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Found 27 results

  1. Entertaining 5 vs. 5 Elimination Match. Not Peak WAR vs. Other Promotion material, though there are some good smacks and thuds here. Problem with the match is the booking, as they get rid of the spry guys first and soon you are stuck with an old, broken down Steve Williams, Arashi and Mutoh here. Williams can still throw a nice punch and not do much else at this point. Match has it's moments especially thanks to Orihara and Tenryu, while Shinzaki was working hard to get something cool out of Williams. Overall this match is symptomatic of the depleted roster AJPW was dealing with at this stage however.
  2. How about this for a lumpy undercard dream match? This was like some parallel universe Dark Tower shit because both guys are basically each other if their career trajectories happened to be swapped. Nakano works SWS/WAR? He's Kitahara. Kitahara does shoot style and ends up in a Takada promotion? He's Nakano. To be fair, though, I actually didn't expect Kitahara to be as fun in this environment. I mean, it isn't really a shoot style match as opposed to a pro style match with shoot style trappings, but it was a neat enough amalgamation and I liked how Kitahara handled himself. The early mat exchange was nice and solid and once again Nakano ends up with a bloody nose. It must be made of mashed potato. Pretty soon they start smacking each other in the face real hard and my Clone Wars theory is confirmed as Kitahara's nose also gets opened up, though this was at least a result of a nasty looking knee and not just breathing, which is what I assume did for Nakano. Nakano hits a German and Kitahara no sells it like "*I* am the lumpiest here!" and roundhouse kicks Nakano in the head. This was yet another fun six minutes.
  3. A nice reminder why the NJPW vs. WAR feud was one of the greatest things in history. A mix of great heat and messy out of control violence. This is really pro wrestling vale tudo, two guys trying to fuck eachother up, they would go to the ground, but there would be eye gouging there and as soon as they got up they would throw kicks and headbutts again. Kitahara was just killing Kobayashi here with brutal kicks to the eye and Kobayashi holds up his own just running into Kitahara with headbutts repeatedly. The rules in this were a little weird, there doesn't seem to be pinfalls and Tiger Hattori is watching from ringside like a super libre match. At the end one guy takes a series of brutal DDTs and is choked out and after lying motionlessly for what felt like an eternity they decide to stop the match. Pretty unique and stands out as one of the most brutal match endings in the feud which covers a loooooot of ground.
  4. Do yourself a favour and make it a priority to watch this match asap. Literally one of the most awesome brutal spectacles I've ever seen. It starts out with Tenryu chopping Kabuki in the throat in the middle of an exchange, leaving him suffocating on his back, which sets the tone nicely. The early Orihara sections were pretty fun, as every couple minutes he would try something stupid and get punished swiftly. Kabuki & Kitahara end up putting a massive assbeating on him. Kitahara looks like such a killer in this match, just walloping everyone with kicks left and right and dealing them kicks to the eye and the skull, and Kabuki looks great aswell, dishing out extra mean punches and kicks. It also helps that you can really whip Orihara around, he would eat a neckbreaker and his head would just bounce off the mat. Oriharas initial comeback was pretty much perfect as he ditches his junior offense and just tees off with reckless kicks. Later he would hit these great looking dives. His springboard crossbody is an example of a perfectly timed highspot. Tenryu wasn't in the match a ton but he would occasionally walk in and remind you who he his. Earlier Kabuki had blindsided him so, after he Orihara hit a dive and left Kabuki prone outside Tenryu would casually stroll over and clock him with a chair. It's these kind of moments that help make this sort of match so much more intense. Tenryu going mad with the pre-PRIDE soccer kicks, not letting off and leaving Kitahara bloodied is why he's Top 5 all time. Note how he would also put over his opponents, with Kitahara almost KO'ing him and Kabuki pretty much beating him silly with the punches and super kicks. What a fucking match, I wouldn't be shocked if this ends up in my All Time Top 10 as far as tags go.
  5. 4 tubby guys beat the fuck out of each other and it rules, what else is new? The opening minutes were really fun logical pro wrestling. Fuyuki was fired up, ready to take down Tenryu and kick Kitahara's ass. He also looked shockingly good doing sympathetic selling as he got awkwardly kicked in the chin and face repeatedly etc. Kitahara loves demolishing other dudes with kicks but ends up having his leg taken out in a simple spot that looked great. His leg selling was very good as his kicks became mostly useless. Tenryu's hot tag was really fun and different as Fuyuki just bitchslapped him out of the ring and proceeded to kick Kitahara's ass some more. Tenryu then hands out some Necro level chairshots only to get brained himself. Super Strong Machine is not a very charismatic dude compared to the others but he is really fun here blindsiding guys, just constantly ramming people in the back of their necks with lariats and chairs when they would least expect it. Tenryu kind of played the role of the megastar who looked like he was on the verge of defeat, always looking like he was gonna go "Damn now I'm REAL fed up!“ and then he would get bonked in the head again. Really cool finish. I'd say this isn't quite up there with the high end WAR material but for the genre this is must watch anyways.
