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Found 17 results

  1. The Fire Pro World and NJPW partnership has got me really psyched up. The glut of posts I've made on the forum is evidence of that Its all good though because I thought Fire Pro was done after Fire Pro Returns. Its funny because its a little bit of history repeating as I bought a PS2 back in 2007 specifically for FPR and I'll be buying a PS4 for the sole purpose of playing FPW. Admittedly, Fire Pro Returns was a bigger deal as the game never had a US release and I could only mod my PS1 so much and could only admire the awesomeness of Fire Pro D from afar. I would say Fire Pro Returns is a big reason that I became a fanatic for Puroresu. I printed name guides and move lists for all of the wrestlers and studied them against my old VHS tapes and incoming DVDs (plus WCW vs the World PS1). So with this release for the PS4, Fire Pro has got to up the ante. The NJPW partnership is the first chip and new moves, expanded Create-a-Wrestler, and story mode have sweetened the pot for me. However, 08/28 is a little bit away so, I've got to keep the fires stoked somehow. What better way than by combing through free NJ matches on YouTube? What's great (in a way) is the relatively recent stuff from NJ's boom period is at a premium and most likely available on the NJPW World streaming service. The YouTube stuff is perhaps the stuff "no one" cares about anymore . And by "no one", I mean mainstream wrestling fans...people who perhaps have the streaming service and know Okada, Bullet Club etc. but have no clue who Inoki, Hashimoto, or Fujinami are. I'm rambling...onto the matches. The Fire Pro World and NJPW partnership has got me really psyched up. The glut of posts I've made on the forum is evidence of that Its all good though because I thought Fire Pro was done after Fire Pro Returns. Its funny because its a little bit of history repeating as I bought a PS2 back in 2007 specifically for FPR and I'll be buying a PS4 for the sole purpose of playing FPW. Admittedly, Fire Pro Returns was a bigger deal as the game never had a US release and I could only mod my PS1 so much and could only admire the awesomeness of Fire Pro D from afar. I would say Fire Pro Returns is a big reason that I became a fanatic for Puroresu. I printed name guides and move lists for all of the wrestlers and studied them against my old VHS tapes and incoming DVDs (plus WCW vs the World PS1). So with this release for the PS4, Fire Pro has got to up the ante. The NJPW partnership is the first chip and new moves, expanded Create-a-Wrestler, and story mode have sweetened the pot for me. However, 08/28 is a little bit away so, I've got to keep the fires stoked somehow. What better way than by combing through free NJ matches on YouTube? What's great (in a way) is the relatively recent stuff from NJ's boom period is at a premium and most likely available on the NJPW World streaming service. The YouTube stuff is perhaps the stuff "no one" cares about anymore . And by "no one", I mean mainstream wrestling fans...people who perhaps have the streaming service and know Okada, Bullet Club etc. but have no clue who Inoki, Hashimoto, or Fujinami are. I'm rambling...onto the matches! Ok this first one is 2009 but, close enough... Shinsuke Nakamura vs Hirooki Goto (08/07/09): G1 match. People didn't really care about the G1 until a couple years ago when Dr.Dave and others started rating these highly. AJ vs Minoru Suzuki, I think is the big one. Otherwise, there were probably only like a handful of G1 matches that got uber pimped. Nonetheless, the tournament always produced a few great battles. This has got to be one for '09. Smart, violent Nakamura vs Tank like Goto in 16 minutes of vicious strikes, suplexes, and slams. There was a miscommunication early or in the middle, I believe but, it was quickly forgotten. As much as I like the psycho Beat It Nakamura, this iteration is best because he's not so predictable. For instance, there is an awesome ground work sequence at the end that had me saying, "Damn I need more of this in my NJ!" Go see this and you'll want Nak' back in NJ immediately. Ryusuke Taguchi vs Kota Ibushi (06/10/11): 18 minutes of perfectly executed action. Ibushi was flashy here with a cartwheel move but, I'm OK with the rest of his offence. He made it look natural. However, the real talent of the match was Taguchi. He employed a strong abdomen focused attack on Ibushi from beginning to end. Unfortunately, Ibushi doesn't go very deep in selling this psychology. He lets you know how tired and hurt overall but, doesn't so much as clutch his ribs or chest to convey the strategy of Taguchi...Doing this may have put this into classic Jr. canon contention. Alas, we just get an excellent fireworks match. Or an excellent Fire Pro World match Still, no one really recalls how Devitt & Taguchi were hot shit back then. Their matches with Golden Lovers & Motor City Machine Guns were what got people excited about NJ. Then, the Tanahashi stuff started up. Anyway, great match here. Probably will dig back into the early 2010 NJ Jr. Tag scene next post. Tomohiro Ishii vs Hirooki Goto (05/20/12): I'll be honest. The IC and Never contenders are the real heavyweights in NJ. The IWGP heavy stuff (especially Tanahashi & Okada) is like WWE Japan at times. There are exceptions for sure as I really dug Omega vs Okada at WK12 and Naito is the man. I just think the Nakamura-Ishii-Goto combo was the bees knees for a few years. You can throw Makabe, Nagata, and a couple others in there and you've got a winner in my book. I say this because people no longer associate NJ with this beat guys into a pulp style but, before the Jr. Elevation Explosion, it was Kensuke, Hashimoto, Choshu, Kojima, Tenzan, Nagata and others doing straight forward physical matches. Goto and Ishii carry on that tradition. No surprise as Goto is the pupil of Tenzan and Ishii is Choshu's. Put simply, there are strike battles and no-sells that are the hallmark of the period but, they can be overlooked when it cannot be determined if Ishii is bleeding from giving or receiving a straight headbutt. Moderation is the key to this style but probably no more than the spot and sequence heavy style in vogue. Highly recommended match. Kazushi Sakuraba vs Shinsuke Nakamura (01/04/13 WK 7): I'll guess that I personally would like this better than the Okada vs Tanahashi main event of this super show of super shows. I'm ragging on NJ a lot for allegedly wanting to buy their game so bad This bout starts polite until Nak' slaps Saku. Then, it gets blown open like old corduroy pants! The Gracie Killer unloads with palm strikes and aggressive grappling. Shinsuke is just trying to stay alive until he can deliver his patented knees and make some space to breathe. This fight is Strong Style Evolved in the true sense. Slaps, knees, armbars all while Nakamura is able to insert his character and Saku is able to smash Nakamura's head like an egg! Awesome stuff man. Part 2 featuring tag matches and multi-man matches should be up soon. Tenryu in 2004 anyone? Thanks for reading! Hope this pumped you up for watching NJ and playing Fire Pro!
