and he slams Kasai into a table. Up to the ramp now, Pondo Irish whips Kasai and delivers a lariat. Pondo picks up Kasai and throws him back into the ring. Pondo gets his scissors and stabs Kasai in the face with them. Pondo then takes Kasai to a different side and stabs him in the head again. Irish whip by Pondo and he hits Kasai repeatedly in the stomach and head with the scissors. He finally puts them down and gets his giant knife, hitting Kasai low with it. With Kasai in the ropes, Pondo comes up from behind and jabs the knife into Kasai's forehead. Pondo gets the stop sign now, Irish whip to Kasai but Kasai ducks the blow. Kasai goes for a sunset flop but Pondo stops it by hitting Kasai with the stop sign. Cover, but it gets a two count. He then takes the stop sign and hits Kasai in the groin with it. Now onto a different knife, and Pondo stabs Kasai above the nose with it. Pondo grabs the staple gun and stables him below the belt and then in the back. Pondo then grabs Kasai's hand and staples him there as well. Pondo chokes Kasai in the ropes before going outside the ring and getting a steel chair as well as a step-up ladder. He sets it up in the corner but Kasai recovers. Kasai tries to suplex Pondo into it but Pondo reverses it and sends Kasai into the ladder. Pondo goes outside the ring again and throws more steel chairs into the ring. Back in the ring, Pondo picks up Kasai and hits a pump-handle slam into a stack of chairs. Cover, and it gets a two count.
Irish whip by Pondo but Kasai avoids the lariat and hits a DDT. Kasai goes for a suplex, reversed, low blow by Kasai and he delivers a dropkick to Pondo's head. Cover, but it gets two. Kasai hits Pondo with a steel chair, picks him up, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a running shoulder tackle followed by a DDT. Kasai goes up to the top turnbuckle and connects with the diving headbutt, cover, but it gets a two count. Kasai picks up Pondo, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle to go for the Pearl Harbor Splash, but Pondo rolls out of the way. Pondo hits a lariat onto Kasai and he gets some paper, stapler, and a lighter. Pondo staples the paper to Kasai's face, he tries to light it, but he can't get the lighter to work. After an awkward moment he tries again, but it still doesn't work. Pondo takes Kasai to the corner and tries a third time, but once again it won't light. Crowd laughs. Pondo gets the stop sign, Irish whip, and he hits Kasai in the head with it. Pondo sets up the chairs in the corner, with one bridged over two that are set up. He then hits Kasai in the head with a third chair before squirting lighter fluid onto his chair contraption. After putting Kasai onto the top turnbuckle he lights the top chair on fire (it actually works), and suplexes Kasai onto it. Cover by Pondo but it only gets a two count. Pondo hits Kasai with the staple gun and puts him on the ground under two four chairs. He then sets up two chairs over him, he goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Kasai slides out and hits Pondo with the stop sign. Kasai then throws Pondo into the chair tower, cover, but it only gets a two count. Kasai tries to hit Pondo with the sign, Pondo blocks it, but Kasai hits him low and connects with it anyway. German suplex hold by Kasai and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Jun Kasai
Match Thoughts: So this is the type of "death match" that I don't like. I need some type of story, psychology, or suspense. Not just poorly done random spots that don't mean much or anything at all. Kasai needs someone to reel him in as at his base he is a spot monkey, but unfortunately Pondo only knows how to do random violence with random weapons. The lighter not working was perfect, as it provided some comic relief in an otherwise boring and plodding match. At least Kasai won, maybe in the next round he will be against someone that will force him to have a better match. Score: 3.0
GENTARO vs. Yuko Miyamoto
