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Found 15 results

  1. I've seen a lot of Inokiism stuff, some of it it good, some of it is weird, inexplicable and beyond ratings, I fully expected this to be chaotic and unconventional but the match ended up being absolutely amazing as well. The first thing that came to mind with the length is the Ikeda-Ono match, but this one is just better and I don't think it's close even. Saying this would be hailed as a MOTYC by the crew that pimps Futen and Battlarts if it had happened that would almost be instinctive but also undermine everything this match was. It was more than that. It was a pastiche of the Futen violence, the morality, stable wars and art of the no finish (best showcased in the 80s wrestling everyone loves so much) and real life politics blurring the line between reality and pre-determination. If you haven't seen it I urge you to watch the match with an open mind. If you have, I'd urge you to rewatch it since 2002 was a long time ago, you're distanced from the impact of the match on the business side of things now, and also your taste has probably changed, I don't think I've seen a single person talk about this *match* since I started discussing prowres online, so it's not exactly like it's been mandatory watching for now. The rest of the review includes spoilers and I think it's better to watch it without reading them, but suit yourself. When Kensuke knocked Ogawa in the beginning of the match it was not only a wonderful moment of violence, but also incredibly symbolic. We had seen Ogawa in positions of peril-but it was the first time someone had done something so shocking and so direct as to just smack him and start mounting on him. It was a true moment of peril-one after which it only made sense his stablemates would run into the ring. That and it was before the bell making it illegal. The next couple of minutes are as tense as any match I've ever seen, and really sophisitcated and simulatenously barbaric. The violence of a takedown, a throw, a punch and a kick are all well known, but displaying that well in a worked environment can be tricky and they absolutely nailed it. I remember hearing Jim Cornette saying something about how a criteria for a perfect match included everyone believing it was real-which sounded silly coming from him-but I don't think there's a match that's as good at that as this one that didn't turn into a real fight. And when Ogawa started shoot kicking Kensuke you even start questioning that-the images of the 1999 incident are just too visceral to ever be forgotten. But here Kensuke recovers, and goes after Ogawa, and hits him and throws him and makes him retreat, which is analogous to a count out victory over Andre, even if the scoreboard may have had it as a no contest. ****1/2
  2. This is one of those feel good matches you can just back and enjoy every second of it. Basically Hashimoto & Ogawa waltz in and just destroy everything in their path. STOs, nasty kicks and chops and various cool combination moves abound. Norton & Tenzan don‘t stand much of a chance but they try. You get a great little Norton performance as he sells all the nasty chops and kicks he takes to his shoulder in a big way. There is an art to selling in such a way that everyone can emphatize with you even when you‘re a giant muscled up dude like Norton and he had it down. Tenzan also doesn‘t suck!
  3. Welcome to Shinya Hashimoto's ZERO1, where 2 olympic medalists, a japanese megastar and a US nobody with a supersoldier gimmick get together to work Memphis meets Shootstyle with a sports entertainment twist. Ghaffari was pretty grotesque but was a really good monster/immovable object here, no lying. The fact his nasty gut squish attack lead to a credible nearfall aswell as him acting invincible like an olympic level greco roman wrestler should added a ton to the match. Hashimoto struggling to do anything and Ogawa finally taking him off his feet all felt like like big moments. Howard looked really good too at this point as he hit all his stuff perfectly, including braining Hashimoto with a world class superkick. Unfortunately the 2nd half kind of breaks down with lots of ref bullshit happening, altough there is still fun to be had with guys getting bowled around and Ghaffari almost killing Ogawa with one of the most devastating splashes ever caught on film. Should add Ogawa looked great here too heating up the fans and selling very well. Borderline listworthy, must watch if you want to check out something unique.
  4. Forget your initial feelings when you see this match up and believe me when I say: this was some wonderous pro wrestling. Lots of bullshit, but it was great bullshit. The Ogawa/Predator sections are really efficient in a "irresistable force vs. Immovable object“ way. Tom Howard looked great working his voodoo combat MMA stuff as he and Hashimotogo full Memphis meets Volk Han exhibition style. Some ref bullshit and a Gerard Gordeau run in do happen but that doesn't matter. You will be glad you watched this. Or maybe not.
  5. Big awesome spectacle. Ohtani rushes Ogawa kicking him in the face, and Kazunari Murakami is ringside causing trouble. Ogawa has his haters, but to me his greatness is undeniable as he is pretty much the best possible japanese Goldberg. When hits the first judo throw on Ohtani he just drills him into the mat, and when he follows up kicking Ohtani he looks like a killing machine. He looks like he will destroy a guy in 2 minutes, but his selling is such that it always looks like the other guy can believably make a comeback. I also love how he took a german suplex with his big lanky frame. Ohtani of course rules punching Ogawa in the balls and selling the beatdown huge especially the last STO where he was just laid out as if he had his neck broken.
