Match: Shingo Takagi vs. Bryan Danielson-DGUSA Enter the Dragon 2010
Album: Godflesh – Streetcleaner
In the tradition of the famous Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon mashup, allow me to present a combination of metal and wrestling that enjoys its own set of synchronicities. To experience it, start Godflesh’s Streetcleaner album and Takagi vs. Danielson at the same time. Watch the match as the music plays in the background. Enjoy.
01. Like Rats
The referee waits in the ring, hands behind his back, his gaze fixed off-camera. Neither Shingo nor Danielson have emerged from behind the curtain yet.
The song begins before the action with a pounding guitar and vocalist Justin Broadrick pulverizes words in his throat. It is awash in darkness. It is a promise of doom and cruelty ahead.
Shingo yells as he enters, and at times, it synchs up with Broadrick’s growling.
Anticipation builds as Takagi and Danielson soon stand in their corners. And as the wrestlers lock up, the drums clang frantic, pulsing, like the inner workings of a factory. The fight has begun in earnest.
02. Christbait Rising
As Shingo paces outside the ring, a fat, abusive bass accentuates his frustration, his early struggles with the always savvy Danielson.
The lyrics “This is my own hell” echo in concert with the foes twisting each other’s arms, trading the advantage. This is the first taste of torture. The two men grind each other up as the guitar grinds.
Distortion wafts in the air like poison gas, providing a ghostly backdrop for Shingo and Danielson tearing at other, one unforgiving strike at a time.
Up against the ringside railing, the wrestlers fight to the sound of machine-gun percussion. They chop each other, rattling the steel behind them. The drums match their intensity and pace.
Once they are back in the ring, Shingo gains control. He is a sadist, methodical, relentless. The howling, pained vocals align perfectly with his devilish grin.
The lyrics “Refuse!” repeat like body blows. It feels like a message for Danielson, who is battered, but pushes on.
04. Dream Long Dead
The track shifts as Shingo and Danielson press their heads together, two stubborn beasts.
The pounding heart of the bass beats; the fight intensifies. The wrestlers’ aggression matches the music. They trade forearms. They snarl at each other. Danielson tears off his wrist tape and goes to work to the soundtrack of industrial dissonance.
05. Head Dirt
When Shingo chokes Danielson in response, he is met with a faster paced soundtrack—thudding guitar and cymbals crashing. The rhythm, now erratic, parallels the bruiser’s attack. It is overwhelming, an assault.
Broadrick barks, “Now feel this” throughout the battle. It is as if he’s providing Shingo’s inner dialogue throughout his rampage.
When the men are soon laid out on the canvas, worn and weary, the piercing guitar adds to the atmosphere. This match has left the combatants loopy and now, we the audience get a taste of that, dizzied by the sonic wanderings of the instrument.
Indecipherable talking echoes underneath the thundering bass. It sounds like an argument in the next room, like unraveling, like night terrors.
In the ring, Takagi looks to put away his opponent. With Danielson atop his shoulders, he leaps from the top rope and smashes his enemy into the mat. He has little left in him at this point and struggles to get an arm across Danielson for a pin.
Meanwhile, the voices escalate. Guitar and drums merge to create the sounds of a torture machine at work. The vocals seemed plucked from a Satanic ritual. They burrow into your ear, deep and pitiless.
Shingo and Takagi smash each other with headbutts from all fours. Neither man stays down. Neither man seems willing to listen to their nociceptors or to reason.
Washing over all of this are the haunting lyrics, “There has to be someone killed,” and you have to wonder if that is indeed how this battle will end.
07. Mighty Trust Krusher
In the final beats of the match, drums bang like a demon at the door trying to pound his way in. The hammering sounds accompany the sight of Danielson firing off all his weapons, submissions and strikes alike, cranking up the aggression.
The music of dread and hopelessness seeps into the air as Danielson traps Shingo in the LeBelle Lock, a trap from which there is no escape.
Danielson is too spent afterward to stand much less celebrate the victory. The ref moves to signal his win, to lift his hand, but must wait for the warrior to recover.
As Danielson soon stands triumphant, Shingo leans in the corner, evaluating his wounds. The Dragon proved mortal. Another beast befallen.
Most fitting words rumble amid it all: “Hate me. Tread on me. And you taught me. I finally slay you.”