GENTARO starts the match with a ladder, he uses it to fend off Miyamoto's baseball bat attacks, but Miyamoto knocks the ladder out of his hand and GENTARO falls out of the ring. While still in the ring with the ladder, Miyamoto kicks the ladder from inside the ring into GENTARO. Miyamoto then joins GENTARO outside and picks him up, throwing him into the ring post. Miyamoto picks up GENTARO and slides him back into the ring (the ladder is magically set up in the corner now), and Miyamoto hits GENTARO in the back before trying to throw him into the ladder. GENTARO blocks it however, Irish whip by GENTARO to the other corner, reversed, and Miyamoto hits a back elbow. Miyamoto tries to Irish whip GENTARO into the ladder but GENTARO slams on the brakes. Miyamoto charges GENTARO but GENTARO back bodydrops him into the ladder. With Miyamoto on the mat GENTARO twice hits him with the ladder. GENTARO picks up Miyamoto, scoop slam, he climbs up the turnbuckle and rides the ladder down onto Miyamoto. Eye rake by Miyamoto but GENTARO pushes him to the mat. GENTARO puts Miyamoto into the Tree of Woe, he then gets the ladder and sets it up pointed to Miyamoto's head before dropkicking it into Miyamoto. Cover, but it gets a two count. GENTARO sets up the ladder in the corner, he puts Miyamoto upside down propped against the ladder, he goes up to the opposite turnbuckle and delivers a headbutt to Miyamoto. GENTARO picks up Miyamoto and hits a Fisherman Brainbuster, cover, but it gets a two count. GENTARO charges Miyamoto but Miyamoto hits an overhead belly to belly suplex, sending GENTARO into the ladder. Miyamoto picks up GENTARO and hits a rebound handspring elbow strike. He then sets up the ladder and climbs up, but GENTARO knocks him off. With the baseball bat again, Miyamoto props it up in the ladder between the rungs and then chokes GENTARO with it. With GENTARO still in the ladder, Miyamoto dropkicks it, forcing it to fall onto GENTARO. Cover, but it gets a two count. Miyamoto sets the ladder up in front of the corner and scoop slams GENTARO in front of it. He then goes up the ladder and delivers a Moonsault, cover, but GENTARO somehow kicks out. Miyamoto goes up the ladder again but this time GENTARO gets up and punches him before he can jump. GENTARO then climbs up the other side and applies a modified Dragon Sleeper on top of the ladder. After a moment he releases the hold and hits a neckbreaker down to the mat. Cover, but it gets a two count. GENTARO picks up Miyamoto, snapmare, and he hits a series of mounted punches. GENTARO then goes to the top of the ladder and hits a Diving Elbow Drop, cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winner: GENTARO
Match Thoughts: For what it was (an opening round thrown-together ladder match), it really wasn't bad. They had a few innovative spots (some didn't really work, but they tried), a few big moves, and ended the match before it got too long. Miyamoto in late 2006 was just starting his big push in Big Japan and was still the feisty underdog, which is why his moonsault from a ladder didn't work when it probably would today. It wasn't good in the classical sense of the word, but for an opening round match of a tournament it was acceptable. Score: 5.5
I can tell so far that one thing that is going to hurt the card is that the crowd is not the normal fanatical Tokyo crowd. They are much more subdued then the normal Apache Pro crowd. That is a shame, I like vocal crowds.
The Winger vs. Tomoaki Honma
Still in the first round, we get a special treat with an appearance by Honma! Tie-up to start, Honma gets Winger into the ropes but he gives a clean break. Waistlock by Honma, reversed, reversed again, front facelock by Honma and he rolls it into a reverse chinlock. Winger reverses it into a hammerlock then into a wristlock and he applies an arm submission hold on the mat. Headscissors by Winger but Honma gets out of it and applies a side headlock. Winger struggles to his feet and Irish whips out of it, shoulderblock by Honma, he goes off the ropes but Winger catches him with a dropkick and Honma falls out of the ring. Winger then goes over to the ropes and sails out onto Honma with a pescado. Winger snapmares Honma on the floor and tries to hit him with a sledgehammer, but Honma avoids the blows. Chops by Honma, he picks up Winger and hits him back into the ring. Honma follows and hits an elbow drop, cover, but it gets a two count. Honma picks up Winger and punches him against the ropes before kicking him down to the mat. Honma picks up Winger, Irish whip, and he delivers a back elbow. Cover, but Winger