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Found 16 results

  1. You look at this matchup, taking place in MUGA, and you think „this sounds like a lot of matwork“. And you'd be correct. Pretty much a purist's dream match with all four guys hitting the mat hard. Perfect blend of shootstyle, 80s NJPW and MUGA psychology. Ishikawa fits like a glove here and looks great. Aside from all the great arm whips, headscissors and armbars and slick grappling they knew how to make basic holds meaningful and spice things up with struggle. Really liked the young guys getting the advantage and old guy Fujinami busting out a huge kneedrop off the top to break up a submission nearfall. Also Nishimura looks awesome and as good as he was in the 2000s. Match is a little short (17 minutes) but as good as it looks on paper.
  2. I love that Kurashima pops up once in a blue moon on tape and has a nifty undercard bout. This was from a MUGA branded card but worked UWFi style. Nakano still looks good – his holds look extra hurty in that Greg Valentine hard-to-break way, and he will still put the hurt on anyone with his kicks, hands and skull. The turning point of the match came when Nakano dropped Kurashima with a snap brainbuster that left Kurashima groggy with nothing left but a few desperation takedowns which earned him nothing but a couple brutal KO's. Ending really felt like it could have been the conclusion to a classic rather than a forgotten undercard bout, if Kurashima was more over with the crowds.
  3. Iizuka returns to wrestling. And he gets to fight Nishimura in a long technical battle! Is this the longest singles match Iizuka has ever been in? Does anyone even remember any significantly long Iizuka singles matches?? As far as lesser known 2002 Nishimura singles matches go, I'd say this was better than Nishimura/Shiga. Iizuka was much less luggage than Shiga, instead he was actively trying to crack the stoic grappler, while Nishimura seemed to have an answer to everything. Iizuka finally found what he was looking for when he got Nish in one of his sambo leg locks. An awesome battle of leg entanglements ensued that left both guys struggling to get up. Couple brilliant nearfalls down the stretch that I bit on. Nishimura was the man in 2002 and Iizuka more than held up.
  4. See, this is why you get grimy old tapes from forgotten 90s spin off feds: if this were NJPW, these two would get 8 minutes in the opening match and it would be forgettable. Here, they get 18 minutes to stretch out and do their thing. Nishimura continues to rule in 1998, he was a total wrestling machine here, as if to teach 2nd grade shootstylist Fukuda a lesson and prove his Gotch-style can totally fuck with any shooter. Fukuda is a great opponent for Nishimura as he can totally go in this kind of ultra-tight, mostly mat based contest, gives a nice contrast to Nish's old school style with his modern shoot grappling and sells exhaustion very well. I love that even after way more than 10 minutes of exhausting mat struggle, Nish still sprawls when Fukuda goes for a takedown and then proceeds to lay in really stiff Inoki leg kicks. The finishing run was pretty simple but great, Nishimura getting great submission nearfalls for basic Figure 4 and Cobra Twist moves while Fukuda was planting him with suplexes and headbutting while fighting for a top wristlock in frustration. Also loved how Nish just dropkicked Fukuda in the face at one point. The finish itself was a little underwhelming, altough the move itself was great. Everything up to that was a high end intense contest full of awesome NJPW vs. UWFish struggle and intensity.
  5. Another decent grappling match, altough they ran out of ideas. Match should've gone 8 or 7 minutes and would've been good, at 11 minutes it felt slightly bloated. I was surprised that Kotsubo didn't stink it up, he kept things moving, had a really nice stiff punch combo and won the match with a olympic leg screw into ankle hold that was pretty boss.
  6. Fun signature Aoyagi match, meaning karateka vs. pro wrestler rounds match.Okumura isn't terribly exciting, but decent enough as a wrestler going for takedowns and submissions and willing to stand there and trade shots with Aoyagi. Actually thought this was an Aoyagi carryjob, as he obviously brings all the really fun offense, and did a neat job selling. Aoyagi was getting the better of Okumura, but the younger guy seemed to be cracking the old guy down due to youth. Also, for a guy who you think of as bringing the very real shots, Aoyagi had some really fun pro stylized kicks and punches, such as a really slick axe kick he threw after evading a takedown, or a diving kick off the 2nd rope. His punch to the throat was obviously the highlight. Match was pretty short at only 9 minutes and didn't have an outstanding finish but it was still really cool to see what Aoyagi could do against such a generic guy.
