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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 Kiyoshi Tamura 9/25/96

vs Kiyoshi Tamura 1/22/97

vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka 5/28/98



#3 Venegas

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 08:15 PM

Match for match, the best ever. My favorite worker of my favorite style and as of now, he is very much in the conversation for my #1. It's even more amazing when you take in the fact that he debuted at 30, untrained (an elite grappler though), and was already one of the worlds best. Don't even know where to start, but any match against Tamura/Maeda/Yamamoto/Kohsaka/Nagai/Kopylov is must see, with MANY of those matches teetering on all time great level. His most famous match, 1/22/97 vs Tamura, is one of the best matchers ever, but the scary thing is that I feel that he has around 10 matches that may be as good as that one. A lot of his best work hasn't even surfaced online, but it's on his comp, which everyone NEEDS to own. 

 

The big knock on him is going to be his number of matches which is understandable, but I'll counter that by saying that I think his absolute best work is up there with anyone's, and even his second tier stuff was MOTYC level. From the time he was active, it's really difficult to say anyone was outright better than him, and we're talking the same time period as the All Japan glory days. 

 

Final thoughts: #1 candidate for me. Everyone needs to buy his compilation set.



#4 BillThompson

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 08:19 PM

I won't deny that he's a guy I hope to see more of before the deadline because as of right now I haven't seen anywhere near enough to put him on my list.



#5 Loss

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 08:24 PM

Everyone needs to buy his compilation set.

 

Is this something he put out himself? 



#6 Loss

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 08:28 PM

Understood, thanks! Just wanted to confirm. 

 

(Welcome to the board, by the way. :))



#7 Childs

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 08:34 PM

That's Tabe's set and yes, it's great--best Han primer imaginable.



#8 goodhelmet

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 10:18 PM

If it is Tabe's set then contact Tabe at DVDVR and buy it from him directly. Awesome guy. 



#9 Timbo Slice

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 12:55 AM

Probably the most variation on ballots is going to be with Han. If someone puts him Top 10, I wouldn't bat an eyelash. I could also see some people leave him off the ballot completely. He'll be on my list, and I'll have a tough time figuring out where to place him. Probably the most fluid wrestler I've ever seen, and that's saying something with all the luchadors that are a part of this.



#10 Magnum Milano

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 11:38 AM

This will be the catalyst to finally dive in to that Han comp which I got and then forgot about.

#11 Ditch

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 01:03 PM

I rate consistency high, but I also give bonus points for those who toured. If you wrestle once a month, you can go balls-to-the-wall with no worry, which means you should be held to a higher standard. I think that's a knock on Takada being top-tier. For Han, the insanely high batting average is somewhat necessary to get him considered as one of the best ever, since he had under 100 matches. But he DOES have that batting average! Even more so when he has a remotely game opponent.

#12 Shining Wiz

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 03:20 PM

Interesting.......just watched my first Volk match. He is, as has been said, the best shoot style wrestler I've watched. Problem with that is, however......I don't like shoot style very much. The problem with doing "real" moves in a "fake" match is that you can't actually put the move on for real, and you end up looking like you're doing a half speed demonstration. I admit this is likely a bigger issue to me more than most others around, but it's hard to get past.

#13 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:31 PM

I never really got the less than a hundred matches thing with Volk. There are plenty of worker who will be voted for that have less than a 100 matches on tape, and plenty of people will vote for people who they've seen less than a 100 matches from. Why should Volk be held to a higher standard because he only worked one match per month? (Which in the end didn't prevent him from breaking down physically.) Does that means US wrestlers should be voted higher than Japanese wrestlers because they have more difficult schedules? Who's to say working once a month isn't more challenging? Wrestling the top guys in each territory vs. a  match against Dick Vrij. I'm not seeing an advantage there. 



#14 fxnj

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 04:50 PM

It's not really the same but I've seen WWE guys mention that in some ways Undertaker actually has it harder having a MOTYC defending the streak once a year since your body doesn't get as used to working as it would if you were on the road year round. I agree that it's really a minor point at best and irrelevant in the context of us considering old school workers who have even less matches available.



#15 stomperspc

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 05:42 PM

Interesting.......just watched my first Volk match. He is, as has been said, the best shoot style wrestler I've watched. Problem with that is, however......I don't like shoot style very much. The problem with doing "real" moves in a "fake" match is that you can't actually put the move on for real, and you end up looking like you're doing a half speed demonstration. I admit this is likely a bigger issue to me more than most others around, but it's hard to get past.

