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Found 29 results

  1. Holy shit, this was amazing. How this didn't make it to the Best of BattlARTS set but three dozen fucking Minoru Tanaka matches did is beyond me. Taira was this really talented dude who could put on awesome weird leglocks and also had devastating kicks in his arsenal. It's a shame he disappeared after BattlARTS closed. This was like a hybrid of those matches against Ikeda and Yujiro Yamamot we've seen from Otsuka. He tries to teach this newbie some manners and busts out a few pro style moves executed with complete lack of regard for his opponents safety, including dropping him square on his head from an armlock attempt, a neckbreaker that looked like it really would break your neck, and doing a freaky Cesaro deadlift spun into a backbreaker in mid-air. While Taira isn't goofing around and looks to finish the match with every attack, forcing Otsuka to do some really freaked out grappling leading to some great nearfalls. When Taira is throwing kicks he is wasting Otsuka, including charging at him and connecting a knee strike that looked like nobody would get up from it, and coming back later in the match with a pele kick that produced the sound of a rotten melon and had me verbally marking out. Both the finish and the build to it were great. I'll have to watch Ishikawa/Murakami again because this maybe the best BattlARTS match of 2000.
  2. BattlARTS vs. MUGA, baby. We all know Otsuka can be a really great grappler when he wants to, but he is often tangled up in doing all kinds of weird experimental stuff. MUGA boy Takemura is the type of guy to get a nice all-grappling shootstyle match out of him. Takemura isn't GREAT and doesn't bring a ton to the table here but he meshes really well with Otsuka a and they move nicely from smooth rolling to zit-poppingly tight holds. Takemura's unpolishedness may have added to some of the reversals towards the end feeling more uncooperative. Of course Otsuka also just ragdolls him and it's beautiful.
  3. This was not good whenever Ricco was involved, specially when he was working with Bas. You can tell he was obviously holding back, as was Bas, but Bas still looked decent when he was working with Sano. The finish was somewhat odd and abrupt with Bas pulling out that modified double armlock. Pretty forgettable.
  4. Sneaky BattlARTS guys always sneaking into joshi cards. Obviously there were some jokes in this match with Otsuka having to defend Fukuoka from creepy Ishikawa, but most of this was straight exchanges. Ishikawa/Otsuka is an all time great matchup and every single instance is worth seeking out, this being no exception. They did the bulk of the work and had some high end exchanges. I've been watching these guys for almost 10 years now and they still surprise me with some of the stuff the bust out, for example Ishikawa hits an awesome clean deadlift suplex on Otsuka, there is a nifty judo trip and some cool triangle scissor work. The exchanges between Hyuga and Fukuoka almost felt stale in comparison. Otsuka was a total stooge eating stiff dropkicks and double stomps from Hyuga and even a stiff Rider Kick from Fukuoka in a miscommunication spot. Of course the best moment is when Ishikawa finally gets ahold of Fukuoka and the first thing he does is lock in a chokehold with glee, fuck that's creepy. Hyuga and Fukuoka do the finish and they pick up the action which was good. This was 19 minutes which is pretty long for a novelty match but the whole thing went by in a breeze.
  5. Awesome match and one of the best sub-5 minutes matches I've seen. The grappling at the beginning is insanely amazing and the rest of the bout is great too. *** 3/4
  6. Man I forgot how good this match was. DAMN. The first 30 seconds alone are utter brutality. This was a total shootstyle gangwar, which plays to their strengths. Lots of guys piling up and kicking and stomping the crap out of someone 2 on 1. If you know anything about BattlARTS or these guys you will know those kicks and stomps were no joke. Between the hitting and getting hit there were a bunch of fun, slick as ice mat scrambles. Hell, even Minoru Tanaka's shit looked good! Even Yone's shit looked good!! My only problem was the slight clipping, robbing us of 2 or 3 minutes of BattlARTS goodness. Still, the rest of this was great trademark BattlARTS violence & grappling at an awesome pace with a killer finish on top of it. Great sprint.
