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  1. superkix

    [1996-11-22-RINGS] Volk Han vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka

    Uh, yeah, this ruled. Much more aggressive than their previous match-up, with TK breaking out the nifty counters - the shoot-Exploder to escape the straight armbar and later the belly-to-back throw. Of course, they both pull off some impressive submissions - I liked TK's ankle hold and how he maintains it through Han's struggles. And Han's kneebar transition was a thing of a beauty, fluid like water. Also the small moments flesh this thing out, like Han punching the hands to try and break off the jujigatame, and TK's kryptonite gut punch. Han keeps going for the double wristlock but TK's able to escape each attempt, which leads to the final submission struggle and Han being able to get the extension on the arm for the tap out. Great stuff!
  2. The modern BJW Strong six-man tags are some of my favorite matches to watch and the build to Nomura/Okabayashi has me stoked. One of my most anticipated matches of the year. But man, they are ready to kill each other. This was great - you've got bald-headed Kikuta looking like the Japanese Vulture and punching people and plenty of good, hard-hitting house show filler between Hashimoto, Kamitani and Kawakami. Punches to the face, headbutts, suplexes, etc. But Nomura throwing Daichi into the corner like a chew toy to call out Okabayashi is what you signed up for. Fun technique vs. power grappling to start, with Nomura adding a cool rolling double wristlock set-up to his repertoire, but then the slaps come out. Tons of nasty open hands from both but particularly Okabayashi. Nomura's kicks looked very crisp and stiff. And the finish put Okayabashi over like a beast - Nomura smacking Okabayashi when Yuji's got the leg and then Yuji destroying him with gnarly slaps and a spear and an Argentine backbreaker to end it. It's like 8 minute, it's brutal, check it out.
  3. superkix

    MOTYs by year

    Top two for 2019 so far. I feel like 2019 is even worse than 2018 in terms of quality. I still need to finish my 90's - 00's adventure, which feels impossible at this point but I'll keep chugging away.
  4. Another good striker vs. submission dynamic that we saw early on with the Vrij/Han matches. Although not as compelling, this was still fun, with big Dick landing some nasty kicks and knees and a couple of real dirty elbows to the face. It's the usual dominant Vrij performance upfront, with TK getting beat down, until he finally starts striking back with hard mid kicks and finally takes Dick down with the rear necklock for the submission. Solid stuff.
  5. Bakouri rules. He throws Todorov with a great suplex early on and follows that up with a big Karelin lift. The ground stuff in this match is whatever but when they're throwing slaps and throws, it's a lot of fun. Poor Todor gets kneed in the nuts but Bakouri is sorry, it's all good. Todorov's gut punch > armbar takedown was pretty cool and rhe finish was neat, with Bakouri hitting a necklock suplex and holding on for the submission. Good stuff.
  6. One of Naruse's best RINGS performances thus far and another feather in Volk Han's ushanka. So many cool moments throughout. There's a really great counter-for-counter exchange in the first minute - loved when Naruse tries to set up the STF and Han says "nuh-huh" and grabs the arm. And then Naruse straight punches Han in the gut, which is, of course, Han's kryptonite. You've got Naruse's 2019-esque flipout of the armbar, which was unexpected, and then Han immediately throws him over his shoulder with a gnarly looking hip throw into the leglock. Han's inverted STF is always a thing of beauty and the hammerlock>hammerlock suplex>rear necklock. There's a great spot where Han has Naruse in an armbar and he's using his feet to keep Naruse from escaping. Naruse gets some neat offense in - I liked his gator roll and him blasting Han with the palm strike and rolling backhand. A fed up Han flipping him over the ropes was another great moment, which leads to the back-and-forth finish before Han traps him within inches from the ropes...and Naruse passes out. Terrific match.
  7. Nice Tamura showcase, where you've got Iloukhine trying to grab him but Tamura's not letting that happen, instead putting Mikhail in a variety of predicaments. I mean, Mikhail will sometimes grab a leglock or a knee crusher, but Tamura finds ways out - loved his dope joint lock counter. He's just so quick and fluid, at one point, floating all around Mikhail with headlocks, armbars, headscissors, etc. So slick. He doesn't land a whole lot of strikes but he gets a couple of good face slaps and finally taps him with the rear choke.
  8. I've needed more Hideki Suzuki squash matches in my life. It's the simple things like not letting Inamura tie him up in the ropes, slipping out of headlock attempts, making Inamura work hard for everything and not just giving him offense. What offense Inamura does get off is your typical young beefy dude offense and it's okay but what you're here for is Hideki's armwork and some nasty strikes in the corner and stomps to the face. Love the finish, with Hideki setting up the takedown with multiple mini headbutts before he hits the rolling double wristlock into a modified neck crank. Very dope. Nothing high end but Hideki's still one of the best guys working today.
  9. superkix

