Big Japan Pro Wrestling

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Big Japan Pro Wrestling
Acronym BJW
Founded 1995
Style Deathmatch
Strong style
Headquarters Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Founder(s) Shin'ya Kojika
Kendo Nagasaki
Owner(s) Eiji Tosaka

Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW) is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion established in 1995. It is most famous for its deathmatch style contests.

History

Big Japan Pro Wrestling was founded in March 1995 by former AJPW wrestlers Shinya Kojika and Kendo Nagasaki, during the boom period for Deathmatch wrestling in Japan. Kendo Nagasaki left in 1999; Shinya Kojika is still president of the company to date.

The promotion followed in the footsteps of organisations such as Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW) and the International Wrestling Association of Japan (IWA Japan), who helped popularise a hard-hitting, violent and bloody style of wrestling known as the Deathmatch, or in more recent years, "hardcore" wrestling. These matches are usually weapon filled, using both "conventional" weapons (such as chairs and tables), as well as "extreme" weapons not usually seen in mainstream wrestling, and previously unused in wrestling at all. These weapons include, but are by no means limited to, nails, thumbtacks, fire and fluorescent light tubes. Barbed wire is also often used liberally in these matches, sometimes wrapped around other weapons, laid on the floor surrounding the ring, wrapped around the ring ropes or even replacing the ropes altogether. In it early years, BJW was unable to directly compete with the budgets of its competition. This led to the innovation of a number of unique gimmick matches, many of which helped hide its monetary shortcomings. These include:

Steel cage deathmatch with 200 fluorescent light tubes - Ryuji Ito vs. Yuko Miyamoto at BJW 15th Anniversary Show ~Death & Crazy That's The Way Of The BJ-World~ on May 4, 2010[1]
  • Circus Deathmatch- above the ring is a scaffold and under that scaffold there is a type of circus net made of barbed wire. When a wrestler falls off of the scaffold the barbed wire spider net is there to "catch" the wrestlers. After a wrestler, or a team of wrestlers, have been thrown into the net it is cut down and the match continues to a pin fall.
  • Piranha Deathmatch- Barbed wire boards are placed in the corners. In the middle of the ring, there is a tank full of Piranhas. To win you must hold your opponent in the tank for ten seconds.
  • Scorpion Deathmatch- This match is similar to the Piranha Deathmatch. However, instead of barbed wire boards, there are two cacti. And instead of Piranhas, there is a tank full of scorpions.
  • Crocodile Deathmatch- Two wrestlers compete in a non-specific death match. The loser of the match must then go on to wrestle a crocodile.(This match has only been performed once in a death-match between Shadow WX & Mitsuhiro Matsunaga.)
  • Fire Stone Deathmatch- Both the inside and outsides of the ring are lined with electrified space heaters wrapped in barbed wire. The match is won by pin fall.
  • Big Japan W*ING Crisis Big Born Deathmatch (also known as "Crisis Big Born Deathmatch")- This is a Big Japan match which combines several different deathmatch types. The match starts out on a scaffold above a barbed wire net over a ring. The ring itself is surrounded by cactus, fire stones (electric space heaters wrapped in barbed wire) and dry ice. Thumbtacks are scattered in the ring. In the middle of the ring is a tank of scorpions. Various weapons including light bulbs, light tubes, baseball bats, drills, buzzsaws, and swords are permitted. The match is fought with all members of two teams active at the same time under hardcore street fight rules. When all the wrestlers have fallen into the barbed wire net, the next phase of the match begins. The barbed wire net is removed and the match still continues. Wrestlers leave and win the match by submission, by having their head put in the scorpion tank for ten seconds or by passing out.
  • "Ancient Way" Death Match- Both fighters wrap their hands in hemp rope, which is then coated in honey and dipped in broken glass to make them deadly weapons.
  • Big Japan CZW Crisis Big Born Cage of Death Deathmatch- a steel cage match with various weapons, objects, and plenty of wrestling violence which combining several types of deathmatches; a steel cage with various weapons and objects will be contested under "BJW's Crisis Big Born Deathmatch" rules. Electrified cage walls, tables, ladders, chairs, crowbars, Singaporean canes, barbed-wire-board, thumbtacks, bed-of-nails, circus-style-scaffold into a barbed-wire-trampoline, tub of scorpions, cactus plants, light tubes, light bulbs, glass, fire stones, dry Ice, barbed-wire-bat, drills, swords, knives, guns, buzzsaws and all other weapons have been used in it.
  • Big Japan WWE Crisis Big Born Hell in a Cell Deathmatch- This is a 24-foot-high roofed cell structure which combining several types of deathmatches; a 24-foot-high roofed cell structure will be contested and competed under "BJW's Crisis Big Born Deathmatch" rules. The match starts out on a scaffold above a barbed wire net over a ring. The ring and the cell structure themselves are surrounded by cactus, fire stones (electric space heaters wrapped in barbed wire), dry ice, and all other weapons. Thumbtacks and Japanese kenzans are scattered in the ring and the cell. In the middle of the ring and the cell are all tanks of scorpions and every other thing else. Various weapons and objects including light bulbs, bats, drills, saws, swords, guns, and every other thing else whatsoever are permitted. The match is fought with all other different formats and stipulations (singles, tag team, gauntlet, etc.) active at the same time under street fight rules. There are no disqualifications, no count-outs, and no knock-outs (also no escape). The only way to win is by pinfall or submission inside the ring.

