Daisuke Sekimoto (c) vs Hideki Suzuki
BJW Strong World Heavyweight Championship
taped 03/05/2017, aired 03/12/2017
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 10/19/2017) One of the advantages of reviewing these matches months after the fact is that I sometimes just completely forget about things, like how this match went to a 30 minute time limit draw. Definitely would have felt different about this match going in but I’m not sure if I can say if my opinion would have changed positively or negatively. As it stands, going in semi-blind, I like this match all in all but felt exhausted by the end. It starts with the usual sort of opening in Hideki matches with a lot of perfunctory grappling. It’s established that while the mat is solidly Hideki’s domain, Sekimoto’s got more than enough experience to be dangerous out of his element and his sheer size will pose a problem more often than not. Before long, though, Hideki hits this awkward-but-awesome suplex over the ropes that sends the champ crashing down on the apron and to the floor, illustrating that Hideki, no small man, can also excel in the strength department. He continues on in that theme with a bunch of good striking in and out of the ring, but Sekimoto’s able to connect with a gutwrench suplex to stem the tide and then turn it fully with a Boston Crab that takes a lot out of Hideki. From there, both men trade the advantage back and forth, doing their usual mixture of slams, suplexes, submissions, and strikes, all of which should be real fun but it’s done at a notably slower pace than usual for around 20 minutes. Somewhere in here I remember “oh yeah, this goes to a draw” and it all starts to make sense why both these men are moving at 75% speed and taking big naps between spots. It’s certainly not as bad as other notable time limit draws that I’ve reviewed, partially because it’s only a 30 minute draw and partially because I really like these two even if they’re pulling punches, but it’s still a major drag. It also feels like these two didn’t really have a plan for how they were going to fill time here and just decided to wing it, which goes rather poorly. There are cool moments of desperation that I really like, such as Sekimoto realizing “fuck it, I just HAVE to blast this guy with lariats to survive” or Hideki repeatedly scrambling for kimuras and small packages to try and score an upset late, but they’re brief high points in what is an otherwise tepid sea of sluggish wrestling. It’s far from bad, as the sluggish wrestling is still good wrestling just done at a suboptimal speed, but it’s something of a bummer either way.