 

Our of curiosity, what Volk Han match did you watch?

 

I ask because I think your criticism of shoot style matches can be valid.  What you described - trying to making it look real without hurting your opponent - is why the style is so hard to pull of (and likely why we don't see more of it).  However, what makes Volk Han so good in my opinion is that his matches have very few of those moments.  In fact, where he gets himself into trouble on occasion is that he gets his opponent into a predicament that is near impossible to get of and has to just release the hold to continue on.  That's sort of the opposite of what you are saying though.

 

I agree with OJ too that the "100 match" thing shouldn't be that much of a detriment.  Its not like we are talking about a wrestler with just 15 or 20 available matches.  Relatively speaking, 100 matches is a large sample size for a wrestler.  Add in the fact that the vast majority of those Volk Han matches are featured matches and good matches at that, and he easily as a strong case.

 

Not sure where he'll land on my list exactly, but its certainly in the upper half if not significantly higher.



#16 MJH

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 05:45 PM

Even with those points on Han... I can't see him not making ballots of people familiar with his work. Something I'll throw in there that's been brought up in previous discussions but not here - the '95 match with Tariel is a fucking hell of a job. And it's all in Han's selling (of those damned weak ribs, of course). Another point not yet raised is that in his earliest matches Han threw and teased a lot more strikes, especially kicks, and quickly cottoned on to the fact that it was precisely in him having a weakness on his feet, and his strength being the ground, that gave his matches their important dynamic (against certain guys anyway). And, of course, the dude was no less than good in his first match. Shit, I've heard people forward the notion that he carried the '91 match with Maeda. I don't go along with that but for all the "quick study" plaudits of Akiyama, Angle, even Mika Akino, he's the only guy I've ever seen that written about.



#17 Shining Wiz

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 08:53 PM

Interesting.......just watched my first Volk match. He is, as has been said, the best shoot style wrestler I've watched. Problem with that is, however......I don't like shoot style very much. The problem with doing "real" moves in a "fake" match is that you can't actually put the move on for real, and you end up looking like you're doing a half speed demonstration. I admit this is likely a bigger issue to me more than most others around, but it's hard to get past.

 
Our of curiosity, what Volk Han match did you watch?
 
I ask because I think your criticism of shoot style matches can be valid.  What you described - trying to making it look real without hurting your opponent - is why the style is so hard to pull of (and likely why we don't see more of it).  However, what makes Volk Han so good in my opinion is that his matches have very few of those moments.  In fact, where he gets himself into trouble on occasion is that he gets his opponent into a predicament that is near impossible to get of and has to just release the hold to continue on.  That's sort of the opposite of what you are saying though.
 
I agree with OJ too that the "100 match" thing shouldn't be that much of a detriment.  Its not like we are talking about a wrestler with just 15 or 20 available matches.  Relatively speaking, 100 matches is a large sample size for a wrestler.  Add in the fact that the vast majority of those Volk Han matches are featured matches and good matches at that, and he easily as a strong case.
 
Not sure where he'll land on my list exactly, but its certainly in the upper half if not significantly higher.

I watched a match with Maeda focused on arm bars and leglocks. Maeda won with a footlock in a weird leg tie up position. I think it might have been Han's RINGS debut. It looked like one good grappler flow rolling with an ok grappler and trading off sub chances. Fine for what it was, just all the times subs are misapplied, no effort when in good position and forgoing more obvious and easier subs to stick with what they are doing bugs me.

I also watched Big Nog control him in what I assume was an actual mma fight.

#18 Tim Cooke

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 07:53 AM

Shoot Style is possibly the one style of wrestling that you need to have context and understanding of history to really understand the nuance and why something worked/why something didn’t work.

 

UWF 1.0 (1984-1985), UWF 2.0 (1988-1990), RINGS (1991-1995), and even parts of UWFI were recognized by the fans as being legit, even though that was almost never the case, except for the occasional undercard RINGS match prior to the company mixing and matching works and shoots throughout the card from 1996-1999 before going all shoot. 

 

This is also a case where watching with 2014 eyes can definitely alter the view of a match.  With everything we know about MMA and what holds really work and what doesn’t work, a 1991 RINGS match may not look realistic in 2014.  I would argue that most Maeda matches in RINGS didn’t look realistic in the early 90’s as they were occurring but because of the Choshu kick and his aura, he had the creditability that made the fans buy in. 