kicks out. Single leg crab hold by Honma, he picks up Winger and delivers a vertical suplex. Cover by Honma but it gets a two count. Back up, headbutt by Honma but Winger kicks him in the stomach. Winger rakes Honma eyes and goes off the ropes, but Honma drop toeholds him into the second rope before kneeing him in the back. Sleeperhold by Honma, Winger elbows out of it and goes off the ropes, but Honma re-applies the hold. Cover by Honma but it gets a two count. Honma punches Winger into the corner, Irish whip, and he connects with the jumping forearm strike followed by a face crusher. Piledriver by Honma, cover, but Winger kicks out at two. Scoop slam by Honma and he goes up to the top turnbuckle. Honma goes for a diving body press, but Winger gets his knees and applies an Inside Cradle for a two count. Winger charges Honma, but Honma kicks him back and blocks a dropkick. Shining Wizard by Honma, with Winger landing on the apron. Honma tries to suplex him over the top rope, Winger blocks it, but Honma hits an enzigieri over the top rope. Honma then goes for a sunset flip powerbomb over the top rope to the floor, but Winger reverses it with a hurricanrana. Winger slides Honma back into the ring and goes for a backdrop suplex, but Winger blocks it. Honma goes for a second Shining Wizard, Winger blocks it, but Honma hits a dragon screw leg whip. Powerbomb by Honma, cover, but it only gets a two count. Elbow strike by Honma, he goes for a second one but Winger blows mist in his face! Inside Cradle and Winger picks up the three count! Your winner: The Winger
Match Thoughts: Not sure how one could justify calling this a death match, as it was pretty slow and lackluster throughout and they didn't do anything special. Honma didn't bring any emotion like I was hoping and Winger was his typical wrestle-by-numbers self. Winger really needs the right opponent to light a fire under his ass but Honma wasn't up to the challenge, and even though an inside cradle is an odd way to end a match in a "death match" tournament it put the perfect exclamation point on a very standard match. It wasn't poorly worked as Winger was on his heels throughout and had to resort to sneaky means to win, but it didn't seem to fit in with the theme of the card and it was too lackluster to entertain the crowd. Score: 4.0
Hi69 vs. Takashi Sasaki
Last match of the first round. Hi69 throws a table at Sasaki to start the match and kicks him back into the corner. Stomps by Hi69, Irish whip, but Sasaki hits a leg lariat as Hi69 charges in. Irish whip by Sasaki and he kicks Hi69 in the stomach. Hi69 avoids the ax kick however and dropkicks Sasaki out of the ring. Punch by Hi69 and he rams Sasaki into the ring post. Hi69 grabs a table and sets it up at ringside, he goes back to Sasaki and puts him up top of the table. Hi69 goes up to the top turnbuckle and goes for a leg drop, but Sasaki moves out of the way and Hi69 goes through the table by himself. Sasaki throws Hi69 into the ring post and pulls several chairs from under the ring. After throwing the chairs in the ring, Sasaki goes back to Hi69 and connects with a series of punches before sliding him back into the ring. Kicks to the chest by Sasaki but Hi69 powers up and returns with a chop. The two trade chops, but Sasaki hits a back kick to win the battle. Sasaki picks up a chair and hits Hi69 hard in the back with it. Cover, but it gets a two count. Sasaki grabs a barbed wire bat and hits Hi69 in the chest with it, he then picks him up and hits him a second time. Sasaki picks up Hi69 and connects with a third shot with the bat, scoop slam by Sasaki, cover, but it gets a two count. Kick to the back by Sasaki but Hi69 gets up quickly and hits a series of elbows. Sasaki returns fire and the two go back to chopping each other, with again Sasaki getting the better of it. Sasaki grabs the bat again, he waits for Hi69 to get up but Hi69 ducks the shot. Waistlock by Hi69 but Sasaki gets out of it by hitting Hi69 with the bat. Sasaki goes for another swing but again Hi69 ducks it, but this time Hi69 manages to connect with a super kick. Irish whip by Hi69 and he connects with a jumping heel kick, sending Sasaki out of the ring. Hi69 grabs a chair, goes off the far ropes and sails out of the ring with a chair-assisted tope suicida.
