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#1 Grimmas

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 08:23 AM

Discuss here.



#2 Grimmas

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 08:23 AM

Suggested matches: 

 

vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka 6/27/98

vs Nobuhiko Takada 2/14/93

vs Volk Han 1/22/97



#3 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 03:22 PM

Tamura is an interesting comparison to Volk Han because he isn't as creative a worker and has a "young" period before he became great where he showed potential. But I think having that full career path makes him more interesting to discuss, and I think Tamura probably surpassed Han at a certain point. I'm just not sure when that was but that's my instinct. I wanted to compile some match recommendations for Tamura. He's a guy I'm considering for my top 15 or so.

 

Tamura on the rise

None of these are GREAT, but it's fun to track Tamura's improvement.

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Masahito Kakihara (UWFI 05/10/91)

Kiyoshi Tamura & Yuko Miyato vs Yoji Anjoh & Jim Boss (UWFI 11/07/91)

Kiyoshi Tamura & Kazuo Yamazaki vs Gary Albright & Mark Silver (UWFI 07/12/92)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Yoji Anjoh (UWFI 08/28/92)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Kazuo Yamazaki (UWFI 10/23/92)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Nobuhiko Takada (UWFI 02/14/93)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Naoki Sano (UWFI 05/06/93)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Naoki Sano (UWFI 05/06/94)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Vader (UWFI 06/10/94)

 

Tamura hits his zenith

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Volk Han (RINGS 09/25/96)

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

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Bitsadze Tariel (RINGS 07/22/97)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Volk Han (RINGS 09/26/97)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Mikhail Ilioukhine (RINGS 01/21/98)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (RINGS 06/27/98)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Yoshihisa Yammamoto (RINGS 09/21/98)

 

Other good Tamura matches

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Nikolai Zouev (RINGS 06/21/97)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Akira Maeda (RINGS 03/28/97)

 

Tamura I want to check out

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (U-STYLE 02/04/04)

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Hiroyuki Ito (U-STYLE 08/18/04)

 

I'll also be watching some of the less acclaimed or discussed matches from his career in the coming months.

 

Reviews can be found in the Match Discussion Archive for all of this stuff.



#4 Jetlag

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 03:29 PM

Don't forget to check out the 1991 Anjoh match. That's definitely an early great, altough Anjoh plays his part there aswell.



#5 Chess Knight

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 07:46 PM

Loss did you ever wind up watching the Tamura/Sakuraba trilogy(one is a really short match, though, IIRC)? Some of those exchanges are insane. I think their best match together would be my favourite Tamura-in-UWFi match. 



#6 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 07:47 PM

I will be, but I haven't yet.



#7 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 08:04 PM

The Sakuraba matches were a great eff you to the UWF. Rumour has it that Tamura very nearly went to Pancrase, which would have been a loss for late 90s puroresu.



#8 El-P

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 12:02 PM

The day I'm getting back into watching this guy, he's top 5 easily. Greatest shoot-style worker ever.



#9 Timbo Slice

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 04:27 PM

I think I might pull a Will and put him and Han back-to-back. He has an argument for the best worker of a style ever, and those two U-STYLE matches are fucking awesome. Not to the peak of the Han stuff, but damn close. It's hard to figure out where he'll land, though, as he'll be on the list, but I could see him in the 25-75 range, really. It depends on how many of that "must-have guys" come before him, but with him being the best of his style or one of the best, I have to weigh that into consideration.



#10 Frankensteiner

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 08:34 PM

I would have Tamura neck-and-neck with Han, with a slight edge to Han, although I would also argue that Tamura had a higher peak. If I end up turning in a ballot, Tamura will most likely be my highest ranked Japanese born worker.



#11 Loss

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 09:09 PM

I would have Tamura neck-and-neck with Han, with a slight edge to Han, although I would also argue that Tamura had a higher peak. If I end up turning in a ballot, Tamura will most likely be my highest ranked Japanese born worker.

 

Really cool post. I'm not sure if I would have him that high or not, but he's a contender. Maybe we can get some more talk going around Tamura. He's more than just the 1A to Volk Han.



#12 pol

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 09:36 PM

Greatest athlete ever in pro wrestling? The way the guy could just go and go while working an extremely intensive style was just crazy.



#13 elliott

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 09:50 PM

I think the Kohsaka draw from 98 is one of the best and most athletically impressive matches ever. That match is just incredible. Also wanted to say his match vs Vader was always my favorite Vader in UWFi match. Short but just a fantastic big man vs little man match.

#14 El-P

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:26 AM

I think the Kohsaka draw from 98 is one of the best and most athletically impressive matches ever. That match is just incredible. Also wanted to say his match vs Vader was always my favorite Vader in UWFi match. Short but just a fantastic big man vs little man match.

 

Word.

The 30mn draw with Khosaka is my favourite match ever.