 

As far as the submissions being misapplied and forgoing more obvious and easier subs, it comes down to what people knew as legit in 1991.  Using this logic in a regular pro wrestling match, why wouldn’t you just knock your opponent out with a punch and then pin him?  That’s the more obvious way to present a story but it lacks drama, storytelling, and would have killed the theater aspect of professional wrestling. 

 

I would recommend watching a couple of full shows from the original UWF and UWF 2.0, Will’s PWFG compilation (disc 1), and a couple of early RINGS shows to understand where the style is coming from.  You still may walk away saying it’s not your thing but I think it will help give you a clearer understanding of why certain thing’s are being done.

 

My recommendations for full shows (knowing that these shows have some stinkers because to get the balanced viewpoint, you need to see the good with the bad):

 

12/5/84 – UWF

9/11/85 – UWF

8/13/88 – UWF 2.0

12/88 – UWF. 2.0

7/16/92 – RINGS

8/20/92 – RINGS

 

As you get into the late 90’s with RINGS, the worked matches start to more closely resemble what was actually happening in shoots in UFC, Pancrase, and Shooto.  It’s why a match like Tamura vs. Kohsaka from 4/22/97 is probably a work but what they are doing is so in line with MMA at the time that you aren’t a 100% positive.  The 6/27/98 Kohsaka vs. Tamura epic, taking out the length, looks like what most non-punching on the ground to head MMA looked like in 1998.



#19 stomperspc

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 08:15 AM

Tim pretty much covered what I was going to say.  I just want to expand on one point.  If we watch shoot style pro wrestling matches with the benchmark of a good match being a match that looks exactly (or almost exactly) like an MMA fight, even the best ones are likely to come up short.  I don't believe the intent is or ever was to perfectly replicate MMA matches.  While there was more of a reason to do so back in the UWF and RINGS days since many fans bought it as real and there was not readily available MMA to compare it to, I am still not sure the intent was to basically "fake" an MMA bout down to the smallest details.  The intent is and was to present a more realistic style of pro wrestling using submissions and modified set of rules.  You are still going to get pro wrestling elements.  Submissions are still going to be applied in somewhat of a pro wrestling way because they need to be since it is a cooperative match and not a shoot.  In my opinion, that really isn't an issue.  In fact, I think that's one of the positives of shoot style pro wrestling matches over shoots.  The wrestlers can get rid of the down time and make transitions in and out of holds more visually pleasing because they have the luxury in a worked environment.

 

In comparing Han's matches to other shoot style matches and other matches in general, his matches stand out for being as logical/realistic of pro wrestling matches as I have seen in terms of the mat, stand up, and submission work, while also being action packed and exciting in a more traditional pro wrestling way.  To me, the best shoot style worker is not the one that most closely replicates MMA, it is the one that puts on the most entertaining matches while working a more realistic mat/submission based style relative to the average pro wrestling match.



#20 Shining Wiz

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:30 AM

I posted this in a thread regarding in reference to a Timothy Thatcher match, but it gets my point across regarding shoot style I think:

 

 

Personally, for me, it's because when you're watching shoot-style, they are making inherent references to MMA (at least now.....UWF-i and others obviously predate the MMA boom and therefore, in their time, I likely would have viewed them quite differently).  For example, a 'cross armbreaker' is a dangerous move because we know it's a legit MMA (and BJJ and Judo) submission maneuver.  Prior to it's prevalence as such, it had no context of being such a thing in pro wrestling.

 

So, by working that move into a pro wrestling match, you are making an open reference to an outside word.  However, in order for such a move to be of any use to a pro wrestling match, two things have to happen - it has to be put on badly, and the person taking the move has to be able to 'fight through it', even though when applied correctly, that's not happening. 

 

So, for me at least, it's taking moves that only have relevance because they are 'real', and bring them into pro wrestling with no other context.  Moves like suplexes and bodyslams and stf's eithe always have or have acquired a context within pro wrestling that doesn't set off the same "god that looks horrible" feeling I get from shoot style, or that angry faced flow rolling which is popular on the indy scene right now.

 

Hopefully that makes some sense.

 

 

Not sure that's a hurdle I get across in terms of shoot style.






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