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JAPW 6/7/2002: American Dragon vs. Low Ki

This was a submission match that would've stylistically fit right into Battlarts, hence its inclusion here. The great thing about early 2000s indies is that they could've done an amazing experimental match like this because there weren't really any indy tropes established at the time. They go out of the ring and use some pro-style offence but about 90% of this is based on grappling and struggling for submission attempts and escapes. They don't shy away from using any holds-they didn't whore out their finishing subs but they really played up to the fact that every hold is escapable in the pro wrestling universe. It made me wonder what they'd use to finish the match. The finishing sub came out of the blue and looked amazing and Danielson's use of the suplexes in the stretch was very Otsuka-esque. Pretty fascinating to watch as you get transitions from lucha submissions into rear naked chokes and such preposterousness. I could see some criticising the (lack of) selling in the closing moments but it didn't bother me as I'm used to that in shoot style and here it was clearly a stylistic choice. ****1/4-****1/2



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