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Found 115 results

  1. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Ultimo Dragon - WCW Spring Stampede 1997 Ultimo Dragon is one of the more infuriating wrestlers of all time. There is no reason why he could not be at the level of a Jushin Liger or a Rey Mysterio, but he constantly gets in his own way with offense-first approach to wrestling. This match is laid out like the World War III match (I need to rewatch) with Dragon kicking ass for the majority of the match. Again, Dragon's explosive offense looks tremendous: Spinning Argentine Backbreaker, Powerbomb into a hotshot, awesome Running LigerBomb and a wicked Tombstone. There is no strategy. It is just an exhibition. Case in point, he lifts Rey up after having him beat just to put him in a sleeper. This had the announcers and me scratching our heads. Dragon's string of incredible offense keeps going, but it is not going to go anywhere. The finish run piques my interest because now Rey is ready to go spot for spot for Dragon so we get awesome somersault planchas and hurricanranas and Stagger Lee Marsahll? Oh, WCW. Dragon hitting a dropkick to a turned Rey while on the ropes was a great counter move, a gnarly bump and loved the plancha it set up. Now that it getting more competitive, I am decently grooving to this. Dragon dropkicks Rey in mid-air and really puts all he has into a Giant Swing He was really whipping him around. Dragon looking for his bread and butter, the Tiger Suplex (guess Benoit had dibs on the Dragon Suplex), but Rey makes the ropes. Rey nabs a flash hurricanrana out of nowhere for the win. Once they get past the Ultimo Dragon masturbation session (hey it was nice eye candy I will give them that), I thought they worked a pretty hot finish stretch with Dragon throwing out some nice counters and Rey constantly looking for that quick pinfall. Rey takes their PPV series 2-1 and in a very good match. ***1/4
  2. Talk about it here.
  3. Sublime match with a completely different dynamic from their 94-95 bouts which were more about the underdog Yamamoto trying to survive. Here, he is near/at his peak and so the exchanges are far more competitive. Han does a great job at presenting him as a serious threat with a superb display of subtle vulnerability. The mat exchanges rule as expected (though they are a noticeable step down from the Tamura/Han interactions but that's an awfully high standard to be fair). The standup game is arguably even better and more dramatic and intense. Probably the best thing about the match is the way they use the points system with interesting twists and turns, comebacks and teases. Fantastic finishing stretch as well. **** 1/4
  4. Man-no matter how much his work gets praised Tamura's character seems to forever remain underrated. HIs determination, stubborness and ego are played to perfectly here-the moment where he look down on Maeda dares him to do something is great, as is the insane fight over positioning that ensues instantly afterwards. The speed of their kicks is something else-them actually presenting the match like a real fight instead of doing trading kicks spots makes the kicks feel a million times more important but the speed and impact and technique in kicks itself is on another level as well. I look at stuff like a sequence in which Maeda locks in a Leglock and Tamura blocks it and tries to escape but Maeda blocks that with a Guillotine BUT Tamura rolls with him and uses that Guillotine to get a Side Mount and transition into a full mount and really get in a dominant spot and you know an Armbar is coming, Tamura is rolling around, trying to trick Maeda into letting his guard down but he slips for a moment and immediately gets Double Wristlocked from the bottom and think-seriously fuck junior wrestling, THIS is true workrate and it rules. The Sleeper/Ankle Lock finish is always great but they milk it to its maximum here. ****
  5. It's a slow paced AJPW undercard match with a lot of matwork. Pretty cool eh? Sano is a guy you don't know what to expect from here as he is in between UWFi, KINGDOM, BattlARTS and Michinoku Pro, but he rocks the shootstyle here. Some really cool matwork involving him and Smith which had that clash of styles feel. Smith isn't a guy who does a ton for me but to his credit he sold the fuck out of Sanos kicks and knees and looked like he was struggling with all his might here. Really good moment when Sano was destroying Smith in the corner with kicks and Smith goes for a front headlock only to be taken down easily. Tornado is Richard Slinger in a goofy mask and he looked good here grappling and throwing kicks, did not look so good trying to take a huracanrana. Fuchi is obviously still very good at this point but doesn't go full bore aside from a cool pin.
  6. These two have a go at establishing themselves as the lamest workers in all of BattlARTS history. This went 14 minutes but felt like half an hour. Some slow, unimpressive matwork to begin with, with the standing portions resembling Takada/Bernardo. They move into some contrived sequences for nearfalls. Funakis poor mans Dean Malenko style is just boring and Tanakas just does the same spots as always. Not all 90s japanese wrestling was great.
  7. Talk about it here.
  8. Talk about it here.
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