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Found 12 results

  1. I was so pumped for this match. It starts out right away with both guys grappling on the ground. Delphin is able to hang right there with Murahama. Murahama keeps looking for an opening for strikes but is unable to find any. Delphin pops on a cross armbreaker requiring a quick rope break for Murahama. He got pretty outclassed in that round by the big guy in the yard in Delphin. Murahama gets more openings in the second round and Delphin takes him down immediately to regain control. Murahama opens up and Delphin is hanging onto the ropes to keep his feet. Murahama is getting cocky now and comes parading in allowing Delphin to just put his weight on him. Delphin slips out of a floatover and again just uses his weight advantage to keep Murahama grounded. Really close round to judge if done on the up and up. Murahama absolutely blasts Delphin starting the third round and you can see more desperation in Delphin now as he goes for a crab submission knowing that he needs to put this guy away soon. Murahama gets caught with a German and then Delphin spears him down looking for the arm. Murahama does his most heelish action of the match by going after the eye. Another flurry of punches and a great sell job by Delphin as he goes down to the mat. He just barely makes it up for the count but then gets caught with a leg kick and is in dire shape. He gets to his knees but that is it and Murahama secures a HUGE win. What a way to make a guy. Osaka Pro is very quickly becoming a top five worldwide promotion for me and this is one of the most engaging storylines happening throughout the wrestling landscape in 2000. ****1/4
  2. Murahama is really starting to make a serious claim for me of the best rookie year in wrestling history that I have seen. Every match of his is intriguing, carries a breakneck pace and demands that the viewer becomes invested in if he can overcome the odds of the heel faction. Buffalo has been a great heel for Osaka Pro this year and he is excellent here. Once he gains the advantage, he muddles the match up with some brawling, chairs and cheapshots. It is a US heel style on top that doesn’t drift too far into interference ridiculousness to check me out of the match. Even when I think Murahama might botch a spot like off an armdrag it is just him reversing the Buffalo attempt into a leg lock which is really impressive. Murahama gets overzealous when he mounts a mini comeback and he ends up kicking the post with his leg. Buffalo capitalizes on that and ends up piledriving Murahama on the ramp. After a figure four sequence there is a lot of dramatic nearfalls with the crowd shrieking at every kickout that Murahama musters up. Buffalo also gets a close two count off of a snap German and back suplex. Tiger Driver also gets a nearfall. Once again this toes the line of being too many kickouts but the investment from the crowd and the fact that Buffalo conveys his mounting frustration keeps things within reason for me. The finish is the worst part of the match and the only slight botch as Murahama fires off a quick flurry culminating in a clothesline and the ref counts three even with Buffalo kicking out. I am unsure if he forgot the finish or what. Afterwards, Murahama gets misted and we get another wild brawl to end the segment between the two big factions in Osaka Pro. Great match. **** (8.1)
  3. 2000 is a weird year from a WOTY standpoint whereas all big contenders have taken months off to a degree. Thus enters Takehiro Murahama who after this match has to be at least in the conversation. He has changed the dynamic of Osaka Pro and created a spark that is unheralded. The theme of this match is that he has proven himself to Delphin but not to Hoshikawa and Yakushiji. As a result, the match plays out with the Hosh and Yaku team beating the shit out of Murahama when given the chance. All the strikes here look tremendous and with great precision. Murahama finds a small opening and immediately makes the hot tag to Delphin. The finishing run here was super exciting with saves being made and a great sense of unknown as to who was winning the match at any point. Eventually Hosh and Yaku take home the victory but after the match they give their nod of approval to Murahama. The rudo team in Osaka Pro is not amused and this sets up a trios I can’t wait to get into. Osaka Pro is right there with CMLL as the best promotion in 2000. ****1/2 (8.8)
  4. I’m ready to put this right up there with Brock vs Goldberg as the greatest sub five minute match of all time. The pace is incredible and never lets up and it tells a classic story of striker vs grappler. Murahama charges in and gets leg locked immediately for one of his breaks. Delphin tries to shoot in constantly but that does open him up to the deadly strike game of Murahama. Halfway through the second round, Delphin locks on an insanely tight arm lock and Murahama is forced to tap giving him his first loss of his career in amazingly dramatic fashion. After the match, Murahama gets put over huge and the roster members come out to give him the recognition he deserved. This was an unexpectedly great emotional moment and capper to the overall arc of Murahama debuting in Osaka Pro. I love this promotion right now. ****1/4 (8.7)
  5. This is Murahama's debut and that is pretty astounding. This didn't have the pace or intensity of his stuff a few months later, but as an intro to what he can bring to the table and the shoot style of the Osaka Pro matches overall, this was a good intro. Murahama is able to show how slowly but surely he was able to find openings and overwhelm Hoshikawa on his way to picking up the victory. *** (6.1 )
