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Found 30 results

  1. Minoru Tanaka vs. Shunma Katsumata A brilliant match built around Minoru Tanaka attacking the leg of Shunma and working it over the whole match. Tanaka was superb I thought. His initial assault on the leg and the following kicks to the knee joint were great. There were tons of extra snap in his dropkicks and his submissions were pretty snug. Shunma proved his versatility once again by working really well on defence. His Brock Lock submissions were great hope spots and allowed Shunma time to make a comeback. I loved the selling of the leg as well. Shunma is very audible in his screams and the intimate atmosphere increases it tenfold. The finish to the match was an excellent way to end the match. Not only was the drama in the figure four milked for all its worth but Tanaka following it up with heavy kicks to the left knee and then transitioning into the rolling knee bar was so ruthless. Tanaka is a Fujiwara student at heart, and it showed. Credit to Shunma for an excellent performance from beneath. ***3/4
  2. Talk about it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znbz6HUNbss
  3. These two have a go at establishing themselves as the lamest workers in all of BattlARTS history. This went 14 minutes but felt like half an hour. Some slow, unimpressive matwork to begin with, with the standing portions resembling Takada/Bernardo. They move into some contrived sequences for nearfalls. Funakis poor mans Dean Malenko style is just boring and Tanakas just does the same spots as always. Not all 90s japanese wrestling was great.
  4. Small show BattlARTS tag, but all 4 guys had their working boots on. The Ishikawa/Ikeda exchanges are very good, as you'd expect, but don't take a big focus in the match. Tanaka and Hoshiakwa are two iffy guys at this point, but don't drag the match down. Hoshikawa is a guy who plays shooter in his lucharesu home promotions, but looks really pro style in BattlARTS, so that's always a little weird, but he was pretty good in parts here and didn't look lost wondering what to do. Lots of cool, sometimes slick and always competitive grappling throughout and the finish actually felt like a big moment. Not a huge adrenaline rush like the greatest BattlARTS matches but it delivers everything you want.
  5. This was alright, though more like your red hot New Japan juniors fare than what you'd typically associate with Battlarts. Still, red hot is red hot and it had excellent heat. You'd think they'd hit a point of diminishing returns with the nearfalls considering literally every pin attempt from word one was a 2.999 count, but the crowd didn't seem to peak early. Tajiri was rolling out all sorts of lucha submissions like a nippy little Blue Panther and you're reminded that he worked Mexico for a minute there. I don't love Tanaka, but he's crisp and his stuff looks good so...that's a thing, I guess.
  6. Man I forgot how good this match was. DAMN. The first 30 seconds alone are utter brutality. This was a total shootstyle gangwar, which plays to their strengths. Lots of guys piling up and kicking and stomping the crap out of someone 2 on 1. If you know anything about BattlARTS or these guys you will know those kicks and stomps were no joke. Between the hitting and getting hit there were a bunch of fun, slick as ice mat scrambles. Hell, even Minoru Tanaka's shit looked good! Even Yone's shit looked good!! My only problem was the slight clipping, robbing us of 2 or 3 minutes of BattlARTS goodness. Still, the rest of this was great trademark BattlARTS violence & grappling at an awesome pace with a killer finish on top of it. Great sprint.
  7. 18 minute match clipped down to 10, making this a sprint. Ikeda and Ishikawa start the match with a crazy headbutt exchange and they are just fighting like feral animals. Oh boy the sheer CONTEMPT Ishikawa has for Ikeda. Usuda and Tanaka blast eachother with kicks to the face. Tanaka, for once, was pretty tight here. It never ceases to fascinate me how these guys would go to any japanese town hall and proceed to kill eachother night in night out. EDIT: It's of course Ikeda teaming up with Katsumi Usuda.
  8. Pretty fun BattlARTS spotboy match. Kinda veered into trained monkey show at times, Minoru Tanaka was even slapping his thigh, but Hidaka & Fujita were pretty fun to check out here. It has fallen into complete obscurity, but once upon a time Minoru Fujita was a talented little dude who had all the ultra choice moves. His La Casita into Calf Slicer and Terry Funk rolling cradle into the same hold were really post modern and steal-worthy. He does some good legwork on Mochizuki (who of course doesn't bother to sell) then some fun finishing sequences ensue.
  9. Junior shoot style! God this match was infuriating. On one hand they have a bunch of cool ideas that would make for badass GIFs. On the other hand this became a chore to watch. They come up with cool striking flurries, flashy counters and so on-but really suck at connecting them into something cohesive, milking drama and creating urgency. "Boring leglocks" is something that's thrown at shoot style a bunch as a critique of why it's not good, and most of the time people that say that have no idea what they're talking about, but it really applies here. Every time they'd grab a leglock they'd just kill the crowd, there was just no way that was finishing the match, and it didn't help that the way they worked the match was dumb, essentially they'd grab "clean" submissions a bunch of times and then either do rope breaks or counter them after five or so seconds, and when they would try to milk them they'd do a poor job of it, giving the crowd clues they were going to go for a rope break instead of selling it more dramatically and then doing a short burts that would result in an escape. Seek out GIFs of this if anyone's even interested in making those and avoid the match. **
  10. Minoru Tanaka looked like he was cosplaying Tamura to get a gig in RINGS here. Tanaka actually tried to have a serious match here and went above his usual mediocrity, so this isn't quite "Ishikawa carries someone to his career match for the 3,000th time", but, still... you don't really see Minoru Tanaka matches this good against someone not named Ishikawa. Really good match with no cute stuff, just really good matwork and Ishikawa doing a great job playing outmatched veteran worker against younger athlete.