  6. Absolutely brutal, blood drenched spectacle. The early going sees Kitahara establishing himself as a dangerous striker by chasing Ishikawa around some with his kicks. Ishikawa makes the mistake of running the ropes and gets brained with a high kick. To add insult to injury, Kitahara puts him in the Scorpion Deathlock (something Ishikawa used to do to piss off Choshu himself). Pretty stiff opening, but it's tame compared to what's to come. Ishikawa gets the advantage when he hits his great sumo charging shoulderblock. Soon Ishikawa goes to town on Kitaharas bandaged eye, hitting some punches that felt like they were intended to draw hardway blood. Ishikawa proceeds to just demolish Kitahara with some of the most brutal stomps, punches and kicks ever filmed. Kitahara is someone who can both dish out a beating and sell very well, and soon he is limping around with his vision clearly impaired like a beaten dog. The ending run is actually pretty hot with Kitahara making a big comeback kicking Ishikawa in the face repeatedly and hitting a huge moonsault aswell as narrowly avoiding a dangerous piledriver. However he soon falls to Ishikawas swatting lariats and gets brutalized even worse with PRIDE level stomps and knees. The finish felt like something that should happen in more matches. Brutal brutal match.
  7. Kitahara/Kawauchi was basically just a gritty uncooperative streetfight. Kawauchi was more aggressive and overzealous here so Kitahara just absolutely beat his ass in between taunting him. Short but good stuff that the fans got really into and I hope this isn't the last I see of Capture International. 
  8. Kitahara/Kurashima was a nifty little battle. Kurashima is naturally at home on the mat and Kitahara is actually willing to work the mat against him. However Kitahara has the advantage because he is a bastard. Kitahara brutally kicks him in the jaw while exchanging leglocks and follows with more boots to the face. Kurashima makes some desperation takedown attempts until Kitahara catches (captures) him for the tap.
  9. Oh but this match is a goodie. You have Tomohiro Ishii pre-Choshuism and CAPTURE boy since the beginning, aswell as the unseen should-have-been-a-star DAISAKU (Shimoda) and his twin brother YUSAKU (Shimoda and half a dozen other names) rocking the gloves and ready to throw down. I'll never understand what motivates these indy guys to get punched in the face in a basement in front of 70 people but I'll always enjoy watching. This goes about 6 minutes and it's basically all 4 guys kicking the crap out of eachother. Really liked the lumpy boys who like to kick hard sections between Ishii and YUSAKU and the attempted fraticide between YUSAKU and DAISAKU was pretty brutal aswell. Daisaku has some huge kicks and thai knees while Yusaku sticks to more traditional pro wrestling stuff punches and knees stuff executed with a CAPTURE sized vicious streak. Also really liked Ishii in his Kawada wannabe tights flying at Kitahara with huge kicks. By no means is this intelligent or well rounded pro wrestling, it's arguably shootstyle in it's most primitive form, and that's why I love it and want to see every single match in this style ever done. So Kitahara if you're reading this there's someone who cares, and Kitahara's neighbours if you are reading this please break into his garage and steal all his VHS tapes for us and don't get spin kicked in the face doing that. 
