It’s night two of the sold out GCW Japanese tour. Night one was a great time, it would be a tough act to follow but with legends such as Masato Tanaka, Ryuji Ito and Danny Havoc the talent is certainly there to do so. You can support GCW through FITE TV by either purchasing the single show or bundling all three nights.
Kikutaro came out and he was not happy at having no match on the card. He issued an open challenge which was promptly answered when SHINSUKE NAMKAMURA’s music started to play…. but it was Chinsuke Nakamura, a Shinsuke tribute act/parody act, who came out absolutely nailing the mannerisms
Kikutaro vs. Chinsuke Nakamura – **
At approx. 5 mins this was a very easy watch, Chinsuke providing majority of the laughs. He ran through several Shinsuke’s trademark spots, starting off with the “COME ON!” taunt which Kikutaro responded with a chop which sent Chinsuke across the ring which made the crowd and myself laugh out loud. Kikutaro worked over the arm of Chinsuke for a brief period. Afterwards Chinsuke was able to hit the boma ye however Kikutaro kicked out at 1, rather amusingly Nakamura questioned the referee’s count believing he should have 3, which Kikutaro mocked him for.
Kikutaro prepped Chinsuke for his finisher by thanking the fans in attendance and those watching on FITE TV and declaring his finisher the brain buster. Unlike the previous night he managed to successful perform it and after celebrating scored the 3 count for the win.
An amusing opener to tonight’s card.
Chris Dickinson & KTB vs. Shigehiro Irie & Yuji Okabayashi – ***1/2
I had high expectations going into this, I love a tag match filled with powerhouses. KTB and Irie kicked things off with a test of strength which led to a springboard arm drag to Irie by KTB. KTB would show off his agility on several occasions, leaving his feet throughout this match. Okabayashi entered proceedings, knocking Dickinson to the floor, after which he and Irie double teamed KTB which led to an impressive spot when Okabayashi hurled Irie onto a ringside KTB which had the crowd chanting “HOLY SH*T”. KTB hit some quick strikes to free himself and tagged Dickinson in.
Dickinson was on fire, his explosive power on full display as he hit a solid back elbow to Irie then a mighty power-slam after he and KTB double teamed Irie. KTB once again looked impressive as he hit a moonsault. Afterwards KTB and Irie would hit each other with dueling lariats which led to a double clothesline and a hot tag to their respective partners.
Dickinson and Okabayashi looked to continue their war from the night before, smashing each other with very loud strikes and big power moves. After escaping a torture rack, Dickinson managed a German suplex and went through Okabayashi with a lariat, Irie broke up the pin attempt and then got tossed to the outside for his trouble. KTB used this to his advantage and launched himself at Irie with a suicide dive.
KTB and Dickinson double teamed Okabayashi, Dickinson slamming Okabayashi with a Death Valley driver and KTB hit him with a diving head butt from the top for a near fall. A missed moonsault by KTB allowed Irie to put his team in control. When Dickinson went for the save, Irie got him in a fireman’s carry only for Okabayashi, in an incredible display of power, to launch both men over his own head.
With Dickinson out, KTB didn’t last much longer after that and found himself on the receiving end of two huge splashes from both his opponents. Okabayashi scored the pin immediately after hitting his Gollum splash.
A hard hitting, fast paced hoss tag match, it was exactly what I had hoped for, all four guys got to showcase their own strengths which made for a very good time.
Drew Parker vs. Jimmy Lloyd – Death Match – ***
The first death match of the night and these guys did not disappoint. In a match that was just under 6 mins, they managed to squeeze a hell of a lot in. Jimmy Lloyd was over with the Japanese crowd.
Drew was first to reach for a weapon, some gusset boards, he handed one to Jimmy and after a short attempt at trying to impale it in the other’s skull they smashed their board into their own heads. Strong strikes knocked the gusset boards out and they floored each other with a clash of the heads.
Light tubes entered the action, Drew managed to block Jimmy’s attack with them and took him down with a double knee. Back on their feet, Drew tried to block another light tube attack with his own light tube however Jimmy smashed his through it. With Drew on the ground, Jimmy fetched a hypodermic needle and pierced it through the inside of Drew’s mouth through his cheek, sick spot which always makes for a cool visual especially when the individual removes it.
Drew targeted Jimmy’s knee to gain control and we got a flurry of offense from Drew, the highlight of which was a poison-rana followed up with Drew dropkicking Lloyd through a razor board in the corner. A short strike/reversal sequence ended with Drew in control, he then hit a 450 splash from the top rope for a near fall.
A gonzo bomb on Drew only seemed to fire him up as he smashed a light tube over his head and started stabbing his chest with the sharp end. This didn’t faze Lloyd who hit a slam for a near fall. Drew tried to strike his way out of Lloyd’s grip but was reversed into another gonzo bomb which secured the pin fall win for Lloyd.
They squeezed a lot into the short time they had, Drew Parker is a very charismatic performer and his timing is very impressive too, he fights the Japanese style of death match and he’ll be one to keep an eye on in the future. Would like to see a rematch between these two with more time.
