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Top 5 Matches of Bishamon

12 months ago

Top 5 Matches of Bishamon

By: Sonal Lad

While New Japan Pro Wrestling has always been home to some of the biggest and most-known stars in Puroresu, some wrestlers do not always get the attention they deserve. Two of those wrestlers are Hirooki Goto and YOSHI HASHI. Despite being in the company for over a decade, they have never found themselves at the top of the company.

After years of YOSHI HASHI retaining his midcard status and Goto’s near misses, the duo’s fate finally changed. The team known as Bishamon has found unprecedented success in the tag division and brought it back to its former glory. With multiple title reigns and the current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions, they have taken the responsibility of leading the division in their stride. While it was not always easy, they’ve continued to raise the standards of the division, and here are their top matches ranked from five to one.

5) Bishamon vs. FTR, Wrestle Kingdom 17 – 01/04/23

After winning World Tag League at the end of 2022 after facing some of the best tag teams in the world, Bishamon had cemented their place in a title match against champions FTR at Wrestle Kingdom. Wrestle Kingdom 16 saw Bishamon beat Dangerous Tekkers for their first title reign together. They hoped that January 4th would be lucky.

The match started off at a much slower pace. Wheeler and YOSHI HASHI started with a feeling-out process. As they tagged their partners in, Hirooki Goto and Harwood solely focused on a battle of strength and getting the advantage, trading chops, and forearms in the middle of the ring. Yet, it wasn’t long before the tag team offense started.

At different moments, it felt like the match could either end in minutes or go the long run. Each wrestler was trying their hardest to get the pin quickly with their own tandem offense. Even the final moments cemented uncertainty of the winner, with finishes being broken up. It showed the importance of partners in the match. In the end, it was the tag team offense and the Shoto that allowed YOSHI HASHI to pin over Dax Harwood.

The core of this match was teamwork. It felt like two teams wrestling rather than four individuals. When the match ended, FTR showed a strong sign of respect to Bishamon with handshakes and hugs.

4) Bishamon vs. Aussie Open, World Tag League – 12/14/22

With Bishamon as one of the top tag teams in 2022, they had seemingly fought all the best teams NJPW had. One team they’d yet to face was Aussie Open, who made their Japan debut in World Tag League. After Aussie Open beat Bishamon in the tournament, both teams found themselves in the finals. They faced off once again for a chance to challenge FTR for the tag titles at Wrestle Kingdom 17.

With animosity between the two teams, the match started with a brawl before the bell had even rung. After some tag team offense, it was Davis and Goto officially starting the match as two of the stronger men of their respective teams. Yet, after an onslaught, Goto managed to tag YOSHI HASHI in. Considering that the Head Hunter is often seen as the “weak link,” Aussie Open then proceeded to ensure the ring was cut in half and focused on isolating him.

Since there was a place at Wrestle Kingdom on the line, it wasn’t surprising that the wrestlers went to extreme lengths to get the win. After teasing fans with the table, Goto hit a Reverse GTR on Fletcher. Luckily, as Goto made it back to the ring and hit a tandem offense on Davis, Fletcher managed to get back in to break up the pin.

The final moments saw the pace of the match increase, and both teams got close to getting the pin. Like most matches that have shocked fans with Bishamon winning, it was YOSHI HASHI who got the pin on Kyle Fletcher after the duo hit their patented Shoto. Yet, with Bishamon and Aussie Open at one win apiece, it would create one of the most legendary feuds at the start of 2023.

3) Bishamon vs. Dangerous Tekkers, Wrestle Kingdom 16 – 04/01/22

Bishamon unsurprisingly beat EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi in the finals of the 2021 World Tag League. With the win, the duo finally cemented a chance at challenging champions Zack Sabre Jr and TAICHI for the titles at Wrestle Kingdom 16. Both teams had seen success and had become the top stars of the rising tag division.

From the minute the match started with Zack Sabre Jr and YOSHI HASHI, it showcased the diverse wrestling fans would be treated to. While the initial seconds seemed slow and methodical, the speed quickened. Bishamon went straight to work with their tandem offense. TAICHI also took his chance to isolate Goto, and all four men went outside, increasing the danger within minutes.

