Monday, December 9, 2019
Select Match Reviews: Big Things Happening
Matches from Big Japan Ryogokutan 2019
1.Strong Hearts vs Fuminori, Hideyoshi, Nomura ***1/2
2.Sekimoto, WALTER vs Okabayashi, Hino ****1/4
3.Blood & Death History Match: Ito, Sasaki vs Kasai, Sakuda ***1/2
4.BJW Strong Heavyweight Title: Sato(c) vs Hashimoto ***1/4
5.BJW Death Heavyweight Title, 4 Board Giga Ladder Death Match: Isami(c) vs Yuko ***3/4
Big Japan's last big show of the year was a hit, once again serving as a strong reminder of why they're an elite promotion.
The opener could be tag-lined, "charismatic youth on display", because that's exactly what we got. I'm a sucker for a good Strong Hearts match (basically all of them), and Irie has been such a great addition to the already great unit. This was a very good six-man, starting my pulls off on a nice note.
Up next, WALTER is allowed off his leash to tag in a meatbag clash. This one won't help the rumors of Big Japan partnering up with WWE nor the rumors of an NXT Japan. Coming out with the UK belt (which was later stolen prior to a recent EVOLVE gig) seems rather noteworthy here, too. Alas, ignoring the potential ramifications of the match and the small details that go along with that, this match itself was a thud-fest, capable of taking down lesser building on the impacts alone. If super hoss chop parties are your thing, this one is for you!
To follow up, we get a FREEDOMS/BJW showcase death team match which felt like a special moment building off of the recent returns to the company of Crazy Monkey and Sasaki. Sakuda missed big on a balcony dive spot but found redemption as the grotesque celebration of the genre continued, as everyone stepped up in general for the party. Very good stuff in general.
The semi was good, but never felt like anything must-see and I kept thinking to myself that the division would be far better off with Oka or Seki with the belt again, instead. Daichi is a decent worker and I dig the storyline here, but I want more from a Strong Heavyweight Championship match and neither Sato no Hashimoto tend to give that. That was true once more.
To close things on a better note, Isami put in for another worthwhile defense. This time around, it was against his own Yankee Two Kenju partner, Yuko Miyamoto. If that tag match was a celebration of the genre, this was the after party and a truly great main event. I still want Takeda with the belt again, but props to Isami for continuing to step up each time.
These worked well to display the true strength of Big Japan, with some standout performances and multiple styles of matches. Make time for some BJW today!