  10. Capture International is a shootstyle org founded by Koki Kitahara in 1997 and it's even weirder than Kitao Pro. They wrestle on a mat with a barricade around and you can actually grab the barricade to break a submission. They have 2 out of 3 falls matches and some kind of point system which apparently punishes tag partners when they run in to break a submission. It's roster is a pretty random mix of indy undercarers and martial artists. It's roughly 9000% japanese pro wrestling and produces some really violent and entertaining matches. There is not much footage of this... a total of 3 TV episodes and 2 old videos on Kitaharas YouTube channel. Maybe if I talk about it, more will show up? Capture 10/5/2002 Teruhiko Iwashita vs. Hayato Minami Basara vs. Jiraiya Masayuki Mineno vs. Johta Koki Kitahara & Daiyu Kawauchi vs. Shoichi Ichimiya & Kazunobu Nakamura Minami/Iwashita was a nifty undercard shootstyle bout. Won't make you forget U-Style but probably a Top 10 japanese match if it happened tod- ah I'll shut up. Really dug the tenacity and struggle over everything while keeping a steady pace. Highlights include Minami locking Iwashitas arm behind his back and surviving a nasty guillotine while his face turned blue. They have the MMA gloves but aside from a few body punches and low kicks they stick to grappling. Neat finish with several cool armlock variations before one forces the tap. Basara-Jiraya – OF COUUUURSEEEEE this fed has masked guys working undercard quasi shootstyle matches. And what a threat to see Yume Factory boy BASARA again. He seemed to have gained some confidence looking quite aggressive at times. However, not having a ring took away his strongest aspects here – his great powerslam and frogsplash. Jiraya is a japanese wrestler who apparently spent a lot of time in Mexico. Not that you noticed much lucha in his style here, as he was rocking the kickpads and working for armbars on the ground. Neither of these guys is a wrestling master but there were enough smacks to keep this entertaining and the finish was cool. Mineno vs. Johta (or Jyota?) was a boxing gloves match because every japanese sleaze indy company has an annoying guy on the booking team who constantly goes „But where is the booooooxing match?“. They actually do some grappling with double leg takedowns, armbars and suplexes but it was of course limited. However these two guys absolutely slaughtered eachother in the standup with awesome fast punches and spin kicks. No pussy shit here for sure. Plus you get the fun aspect of guys awkwardly falling into the guardrails when getting kicked. This is rounds so they work some actually cool „safed by the bell“ moments. I am stoked to check out these boys in a match with regular MMA gloves. https://youtu.be/rs9ChWMNDwE I assume the main event is like the quintessential Capture match. Lots of wild swinging punches and kicks that connect with full force. Kawauchi, who I saw in his debut match at a 1998 KAGEKI show against Masakazu Fukuda would go on to work Osaka Pro as Hideyoshi and is now grizzled veteran GENKAI in Kyushi Pro, so he has quite the history of japanese indy wrestling. Kawauchi is good as the energetic youngster here with explosive takedowns and pummeling violently on the ground. Ichimiya who is some comedy character in DDT looks credible here as a heavyweight shooter. His super violent, quick assault on Kawauchi in the 2nd fall using the guardrail may have been the highlight of the match. His extremely vocal selling also added some more grit. Kitahara is as you expect. His punches and kicks were Ikeda level but I was also surprised how brutal his chokes (or choke setups) felt. He also got his "Kitahara is a bastard" moment when he kicked Ichimiya in his bandaged arm. The matwork here is mostly working punches from mount and has a really smothering feel to it, though there is the occasional submission attempt and the finish is a neat submission counter. The match is short enough so it totally works.
  11. Well, I assume the main event is what everyone in attendance bought their tickets for. Exactly what Capture promises, 4 guys just beating eachother silly in savage ways. The Mineno/Johta sections were really fun with both guys throwing fast hands and kicks, all ultra stiff of course. Then you had the heavyweights – both Kitahara and Kurashima looked like they were twice the size of either Johta or Mineno – bullying the little guys around. Kurashima is a MUGA boy and he mostly sticks to matwork here, altough he does punish opponents with some brutal throws and inventive submissions. At one point he did a Backlund lift from an armbar into almost a One Winged Angel. Kitahara was an absolute bastard once again, stomping on Minenos face and sucker punching him from behind. Match is really good shootstyle in parts but starts breaking down into chaos towards the end with the referee losing control over who is legal and who isn't, so you would get Kurashima tackling Kitahara while Mineno would try to kick him in the face. Still this is what Capture promise and each fall had a great finish.
  12. Fun as hell little undercard trios centered around Nakano and Fuyuki hating eachothers guts. They are immediately at eachothers throat and trading beatings, Nakano asks Fuyuki to tag in etc. This is broken up by some weird and wonderful Sano/Ishikawa workrate interactions with Ishikawa hitting an awesome tubby old man plancha. However it's back to hatred and soon Nakano has punched a beeding wound into Fuyukis forehead. Then we get Kabuki punching and kicking a bloody Fuyuki in the face (as it should be). Fuyuki is quite the good sympathetic babyface here, doing his high pitched yelling etc. The finishing run is really fun too with Takahi Ishikawa being fired up, Kabuki hitting superkicks. Finally Nakano goes to town on Fuyuki with the chair. These two probably faced eachother at a Pioneer Senshi houseshow or something and we only got a taste here, but it really elevated what could have been a throwaway undercard tag.
