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Found 8 results

  1. Unexpectedly, a pretty great match. Masamune is a masked indy guy who was trained in Mexico. I have no idea what got into them here, but they hit the mat and had an outstanding match. Starts with a bunch of cool amateur matwork and cradles and then develops really well into this intense battle that felt like it could have taken place in Coliseo Coacalco. I know Yasushi Sato is a Mumejuku regular so probably used to doing matwork heavy matches, but I was surprised by how well Masamune did here. Both guys had some brilliant holds, especially dug the whacky leglocks which were set up really well, and there were a number of nifty spots. Really loved Masamune catching Sato on the knee drop and him braining Sato hard with an out of nowhere Tiger Feint Kick after a rope break, aswell as the crazy rolling pin he broke out. Also loved both guys randomly going into escrima pummeling like 15 minutes into the match, which lead to Sato hitting his awesome deadlift belly to belly suplex. Finishing stretch was built around Sato trying to lock in his grapevine/straight jacket hold signature move and Masamune fighting it off in different ways. Sato further establishes himself as the king of the Russian Leg Sweep by hitting another awesome one. Really really compelling stuff, I’ve no idea how these guys bothered to put this much intellligence and technical skill in a non-mainstream match for a small audience but I’m glad we got to watch.
  2. Awesome match, which may actually be the best Gannosuke singles I’ve seen, which is crazy to say about a match that happened in 2018. I guess random uploads from Japanese micro indy related YouTube channels are the new gold. I think this was during Gannosukes retirement run so he was bringing the goods. First half of the match is all matwork. Suruga is obviously younger and more athletic and pushing the pace, so Gannosuke breaks out a bunch of awesome Fujiwaraesque counters. Totally didn’t know he had that in him. Second half Suruga continues to dominate by laying into Gannosuke with kicks and palms, I also did not expect a 48 year old has-been-coasting-for-years Gannosuke to eat that kind of stiff punishment. It’s really all about whether Gannosuke is tough enough to survive and break out a counter or whether the younger wrestler will blow him away. Gannosuke is of course a really fun tricky pro wrestler, he can always turn a match around by just kicking someone in the balls or busting out his awesome Gannosuke Clutch, and he fires back with some crowbar lariats and big bombs of his own. No idea what’s been going on lately with so many awesome unexpected Japan indy matches popping up but I love it.
  3. I'm on a quest to find the ultimate japanese indy sleaze match. This is part of a weird 3 vs. 3 match that starts with a singles match then a 2 vs. 2 tag and the a 6 man tag, but this match is good enough to watch on it's own. Hiroshi Watanabe is a guy who has been around since the early 90s and never really got a shot due to being undersized even by indy standards. Yamada is a guy who barely makes tape and doesn't really get to do anything working HEAT UP undercard matches and Gatoh Move. And here they are, working a really good MUGA match. Maybe these two have some kind of Z-level indy Solar/Negro Navarro feud going on. Anyways, Yamadas unorthodox attacks ruled and due to Watanabes selling his joint manipulations appeared really painful. Then both guys do this really elaborate section built around indian deathlocks, leg stretches and pin attempts that was some of the most fun pro style matwork in years. Watanabe decimating Yamada with backdrops was simple but worked and Yamada took some nice bumps. The finish was built around Yamada trying to hurt Watanabe with rough technical moves and Watanabe coming up with cool counters. Highlights include Yamada busting out a Curb Stomp of all things, some nasty legwork and a really well timed sequence of counters leading to a great Robinson backbreaker. Loved the fluke finish too. This was a great modern version of a 70s style match that never felt like a tribute.
