Masaya Takahashi (c) vs Takayuki Ueki
BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Championship
Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 07/20/2017) I wanted to like this match. I really did. Both of these guys are usually reliable and fun. I wanted this gamble of BJW pushing two young guys hard to pay off. But it just really doesn’t and not for lack of trying, either. In fact, it might be the overexertion that ruined this match. Real early on, Ueki does a house show dive and whacks his forehead on the floor hard. He stays down for a good minute or two, with various people checking on him. He’s bleeding when he finds his way to his feet again, probably from blading tbh, but in any case he’s clearly worse for wear. The rest of the match he’s slow and sort of aimless, increasingly so as he continues to take rough bumps like a suplex off the apron to the floor and more head-based stuff. Masaya doesn’t offer much to pick up the slack, sort of just going through the game plan with an opponent who’s only half there. What’s more, the game plan isn’t all that good itself, just a lackluster collection of weapon shots and occasional good spots (usually those with the awesome barbed wire and thumbtack boards present). Really, this feels like an American deathmatch, the brawl-heavy, weapon shot-heavy sorts of ones that people complain about, that people think is representative of all deathmatch wrestling. And that’s such a sad thing to say, as these two are clearly working hard and are better than that. But in the end, the match simply isn’t any better than your average Corporal Robinson affair from 2004.