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Volk Han vs Kiyoshi Tamura (RINGS Mega Battle Tournament 01/22/97)

RINGS January 22 1997 Volk Han Kiyoshi Tamura Budokan Hall 4.75*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:35 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:24 AM

This just blew the door off of all the matches I've ever seen in this style. Sublime match that's a brilliant display of mat wrestling and yes, showmanship. Some of Han's holds, especially the ankle bending, are mind blowing. Fujiwara's mental chess game against Takada in October 1990 is the only thing I've seen that's in the same league as this. That match is probably a better psychological display, and this one is a more phenomenal athletic performance, so it's a toss-up between the two. This is a high-octane adrenaline rush of matwork that I can't say enough good things about. I think there was a lot to learn from RINGS, and other groups should have tried to incorporate some of this matwork into their own style so it would still feel fresh but also be sustainable over the long haul.

#3 Childs

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:58 AM

This was almost reminiscent of a great lucha match in the sense they were doing such complicated stuff at great speed. It really was a pinnacle match for shootstyle -- full of cool stuff that you couldn't quite do in a shoot but pretty far from anything you'd see in traditional pro wrestling. It's very cool that this and the Misawa/Kobashi match happened within 48 hours -- so totally different, yet almost equally great. Hurray wrestling!

#4 soup23

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 06:28 PM

This was a great display of shoot wrestling. I don't want to say this was an exhibition because that gives the wrong impression but this did exhibit most of the best attributes that can make a shoot style match work including multiple moves that me wringing out my own limbs. The match is also fairly short and at 12 minutes or so may be my favorite sub 15 minute match of all time. Awesome stuff and just a hair beside Misawa vs. Kobashi.

#5 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:55 PM

Tamura does a kip up! Them putting a move on only for the other guy to reverse was great. Generally I prefer striking in these type of matches but these guys were more enjoyable when they got down on the mat. The overhead camera was super with showing these guys putting on these holds. Great crowd too.

#6 stomperspc

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 07:18 AM

This is a fantastic match. I think I saw this at least once years ago, but I really loved it this go-around. One of of my favorites matches ever in this style. These guys make a difficult style look natural. You see a match like this and wonder why more wrestlers and promotions are not attempting to sell a similar style but its way easier said than done.

#7 Zenjo


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Posted 12 June 2015 - 03:54 PM

I'll start at the end. Han's finisher resulted from such a beautiful application of leverage it was perfection itself. The technique on display throughout was outstanding, and executed at Sci-Fi speed. You never knew where the next move was coming from or what it might be. At under 13m it was super tight and had me from the outset. The quality was certainly top notch, though I wouldn't tag it as a classic. Too short as I was left wanting more. A few more seconds of peril on certain holds would've been ideal. When you really believe it's over are the peak moments in shoot style. The drama escalates over time.

#8 PeteF3

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 07:55 PM

Terrific match--a true RINGS For People Who Hate RINGS special. Han dominates a lot of this but Tamura is terrific as well, especially in the early going as he's frantically trying to escape Han's grasp, with the speed and flair of a high-flying US or lucha babyface. He gets in one big hope spot at the end (a shot to Han's ribs, shock of shocks) but Han is simply too much for him at this point. Your #2 MOTY, for now at least.

#9 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 08:32 PM

Wait people hate RINGS?!?! :( But why?


Volk Han vs. Kiyoshi Tamura - RINGS 1/22/97


This match starts off the same way as their first encounter when Han gets an awesome double wristlock rip (did you see the wrist control!) and then ankle crossing. The difference here is Tamura acquits himself much better on the mat. He is not as easily suckered into a cross armbreaker and holds his own. The second spot in the first match is Han getting heel control here Tamura throws a wild spinning mule kick. Han tries to close the gap, but Tamura goes for a rolling legbar, but Han picks his foot out and Tamura does a kip up. WOW! Loved it! I am sorry how did anyone buy this as a shoot though? Tamura gets a takedown. Tamura is doing a lot better here. The jockeying around the heel hook is great with each looking to be in command. There is a great moment where Han has switched to a double wristlock, but releases as Tamura almost gets the ropes to prevent the rope break. Tamura gets a cross armbreaker and forces the first escape. Tamura 1-0. Interesting. Tamura is just as aggressive but is definitely wrestling within himself. Tamura is way more aggressive in his stand up now. I think this is a winning strategy for Tamura. The kicks to the legs look like they are making in roads and Han does not look as comfortabke standin up. I love Han is constantly trying to close the gap and Tamura is pushing him away so he can get full extension on his kicks. Tamura's mistake is going for a bodyscissors takedown and not completing it. This leaves him open for Han's second favorite hold the ankle cross and Tamura has to go for the ropes. On stand up, Tamura goes back to work, but Han closes the gap and takes him down with a double wristlock. Great selling from Tamura once he gets out. On the mat, Tamura gets a flash cross armbreaker that freaks Han out and Han retaliates with a choke, but keeps his ankles to the side so they cant be crossed. Very cool! Hot sequence. Tamura goes high with a kick and it is blocked. Han is vulnerable to the STRAIGHT FRONT KICK! Tamura up 4-2 and is looking much better going into the home stretch. Until Han just takes him down and immediately crosses his ankles for the rope break. Han absorbs some kicks finally feels the rhythm and catches one and THEN HE KICKS OUT THE PLANT LEG! WOW! Heel hook and immobilizes the free leg and Tamura has no choice to tap.


Great callbacks to the first match. Awesome progression from Tamura. I feel like there was a lot of nervous energy in the first match (in a good way) here he is much more in the zone. He acquits himself well with the Mat Wizard from Soviet Russia but starts to make in roads in the stand up game. However, Han can still take him down at will and Tamura really does not have a defense against the double wristlock or ankle cross. The kicking out the plant leg and just watching Tamura's knee buckle was crazy. The progression from Tamura and the awesome finish make this another stone cold RINGS classic. *****

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: RINGS, January 22, 1997, Volk Han, Kiyoshi Tamura, Budokan Hall, 4.75*

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