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Found 74 results

  1. Brutally stiff fight that blows away pretty much all current (2019) pro wrestling. The opening segment alone where they unload in the corner was just disgusting. The submissions here won't make you forget U-Style, but they did everything with a certain intensity, and you'll be too busy wincing at these two lunatics trying to hit eachother as hard as humanly possible to notice. They did a good job telling the story of the match, which was that Hoshikawa was slowly falling apart as he kept getting destroyed by his super vicious, more precise opponent. I liked how both guys used limb selling to put over the punishment, it makes sense that wyou would pick up injuries after getting kicked a dozen times, even without your opponent specifically targetting a bodypart. Sakata was just a bastard here, Hoshikawa is someone you buy as being really tough, but anytime Hoshikawa started to build momentum Sakata would punch him in the liver or knee him in the face. All the big strikes, including Hoshikawas massive enzuigiris were really well timed. I'm not gonna pretend the match was flawless or some kind of classic as Hoshikawa does a pretty lame no sell and at times the match is just going a long but for this kind of brutal fight it was fairly great. It starts out pretty nasty and you wonder how can they keep this going and have some kind of arc building up, but they pull it off and the last strike that left the loser drooling blood from his mouth really feels like an exclamation point.
  2. Really really stiff match. This was a small show, but they were certainly loosening eachothers teeth here with brutal knees and elbows. Ran Yu-Yu was hitting some especially stiff enzuigiris, that is normally not a move that will be done in a stiff manner, but she was punting Genki like a football with them. Outside of the stiffness this match didn't do a ton for me as it had poor structure. Also, like their 2000 match, they both went back to offense whenever they pleased. Ran Yu-Yu is a classy wrestler with a cool moveset, aside from the gross elbows and knees I really liked her leg trips. Genki, I dunno. Her power offense doesn't even look that impressive. I'd say this should go in your „watch“-pile as it may do more for others than it did for me (like the 2000 match) and any Ran Yu-Yu singles is worth watching, nitpicking be damned.
  3. This was a „bigger“ match than Amano/Yoneyama, meaning that it had more nearfalls and bigger moves, but it wasn't as smart. Also, Haruyama looked nowhere close to as good as Yoneyama did at this stage. Bolshoi largely just went to her spots. Spots where good, but the stuff around was largely just happening and didn't draw me in. The one cool moment of the match was Haruyama countering a Fujiwara armbar into a rolling cradle. I am a sucker for Bolshois submissions so the finishing run was somewhat worthwhile... still, a Bolshoi singles match could be so much more.
  4. Boy, I am glad Amano was given something to do in 2002 JWP, because her working these small show matches is way better to me than GAEA. Here she does a bonafide job working as veteran against pre-curls Kaori Yoneyama. Pretty interesting as it is a good Amano match without flash submissions. They work the mat to begin, and Yoneyama would only be able to hang by using biting etc. to set up her holds. Yoneyama is a perfectly good spunky young wrestler here, with the big dropkicks and the occasional cool lucha move. Amano added some nice veteran touches: blocking Yoneyamas strikes, acting savvy to Yoneyamas flying offense, using an opening to lock in a shoulder separating submission hold etc. Even the comedy spot they did added to the match. Really well executed little match.
  5. Round Girl is doing a gimmick where she uses her crotch, cleavage and butt the same way Danshoku Dino uses his junk, inbetween posing raunchily. There you go, I just made this match must watch for all you internet wrestling perverts out there. Aside from all the raunchiness this was actually a decent Monterrey/lucharesu style encounter. I have no idea what Sarubobo Mask is supposed to be (google tells me a sarubobo is some kind of monkey baby puppet... no idea why all the high pitched yelling then and where all the other mannerisms of the wrestler are supposed to come from) but I liked the rope hanging headscissor etc. aswell as Round Girls modified indian deathlock.
  6. Sayama and his fat man flips are great, no questions about it. Solar is really fired up and carried this, even though there wasn't as much matwork here as there needed to be. This would've been really good if Diablo & Azteca weren't so mediocre. Seriously these two have been working their own vanity promotion for years and can't have an exciting exchange to save their lives.
  7. Fun indy opening match. Soldier with his trainwreck style has endeared himself to me through his 90s work. He was less trainwrecky here but he was still doing stuff a little uncooperatively, a little rough around the edges, which makes him more interesting than your typical polished guy running through his stuff. For example, check out the way he reversed a resthold into a nasty stretch. Taira looked decent and the match had some submissions and reversals slicker than your average junior indy match. Full japan indy point
  8. More meth lab BattlARTS. This starts out with some somewhat conventional, good lock ups and grappling, altough quickly devolves into a gritty seedy fight. Watching these two fight over pin attempts and submissions is way more interesting than skinny juniors running through choreographed reversals. Hero looked good working over Ian with stiff strikes and Ian once again just pasted him with european uppercuts and crossfaces. There was some nasty as hell legwork with Hero wrapping tape around his leg to protect himself. The vocal selling was pretty outstanding too. Great post match with Ian having his knee popped back in place. The IWA MS crowd proves they are true connoisseurs by giving this a standing ovation.