Takashi Sasaki, Toru Sugiura & Violento Jack vs. Kenji Fukimoto, Orin Veidt & SHLAK – Death Match – ***
SHLAK and Violento started with a strike exchange and then the GCW team worked over Sasaki for a while with some limb work and quick tags. Things got weird when the FREEDOMs team broke up a pin fall attempt on Sasaki but then started laying the boots into him. Once SHLAK missed an elbow on the apron to the FREEDOMs founder, Sasaki managed the tag to Sugiura, and things started to pick up from there.
Sugiura cleared house and flew onto everyone on the outside with a flipping senton. Back in the ring Sugiura and SHLAK slugged it out then SHLAK used his strength advantage to suplex Sugiura. Violento Jack and Kenji Fukimoto were tagged in and traded suplexes before Jack showed off his strength with a press slam to Fukimoto dropping him onto his knees. SHLAK surprised Jack with a missile dropkick to his nether regions. SHLAK brought the first weapon into the ring, a board covered in gusset boards. After he and Jack traded German suplexes, SHLAK was speared through the board by Jack.
This brought Veidt into the ring, after gaining the advantage over Jack, he brought a bag of drawing pins in and poured them onto the middle of the ring. Jack took an inverted DDT onto those and Sasaki broke up the pin attempt afterwards Jack and Veidt traded kicks and then Jack clotheslined Veidt onto the drawing pins. SHLAK stopped the resulting pin fall attempt.
This brought Sassaki in who stuck a bunch of skewers into SHLAK’s forehead, who ripped them out and started to chew on them. A top rope dropkick from Sugiura sent SHLAK out the ring.With the ring clear, Jack power bombed Veidt onto the drawing pins and then gave him a Death Valley driver onto them for the 3 count.
This was a good match once it got going, the highpoints being whenever the FREEDOMs wrestlers were in control. Violento Jack looks like a bad ass and Sugiura has a wild energy about him. The slow start hurt this match, not as good as the previous night’s 6 man which had a lot of energy from the beginning.
Masato Tanaka vs. Matthew Justice – Hardcore Match – ****
Matthew Justice looked fired up as he made his entrance, this is a dream match of his, his matches are reminiscent of ECW’s style in its heyday and Masato Tanaka is not only a FCW legend in Japan but is an ECW legend thanks to his wild battles with Mike Awesome.
Justice stood his ground as Tanaka tried to take him down with shoulder tackles and then forearms. Justice ran through Tanaka and then countered a tornado DDT attempt with a running big boot sending Tanaka to the floor. Justice jumped the ropes onto Tanaka, pulling chairs from under the ring afterwards, placing Tanaka on one of them he missed a cannonball from the apron. They brawled through the crowd causing the commentary team to worry about the safety of the hard cam. Tanaka smashed one of the fan’s Strong Zeros into Justice’s kisser and Justice later returned the favour with a bottle and they ended up back in the ring.
Tanaka threw a big forearm in the corner, but Justice immediately splashed Tanaka in the other. Justice picked Tanaka up for a big DDT followed by a 2 count. Justice went to the top only to be superplexed by Tanaka. Justice powered up straight away and suplexed Tanaka. They flung lariats at each other before Justice gained the advantage with a Death Valley driver but could only get a 2 count. Justice set up chairs in the corner looking to smash Tanaka through them from the top rope, however Tanaka reversed and smashed Justice through the chairs with the diamond dust.
Justice was then clotheslined onto the ramp, he used this to his advantage hitting a running spear through the middle rope. Tanaka received several brutal chair shots head. A splash from the top from Justice couldn’t put Tanaka away. Tanaka smashed a chair into Justice’s face with a rolling elbow, then slammed a chair over Justice’s head following with another rolling elbow. One count only so Tanaka demolished another chair over his dazed opponent’s head then landed a sliding d for the win. Tanaka showed Justice respect afterwards and they shared a hug.
This was a hard hitting back and forth battle, match of the night so far, both guys will be feeling the effects off this for a while. Tanaka looked as good as he did back in the ECW days. Matthew Justice held his own, looking great in defeat, this match should put him on your radar.
Isami Kodaka & Toshiyuki Sakuda vs. Alex Colon & Danny Havoc – Death Match – ****
Team GCW vs. Team BJW. Isami Kodaka was replacing the injured Masashi Takeda.
Kodaka and Sakuda attacked at the very beginning, blindsiding Colon and Havoc. They quickly end up brawling on the outside where Havoc smashed Sakuda into the ring a couple of times. Colon and Kodaka took it back in the ring where Kodaka hit Colon with a light tube and stabbed his forehead with the broken glass. Colon dodged another light tube, clotheslining Kodaka and tagging Havoc in.
Danny Havoc dwarfed Toshiyuki Sakuda however Sakuda targeted Havoc’s leg nullifying the height advantage for the time being. Sakuda retrieved a light tube only for Havoc to take a big bite out of it, that popped me. A dropkick sent Havoc into the corner where Sakuda hit a light tube assisted elbow. Havoc reversed an Irish whip and flattened Sakuda in the corner.
