Thursday, May 10, 2012

BJW Bout Review: Jun Kasai vs. Jaki Numazawa Madness of Massacre

In this review, we will look at Jun Kasai vs. Jaki Numazawa from March 12, 2009 at Shin Kiba 1st Ring in Tokyo. It took place on the eve of Friday The 13th, and was a death match titled, "Madness of Massacre". As a tag team, Kasai and Numazawa are one of the most successful teams in Big Japan Pro Wrestling history. They have won the Tag Team Championship three times as of this writing, which is a record. However, as dominant they are as a tag team, their skills shine even more when they compete against each other in singles matches, as this match proved.

The ring was prepared with everything that Kasai and Numazawa would need to present the fans in attendance with the promised massacre. A row of fluorescent light tubes was draped over the ropes on two sides of the ring, bundles of light tubes lied in all four corners, light tube crosses lay in two of the corners, and a double ladder stood on one side of the ring with one end of a scaffold lying atop it. The other end of it was atop a double ladder standing in the entranceway. Kasai and Numazawa started the match with a chain wrestling exchange, serving as a reminder that they are both more than death match wrestlers. The style of the match changed when they began trading forearm shots. Numazawa, thinking that he had gained the advantage after coming out of nowhere with a quick headbutt, looked to the crowd for approval. However, when Numazawa turned his attention back to Kasai, he was met with a light tube shot. Numazawa retaliated by grabbing a light tube of his own and smashing it over Kasai's head. The match then slightly became a game of can-you-top-this, as Kasai went on to headbutt a light tube into Numazawa's forehead, followed by Numazawa doing the same thing to Kasai. After kicking Numazawa in the gut, Kasai Irish whipped him into light tubes that were draped over the ropes, exploding them, followed by Numazawa doing the exact same sequence of moves. Numazawa's sequence was a bit more effective however, proven by Kasai dropping to the mat.

When Kasai got back to his feet, Numazawa attempted to Irish whip him into one of the light tube crosses that was in a corner, but Kasai reversed the move, sending Numazawa crashing into the cross instead. Kasai then bodyslammed him in the middle of the ring, placed two light tubes between Numazawa's legs, and stomped on them until they snapped. Hopefully the light tubes were the only things that snapped. Kasai grinned a sinister grin, taking joy in Numazawa's predicament, who was crouched face down on the mat in obvious pain. When he slowly got back to his feet, Kasai hit Numazawa with a knee lift, and then rammed his head into a turnbuckle. With Numazawa still in the corner and with his back against the turnbuckle, Kasai grabbed a light tube, got on the second turnbuckle, and headbutted the light tube into Numazawa's forehead. Feeling confident that he was firmly in control, Kasai came down from the second turnbuckle, walked away from Numazawa for a moment and checked to see if his head was bleeding as a result of his headbutt attack from a moment earlier. This turned out to be a mistake, because as he walked back over to Numazawa, he was met by a kick to the stomach. The two men then began exchanging blows until Numazawa gained the upper hand. He took a moment to play to the crowd, but it cost him, because it gave Kasai the opportunity to grab a light tube and smash Numazawa over the head with it when he turned back around.

Numazawa dropped to his knees and slumped over the second rope. Taking advantage of the situation, Kasai brought him to his feet, Irish whipped him into the double ladder, and then charged towards him, hitting Numazwa with a shoulder block to the gut. Kasai followed up by snap suplexing him to the mat, and then began a climb up the ladder. Numazawa got up to his feet and tried to climb up after Kasai, but Kasai sent him falling to the mat back first with a few kicks to the chest. Now at the middle of the ladder, Kasai came down onto Numazawa with a diving headbutt to his stomach. Kasai then went for the cover, only getting a two-count.

Kasai threw Numazawa out of the ring through the second rope, and followed him to the outside, where he Irish whipped Numazawa into chairs in the crowd. When he got back to his feet, Kasai hit Numazawa with a knee lift and a forearm to the back. Kasai then set up two tables side by side, hit him with another forearm shot, and placed Numazawa onto the tables. Kasai then reentered the ring, and climbed up the ladder to the scaffold. When he got there, Kasai saw that Numazawa was climbing up the other side. Kasai met him with a couple of forearm shots, brought him over to the center of the scaffold, and attempted to suplex him off it. Numazawa blocked the move, but Kasai punched him in the side before releasing him. Next, Kasai knee lifted Numazawa and attempted to bodyslam him off the scaffold, but Numazawa blocked the move, escaped with two punches and a kick to Kasai's stomach, and in a move that has to be seen to be believed, gave him a scoop slam piledriver off the scaffold that sent them both crashing through the tables below!