Back to their feet, punches by Hi69 and he Irish whips Sasaki into a row of chairs. Hi69 throws Sasaki back into the ring and grabs a piece of the broken table from earlier, hitting Sasaki repeatedly in the head with it. Irish whip by Hi69 and he hits a spinebuster followed by a Lionsault. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Hi69 grabs a chair and puts it against Sasaki, but Sasaki ducks Hi69's kick attempt and hits Hi69 in the head with the chair. Sasaki puts Hi69 onto the top turnbuckle and delivers a superplex. Sasaki throws a few chairs into the middle of the ring and powerbombs Hi69 into them, cover, but it only gets a two count. Sasaki grabs the barbed wire bat but puts it down so he can try to hit the D-Geist onto it. Hi69 slides down his back however and hits a landing piledriver on Sasaki onto the bat. Hi69 puts the bat onto Sasaki's chest, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a moonsault. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Hi69 picks up Sasaki and hits a Death Valley Driver onto the bat, cover, but Sasaki manages to get a shoulder up. Back up, Hi69 goes for a Fisherman Buster but Sasaki blocks it and delivers a kick to the face. Shining Wizard by Sasaki, cover, but it gets a two count. Sasaki picks up Hi69, Irish whip from the corner but Hi69 kicks him when he charges in. Hi69 grabs some handcuffs, puts them up Sasaki and rolls him up for a two count. Running kick to the face by Hi69, cover, but again it gets a two. Hi69 goes to the top turnbuckle and attempts another moonsault, but Sasaki rolls out of the way. Sasaki manages to get the cuffs off, he waits for Hi69 to get up and delivers a lariat. Another lariat by Sasaki, but Hi69 again gets back up. Mid-kick by Sasaki and he kicks Hi69 again in the head. Sasaki then props the bat up against Hi69's head and nails the Right Trail, cover, and Sasaki picks up the three count! Your winner: Takashi Sasaki
Match Thoughts: Best match of the night so far, although that is damning it with faint praise. They had some great spots (Hi69 going through the table and the use of the barbed wire bat) and kept the action going for the most part. Hi69 put up a great fight but Sasaki was too much for the young upstart. The crowd actually got a little into this one as the different uses of the weapons kept things interesting and it never came across as excessive while at the same time they saved a lot for the later rounds. It wasn't an epic or a must-see, but it was a great way to end the first round. Score: 7.0
Jun Kasai vs. BENTEN
GENTARO has become BENTEN for his semi-finals match. There is a thumb tack board in the ring. BENTEN attacks Kasai with his sword to start the match, Irish whip by BENTEN and he hits him in the chest with the sword. BENTEN picks up Kasai and throws him into the corner, Irish whip, and he delivers a back elbow. Scoop slam by BENTEN in front of the corner and he hits a corkscrew senton for a two count. BENTEN kicks Kasai in the stomach and rakes his eyes, he goes off the ropes but Kasai catches him with a kick. Reverse Tiger Driver by Kasai, cover, but it only gets a two count. Kasai gets the board with the tacks on it, but he picks the board up which spreads tacks all across the ring. Kasai goes for another Reverse Tiger Driver into the tacks but BENTEN reverses it into a back bodydrop. BENTEN picks up a tack and sticks it into Kasai's head. He picks up a second one and this one he puts into Kasai's stomach. With his sword BENTEN tries to clear off the tacks a bit before hitting Kasai with the sword. Irish whip by BENTEN but Kasai ducks the sword shot and takes it from him, hitting BENTEN with his own sword. Choke by Kasai in the corner with the sword, he picks up a thumb tack and shoves it into BENTEN's forehead. Kasai then grabs a handful of tacks and puts them into BENTEN's mouth before smashing his jaw against his knee. He then puts more tacks into BENTEN's mouth and hits them out, and he is having so much fun he does it a third time. The crowd wants him to do it one more time so he grabs another handful, he puts them into BENTEN's mouth and goes for a piledriver but BENTEN reverses it into a tombstone piledriver onto the tack-filled mat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Elbow drop by BENTEN, another cover, but again it gets a two. BENTEN slams Kasai into the corner and gets Kasai's goggles, he fills the goggle with thumb tacks and puts them onto Kasai's face before ramming his head into the turnbuckle. Reverse Tiger Driver by BENTEN, cover, but Kasai gets a shoulder up. BENTEN collects some tacks into a pile on the ring, he picks up Kasai and snapmares him into them. He then goes up to the top turnbuckle and goes for a senton, but Kasai moves and BENTEN goes back-first into the tacks. Sunset flip by Kasai but he gets a two count. He then hits a Shiranui, cover, but again it gets a two. Kasai goes for a German suplex but BENTEN hits a low blow, but Kasai gets him in the Oklahoma Roll and picks up the three count! Your winner: Jun Kasai
Match Thoughts: Decent match but nothing special. I like thumb tacks and they were used well in the match, but a lot of the moves done with them were purely for show and put neither wrestler in any risk to get pinned. BENTEN was game, which was nice, as he took some bumps into the tacks as well. Obviously they couldn't go too long since one of them had to wrestle again in 30 minutes, but at least the match was a different gimmick then the other ones which allowed them to do something different. It was fun seeing GENTARO in a different setting but other then that it was more of a thumbtack exhibition then anything else. Score: 5.0
