KENSO vs Sanshiro Takagi
Falls Count Anywhere 60 Minute Iron Man Match
Taped 01/31/2016, aired 02/13/2016
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 01/07/2017) This oughta be fun. If you’re not aware, they start this big silly gimmick just before the doors were scheduled to open, so there’s no one there when the match starts. Sadly, this is also cut up for TV, so we don’t get to see the full, glorious sixty minutes, but what can you do? Both men do their usual entrance shticks with zero crowd response, and it’s hilarious. They camera keeps cutting to crowd shots during the entrances like they would in a normal match, and it’s great stuff. Due to some fast submissions, the score is already 2-2 by the time the doors open and a few fans file inside. As they brawl around, KENSO picks up a child standing with his parents, and when Takagi tries to do the same, the kid flees into his mother’s embrace. They fight into the inner parts of the building, taking an elevator up to the Tokyo Dome section of the building where more fans are lined up. They take a stroll up the stairs and back towards the Korakuen portion of the building, and I get to see some of the fabled graffiti on the walls, which is a nice treat. In front of a bunch of fans and merch tables, KENSO chokeslams Takagi through a table to earn like nine pinfalls before Takagi kicks out. There’s a cut and suddenly they’re back in the ring and in front of a MASSIVE pyramid of chairs, through which Takagi whips his opponent for nine or ten pinfalls himself before KENSO kicks out. The score is now 12-11 in KENSO’s favor. Both men retrieve bicycles from somewhere and ride them into each other for a double clothesline. As they brawl out to the hallway again, the scheduled dark match begins back in the ring, adding an extra element to the proceedings. They make their way back into the arena and join the wrestlers on the apron, tagging in on a hot tag for a match they’re not even in. The other wrestlers then break up their pin attempts and get involved in the match, which is the best. Another cut happens, and suddenly there are large, mysterious pillars in two corners of the ring, looking like lockers or filing cabinets of some kind, and Takagi dropkicks one into KENSO to tie things up at 15 to 15. Fighting on their knees, both men trade slaps as they work up to their feet. KENSO suplexes Takagi into one of the lockers, and both men are counted down to set the score at 16-16 moments before the time limit expires. Great stuff here, just a big, goofy gimmick match. Prime DDT antics here.