Big Japan "Death Market 19" 2014
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: January 26th, 2014
Location: Nagoya Club Diamond Hall in Nagayo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  310

This event was also released as one half of a two hour show, sharing the other half with a DDT event that I already reviewed.  While it sucks only getting half an event, it is better than not getting it at all which was likely our other option so I am not going to complain. Too much. Here is the full card on the event:

- Fluorescent Lighttubes Death Match: Isami Kodaka and Kankuro Hoshino vs. Jun Kasai and "Black Angel" Jaki Numazawa
- Shinya Ishikawa and Kazuki Hashimoto vs. Shuji Ishikawa and Ryuichi Kawakami
- BLT Death Match: Masashi Takeda vs. Ryuji Ito

Only three matches but they are all shown mostly in full, which is obviously a plus.

Isami Kodaka and Kankuro Hoshino vs. Jun Kasai and "Black Angel" Jaki Numazawa
Kodaka and Kasai start things off. Wristlock by Kasai into a side headlock but Kodaka reverses it. Kodaka keeps the hold on, Kasai gets out of it and both men return to their feet. Kodaka tags in Hoshino and Kasai tags in Numazawa. Eye rake by Hoshino and he kicks Numazawa in the chest, Hoshino goes off the ropes but Numazawa catches him with a dropkick and Hoshino falls out of the ring. Kasai throws Hoshino into the ringpost at ringside and takes him into the crowd. Kasai slides Hoshino back into the ring and throws him into the corner. Kasai mounts Hoshino in the corner and jams a piece of lighttube into his head. Snapmare by Kasai and he dropkicks Hoshino in the back. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kasai picks up Hoshino and throws him into the corner, he gets a steel chair and hits Hoshino in the head with it. Kasai puts down a newspaper, he picks up Hoshino and he hits a piledriver. Cover, but it gets two. Kasai gets a lighttube, he waits for Hoshino to get up but Hoshino knocks Kasai back. Hoshino goes off the ropes but Kasai catches him with a lariat. Numazawa comes in the ring, double Irish whip to Hoshino but Hoshino shoves Numazawa into Kasai and tags in Kodaka. Kodaka hits a diving crossbody onto Numazawa, Kasai headbutts Kodaka and they trade blows. Kasai kicks Kodaka back into the corner, double Irish whip but Kodaka avoids Kasai and Numazawa. Kodaka kicks Numazawa and Kasai, cover to Kasai but it gets two.

Kodaka goes for a Scorpion Deathlock but Kasai pushes him off. DDT by Kasai, and he tags in Numazawa. Numazawa picks up Kodaka, Irish whip to the corner and Numazawa hits a lariat. Numazawa drags the box of lighttubes into the middle of the ring but Kodaka picks up Numazawa and slams him into the box. Kodaka tags in Hoshino, Hoshino charges Numazawa but Numazawa hits a lariat. Numazawa gets Hoshino on his shoulders and hits a rolling slam before tagging in Kasai. Kasai gets a steel chair and they hit a double vertical suplex onto Hoshino on the chair. Cover, but it gets two. Kasai picks up Hoshino but Hoshino elbows him and they trade blows. Kicks by Hoshino, he goes off the ropes but Kodaka blocks the lariat. Kodaka runs in and hits a Slingblade onto Kasai, Numazawa comes in the ring but Kodaka punches the lighttubes into him. Hoshino and Kodaka double team Kasai, ending with a lariat by Hoshino for a two count. Kodaka hits a vertical suplex onto Kasai while Hoshino brings in a big bundle of lighttubes. Hoshino puts the bundle onto Kasai, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Kasai rolls out of the way of the diving body press. Kasai goes off the ropes and hits a lariat onto Hoshino, cover, but it gets a two count. Kasai picks up Hoshino and hits a scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the Pearl Harbor Splash. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Jun Kasai and "Black Angel" Jaki Numazawa

Match Thoughts: A pretty average tag match, at that. Lighttubes aren't very exciting by themselves and some of these guys are a bit broken down at this stage of their careers. The old guard winning was a bit disappointing but since Hoshino was pinned it wasn't a big deal. There wasn't a whole lot positive going on here, the action was solid but a bit slow, and there wasn't a lot of structure to the match. Just a typical mid-card 'hardcore' match. Score: 4.0