The Winger vs. Takashi Sasaki
There are barbed wire boards set up in two corners. Winger asks for a handshake to start the match but he kicks Sasaki in the stomach when he extends his hand. Irish whip by Winger but Sasaki ducks the lariat and hits one of his own. Stomps by Sasaki, he attempts to Irish whip him into the barbed wire board, it is reversed, but Sasaki slams on the breaks. Irish whip attempt by Winger, but Sasaki reverses it and Winger goes crashing into the barbed wire board. Sasaki throws Winger out of the ring, he picks him up on the outside and throws him into a row of chairs. Sasaki goes under the ring and grabs some chairs, sliding them into the ring. Sasaki throws Winger back in, he grabs a chair and waits for Winger to get up before hitting him in the back and stomach with it. After stacking a few chairs, Sasaki picks up Winger and scoop slams him into them. He then puts a part of the barbed wire board onto the mat, he picks up Winger and scoop slams him into the board. Cover by Sasaki but it gets a two count. Kicks to the chest by Sasaki but Winger comes back with a knee. They trade blows but Sasaki kicks Winger low. Sasaki picks up Winger and goes for a suplex, but Winger blocks it and goes for a suplex of his own. Sasaki lands on his feet, they trade waistlocks, but Winger hits Sasaki with a low blow. Winger then gets a running start and shoulderblocks Sasaki into the second barbed wire board. Winger stacks up a few chairs in the ring and hits a backdrop suplex onto Sasaki on the chairs. Winger sets a barbed wire board flat on the mat and slams Sasaki into them for a two count cover. Winger scoop slams Sasaki in the middle of the ring and puts a barbed wire board on top of him. He then goes up to the top turnbuckle but Sasaki pushes the board off of him and punches Winger before he can jump off. Sasaki then joins Winger onto the top turnbuckle and hits a superplex down onto the barbed wire board. Powerbomb by Sasaki onto the barbed wire board, and Winger rolls out of the ring. Sasaki goes out to get him and slides him back into the ring, Sasaki grabs a chair but Winger ducks it. He can't duck the second shot however, lariat by Sasaki but it only gets a two count. Sit-down Powerbomb by Sasaki, cover, but again Winger gets a shoulder up. Sasaki puts a barbed wire board flat on the mat and hits the D-Geist into it, cover, but once again Winger won't stay down. Sasaki goes for the Right Trail, but Winger ducks it and rolls up Sasaki into the barbed wire to pick up the three count! Your winner: The Winger
Match Thoughts: Another good match by Sasaki, he did a better job with Winger then Honma did earlier. Once again Winger had to resort to sneaky means to win the match, which I guess is his ongoing story through the tournament, as like Honma earlier Sasaki had the match almost won several times and Winger didn't have any convincing near-falls. The barbed wire board was used a lot (mostly well) and like the previous match the gimmick directly led to the finish which is always a plus as otherwise the gimmick can seem meaningless. Again, it wasn't long like the last match for the same reason, but it was pretty entertaining and set up Winger as the over-matched but sneaky underdog as he goes into the final match with the man running the tournament. Score: 6.0
Jun Kasai vs. The Winger
This is the Finals of the Death Match Tournament. Looks like there is a glass panel set up in two of the corners and I am sure more weapons will emerge after the match starts. Tie-up to start, Winger pushes Kasai back towards the glass, Kasai tries to Irish whip Winger into it but Winger slams on the breaks. Waistlock by Kasai, Winger tries to push Kasai back into the glass but Kasai slams on the breaks. Again Winger tries to throw Kasai into it but Kasai fights him off. Irish whip towards the glass by Kasai, reversed, but Kasai slides down before he reaches the panel. Tie-up, Kasai pushes Winger into the ropes and chops him in the chest. Kasai tries to suplex Winger over the top turnbuckle but Winger blocks it. Winger stomps Kasai down in the corner and rams him into it before putting him onto the top turnbuckle. Winger joins him and goes for a suplex down to the floor, but Kasai blocks it and jumps back down into the ring. The two trade chops, eye rake by Kasai and he hits a dropkick. Kasai charges Winger, Winger back bodydrops him over the top rope but Kasai lands on the apron. Winger dropkicks Kasai and finally knocks him off, sending Kasai off the apron into a Barbed Wire Spider Net (which is apparently what they were trying to knock each other into earlier, they just hadn't shown them on camera). Winger comes out after Kasai and throws him into a row of chairs. Winger props the other Spider Net against the ring post and Irish whips Kasai into it, further cutting up Kasai's already bleeding back. Winger hits Kasai with part of the broken Spider Net as Kasai tries to escape, taking them up onto the ramp. Winger throws Kasai back into the ring, cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Winger but Kasai reverses the lariat attempt into a DDT. German suplex by Kasai, Winger doesn't stay down so Kasai hits a second one. German suplex hold by Kasai but it only gets a two count. Kasai goes outside the ring and gets a few steel chairs, sliding them into the ring. Kasai goes back in himself and gets a piece of the barbed wire board. Kasai scoop slams Winger into the board, cover, but it gets a two count. Kasai gets the chairs and starts building him something, setting the chairs facing each other in pairs and setting the glass panel bridging across it.
