FCP are one of the real leaders of the UK scene and their Tokyo event had many highlights (Including a thrilling tag match between the Hunter Bros and Mao/Speedball Mike Bailey). Death House 3 is what really drew my attention though, the previous two matches have been a thing of legend and the bar had been set high, perhaps even higher with the prestigious setting of Korakuen Hall. The air is thick with the scent of blood for this bout and the pedigree of the competitors involved really makes this match a who’s who of bloody carnage.
Takeda is a double hard bastard with 11 MMA victories and multiple BJW title wins and honestly although, he is the person I am least familiar with, he completely wins my time and attention in this bout. A scarred up and purposeful energy he drives the fight forward whenever he is around, like the shark from the Blake Lively movie ‘The Shallows’. He menacingly circles drawing blood effectively with shocking effiency. At one point he hits a piston like front dropkick, with a stack of light tubes in the way. I feel like i’d be less fussed about the smashing glass and more about the way two legs are pummelling said glass right into my face.
Not one, but two CZW Tournament of Death Winners are present, Jimmy Havoc and Rickey Shane Page. These guys are some of my favourite performers, in my opinion two of the best active today. Jimmy and RSP thrive in this environment and I personally think that is largely due to their excellent ability to convey character, humour and charisma within their matches, both are great at adding that extra little something different into an intense setting.
The way the match is presented really helps to emphasise the narrative, like in a horror movie or a thrash metal song, the best way to get the most juice from the craziest part is to have a change in pace. Variety in tone is the best way to make a match exciting. Personally, i feel like over the years I have noticed that this is different for different types of matches, I don’t believe a slower/methodical style works for a match including multiple weapons, where a ‘crescendo’ build often works for more of a grappling or highflying match. This kind of competition really benefits from the full speed pacing it adopts, with the only pauses being for the thrilling, jaw dropping reveal of weapons, rather than for moments that rely on the crowd anticipating something coming up. The build up of this matches changes channels rapidly, bouncing from gore into high flying and to comedy with insane counters and reveals smattered throughout. In a lot of ways, what these guys do in this match, is very similar to the oVe and Young Bucks style tag match, the ‘you can’t top this’ vibe really ensure you want to come back for more.
RSP is one of my favourite performers. The Deathmatch Daddy should be booked in the UK more often, a genuine talent with a great mix of big guy throws and power, with the skills of the sweetest highflier, he is a guaranteed success on any show. What I like about RSP is that he manages to bring a smiling face to this sort of match, not a ‘creepy’ or ‘scary’ smile, but real ‘fuck, this is great’ enthusiasm and willpower, its so good. He’s a hero to all, a best friend who will go the extra mile with broken glass in his mouth. The way he plays with the expectations of this sort of match is really well done and something that only someone who has learnt their craft in this field can do.
The key to making the most of the intense visuals is to play with the reactions in the moment, whether it is reacting to something that has happened or simply establishing who the performer is. Jimmy Havoc is an expert in this, from the moment the bell rings, his sarcastic charm really shines through. Jimmy has had a hell of a past few years of wrestling. He simultaneously manages to be the brooding king of the goths with a thirst for blood AND a relatable everyman. The guy at the pub who’s problems you understand, but you don’t want to get involved with… Like Del Boy, but with eyeliner and barbed wire. He’s the best. There hasn’t been a wrestler in the past few years that has entertained on a level that Jimmy has from my perspective. I’ve seen a lot of good shows, but one of the first thoughts I’ve had from shows he’s not appeared on (from regular promotions like PROGRESS or Defiant) is “it was a good show, but …. would’ve been nice if Jimmy was on it”
The final competitor in the match is Drew Parker. The Urchin Prince has really made an impression on me in the past couple of years and quite honestly I consider him the Shawn Michaels of Hardcore and Deathmatch wrestling. He is charming, busts out a thrilling style of wrestling and really goes the extra mile to make the crowd come unglued. He’s fantastic. Following his frankly outstanding Light tubes match with RSP at TOD last year, he continues to grab attention in this match, whether it is his body crashing into piles of broken glass from a sickening biel or his driving curb stomp onto Jimmy through a pile of light tubes, he just draws the eye.
This match is excellent. Its gripping, and it will make you think about it again. Thats what wrestling should do. It can be found on the excellent Fight Club: Pro on demand service available at:
If you don’t already! Cheers!