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Found 40 results

  1. One of the less technical T2P matches, but there are still a handful of holds shown here that you won't see anywhere else. This was actually made fun by both guys having a ship on their shoulder and punting eachother hard between all the moves. Owashi is all sorts of fun her like a mini Taue with nifty power offense. I prefer this type of short match with a couple big moves over a drawn out 25 minute epic.
  2. The constant clipping was really annoying, but you still get a pretty fun match here. Essentially Milano absolutely dominates Saito with his whacky holds and Saito has to find ways to fight back. Saito was a little on the bland side here, altough he sold fine and had a nice german suplex, while Milano looked like a star. Especially liked his big abisegiri right before finishing off his opponent which was a very japanese touch as opposed to the more hybrid style that T2P was using.
  3. At this point, I'm starting to think JD stands for JUDO and DEATH. This was another unique match as it has some big violence and blood. Starts out with a few psycho bumps, Sakai takes a really dangerous looking spill down a flight of stairs, misses a moonsault from a height into a pile of chairs etc. To be honest I thought the pace was a little off but it could've been due to the clipping. The second half was really well worked as you had Sakai doing her best Sangre Chicana impression, being bloodied and doing a very good job selling dazed and hanging on by a thread. I really liked how desperate Sakai was to avoid the chain punches from The Bloody, and the worked in some good exchanges. There were a few weird lulls in the match and some parts that felt a little rushed keeping this below it's potential.
  4. Their previous matches were quick tournament finals, with Ayako as a huge underdog. Now, Ayako is the champion and they have their sights set on „epic“. Largely this match was pretty great, but there are some flaws. Yoshida dominating Ayako with submissions and punch combos still works perfectly, and these two still mesh really well. I thought Ayako's selling was great, and the spot that set up her dominance was both brutal and really smart. All of Ayako's stuff was extremely sharp and well timed. However, I expected a little smarter work from Yoshida in the last third of the match. Her selling was pretty spotty and she could've picked her offense a little better as the match progressed, as the previous urgency was a deflated a little. However, they redeem themselves with a great finish that was just fucking awesome pro wrestling. Anyways, this is one of the better and more interesting matchups japanese wrestling had in the store in the 2000s, and to be fair some of the flaws here are par for the course with lesser workers.
  5. "I need to beat you Rock, I need it more than anything that you could ever imagine" Nothing sums up the story of the match better than this Anyways this is the perfect attitude era style match with excellent storytelling and great heat. Austin's facial expressions and his depiction of how his character degenerated over the course of the match were ridiculously great, without coming off as cartoonish. ****
  6. Most of the match is worked in Nishimura's style, lots of matwork and spots you're used to seeing in his matches like the neck bridge test of strength and so on, Sasaki mostly plays along and occasionally utilizes his strength to escape Nishimura's holds, which is the only thing setting it apart from the usual Nishimura sequences. The finish leans more towards Kensuke's style, as he takes the initiative and starts rocking Nishimura with bigger moves while Nishimura tries to avoid them and utilize his throwback techniques like Cobra Cluthes, the Octopus Stretch, Inoki's low kicks from the Ali fight and so on to fight back. Both guys are good at whey to but it felt like they needed a few more years of seasoning to really mesh in a way that could produce greatness. ***1/4
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSONU1F9Uuc Ah yes, the infamous "worst Fujiwara match ever", so bad that it apparently made Phil Schneider loathe Fujiwara for years. I had a really hard time imagining a scenario where these two would have a shitty match honestly. I mean I could easily imagine it being disappointing or dull, but actively bad? No way. Let's see what he had to say about it: Ok. So: "Fujiwara no sells almost everything" "gets kicked in the head, starres at Kawada" "no sells German suplex" hey! I'm the one guy that likes Tatsuhito Takaiwa! I have a thing for wrestlers with recklessly dangerous offence. It adds to their aura I guess. "takes a ton of the match with JYD headbutts" "shitty Choshu finish" Ok. Let's break down the match now. Match starts with Fujiwara playing with the streamers. This is pretty much where I stopped buying this as a potentially bad match. They grapple a little bit. Kawada gets on top to establish dominance and they slap each other around. Re-start. More grappling. Fujiwara