Big Japan Pro Wrestling
AcronymBJW
FoundedMarch 16, 1995
Style
HeadquartersYokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Founder(s)Shinya "Great" Kojika
Kendo Nagasaki
Owner(s)Eiji Tosaka
PredecessorNetwork of Wrestling

Big Japan Pro Wrestling (大日本プロレス, Dai Nihon Puroresu) (BJW) is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion established in 1995. It is most famous for its deathmatch style contests.

History

Big Japan Pro Wrestling was founded in March 1995 by former AJPW wrestlers Shinya Kojika and Kendo Nagasaki, during the boom period for Deathmatch wrestling in Japan. Kendo Nagasaki left in 1999; Shinya Kojika is still president of the company to date.

The promotion followed in the footsteps of organizations such as Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW), Wrestling International New Generations (W*ING), and the International Wrestling Association of Japan (IWA Japan), who helped popularise a hard-hitting, violent and bloody style of wrestling known as the Deathmatch, or in more recent years, "hardcore" wrestling. These matches are usually weapon filled, using both "conventional" weapons (such as chairs and tables), as well as "extreme" weapons not usually seen in mainstream wrestling, and previously unused in wrestling at all. These weapons include but are by no means limited to, nails, thumbtacks, fire, and fluorescent light tubes. Barbed wire is also often used liberally in these matches, sometimes wrapped around other weapons, laid on the floor surrounding the ring, wrapped around the ring ropes, or even replacing the ropes altogether. In its early years, BJW was unable to directly compete with the budgets of its competition. This led to the innovation of several unique gimmick matches, many of which helped hide its monetary shortcomings. These include:

Steel cage deathmatch with 200 fluorescent light tubes – Ryuji Ito vs. Yuko Miyamoto at BJW 15th Anniversary Show ~Death & Crazy That's The Way Of The BJ-World~ on May 4, 2010[1]
"Razor Blade Cross Board" – Six Man Tag Team Barbed Wire Razor Blade Death Match (Jun Kasai & D. J. Hyde & Nick Gage vs Jaki Numazawa & Isami Kodaka & Masashi Takeda) at BJW 15th Anniversary Show ~Death & Crazy That's The Way Of The BJ-World~ on May 4, 2010[1]

Away from the Deathmatches, BJW also has had well-established normal wrestling titles. On February 3, 1998, Yoshihiro Tajiri won a one-night-only 8-man tournament in Tokyo to crown BJW's first World Junior Heavyweight Champion. This match showed a distinct departure from the violent matches BJW is known for. The company also has had a World Heavyweight Championship, a World Women's Championship, a World Tag Team Championship, and a World 4-Man Tag Team Shuffle Championship. Although the World Tag Team and Deathmatch, titles are the only ones still active.

Currently, the BJW roster is split into "Deathmatch BJ", "Strong BJ" and "Strong J". The deathmatch workers wrestle for the BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Championship, the non-deathmatch heavyweight workers for the BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship, and the junior heavyweight workers for the BJW Junior Heavyweight Championship.

Big Japan Pro Wrestling Core

Big Japan Pro Wrestling Core (BJW Core) is a video-on-demand service owned by Big Japan Pro Wrestling. In November 2017, BJW announced "Big Japan Pro Wrestling Core", a new worldwide video-on-demand site for the promotion's events. The service features matches from the promotion's archives, dating back to 1995. The service has a current monthly subscription price of ¥888. In December 2018, BJW announced that the service would shut down at the end of the year, with plans to relaunch in February 2019 using a new service provider.[2][3] The service was then reactivated.

Working relationships

Big Japan has had interpromotional feuds with both New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW). These were both kayfabe feuds that were done to generate more income for both companies. During late 1996 and early 1997, BJW agreed with NJPW. Being a relatively new promotion, BJW needed mainstream publicity. NJPW agreed to a feud, which would allow Big Japan wrestlers to appear in their company and use New Japan's popularity to give exposure to their company. In return, Big Japan agreed to lose the feud and the majority of the interpromotional matches, therefore strengthening the New Japan brand. The situation provided an interesting clash of wrestling styles, as NJPW often favored a strong style of competition. The two promotions held Wrestling World 1997, the biggest event during the interpromotional feud and the fifth January 4 Tokyo Dome Show. In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, BJW competed against CZW. CZW was a relatively new American promotion at the time, and also largely focused on an extreme style of wrestling. Wrestlers feuded in both companies having matches in the United States and Japan. During the CZW feud, top star Tomoaki Honma departed the company to become a freelancer.

