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  1. A 10+ minute slugger with tons of cool stuff you'd expect to see between two astronauts. A little grappleaction, plenty of cheeky shots, some cool counters/transitions from Abe - love his dragon screw legwhip and that simple transition into the front necklock. Of course, the fakeout slaps are great, too. Nomura's real shitty to Abe on the ground and he throws plenty of suplexes, including a gnarly half nelson that Abe no sells. Toward the end, it's baseball punches and headbutts, until Nomura slaps the attempt, dragon suplexes Abe and KOs him with the high kick. Nothing fancy, nothing bloated -- just two friends wrasslin' and kicking the shit out of each other.
  2. Yeah, this ruled. Shuhei smacking Fujita on the ropes and shrugging it off was great, right before punt kicking him and planting him with an apron backdrop. Tons of big strikes, including that blood-bursting headbutt, the visual of a bloody faced Shuhei no selling the Death Valley Driver to continue elbowing Fujita. And then Fujita's finishing run looked brutal, between the big open hands, the folding powerbomb, the punt kicks and the final choke sleeper. Short and brutal.
  3. Pretty fun tag match with fun moments, like Otsuka and Hideki alternating between working Ishikawa's arm and leg with quick tags in and out. And, of course, Otsuka being an absolute machine with deadlift double arm suplexes and swanky ass headscissors takeovers. It's cool seeing Hideki develop his future grumpy self.
  4. Two masters at what they do doing what they do best. 97% of this match is spent on the mat, working holds. The biggest impact move is a gutwrench suplex by Hideki Suzuki, who is still a young boy at this point in his career but already better than guys who've been working 10+ years. It's a simple game of chess on the canvas and if you can dig it, this is a match well worth checking out.
  5. Strange match but it had plenty of moments, mostly between the referee and Tully. Tully's so good at selling Fujinami's submissions and then getting pissed about everything. The way the ref inserts himself into the lockups while Tully and Fujinami are trying to wrestle around him is great. It's obvious Fujinami wants more of a MUGA-style match and he snags a few good holds but Tully ain't really having it. He takes a nasty dragon screw legwhip from Fujinami and the only real big piece of offense he gets is a double arm suplex. The finish felt rushed and of course, Fujinami wins it. Not what I was expecting but still a super solid match.
  6. superkix

    [1990-08-03-NJPW] Shinya Hashimoto vs Masanobu Kurisu

    Perfectly solid "house show"-style match to start, then Kurisu gets dirty and breaks out the chair - I agree, the fact that most of the chairshots are blocked by the crowd just adds to the chaos factor. Then things get real nasty with the Hashimoto head kicks and DDTs. Great stuff. I'm unfamiliar with Kurisu but he's a lot of fun.
  7. superkix

    [1991-02-05-NJPW] Masashi Aoyagi vs Masanobu Kurisu

    So much to love. Aoyagi straight away heel kicking Kurisu, de-robing and then destroying him with kicks and knees. And the Kurisu busts out the chair, wallops Aoyagi with it and then shows it to the crowd. I thought the DQ finish was pretty great, the way Kurisu throws the referee and then starts swinging at everybody with the chair. Total blast.
  8. Kobashi's comeback includes a bulldog on the floor and a moonsault but you never really get the sense that Kobashi is anything but a pain in Jumbo's ass, which is to say, Jumbo working against a pain in his ass is always a pleasure. Love his tired lariats and the build to the finishing backdrop.
  9. Perfectly decent six-man. Haku looks like a bull here and he's got some great elevation on his dropkick. Big fan of shitty low kicks, and the Nakano/Tenryu interactions were a lot of fun, with a fed-up Tenryu finally shoving Nakano down to the mat.
  10. The rematch. Not as good as last month's match but still a feisty one fought mostly on their feet. Sano definitely hits harder his go round and there are plenty of straight punches and head kicks. The groundwork takes second stage but plays into the finish, with Kanehara grabbing the full extension on the arm for the tap out revenge victory.
  11. As we learned from UWFi, Billy Scott is one of the better Southern white dude shoot-stylists and he has a fun David vs. Goliath match-up with Takayama. Takayama got to show off a little more on the mat but still slugged it out. Loved Scott's shoot dragon screw into the single leg, with the fans rallying behind him. Takayama's rolling cradle was neat and he finishes Scott off with the double wristlock. Bingo bango.
  12. The tournament final and boy, does Kanehara want to win that million yen. He is super aggressive throughout, kicking, kneeing, punching, elbowing, throwing spinning backhands. Sano just wants it to stop and keeps trying to take him down. The stuff on the ground is okay with Sano going back to the ankle that won him the match against Sakuraba. But Kanehara just wants to throw down, and yes, they throw down. Eventually, Sano catches him with a punch, destroys him with a German and taps him with the armbar. Another quick finish but Kanehara looked very strong and gave Sano a beating.
  13. Sakuraba rolling around on the mat is always a treat, the way he grabs and holds onto a rear waistlock, or maneuvers around a leg. Very slick. Sano is okay on the ground and uses more of a smothering approach, which works well against slippery Sakuraba. But watching Sakuraba counter his way out of Sano’s holds is a lot of fun. The stuff around the arm is great and Sakuraba's fireman’s carry escape was cool. The finish comes out of nowhere when Sano cranks the ankle but it's five minutes well worth your time.
  14. This ruled. I mean, solid, straight-up wrestling to kick things off, with Takayama moving good, the fans showing their appreciation. Then Takayama turns into Takayama and starts slugging away and kneeing. Kanehara smartly slips behind and climbs on with a choke sleeper. A good corner slugfest, Takayama throwing him with an arm trap suplex, Takayama whacked with a nasty spinning backhand and shrugging it off. They pump the brakes in the final few minutes leading to the finish, where Kanehara tries to choke him out and when that doesn't work, he taps him out with the armbar.
  15. superkix

    [1997-08-22-Kingdom] Alexander Otsuka vs Katsumi Usuda

    Otsuka is such a phenom, the way he deadlifts Usuda with ease and snaps him over with a German. This opens with good, competitive grappling, which leads to Usuda throwing stiff kicks and Otsuka utilizing takedowns, holds and throws since he's not wearing the striking gloves. There's some good near submissions with Usuda sinking int he choke and Otsuka cranking the ankle. After a shoot enziguri, Usuda nearly chokes him out again and you have the audio of Otsuka hacking...and then in one fluid motion, he catches Usuda's kick, capture suplexes him, and quickly scoops him up with another deadlift German suplex. Otsuka tries tapping him with a couple of calf crusher variations but in a cool moment, Usuda's able to grab the arm and extend it for the submission. Dope match.