  4. Kenny Omega hesitates to harm The Bucks, even stopping Ibushi from going after Matt's back. Loved Matt's back selling throughout, making it the center for some of the match's biggest transitions. Particularly liked how it forced him to drop the Sharpshooter. Thought it was a nice little plot thread that ran through the match. Then they do crazy spots, and I'm sorry but I'm a sucker for crazy spots. And these didn't feel overkill, they transitioned from one to the other really well. We didn't get too many pinfall attempts til about the last 10 minutes or so. I like how the crazier spots that stick out at least had significant character moments. Ibushi forcing Omega to V Trigger Matt. Matt not taking Omega's mercy and initiating the One Winged Angel. Matt switching directions at the last minute during the One Winged Angel to put Kenny through the table instead of completing the More Bang For Your Buck on Ibushi. Lots of great stuff all over. ****3/4
  5. This was an AJPW triple crown title match. This match had a difficult hill to climb, While Kento is really over as ace Dylan James is not he is tag champ but has only been in the company for 4 months and did not have a great CC meaning that he was quite a weak challenger. They only drew just over 1000 people to Korakuen compared to the 4 1600-1750 Korakuen shows in a row for the company. The nobody believed that James had a chance at winning especially with the big osaka show coming up next month and Jake lee making noises about facing Kento. Faced with this challenge of not having anyone believing that Kento would lose the guys did a very admirable job of giving the chance that James could possibly win. They did this by having a very one sided match more so than the match at this show last year when Shuji ishikawa beat Kento for the title. James controlled the majority of the match by working over Kento's chest. This is a simpler and easier body part to work over as it does not really limit the moves that the wrestler worked over can do like leg selling would but still shows the dominance of James in the match. James largely worked over Kento with chops, back elbows, elbow drops, lariats and stomps. It was a brutish display by James with Kento putting over every chop like his chest was being crushed. The comebacks of Kento were quite regular but he never got an extended period of control until the very end where he hit several knee strikes and the shutdown German for the win. What hurt James in the match was that he would control the match with his simple brutish offense but when he went for something more complicated or bigger it was countered and it showed the story of Kento being much better than James in holds and reversals but outgunned in terms of striking. This was how James lost the match, he went for a powerbomb to the floor and a powerbomb later in the match which were reversed he went for something to big and he paid for it. Overall it was a match on the lower end of the great scale with very good performances from both men and did not have any moment when I thought that they ignored selling like I thought Kento did in the second Marufuji match. This match was something of a missed opportunity, not in the work done but in the buildup. With a better built James going in the crowd would have been better and bigger and it would have had more of a possibility that James could win something that myself and the crowd did not seem to think could happen until towards the end. This match could have been really great with a better build up but as it was i will settle at just great. ****1/4 Another great Triple crown title match probably the second best of the year after the Zeus vs Joe match and on a level of the maru and Joe vs Kento Matches. ...
  6. Ayako Hamada vs. Chihiro Hashimoto (Sendai 4/19) was a really fun match between two thickly built wrestlers. I really liked the opening exchanges, nice matwork and shoulderblocks, with Hamada's snappy lucha armdrags looking credible against Hashimoto's amateur stuff. I loved how well they worked stuff like abdominal stretch reversals and with Hashimoto moves like a hip toss or senton look brutal because she's so thick. The match didn't have great direction but there was some sense of build (e.g. building to Hashimoto hitting the 2nd rope senton, building to the first german suplex, building to first big Hashimoto nearfall with the short arm clotheslines etc). Ayako Hamada has been one of the sharpest wrestlers in the world for years and her picking apart Hashimoto with kicks looked great.
  7. I also watched a fun Dradtion opening tag - Super Tiger & Sanshu Tsubakichi vs. Ryuta Hasumi & Nobuyuki Kurashima (4/20). Kurashima has been an opening match guy for 20 years and he is an underrated dude. He will always do something cool like bust out a nice judo throw or look in a nasty hold. He also has a mustache now so he looks like 60s-70s era JWA midcarder and he hit some nice european uppercuts and back elbows too. Some cool matwork, stiff shots especially from Tsubakichi, young guy Hasumi looking fine and Super Tiger 2 getting the most out of his miserable self hitting a nice kick combo and cool Octopus Hold variation for the finish.
  8. This was in a vaccuum a good match, but YOU, the living breathing human being watching this match will never get over the fucking stupidity of having Lawlor, the taller, bigger MMA badass working all even steven with Gresham's cute WoS shit. (Actually, Lawler is shorter than I am and the same weight, but he looked like Takayama next to Gresham here. Maybe I should get into wrestling.) To be fair, Gresham's faux WoS stuff looked slick and he could probably have a good match with a fellow mini. About 10 minutes into the match Lawlor finally awakens and starts busting out MMA holds. I really liked how Gresham fought out of an armbar, and Lawlor had some really nice chokes and good punches. Still the psychology continues to be a mess with both guys really killing the submissions, a random wristlock comedy spot (?) in the middle of the finishing run and the whole thing just not ending. I should probably cut them some slack because they tried really hard to have a solid mat based match without any flippies and some of the stuff they did was quite good. Still, I'd rather have the match be a grotesque, violent mess.