Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium (Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan)
BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship
Back from injury Daisuke Sekimoto challenges for the championship that he never lost in the ring.
This was a fine match – it was not the best nor the worst I have seen from the Big Japan Strong division. They start over slow by working basic holds, which I always appreciate in any contemporary Japanese heavyweight match. A match – like this one – that begins with working head locks and head scissors rather than strike exchanges, starts on much more solid ground. They eased into the match and laid a foundation. Of course the strike exchanges came later on and they were annoying, but at least we got through the opening. Ishikawa worked a leg scissors around Sekimoto’s head with Sekimoto continually trying to fight out. I am a big fan of that sequence. It is just below holding onto a headlock in terms of fun, slow-burn openings.
The body and finish of the match aren’t very memorable but are not bad either. As I have written before, I find the Big Japan strong division style to enjoyable in spite of some no-selling and overdone strike exchanges because they generally incorporate those elements into the match in a more palatable way than you might see elsewhere. The usual basic mat work, the lack of big moves until the stretch run, and the fact that in general these matches do not overstay their welcome are all contributing factors to that. This particular match wraps up in about 14:00 minutes and while there were parts of the match I disliked or was ambivalent about, it never cross over the line into being too much.
Not much to see but fine for what it was. Ishikawa retains which was the right booking call or else his title win would like it only happened because Sekimoto was on the shelf for a bit. I am not sure there is a whole lot left for him to do in Big Japan. Sekimoto has been working for NOAH a bit this year and already has runs in DDT, Zero-1, and All-Japan under his belt. That makes the next logical step New Japan. I don’t know if they have any interest in him at all but they could do worse than bringing Sekimoto in to freshen up the mid-card working with the likes of Homna, Naito, ect. A match versus Ishii feels like something that could be sold as a big time bout.
Big Japan Strong| Common | Quality & Title Match