Kasai goes back to Winger and hits the Reverse Tiger Driver, cover, but it gets a two count. Kasai picks up Winger and goes for the Reverse Tiger Driver through the glass panel, but Winger reverses it with a back bodydrop and Kasai goes into the glass panel, exploding glass everywhere. Thunder Driver by Winger, cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Winger from the corner towards the glass panel, but Kasai reverses it and Winger goes into the glass, once again sending glass flying everywhere. Kasai leaves the ring to get a table and he sets it up at ringside. He scopes the area for somewhere high to jump off before setting up a second table next to the first one. Kasai puts Winger onto the tables and climbs way up over the crowd into an upper catwalk of some sort. At least 25 feet, no exaggeration needed. Kasai then jumps off with a splash onto Winger, breaking one table but not the other with Kasai landing hard on his knees. Kasai doesn't care however and jumps up, sliding Winger into the ring for a two count cover. Kasai picks up Winger and hits a second Reverse Tiger Driver, cover, but again it only gets a two count. Back up, Aztec Suplex Hold by Kasai but it only gets a two count as well. Irish whip by Kasai but Winger ducks the lariat and hits an Inside Cradle for a two count. Kasai picks up Winger and hits a brainbuster, cover, but Winger gets a shoulder up. Back up, scoop slam by Kasai and he goes up to the top turnbuckle. Pearl Harbor Splash by Kasai, cover, but it gets a two count. Kasai goes in the back (literally) and comes out with another glass panel, sliding it into the ring. He then sets up a few more chairs across from each other, but this time he puts Winger under the glass panel when he bridges it over. He then goes up to the top turnbuckle but Winger recovers and slides out. Winger joins Kasai onto the top turnbuckle and goes for a superplex, but Kasai slides out of it and goes back to the mat. Winger blocks the super powerbomb attempt, but when Kasai climbs back up Winger slides down and powerbombs Kasai into the glass panel. Cover, but it gets a two count. Scoop slam by Winger, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving senton but Kasai kicks out at two. Winger runs up and hits a second turnbuckle, and then quickly jumps up and hits a third diving senton from the top turnbuckle. Cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winner of the Death Match Tournament: The Winger
Match Thoughts: This was a really fun match. Maybe it is because I am so tired of light tubes, but the glass panels and barbed wire spider nets were such a breath of fresh air and the use of each one was well done. Kasai's Balcony Dive was just insane, one of the highest ones that I have ever seen him do. Winger was forced to really win this one and he proved that he could, solidifying himself as the best man on this night. Kasai still took too much time setting up his spots, but that is a trademark of his and at least the spots he set up all delivered in a big way. A fitting end to the tournament as both men put forth their best efforts even though they had already wrestled two matches that night. Score: 7.5
This review comes with two biases: a love of one-night tournaments and the joy of seeing death matches that don't involved light tubes. I am so tired of light tubes. With the weaponry focusing on glass panels, barbed wire bats, a ladder, a sword, and a barbed wire spider net they were able to do some different things besides trade shots with light tubes. The first round was flat, but Sasaki did very well making his matches entertaining and the main event was simply too crazy not to love. The crowd was so-so which really hurt things but they still busted their asses just the same. The Winger seemed a little out of place as the rest of the wrestlers are more death match oriented then he is and he dragged at times, but in the end he won clean and it didn't come across as a fluke as he had earned it in his own way. I can't recommend it too loudly as too many of the matches were below average, but if you want to see a crazy final and some different styles of death matches then I'd pick this up.
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event reviewed on 04/27/08