In 2008, BJW entered into a working relationship with Chikara. In October 2008, several BJW wrestlers went to America and faced Chikara in The Global Gauntlet. BJW did well, winning the best of five series on night one, but narrowly lost the Global Gauntlet match on the second night. In 2009, BJW hosted Chikara's inaugural Japanese tour.

In 2011, BJW established a three-way working relationship with CZW and German promotion Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw), which led to the creation of the World Triangle League tournament. The working relationship ended in 2015.[citation needed]

BJW has also had a long working relationship with the Union Pro Wrestling promotion, which has included BJW workers holding titles in Union Pro and vice versa. The relationship ended in 2014 when UPW shut down.

On December 15, 2023, BJW was announced as one of the founding members of the United Japan Pro-Wrestling alliance, a joint effort to further develop professional wrestling in Japan through promotion and organization, with Seiji Sakaguchi being named as the chairman of the project.[4]

Roster

Yasufumi Nakanoue

Deathmatch BJ

Ring name Real name Notes
Abdullah Kobayashi Yōsuke Kobayashi
Hideyoshi Kamitani Hideyoshi Kamitani BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Champion
Jaki Numazawa Naoki Numazawa
Kankuro Hoshino Naotake Hoshino Yokohama Shopping Street 6-Man Tag Team Champion
Kazumi Kikuta Kazumi Kikuta
Masaya Takahashi Masaya Takahashi
Ryuji Ito Ryuji Ito
Yuki Ishikawa Yuki Ishikawa
Isami Kodaka

Strong BJ

Ring name Real name Notes
Daichi Hashimoto Daichi Hashimoto
Daisuke Sekimoto Daisuke Sekimoto
Hideyoshi Kamitani Hideyoshi Kamitani
Kazumi Kikuta Kazumi Kikuta
Kazumasa Yoshida Kazumasa Yoshida
Ryota Hama Ryota Hama
Takuya Nomura Takuya Nomura
Yasufumi Nakanoue Yasufumi Nakanoue
Yuichi Taniguchi Yuichi Taniguchi
Yuya Aoki Yuya Aoki BJW World Strong Heavyweight Champion

Strong J

Ring name Real name Notes
Kazuki Hashimoto Kazuki Hashimoto
Kota Sekifuda Kota Sekifuda BJW Junior Heavyweight Championship
Kosuke Sato Kosuke Sato
Tatsuhiko Yoshino Tatsuhiko Kimura
Yuki Morihiro Masaki Morihiro Referee

Freelancers

Ring name Real name Notes
Andy Wu Andy Wu
Banana Senga Banana Senga
Barahman Kei Kei Sato
Barahman Shu Shu Sato
Chicharito Shoki Chicharito Shoki 2AW
Daijyu Wakamastu Daiki Wakamatsu 2AW
Ender Kara Ender Kara
Fuminori Abe Fuminori Abe
Hiroyuki Suzuki Takayoshi Suzuki Niigata

Wakashishi Kikusui Cup Champion

Isami Kodaka Isami Kodaka Basara
Kohei Sato Kohei Sato
Koju Takeda Takeda Koju 666
Leyton Buzzard Leighton Buzzard
Masashi Takeda Masashi Takeda BJW Tag Team Champion
Minoru Fujita Minoru Fujita
Michio Kageyama Michio Kageyama Team Certified Drazeger Champion
Rekka Rekka
Satsuki Nagao Souki Nagao Zero one
Shigehiro Irie Shigehiro Irie
So Daimonji Takashi Daimonji Lan's End

All Asia Heavyweight Championship

Takumi Tsukamoto Takumi Tsukamoto Basara

BJW Tag Team Champion

Tempesta Tempesta
Tomato Kaji Kaji Tomato
Tsutomu Ohsugi Tsutomu Osugi
Yuko Miyamoto Yuko Miyamoto 666
Yusaku Ito Yusaku Ito

