I love referencing Monty Python a lot when I write. This, however, this sums up what I think the phrase “and now for something completely different,” should mean. During Wrestle Kingdom weekend as I was trawling Twitter, I found somewhere I’d never heard of. A Joshi wrestling promotion was putting on a show called Wrestling Snow White 2020 with one hardcore match featuring Chris Brookes and Drew Parker, two top British wrestlers killing it in Japan, fighting Miyako Matsumoto, a wrestler I hadn’t heard of and now hope to see a lot more of. These are my thoughts on this odd little show, one of those true hidden gems you wish they never will be unheard of fans anymore. I apologize in advance.
How do I start this? Well, Chris Brookes is one of the UK’s best wrestlers and had been touring Japan with DDT Pro Wrestling. He and Drew Parker were present to take on Miyako Masumoto, a relatively unknown wrestler to me and an idol. This was taking place in a company that had recently been bought by Sanshiro “Big Boss” Takagi of DDT and in Itabashi Green Hall, directly opposite from the Tokyo Dome, where Wrestle Kingdom 14 was taking place. Matsumoto was also responsible for founding and running the company and is the self-proclaimed cutest wrestler in the world (though I imagine Chris Brookes on-again/off-again tag partner Maki Itoh would have something to say about that…)
The match started with the British national anthem, where neither Brookes nor Parker actually knew the words to God Save the Queen. When it was Matsumoto’s turn to sing, Brookes let her have one verse before punt kicking her in the head. I guess the match was on. Brookes knocked her down and threw her around before the match went into a sumo rules segment. Matsumoto tried to pick Brookes’ leg but ended up getting thrown around again. Brookes won that part and Matsumoto tried to kill him for it, choking him in the corner. The announcer revealed there’d be another sumo bout, this time with Parker. Matsumoto lost again and started a fight with the ref, prompting Brookes to attack from behind again. It was not going well for Matsumoto so far. Brookes threw her around by the ponytail and chopped her around the ring. He planted her back into the ring with a Backdrop on the apron,
— Shinmaru (@Shinmaru) January 7, 2020
Once back in the ring, the torture continued as Brookes locked in the Romero Special. This hold continued as a masked man in a clown suit went around the audience handing out treats. Yeah, that happened, I don’t know why. Inexplicably the pair then had to race from a corner of the room back into the ring and knockdown the ref. Brookes won again after the ref ducked a series of clotheslines and received a boot to the face. Matsumoto seized the opportunity and started hitting Brookes in the knee and kicking him in the back, hurting her leg in the process. Brookes returned the favour without injuring his leg. He tried to pin but the ref was still out, so a new ref came out, Sanshiro Takagi. He was too busy posing to the crowd to count a pinfall. He further infuriated Brookes by counting in slow motion and going for every dramatic dive under the sun. When Matsumoto was unable to roll Brookes up, he helped her by giving Brookes a shove. Brookes kicked out, sick of his shit and hit Takagi with a Stunner, KO’ing a second referee.
— 松本都❤️Miyako Matsumoto (@MatsumotoMiyako) January 5, 2020
A second attempt at a Romero Special was interrupted by the entrance music of Jyushin Thunder Liger. However, it wasn’t Liger himself appearing but someone in a low budget cosplay of him. He was sent packing by one of the commentators. The pair then had to play a paddle game which Matsumoto instantly lost and the commentator who had sent Liger packing took Matsumoto’s punishment for her, getting a dick drawn on his face in ink. Parker was brought in for another round of the paddle game (I don’t know its name but it’s similar to badminton.) Matsumoto got the point this time because Parker hit it too hard and it went out of the ring. That same commentator, who I now learned was called Shota, took the punishment again. We went into a third-round with Matsumoto losing again because she can’t serve. This time she was the one who took the punishment as Parker and Shota held her down. We were back to wrestling rules and the pair started that off by trading chops in the corner, which Matsumoto definitely got the worst of. As Matsumoto took a breather, the treat giving clown made another round. He proved to be on Matsumoto’s side and allowed her to use his sack of treats to smack Brookes.
— Shinmaru (@Shinmaru) January 7, 2020
Following that, we got another change in the rules as it became a boxing match between Parker and Kuishinbo Kamen, the treat giving clown. Parker kept ignoring the rules and going for kicks so Kamen bailed. He was carried away by the DDT ring crew in a chair. Since that prematurely ended, Brookes came back into the match by throwing a boxing glove at Matsumoto and locking in an armbar. He stamped on her hand and transitioned into a Single Leg Crab. A new rule was added where if a pin was reversed, that person would have to drink sake. Drinking Sake would lose you points so it would be best not to go for pins. Kamen came back to fight at that point and tried to pin Chris, earning the first drink. Kamen realised he no longer wanted to fight and urged Shota to take his place with some help from the crowd. He too ended up going for an inadvertent pinfall and had to drink the sake. Miyako would finally have to return to the fight, getting tricked into five pinfall attempts which meant even more sake. She was clever though and spat it into Brookes’ face and jumping onto his back when he was downed. She put on the boxing gloves and started punching him on the outside. She slammed him on the floor for a two count. She peppered him with kicks and choked him out with a fan’s coat. She tried to throw him into a wall but he reversed it into an Octopus. The match then returned to sumo rules. This time it was Matsumoto on the shoulders of knock off Liger vs Kamen. Matsumoto went for the evil route and tried to unmask Kamen, he managed to keep his mask though and won by pushing the pair over. He did lose the bobble off his little party hat though, the true victim in all this.