Away from the Deathmatches, BJW also has had well-established normal wrestling titles. On February 3, 1998, Yoshihiro Tajiri won a one night only 8 man tournament in Tokyo to crown BJW's first World Junior Heavyweight Champion. This match showed a distinct departure from the violent matches BJW is known for. The company also has had a World Heavyweight Championship, a World Women's Championship, a World Tag Team Championship, and a World 4-Man Tag Team Shuffle Championship. Although the World Tag Team and Deathmatch titles are the only ones still active.

Currently, the BJW roster is split into "Deathmatch BJ", "Strong BJ" and "Strong J". The deathmatch workers wrestle for the BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Championship, the non-deathmatch heavyweight workers for the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship and the junior heavyweight workers for the BJW Junior Heavyweight Championship.

Big Japan Pro Wrestling Core

Big Japan Pro Wrestling Core (BJW Core) is a video-on-demand service owned by Big Japan Pro Wrestling. In November 2017, BJW announced "Big Japan Pro Wrestling Core", a new worldwide video-on-demand site for the promotion's events. All major BJW events air live on the service, which also features matches from the promotion's archives, dating back to 1995. The service has a current monthly subscription price of ¥888.[2][3]

Inter-promotional feuds

Big Japan has feuded with both New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW). These were both kayfabe feuds that were done in order to generate more income for both companies. During late 1996 and early 1997, Big Japan entered into an agreement with New Japan. Being a relatively new promotion, BJW was in need of mainstream publicity. NJPW agreed to a feud, which would allow Big Japan wrestlers to appear in their company and use New Japan's popularity to give exposure to their company. In return, Big Japan agreed to lose the feud and the majority of the inter-promotional matches, therefore strengthening the New Japan brand. The situation provided an interesting clash of wrestling styles, as NJPW often favored a strong style of competition. The biggest show featuring both companies occurred at the Tokyo Dome on 4 January 1997.

In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, Big Japan competed against Combat Zone Wrestling. CZW was a relatively new American promotion at the time, and also largely focused on an extreme style of wrestling. Wrestlers feuded in both companies having matches in the United States and Japan. During the CZW feud, top star Tomoaki Honma departed the company to become a freelancer.

In October 2008, several BJW wrestlers went to America and faced Chikara in The Global Gauntlet. BJW did well, winning the best of five series on night one, but narrowly lost the Global Gauntlet match on the second night.

In 2012, BJW established a three-way working relationship with CZW and German promotion Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw), which led to the creation of the World Triangle League tournament.

BJW has also had a long working relationship with the Union Pro Wrestling promotion, which has included BJW workers holding titles in Union Pro and vice versa.

Roster

Deathmatch BJ

Ring name Real name Notes
Abdullah Kobayashi Yōsuke Kobayashi
Jaki Numazawa Naoki Numazawa
Kankuro Hoshino Naotake Hoshino
Masaya Takahashi Masaya Takahashi Yokohama Shopping Street 6-Man Tag Team Champion
Ryuji Ito Ryuji Ito
Takayuki Ueki Takayuki Ueki Yokohama Shopping Street 6-Man Tag Team Champion
Toshiyuki Sakuda Toshiyuki Sakuda Yokohama Shopping Street 6-Man Tag Team Champion

Strong BJ

Ring name Real name Notes
Daichi Hashimoto Daichi Hashimoto
Daisuke Sekimoto Daisuke Sekimoto
Hideyoshi Kamitani Hideyoshi Kamitani
Kazumi Kikuta Kazumi Kikuta
Ryota Hama Ryota Hama
Ryuichi Kawakami Ryuichi Kawakami
Takuya Nomura Takuya Nomura
Yasufumi Nakanoue Yasufumi Nakanoue
Yoshihisa Utoh Yoshihisa Utoh
Yuichi Taniguchi Yuichi Taniguchi
Yuji Okabayashi Yuji Okabayashi