Staff

Ring name Real name Notes
Daikokubo Benkei Kazumi Kotani Retired wrestler
Eiji Tosaka Eiji Tosaka Announcer
Owner
Frank Atsushi Atsushi Ohashi Referee
Great Kojika Shinya Kojika Chairman
Occasional wrestler
Mac Takeda Hiroki Takeda Referee
Ryohei Nakatani Ryohei Nakatani Referee
Ryuji Yamakawa Seiji Yamakawa Retired wrestler
Makes occasional appearances
Yuji Kumawaka Yuji Kumawaka Announcer
Yuji Shindo Yuji Shindo Announcer

Notable alumni/guests

Male

Female

CZW Warriors (2000–2002)

A derivation of this stable also appeared in Fire Pro Wrestling Returns as the Mad Gaijins, which consisted of Mad Man Pondo and 2 Tuff Tony.

Championships

As of May 21, 2024.

Current

This is a list of championships promoted by the company. Some of them are not created by it.

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes
BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Championship Hideyoshi Kamitani 2 April 14, 2024 37+ Sapporo, Japan Defeated Yuki Ishikawa at BJW New Standard Big "B" ~ Feelin' Come 2024.
BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship Yuya Aoki 1 May 4, 2023 383+ Yokohama, Japan Defeated Yuji Okabayashi at BJW Endless Survivor ~ Infinity Independent.
BJW Tag Team Championship
Crazy Lovers
(Masashi Takeda and Takumi Tsukamoto)
2
(3, 2)
December 30, 2023 143+ Tokyo, Japan Defeated Astronauts (Fuminori Abe and Takuya Nomura) at BJW.
BJW Junior Heavyweight Championship Kota Sekifuda 2 May 4, 2024 17+ Yokohama, Japan Defeated Ender Kara at BJW Endless Survivor ~ Beyond The Milestone'.
Yokohama Shopping Street 6-Man Tag Team Championship

Kankuro Hoshino, Kengo Takai and Kenta Kosugi 1
(4, 1, 1)
March 31, 2024 51+ Nagoya, Japan Defeated Masaki Morihiro and Okami (Daichi Hashimoto and Hideyoshi Kamitani) at BJW Death Market 78.

Other promoted

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes
All Asia Heavyweight Championship Daimonji So 1 June 6, 2023+ 350+ Yokohama, Japan Defeated Dylan James to win the reactivated title.
UWA World Tag Team Championship
Tomato Kaji and Kota Sekifuda 1
(1, 1)
March 10, 2024+ 72+ Osaka, Japan Defeated Speed of Sounds (Tsutomu Oosugi and Hercules Senga) at BJW Osaka Surprise 71 ~ Shiko Blue Emperor's Camp.

Defunct

Championship Final champion(s) Date won
BJW Heavyweight Championship Men's Teioh September 5, 2004
BJW Women's Championship[5] Kaori Yoneyama January 2, 2003
BJW Junior Heavyweight Championship (1998–2002) Homicide November 15, 2002
BJW 8-Man Scramble Championship Kiyoko Ichiki May 14, 2000

Formerly promoted

Championship Last champion(s) Date won
FMW/WEW Hardcore Tag Team Championship Saburo Inematsu & Ryuichi Sekine April 12, 2015
Sakatako Intercontinental Tag Team Championship Abdullah Kobayashi & Takayuki Ueki October 2, 2016

Tournaments

Main article: List of Big Japan Pro Wrestling tournaments

BJW also holds annual tournaments to decide the top wrestler or tag team in the promotion:

Tournament Latest winner(s) Date won
Ikkitousen Strong Climb Daichi Hashimoto April 26, 2020
Ikkitousen Deathmatch Survivor Isami Kodaka April 14, 2019
Saikyo Tag League Daichi Hashimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani October 20, 2020

Broadcasters

Domestic:

Worldwide:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b BJW 15th Anniversary Show ~Death & Crazy That's The Way Of The BJ-World~ – CAGEMATCH (in German)
  2. ^ "九万彩票-行业领导者".
  3. ^ "Home". bjwcore.com.
  4. ^ 新日、全日、ノアら9団体が「日本プロレスリング連盟」設立 来年5月には設立記念興行も [Nine organizations, including NJPW, AJPW, and Noah, establish "United Japan Pro-wrestling"; launching event to be held next May]. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). December 15, 2023. Retrieved January 3, 2024.
  5. ^ "BJW Women's Title (Japan)".