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Found 13 results

  1. Crazy brawling, violent and bloody. The pace slows way down in the second half because of blood loss and fatigue selling, which was well done.*** 3/4
  2. I liked the opening-consisted of basic holds but they worked them well, and Shiozaki bridging out of a hold and then transitioning into a hammerlock looked cool. Tanahashi made Shiozaki use Chops as a means of a comeback instead of just "stuff he does" which was a good call and there was stuff I liked in here-Shiozaki patting Tanahashi's head and playing with his hair, Tanahashi acting like a dick, using Misawa's elbow combinations and attempting a Tiger Driver. Shockingly there was legwork in this match-and it even managed to produce two spots I liked-Tanahashi changing the direction of his Dragon Screw when Shiozaki started fighting out of it and Tanahashi quickly Chop Blocking Shiozaki when he got out of.....whatever move Tanahashi was attempting and was about to go for a rope run. However...........there was a lot of stuff here that I did not like. Most of Tanahashi's legwork was boring and looked weak-I really have no use for watching him dropkick someone in the leg fifteen times, doesn't captivate me whatsoever, doesn't look good, doesn't add anything to what they're going for. Shiozaki didn't even bother selling the leg most of the time except when he Moonsaulted, and lord knowns I've seen enough japanese wrestling I'm not going to lose sleep over it. In fact I'd much rather have that than Shiozaki making cringeworthy faces. The problem there is that it did render huge portions of Tanahashi's runs on offence meaningless and Tanahashi's legwork wasn't engaing on its own. Shiozaki hitting Tanahash with embarrisingly bad kesagiris and punches telegraphed he wasn't actually going to get out of Tanahashi's moves. Tanahashi's Fujinami tribute slaps also looked bad. Shiozaki botched a top rope swinging side slam really bad. Finishing stretch was very reminiscent of what's going on in New Japan these days-lots of jumping around, pop-ups, run the ropes-get countered transitions etc. Tanahashi at least does less Sliding Blades these days-it got really repetitive here. Shiozaki countering Tanahashi's Go Flasher Small Package coutner by just lifting him straight up was neat, but it was too late to suck me back into this. And then there came Tanahashi's questionable set up for the HFF.... **1/4
  3. Uhm... it's these guys fighting eachother for 25 minutes in 2010 FUTEN. We get lot of really good exchanges throughout and an incredibly violent finishing run. The broken down version of Ishikawa/Ikeda is a pretty great matchup in itself, as all their exchanges have this continually exhausted Lawler/Mantell feel. Ishikawa was the far superior grappler by this point and would catch in Ikeda in all kinds of neat submissions, while Ikeda would come through with something incredibly stiff once in a while. It's a testament to Ikedas selling ability that even knowing he can take absolutely insane punishment he can make you believe he was seeing stars after a simple sleeper hold. Ikeda would also keep the grappling violent by just fishhooking Ishikawa repeatedly. Ono was incredible here and may have been the best guy in the match (and the world) at this point. He came across as this super dangerous striker early on (even in a match that has Daisuke Ikeda in it), pounding dudes really violently, flying stomps on the ground. The finishing run is between him and Usuda and it's just this amazing dangerous striker vs. Counter specialist matchup. The cool thing is Ono was avoiding all of Usudas signature spots but Usuda would still catch him, all while fighting for his life. Ono would go for a full force stomp that would likely cave Usudas face in only for Usuda to slip and lock in a submission. Increasingly violent saves were pretty gnarly with Usuda and Ono taking some sick headbutts and kicks while entangled in leglocks. Also, Onos lightning fast submissions were amazing.
  4. Another really good match built around Hashi as a dangerous monster. For a junior he does that remarkably well. Largely strike based match, which as not a bad thing as these guys aren't pussies when it comes to striking. Lots of nice palm strike flurries, and they build the match pretty well. Hara is initially able to avoid the big Hashi strikes but Hashi grabs him and drops him with a big Ki Crusher which is a spot that kind of rules in the middle of a shootstyle strike exchange. Really good ultra stiff Mantell/Lawler exchanges for the finish, with the headbutts being of course insane.
  5. Huigaji looked awesome in the first Futen match that we saw, but everything else was far away from that performance for some reason. This felt a lot like Mashimo leading him along and that you could've told any other indy guy to stop pulling strikes and put him into this match and it would've been fine. Mashimo carries Hiugaji through some shootstyle mat exchanges fine before he starts giving him the business with brutal kicks and slaps. Hiugaji is able to catch Mashimos leg and is basically able to hang on through that while occasionally catching Mashimo with a big punch or stomp. Fun layout and together with the stiffness dialed up makes a really really fun match.