  9. WELL!! These are two of my favourite female workers, and really two of the more unique wrestlers in wrestling history, despite the fact you have to kind of scour the earth to find their good matches. Due to the special makeup of japanese womens wrestling these two are rarely in a matchup that allows them to shine. And for some reason, their matches over the years have never been quite white they should be. The 1998 encounter went far too long, the 2000 ones ranged between solid and fun exhibtions... fortunately, they finally delivered what the matchup promises on this one. This is a submission match and really worked like Negro Navarro vs. Solar in Coliseo Coacalco. It even had the kind of playing to the crowd and jokes that sort of match would have. 90% of this was grappling, and it was good. What makes these two so cool is not just their submissions but the cool unique trips and transitions they will come up with to get them. Plenty of unique spots and submissions to keep you entertained, and the finish was decided on the mat in an intense scramble as it should be. Really this felt like a Virus match and that's exactly what their strength is. No idea what took them so long to figure it out, but this was worth seeking out.
  10. Acute Sae was a youngster who could grapple. This was a bit like something Virus would with a student on a small show, so it was right up my ally. Smooth grappling and fun submissions. If Bolshoi worked like this more often and had stuck to it she would be among the very top tier of female workers. Sae is good mixing flying armbars against Bolshois more lucha esque style and I really liked her brief armwork, just trampling Bolshois arm as soon as she found an opening. Wouldn't mind to see this have gone longer but what do you know, Acute Sae retired just the same year.
  11. 2002 JWP was weird. Super low budget production with 1 camera and no lighting, but they are wrestling in this giant ring. This is kind of a dream match for me, and it was a lot of fun. They stuck to their bread and butter, which means flash submissions and counters. I would've liked this to be a little more competitive with actual mat exchanges, but it's a near miracle we even got a no bullshit singles match between the two on tape. Bolshoi was pretty dominant here, I guess because after floating around Michinoku Pro undercards Yagi didn't have much standing left, counter most of Yagis offensive attempts. I've seen Yagi push Yoshida to the limit and she still looked really athletic here, doing the Jaguar Yokota handspring and beautiful rollups, wish she had gotten to push Bolshoi a little too. But what we got was match full of the unique and nifty spots these two are famous for and it made me immensely happy.
  12. I love that Kurashima pops up once in a blue moon on tape and has a nifty undercard bout. This was from a MUGA branded card but worked UWFi style. Nakano still looks good – his holds look extra hurty in that Greg Valentine hard-to-break way, and he will still put the hurt on anyone with his kicks, hands and skull. The turning point of the match came when Nakano dropped Kurashima with a snap brainbuster that left Kurashima groggy with nothing left but a few desperation takedowns which earned him nothing but a couple brutal KO's. Ending really felt like it could have been the conclusion to a classic rather than a forgotten undercard bout, if Kurashima was more over with the crowds.
  13. Low Ki defends the ROH Title Man, Low Ki was just killing everyone in 2002. He was just blasting Xavier left and right here. Xavier is someone who is pretty much forgotten. I am not sure if it's unfair or not, as he looked like a good solid pro wrestler, with a tendency to do cool moves and not much of a clue on match structure. Structurally this wasn't great and they started running out of interesting ideas about 15 minutes into it, but Ki walloping Xavier over and over kept this entertaining. Should add Kis subtle leg selling was quiet great. Run in was pretty bad and took way too long.
  14. Controversial match, but I thought this was a stroke of genius as far as pro wrestling booking can go. Sometimes keeping a promotion fresh and unpredictable is more important than having the biggest and most credible guy on the roster be champion. And the match is really good too because they do a tremendous job messing with the audiences expectations. Working cutoffs in such a way has become a lost art, I'm afraid.
  15. Not one of the better Akiyama sprints, but it sure drives the point home. Shigas massive opening barrage of offense trying to put Akiyama away was really entertaining, but the conclusion was just not that interesting. Matches like this were very important in NOAHs booking as they conditioned audiences that the opening of a match was important, so I appreciate them.
  16. Hashi may have been outworking everyone else in NOAH at this point. This was a typical rookie/veteran match with Akiyama mostly blowing off Hashis offense except when he was using that iron skull. Akiyamas „I'm so tough“ bullshit biting him in the ass was a nice touch and literally everything Hashi did was extremely well done. He would try different approaches to cut Akiyama down headbutting him in every different body part and at one point he just headbutted him like 30 times in one go. Akiyama beats and stretches Hashi good with some especially nasty facelocks but overall I was lukewarm on his performance here. If he had sold the head trauma Hashi was giving him on a larger scale the match could've been pretty great.
  17. Man I love NOAH. Even a minor lead-in tag like this will have a unique, unpredictable structure, everyone playing their role and guys unloading on eachother with stiff shots. Great opening which gets the crowd by the balls immediately. Marufuji putting Hashi in the tree of woe so he and Ogawa can double team Akiyama is something we all did in WWF No Mercy. I like Akiyama a lot but I thought he was outshone by Hashi here, who was just way stiffer, more intense, etc. I thought Akiyama could've done a better job giving Ogawa & Marufuji receipts for their rat boy tactics. Ogawa looked great as usual outsmarting his opponents. Marufuji didn't do anything stupid, even showing some viciousness dropkicking Hashis skull repeatedly. Loved the finish.