  6. This was the most humbled Murahama has been this year. The match only lasts six minutes but it is high octane with weapons, stiff strikes and the signature Togo highspots. Togo gets to look like a beast stunting every big attack from Murhama and responding with either a stiff weapon shot or a way to regain the advantage. Togo puts him away with a big senton. This match felt necessary in the development of Murahama within the promotion as a stumbling block that happens to all athletes on the rise. ***1/2 (6.8)
  7. The trial series for Murahama continues. When Buffalo/Togo are teaming up, you are at optimal capacity for the Osaka Pro rudos. Tsubasa helped add a lot of flash and aerial moves here as he was flying around and hitting everything cleanly. Murahama continues to dazzle both in being worked over and then fighting from underneath with ferocious kicks making him look like the ultimate pint sized ass kicker. ***1/2 (6.9)
  8. I am running out of superlatives to spout out at Murahama matches but he is a bonafide #1 contender as my WOTY and this was another example why. The trial series has shown some growth but setbacks for Murahama. This match exemplified that and much like the match these two had in March, it is all action and carries a tremendous pace. The dramatic submissions in the home stretch were excellent and showed a great sense of struggle with the way the camera films so closely in Osaka Pro. Hoshikawa felt a little winded on his finale kick combo but he does crack Murahama with an excellent final blow that feels believable as a knockout shot. Murahama ends the trial series on an 0-3 skid and still has some development to do. **** (8)
  9. Another Murahama singles match. Give it to me. I continue to appreciate how the technical notion is on display with these matches as well as the strategies each man is developing to try to garner the victory. Yakushuji is able to work well on the mat here until he gets caught with a high kick from Takehiro. He knows he will need to avoid that in the future so the match develops with a lot of distance and it all being based on whether Murahama can cork off that knockout blow or submission. He hits it later on in the match but Yakushuji is able to reach down deep and break the armlock submission. Yaku then absolutely annihilates Murahama on a German. Murahama hits one more kick and tries to shake out the cobwebs looking for another submission. They show he hasn’t recovered all the way with Yakushuji elbowing out. Spinning kick for Murahama and he is really running around with his jumping high kicks nearly gaining the win. When it looks like Murahama finally has the match at hand, Yakushuji is able to do a spear/rollup mixture to win the match. I consider this a pretty big upset but it made sense based off of the match layout. ***3/4 (7.6)
  10. I was really looking forward to this and it didn’t disappoint. After a very brief feeling out process, things open up and they don’t stop. The heel unit is relentless just bruising up the faces around the ring and trying to gain any advantage possible. Togo and especially Buffalo in this match were amazing. Murahama plays FIP for a while and the crowd is so invested in the guy. You can hear the shrieks from the females any time he either gets a near fall or is in danger. The match ebbed and flowed in a natural way and felt chaotic but contained like those tremendous 1996 M-Pro matches. Buffalo gives Delphin a brutal clothesline over the top rope and has Murahama on the ropes until Murahama is able to reel off a sweet looking back spin kick and gain the upset win to the delight of the crowd. Osaka Pro is the best. **** (8.0)
  11. We have the 2nd match in the trial series of Daioh and I’m still on board fully. Daioh does a ton of heel tactics and we get interference galore which take this down a tiny bit from the great level we have seen. However, Murahama is still wonderful taking a beating and then sprinkling in his wonderful kicks when he sees any openings. It is a simple against the odds story but Murahama is such a force of nature that it works and his flash pin works in the context of keeping the story and trial series moving along. ***1/2 (7.2)
  12. Well, this definitely came out of nowhere and blew me away. The story here is that Murahama is an outsider in Osaka Pro, pushed as a shooter in a pro wrestling world (I'm guessing it's a minor league attempt to copy Hashimoto-Ogawa), and this is a match on the road to Delphin-Murahama, which comes this summer. The match is fought on Murahama's terms -- in rounds, in something that vaguely resembles shoot style but that I wouldn't quite label that way. It borrows from it liberally, but it's even more of a smorgasbord than BattlARTS. They rip off the technique from UWFI and RINGS, but they rip off the dramatic aspects from pro wrestling. Now, RINGS and UWFI did that too -- through and through, in fact -- but the difference is that this match makes zero attempt to be covert about what it's doing. These aren't guys trying to convince you that what they are doing is real so much as it is guys putting on a hell of a performance. I don't quite know how to describe it, but I do know we'll see more of Murahama and I'm curious where exactly his style will take him. He wears boxing gloves and throws rapid fire punches, and Hoshikawa stays with him stylistically, but we also see things mixed in like the Otani-style comeback when he thinks he's won a match and hasn't. I guess it's kind of a match that goes full blown cafeteria wrestling, taking what it wants from every style, and leaving the rest. A 15-minute jaw dropper in so many ways -- technically, Murahama is phenomenal, but he is also better at using the goofy-but-generally-accepted aspects of dramatic pro wrestling than most guys who don't even have shooter gimmicks. Pretty close to a masterpiece here, and something that really broke the mold. ****3/4