Shinya Ishikawa and Kazuki Hashimoto vs. Shuji Ishikawa and Ryuichi Kawakami
Shinya and Kawakami start things off. Tie-up, Shinya gets Kawakami to the mat but Kawakami gets back up, wristlock by Shinya into a hammerlock and he takes Kawakami to the mat again. Leg lock by Shinya, Kawakami applies a side headlock, but Shinya gets out of it. Kawakami drives Shinya back into the corner and Hashimoto is tagged in. Snapmare by Hashimoto to Kawakami and he kicks Kawakami in the back. More kicks to the back by Hashimoto, he picks up Kawakami and Kawakami tags in Shuji. Shuji chops Hashimoto in the corner, elbow by Hashimoto but Shuji elbows him back and they trade blows. Headbutt by Shuji and he clubs Hashimoto in the back. Hashimoto drives Shuji into the corner and he tags in Kawakami. Shinya Shinya stomps down Shuji and steps on his shoulders. Shinya picks up Shuji, snapmare, and Shinya applies a reverse chinlock. Shuji gets a foot into the ropes and Shinya tags in Hashimoto. Hashimoto kicks Shuji in the corner and hits a few bootscrapes. Shuji blocks one of them and pushes Hashimoto back, and Shuji knees Hashimoto into the corner. Irish whip by Shuji but Hashimoto moves out of the way when Shuji charges in and Hashimoto hits a running kick in the corner. Hashimoto tags in Shinya, Shinya picks up Shuji, Irish whip to the corner and Shinya hits an elbow smash. Another elbow by Shinya and he hits a few more until finally Shuji is knocked off his feet. Shinya goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, and he gets a two count. Shinya picks up Shuji but Shuji throws him off. Knee by Shuji, he goes off the ropes but Shinya catches him with a dropkick.

Shinya picks up Shuji and applies the Octopus Hold, but Kawakami quickly breaks it up. Shinya picks up Shuji and they trade elbows. Headbutt by Shuji and he hits an overhead suplex. Shuji tags in Kawakami, Kawakami knocks Shinya into the corner and hits a series of elbows. Butterfly suplex by Kawakami, cover, but it picks up a two count. Kawakami picks up Shinya but Takeda elbows out of it. Sleeper by Shinya and he tags in Hashimoto. Hashimoto kicks Kawakami in the corner, snapmare, and he kicks Kawakami in the back. Knee drop by Hashimoto, cover, it gets a two count. Hashimoto picks up Kawakami and goes for a suplex, but Kawakami blocks it. Vertical suplex by Kawakami, elbow by Hashimoto and they trade shots. Kawakami goes off the ropes but Hashimoto applies a front facelock. Grounded facelock by Hashimoto and he applies a stretch hold. Hashimoto picks up Kawakami but Kawakami hits an exploder. Double Irish whip to Hashimoto, elbow by Kawakami and Shuji knees Hashimoto into the stomach. Elbow by Kawakami, cover, but Shinya breaks it up. Kawakami goes off the ropes but Hashimoto kicks him in the chest, Hashimoto goes off the ropes but Kawakami catches him with an elbow smash. Kawakami picks up Hashimoto and hits the Emerald Frosion, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Shuji Ishikawa and Ryuichi Kawakami

Match Thoughts: Like the last match there wasn't anything actively wrong with it, but it wasn't very exciting or meaningful either. Shuji is very good as is Shinya, and all of the wrestlers held up their end of the match. Some of the strike battles were well done and there weren't any miscommunications, the match flowed pretty well. The match just lacked some urgency and a meaning, it just felt like four guys kicking each other for ten minutes. But it was still a solid match, just forgettable. Score: 5.5


