(This article, written by Norihiro Hashimoto, originally appeared in Japanese at Yahoo News via Abema Times under the headline “Bamboo Skewer Bash-up: A wild 1.4! Gake no Fuchi presents a fierce intergender match.”
Photos accompanying this translation were taken by yours truly at the event. If you’re interested, you can find more in this Twitter thread.)
Gake no Fuchi Joshi Pro Wrestling (GKPW) is a one-woman promotion, run by freelance pro wrestler Miyako Matsumoto. Originally established during Matsumoto’s run in Ice Ribbon, Gake no Fuchi lay dormant for several years, until it was revitalized in late 2019 when DDT “Big Boss” Sanshiro Takagi purchased the promotion.
Matsumoto kicked off the latest chapter of GKPW history in a remarkable match against Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio on December 24, 2019. Their match was the only one billed on the card, but as you’ll soon see, derailment and derangement is on-brand for GKPW…
Following up on Christmas Eve, Matsumoto wasted no time in announcing her next show: 5 PM on January 4, 2020, at Itabashi Green Hall. Yes, directly opposite a certain major event at Tokyo Dome. But as far as Matsumoto is concerned, the Tokyo Dome event ran opposite GKPW. Her audacity was rewarded with a nearly packed house of fervent fans from Japan and beyond.
Matsumoto’s opponent for the event was Chris Brookes, a British wrestler who regularly wrestles for DDT. Brookes’ seconded was Drew Parker, who currently wrestles for Big Japan Pro Wrestling as a member of the Kobayashi Corps stable.
“Thank you for kicking off your new year here, and not at Tokyo Dome!”
Wrestler-promoter-genius Matsumoto kicked things off with a brief explanation of what was in store. Afterwards came the opening ceremony introducing the entire GKPW roster (in other words, Matsumoto), followed by a brief intermission to reset the ropes and adjust the ring.
The match to come was an international affair, so after the intermission, the wrestlers involved sang their national anthems. [Translator note: “God Save the Queen” was played for Brookes and Parker. Brookes knew four words of it. Parker is actually from Wales.] Longtime fans recognized the GKPW anthem [a children’s folk song called “Fuji no Yama”] which Matsumoto performed in place of the Japanese national anthem.
The bell had scarcely rung before things started getting out of hand. During the match, musician Ohuchi Rider and Osaka Pro Wrestling veteran Kuishinbo Kamen stepped in to assist Matsumoto—and then stepped back out again without doing much of consequence. Kuishinbo Kamen eventually represented Matsumoto for one of the many brief challenges that interrupted the match: boxing against Drew Parker. After Parker kicked him several times without punishment, Kuishinbo refused to fight in protest a la Trevor Berbick. Matches within a match like this have long since become de rigueur for Gake no Fuchi; at another point this very night, Matsumoto and Brookes had to sumo wrestle. (While attempting to tackle Brookes by the leg, Matsumoto put her knee to the mat, losing immediately.)
After being soundly defeated at a wide variety of other challenges (including hanetsuki, a badminton-like game traditionally played on New Years’), Matsumoto had had enough. She demanded that Brookes “stop all the nonsense” and face her through “real pro wrestling.” That’s when things started to get ugly.
Evidently, for Matsumoto, “real pro wrestling” includes filling her opponent’s mouth with five-alarm hot sauce, stapling flyers to his scalp, and jumping off of a ladder onto him as he lies prone on a table outside the ring. She could be heard praying “please don’t die” before that last one.
Not that Brookes didn’t draw plenty of blood himself! He soon dropped Matsumoto onto a pile of thumbtacks (which she’d scattered onto the mat) and pounded bamboo skewers (which she’d brought into the ring) into the crown of her head. The skewers added an extra punch to his Praying Mantis Bomb that allowed him to finally put Matsumoto down for the three-count.
When all was said and done, Brookes declared Matsumoto—in Japanese!—”a seriously top-class idiot. Fucking stupid.” She was happy to return the compliment, telling Brookes that, now that he’d survived GKPW, “nothing in Japan can scare [him] now.”
“I can’t process how I feel about [the match] just yet,” said Brookes in his post-match comments. “[Miyako,] you’re very crazy. No joke. Actually crazy. I thought I was crazy. But after today’s match, no, I’m very normal. You’re crazy.”
GKPW’s 1.4 show defied measure in every possible way, and found Miyako Matsumoto leaving her own indelible mark on extreme deathmatch wrestling. In terms of sheer impact, she may have given that other event going on across town at the Tokyo Dome a run for its money. And it seems like there’s more where that came from; Matsumoto says that next time, she’s looking forward to the chance to use explosives: “Hopefully we’ll run a little bit afoul of the law,” she says, smiling.
No joke, indeed.