Hideki Suzuki (c) vs Yuji Okabayashi
BJW Strong World Heavyweight Championship
Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium, Yokohama, Japan
(reviewed 10/21/2017) Against the other Strong BJ member, Daisuke Sekimoto, Hideki was able to utilize his size and striking ability along with his grappling skill to win the Strong title. Here, against Okabayashi, he’s actually outsized by a sizable margin and has to almost solely rely on his technical prowess. A fine little narrative but one that also highlights why exactly these two aren’t great together: neither one of them are able to have the other’s match. Sure, Okabayashi can sprint around and throw these big haymaker lariats and make good use of his size. Sure, Hideki can roll around on the mat and blast dudes with elbows when he wants to. Throwing those two styles together is going to result in something enjoyable, but those are two distinct sorts of matches and neither of these men are good at doing the other guy’s sort of match. It mostly works out here just by sheer force of will, but this match lacks the sort of crispness or emotion of real high end BJW stuff and without that it feels so hollow, especially in a building of this size that isn’t going nuts for it. I’m not sure if I’d even go as far to say that it’s bad, but it sure isn’t good and that’s a shame considering the talent these two possess.