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GCW ‘The Art of War’ (2.5.20) Results & Review

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The GCW Japanese tour comes to a close with another sold out show. We’ve been treated to very entertaining cards the past two nights, hopefully they can maintain the momentum for the final night. You can support GCW through FITE TV by either purchasing the single show or bundling all three nights.

Kikutaro & Shigehiro Irie vs. GENTARO & Tomoya Hirata – **1/2
Kikutaro opened for the third night in a row, teaming with Shigehiro Irie against the FREEDOMS team of the veteran GENTARO and young powerhouse Tomoya Hirata.

Irie and Hirata started off trading big shoulder block challenges and knockdowns. This display of raw power was enough to convince Kikutaro he wanted none of Hirata, he insisted the referee swapped places with him which was pretty funny. When GENTARO tagged in we got the some basic chain wrestling mixed in with the usual eye pokes of Kikutaro’s.

The comedy wasn’t limited to Kikutaro, GENTARO stumbled to his corner tagging in Hirata with his head after he collapsed after absorbing punishment from Irie. The highlight of the match came when Hirata took a piledriver from Irie onto GENTARO. Finish came in a familiar spot on this tour, Kikutaro was rolled up and pinned by GENTARO after giving his thank you speech while setting up his finisher.

An easy watch, the comedy raised a smile with the action picking up anytime Irie and Hirata where in the ring. Good start to the show.

Toru Sugiura vs. KTB – ***1/4
A rematch of sorts from night one, where both faced off against each other in the opening tag match. Looking to continue the wild energy both brought to that match, KTB dived onto the ramp taking down Sugiura while he made his entrance. Sugiura replied with his own aerial offence, knocking KTB to outside with a missile dropkick and a scoring a huge dive onto KTB outside the ring.

KTB gained control of the match when he reversed a crossbody attempt into a ring shaking power slam. KTB is not only a powerhouse, he’s agile for a big dude. He would hit a flurry of offence on Sugiura; rolling spear in the corner, spinning diving head-butts and an atomic drop straight into a splash.

A missed lionsault gave Sugiura an opening and the pair traded stiff forearms before Sugiura got the advantage with a Michinoku driver. Things came to an end after a brief struggle on the top rope, Sugiura kissed KTB and executed a massive Spanish fly for the pinfall victory.

Lively match, where KTB got to showcase himself against the FREEDOMS World champ. He looked impressive even in defeat, it was no walk in the park for Sugiura. A very entertaining match.

Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Chris Dickinson – ***3/4
This for sure was one of the matches I was eager to see on this tour.

Dickinson’s explosive strikes gave him the early advantage, which he used to work over the leg of Sekimoto. After Sekimoto got to his feet we got the chop battle that I am such a mark for, thunderous slaps to the chest accompanied by animalistic roars from each guy, this will never fail to pop me!

Sekimoto wore down Dickinson with a series of neck and chin locks. Working over his neck he built to a neck breaker that looked to have Dickinson shook. However Dickinson managed to power out of a camel clutch, hit a dragon screw and followed up with an enzuigiri. Dickinson was fired up, splashing Sekimoto in the corner and hoisting him up on his shoulders and hitting a Death Valley driver. Dickinson locked in a figure four after avoiding a German suplex. Sekimoto managed to reverse the hold and did some push-ups to taunt Dickinson while he had him reaching for the ropes.

The pace was picking up and Sekimoto rocked Dickinson with a mighty brainbuster. After Dickinson kicked out there was a back and forth between them, Dickinson failed to capitalise on a stiff combo and found himself on the receiving end of the always impressive looking deadlift German suplex which secured the win for Sekimoto.

A rematch of one of my favourite matches of 2019, I came into this with high expectations. While it didn’t hit the heights of their previous encounter I really enjoyed it. They hit hard and made the simple things count. Dickinson has really shined on this tour, hopefully we see him back in Japan against some the BJW strong division or Zero-1 behemoths such as Yuji Hino.

Drew Parker, Ryuji Ito & Toshiyuki Sakuda vs. Jimmy Lloyd, Matthew Justice & Orin Veidt – ***
It’s Team BJW vs. Team GCW in a six man death match.

Drew and Jimmy reverse a bunch of strikes, continuing to display the chemistry they had from night two. Afterwards Justice and Sakuda entered, Justice immediately points out the height discrepancy between the two. Sakuda has worked well with the larger guys this tour, he’s been game taking big bumps but also finding innovative ways to wear them down.

Unfortunately for him his gusset board plan back fired and he ending up taking one to the fore head. Veidt was tagged in, bringing the light tubes into the action with him, slamming Sakuda with one and then carving up his forehead with the broken remains.

Things went at a frantic pace with quick tags, Lloyd poured lemon juice onto Sakuda’s open wound when he was in, however Sakuda managed to get hold of the lemon juice and spat a mist of that into Lloyd’s eyes. Ito and Justice entered exchanging stiff strikes which resulted in Ito ending up outside. Justice took this opportunity to climb to the top and came flying down on everyone at ringside. He set up a barbwire board and tried to drive Ito through it, Ito stopped this and launched a steel chair at Justice which sent him crashing through the barb wire.

A weed whacker was brought into the ring, after a brief struggle Parker caught Lloyd’s torso with it and then Veidt attacked Parker’s bare stomach with it, gross! Veidt looked to night one for inspiration by bringing out a saw board similar to the knife one that sliced up Masashi Takeda’s back. Sakuda reversed Veidt’s slam and Veidt was sent back first onto the saw board, thankfully no deep cuts tonight. Sakuda followed this up with springboard dive to the outside. Ito picked up the pinfall after the dragon splash onto Veidt and a bunch of light tubes.

