Spooky season is upon us once again. I adore Halloween, deathmatches, and horror so it’s time to mix them all together for another advent calendar of deathmatch goodness. For each day of October, we’ll have a new deliciously deadly match to enjoy. We’ll have new companies, more historical matches, and of course more blood, broken glass, and barbed-wire. Now, let’s open door one of our bloodbath calendar of doom.

For day one, I figured I’d start with one of my favourite deathmatches of the year. Before COVID set the world on fire, GCW took off to Japan again to work with BJW and FREEDOMS to put on a three-night super tour of deathmatch dream matches. Much like last year where I had countless highlights from the tour, I’m going to look at another here. Enter Art of War, the final day of the tour, and a dream match was booked between an icon of the US deathmatch scene and an icon of the Japanese deathmatch scene. I am of course referring to SHLAK vs Abdullah Kobayashi.

When a match starts with glass eating, you know you’re in for a treat. What followed was a fast and furious bout of breaking tubes and brawling. These two fought anywhere and everywhere including the rafters, the crowd, and ringside. There were strikes galore as both turned their striking game up to 11 and threw in a ton of broken light-tubes. They both struck, cut, elbowed, punched, bit and so much more to try and put each other down. That escalated to forks in the forehead and a fuck ton of blood. We’d see kenzans in scalps, tube headbutts, and gleeful revelry at the violence and fuckery going on within the ring. Kobayashi made SHLAK work for anything, bringing out some of SHLAK’s wrestling acumen as well as the violence. We’d see a continuous stream of back and forth as SHLAK kept kicking out of glass splashes, elbow drops, and more. There was even a point where Kobayashi cut down a row of tubes with a chop just to get to the turnbuckle. There was every bit of showmanship you could want amongst the blood and broken glass.

Alas, SHLAK’s best couldn’t beat the sheer veteran insanity and a ton of tubes and elbow drops but him down for the three-count. Both guys were sportsmanlike as hell after the excessive violence and shared a hearty speech and kiss. The mutual respect was there and it showed throughout the match. SHLAK is beloved in Japan and with matches like this you can understand why. He got paired with a guy who matched his style and swagger perfectly. It was a concise bout with everything you wanted. There was broken glass, superplexes, strikes, and a whole lot of other stuff packed into about 12 minutes. What’s not to love? So that opens 31 Days of Deathmatches Volume 2. We’ve started strong so be sure to come back tomorrow for the next deathmatch delight.

All images courtesy of GCW Twitter, FITE TV Video courtesy of SHLAK’s YouTube, 

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