Editor’s note: The following originally appeared in this week’s Figure Four Weekly.
In terms of producing high-end in-ring action in New Orleans for WrestleMania weekend, WWN has played the best hand so far with the surprise announcement that Big Japan’s Daisuke Sekimoto will be one of their featured wrestlers for their EVOLVE events and the WWN Supershow.
While the likes of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenny Omega will draw more headlines as part of other shows, Sekimoto is a far better bet when it comes to potentially delivering some classic matches that week.
For those unfamiliar, Sekimoto is one of the best wrestlers in the world. He has been for at least a decade. He blends jaw-dropping power offense with a throwback style and an ability to weave subtle stories into a match. Most importantly for a live crowd, particularly one unfamiliar with him, is that he carries an immense aura and physical charisma which has seen him get over instantly in front of all kinds of crowds over the years. From wXw to CHIKARA to any number of promotions in Japan, Sekimoto has fans in the palm of his hand minutes into most matches. On top of all that, he never takes it easy and always gives 100 percent with incredible fire shown in his performances.
In terms of wrestlers I’ve seen live, the best comparison I can give to him is that he was like a blend of Kenta Kobashi and Bryan Danielson. He commands your attention like Kobashi, and then he takes you on a rollercoaster ride like Danielson. Needless to say, if you can get to one of the events he’s on, you need to — particularly if he’s paired off with someone who knows him well like WALTER or Zack Sabre Jr.
Here are some of Sekimoto’s best bouts from his home promotion BJW and other companies in his homeland. Check these out and you’ll probably be willing to swim to New Orleans to see the great man in action!
vs. Kento Miyahara (Triple Crown Championship, AJPW 2016)
A gem of a World title match with Sekimoto coming off winning the Champion Carnival as an outsider. They cut a heck of a pace, and Sekimoto poses all kinds of questions at the then-dominant champion. Really well worked and executed.
vs. Hideki Suzuki (Strong World Championship, BJW 2017)
Two title matches in March of this year. Both need to be watched to see how brilliantly they weave an intricate story into the bouts. For fans of intense old school mat wrestling, these are must-see.
vs. Yuji Okabayashi (Strong World Championship, BJW 2015)
A bona fide epic on the biggest BJW show of all time, their Sumo Hall debut. Sekimoto puts over his protege in a terrific bout.
w/ Okabayashi vs. Twin Towers (BJW Tag Titles, BJW 2015)
One of the craziest tag matches I’ve ever seen — a 30-minute war. Sekimoto and Okabayashi get a rare chance to play underdog and their fighting spirit comes through in spades).
w/ Okabayashi vs. Hama/Soya (All Asia Tag Titles, BJW 2011)
There’s a lot going on in this match, but what makes it so fun is seeing Sekimoto try to deal with former Sumo wrestler Hama. They have great chemistry. Super heated inter-promotional match.