  6. Okubo sure has put on weight since U-Style. He is still smaller than Nagai. FUTEN crowbar Nagai is really the best use of him post-RINGS. They don't go for matwork and just blast eachother with mean kicks and elbows. Basically just a short basic indy undercard match with Okubo selling fired up youngster taking a beating and Nagai working on his arm, but Futen stiffness elevates everything to at minimum a fun match.
  7. 6 minute Futen opening match which means you are going to get a dose of fun violence in a short amount of time. This feels a bit like wrestler vs. MMA figher, with Nohashi trying some takedowns and sticking to headbutts and dropkicks otherwise while NARITA throws punches from mount. Narita has some really nice punches and a cool rolling Octopus Hold for a nice nearfall, but Nohashi soon headbutts him into oblivion, full on with a bloody mouth and welts on his head.
  8. Long, quality title match that told a good story. The interactions between Trauma I and Pirata Morgan were especially great as they really worked this like a battle between upcoming star and a physically intimidating, aging legend. We also get Navarro stretching out Pirata's kid some and they do a pretty strong job at mixing up the exchanges in order to keep you guessing about who will come out on top. IWRG isn't normally nearfall heavy but this had some good ones due to that. There was some sloppiness, but this was worth watching for Pirata's performance alone.
  9. A really good broomstick match with Bryan taking Khali's only attribute (size) and building the match around it. All it takes for Khali to get back in control is essentially just grab Bryan, while Bryan has to really work on combos and counters to manage to take Khali down. I really liked how he used the Guillotine to set up his kick combos and how he Missile Dropkicked Khali while Khali was still kneeling instead of waiting for him to get up, and his reckless bumping really put over Khali's offence as that of a monster. ***1/4
  10. This is Okada's last match before being sent off to TNA. He is still a young lion, still dressed in plain black trunks and coming down to the ring to awful theme music. They start of with some slowish matwork, which Tana gets the better off. Tanahashi is in control for the majority of the match as one can expect, but Okada manages to sneak in a few big moves in. He shows a lot of fire and potential in these brief comebacks. One spot I love is Okada doing Tanahashi's somersault senton spot, not something you would expect a young lion to do. Tanahashi finally puts Okada away with the High Fly Flow. Looking at the rest of this card, this show looked to be televised house show which allowed Tanahashi to show a lot of arse for Okada. Okada does manage to get a few nearfalls on the Ace. Not a classic by any means, but very interesting to see. Just two years later, Okada would be one of the hottest things in pro wrestling. ★★★¼
  11. A long all matwork trios with these guys, how can you go wrong? This was some sweet, sweet pro wrestling. You know it's awesome when they go back to hitting the mat in the 2nd and 3rd fall. One of those times Terry shows how good he can be on the mat, and Olimpico looked pretty good aswell, completely different from the worker he is these days, losing the mask really changes a wrestler I guess. The Navarro/Panther matchup was dynamite. They were like two spry young grapplers here, trying all kinds of freaked out twisting rolling leg locks and it was cool as hell. At one point, Navarro tried a cross armbar, which Panther defended for dear life, with all the other wrestlers coming into the ring to urge them on and a big Panther chant breaking out from the crowd. Only in lucha. I also really liked Villano's matwork as he is a chunky barrel chasted dude with mat athleticism and he steamrolled Panther in several cool ways. Ultimo was mostly fine but the least great guy in the match by far. He was integrated well, however. Boss match overall, the best trios of the 2010s for matwork maybe.
  12. The opening was good enough-basic matwork and Tanahashi continously evading and blocking Shiozaki's chops. Unfortunately that mini-atory was quickly came to an end when Shiozaki randomly and forgettably chopped Tanahashi to little reaction while fighting over...some leg-based move, probably a dragon screw. This is one of the worst Tanahashi performances I remember seeing-the majority of his offence consisted of embarrisingly looking gut/knee kicks that were straight out of a 1999 Raw in their impact and borin lg and repetitive leg attacks. Tanahashi absolutely outclassed Shiozaki in star presence and reactions-the crowd was way more invested in cheering and (more prominently) booing Tanahashi than reacting to Shiozaki in any way. Shiozaki's performance wasn't much-he didn't sell the leg as you'd expect, he'd get in his chops, kesagiris and Lariats and then let Tanahashi direct the match again. He also hit his own hand while attempting to strike Tanahashi and managed to botch some kind of afallaway slam so hard it didn't look like a move oalr a counter. I can enjoy botches-Shiozaki stiffing Tanahashi on a Moonsault by kneeing him straight in the head was fun-as long as the wrestlers imorovise well. The said Moonsault rocked Tanahashi for real and made their finishing stretch slower and the cooperation more obvious and full of botches, basically how it would look like if someone were to make a parody of modern New Japan finishing stretches. *3/4
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