Tagging Colon in, Colon proceeded to send Sakuda through the barb wire covered board in the opposite corner. Sakuda rolled through Colon then retrieved a board covered in safety pins, after a struggle over who was hitting who with it, Colon smashed the board through Sakuda’s torso with a double knee. Colon attempted a Spanish fly from the top but Sakuda reversed that into a modified sliced bread, tagging Kodaka in afterwards. Kodaka suplexed Colon whose face was now covered in blood.
Colon blocked Kodaka’s light tube attack and cracked it over Kodak’s head. Havoc was tagged in and they double teamed Kodaka hitting a running knee/dragon suplex combo. Sakuda broke the pin and with Kodaka they got Havoc on the ropes where Sakuda hit a 619. Placing the barb wired board on Havoc, Sakuda hit a springboard swanton onto him. Havoc used his size advantage to block Kodaka’s suplex attempt, lifting him onto the top rope.
Havoc set up some chairs and light tubes in the corner but Kodaka managed to send Havoc through the light tubes crotch first. Kodaka grabbed more light tubes and went back up top, only for Colon to stop him.
Colon and Havoc hit a light tube enhanced doomsday device, Sakuda broke up the pin attempt. Sakuda tried to capitalize with a springboard onto Colon on the ramp but received a bunch of light tubes to the face for his troubles. After which Colon attempted to dive onto Sakuda on the outside but looked to eat more of the floor than his opponent.
In the ring Kodaka hit a bunch of knees to the back and front of Havoc’s head, Havoc managed to duck one attempt and then slammed Kodaka hard. After the 2 count, Havoc brought in a light tube contraption and put Kodaka through it with a Death Valley driver, securing the win for Team GCW.
Best death match of the Japanese tour so far, those guys tore it up, action packed from start to finish. Danny Havoc looks incredible for a guy who’s been out the business for 2 years, I would love to see him do another tour of Japan.
Ryuji Ito vs. Matt Tremont – Death Match – ***1/2
USA deathmatch veteran Matt Tremont faced off against Japanese death match legend the Death Match Dragon Ryuji Ito in the main event. The ring was still covered in the shrapnel from the previous match.
They both reached for barb wire covered baseball bat in the middle of the ring, a brief tug of war ended when Ito snatched control of the bat and walloped Tremont with it. Each dodged the others attempt to toss them into the barb wire boards in the corner, Tremont eventually used his strength advantage to launch Ito into one of them, Ito’s face told you that was not fun!
Ito quickly recovered, wrapped barb wire round his fist and dragged it across the forehead of Tremont. Ito continued to punish Tremont around the outside. When they got back in the ring Ito set up two chairs for a bar fight. It was raining fists when Ito crashed to the mat with Tremont following right after. Matt dragged Ito to the side of the ring facing the hard-cam and started to shred Ito’s forehead with the barb wire bat. Feeling left out the fans to the right of Tremont started to chant “OVER HERE”, Tremont complied and did the same on all remaining three sides of the ring.
Tremont brought light tubes into the ring, Ito blocked the effort to smash it over his head, they wrestled for control of the light tube when Ito threw a trio of headbutts into the tube which blew them up in Tremont’s face. Ito placed a barb wire board on Tremont and proceeded to throw down big chair shots onto the board. Back on their feet Tremont used his size to block a northern light suplex however Ito used a flurry of kicks to chop him down ending with a light tube assisted axe kick onto Tremont’s back.
Tremont was able to get back on offence when Ito missed a moonsault, Tremont slammed Ito hard with a mammoth Samoan drop. Bringing flowerpots into the ring, Tremont planted a pair over Ito’s head. At this point you could tell Tremont was having a great time, feeling inspired he advised he was going to fly and proceeded to climb to the top rope. This allowed Ito to regroup and he launched a chair at Tremont’s head, knocking him silly.
Ito set up a bunch of chairs on their side and superplexed Tremont through them, ONE COUNT, Tremont was running on adrenaline. Ito put the brakes on any momentum and hammered kenzans, metal plates with brass needles, into his opponent’s skull. Tremont attempted to fire himself up to no avail as Ito drummed the kenzans in further to curtail that.
Ito finished the match up when he wrecked a chair over Tremont’s head, laying light tubes on his prone opponent and landing his dragon splash.
This was a great time, both guys were having fun brutalizing each other in the ring and I had as much fun watching it. They gave the fans what they wanted and finished on a high note.
Another excellent, snappy show from the GCW Japanese tour, with a lot crammed in the sub 90-minute card. With so much action you get a lot of bang for your buck, a strong recommendation from myself with no real low points and a bunch of highlights.
Check out the whole show if you can but if you are cherry picking, Masato Tanaka vs. Matthew Justice & Isami Kodaka & Toshiyuki Sakuda vs. Alex Colon & Danny Havoc are the must-see matches.