    NJPW G1 Climax 2019

    Yeah, NJPW has badly been missing a Shibata-type so hopefully, KENTA can somewhat fill that role by just kicking the shit out of people.
  10. Ishikawa in 2019 has ruled so far and another chapter in Ishikawa/Ikeda's storied rivalry is always a good thing. That's the highlight of this match for sure - Yone is good for a random kick or two, Otsuka has been hanging out at Disneyland a lot lately but he can still throw a good German or two and giant swing somebody. But the Ishikawa vs. Ikeda was great, from the opening groundwork, to the final encounter where we see Ikeda solebutt kick the shit out of Ishikawa's face. Ikeda has slowed down quite a bit but his selling was great throughout - gotta love the "I'm an old man still doing stiff shit but the stiff shit hurts now" selling. And he straight punches Yone in the face, so that's a plus. The final few minutes between Ikeda/Ishikawa was the highlight for sure and we get that kick and a brainbuster and Ishikawa working the holds and submitting Ikeda with the manjigatame. Definitely a fun bati-bati treat unlike most things you'll see in 2019.
  11. Fresh off Yamamoto's utter shoot annihilation, the once golden child of RINGS faces gruff Russian submission dad Kopilov in a predictably solid match-up. They work through some decent holds in the early going - nothing super slick. It picks up when Yamamoto starts paintbrushing Kopilov with face slaps, and then slides in for the takedown into the rear choke, which he works into an armbar. In general, the takedowns look weak and the transitions sloppy but when they're both on their feet, slapping away at each other, it's pretty great. Kopilov's lip gets busted and he comes at Yamamoto hard and pissy with the open hands. By the end of it, Kopilov is spent but poor Yamamoto still can't put him away and after eating some more face palms in the corner, Kopilov grabs the kneebar for the win. Solid but underwhelming.
  12. Nagai was very aggressive throughout, battering TK with nasty head kicks and face palms and knee strikes in the corners. TK's trying to find a way to the mat, where he excels, and at one point, he usues a quasi-capture suplex but Nagai continues dominating up top, targeting TK's midsection and popping him in the head with more palsm and knees. TK manages a nice scissors takedown into the kneebar, a front necklock, and some slick maneuvering to set up the armbar, but Nagai manages to escape each attempt, finally kneeing TK for the KO. TK's poor gut couldn't take it anymore. Good stuff.
  13. superkix

    [1996-09-25-RINGS] Volk Han vs Kiyoshi Tamura

    Incredible. The two of them slip slidin' in and out of submission attempts, the drama built around the escapes and counters, Han's usual attempts being thwarted by the younger, quicker Tamura. I mean, right out of the gate, you've got Han carrying Tamura around in a hammerlock before he throws him down and the scramble begins. Loved Han slipping under the kicks to grab the choke and drag Tamura down, only for Tamura to snag a heel hook to force the break. Han's armbar out of the knee crusher attempt was so slick but Tamura doesn't let it breath and fights his way into his own armbar. Tamura's straight kick to the gut ruled. By the end of it, they're both fairly exhausted and missing their executions, and Han seems fed up when he starts peppering Tamura with face palms and knees. Great finish too, with Tamura's last choke effort and Han extending the arm with the double wristlock for the win. What a match.
  14. superkix

    Your 2019 Midyear Awards

    Match of the Year - Yuki Ishikawa vs. Timothy Thatcher (wXw, 3/9) Runner Up - Hideki Suzuki vs. Timothy Thatcher (Bloodsport, 4/4) Best Major Wrestling Show - Bloodsport (4/4) Best Promotion - BJW Most Improved - Shotaro Ashino Wrestler of the Year - Timothy Thatcher?
  15. superkix

    NJPW G1 Climax 2019

    Ishii/Shingo and Ibushi/KENTA sound interesting on paper so we'll see. Bummed no Suzuki. Bummed we don't get Ishii/KENTA. Bummed Ospreay's in it again and not Liger.