We start off this episode in a parking lot somewhere in Japan, aka the open-air venue for today’s show. The main event is a Fire Death Match, and we have interviews with the participants. Team No.1, Jun “Crazy Monkey” Kasai and Jaki “I’m Crazier Than Kasai” Numazawa. We than go to Team No.2, Abdullah Kobayashi & Ryuji Ito. As they give their comments, Kasai & Numazawa show up and try to run them over in a mini-car! The two maniacs get out and Kasai says he’s going to demonstrate the fire bit of the match they are in tonight. He lights a board on fire and takes a swing at Kobayashi and the flaming towel wrapped around the board comes off and hits Kobayashi in the face! I think there was a SNAFU here, but the two crazies get back in their mini-car and insult Kobayashi some more before driving off laughing like the maniacs they are!
Back to our heroes, and cue the COMEDY music as Kobayashi is okay and they get some last comments in before the opening credits start.Daikokubo Benkei & Yuichi Taniguchi VS Futoshi Miwa & Hyoma
DDT’s Futoshi Miwa was wearing this horrible green egg suit reminiscent of Akebono!
The match itself was loads of fun and filled with comedy (both intentional and unintentional), and even Benkei had a hard time keeping a straight face! There was a big pop for Benkei VS Miwa, the two super-heavies in the match, it’s just too bad they didn’t have more time in the ring together. Taniguchi did his usual loud mouth comedy stuff, which the crowd easily got into.
I really like Hyoma’s rocker gimmick, and he’s a pretty good junior heavyweight too, it’s just too bad he’s usually regulated to being the fall guy in matches. I think Taniguchi is even higher on the Big Japan food chain than him which is a shame cause I’d really like to see what he can do in a big match environment.
Very entertaining match overall.Match Rating: **
Back to earlier in the day for more comments about the upcoming death match from the participants. We got the comedy music going for Kobayashi again, and he seems to get it lot for what I’ve seen. Fire Tag Death Match: Ryuji Ito & Abdullah Kobayashi VS Jun Kasai & “Kokutenshi” Jaki Numazawa
We’ve got a ring with barb-wire ropes which also have pads on them that are to be set on fire for the match, as well as barb wire board and light tube around the ring area. Yup, we definitely are in for a good time with this one! There really aren’t any rules to this one, only that after about 5 minutes, the ropes will be set on fire.
Kasai & Numazawa come out to “Wait and Bleed” by Slipknot, which instantly scores them even more coolness points with me as it totally matches their insane tandem. And needless to say the match was dangerous, not just for the wrestlers, but for the audience as well when we got a maniac like Numazawa running around ring side swinging a flaming 2X4!
The match starts off with a whole lot of brawling into the crowd that the cameras can’t even catch up with the action. Even one of the commentators got heckled by Numazawa who spat water in his face.
Kobayashi was dubbed “King of the Fire Match” going into this due to his past experience, and he ended up taking a lot of punishment from the his opponents. Their in ring mobility was severely limited once the ropes were set on fire, but they once again showed a lot of innovation. Like one really sick spot where Kobayashi drove Numazawa through a roll of light tubes onto a flaming chair with a Axe Guillotine Driver! I also wondered how Ito and Kasai would pull off their finishers since there were no corner pads, so they brought out a ladder and Ito hit a huge Dragon-Splash out over the flames to put Kasai through a table!
The fire didn’t play along for some of the spots though, since some of the props wouldn’t stay lit for too long before the wind blew them out, but they still managed to pull off a great main event for this show and the crowd was wild for the whole thing.Match Rating: ***1/2
After the match, Kobayashi challenges Kasai & Numazawa to one more tag match at the upcoming Korakuen Hall show with his regular tag partner, Daisuke Sekimoto. I might not be the best Jap speaker around, but I definitely understood Numazawa say he would KILL Kobayashi at Korakuen, before laughing like the maniac he is. Overall:
Two fun matches on a one hour TV slot makes this a show definitely worth checking out. And it’s no secret right now I’m pretty much a mark for that maniac Numazawa!