  18. Two big guys maul each other for 5 minutes. Primitive match, but I prefer them doing this over some drawn out 10 minute affair. Morishima looked like he could've been great if he had worked more Otto Wanz style matches. He certainly looked up there slugging it out with Vader in the corner.
  19. Iizuka returns to wrestling. And he gets to fight Nishimura in a long technical battle! Is this the longest singles match Iizuka has ever been in? Does anyone even remember any significantly long Iizuka singles matches?? As far as lesser known 2002 Nishimura singles matches go, I'd say this was better than Nishimura/Shiga. Iizuka was much less luggage than Shiga, instead he was actively trying to crack the stoic grappler, while Nishimura seemed to have an answer to everything. Iizuka finally found what he was looking for when he got Nish in one of his sambo leg locks. An awesome battle of leg entanglements ensued that left both guys struggling to get up. Couple brilliant nearfalls down the stretch that I bit on. Nishimura was the man in 2002 and Iizuka more than held up.
  20. Our only BattlARTS main event of the year, but it's a good one. These two always have good matches, and this time they went for a full blown 19 minute main event. What was cool about this was that normally you had Usuda as the aggressive striker with Ishikawa working counters. Here Usuda was still aggressive but Ishikawa gave him back good, so Usuda was also using his defensive tools more, which is something he does very well, and you had a match basically built around who could turn the others aggression against himself first. Match has lots of good matwork and also some insanely stiff headbutts and kidney shots. I especially like anytime Usuda would get aggressive on the mat, normally you would go to the mat to seek safety from a striker, you aren't safe from Usuda though. It really is a crying shame Usuda was so underutilized on the indie scene, atleast Ishikawa got himself a spot on Michinoku Pro undercards that year. Usuda takes as good as he gives, taking some crazy crazy suplex bumps. There are some excellent submission teases and the finish was pretty epic with multiple face shattering kicks and Ishikawa just rattling Usuda with a big punch. The finish plays up the story of the match as it was all about who would get the deciding counter.
  21. At this point Fujinami was mostly relegated to tag work. Now he takes on Inokis project Yasuda. Before the match starts Yasuda insists Fujinami puts on MMA gloves, so when Fujinami does so Yasuda rushes him. One punch exchange later and Fujinamis nose is gushing blood. This really feels like a fight to the death with Yasuda trying to choke out Fujinami, but the old guy can always hit a surprise move. Only 5 minutes but a surprisingly good match.
  22. Always love Hashimoto destroying a martial artist. Despite the massive size difference, Hashimoto was able to make Ogasawara look threatening... well till he just started chopping his head off. Hashimotos dropkick was for the ages. Also, watching him pull Ogasawara into DDTs repeatedly made me think his opponent doesn't even need to know how to bump to take that move... Hash just drills you and it'll look good regardless.
  23. Really fun match which had juniors from Michinoku Pro, FMW and Dragon Gate mixing it up. These guys aren't used to eachother so they were working a more solid, less intricate match, but it was good and everyone brought something worthwhile to the table. There were also several huge dives and Dragon Kid looked good hitting all his freaky stuff. I also liked the spot Dragon unmasked himself in an Eddie Guerrero style attempt to get Kid DQ'd. The next moment they both unmasked eachother and were forced to wear their opponents hood. This kind of stuff won't win you workrate awards but it's what keeps the love for pro wrestling flowing. Sasuke looked sharp, TMIV hit some stiff blows and GOEMON & Onryo looked like good bases as well with Onryo hitting particularily huge bumps and dives. FEAR THE ONRYO CLUTCH!
  24. Dandy/Navarro feud in full bloom. Cool mat exchanges and awesome punches. Boxing Negro Navarro is truely awesome, up there with the likes of Dick Murdoch or Bill Dundee. Having both such a variety of punches aswell as ways to put the other guys punches over is truely a rare trait. The other guys in this match were acceptable and Pantera did a good job keeping everything moving.. But Dandy/Navarro is the matchup you want to see and this did not disappoint.
  25. I remember loving this match years ago and it's really nice of MLW to upload this in excellent quality. Some fun early wrestling exchanges where they mesh better than you expect and Sabu hits everything cleanly. They even did a good build, for example by avoiding the obvious table bump early on or La Parka understanding the Camel Clutch is a finisher. But the crowd keeps calling for tables, so the match turns into the usual Sabu bombfest. Parka really outbumps Sabu here, take a big Necro bump where he nearly overshoots the table and just flying into the turnbuckle. Sabu grabbing the scissors (backstory?) and carving Parka up added some needed grit to this spotty type brawl. There was also a great exchange where Parka was working over Sabus body with stiff kicks while Sabu tried these lunging desperate punches. These two are really decent pro wrestler aside from the hardcore stuff, so you get Parka expertly covering up a Sabu botch or selling his blood loss and making the walk back into the ring seem important etc.
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