grabs a neat wristlock, Kawada gets out, grabs a Sleeper and Fujiwara's selling goes from his usual dismissal of the peril of the hold he is in to selling as he fails to get out of the move. Kawada hits a great looking knee drop. This is pretty good so far. Fujiwara is clearly rocked after the big knee drop. This is what is known in professional wrestling as "selling". He gets up and Kawada starts kicking his head in, Fujiwara quickly fires back with punches and great looking headbutts. Fujiwara grabs a Sleeper, Kawada pushes him back in the corner for the break. Fujiwara breaks it with a big slap and Kawada goes after Fujiwara. Fujiwara moves back to the other corner as Kawada is going after him (you could understand this as either him selling the threat of Kawada or as defensive positioning). Kawada kicks him a bit after which Fujiwara makes awesome "fuck you" facial expressions, grabs Kawada by the throat and shoves him into the other corner and starts rocking Kawada with punches and headbutts. First Fujiwara Armbar tease. Fujiwara transitions into a "regular" Armbar instead. Kawada gets out and start kicking Fujiwara in the back with his signature kicks. Fujiwara gets up and goes back into the corner. Kawada starts kicking him again and right as Fujiwara is about to fight back like he did earlier in the match Kawada rocks him with a big chop that Fujiwara sells the shit out of. Another big chop and Fujiwara falls down. Kawada starts stomping Fujiwara's head but Fujiwara counters it by grabbing his leg. It is a theme in Fujiwara matches (especially against kickers) that he will counter their kicks by grabbing their leg often, I remember that making the 1989 UWF match vs. Maeda especially gratifying as Maeda just shitbeat him to hell. That was also played up in the Super Tiger matches and the Hashimoto matches etc. Fujiwara stretches Kawada a little and hits him with a nasty headbutt to the back of the head. They headbutt each other for a bit and Kawada does his awesome staggering selling after headbutting Fujiwara. IDK much about JYD but these dueling headbutts are clearly making real contact. Fujiwara controls the match for a little bit but does nothing of note before Kawada takes over and slams Fujiwara's head into the ringpost. Come on, you're not going to throw "no selling" at that? That's an awesome signature Fujiwara spot, even if it is tehnically no selling. Fujiwara hits a few more headbutts but Kawada hits a huge slap to fight back (Fujiwara is "selling" again). Slap-off! Those are fun! Big Spin Kick from Kawada knocks Fujiwara down. More "selling". Stretch Plum. Ok Fujiwara is totally guilty of no selling here. He kicks-out at 1 and starts headbuttings Kawada as soon as he gets up. I don't really care for the big boot/headbutt battle BUT! They start slapping the taste out of each others mouth again! He does pop up again after the controversial German but at that point I'm fine with it as Kawada quickly cutting off Fujiwara's futile attempt to fight back fits into the narrative to the match and worked for me. Come on. That's not even top 20 for worst Choshu finishes. It's not even a bad Choshu finish. I mean surely everyone watching Fujiwara's pro style matches has grown accustomed to him doing Choshu finishes but come on. His late kick-out was pretty weak and he continued to lay on the mat after doing so. I was expecting he was going to instantly pop up and put Kawada into a Wakigatame or something. So there you have it. I don't think this was complete shit. Disappointing for a Fujiwara-Kawada match? Sure. But perfectly solid.
  8. You have to wonder whether the ZERO1 debut was the best debut card of all time. Just loaded with exciting fights. This is a Murakami match with Ohtani stepping up to the challenge, just a hurricane of wild strikes and a feel of danger. Ohtani sweeping and punting a crazy MMA fighter is way cooler than Ohtani working fighting spirit epics. Not much depth, but you know what youre getting.
  9. The Satomura/Amano sections were pretty kickass. The rest of this was largely a harmless, mindless sprint starring plenty of convoluted ways to get armbars. The finish run was between Satomura and Nagashima and had some funny spots. Something like Satomura spinning Nagashima around in the fireman's carry position to hit her Death Valley Driver anyways can only really make sense in a joshi match.
  10. A really fun slice of pro wrestling between two all time great wrestlers. This was 1 fall and in front of a silent japanese crowd, and the transitions weren't exactly hard fought, so the match felt a little like an exhibition. Still, there was plenty of excellent hold for hold work and some vicious brawling with Santito hitting especially stiff kicks. He even elbowed Panther in the face when he tried to block the Camel Clutch. That and him trying to prevent the Sharpshooter may have been my favourite moments of the match. Santito really had his working boots on and hit every spectacular dive he knows. I also liked how hard his flying headbutts connected.
