Big Japan on 1/4/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 4th, 2014
This event was released as one half of a two hour show, sharing the other half with a DDT event that I already reviewed. So that is why it is an abbreviated show, but luckily instead of airing a bunch of clipped matches they showed four complete matches. Each match is a hardcore match with a different gimmick. Here is the full card:
- Tables Match: Jake Crist and Dave Crist vs. Tsutomu Oosugi and Hercules Senga
For the record, Big Japan didn’t really go out of their way to cut out the ‘BJW strong style’ matches because this event only had one such match anyway. All the other matches were hardcore matches as well. So hopefully they picked the best four to air, which would be logical.
Jake Crist and Dave Crist vs. Tsutomu Oosugi and Hercules Senga
Dave goes for a face crusher onto Senga but Senga has no hair so the move misses. Senga and Oosugi suplex Jake onto the ramp, and Oosugi sets up a table while Senga pounds away on Dave. Senga picks up Dave and with Senga they go for a double vertical suplex through the table, but Dave blocks it. They throw Dave into the wall and put him onto the table. Senga and Oosugi then climbs up over the entrance way into the crowd, and both jump down onto Dave with a double plancha, sending Dave through the table. So now Dave and Oosugi have both gone through tables. Senga throws Jake back into the ring as Oosugi brings in Dave, and Senga sets up a table in the corner. Senga slams Dave into the table, double Irish whip to Jake and Dave but they both grab the ropes. Oosugi and Senga charge them, but Jake and Dave back bodydrop them out to the aprons and then dropkick them off the apron down to the floor. They get a running start in the ring and sail out onto Senga and Oosugi with stereo tope suicidas. Dave then gets in the ring while Jake gets on the apron and they hit a stereo tope con giro/moonsault combination. Dave puts Oosugi back in the ring, Oosugi fights him off but Dave hits a cutter. Senga returns to the ring and hits a DDT onto Dave, but Jake connects with a superkick. Another kick by Jake and he hits a Tiger suplex, but Oosugi comes in the ring with a swandive doublestomp to Jake. All four wrestlers are slow to get up, Oosugi grabs Dave but Dave chops back both Oosugi and Senga. Dave goes off the ropes but he eats a double superkick. Dave is thrown into the corner while Senga sets up a table, Oosugi puts Dave onto the top turnbuckle and both go up top with him, but Jake runs in the ring to push Senga and Oosugi out to the floor. Jake brings the table out of the ring and sets it up on the floor, he then gets back on the apron and grabs Senga. Jake goes to set up Senga with the Killing Spree, but Senga pushes him off. Senga charges Dave but Dave kicks him back and this time Jake gets him up. With Dave still on the top turnbuckle they hit the Killing Spree down to the floor through the table. Your winners: Jake Crist and Dave Crist
Match Thoughts: First of all, I have to point out that the finishing move, while looking well executed, busted Senga up hardway on the top of his head but he wrestled the next night so I guess he was ok. I haven’t seen a tables match in a while so even though it is not a new concept it still felt fresh and allowed for some different match opportunities. I have seen the Crist brothers before and they certainly have their style down pat, love it or hate it. Chaotic match but I tip my hat to them as there were no real miscues or moments of hesitation, they were all on the same page. Some serious psychology/selling issues, which isn’t a surprise, but a smooth and entertaining match overall. Score: 6.5
Danny Havoc vs. MASADA
MASADA trips Havoc, and while he still has the lighttubes in his shirt MASADA puts a chair on Havoc’s chest and punches him repeatedly. MASADA gets his wooden sticks and stabs Havoc in the head with them, making them stick out of his head. MASADA gets a chair and puts some lighttubes on it, he then grabs Havoc and goes for his finisher but Havoc gets out of it. MASADA throws the lighttubes at Havoc and hits a vertical suplex onto the chair. Cover, but it gets a two count. MASADA grabs a few lighttubes and smashes them in the middle of the ring, he picks up Havoc and slams him down onto the spot with the broken glass. MASADA then drags Havoc around the ring a bit and applies an STF. Havoc inches to the ropes and is able to force the break. MASADA picks up Havoc, Irish whip, reversed, and Havoc rolls up MASADA for a two count. Lariat by MASADA, he picks up Havoc and puts him on his shoulders but Havoc rolls off. Elbow by MASADA and he hits an uppercut, but Havoc catches him with a dragon suplex hold for a two count. Havoc picks up MASADA and hits the Death Valley Bomb, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Danny Havoc