From ZSJ’s submissions, TAICHI’s appearance in the match slowed down the pace as the Holy Emperor focused on his strength and power. TAICHI wasn’t afraid to bend some of the rules. Even in the first half, there were a lot of near-falls. YOSHI HASHI managed to stop a Zack Driver, Goto’s roll-up was broken up, and there was a near miss with the Dangerous backdrop from TAICHI.

Considering all four men were known as singles competitors, there was a lot of double-team offense, especially from Bishamon. At one moment, ZSJ had Goto in a submission, and TAICHI kept YOSHI HASHI away with his own clutch. Both teams worked together, and considering the different styles and personalities, each wrestler had his time to shine. It was fast, dynamic and showed that singles wrestlers had the ability to team without it seeming artificial.

In the end, fans were shocked when YOSHI HASHI pinned TAICHI after Bishamon hit the Holy Emperor with the Naraku. At the time, it was a surprising win because of how dominant Dangerous Tekkers had been. Yet, during a time when the IWGP tag division was thin, Bishamon winning was the start of a new era.

2) Bishamon vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, Anniversary Show – 03/06/23

The history between Bishamon and their opponents Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada made the 2023 anniversary show even more special. When it came to Okada, he is part of CHAOS with Bishamon and even teamed regularly with his dojo mate YOSHI HASHI. They had also tagged with Tanahashi since CHAOS and Hontai became “friends.”

Considering who their opponents were, Bishamon worked smartly from the very beginning of the match. Knowing that the weak link of the team was Tanahashi, they isolated him from Okada. It allowed Goto and YOSHI HASHI to really showcase their tandem offense which was their clear advantage over their opponents.

When Okada got tagged in, he went full force, and suddenly, any faction allegiances went out of the window. While Okada has always been known as a singles competitor, he showcased his ability to work in a team. Fans were treated to drop kicks, lariats, and anything that showed off the Rainmaker’s strength and athleticism.

The second half was focused more on Tanahashi. Tanahashi started to isolate the “weaker” link of Bishamon, who is YOSHI HASHI. In particular, the crowd was hugely invested in the bout in the final minutes. YOSHI HASHI really had the crowds on his side as he showcased his growth in confidence in big matches. One moment that stood out was YOSHI HASHI countering Tanahashi’s High Fly Flow for an unexpected near fall.

At first, it wasn’t surprising that many thought Okada and Tanahashi would win, with their experience and track record. Once again, Bishamon proved that their tag team experience could even beat the two best wrestlers in New Japan. Just after the twenty-minute mark, the two showed their chemistry by hitting the Shoto on Tanahashi to get the win.

1) Bishamon vs. Aussie Open, Sakura Genesis – 08/04/23

Back in World Tag League, Bishamon and Aussie Open had two amazing matches together for the chance to challenge for the titles. With Hirooki Goto and YOSHI HASHI now holding the titles, Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis wanted a chance to face the team again, but for the title they believed was theirs.

With four distinct styles in the ring, Bishamon and Aussie Open’s second bout was as fast and dangerous from the start as expected. Within the first few minutes, the determination showed as Kyle Fletcher had sustained a head injury that saw blood gushing. It meant that Dunkzilla was flying solo, taking on the machine of Bishamon, who had dominated the tag division for months.

Although Kyle’s injury seemed serious, it didn’t hinder the quality of the match. When he returned, it made all the men more determined to get the win. Bishamon rightly took the advantage, and whatever Aussie Open threw at them, they always had a response. Like many of the other best tag bouts, what made the match so special was the emphasis on tag team offense. It was a match between two of the best teams in the world.

Considering the pace of the match, it wasn’t surprising that it wasn’t long before fans could see the end in sight. The aim of Aussie Open became clear. They knew Bishamon needed to be separated for any chance of a win. After the 15-minute mark, this happened as YOSHI HASHI was outside of the ring. This moment allowed Aussie Open hit the Coriolis to become IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions for the first time.

For many, Aussie Open’s win wasn’t a surprise as one of the best tag teams in the world. The match was also vital for Bishamon. They proved how good the team was and why they were the perfect duo to help revitalize the tag division. Many fans would probably gladly see the two teams wrestle again in the future. They always put on consistently dynamic bouts.