  11. I miss BattlARTS. The style is such that even two undercard workers can just come out like this and have a very good little match. Some very good shootstyle mat exchanges here. Super Rider is the more complete fighter and dominates early, including catching Junji with a brutal kick during a leglock exchange. Junji would get a lucky armbar but get stretched again soon after. Junji however is able to hang on and beat down Rider with some good looking NWA TV squash offense... nice headbutt to the shoulder, knee drops etc. Really liked Riders subsequent low kicks. Nifty finish.
  12. Amaresu shootstyle! This was a really cool match. Apparently this was Sugiura's 3rd match ever so it's good that he gets to fight Honda, who is a master of a nifty short match like this. The early matwork here felt a bit like Negro Navarro doing an exhibition in Coliseo Coacalco, quick movements and then a break, but they get into some good extended mat sections later on. Really cool stuff that feels different from your typical UWF inspiried japanese shootstyle matwork. Honda looks like a troll but he can move really fast. Sugiura (in his amateur singlet) looks good throwing the much bigger Honda around. He survives some of Hondas unorthodox submissions and even hits a massive Karelin throw on the big guy. Nifty Fujiwaraesque finish.
  13. Unexpectedly stiff, fun undercard action. Hashi and Izu try to crack eachothers skull in the opening and Hashi gets bloodied hardway. This leads to your signature Hashi underdog performance with Taue Baba chopping his cut. Inoue, as usual, was pretty much useless in helping Hashi here, so Hashi has to tough it in the finish against Izu who dishes out some big bombs. This kind of stuff is what made NOAH great.
  14. Ah, the glorious period of New Japan when wrestlers were forced to shave their heads and wear gloves. It is always interesting to see what conclusions workers came to when doing matches like these. Kensuke's Lariats and Strangle Holds aren't exactly shooty, but they don't feel *that* out of place in these hybrid matches either, and certainly give the match a unique flair. There's a lot of face punching, which is enjoyable on its own but these two find smart ways to incorporate them into transitions as well as make it look like a struggle-you'll see dodging, shoving, blocking and so on. Kensuke's great timing maximized the value of his flash attacks and hearing the echo of the Dome crowd is always a special feeling. Fujita's side mount knees were a nice callback to what he was doing in PRIDE at the time and the TKO finish was worked about as well as it gets. ***1/2
  15. Fujiwara is a Gotch-trained judo black belt and a total badass, but he’s totally outmatched as a 52 year old trying to fight a 193cm/6’3 115kg judo world champion in his prime. He blindisghts Ogawa-but it doesn’t really work, even in his second step of trying to take Ogawa down he already meets a barrier he can’t destroy in Ogawa’s guard. Fujiwara’s only real chance of winning this is by a flash submission, as his catch training gives him an edge over Ogawa in that regard. Ogawa smartly uses the size advantage he has to control Fujiwara on the mat, while Fujiwara in turn desperately tries to counter Ogawa’s guards or grab a knee once Ogawa presses it against his face or goes for a kick or a knee strike. Ogawa punches Fujiwara on the ground throughout the match which Fujiwara acknowledges by doing really great exhaustion selling, which somewhat makes up for the mild intensity of Ogawa’s punches, and they manage to produce a great nearfall on Fujiwara finally grabbing a killhold, but in the end you can’t beat father time and Ogawa smashes his head into the canvas repeteadly to remind you of how many zealous practitioners of the gentle way got concussed by Masahiko Kimura in similar fashion. ***1/2
  16. This is a match for people who love Hashimoto beat downs. Early on Corino tries to keep up with Hashimoto's kicks, but Hashimoto is too much. He beats him to a bloody pulp and then the referee stops it and awards the title to Hashimoto. Corino tries a post match comeback, gets beat up again until the locker room saves the day. It goes about 10 minutes, but is a LOT of fun. Corino showed some nice signs as a babyface and Hashimoto is awesome Hashimoto here. #wrestling365
  17. Lioness Asuka enters. Her License Number is 100! Yoshida is unimpressed and brings the fight right to the legend. Man, this dark looking Asuka is so different from the 80s Crush Gal. It's like some 80s pop star reinventing himself into a dark goth guy. I'd say this was a pretty good Yoshida signature match. Asuka gives an uncooperative & dangerous vibe so is a good match up for Yoshida's style. Altough she brought her own signature table to the match and tried some ECW shit that kind gave me a bad feel about her. Still Yoshida was a total trooper here taking a bunch of cringeworthy stiff shots from Asuka and working good submission nearfalls. Altough it is becoming noticable that move overkill is getting really out of hand in ARSION, seems the promotion is in it's death spiral, altough I'll see where it goes.