Match Thoughts: A bit too garbagesque for my personal taste, but the bigger issue is that the match ended so quickly. MASADA was dominating the match, using the weapons and in general tearing Havoc apart, but he is pinned after two quick moves (that don’t use weapons). MASADA is a pretty respected member of Big Japan at this stage so I was surprised to see him go down without much of a fight. At least do the finisher into a chair, or some spikes, or something to explain why a badass like MASADA goes down after a suplex and a death valley bomb. The ‘spots’ weren’t as entertaining as they were in the last match as general lighttube mayhem is a bit played out at this point. Just a below average match all the way around. Score: 3.0
Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto vs. Ryuji Ito and "Black Angel" Jaki Numazawa
Numazawa runs in, Irish whip to Miyamoto but Miyamoto hits a belly to belly suplex. Miyamoto and Ito trade strikes, jumping kick by Miyamoto, Irish whip, reversed, but Miyamoto hits a lariat for a two count cover. Miyamoto grabs the ladder and lays it in the ring, he picks up Ito and goes for the Yankee Driver but Ito slides down his back. Ito then picks up Miyamoto and slams him on the ladder before tagging in Numazawa. Numazawa grabs the ladder and lays it in the ring, he throws Miyamoto into the corner and hits a lariat followed by a face crusher. Dropkick by Numazawa, he gets a running start but Miyamoto moves out of the way and Kodaka hits a lariat onto Numazawa in the corner. Jumping double knee by Miyamoto to Numazawa, then both Miyamoto and Kodaka hit dropkicks. Cover by Miyamoto but it gets a two count. Miyamoto elbows Ito off the apron while Kodaka grabs the ladder and hits Numazawa with it. Kodaka sets up the ladder near the corner, he slams Numazawa in front of it before climbing up to the top of the ladder. Ito comes back in the ring and joins Kodaka on the ladder, and they trade elbows near the top of it. Ito gets the better of it and hits a superplex off the ladder down to the mat. Miyamoto sets up the ladder in the corner and grabs Numazawa, and he Irish whips Numazawa into the ladder. Miyamoto then picks up the ladder and chucks it at Numazawa, he goes off the ropes but Numazawa catches him with a hurricanrana. Kodaka comes in the ring but he sails right back out with a tope suicida onto Ito. Miyamoto and Numazawa trade blows, Irish whip by Numazawa, Miyamoto goes for the handstand rebound kick but Numazawa moves out of the way. Kodaka runs into the ring, Numazawa elbows him back, but this gives Miyamoto time to recover and he hits the Fire Thunder Driver onto Numazawa. Cover, but Ito breaks it up. Kodaka comes in the ring and he trades elbows with Ito, they then start trading punches and both wrestlers fall out of the ring hurt. Still in the ring, Miyamoto slams Numazawa in front of the corner and goes for a moonsault, but Numazawa gets his knees up. Shineway by Numazawa, but Miyamoto kicks out. Numazawa goes off the ropes, but Miyamoto ducks the lariat and sneaks in a backslide for the three count! Your winners: Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto
Match Thoughts: It is interesting to think that 10 years ago when I was getting into Puroresu, Ito was almost seen as a ‘new breed’ of death match wrestlers as he was young, in good shape, and had a large move set that involved a lot more than weapon shots. Now he is still a good wrestler, but is not in great shape, is scarred up, and has stepped aside for the next young wave of death match wrestlers. This match was better than the last, having three different types of weapons allowed them to have more variety but they really didn’t do any ‘big’ spots with them. The Plancha Splash to the outside through a table is almost a normal spot these days (Masato Tanaka tries to do it in every match), and while the ladder superplex was nice it is not a rare spot either. I don’t even think this match had any blood, imagine that. The chair spot with Ito and Kodaka in the middle of the match was a bit odd, but I liked the stretch run and the young(er) Miyamoto sneaking in the win against his elder. Certainly not a bad match, but didn’t have any memorable moments and just seemed run of the mill. Score: 5.0
