DVD Review: BJW “Global Gauntlet II” (6.13.2009)

The following day after the “CHIKARA Showcase” in Saitama, Japan, Big Japan Pro Wrestling held the “mother” event of the entire tour, featuring seven matches that included both, some of BJW and CHIKARA’s top talent. At last year’s “Global Gauntlet”, CHIKARA and Big Japan split their show victories on two separate days. With CHIKARA up one event to none, will BJW be able to catch back up and tie the score or will CHIKARA be the promotion that walks out triumphantly?

Again, I purchased these shows on Big Japan Shop about two months ago. Since then, the DVDs have seemingly went out of stock. BJW is pretty good with updating their inventory on a frequent basis, though, so I can’t say that I’d be entirely surprised if the shows from this year’s BJW/CHIKARA feud pop up back on there once again in the near-future. If you’re interested, definitely keep your eyes peeled or send me an e-mail at royreynolds@insidepulse.com and I may be able to hook you up.

A video plays with some generic Japanese music in the background, featuring highlights of all of the wrestlers set to compete in “Global Gauntlet II”. Got to love Crossbones waving that Order of the Neo-Solar Temple flag in the air with great pride.

Daikokubo Benkai defeated Atsushi Ohashi via submission (single leg Boston crab) – On the top of my head, the best guy that I can think of to compare to Daikokubo Benkai is Viscera. Benkai’s a big dude, but he is slow and pretty darn awful when it comes to wrestling in the ring. Ohashi did an excellent job selling for the big man and was even able to throw in a few stiff forearms here and there. At one point, Ohashi was even able to take down Benkai with a missile dropkick, but it only got him a two count. After about four minutes of action, Benaki forces Ohashi to tap to a single leg Boston crab. Match was boring and Benkai looked terrible. Reminded me of a squash match that you would regularly seen thrown in on a Raw or Impact show. *.

UltraMantis Black and Crossbones beat Shadow WX and Yuichi Taniguchi via pinfall (frog splash) – If there are two gentlemen who impressed me the most on this entire Big Japan Pro Wrestling tour, then it’s got to be UltraMantis Black and Crossbones. Shadow WX is one of BJW’s bigger names, but he and Taniguchi were essentially used here to help showcase the Order’s abilities. Crossbones, in particular, looked to be on the top of his game in this match. Beautiful, beautiful suplex variations and kicks from the “Real Life Heavyweight Horror”. Crossbones scores the pinfall over Taniguchi with a frog splash in a little over nine minutes to pick up the win. Fun stuff. **¾.

Daisuke Sekimoto defeated Chuck Taylor via pinfall (deadlift German suplex) – If you aren’t familiar with Daisuke Sekimoto or his work, then it’s probably about time that you search for some YouTube videos of him. The guy is an absolute monster and has the ability in the ring to back it up, as well. As a former BJW World Heavyweight Champion, it was fairly easy to assume that Chuck Taylor didn’t stand much of a chance. Sekimoto dominated Chuck in the beginning, but Taylor gradually fought his way back. Daisuke changing up a bearhug into a suplex was an incredible sight to see. Missile dropkick by Chuck only gets a two count, which Chuckie was very unhappy with. He argues with the referee, demanding a “tres” and a “trois” count from the referee. The man clearly doesn’t know how to speak Japanese. Moonsault attempt by Chuck misses. Sekimoto with a frog splash! Two count only. Deadlift is enough to get the three in ten minutes. Surprisingly, a real awesome match. I’m a big fan of both wrestlers, but I was honestly expecting Sekimoto to squash Taylor in a matter of minutes. I’m happy that they both got a lot of time in there. ***.

Yoshihito Sasaki and Ryuichi Kawakami beat Jagged and Shane Matthews via pinfall (Argentine Coaster) – Shane Matthews is so hilarious when he’s rooting for Jagged on the outside. Match started off kind of slow, but the pace definitely picked up about six or seven minutes into it. Kawakami can deliver great forearms and suplexes. Obviously, he was proudly able to display those particular skills on Jagged. 2.0 nails the Sweet Taste of Professionalism on Kawakami, but he somehow manages to kick out at the last moment. Jagged gets roughed with a Cradle Shock from Sasaki and Kawakami quickly follows it up with an Argentine Coaster. That’s enough to get the win in a little over eleven minutes. Unfortunately, this also means that 2.0 loses the two points they gained earlier on in the tour. Yet another real strong tag bout. **¾.

