I had seen interviews and footage of Kaiju Big Battel in passing on G4 and on the web over the past few years but had only given it a passing glance. The word went around CollectionDX that we had a chance to go cover a live event and could someone go? Chance would have it those already initiated in the way of the Kaiju had previous commitments so I said yes I would go check it out.
For those that do not know what a Kaiju Big Battel here is the definition from the official Kaiju website.
"Kaiju Big Battel is a live event series that revolves around tournament-style performances, which are a tongue-in-cheek hybrid of American pro-wrestling, Japanese-monster-movie mayhem, and lowbrow pop-culture."
The folks responsible for the fun and antics are called Studio Kaiju, again taken from the official Kaiju website:
"Studio Kaiju, an independent Boston-based performance and media group, is the driving force behind the live-event series known as Kaiju Big Battel. Organizer of sold-out events, Studio Kaiju is best known for its live tournament-style performances, which are a humorous mix of music, video, and performance art."
So after agreeing to cover the event I watched there first DVD release, Terebi Sento, and felt confident I knew what I was in for. It looked like lot of fun and a good time was to be had at a live event. I was now officially looking forward to going.
Doors opened at 6:00 pm Friday night at Avalon on Lansdowne Street in Boston, Ma. The ring is in the middle of what is normally a dance floor; arena style so everyone in the house gets a good view of the action. Members of Doctor Cube’s posse (the evil genius/bad guy of Kaiju Big Battel) wander around the crowd handing out event programs and Doctor Cube propaganda as people come in.
What strikes me most before the event is just how excited the crowd is. Young and old alike have come to watch giant monsters battle it out for supremacy and for most it seems like it was not their first time and are anxious for the event to begin.
At 7:00 pm a band named Gelatine took the main stage and played for a half hour with a mix of heavy metal and Japanese TV show theme songs to get the crowd pumped up. As the band got off stage, beach balls made their way from the ring into the crowd, adding to the party-like atmosphere.
The event starts and is hosted by Louden Noxious as he provides ringside announcements and play by play commentary of the fights. Louden is great as a host, providing a witty, dry, sardonic commentary with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Despite his name, he is instantly likable and the cheers from the crowd prove that.
Then the referee Jingi hits the ring and the crowd goes nuts. Jingi is definitely well loved by the crowd and is as much a part of the show as the monsters fighting in the ring.
The ring for the matches is decorated with little buildings to simulate giant monsters battling in the city. Getting ringside is a guaranteed way to get hit with the “rubble” and seems to be a high point for many in the crowd. Be warned many fights have monster fluids flying as well as building rubble and you will get hit if you are in the proverbial “danger zone”. As a matter of fact, within three minutes of the first fight my better half Jen caught an entire building.
The fights are intermingled with an ongoing story so if you follow their website and go to live events there is a story to follow. However, it is such universal, campy, fun you can follow along just fine without previous knowledge of Kaiju drama.
The wrestling is fantastic and at many times rivals anything you would see in “pro-wrestling” considering the fact that these guys and gals are doing it in elaborate monster costumes that I am positive must be difficult to see in.
Match 1. Giii VS Tad Bradley Hawaiian Paddler
Giii hit the stage and immediately destroys some of the buildings scattered about the ring sending copious amounts of Kaiju rubble into the crowd. A new fighter Tad Bradley Hawaiian Paddler is introduced to the crowd for the first time and proceeds to win the match ending his previously undefeated opponent with a beautiful leap from the top ring on his surfboard.
Match 2. Apes of Wraths VS Sea Amigos
This is an all-new championship title up for grabs called Double Danger Tandem Championship. The first fighters to capture the belts from the top of the poles in the corners of the ring will be declared the new champions. In a twist of events the Apes of Wrath’s Hell Monkey and the Sea Amigo’s D.W. Cycloptopuss III both get the belts at the same time forcing Jingi to declare a new tag team partnership "The One-Eyed Monsters".
In-between the second and third match the infamous and evil Dr. Cube hits the stage to boast about his newest scheme to dominate Kaiju Big Battel, hatching a new baby Sky Deviler in the process. Click the video below for a sample of the drama.
Match 3. Pedro Plantain VS the evil Silver Potato
Declared an Amazon street fight it’s an anything-goes battle between Pedro and evil Silver Potato. During the match, Dr. Cube brings out the reanimated corpse of Pedro’s brother Pablo to add to the chaos. Powa Ranjuru jumps into the ring to lend a hand and immobilizes the corpse of Pablo with fairy dust while helping Pedro to pin evil Silver Potato and winning the match. Pedro couldn’t bring himself to dismember the reanimated corpse of his brother.
Match 4. Dusto Bunny VS Super Wrong
Super Wrong recently left the Hero ranks to form his own fight team the "Yokusuka Jump Squadron" problem is no one will join his group. Dusto Bunny is nominated to bring Super Wrong back into the Hero fold. If Dusto Bunny wins the match Super Wrong goes back to the Heroes. If Super Wrong wins the match Dusto Bunny must join his new team.
Super Wrong brought a stuffed pink teddy bear as a tag team partner and Dusto Bunny agreed to the match. Midway thru the match Super Wrong tags his “partner” and throws the pink teddy bear into the ring which Dusto Bunny immediately pins. Midway thru the count, an announcement is made that the driver of a Volkswagen Rabbit has left their lights on. Dusto Bunny realizes it’s his and leaves the ring to turn them off in the middle of the count.
Super Wrong puts on a pair of rabbit ears and a rabbit fur vest and impersonated Dusto Bunny pinning himself with the pink teddy bear. Just as Jingi is declaring pink teddy bear and Super Wrong the winner Dusto Bunny returns realizing he has lost the match. Despite being duped he freely dons Super Wrongs feather boas and dances out of the ring with him. No one knew Dusto Bunny could get down and dance.
Match 5. Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle Soup VS Opponent of his Choice
Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle Soup picks banned fighter Uchu Chu as his opponent. Uchu Chu brought all of Team Space Bug and a legion of The Swarm. The fight was intense but Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle Soup overcame seemingly impossible odds to defeat Uchu Chu and remain Kaiju Champion.
Well that’s the event in a nutshell. I was super impressed at the passion and energy Studio Kaiju puts into their shows and I can not urge anyone reading these words enough to go see them when Kaiju Big Battel come to a city near you. It well worth the $15 or $16 bucks it costs for entry.
In the meantime you can see Kaiju Big Battle every morning on G4 from 8:00 to 9:00 am and then head over to the official site Kaiju.com and swing by the store and check out their DVD’s and other cool swag.
Support these fine folks, they're working hard to entertain us.
Special Thanks to Plastic and Plush for getting us access to this event!