Strong J

Ring name Real name Notes
Akira Hyodo Akira Hyodo
Kazuki Hashimoto Kazuki Hashimoto BJW Junior Heavyweight Champion
Kouta Sekifuda Kouta Sekifuda
Masaki Morihiro Masaki Morihiro
Takuho Katoh Takuho Katoh
Tatsuhiko Yoshino Tatsuhiko Kimura
Yuki Ishikawa Yuki Ishikawa
Yuya Aoki Yuya Aoki

Freelancers

Ring name Real name Notes
Brahman Kei Kei Sato
Brahman Shu Shu Sato
Hercules Senga Tatsuhito Senga
Hideki Suzuki Hideki Suzuki BJW World Strong Heavyweight Champion
Isami Kodaka Isami Kodaka Basara
BJW World Tag Team Champion
Madoka Yuki Yagi
Manabu Soya Manabu Soya Wrestle-1
Masashi Takeda Masashi Takeda BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Champion
Masato Inaba Masato Inaba
Onryo Ryo Matsuri 666
Shinobu Shinobu Sugawara 666
Tsutomu Oosugi Tsutomu Oosugi
Yuko Miyamoto Yuko Miyamoto 666
BJW World Tag Team Champion

Staff

Ring name Real name Notes
Eiji Tosaka Eiji Tosaka Announcer
Owner
Frank Atsushi Atsushi Ohashi Referee
Great Kojika Shinya Kojika Chairman
Occasional wrestler
Mac Takeda Hiroki Takeda Referee
Ryohei Nakatani Ryohei Nakatani Referee
Ryuji Yamakawa Seiji Yamakawa Retired wrestler
Makes occasional appearances
Yuji Shindo Yuji Shindo Announcer

Notable alumni

"Razor Blade Cross Board" - Six Man Tag Team Barbed Wire Razor Blade Death Match (Jun Kasai & DJ Hyde & Nick Gage vs Jaki Numazawa & Isami Kodaka & Masashi Takeda) at BJW 15th Anniversary Show ~Death & Crazy That's The Way Of The BJ-World~ on May 4, 2010[1]

CZW Warriors (2000 - 2002)

This stable also appeared in Fire Pro Wrestling Returns as the Mad Gaijins, excluding Ric Blade.

Championships

Current

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days
held
Location Notes
BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Championship Masashi Takeda 1 August 19, 2017 453+ Nagoya, Japan Defeated Masaya Takahashi at Death Mania V.
BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship Hideki Suzuki 2 April 5, 2018 224+ Hokkaido, Japan Defeated Daichi Hashimoto in the finals of the Ikkitousen Strong Climb.
BJW Tag Team Championship Ryota Hama and Yasufumi Nakanoue 1 October 25, 2018 21+ Tokyo, Japan Defeated Okami (Daichi Hashimoto and Hideyoshi Kamitani) in the finals of the Saikyo Tag League 2018.
BJW Junior Heavyweight Championship Kazuki Hashimoto 1 August 12, 2018 95+ Tokyo, Japan Defeated Shinobu at Midsummer Korakuen Battles Tour.
Yokohama Shopping Street 6-Man Tag Team Championship Ryota Hama, Yasufumi Nakanoue, & Takeshi Irei 1 October 19, 2018 27+ Yokohama, Japan Defeated Masaya Takahashi, Takayuki Ueki and Toshiyuki Sakuda.

Defunct

Championship Final champion(s) Date won
BJW Heavyweight Championship Men's Teioh September 5, 2004
BJW Women's Championship[4] Kaori Yoneyama January 2, 2003
BJW Junior Heavyweight Championship (1998–2002) Homicide November 15, 2002
BJW 8-Man Scramble Championship Kyoko Ichiki May 14, 2000

neFormer

Championship Last champion(s) Date won
FMW/WEW Hardcore Tag Team Championship Saburo Inematsu and Ryuichi Sekine April 12, 2015
Sakatako Intercontinental Tag Team Championship Abdullah Kobayashi and Takayuki Ueki October 2, 2016

Tournaments

BJW also holds annual tournaments to decide the top wrestler or tag team in the promotion:

Tournament Latest winner(s) Date won
Ikkitousen Strong Climb Shuji Ishikawa April 10, 2016
Ikkitousen Deathmatch Survivor Masaya Takahashi April 18, 2017
Saikyo Tag League Ryota Hama and Yasufumi Nakanoue October 25, 2018

See also

References

  1. ^ a b BJW 15th Anniversary Show ~Death & Crazy That's The Way Of The BJ-World~ - CAGEMATCH (in German)
  2. ^ http://fightboothpw.com/big-japan-pro-wrestling-streaming-service-launch/
  3. ^ http://www.bjwcore.com/
  4. ^ http://www.wrestling-titles.com/japan/bigjapan/bj-wm.html

External links

  • Official website
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