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Member Since 27 Sep 2014
Offline Last Active Jul 20 2017 03:41 PM

Topics I've Started

Yoji Anjoh vs Tatsuo Nakano (UWF 5/12/1988)

20 July 2017 - 01:14 PM

The second match from UWFII's first show Starting Over is as intruiguing, ambitious and entertaining as you'd hope for. The structure of the match is simple-it starts out with them simply gauging the distance with leg kicks and some simple takedowns and mat exchanges and the match gradually heats up. The way the holds are used here is hard to compare to anything else-like a weird combo of U-style and classic NWA style. Essentially, there are plenty of submission attempts where the submission isn't fully locked in, and the true pay-off is more in the transition which comes after the hold than the hold itself. They managed to convincingly display their character gradually getting frustrated and going from cheapshots to just plain brawling. Anjoh pinballed as much as he possibly could've in this setting, the novelty of the style resulted in some interesting moments like Anjoh going for a Jacknife Pin, shooting Nakano into the ropes and Nakano going for a Dragon Suplex as well as going for a pin straight off a German. The match also had a well executed shoulder injury angle, which was sold fittingly (Anjoh targeted it with his kicks and strikes and went for submission on Nakano's bad arm, Nakano sold it initially and after the match but didn't weep and go overboard). Really, had they found conclusions other than rope breaks a few more times when there was a locked in submission this would've easily been a great match. ***3/4

Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Mohammed Yone (NOAH 6/4/2017)

19 July 2017 - 09:55 AM

This is a battle of two kickers (well, Yone is a kicker when he's motivated enough to be one) on a Misawa memorial show, and you get exactly what you'd expect. Aside from the opening sequence, there aren't really any differences in the type of work throughout the match-they almost immediately get to striking at each other, with the intensity and urgence being the main difference depending on when it took place.  They in their shots nicely, the control segments aren't huge, but Yone does get tangible control over the match and at point Nakajima just goes berserk, mounting Yone and just killing him with forearms, setting off the finishing stretch. Yone's Lariats throughout the match looked great, Nakajima is great at using his kicks as cut-offs (espeacially in the later portions of the match) and the double slap spot was very cool and almost surprisingly fresh. They managed to get the crowd invested in the match without forcing an epic or going needlessly long, which was probably the right call for a "smaller" title defence. ***1/2

Minoru Suzuki vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (NOAH 10/24/2015)

17 July 2017 - 09:15 AM

Fun tournament match which doesn't shoot for epicness but simply displays their strengths in a conscise manner without any stupid gimmickry and simultenously presenting enough novelty to make it stand out a little. All of their usual spots are here, but un an easily digestible format-Suzuki modifies his rope hanging armbar by going on the apron and trapping Nakajima's foot between the ropes instead of just countering a strike as an obvious set-up for the spot and cranks Nakajima's arm by hammerlocking him with a chair. Nakajima's flashy kicks and strikes are matched well by Suzuki's well timed seling of big spots while Nakajima's upbeatness prevents Suzuki from losing focus which allows them to seamlessly build on previous sequences. ***1/4

Kazunari Murakami & Kohei Sato vs Akira Jo & Keisuke Okuda (NEW 7/7/2017)

17 July 2017 - 07:06 AM

Jo and Okuda cut a classic "we're not done with each other yet, but we're teaming up to face the invaders" promo before the match and  proceed to absolutely deliver. A great coming out performance for them, and a wild, chaotic tag team brawl I'd expect more from WWC of whatever indy decides to book LA Park, but it is back in Korauken and suddenly the days of Tarzan Goto blasting people don't feel so long ago. The key here is the modern puro strike exchange-usually a dreadful sight as two people exchange strikes for x amount of time. There are several differences here which make it work. There's a hierarchy-Jo and Okuda are severely outclassed. Murakami and Sato take their shots, but they can't afford to take shots back. The stubborness and agression in Jo and Okuda's performances really shakes things up-they keep getting up as fast as they can, desperately striking away, blindsighting and double teaming Sato and Murakami every chance they get. The consistency and dedication in their performances successfully creates the illusion that, once they do go down, it's not because it's "what you're supposed to do after losing a strike exchange",  but because they really have been terribly overwhelmed. Sato and Murakami deliver the beating you'd want from this type of match-Murakami might as well have time traveled back in 2001, he looke like the best wrestler in the world here, just throwing ungodly punching combinations, wicked uppercuts, nearly killing people by hitting reckless Harai Goshis. Sato's forearms, headbutts and knees were on point as well, and the suit and giant tatoos make them look like a convincing yakuza pair. ****1/4

Shinya Aoki vs Tatsuhito Takaiwa (NEW 7/7/2017)

17 July 2017 - 06:26 AM

The build up hypes it as "MMA vs pro wrestling". The idea of Takaiwa trying to bulldoze through Aoki who would in turn try to grab flash submissions sounds great, but it's not exactly what we got here. A promising opening had Takaiwa desperately avoiding Aoki's submission counters and Aoki pinning himself on a sleepr, but the middle of the match wasn't as creative, as it mostly consisted of Aoki grabbing submissions over and over again. He wouldn't lock them in completely and then hold them for two minutes, but it never seemed like he could actualyl win with one of them nor were Takaiwa's escapes especially interesting. Aoki's strikes and kicks were disappointing, and the finishing strech was kickstarted by Takaiwa finally getting some prowres moves in and going for the kill. This created a game in which Takaiwa needs a big move like a Powerbomb or a Death Valley Bomb, while Aoki needs a submission, and both can counter each other. Aoki's last Korauken match had him choke out Funaki while Funaki was trying to deadlift him, so it was a clever thing to build on. ***