  18. Mikiko Futagami was full blown GAMI at this point. That means, paper fan and all that. And she gets a shot at the big gold! This starts out like a Monterrey match. Hell, it might be their Monterrey match worked as a puro epic. Somewhat comedic feel, tricky arm drags, rope walking joke and a paper fan hit. Then Hamada eats a tombstone on her belt and sell a huge a deal. This had that „overmatched loser goes for the gold“ feel with GAMI being tricky like Yoshinari Ogawa or Kendo Kashin, so the match was endearing, and GAMI absolutely has the slick moves, so if you like that type of match I'd say this match is recommendable, altough there were a few blown spots. Not as good as GAMI vs. Hyuga, altough this is a match closer to Hamada's lucha background building into a hard hitting finish.
  19. Hey!!! Bionic J is getting a push!!!! AWESOME!! Well, maybe not exactly a push, but she got a lot of focus in the match, which was cool. And this was a pretty good match as it was just 4 fun workers having fun exchanges and doing stuff they are good at. Jesse & Ohmukai are at a disadvantage early on, with Ohmukai even doing a convincing job selling (!!!) and they end up doing a cool section with Jesse as face in peril. Everything with Jesse ends up being so much funner than usual because she is a cool bullish powerhouse which adds something new to Yoshida's and Asuka's stuff. At one point, Asuka hits some really dainty looking kicks to J, so she just slaps her in the face hard! How's that you lazy old time wrestler coasting on your name! Jesse actually gets some fun powerhouse exchanges going wAsuka and they lay into eachother with big damn lariats, and Asuka who seemed to be half assing stuff started laying it in. I also really liked all the facepunchy boxing exchanges Yoshida and and Ohmukai dished out, channeling their inner Takeshi Ono's. Ohmukai keeps getting back to my goodside as she was in-offensive here aside from one bit where she was trying these insanely inaccurate spinning backfists. The dominance of the Yoshida/Asuka early on added a lot to the second half of the match, really making YOU flip out for Jesse Bennett taking it to the big names and getting big offense and nearfalls until Ohmukai pointlessly turns on her and the match ends in a schmozz. BOOOO! Still, you owe it to Jesse Bennett and yourself to watch this match. It's fine pro wrestling.
  20. DRAKE MF MORIMATSU!!! I'm starting to think JD is indeed the next lost great joshi fed. This was a super fun title match between two workers with great movesets, who mesh really well. Morimatsu is this butch powerhouse who is not afraid to have a go at Yabushita on the mat. The powerhouse vs. grappler style contrast worked really well. Great opening exchange in this match, and they fought like mad on the mat, stubbornly going for arm attacks. Keep in mind I didn't say the submission work here was pretty. I really liked how Morimatsu, when she couldn't get the advantage, resorted to punching Yabushita in the face and then roughing her up good by again attacking her face and finally cracking her with chairs and lariats. Both of them sold the ongoing wear and tear nicely and mixed it up well with some innovative moves and counters. Finishing run had good bomb throwing and drama, altough some people may be annoyed by Yabushita making a few easy comebacks. Still, she's a slick technico (technica?) and I still love her flash submissions. Still thought this was Morimatsu's match, altough that's not a knock on Yabushita.
  21. Ohmukai has done a good job at making me hate her and her bullshit. This match was a good way to redeem herself as it was a blood-drenched, stiff puro epic. Basically Hamada wasn't having Ohmukai's crap and forced her to up her game. At this point Hamada is good enough to carry a questionable worker by adding some much needed selling and struggle to everything, and she really knows how to use her intensity properly. Opening stuff had good animosity, and everything that came after the double juice was very good. Hamada at this point is close to masterful at selling covered in blood, beaten to a pulp, and Ohmukai's moveset consisting mostly of kicks, punches and knees to the face worked very well. Could see this being a low end MOTYC for some.