Masashi Takeda vs. Takumi Tsukamoto
Takeda grabs a few chairs and puts them onto Tsukamoto’s head, and he hits the chair with another one, driving the chair into Tsukamoto’s face. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takeda then gets the nail board and puts it towards the middle of the ring, he picks up Tsukamoto and goes for a German suplex onto the board, but Tsukamoto blocks it. Elbows by Tsukamoto, he picks up Takeda and tries to throw him on the board but that is blocked as well. Kick by Takeda, he picks up Tsukamoto and delivers a side slam onto the nail board. Cover, but Tsukamoto somewhat gets a shoulder up. Takeda picks up Tsukamoto and puts him up on the top turnbuckle in front of the nail board, he goes up top as well and goes for a superplex, but Tsukamoto blocks it. They trade elbows while still on the top turnbuckle, and Tsukamoto headbutts Takeda and kicks him off, making him fall onto the nail board. Cover by Tsukamoto, but Takeda gets a shoulder up. Tsukamoto picks up Takeda and goes for the Killswitch, but when Takeda blocks it he hits a tiger suplex hold for a two count. Back up, scoop slam by Tsukamoto in front of the corner and he puts a lighttube onto Takeda’s chest. Tsukamoto goes up to the top turnbuckle but Takeda rolls out of the way of the senton and hits Tsukamoto with the lighttubes. Takeda goes off the ropes but Tsukamoto hits a kick, sweep by Takeda and he delivers the Shining Wizard for a two count cover. Takeda picks up Tsukamoto, goes to the nail board and slams Tsukamoto onto it. Cover, but Tsukamoto quickly kicks out. Takeda gets a lighttube bundle, he hits an Olympic Slam and then hits Tsukamoto with the lighttubes. Cover, but again it gets two. Takeda drags Tsukamoto to his feet, he picks up Tsukamoto and hits the U Crash onto the Nail Board. Cover, and this time he picks up the three count. Your winner: Masashi Takeda
Match Thoughts: Not a bad match for what it was. At least the Nail Board is not over-played by Big Japan so it adds a degree of danger to the match, even though I think they constructed the board to make it as safe as possible (not saying that is a bad thing). Tsukamoto seemed a bit out of his league in this match as Takeda was handling the bulk of it, but even without the gimmicks they both seem like really solid wrestlers. I wouldn’t have minded if it was a bit longer since it was the main event and was more evenly contested, but with a different stipulation and two young wrestlers that didn’t need any real ‘breather’ time, it was a solid hardcore match. Score: 6.0
Best Match: Jake Crist and Dave Crist vs. Tsutomu Oosugi and Hercules Senga. As far as hardcore matches go, I thought this was a good one. The “Tables Match” isn’t a match type we see near as often anymore and it allows for some different types of spots which kept the action varied. There was non-stop action with little downtime, and there were some sick spots such as the finishing move. That is about all you can ask for from a hardcore match.
MVP: The Crist Brothers. Also known as “The Irish Airbourne,” these two are known for putting on fast paced matches with a variety of deadly moves. They have been teaming so long they have great chemistry and their matches generally go really smooth such as the one on this card. They are not master technicians or anything but are very good at what they do.
Overall: Since only half the event has aired, all the matches shown were of the hardcore variety, for better or worse. I will say that the matches all had different focuses which is great for changing things up, as one had tables, one had lighttubes, one was TLC, and the last had a nail board. Unfortunately the middle matches were not inventive or very entertaining which dragged the event down, but the Tables Match and Nail Board Match were perfectly acceptable hardcore wrestling. This event would really be more for Big Japan completist since there are only four matches but if you want a smorgasbord of hardcore wrestling this wouldn’t be a bad pick-up.