The Extreme Sauna of Shunma Katsumata

Shunma sitting in a sauna with his extreme title

There’s few wrestlers in DDT that are as creative as Shunma Katsumata. To be honest, I don’t think I can count three as innovative as Shunma, not because they’re not good, but because they have a more “safe” approach of wrestling. The first time I saw Shunma wrestling I knew that crazy bastard just hated himself because of the amount of pain he went through for the sake of his own extreme performance. The best part about Shunma’s violence is that he feels like a kid on a playground, the difference being that a kid doesn’t have an evil alter-ego. As a member of The 37KAMIINA there’s a beautiful contrast between him, and his partner MAO, and the cute and good-looking boys in their partners Yuki Ueno and Toy Kojima. That contrast builds Shunma’s presence in a company that allows him to do whatever he wants with people compelled to bump in Lego caskets. If you see any match involving Shunma you just know he’s going to do a crazy spot, disappear from the match for like 10 minutes, only to come back and repeat the same pattern because he can and WILL do it. PRESTIGE Wrestling fans know this pretty well, because of his No DQ match against Sonico for Vendetta.

FULL MATCH: Shunma Katsumata (DDT) vs Sonico (No DQ – Prestige Wrestling: Vendetta)

It’s this “I don’t give a damn about my own safety as a human being” energy that makes me love Shunma, because unlike many modern hardcore wrestlers his charisma comes from this energy. The charismatic self-destruction of Shunma Katsumata in every single match is one of the highlights of modern-day DDT because, just like his match with Jun Akiyama, you’re seeing a kid having fun with wrestling, but risking his life in the process. The idea behind the Spike Dudley-esque performance of Shunma is not that he’s crazy. The idea behind Shunma’s performance is that he’s perfectly able to process thoughts and form sentences, and he’s still doing crazy stuff. He reminds me of Mikey Whipwreck, because he’s a crazy punching bag that, if given the chance, can show you, the viewer, that he can go at full speed and give his opponent a ride to a hellish place known as the deepest part of his wicked brain. And because of that I think Shunma always performs like he’s in a sauna, an extreme sauna where he sets the rules and you need to follow them to try to survive. Just ask Hyper Misao what she thinks of Shunma after this match…

ハードコアマッチ! 勝俣瞬馬 vs ハイパーミサヲ / 2021.12.18 愛知・名古屋国際会議場イベントホール

And like, I can’t give you an explanation of who’s Shunma Katsumata. You need to experience him. Watch some of his matches. Don’t try to understand them. Don’t try to found a meaning to Shunma’s actions *yet* (because yeah, Shunma is also one of those wrestlers with hidden lore). Just understand the fact that Shunma is the type of wrestler that goes All Out (no pun intended) against friends and foes alike. Just like his match against MAO in 2019, where both men wrestled to survive the deadly LEGO back bumps! If you were to told me these two would have become great partners and KO-D Tag Team Champions I wouldn’t believe you, but that’s the magic of Shunma Katsumata too!

ブロック玩具ハードコアマッチ 勝俣 vs MAO Katsumata vs MAO 2019.8.18 愛知大会

My advice for you, dear reader, would be to let go of any unwritten rules of what a wrestling match should be and let Shunma guide you to the most violent and fun rollercoaster you will ever ride. If he’s climbing a giant tire or using toys to hurt his opponents, let him be. I know he will surprise you. I know he will be the one that will make you love the hardcore aspect of DDT that’s always undervalued because it’s not stuck in just a single genre of wrestling. Shunma Katsumata is hardcore wrestling at its best. He follows the chaotic guidelines of what a hardcore match should really be. He’s not defined by a genre. He’s the one that will steal the show if given the chance. Shumna is what every wrestler should aspire to be, as he doesn’t follow or copy any existing formula. He’s just bringing what he knows to the table, even if that means hurting himself in the process. Forget about giant light tubes, forget about forks, knifes, glass, and doors. You’re not going to need any of those. You’re only going to need a kid, a Lego casket, toys, and the desire to steal the show. Unless you’re seeing Super Hardcore Katsumata. But that’s a story for another day.

有刺鉄線 棺桶デスマッチ 勝俣瞬馬 vs クリス・ブルックス / 2021.3.14 東京・後楽園ホール大会

R. Faliani can be found as Gyro17713 on twitter and YouTube, with plenty more content on the characters of puro.