— Chris Brookes クリス・ブルックス (@OBEYBrookes) January 17, 2020
Brookes tried to steal a pin from that but ended up eating a Stunner and faced another round of choking in the corner. We got another whistle, meaning another rule change. This time it was darts, and Drew Parker was the dartboard. He had a points board drawn on his back and everything. Brookes missed his first dart, hitting Drew in the back of the neck, gaining only a sarcastic response from his teammate. Kamen was next, his throw was too weak so Brookes stole the dart and scored twenty. The ref was getting very squeamish at this point, refusing to touch the dart in Drew’s back. Matsumoto was last and clearly the most eager to throw, admonishing Parker for thinking about bailing. Instead of throwing a dart, she chased Parker around the ring with a ring spike. She was tired of Brookes’ bullshit and demanded they wrestle in the ring. Brookes rightly pointed out it was her show and she was saying all this with a spike in her hand. As a response, Matsumoto tried to stab him in the head. He kept dodging until he could stomp it out of her hands. He returned the stabbing attempts but was also unable to do so. Matsumoto returned to her bag of tricks, disarmed Brookes and attacked him with hot sauce, trapping him in the ropes and trying to make him drink it. She then went back to strangling Brookes, using a rope she found under the ring to hangman him. Brookes used the spike to free himself, stabbing Matsumoto in the head.
We got another horror movie chase as Matsumoto cunningly retrieved some posters and a staple gun to use on Brookes. She found a NOAH poster and stapled it to the head of Brookes. The pair traded more kicks and chops before Brookes once again dumped Matsumoto on the apron again. Brookes narrowly avoided another stapling by trapping Matsumoto in another crab. She escaped and kicked Chris in the balls, forcing him to roll to the outside. She retrieved a ladder and dived onto Brookes. She set the ladder up in the ring whilst instructing Kamen and Shota to set up a table. The pair put Brookes on the table and Matsumoto dived off the ladder onto Brookes, crumpling the table. I’m not sure who came off worse. She ordered Chris to get back in the ring where he avoided ladder-based death and threw Matsumoto outside so he could retrieve some plastic tubs. Brookes crushed Matsumoto through them with a back Senton. As if broken plastic wasn’t enough, thumbtacks came next. These ended up embedded in the back of Brookes following an apron bomb. Matsumoto missed a double stomp and ended up slammed into the tacks and Brookes kept her there so Parker could hit her with a 450 Splash. Matsumoto came back and killed the pair with a chair. She nailed the double stomp but only got a two. In frustration, she went and gathered a pack of skewers. He escaped being stabbed with them by throwing tacks in her face and embedded the skewers into her head. He used the chance to hit the Praying Mantis bomb to finally win the war.
The pair ended the match with respect, hugs, and banter. Matsumoto called Chris the man with no fear and Brookes ultimately called Matsumoto a psychopath, asking that they never try to kill each other again. She delivered a closing speech to the crowd with tacks in her back and skewers in her head and finally got to sing the song she wanted to sing at the start. This time Brookes did not kick her in the back of the head. She was borderline in tears for a lot of it but with some help from the crowd, the song was finished.
Well shit, that was a long one, wasn’t it? That may be one of the most bewildering matches I’ve ever reviewed. There were so many changes and so much randomness but hey, I loved it. The deathmatch elements were there but they were set against a backdrop of comedy. Even in backstage comments, Brookes wasn’t sure what to make of it all as he was stood there with Matsumoto (who still hadn’t removed the skewers.) This match is quite the hidden gem from this month and was overshadowed by Wrestle Kingdom. I only found it through Brookes tweeting about it. Now I’m glad I’ve watched it and you should too. It’s a part of DDT Universe so it’s out there. This was my first foray into doing a hidden gems thing since the deathmatch calendar in October. This was unique and random and definitely going to piss off a certain outspoken wrestling personality. Brookes wrestled nearly an hour with what he called a Joshi psychopath, which needs to be seen to be believed. Long live the hidden gems and long live finding them. I honestly do want to see more from GKPW in the future, I love absurd matches like this. Oh, and it should be stated Matsumoto and now Brookes are the only members of the GKPW roster… the opportunities are endless.
— 崖のふち女子プロレス (@gkpw2019) January 4, 2020
All images courtesy of DDT Twitter, Miyako Matsumoto Twitter, Drew Parker Twitter, Chris Brookes Twitter, Shinmaru Twitter, GKPW Twitter