Takashi Sasaki and Shinobu beat Michael Nakazawa and Tigre Rojo via pinfall (roundhouse kick) – Tigre Rojo is chased around the outside of the ring by Sasaki, but Shinobu is able to take him out with a plancha. All of a sudden, a funky tune begins playing and the match stops. The referee pours alcohol into four cups and serves it to Sasaki, Shinobu, Nakazawa, and Rojo. Cheers! Is this even wrestling? No, but it’s hilarious! The crowd chants Sasaki’s name, as he goes for his first taste of the liquor. Nakazawa goes after him, though, and Sasaki ducks and spits a whiskey mist into Michael’s face. Believe me, this is just about as crazy as it sounds. Sasaki is now apparently drunk and he runs the ropes in the most uncoordinated way possible. Sasaki goes to make the tag to Shinobu, but fails, and here comes that crazy Japanese music again. Nakazawa forces another cup down Sasaki’s throat and goes for the pin, but Shinobu breaks it up. Airplane spin by Nakazawa! Man, it must not feel good to be Takashi Sasaki. After a few more comedy spots, Sasaki finally makes the tag to Shinobu. The music goes on again. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if this match has some sort of awkward stipulation. Can’t say I’d be surprised. Nakazawa has now pulled down his pants! Where is this match going? Nakazawa goes to throw up in a bucket, but Sasaki drills him with a roundhouse kick in sixteen minutes. One, two, three. That may have been the craziest match I have ever witnessed. **.

Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, and Green Ant beat Jaki Numazawa, Shinya Ishikawa, and Yuji Okabayashi via pinfall (Ant Hill) – Green Ant and Okabayashi start it off, but Green wants to tag out to one of the more experienced members of the Colony. Fire and Soldier don’t want any of it, though, and want to see how Green Ant can fight for himself. Minutes later, Ishikawa and Soldier Ant are fighting in there. Solid chain wrestling from these two guys, in particular. Numazawa works on Soldier and throws him to the mat with relative ease. Jaki wants Soldier to hit him as hard as he can, but Numazawa delivers back with unique strikes of his own. Moonsault by Numazawa misses and Soldier is able to tag in Fire. He takes out everyone with some forearms and dropkicks. Green and Soldier help catapult Fire out of the ring onto their opponents. Numazawa takes Fire down with a hurricarana from the top. Okabayashi nails him with a brainbuster, but misses a flying headbutt on the follow-up. Triple dropkick by the Colony onto Yuji! Fire with a senton! Soldier with a flying headbutt! That only gets a two count. The Colony lifts Okabayashi up and Fire pins him with the Ant Hill in approximately sixteen minutes. CHIKARA has won “Global Gauntlet II” by the score of two to one! The BJW wrestlers were decent as a trio, as were the Colony. Obviously, the latter’s probably something you’ve heard all too many times before. Double thumbs up for this match. ***¼.

Immediately following the bout, Michael Nakazawa comes running down and yells a few words into the microphone. The Colony, Numazawa, Ishikawa, and Okabayashi all look confused. Out comes Atsushi Ohashi, Chuck Taylor, 2.0, and the Order. It looks like we’re about to get a ten-man tag team match as some sort of an added bonus. Awesome.

Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, Green Ant, Jaki Numazawa, and Atsushi Ohashi beat UltraMantis Black, Crossbones, Chuck Taylor, Jagged, and Shane Matthews via pinfall (Beach Break) – In Big Japan Pro Wrestling, a ten-man tag team match apparently means brawling all around the arena. It was hard to tell just exactly what was going on, but that only adds to the fun of it. Numazawa chases Jagged through the crowd, but the Canadian manages to escape. Chuck Taylor and Fire Ant pummel one another right in front of the camera. Despite the fact that Ishikawa isn’t a participant in the bout, he also finds his way into the scuffle around the ring. Numazawa with a DDT onto UMB by the bleachers! The action spills into the ring with Fire Ant and Chuck Taylor exchanging blows. Springboard DDT by Fire! Huge leg lariat by Jagged! Numazawa locks ahold of a cravate on Jagged. Before we know it, everyone in the match has a headlock on one another. Soldier nails a DDT and there goes the domino effect! Just a two count. Shane Matthews with a multiple-man Boston crab! Minutes later, UMB attempts to nail the Praying Mantis Bomb, but Fire Ant reverses it into the Beach Break. Fire Ant picks up the win for his team in a few seconds over five minutes. Despite it being relatively short, this was awfully amusing and I enjoyed it quite a bit. **½.

If you couldn’t tell already, “Global Gauntlet II” is loads better than “CHIKARA Showcase”. In the long run, neither shows blew my mind, but I think they both were unique and interesting in their own ways. In order to appreciate these particular events, one must fully understand what they are going to see out of these shows. The wrestling is nowhere near being perfect, but it’s fun and not your average cup of tea. I can’t say that I am a huge fan of the Big Japan product, myself, but the BJW/CHIKARA portions had me glued to my screen. In conclusion, if you are willing to give a new type of professional wrestling a shot and have the money to do so, then put down some cash and pick up the “CHIKARA Showcase” and “Global Gauntlet II” events once they’re available again on the BJW website.

In addition to these BJW shows, I also recently received Pro Wrestling NOAH and Dragon Gate DVDs. Due to the fact that it’s rather tough for me to understand the Japanese language and interpret what’s going on, I am in no rush to recap these shows. However, if there’s a demand for them to be reviewed, then please let me know in the “comments” section below. Thank you.

~ Roy Reynolds

Tags: , , ,