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  1. After a couple of high risk moves that end up outside the ring, they settle into an extended sequence where Kikuchi sits on the mat like Baby Huey. Hashikawa throws kick after kick, which K completely no-sells with a "ho hum bored now" look on his face. It goes from awesome to amusing to when-will-this-end. Then you come back full circle and start to wonder if Hashikawa can actually come up with a strike that will work. Sadly, nothing comes of it. Eventually, Kikuchi gets bored and stands up. He no-sells a few more strikes, and then they move into a plodding your turn-my turn rest of the match. I found most of this one to be a bit of a snoozer. The out-of-nowhere kimura submission that ends the match is pretty great, though.
  2. After a failed attempt to get into the NFL, Brock Lesnar turns his attention to the world of Japanese wrestling. We cite Lesnar's autobiography "Death Clutch" as to get an idea of Lesnar's mindset going into NJPW and touch on his mindset wrestling his what was perceived as his final match in IGF as well. Also get an interesting peak into how the Inokis did business when they were heads on NJPW.
  3. Hi folks, Long time no post for me here, but I thought I'd announce the recent launch of the Puro Pourri Podcast, in which myself and my friends George and David delve into a thematic look at pro wrestling in Japan. Our approach is a combination of serious discussion and complete irreverence and we are hoping that the show will be something of an alternative to the numerous podcasts out there that focus mainly on up to the minute reviews of modern puro in all its forms. We'll be tackling different themes in a series of episodes which will form what I suppose you could term volumes. So far we've recorded 7 episodes, three of which will be up on Soundcloud by the end of today. We've also submitted it for Itunes approval. The first three episodes act as an introduction to each of us as hosts and our fandom, with each of us going into detail about the first puro matches we ever saw and rewatching them afresh, The forthcoming volume will cover invasion angles in Japanese wrestling, with particular reference to the New Japan vs UWFi feud: what it symbolized, how it played out and how influential it has been. Expect obscure references to English lower division football and pop culture wherever necessary, alongside our more analytical discussions. Episode 1+2 are available now at Soundcloud, with episode 3 following later today: https://soundcloud.com/the-puro-pourri-podcast You can find us on Twitter @puropodcast and on facebook @puropourri. We'll be using this thread to publicize all future episodes. All feedback and support is of course more than welcome. Cheers! -Daniel
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  5. Introduction to Japanese MMA for the Japanese Professional Wrestling Fan Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Carlos Newton (Pride 3) I tell people all the time that this fight is the way I envision the perfect UWF match in a non-worked environment. The mat work is absolutely sublime with amazing transitions and fluidity on the mat. Rumina Sato vs. Charles Taylor (1/15/99 – Shooto) Rumina Sato vs. Caol Uno (5/29/99 – Shooto) The first is one of the greatest submissions in MMA history, something that everyone has tried to replicate but no one has been able to do. The second is the best Japanese MMA fight of the 1990’s, with a complete back story in addition to being on the 10th Anniversary show as the main event. Frank Shamrock vs. Allan Goes (5/13/95 – Pancrase) For my money, the best Pancrase fight. Because of the rule differences (no closed fists to the head standing or on the ground) and the rope breaks, this is a good comparison to the Sakuraba vs. Newton fight as a “real UWF style match.” Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera vs. Gary Goodridge (7/27/01 – Pride) Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera vs. Mark Coleman (9/14/01 – Pride) Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera vs. Heath Herring (11/3/01 – Pride) I lump all three of these fights together because it gives some continuity and shows just how far and above Nog was from the rest of the heavyweight world in the early 2000’s. The first is Nog’s Pride debut, after winning the 2001 RINGS King of Kings tournament. The second is his second fight in Pride, against Pride World Gran Prix Champion Mark Coleman. And the third fight is for the Pride Heavyweight Title, with the winner becoming the first Heavyweight Champion. The first two matches are short and exciting, while the third is an extended squash as Nog dominates but Herring tries to pluck away as much as possible. Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Renzo Gracie (8/28/00 – Pride) I would strongly encourage anyone new to Japanese MMA to watch all of Sakuraba’s fights in order from Pride 2 through 12/31/2003. The Royce Gracie fight is the epic 6 round, 90 minute battle but it doesn’t work as a stand alone match. This is the best of the “stand alone” Gracie fights. Caol Uno vs. Joachim Hansen (3/26/05 – K-1 Hero’s) Maybe the best lightweight fight of the 2000’s in Japan, with a spectacular mix of ground work, standing, and throws to go with a highlight reel finish. Fedor Emelianenko vs. Semmy Schilt (7/27/02 – Pride) Fedor Emelianenko vs. Heath Herring (11/24/02 – Pride) Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera (3/16/03 – Pride) Similar to the Noguiera trio of matches, this is Fedor’s first three Pride fights after winning the 2002 RINGS King of Kings. Fedor isn’t able to handle Schilt as well as you would think, but then lays a beat down on Herring, leading to the epic FOTYC against Nog at Pride 25. Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera vs. Volk Han (2/24/01 – RINGS) This isn’t on the list because it is a great fight. Don’t get me wrong, it is good in it’s own right, but it is more of a novelty of seeing Han, in his early 40’s, go toe to toe with the greatest heavyweight fighter of the early 2000’s. A lot of fun.
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