Welcome back to 31 Days of Deathmatches Volume 2. The second edition of the annual deathmatch advent calendar put together by yours truly. Each day we will open another bloody door on the calendar and explore another deathmatch until we hit Halloween. We’re going to explore a ton of different companies, wrestlers, and stipulations as the days go on with a few surprises here and there. So, strap in as we prepare for another round of blood, broken glass, and barbed-wire on our road of deathmatches.

For day 2, I decided to take us back in time. New Japan Pro Wrestling doesn’t have much of a relationship with deathmatches. They’ll occasionally bust out the odd hardcore brawl, no DQ match or chair shot but it’s rare they enter the extreme realm. However, in 1999 they picked up a particularly dangerous competitor and deathmatch extraordinaire, Atsushi Onita. He brought his explosive style of match to new Japan and on August 28, 1999, at Jingu Stadium (the same sight as this year’s Summer Struggle) he fought The Great Muta in a no rope electrified barbed-wire with landmine double hell deathmatch.

As this was a special feud, Onita had brought back the Great Nita persona and started by carving up Muta with a sickle and gave the fans the first explosion of the match within a few seconds. Nita was merciless in choking and carving up Muta as they danced and fought around the barbed-wire and landmine pads on the outside. Muta didn’t take this kindly and gave Nita his sickle back and mist. Muta was pissed and let Nita know about it. Even the ref was concerned for Nita’s safety at certain points. For the most part, this was a pretty good wrestling match with explosions thrown at certain intervals and the ever-ticking timebomb threatening to blow. Nita avoided death with a fireball and activated the countdown clock. A siren blared as Nita rushed to try and finish the match. instead, Muta kicked Onita into the mines and hid with the ref. Nita somehow made it through that so Muta gave him more sickle shots and hung him out over more exploding barbed-wire. It took a final sickle shot to put down Nita and win the match.

As you can see this was one of the only times NJPW actually did a deathmatch. It was a dramatic mix of headbutts, kicks, mist, and sickle shots with a slew of vicious barbed-wire spots and explosions. It must have been weird to fans and is certainly a time capsule of NJPW’s past. I wish the company would embrace this side more often but I feel they don’t really have any wrestlers that would suit the deathmatch style. As they had the FMW founder and exploding barbed-wire extraordinaire freelancing for your company then it would be a shame not to test that match type in your promotion. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next deathmatch delight!

All images courtesy of NJPW, Chris Charlton Twitter, Tumblr, ZombieDisco5150 Twitter

Leave a Reply