  7. This is the DVDVR 100 match that Dean labelled as "Samurai TV debut card", which is why it took me so long to track this down. Not very helpful labelling, dude. I have little grudge though, because this was as good as advertised. They downtuned the matwork elements and just went right to straight up murdering eachother. This is really as good of an introduction to BattlARTS as I can think of, as they establish their "shootstyle with pro style psychology and 200% more death" dynamic as well the tactics of the Team Taco "we'll isolate you and then stomp you to a pulp" heel team, Otsuka's ability to kill folks by dumping them on their necks till the lights go out and Yone's underdogness. Ikeda and Ono were constantly cutting off the ring and whenever in trouble would buckle the opponent to their corner and reign shots on him 2 on 1. Ono looked damn great here, as he was obviusly a target being the smaller guy, but got the better of his opponents using his superior speed, getting chokes and felling them huge kicks in the standup. Ikeda and Otsuka were as good as you've ever seen them here and Yoneyama didn't get in the way, hitting some brutal moves of his own and mostly being punching bag for Team Taco otherwise. 13 minute match, but probably the 2nd or 3rd best BattlARTS tag that year.
  8. This is the tournament final. A total dream match for me that delivers. This has been described as a Tamura squash which I strongly disagree with. The grappling exchanges rule and establish Otsuka as Tamura's equal on the mat (or least someone who can stay competitive and grab an advantage). Tamura also displays great urgency, almost desperation, throughout the bout: both guys are hurting from their earlier matches and Tamura knows he needs to finish this quickly or he will be in trouble. Of course Tamura was going to win the tournament but those two things put over Otsuka as a serious contender. Otsuka does get killed during the stand up portion though as Tamura just repeatedly drills him with kicks and Otsuka does a terrific job selling the damage and the feeling of being overwhelmed. An excellent match. **** 1/4
  9. Lin looked very promising, he seems like a natural prick, kind of like a nu-Yoji Anjoh. I loved his dumb mannerisms after refusing a handshake, how he stomped Otsuka's foot to try and escape a standing armlock and his big sell of a German Suplex. The highlight of the match was probably Otsuka deciding to slap the taste out of Lin amidst a forearm smash exchange and the aforementioned German Suplex. The matwork was a little "bigger" as Otsuka would use Double Wristlocks to stretch Lin instead of just rolling around. ***
  10. The ring here is terribly squeaky. It appears to be in a TV studio in front of a psychedelic background. It's Post-Modernist Shootstyle Wrestling Daddy!!! You may want to watch this for gorgeous Otsuka suplexes. A little uneventful undercard match otherwise. The BattlARTS matwork was pretty rough in 1996, and they didn't quite succeed here in making it compelling. I do appreciate the the uncooperativeness, though. Usuda looked legit as hell.
  11. Hey look it's Viktor Krueger! For those of you who don't know: Krueger was this big austrian guy who for some reason showed up in BattlARTS and looked like a behemoth next to all those tiny half-juniors. Even more obscure: Krueger got BattlARTS a TV deal in GERMANY!! It was only on mini regional TV, and like a couple minutes of a highlight show once per month or something, but it counts! Maybe it's because I haven't seen this stuff in years, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Krueger didn't really have a clue, but he was highly efficient as he was willing to get to the mat and clobber it out aswell as bring a little personality. He and Greco made a very good „you're fucked if you have to face these guys“ gaijin team. One is twice your size, and the other is a mat genius, and you really can't beat either of them. Greco was a barefooted fiend here, and when Greco goes barefoot into a match he really is at his best. Lots of top tier mat stuff involving Greco vs. Ishikawa and Greco vs. Otsuka, in which the BattlARTs guys really look better than they have most of the time. The natives were naturally good at „outmatched but fighting like a pitbull regardless“, and you get the sense everyone here gave it their all.
  12. This is the stuff right here, one of my favourite things about Otsuka is how unique and interesing his transitions are, he'll go from a Scorpion Deathlock to an Indian Deathlock to a Sleeper in one fluent motion in about three seconds and that's just a random example from an early mat exchange. The finishing stretch has some amazing stuff, like Yamamoto using Cena's Giant Swing counter we lost our shit for about 4 years earlier and just an awesome sense of struggle with Otsuka going for badass throws and Yamamoto trying to counter with any way he can. It's also really cool how Otsuka makes even pro style moves like Piledrivers and even a Frankensteiner seem more legit with how nicely he sets them up and executes them. Stars; a lot of.
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