Originally published on Fanbyte as part of a Best of the Month, October 2022 piece, date unconfirmed

This is the match where Takuya Nomura wins the BJW Strong Heavyweight Title. If you don’t follow BJW, that’s not a spoiler that’ll matter much to you. If you do follow BJW, then you’ll have already heard the news and understand that it’s the whole appeal of this match to begin with.

Takuya Nomura might be the best wrestler in Japan not under the banners of Bushiroad or CyberAgent. As one half of the Astronauts tag team with Fuminori Abe, he’s become a can’t miss act in BJW. He brings a lot to the table as a worker—solid fundamentals on the mat, a brisk sense of pacing, and heavy handed striking.

All those come to the fore here, a rematch of their 30 minute draw from July 23rd. Nakanoue’s held the belt all year long and while he’s built up a decent catalogue of great matches this year, he’s rarely the driving force behind them. That being said, he does well to trade blows with Nomura here. The meat of this match is these two just teeing off on each other—thudding elbows and crispy palm strikes. We’re even graced with a shoot headbutt or two to keep things real spicy.

Any Takuya Nomura match with a decent opponent has a strong chance of being great. But for him to finally be given his due as a top singles champion in BJW? That’s special and well worth the watch. 

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