Amazingly, Numazawa struggled back up to his feet, rolled Kasai into the ring, and went for the cover. Although obviously still feeling the effects from the bump through the table, Kasai managed to kick out at the two-count. Numazawa, seemingly confident that a pinfall victory was within his grasp, brought Kasai to his feet, delivered a Spinning Samoan Drop, and went for the cover once again, but once again only getting a two-count. Numazawa then attempted to climb the ladder, but Kasai got up, punched him in the back twice, and positioned his shoulders under Numazawa's legs so that Numazawa was in an electric chair sitting position. Kasai then released him and intended to hit Numazawa with a clothesline, but Numazawa turned around, saw Kasai and ducked, kicked Kasai in the stomach when Kasai turned around, and then lifted Kasai onto his shoulders to attempt another Spinning Samoan Drop. However, Kasai slipped out of his grasp, and standing behind Numazawa, grabbed him around the waist to attempt a German suplex. Numazawa escaped by delivering three back elbows to Kasai's head, rebounded off the ropes, and appeared to intend to do the same on the other side of the ring, but stopped short when he realized that the ladder was right in front of him. Upon turning around, he was hit with a lariat by Kasai, who then went for the cover, only getting a two-count.

Many colorful synonyms have been used to describe Kasai during his career, such as, "crazy" and, "psycho". It's understandable, considering the fact that he has done many incredibly risky spots over the years that has given him the reputation of being one of the best hardcore wrestlers in the industry. At the same time however, Kasai is also one of the most unpredictable, in a very positive way. After Numazawa kicked out, Kasai glanced at a corner of the ring and slowly moved over to it. Then, he stood up and simply watched as Numazawa (who was back up at this point) charged towards him from the other side of the ring. At the last second, Kasai moved out of the way, and Numazawa collided with a light tube cross that was in the corner. Kasai then hoisted him onto the second turnbuckle, placed him in an electric chair sitting position, and dropped him into a facebuster.

Numazawa rolled out of the ring seeking an opportunity to recover, but Kasai followed, where he set up another table and placed Numazawa on top of it. Wanting to make sure that Numazawa would not get up, Kasai duct-taped him to the table (now you know who was one of the first wrestlers to use duct tape during a match!), hit him three times with three different chairs (Kasai is nicknamed, "Crazy Monkey" after all), and then climbed up to the balcony of the arena (hence the, "Monkey" part). Kasai moved himself into position right above where Numazawa was lying, and leaped from the balcony onto Numazawa with his, "Pearl Harbor Splash" finisher. Even more impressive than that was the fact that Kasai got right back up. His adrenaline pumping, Kasai picked up a piece of the now-broken table and smashed it again a turnbuckle post.

Kasai rolled Numazawa back into the ring, bodyslammed him to the mat, and to add insult to injury, blew snot on him. Ready to finish off his opponent, Kasai climbed up to the top rope, donned his eyes with Pearl Harbor bomber goggles (as he traditionally does before ending a match), and once again delivered his, "Pearl Harbor Splash" finisher. Kasai then went for the cover, but Numazawa kicked out when the referee's hand was inches away from making a three-count. Not letting up for a moment, Kasai removed his goggles, bodyslammed Numazawa to the mat, and blew snot on him once again, before placing a bundle of light tubes on top of him. Kasai then climbed the ladder to the scaffold and prepared to leap onto the light tubes with another "Pearl Harbor Splash", but Numazawa quickly got to his feet and climbed up the ladder after Kasai, who met him with punches to the head. Numazawa put a stop to Kasai's offensive attack with a forearm shot to Kasai, and superplexed him off the scaffold to the mat below.

As Kasai lay on the mat, out cold, Numazawa attempted to crawl over to him to make the cover, but collapsed. When they both eventually tried to stand, Numazawa made it to his feet first, Irish whipped Kasai into a corner and followed him with a corner clothesline. Numazawa then perched Kasai on the top turnbuckle, lifted him up and carried him to the middle of the ring, where he delivered a sitout powerbomb on top of the bundle of light tubes that Kasai had introduced into the match earlier. Kasai kicked out at two, but also impressive was the display of psychology presented in that spot. After Kasai had placed the light tube bundle on top of Numazawa, everyone had forgotten about it once Numazawa got up from the mat- except for Numazawa. Being very aware of his surroundings in the ring, not only did Numazawa remember that the bundle was there, but he also utilized it, taking advantage of a "weapon" that Kasai intended to use.