  13. I assume the main event is like the quintessential Capture match. Lots of wild swinging punches and kicks that connect with full force. Kawauchi, who I saw in his debut match at a 1998 KAGEKI show against Masakazu Fukuda would go on to work Osaka Pro as Hideyoshi and is now grizzled veteran GENKAI in Kyushi Pro, so he has quite the history of japanese indy wrestling. Kawauchi is good as the energetic youngster here with explosive takedowns and pummeling violently on the ground. Ichimiya who is some comedy character in DDT looks credible here as a heavyweight shooter. His super violent, quick assault on Kawauchi in the 2nd fall using the guardrail may have been the highlight of the match. His extremely vocal selling also added some more grit. Kitahara is as you expect. His punches and kicks were Ikeda level but I was also surprised how brutal his chokes (or choke setups) felt. He also got his "Kitahara is a bastard" moment when he kicked Ichimiya in his bandaged arm. The matwork here is mostly working punches from mount and has a really smothering feel to it, though there is the occasional submission attempt and the finish is a neat submission counter. The match is short enough so it totally works.
  14. Tubby japanese guys slap the shit out of eachother for 20 minutes. Love this because it's a really good example of how to build a lengthy match around a handful of strikes. Nakano and Kitahara are not over at all due to the SWS midcard being almost meaningless, but they give their all taking on these tanks and get the everliving crap kicked out of them. Hara & Tenryu deserve some credit for selling a good deal for these middleweights while outgunning them completely. Lots of neat spots and there are some good examples on how to make basic strikes interesting by SELLING. See: Tenryu getting caught in the ear by an enzuigiri or selling Nakanos corner dropkick. Hara is also really good at taking kicks to various body parts and refusing to bump. By the end Kitahara and Nakano are basically beaten half to death. There is one great sequence where Nakano is giving everything he has hitting several dropkicks and enzuigiris only to be forced to tag back in and run on empty. Tenryu just powerbombing him is an example of no selling that works because it was done in context of the match with a set up and purpose. Kitaharas leg selling was also cool and added some direction. This is a rare match where one side never comes close to winning but still ends up being great in my book.
  15. SWS style tag with Fujiwara thrown in the mix. So you have tubby juniors exchanging brutal spin kicks and lariats at a fast pace and Fujiwara throwing in some lightning fast counters and hitting the mat. The 3 young guys are really good and Fujiwaras presence adds just what this kind of undercard match needs. Ishinriki is a former sumo who works like a junior and junior who used to be a sumo is much better than junior who used to be a gymnast. He hits some big dive and also nice palm rushes and lariats. Kitahara and Nakano look good hitting the mat with Fujiwara. Highlights include Fujiwara hitting a huge Bas Rutten style body punch for a near KO aswell as trading some brutal battering ram headbutts with Nakano. Fujiwara fits really well with these energetic dudes. Apparently this match got **** from Meltzer proving he had some taste at one point. It has a few big moves and nearfalls too.
  16. You look at this match up and you go „Well, these are two guys who are not afraid to kick somebody in the face“. And that's what happens in this match. It's also NJPW vs. WAR (or Seishinkaikan vs. WAR?), so it had the kinda heat those matches have. These guys were just crushing eachother, Saito was hitting some really devastating mid kicks aswell as knees to face, and Kitahara in return kicked him in his face and bald head a bunch. Kitahara pouncing on Saito with mount punches, leaving Saito to come out with a big red spot of blood on his bald head is something that only happens in 93. The referee blew the finish a little on this one but for two mean asskickers stepping up and kicking the shit out of eachother this delivered.
  17. Cagematch has Choshu's partner listed as Masahito Kitahara, but it's not -- it's Koki Kitahara. He's clearly brought in to eat the fall, but in the process he puts on a fiery, gutsy performance and he goes toe-to-toe with Tenryu as they trade some nasty slaps and punches to the mouth. He also eats some nasty chops from Tenryu straight to the throat. We get some instances and teases of the Choshu vs. Tenryu and Fujinami feuds from the 80's, but they're just flash moments and never really escalate to much. This isn't a MOTYC or anything, but it's worth watching just to see Tenryu and Kitara go at it.
