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#MustWatchMonday (3/21/16): Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Yuji Okabayashi



While NJPW is by far the largest wrestling promotion in Japan and arguably the second largest in the world, Japan is filled with a lot of smaller promotions that wrestling fans should take note of. Here's one of them.

BJW, or Big Japan Pro Wrestling, is a Japanese promotion established in 1995 by Shinya Kojika and Kendo Nagasaki. It was initially formed to be an alternative to FMW, that is to say, a promotion that would focus heavily on deathmatches and the hardcore style of wrestling. In fact, the use of lighttubes, one of the most popular tropes of deathmatch wrestling was conceived in BJW, and it innovated by none other than NJPW's biggest underdog, Tomoaki Honma, who made his start in this promotion.

In 2012 however, BJW started to evolve, not by distancing itself from the deathmatches that made it famous, but by instead adding to it, dividing the roster into the Deathmatch Division and the Strong Division, which basically focuses on matches featuring big men doing big men things. And it is fantastic.

The men who make up the Strong Division are among the best wresters Japan has to offer, and the two wrestlers who are synonymous with this division are Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi. In the match I'll be covering today, which happened in July of 2015,  they'll be facing each other for the BJW Strong Heavyweight championship.

Daisuke Sekimoto comes into this match as the champion, which is no surprise given the amount of experience and skill this man has. His ability to tell a story in the ring, his facial expressions, his technical work and his sheer brute strength make him one of the best wrestlers in the world. To give you an idea how much Sekimoto is respected in the wrestling world and how much of a workhorse he is, I'll point out the fact that he has won the top singles championship in BJW, DDT, ZERO-1, K-DOJO, WxW and RJPW, and that's not to mention all the tag team championships he's won as well.

A lot of those tag team championships he's won were with his tag team partner, none other than his opponent in this match: Yuji Okabayashi. Okabayashi made his debut much later than Sekimote, in fact Sekimoto trained Okabayashi when he was starting out. Together, they form STRONG BJ, one of the best tag teams in the world right now.

Despite their great chemistry as a tag team however, they have even better chemistry as opponents, and that came into a head in this match. To summarize, this match was hard-hitting, and filled with feats of strength that you won't see in NJPW. To emphasize this point, Okabayashi busted his nose less than 5 minutes into the match. After that, it was the embodiment of a strong style match, filled with lariats, elbows, and suplexes, with each man going move for move with the other. The story of this match was Okabayashi wanting to stand next to, and not in the shadow of his tag team partner, who at that point was already a multi-time Strong Heavyweight Championship, and it showed in this match, with Okabayashi holding nothing back. These two go for almost half an hour, and each minute is a must watch.

Embed links don't work for veoh, so you can watch the match here.

What did you think about the match? Leave a comment below!

*****

Brandon Sy is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics currently based in Sydney. Since he wasn't allowed to watch wrestling as a kid, he's been overcompensating ever since. Despite being a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, he still holds a soft spot in his heart for WWE's Kane. He's good for recommending matches from pretty much anywhere, whether it be Japan, Europe, the US or Mexico. He'd be ecstatic if you watched Dragon Gate though.

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