GCW has returned to Japan following the success of its last two-day excursion. This time, it’s going to be a frantic three-day affair with your diligent deathmatch editor bringing you reviews of all three shows. Firstly, is Live Fast, Die Young, a show promising a massive dream match for strong style fans and clashes between American and Japanese deathmatch masters. It’s a shorter show than usual but no less packed. Last year, G-Raver vs Jun Kasai was my match of the year, let’s see if this tour gives me the same result.

Toru Sugiura & Takashi Sasaki defeated Kikutaro & KTB via Yokosuka Cutter

The first match saw the King of FREEDOMS champion and the beloved face of the company take on a beast and one of Japan’s best comedy wrestlers. Sugiura had one of the best FREEDOMS matches of last year against Violento Jack and now looked set to prove himself alongside Sasaki against KTB and Kikutaro. The match started with some fan appreciation then the pair tried to re-enact a car crash by crashing into each other. KTB got the best of it, knocking down Sugiura. The pair traded forearms and German Suplexes before being pulled away by their partners. They both tagged out, letting Sasaki and Kikutaro take over. The pair reached a stalemate so the crowd showed their appreciation for Sasaki. Kikutaro feigned sportsmanship and poked Sasaki in the eyes. He and KTB worked over Sasaki but their efforts just powered him up, so Kikutaro went to the eyes again and flipped off the ref. Sasaki endured and made the hot tag, bringing in a fired-up Sugiura, who nearly toppled KTB after a fast and furious combo. Sugiura made the mistake of flipping off KTB, who levelled him with a deadlift sit-out powerbomb and springboard Moonsault. This only got two, so Kikutaro gave the fans a welcome to the show in fluent English whilst setting up his finisher. Instead, Siguira reversed his Brainbuster attempt and ended him with the Yokosuka Cutter whilst flipping off KTB, who was being held back outside the ring. This was a fun first match that showed off the King of FREEDOMs champ and KTB as absolute beasts whilst Kikutaro once again proved to be his own worst enemy.

SHLAK defeated Matthew Justice via Death by Plastic Bag

Next up was the man CTE fears taking on the public animal number one, SHLAK. It was going to be a GCW star showcase and a potential bout of fuckery. The pair traded a spear and a suplex before bailing from the ring and going for some plunder. The pair filled the ring with chairs and broke some chairs over each other’s heads. They traded some CTE inducing chair shots with SHLAK raining chairs down on Justice when he bailed. The pair kept throwing chairs as they fought at ringside. When SHLAK was busted open, the pair ditched the plunder and started throwing hands. They brawled into the crowd, up into the stands. SHLAK bit and tore at the head of Justice but ended up being thrown off the ramp. Justice followed him down with a cannonball. Back in-ring, Justice managed to spear himself into a chair and was then DDT’ed onto the same one but managed to kick out at two. He came back and hit a DVD onto the chair pile but also only got two. Justice covered SHLAK in chairs and hit a coast to coast elbow drop but SHLAK powered out. More chairs were set up which Justice was sent through with a Deadly Drive before SHLAK ended him with plastic bag suffocation. The ref called off the match and SHLAK was arrested for attempted murder. Only joking, he had his arm raised in victory. This wasn’t a smooth match but it was a blast to watch. I swear both of these guys have heads made of steel.

Alex Colon defeated Violento Jack via Top Rope Spanish Fly

Two of deathmatch wrestling’s best clashed next as Alex Colon took on one of FREEDOMs best, Violento Jack. There was a barbed wire board in the ring and light tubes in every corner which could only symbolise what was to come. The match started with the pair playing a game of avoid the light tube with Colon kicking them away in the end. Colon avoided getting thrown into the barbed wire board and retaliated with a pair of dives to the outside, one with a light tube. The pair fought to the stage as Colon hammered a gusset plate into Jack’s arm. The pair traded chops and headbutts until Jack fell back into the ring. The pair fought around the barbed wire board with Colon getting launched into it with an Overhead belly to belly. Jack made a barbed wire knuckle duster and dug it into the shoulder of Colon. Jack upped the ante by hammering a gusset plate into the head of Colon multiple times. Colon was bleeding badly as Jack beat him up some more, ending the sequence with a ring-out, ring-in DDT. The pair fought over a light tube bundle, avoiding each other’s attacks until Jack reversed a Frankensteiner attempt and powerbombed Colon through it. Colon finally came back with a Sunset Flip double knees through another bundle into the face of Jack. Both men were now down in a pile of glass and blood. They started a slugfest on their knees before Colon ran for light tubes. He was countered though and hit with a light tube assisted Rock Bottom. Jack followed up with a Package bomb and a senton for a two count. Colon surprised Jack with a tornado DDT and tried for a light tube Code Red but it didn’t work. Both men powered through extreme moves before Jackhammered Colon down with a lariat. Jack tried to go to the top rope but was caught by Colon and planted with a Spanish Fly onto light tubes, ending the match. Colon went through a war with one of FREEDOMs best and survived. This was the first deathmatch of the night and the best match so far. Both men killed it here and each other with deathmatch fuckery.

