Robinson’s a lot of fun to watch in the ring, whether he’s schooling someone on the canvas or playing defense, looking for a way out of a predicament. Seems like a rare feat to be able to make a seven minute headlock struggle captivating but Robinson is able to pull it off masterfully. I go back to this often but like any good novel, I appreciate the little attentions to detail. The movements, the strategy, the methods of approach that add a sense of intelligence to any pro-wrestling match. Little things like Billy’s hip attack to stun Jumbo before taking him over with the hip toss, or figuring out a way to escape a side headlock that is unique and effective, not doing the same flopping thing over and over again.The 1970’s stuff feels animated at times, especially in some of Robinson’s more theatrical bumping around and selling, but it’s the matwork and counterwork that keeps me engaged, even if there’s no long-term continuity to it. During the first fall, Robinson is relentless with his attacking Jumbo’s neck, throwing his weight onto it, delivering a vicious neckbreaker. There’s an unstable nature to the match, to a lot of these early Japanese match-ups in general, with the teased strikes and suplexes, boiling up to an explosive third fall. After Jumbo wins the first fall following a pair of running bulldogs, he stays on Billy’s neck to start the second fall, leading to the prolonged headlock struggle with some really neat reversal attempts, like Robinson bridging with the chancery hold. Thesecond fall is a slow burn but it picks up, as Billy’s able to find his way out with a backdrop and evens the score with a backbreaker. He keeps after Jumbo’s back with a side suplex, a second backbreaker and a crab hold, and when that doesn’t get him to submit, Robinson begins chopping his neck out of frustration. Loved that. Jumbo fires off some suplexes but Robinson, who had managed to slink through much of this match, comes away with the victory after countering the O'Connor Roll. Awesome match, one of my very favorites from the 70's.
We are back to two and back talkin' about FEUDS! We FINALLY delve pretty deep into BattlArts here by talking the signature feud - Yuki Ishikawa and Daisuke Ikeda, wrecking each other's faces.There is also an ALL TIME CLASSIC in the 3rd segment.
- Brennan's Flu
- Andy's new employment!
- What we've been watching in our own lives (not much!)
- Talkin' Tetsujin and EURO SHOOT Vs. Shoot Style
- Brennan is in The Atomic Elbow zine - go buy a copy.
Matches: We are covering 8 of the 12ish singles matches Ishikawa and Ikeda have had in their career and most are available on our Youtube page.
1/17/18 - BJW - Takuya Nomura vs. Fuminori Abe
12/11/17 - Defiant Wrestling - David Starr vs. Chris Brookes
This was a fun squash and Kikuchi's at his best when he's playing the fired up underdog. Takayama no selling the leg lariats and then destroying Kikuchi was great, as well as Kikuchi's optimistic armwork, including the hanging armbar. Not quite as brutal as I was anticipating but still a dominant performance from Takayama.
Robin's awesome here. Not to sell Baba short, he was great too, but Robinson’s performance was fantastic. From the apprehension he conveys about locking up with Baba, maintaining a certain distance and treating him like a major threat throughout the match, to his movements, his takedowns, his quick snakebite strikes to the legs. He tries to overwhelm Baba rather than get tangled up in his spindly limbs, chopping him down at the knees. I’ve said it a million times but it’s the little things that add up and Robinson is a master at incorporating them into his matches. The way he pushes his weight back onto Baba’s chinlock in order to pin his shoulders to the mat, or cranking Baba’s leg over his own head, using it as a battering ram to weaken the leg. When Baba realizes Billy’s not going to tie up with him, he starts slapping and chopping away, picking up the first fall after a backdrop. Robinson sells Baba’s strikes so well, making them look extra painful, trying in vain to block them. He starts firing back on offense, hitting a gnarly neckbreaker, and when he’s unsuccessful with the double arm suplex attempts, Robinson takes out the leg and quickly submits Baba with a single leg crab to even the score. And he doesn’t let up, hitting leg enziguris at the start of the third fall, once again trying to submit him before Baba builds any momentum. At one point, Billy drapes Baba’s leg on the ropes and executes a tope onto the leg through the ropes, causing them both to tumble outside! By the end of this thing, Robinson is delivering everything he can in his arsenal to down the giant, including an impressive backbreaker, but when he runs into the neckbreaker drop, it’s game over, emphasizing once again the danger that is Baba and how every move could be the last.
This had some fun moments, and I especially thought Sano's performance here was great. Really dug the opening exchange between he and Usuda. Ken is a pretty good scrappy underdog, although unrefined and some of his exchanges with Taira were clutzy. But I liked whenever Taira was playing the dick and goading him on. Sano showed off a bunch during this match, with some big bombs and swanky submission holds on Ken, including a cool double arm hold and the Romero Special into the dragon sleeper. Usuda/Taira didn't have great chemistry but Usuda in general looked good here. Ken firing up after he hits the spear on Sano was good stuff and then Sano destroys him with that powerbomb and really wants to submit him with the crab hold, trying three times before finally succeeding.