It’s the Sekai Saikyō Cup, and everyone knows that means that one person is going to get declared the strongest in the world! Also, it’s a good time to Bang! With an unprecedented 48 stars from around the world, it’s the biggest Saikyō Cup in the history of Bang! Pro Wrestling!
Every previous winner since the Cup’s establishment in 2017 is here. The tournament was originally won by “Jumpin’” Jack Sweetwater, who went on to upset Izou Yoshida to break his two-year-long reign as Openweight champion. Since then, the tournament has been won twice by “Diamond” Daisuke Hashiwara (in 2018 and 2022), by Lord Kurosame-sama (in 2019), by “the Godslayer” Akira Hanazawa (in 2020), and by Kensuke BLACK (in 2021).
Will any of these previous winners take the Cup in 2023? Or will we crown a new Strongest In The World?
Let’s figure that out together!
MARCH 18th, 2023: SEKAI SAIKYO CUP, FIRST ROUND, TOKYO, NIGHT 1
- Saikyō Cup, First Round: “Lunch Lawyer” Lord Gavin Yum, Esq. def. HAMAYUMI @ 8:11 by pinfall after the Galatine Driver (inverted Michinoku driver)
- Saikyō Cup, First Round: “Hot Buttered” Leroy Scrumptious def. Michael “Hentai” @ 1:25 by pinfall after the Moonsault N’ Pepa (springboard high-arc moonsault)
- Saikyō Cup, First Round: “Hawkeye” Taka Sakaragi def. “Jammin’” Jack Graves @ 6:55 by ref stoppage
- Saikyō Cup, First Round: The Wanderer def. Bex Savage @ 10:19 by pinfall after the End of the Road (double arm implant DDT)
- Saikyō Cup, First Round: Garry “Ray-Ray” Bolamba def. Luke “The Look” Robinson @ 14:09 by pinfall after the Blood on the Plow (roaring elbow)
- Saikyō Cup, First Round: Angel Quinley def. Jin Watabe @ 05:12 by pinfall after the Icebreaker (penalty kick into double stomp to the face)
- Saikyō Cup, First Round: Ignacio el Jaguar def. Saburou Tanaka @ 8:18 by pinfall after the Sacramento Necktie (headlock driver)
- Saikyō Cup, First Round: BULLETPROOF Kitaro def. “Don of the Deathmatch” Rory Hayes @ 15:09 by pinfall after the Direct Hit (Vader bomb)
The festivities began with Bang! newcomer and new Crownless Kingdom representative Lord Gavin Yum, Esq. taking on one half of the Beasts of Tokyo, HAMAYUMI. This one was quick and dirty, with Lord Yum using his technical expertise and his sheer capability in one-on-one competition to overwhelm HAMAYUMI, who is known to be too accustomed to her team with Serizawa. While the Beasts of Tokyo representative got in her licks, Lord Yum did what he did best – cheat his ass off – and put away HAMAYUMI with the Galatine Driver after a rake to the eyes.
Blink and you’ll miss it, but 2021 Belmont Classic winner “Hot Buttered” Leroy Scrumptious absolutely trucked one half of the Fabulous Hentai Brothers, hitting him with a lariat not long after the bell rang and then flattening him with the Moonsault N’ Pepa after a measure of showboating. Fans in Bang! really love the Hot Buttered Sweetheart, and his antics served to entertain despite the brevity of the match.
Freshly emancipated from the Ironhearts, “Hawkeye” Taka Sakaragi savagely beat one-third of the Jacks of All Trades, the thick boi Jack Graves. Graves suffered quickly in the match after an initial flurry of offense when one of Sakaragi’s kicks badly bloodied his nose. The strikes continued until referee “Hot Pants” Shiraishi called for the bell to get medical attention for Graves. It’s unfortunate for Graves, but the lasting image of Sakaragi painting himself in his blood might serve as a warning for who he has in the second round – the Conception champion and former stablemate, Riko Tsukino.
International drifter of mystery, the Wanderer, made as his moniker suggested and entered the ring without any sort of preamble, barely after Sakaragi had departed following his ref stoppage victory. His opponent was one half of the Bang! With Your Partner champions, Bex Savage. Savage had the advantage early, attacking her opponent without a lot of response. However, the Wanderer eventually found an opening to viciously counterattack, and the match became much more even. Savage looked to have things in hand, but she was hotshotted into the ring post when going for the Bakebrainer, allowing the Wanderer to follow up with the End of the Road to pull out the victory.
Luke “the Look” Robinson made his Bang! debut against everyone’s favorite son of Timo Bolamba (and there is quite a wide variety of sons nowadays), Garry “Ray-Ray” Bolamba! The Look knew he had his work cut out for him in staying pretty in this match, especially when he’s up against the slap fighting champion of Nelson County, Kentucky. Robinson did well in evading the dreaded slaps of Nelson early on, using technical skills to ground Garry and keep him from being grounded enough for the slaps. Unfortunately for him, Garry was quite adept at getting out of the situations Robinson put him in, and when the opening arose, the slaps flowed. Garry fought back despite this, but his attempt at putting Garry up onto the top rope for the Extreme Makeover wound up for naught, as Garry shoved him off and hit him with the Blood on the Plow for the win. Robinson looked impressive in the bout, no doubt, but his younger opponent proved to be a little more slap-happy than he bargained for!
Angel Quinley made short work of Jin Watabe in her first-round match, having clearly drawn a better opponent for herself than her tag team partner. Watabe made good strides in the match, and nearly had Quinley on the ropes with a boston crab, but Quinley fought out of it with her flexibility before absolutely pasting him with the Icebreaker two-hit combo to put him away.
Saburou Tanaka no longer has the backing of the Kazuyagumi, and that’s a problem when he’s up against Ignacio el Jaguar. Not only is Jaguar half his age, but he had the confidence of someone with an entire kingdom behind him. Tanaka looked his age in the match, slow to react as Ignacio whittled him down with strikes and unfair tactics before fighting off Tanaka’s attempt at the Uranage and landing the Sacramento Necktie to pick up the victory.
Finally, the main event of the evening saw two stocky heavyweights clashing in a match that didn’t give one flip about the rules. Sapporo freelancer BULLETPROOF Kitaro went head-to-head with Boston-born “Don of the Deathmatch” Rory Hayes in a match that felt more like a Hardweight bout than a straight one-on-one contest. Hayes even brought the services of the dreaded Crimson Miracle Bloody Blood Death Homicycle during portions of the match that spilled outside! Back in the ring, Kitaro used his weight advantage to turn the tides against Hayes and the continued assistance of the majestically flying Homicycle. Hayes tries to use the Mindbender piledriver, but Kitaro backdropped him out of it, flattened him with a powerslam, and then dropped the house on him with the Direct Hit to pick up the surprise victory!