#15 Tim Cooke

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:57 AM

Tamura will easily get into my top 20.  Probably not top 10, but that's no slight on him.  My dream match is still Tamura vs. Sakuraba in a worked environment.  The UWF-I matches were great teases of something that could have been absolutely amazing.  He is one of the only wrestlers on my list who will make it without 20+ great matches.  But the Volk Han trilogy, the Kohsaka trilogy in RINGS, Yamamoto in 6/99, and then the Kohsaka and Ito matches in U-Style are just too great and make it a necessity that he is top 20.  I *think* he will be above Volk Han but haven't made that final decision.

 

If you haven't seen any Tamura, but have enjoyed shoot style, check out the January 97 match against Han and the June 99 against Yamamoto.  Those are the two easiest introductions to Tamura.  June 98 vs. Kohsaka is absolutely world class but I wouldn't recommend it as a first match to see.



#16 MJH

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:37 AM

Tamura and Han will make my top 25. I have nothing to add beyond that's been said above, though the '96 match is, I feel, a better introduction to Tamura (and Han) as it has the strongest story-dynamic (vet-underdog) of the three. But the whole series is only forty minutes anyway. Also nice to see the first Tamura/Anjoh match getting some love as when I discovered that in... 2002? on a bunch of ex-rentals my Japanese contact at the time sent me it was the great young Tamura match I was hoping for. Worth bearing in mind that it was his 10th match or thereabouts as he missed most of '90 with an injury.  



#17 El-P

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 12:06 PM

Tamura will June 98 vs. Kohsaka is absolutely world class but I wouldn't recommend it as a first match to see.

 

Agreed. It's the Graal of shoot-style fans, but it's a bit hardcore if you're not completely into the style or even into Tamura, who is the purest artist (yes, I said it) of shoot-style pro-wrestling.



#18 Dylan Waco

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 03:20 AM

Watched a shitload of Tamura over the last two weeks and I have to say I was shocked at how blown away I was by him.  I had watched many of the matches before, and I have always thought highly of him, but I never completely saw him as an elite worker.  I was wrong.

 

I made this point the other day in the Takada thread, but to me the two elements that make for a great shootstyle worker are the mastery of the form itself through technique, skill, and craftiness, and a true sense of urgency and immediacy.  I think Han is clearly a better stylist than Tamura, but I don't think he works with near the sense of urgency.  For Han the form is enough, to the point where he's almost stoic.  I joked with Loss about this last week, but to me Han is Misawa, and Tamura is Kobashi minus the crying.  

 

That said, the way Tamura works that sense of urgency into his matches is so impressive that I think it would be impossible for me not to rate him over Han.  I know there are some who will say that what he did against Vader doesn't really matter much as it wasn't really an expression of him doing what made him great, but I strongly disagree with that.  The way he worked his flurries, the tenacious nature of his attack, et. are all completely in keeping with what you would expect out of him if he were working v. a shootstyle master.  More to the point I can't imagine Han having that match with Vader.

 

 I guess you could argue that as a head to head comparison that is too limited to make a bigger point from, but my reply to that would be that I don't think Han's best performances are as impressive as Tamura's.  To me Tamura is an exceptional worker because he tries so hard, his effort is constant, his work unrelenting without being stupidly spotty, or ignoring the importance of build.  Han is at least in part a great worker because he is so technically excellent that he can almost be caviler with his approach.  It works for him and he'd have probably been dumb to deviate from that.  But that difference between him and Tamura is the reason Tamura will be considerably ahead of him on my ballot.  



#19 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 04:59 AM

I've always found Volk charismatic. I agree he was cavalier in the same way that Fujiwara was. Both of them had a great sense of humour and didn't mind popping the crowd with a sight gag. Tamura's urgency seemed to stem from a constant need to prove himself. First as a young boy then after his split from UWF-i and in his efforts to draw. One thing I don't think Tamura did as well as Han were finishes. I can't remember a Tamura bout that has as exciting a finish as the '95 Han vs. Yamamoto bout.

#20 soup23

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 06:28 AM

Interesting point about the finishes OJ and something I will have to think about since right now I have Tamura a good bit ahead of han. One thing I will say about Tamura's finishes is I like the way he works toward a draw. Most indivduals in a 60 minute match, it feels like there is a lot of fiddling around to an extent and then the last 5-10 minutes really ratchet up the desperation with the kitchen sink being thrown at the opponent to try to win. Even draws I do enjoy like Kobashi vs. Kawada have this factor. Tamura works desperate from the onset so I do appreciate that in the final minutes of a draw he isn't necessairly betraying the strategy he was trying to exert up to that point. It is a weird purity context where time will not result in him losing his value system in some sort of way. That is why the draws he has vs. Yammamota and Kohsaka are some of the more memorable draws I have ever seen along with hennig vs. Bock because of how distinctive they feel. 






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