Masashi Takeda vs. Ryuji Ito
This is a BLT Deathmatch (Blocks, Lighttubes, and Thumbtacks. Sadly, no bacon.). They both grab chairs to start the match, Ito knocks Takeda's chair out of his hand, Irish whip, but Takeda slams on the breaks before he runs into the lighttubes. Takeda grabs a block so Ito also grabs one, they swing the blocks at each other and they both crumble. It happens a second time, Irish whip by Takeda and Ito goes into the lighttubes. Ito quickly returns the favor and Takeda rolls out of the ring. Ito goes out after him and punches Takeda at ringside. Ito picks up Takeda and throws him into the ringpost, he takes him up into the crowd and but Takeda regains the advantage and he throws Ito into a wall. Takeda throws Ito into the ringpost, he gets a lighttube claw and rams it into Ito's face. Takeda slides Ito into the ring and goes back in as well, Takeda gets a lighttube and hits Ito in the face with it. Takeda lays a few lighttubes on the mat and scoop slams Ito into it. Takeda gets more lighttubes and puts them on Ito's back before kicking the tubes into it. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takeda picks up Ito and hits him but Ito hits him back and they trade elbows. Elbows by Ito and he throws Takeda into the ropes with the lighttubes. Ito gets two red blocks and hits one into Takeda's back. Ito jams a piece of block into Takeda's face, he picks him up and hits a scoop slam. Cover by Ito but it gets a two count. Ito picks up Takeda and Ito hits a scoop slam. Ito goes up to the top turnbuckle but Takeda rolls out of the way of the moonsault. Takeda hits Ito with a lighttube, Takeda throws Ito into the corner and he hits a knee. Running knee in the corner by Takeda and he delivers a dropkick. Takeda picks up Ito and hits an exploder, cover, but it gets a two count.

Takeda picks up Ito, Takeda slams Ito in front of the corner and he dumps thumbtacks all over Ito. Takeda then goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a rolling senton. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takeda gets a chair and he sets it up in the middle of the ring, Takeda puts some tacks on the chair and picks up Ito, and Takeda DDTs Ito onto the open chair. Takeda goes off the ropes but Ito throws the chair at his face. Ito picks up Takeda, Ito throws Takeda into the corner and Ito hits a body avalanche. Ito puts Takeda up on the top turnbuckle, he lays down a chair in the ring before getting another chair and putting it on top. He then puts a pile of tacks on top of the chair, Ito goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a superplex onto the chairs and thumbtacks. Cover by Ito, but it gets a one count. Ito throws a chair at Takeda but Takeda ducks it and throws a different chair at Ito. Backdrop suplex by Takeda and he knees Ito in the chest. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takeda breaks a bunch of lighttubes in the ring, he grabs Ito and hits an Olympic Slam. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takeda gets a few red blocks and sets them up in the ring, Takeda grabs Ito and tries to powerbomb Ito onto the blocks but Ito back bodydrops out of it, sending Takeda onto the blocks instead. Ito hits the Dragon Kick to Takeda, cover, but it gets a two count. Ito sets back up the same blocks in the middle of the ring, he picks up Takeda and scoop slams him onto the blocks. Ito puts Takeda in the thumbtacks, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the Dragon Splash. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Ryuji Ito

Match Thoughts: An entertaining hardcore match, they kept things moving and didn't fall into the trap of taking too much time to set up moves. They used all the weapons pretty evenly, the thumbtacks weren't used too often but did factor into the finish of the match. The blocks are an odd weapon, I can understand of course that cinder blocks would hurt but it really isn't much of a visual which is usually what they go for in hardcore matches. But there really wasn't any down time and it was a pretty even match. Shame that Ito won but since it was for a title shot obviously that's the direction the promotion was going. But a pretty good match overall. Score: 6.5

Final Thoughts:

Best Match: Masashi Takeda vs. Ryuji Ito. It wasn't an amazing match or anything like that but it was definitely solid. They didn't waste time, which happens sometimes in hardcore matches so it never got repetitive. The blocks were an odd weapon choice but the other two weapons were used well, so no complaints there. Overall it was a pretty good main event for the show.

MVP: Ryuji Ito. It pains me in a way to type that. I like Ito, when I first saw him back in the day I thought he would bring in a new type of hardcore wrestler (faster, bigger moves, entertaining) and in a way he has. But he is a bit broken down at this point and ideally shouldn't be the MVP of any event. But in the match he still showed good stamina and he kept the spots varied in the match instead of relying on just the tubes or just the chair or just the blocks. So I have to give credit where credit is due, Ito looked pretty solid here and picked up a big win.

Overall:  Only three matches were shown and the first two were both pretty average. The main event was better, but it still was not good enough to elevate the whole event. To be fair I looked at the rest of the card and I don't think anything would have saved it, I think that they picked the best three matches on the event to show. Big Japan hasn't really.... changed much in the last few years, I mean on the three matches we saw Kasai, Numazawa, and Ito pick up wins just like we would back in 2004. That is not to say every event is like that, but I would have liked to have seen some more from the newer wrestlers here instead of just more of the same. Definitely an event for hardcore Big Japan fans only.

Grade: D-

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review completed on 6/2/14