This was a wild 9 minutes, everyone got a chance to showcase themselves. Playing the death match hits with light tubes, gusset boards and even a weed whacker making an appearance. Sakuda has been a highlight the past 3 nights, bringing inventive spots, a lot of charisma, I am looking forward to see how his 2020 goes.

Abdullah Kobayashi vs. SHLAK ***3/4
When Big Japan’s Death Match champion Abdullah Kobayashi was advertised to be taking on the popular SHLAK in the semi-main event I can’t say I was particularly enthused, however this greatly exceeded my expectations. A great death match, things were violent and both guys seemed to be having the time of their lives doing it.

Kobayashi tried to intimidate SHLAK by biting into a one of the light tubes that covered the ring ropes but SHLAK wasn’t fazed and did the same. This would set the theme of the match; anything you can do I can do better. They brawled outside and Kobayashi would hit a couple of light tube boosted head butts to SHLAK, also throwing a bucket of the broken glass at him too.

In the ring, they would take turns impaling each other’s skulls with forks and kenzans. SHLAK would demonstrate his power with a couple of suplexes on the much larger Kobayashi. While Kobayashi showed he can move for a big man, throwing himself at SHLAK, connecting with shining wizards, wheel kicks and elbow drops from the top.

After SHLAK superplexed Kobayashi they began lobbing light tubes at each other, leaving no tubes left on the ropes and broken glass all over the ring. SHLAK took a piledriver onto more light tubes and another elbow drop from the top, Kobayashi smothering SHALK to stop the kick out.

This was great, those two had a lot of fun and showed a hell of a lot of chemistry, Kobayashi confirmed this when he took the mic post-match and said in English he loved the match and he loved SHLAK. SHLAK returned the compliment and kissed his opponent on the forehead.

Isami Kodaka, Kenji Fukimoto & Takashi Sasaki vs. Alex Colon, Danny Havoc & Matt Tremont – ***3/4
The tour finished with what promised to be a chaotic brawl with these 6 guys involved in a death match.

All 6 men started by going for one another. Havoc and Sasaki paired off and exchanged stiff strikes, Fukimoto attacked Colon with light tubes however Colon used his speed to dodge an attempt and exploding a light tube with a diving lariat. Tremont used his size to bully Kodaka, slamming him and hitting a huge splash on the much smaller Kodaka.

Havoc who has impressed significantly on this tour, did so again tonight, not missing a step since his return from his hiatus. He took out team Japan with an Asai moonsault and back in the ring sent Kodaka crashing through a bard wire board. Havoc destroyed a bunch of light tubes and smashed Kodaka on them, Colon followed this up with a frog splash for a 2 count.

Kodaka fought back and tagged the FREEDOMs founder Sasaki in, who taunted GCW prior to superplexing Colon. He gave a shout out to Jun Kasai and hit Colon with a reverse tiger driver. Tremont got tagged in but was unable to bulldoze through Sasaki who hit him with a number of strikes then gave a shout out to Masashi Takeda before hitting a running knee to the back of Tremont’s head.

They then upped the ante with the weapons, Fukimoto brought in a large pair of scissors and stabbed Tremont’s head with them. Kodaka brought in ladder and played helicopter beating Havoc down with each spin. Kodaka climbed the ladder only for Havoc to suplex him from the top. Team GCW then took turns laying into Kodaka, Colon smashed him with light tubes & knees, Tremont laid him out with a huge lariat. Kodaka stopped the onslaught when he blocked a moonsault from Havoc with a bunch of barb wire wrapped light tubes.

There were skewers to Tremont and Colon as Fukimoto and Sasaki cleared the ring. It was then Havoc’s turn to receive punishment as Kodaka and Sasaki super kicked light tubes into his face. Havoc tried to power his way out of his predicament but Kodaka hit a kick assisted crucifix bomb. This allowed Kodaka to climb the ladder and come crashing down onto a light tube covered Havoc securing the win for his team.

What a fitting end to this GCW Japanese tour, this was a wild match with no down time. Action packed, we were treated to a number of violent spots and great showings from the likes of Danny Havoc & Isami Kodaka.

All 3 nights sold out, a fantastic mixture of solid comedy in the openers, hard hitting wars featuring Chris Dickinson and great death matches featuring up and comers & legends on all three nights this tour was nothing but a great success for GCW. I would highly recommend all 3 cards.

Recommendations for all three nights:
– Alex Colon vs. Violento Jack – Live Fast, Die Young (Night 1)
– Chris Dickinson vs. Yuji Okabayashi – Live Fast, Die Young (Night 1)
– Danny Havoc, Isami Kodaka & Matt Tremont vs. Drew Parker, Jimmy Lloyd & Toshiyuki Sakuda – Live Fast, Die Young (Night 1)
– Masashi Takeda vs. Orin Veidt – Live Fast, Die Young (Night 1)
– Masato Tanaka vs. Matthew Justice – Ready To Die (Night 2)
– Isami Kodaka & Toshiyuki Sakuda vs. Alex Colon & Danny Havoc – Ready To Die (Night 2)
– Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Chris Dickinson – The Art of War (Night 3)
– Abdullah Kobayashi vs. SHLAK – The Art of War (Night 3)
– Isami Kodaka, Kenji Fukimoto & Takashi Sasaki vs. Alex Colon, Danny Havoc & Matt Tremont – The Art of War (Night 3)

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