  18. This was too bizarre for me not to love. Carson wrestles like a prototypical 1990s american heavyweight, doing worked kickstomps and shoulder blocks. There's a section where he just stands there and lets Kitahara kicks him for a while, and then kinda brushes it off. Finish sees Kitahara hit a brutal knee followed by a Reverse WAR Special which looks more like a forgotten nasty shoulder/neck lock from on old instructional than what you'd expect a Reverse WAR Special to look (a dumb double underhook), after which he swears at Carson and they both act as it had been a shoot. Magnificently weird. **3/4
  19. Man Kitahara was the best. I remember when I first got into Japanese wrestling I'd buy tapes with as much junior heavyweight stuff on them as I could find. Guys like Liger, Kanemoto, Ohtani, Eddie, Benoit, etc. I doubt I even knew who Koki Kitahara was back then and if I saw his name on a match list I probably would've skipped right over it (unless he happened to be matched up with one of the aforementioned names). It's been a while since those simpler times. My tastes have shifted somewhat dramatically since then and at this point I'm more likely to seek out obscure Koki Kitahara matches than any from those other guys (with the exception of probably Eddie). This started out with Katayama, in his leopard print tights and kneepads, jumping Kitahara at the bell and laying a beating on him. He had to try and stay on top the whole match because if he let Kitahara catch his breath he'd pay for it. Of course Kitahara caught his breath and kicked Katayama really hard in the mouth. I thought he'd literally kicked some of his teeth out and Katayama spent the back half of the match bleeding down his chest. Kitahara also seemed to be nursing a bum leg from a previous match so Katayama would go after that now and then as well, almost as a contingency plan of sorts. Kitahara hit what was basically a Ganso Bomb and his snap suplex is so, so good; easily as fast and sharp as Dynamite Kid's or Benoit's or whoever else's. Fun match.
  20. This was real nifty and at points got pretty damn awesome. The nifty came from Asai and Bestia, who ran the gamut of Asai/Ultimo's armdrag and headscissor sequences with Bestia serving as a great base for all of it. None of Asai's stuff here will be new to you if you've seen more than a couple Ultimo Dragon matches, but for the most part it looked pretty when it needed to and more importantly like it was impactful. But really, you want this for the parts that were awesome (I mean why wouldn't you?) and those were courtesy of Kitahara and Orihara. This might be my favourite Kitahara performance ever. When they match up initially they both throw a few big kicks and Orihara fights admirably, but he's a young boy and Kitahara treats him as such. It's a fun dynamic and it works. Kitahara doesn't go beyond the pale, he doesn't take liberties, but he doesn't throw feather dusters either. The balance is as it should be, all things considered. Then Orihara kicks him a little too forcefully in the nose and Kitahara just absolutely fucking mangles him. It was almost uncomfortable at points. Orihara continues to scrap and stand up for himself and Kitahara gets even more abusive. He punted him in the face and kidneys, hit a vile roundhouse kick, gave him a snap suplex on the ramp, recklessly front suplexed him across the guardrail, it was brutal. And truly in step with the values of a Tenryu fed he gave up caring about the result of the match in order to continue beating on poor Orihara. Vengeance had taken precedence over victory. This was a match where everybody looked good and the whole thing came together well, but that one moment where something went awry - horribly, for Orihara - led to things taking a murderous detour. Kitahara as vicious wee prick elevated this past the ceiling it might've had otherwise.
  21. This is probably right on that line between being a fun match and a skippable one, but I'm all about the WAR and there was enough randomness here that you probably should be too. Nagasaki is 53 at this point and he is flat out determined to skelp someone with a chair. Doesn't even matter who, he'll hit anyone. Hamaguchi is 47 but he drops elbows like a man two decades younger. They were great elbows, really quick and impactful. Tenryu took a bit of a backseat in this to let the others have the spotlight - as was his unselfish wont - and so Kitahara stepped into the role of guy kicking everyone in the face really hard. Kawabata was kicked many times in the face. Miyake was kicked many, many times in the face. Nagasaki was kicked once in the face and he went directly for that chair. Never for a second did you doubt the finish. This is the Wrestle and the Romance.
  22. YUJI YASURAOKA OF THE DAY #2 This was a clipped match which is annoying as the stuff that is shown looks really good. Tons of brutally stiff blows. The match was centered around the Kitahara/Mochizuki interactions. Mochizuki is Kitahara's boy, which means Kitahara is legally obliged to murder him, which the crowd also senses. Yasuraoka mostly gets kicked in the face, but busts out his really spectacular dive in an awesome moment right after Mochizuki blows his fancy springboard attack and gets mauled by Kitahara for it. Even Arashi busts out a reckless spinkick in this! WAR was a magical place.
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