25 Matches That Defined 2016 #15 – Poseidon Adventure Splash Match – BJW @ Shinkiba 1st-Ring 02/02/16

Water Hell On the Brink of Choking! Tension in Winter! Dainihon in Winter! Winter Vacation Pro-Wrestling Without You Knowing! Poseidon Adventure Splash Match
Ryuji Ito, Yuji Okabayashi, Tsutomu Osugi & Hercules Senga vs. Shu Brahman, Kei Brahman, Shinobu & Takayuki Ueki
2nd of February 2016
Shinkiba 1st Ring – Tokyo, Japan


The Match: Oh, for fuck’s sake. I have to do play-by-play for this? Really? Amazingly, the match starts with Shinobu and Okabayashi shoot grappling, but is quickly suppressed as the Brahmans start attacking everyone with inflatable dolls (including a blow-up cow). Ueki hits everyone with a lucha hiptoss, but Yuji blocks it and takes everyone out simultaneously with a Jedi force push. The Brahmans pull out an exact replica of those guns the Emerald Guard used to penetrate contestants’ paper rings and crush their hopes in the final dogfight on Takeshi’s Castle and go to town.

We get a exchange of stiff water balloon shots, with each selling it like an Ishii/Shibata strong style battle. The participants go rogue and start turning on the audience, who have been given waterproof ponchos to keep them dry. The Brahmans pull out a sack of mandarins and start launching them, even pulling out a tennis racket and serving up volleys at audience members. Shinobu hits a frankensteiner on Ito as he and the Speed of Sounds try to go for a triple Asai moonsault, only to all botch because the ropes are too slippery from people throwing water everywhere.

One of the Speeds of Sound grabs a groceries bag on wheels exactly like the one your Gran uses to get her shopping from Asda, then pours water all over it to the biggest heel reaction of the entire match. More brawling as two competitors engage in some Chucklevision “To me, to you” slapstick  grappling over a full bucket of water, before ultimately binning the whole thing over some poor fan. The Brahmans find a suitcase on wheels and retaliate by doing a bowling ball spot into one of the SOS members’ crotches. Ueki then disappeared to the back, as the Speeds of Sound slip and slide in and out of the ring on their belly.

Shinobu exposed his bare arse and the BJW Strong World Heavyweight Champion Yuji Okabayashi was sent face first into it, only to emerge with his face covered in shit. Ueki returned with a crushed ice maker. Okabayashi’s excrement covered face of disbelief  was magical as Ueki made snowflakes and threw it to the crowd whike “Let It Go” from Frozen plays through the PA. Okabayashi gets a face full of snow and “transforms” into the god Poseidon, which sees him adorn himself with a pink cape, a plastic shield a tiara and two plungers on his head. “Poseidon” takes out the Brahmans with a bubble gun, spraying bubbles in their face. I promise you that none of this is made up. In the end, Yuji Okabayashi hits Ueki with a murderous lariat and a Golem Splash to get the pin and bring us back to the real world.

Why Does It Define 2016?: This is a perfect encapsulation of Japanese Puroresu sleaze. Promotions like BJW, DDT or HEAT-UP never really get the coverage they deserve but there is a wealth of weird and wonderful companies across Japan redefining how we think about professional wrestling. The Poseidon Adventure Splash Match is a perfect example of this, blurring the lines of what is and isn’t acceptable to us as viewers whilst constantly innovating.

My Thoughts: This is MENTAL. Batshit crazy. I mean, look at the name “Water Hell On the Brink of Choking! Tension in Winter! Dainihon in Winter! Winter Vacation Pro-Wrestling Without You Knowing! Poseidon Adventure Splash Match!”. Even just the name implies a level of insanity that only our friends in the Far East can pull off.

Bear in mind that Yuji Okabayashi is THE COMPANY’S WORLD CHAMPION AND ACE at the time and it just adds to the charm. Can you ever envision AJ Styles, Finn Balor or Kevin Owens wearing red wigs, dancing away, placing plungers on their heads and shooting bubbles at their opponents opponents? No, and it makes this just that much more amazing.

It says a lot that, in the year of Broken Matt Hardy, that something can outshine even the likes of the Final Deletion, Delete or Decay, the Great War and Apocalypto. This match is an absolute spectacle which will make you laugh out loud and warm even the coldest heart. This is the most ridiculous, out-of this world match you will see this year and I bloody love it. You should too.

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