  22. I'm on a quest to watch every Yabushita match I can find. This was a very good skill vs. power match. Fang Suzuki is certainly a lot better than you expect a random Dump Matsumoto-midcard heel from a forgotten indy fed to be. Instead of brawling they mostly stuck to a clean, simple wrestling match. It was really cool to see what Yabushita could do to a bigger opponent and Fang was a ton of fun. Fang able to get in a few submissions of her own was a nice touch, and her simplistic back elbows, clubbing lariats and STOs looked great, her selling was neat aswell. Yabushita basically stuck her game plan to two moves, armbars and shotais, and they made good use of them. Her slick bantamweight grappler spots and nifty ways to set up her springboard moves remain a sight to see. I wouldn't say there's great matwork here, but Yabushita has some spectacular ways to get armbars. There was a brief spill to the outside where Yabusita gets suplex into a pile of chairs and hits a dive from a big height which was a little out of place 2000s indy trope for this kind of match, but they quickly went back to the wrestling and delivered a strong, effective finish.
  23. I remember hearing about this match, I think I read an old article from SSS Stuart which depicted it as a disaster and shit on the booking and the Inokiism in it. Luckily I'm way too into absurdism to care about who wins in pro wrestling (especially in a fifteen year old match) and the way it was described really made me want to see it. Honestly this might be the best Hashimoto-Kensuke Sasaki match. I'm not sure how many matches they've had against each other but of the top off my head I can think of a Hash IWGP Title defence vs. Power Warrior, one in the Dome and a G1 match and I would have this one above all of them. It's billed as a "no rules deathmatch", that doesn't mean you're going to get garbage spots and heavily gimmicked stuff, just more punches to the face and also a very clever submission spot built around the stipulation. Hashimoto comes out wearing boxing gloves and man do these two beat on one another, they throw a lot of nasty shots in close range and while clinching before the match evolves into ridiculous bomb throwing. I could see the uniqueness of the pacing and (somewhat of) the finish throwing some folks off but I really appreciated them. It's esentially a proto-Futen match. ****
  24. JD STAR KILL EM ALL!!!! I had stupidly high expectations because it's BIG MATCH HIROMI YAGI!!!! and naturally as such this was underwhelming. I'll put the blame on Sakai as she seemed to be kind of going through the motions. There were still a few cool little moments mostly thanks to Yagi who had developed a cool veteran aura. Some nice matwork, neat armbar work, getting a cheap takedown from the ropes etc. Sakai, on the other hand, looked kind of poor. I guess she just didn't feel like it that night, because, you know she had very good matches with Yabushita, a judo girl with an armbar-centric moveset, what's stopping her from matching up well with Yagi? But it just didn't happen. Then just as it seemed that the match got going it ended. The finishing move itself also felt like a total burial of Yagi. Hiromi Yagi, you deserved better.
  25. This was one of the more interesting matches I've seen in a while. This match was different from the Sakai/Yabushita match they had in March of 2001 as this was a grudge match. Yabushita comes in wearing street clothes and this is a fight from the get-go. However, due to their unique styles, this ends up being far weirder than your typical joshi brawl. The pace is very good as they avoid overly long wandering brawling and instead go back to the wrestling while keeping the story in tact. Also, even though Yabushita's heel faction was at ringside, there were no intereferences, which was a nice change of pace from what I'm used to in joshi. It was really neat to watch Yabushita going back and forth from busting out flash submissions to going for weapons and illegal chokes. It sounds like a mess, but you gotta trust me when I say this actually works because the timing and pacing is on point. The wrestling exchanges here were super nifty and almost lucha-esque in their rhythm at times. Stuff like Yabushita reversing a pin attempt by sweeping on top of Sakai, the ultra-quick springboard moves or a few extremely well timed transitions made me think these two are far above your average worker. Execution-wise they weren't quite as sharp as I like, for example Yabushita has a weak chain punch and Sakai kind of blows a missed punch, but there was nothing that hurt the match too bad, and both girls also have good offense, Yabushita especially rocks her flash armbars and there were a few very cool, believably used suplex variations. Most importantly Sakai was a very good babyface here adding a lot to the match with her charisma and timing. There was one spot where Yabushita is fed up and attacks her arm with a series of nasty chairshots, leading to Sakai making a desperation comeback by giving Yabushita a fisherman buster on the chair, but the referee refuses to count because she used to chair. I have no idea if the referee was a heel or just trying to do her job, but I thought that was a seriously great moment. Her selling of the arm was again pretty much impeccable and I thought they did a good job with the long, dramatic finishing run that could have easily killed the match but didn't. Very good, unique match. Fucking joshi of all things keeps surprising me with shit like this.
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