  7. This was a decent attempt at a main event fromtwo inexperienced guys. Masada kept getting the better of Fujisaki on the mat, so Fujisaki started cracking him with headbutts, bloodying him and drilling him with brutal backdrop suplex moves. Masada was busting out lucha moves here, including a gory special from the ground which was pretty choice. Other than that they weren't good enough to keep the matwork as interesting as it was in previous MUGA matches, and the match ended rather abruptly. Fun match.
  8. More MUGA joshi. This was more MUGAish than the other Meiko-in-MUGA match, as they focused even more on holds and working them. Almost every move lead to another hold, and holds would lead different variations. Really well done stuff as these two knew how to add variation. I really liked Kato's side headlock into a rope walking bulldog, and she was rocking all the Cobra Twist variations too. Meiko did a nice job zoning in on both the arm and leg, and the finish had some pretty nasty headdropping moves before a desperation submission. Nice stuff and it's always cool to see the GAEA girls show what they are capable of in a clean singles match.
  9. Fujisaki is a rare creature, so it's double awesome to see him pop up in MUGA. This is mostly amateur style grappling with Fujisaki having a tough battle against the bigger Kurashima. Kurashima, for a nobody who never did anything in his career had absolutely badass throws, including one where Fujisaki goes for a crucifix hold and just gets flattened into the mat. Fujisaki retaliates with his awesome JYD headbutt and an absolutely deadly Steve Williams backdrop where he drops Kurashima on his face. Kurashima may have been knocked loopy, or maybe it was the reason why he remained a nobody for the next 20 years, but he seemed to be struggling to keep it together during the last couple minutes. Another quality undercard bout.
  10. BattlARTS young guns square off! For some reason, junji.com works more shootstyle in MUGA than I've ever seen from him in BattlARTS. This was super fun, two flyweights who can hit the mat doing some really nice grappling, and then doing a mighty fine job working some pro style spots and nearfalls. The awesome thing about watching two obscure low ranked guys in an undercard match is that you have no idea who is going to win and what their finishers are. So I bit on all the nearfalls here. Really liked the well timed dropkick, the ultra-slick submission counter from Hidaka, junji landing his goofy elbow combination into a submission nearfall, etc. Rocking little match.
  11. It's the GAEA girls working a MUGA match!!! AWESOME! This was a really cool match just as the circumstances promise. A little more grappling heavy than your average joshi match, but they also mix it up with some unique, fun lucha-influenced exchanges. Nagashima can both whip out the fast huracanrana and the mean Greco headscissor choke on the ground. Satomura has a real knack for nice simple stuff, in this case busting out a cool leg stretch on the ground and a cool airplane spin. They both show their great fundamentals (test of strength into a bridge etc.) aswell as some creativity. I've grown fond of well worked basic opening matches and this was a goodie.
  12. Masada is the future MAZADA, which is kind of mind boggling when you look at him. So, the guy who these days mostly plays a scummy rudo and stooges for Mil Mascaras and other aging juniors once upon a time was a thick amateur wrestler and Fujinami's project. And this was a pretty fucking awesome rookie vs. Vet match. Part of that is that you watch a match like this with no expectations, and everytime something awesome happens it's unexpected, but this was genuinely really good. Because it's MUGA they stick to grappling, and it's a really nice mix of amateur style and pro wrestling holds. Fukuda is the real deal here leading an inexperienced guy to a bonafide mini-epic. At some points you can tell Masada didn't have the instincts down, but overall he gets to look great. Masada has really nice amateur movements and enthusiasm, and they build from the matwork and submissions into awesome suplexes, choice counters and nearfalls. Fukuda allows the kid to look good while reminding everyone he is the boss, his suplex moves, STO and stiff shots looked badass. Great Fukuda performance, the guy was a treasure.
  13. Shane Rigby is some catch wrestler and also he rules. I assume he never had more than a handful of pro wrestling matches, but he is a joy to watch. Great mechanics, bridges and grappling. He is a total Carl Greco-like wrestler and would've been awesome in PWFG. Takemura is just a non-descript rookie here and gets gobbled in entertaining fashion. He has some nice arm rolls and that's it. But Rigby really brings it with the awesome fast takedowns, deadlift german suplex and wrestling mat transitions. This was all grappling and a pretty perfect squash.
  14. More MUGA slick matwork. At times the exchanges here resembled intense IWRG maestro scraps. Ooya is perfectly good in this environment, and Ishikawa is just off the chain. This wasn't as psychologically sharp as the previous tag with Fujinami, but I especially liked the Ishikawa vs. Nakano sections, as it was really cool to see Ishikawa use his his skill against a bigger, beastly opponent, and the Fujinami/Oya finish, for two guys who are about as random a pairing as you can get, was really good.
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