Yuji Okabayashi defeated Chris Dickinson via Splash

Now it was time for the strong style fan’s wet dream as Yuji Okabayashi took on the Dirty Daddy, Chris Dickinson. This was going to be a hard-hitting one, to say the least. There were chops galore to start the match then Dickinson was able to drop Okabayashi with a shoulder tackle, shocking everyone. The punishment continued in the corner as Dickinson chopped and pummelled Okabayashi before dropping him with another tackle. Dickinson nearly won the match as he dropped Okabayashi on his head with a belly to back suplex. Dickinson worked over the legs of Okabayashi and kept chopping, making Okabayashi look helpless. He locked in a Figure Four and seemed to enjoy watching Okabayashi suffer. Okabayashi made it to the ropes and survived some dropkicks to the knee to come back into the match and start beating down Dickinson. He tried to build up a head of steam but Dickinson kicked his leg out from under him. Okabayashi didn’t stay down though, quickly firing back with a Powerslam. The pair traded more violent strikes before Okabayashi avalanched Dickinson in the corner and hit him with a Stalling Suplex. Dickinson managed to escape the torture rack, but Okabayashi followed up with a sleeper hold. Dickinson fought out of it and started chopping down Okabayashi once again. He flipped Okabayashi off and hit a trio of clotheslines and a DVD. Okabayashi avoided a Piledriver attempt and kicked out of a sunset flip but had his comeback squashed by another lariat. He avoided more danger though and dropped Dickinson with his own lariat after he no-sold a German Suplex. Okabayashi hit Dickinson like a freight train but still couldn’t keep him down. Sensing Dickinson was down for the count, Okabayashi took to the top rope to go for his splash but was stopped and hit with a Superplex. We got a strong style standoff with more stiff strikes that Dickinson won with a spinning kick. He positioned Okabayashi on the top rope but opened himself up to a Super Powerslam. Okabayashi followed this with the Splash and bested Dickinson. Pissari bested Staten Island strong style this time but it was a vicious masterpiece. No one has taken Dickinson to this level in quite some time. What a joy to watch.

Danny Havoc, Matt Tremont & Isami Kodaka defeated Drew Parker, Jimmy Lloyd & Toshiyuki Sakuda via Death Valley Driver

Old-guard took on young bulls next as we got a battle of legends and veterans taking on some of the future stars of the deathmatch business. The ring was full of deathmatch fuckery so this one was going to be a massacre. Havoc and Lloyd started technically then left the ring to Sakuda and Tremont. As you may have guessed there was a huge size disadvantage so Sakuda stapled Tremont in the head and the match got violent. Sakuda kept up the offence by using Tremont’s partners against him and rallying the troops to put Kodaka through a barbed wire board. They all brawled on the outside, with the punishment of Tremont and Kodaka continuing once the action returned to the ring. The young bulls team continued to work together insanely well and Sakuda nearly won with a springboard onto the broken barbed wire. Tremont also suffered having a fork stuck into his head before tagging out to Havoc. Danny Havoc can still go insanely well. He hit a corkscrew senton onto a barbed wire board and Sakuda but was caught into a double team powerbomb onto his own light tube bundle at the hands of Lloyd. Drew Parker looked set to win the match but missed the 450 Splash and got dropped on his head by Havoc with a vicious DVD. Kodaka also gets bonus points for performing a homage to the injured G-Raver. This was great, battles of generation are nearly always a blast when everyone can go. I think Sakuda needs to stay away from garden gnomes, he always ends up going through them.

Masashi Takeda vs Orin Veidt

Last but not least, our main event. The dark magician of deathmatches took on the crazy kid of Japan. Masashi Takeda took on Orin Veidt in what looked to be a light tube deathmatch. Now, most people will have already heard about this match due to the unfortunate accident involving a knife board but we’re going to look past that for now and look at the actual match. Once again, my Takeda bias was in full effect heading into this match but Veidt also held his own here. He outtechniqued Takeda to start the match so Takeda feigned sportsmanship and kicked him in the gut.  They started breaking light tubes and throwing forearms, with Veidt getting the better of it. He sent Takeda back first into the tubes. He tried to follow up with a dive but got light tubes to the face for his troubles. Takeda kept breaking tubes on Veidt and slammed him into the glass and onto chairs. He butchered the spine of Veidt and introduced his scissors to the head of Veidt. After more scissor-based punishment, Veidt tried to come back but ended up eating glass thanks to Takeda. The pair traded more forearms before Veidt was able to low bridge Takeda and hit a suplex on the ramp. We got some light tube shenanigans as Veidt battered Takeda around the ring. Veidt found a gusset plate and dug it into Takeda’s head. Takeda pulled it back and made Veidt eat it, dropping him face-first with a DDT whilst the plate was in his mouth. Veidt was put in the tree of woe and had light tubes punt kicked into him. The pair fought over another light tube bundle, with Veidt getting it broken over his head and another mouthful of gusset board, this time courtesy of a facebuster. Then in the grand finale, the knife board was brought out. Takeda tried to dump Veidt on it but ended up getting dropped on them himself. Then we all know what happened after that, Takeda ended up with a knife in the back and the match was called off. We have since learned that he’s okay (well as okay as you can be after being stabbed in the back anyway.) This was going well despite the miscommunications and the weapons mishaps. It’s a shame it had to end this way. Not to go out without a chat, Takeda took to the mic before being carted to a medical facility. Veidt also got some time to talk and he seemed incredibly humble on the mic for being given such a chance.

So, there you have it, GCW’s Live Fast, Die Young, reviewed for your reading pleasure. Talk about a knock-out of an opening show. This was mental from almost start to finish. Most matches kicked arse and it was hard not to enjoy the main event despite it’s ending. Dickinson and Okabayashi had a strong style war and Violento Jack and Colon put on one hell of a little deathmatch in the third match. It was a brisk 90-minute show with a lot packed in. I can’t wait to see what the other two nights bring. Stay tuned to come along on the ride with me.

Images courtesy of GCW Twitter, metal-Noah Twitter, Izzatlove Twitter, Italo Santana Twitter, HeyyImRob Twitter

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