Staying on Kasai, Numazawa bodyslammed him to the mat, and climbed to the top rope, where he attempted a moonsault, but Kasai rolled out the way at the last second. Kasai quickly grabbed another light tube bundle from a corner of the ring and charged towards Numazawa with it once he had gotten to his feet, but Numazawa grabbed hold of the bundle. They both struggled for control of it, until Numawza gained it after kicking Kasai in the stomach. He swung the bundle, but Kasai ducked, positioned himself behind Numazawa, and grabbed him around the waist in preparation for a German suplex. Numazawa responded by swinging the light tube bundle backwards over his head, bashing Kasai in the cranium. Unbeknownst to Numazawa -who still had his back to Kasai and was taking a moment to catch a breather- his light tube attack had no effect on Kasai. Making a superman-like comeback, he once again grabbed Numazawa around the waist, and successfully delivered a German suplex, almost getting a three-count.

Something that must be noted is that Numazawa had not kicked out of the German suplex, Kasai had simply released the hold- he wanted more pain to be inflicted. Not only on Numazawa- but himself as well. He grabbed two light tubes, broke them over his knee, and carved into his chest with the remnants that he was holding in his hand. Throwing the light tubes aside, Kasai then ran across the ring, rebounded off the ropes, ran across the ring to rebound off the ropes on that side (crashing into light tubes that were draped over the ropes in the process), and sent Numazawa to the mat with a lariat. Kasai then quickly went for the cover, and Numazawa barely escaped a three-count.

Kasai quickly got to his feet, and bodyslammed Numazawa back down onto the mat, before placing another light tube bundle onto him, and scaling the ladder up to the scaffold. Kasai once again donned the goggles and leaped off the scaffold with his, "Pearl Harbor Splash" finisher, this time making contact onto the light tube bundle and Numazawa. Kasai hooked the leg and awaited a three-count, but somehow, Numazawa kicked out instead. It was almost shocking, but considering the fact that Numazawa is a former Deathmatch Heavyweight Champion, his resiliency is of no secret to anyone. At the same time however, Kasai was far from giving up, as he looked at the crowd and drew his hand across his throat, signaling that he was going to finish Numazawa off. Kasai brought him to his feet, hooked Numazawa's arms, and prepared to deliver a lifting sitout facebuster. Numazawa quickly escaped however, and delivered his side small package, "Shineway" finisher. Numazawa's version of a small package is the most effective one in the industry, because he pins his opponent's shoulders to the mat with the same force that he would administer a scoop slam piledriver. Still, Kasai managed to kick out of the move, proving his intestinal fortitude.

Numazawa's was fired up with energy, as he grabbed a light tube and broke it over his own head. Numazawa then attempted to clothesline Kasai, who ducked and disoriented Numazawa by seeming to attempt a full nelson one moment, but then spun him around the next, before hooking him in a back slide into a sitout pin, only getting a two-count. Kasai was still in control of the match though, and had no intention of giving that up. He brought Numazawa to his feet, and once again hooked his arms to set up the lifting sitout facebuster that he had attempted before, and this time he was successful. Kasai then made the cover and gained the victory.

The best aspect of this match is that it was ironically titled, "Madness of Massacre". Even with tables and light tubes being used, Kasai and Numazawa presented a match with psychology from the opening bell to the end of the match. Ring presence and quick-thinking were included in this match, and every move that was done by both men, was done for a reason. This is a match that should be watched by all pro-wrestling fans, both hardcore wrestling and non-hardcore wrestling enthusiasts alike. So don't wait, visit the Big Japan Shop right now to order Dainichi Daisen 09 Vol 2! Not only will you see Jun Kasai vs. Jaki Numazawa, but you will also see: Shadow WX & The Winger vs. Abdullah Kobayashi & MASADA in a, "Fluorescent Light Tube & Barbed Wire Board" tag match! Isami Kodaka & Masashi Takeda vs. Katsumasa Inoue & Kankuro Hoshino in a, "Barbed Wire Board Death Match"! Atsushi Ohashi & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Masato Tanaka! Shinya Ishikawa & Yoshihito Sasaki vs. Yuko Miyamoto & Takashi Sasaki! Masada & Abdullah Kobayashi vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Ryuji Ito in a, "Hardcore" tag match! Yuko Miyamoto & Takashi Sasaki vs. Masashi Takeda & Isami Kodaka in a, "Fluorescent Light Stick & Double Board Deathmatch"!

Harold Williams
@HWilliams13 on Twitter

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