  2. Man this was awesome. Shibata is someone I love in the right setting and roll my eyes at when he indulges his New Japan main event side, but this was was almost exclusively what I like about him condensed into thirteen minutes. Sakuraba is in his mid-40s and looks it, graying at the sides, his scraggly facial hair and his J League superfan ring gear. Shibata kicks lumps out of him and there's a great bit where he's doing his running corner dropkicks as Sakuraba just lays hunched up like a man who's forgotten why he's still doing this. He can't strike with Shibata, he'll lose that battle every day, so he has to dig into his bag and use everything that made him the Gracie Hunter. I loved all of his quick throws and submissions, going for kneebars to set up armbars to set up chokes like a man younger than his years. At points he was literally crawling all over Shibata, tying up his legs and his arms at the same time forcing to Shibata to grab the ropes with his teeth. My favourite was the fight for the cross armbreaker that he managed to turn into a choke with his fucking ankles. Some of Shibata's selling was unbelievable, especially while in the chokes, and I about lost it when his eyes started rolling back like he was about drop (crowd picked up on it and popped huge too). Shibata getting back into it with the strikes was probably inevitable, but I thought it was great how he went to the choke to wear Sakuraba out for the penalty kick, knowing that it didn't work going for it off the bat earlier. I loved this.
  3. Looking at the participants, I am not surprised to say that this match, did in fact RULE. Great stuff from start to finish - loved the beginning w/ Ishii & Shibata going at it - you could see they got SOMETHING in there with their chemistry. Nakamura & Shibata brawling outside the ring was fun, Nakamura & Sakuraba did some neat work on the mat, but goddamn, my favorite thing about the whole match was the exchanges between one Stone Pitbull & the one Gracie Hunter himself. Judging by what we got here, I think a singles meeting between them could've & most likely would've rocked my world - Sakuraba beating the crap out of Ishii, as Ishii sold that beautifully, was amazing, as was Ishii just bulldozing through Sakuraba w/ his amazing offense. Great match. ****
  4. Shibata's first match in NJPW since 2006. And it's amazing. It goes for about 3 minutes, but it's amazing. Sakuraba & especially Shibata get super heat from the crowd as they beat the shit out of young lion Hiromu. Their offense is BRUTAL. Hiromu also gets little offense in, and all of that RULES. He shows great fire & his strikes to Shibata at the beginning were fantastic. Fantastic stuff all around - awesome crowd heat, amazing work on the offense by Laughter7, great fire, selling & brief offense by Hiromu, and Inoue plays his role well too. He didn't do much, but he played his part. ****
  5. Fun match, hard to rate it due how clipped the only footage of it I could find is. You could make a case for post-modernism in japanese pro wrestling being present as early as those 70s All Japan tags but here it goes even further as it's even more clear this is nothing more than a freak show for laughs while PRIDe is the real deal. Sakuraba uses a few of his trademark spots like the mongolian punches in the full mount and spinning someone when he gets in their guard, but the way he milked the double wristlock escape and his punches remind you what a lost talent he was. Top rope wristlock as a finish was cool and I appreciated them building up to it instead of just altering the stuff before it in a manner to get it in regardless of whether it made sense or not.
  6. I'm not going to miss out on an opportunity to watch Sakuraba grapple and this delivered as a fun little match. I think both members of ReDragon are overrated and I wish Bobby Fish would stop screaming so much all the time, O'Reilly hit a nice kick combo and Gedo's shtick was fun as usual but this is all about Saku and his grappling exhibition with the lads. **3/4
  7. This was pretty far from a traditional shoot-style match, although there were elements of it that were there. If you can get past that, I still think this is good. It wasn't the match I expected it to be, but it was a fun spectacle anyway. I'm guessing this is a nostalgia style at this point more than anything.
  8. 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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