  6. The matwork here won't make you forget your top level RINGS stuff, but I enjoyed the skill vs. Power dynamic with Frye constantly pushing Ogawa. His ground headbutts also ruled. Of course you have that big time feel especially when the big throws drop. Great finish.
  7. Fujiwara is a Gotch-trained judo black belt and a total badass, but he’s totally outmatched as a 52 year old trying to fight a 193cm/6’3 115kg judo world champion in his prime. He blindisghts Ogawa-but it doesn’t really work, even in his second step of trying to take Ogawa down he already meets a barrier he can’t destroy in Ogawa’s guard. Fujiwara’s only real chance of winning this is by a flash submission, as his catch training gives him an edge over Ogawa in that regard. Ogawa smartly uses the size advantage he has to control Fujiwara on the mat, while Fujiwara in turn desperately tries to counter Ogawa’s guards or grab a knee once Ogawa presses it against his face or goes for a kick or a knee strike. Ogawa punches Fujiwara on the ground throughout the match which Fujiwara acknowledges by doing really great exhaustion selling, which somewhat makes up for the mild intensity of Ogawa’s punches, and they manage to produce a great nearfall on Fujiwara finally grabbing a killhold, but in the end you can’t beat father time and Ogawa smashes his head into the canvas repeteadly to remind you of how many zealous practitioners of the gentle way got concussed by Masahiko Kimura in similar fashion. ***1/2
  8. Okay look, I get it. We're supposed to hate these matches because of the atrocious booking. Or because they ruined Hash's aura. I get that. By the general reaction in other threads I'm assuming a lot of people here witnessed this as it was going on and feel more upset about it. That's fine, I'm not gonna commend this as "ballsy" or something because it really is baffling booking for a feud with a guy who made you tons of money, even if MMA is on the rise and you want to seem legit. But I was seven when this happened. And I....just don't care about that aspect of these matches. I viewed Hash's rise and peak after it had long ended and I loved it all. And you know what? I loved this. The same way I loved what the first 2 Cena/Lesnar matches after he came back portrayed. To see an ace absolutely get overwhelmed and destroyed in such a surreal way is shocking, sure. But what makes these matches work is what that ace tries to do to survive it. This opens with Hashimoto again trying to mount some offense against Ogawa before getting swallowed up and having to roll outside and gameplan. This leads to Hashimoto having to make an opening creatively once again like in the '99 match and you get an absolutely awesome spinning low kick followed by Hashimoto trying to cave Ogawa's face in with stomps. It's unconventional, but it's him still finding a way to lay in a beating and Ogawa sells it well. And this is by far the most evenly worked match they had, again putting over that Hashimoto was closing the gap on not wanting to endure death by STO. We even get a section of I guess you could say legwork as Hashimoto destroys Ogawa's legs (which Ogawa sells incredibly well) and we get a submission finish tease. Every Hashimoto/Ogawa encounter to me is about what Hashimoto can do to not get engulfed late by STOs. This match more than any other one showed how much he didn't want that to happen, with the rope blocking, use of space, and struggle for Ogawa to even get a single one off. And late when it looks like he might be starting towards that we get that phenomenal DDT counter plus the armbar attempt that sends the crowd into a frenzy. Then we come to Ogawa putting Hash through the ringer with STOs and he again sells them tremendously. We can love Hash trying to fight through Choshu lariats so no reason not to love this. And I know there's always discourse about how much a crowd should matter in rating a match but the way they worked them during this entire feud is incredible. When Hashimoto finally can't rise again and gets counted out and you hear that woman just cry out from sadness at what occurred plus the looks of fans who are crushed is something else. Maybe it's something stupid, but when we remember that Hash opened a promotion after this, had excellent interpromotional feuds and matches, and even came back to NJPW a few months later anyway, it's not that bad to me. Not like any of us are on the NJPW payroll. Epic match.
  9. Grimmas

    Naoya Ogawa

    Discuss here.
  10. GOTNW


    Naoya Ogawa vs Kazuo Yamazaki-NJPW 6.7.1997. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG7_3p9rc5Q First Fujiwara-Frye, now this, today has been a good day. Ogawa is still in his gi-wearing phase and his offence is limited to judo stuff, it creates an interesting styles clash against a shoot wrestler like Yamazaki, there were a bunch of good looking slams and strikes in here but what really made it is how smartly they were built up, every offensive maneuver made here made sense from the persepctive of a wrestler trying to use his strenghts to gain advantage over the other, Yamazaki has the advantage in striking and kicking, Ogawa in throws and they overlap in submissions which is played up in a satisfying manner, I can't think of how this could've been any better, every transition is treated as a huge deal and there's a real sense of urgency in everything they do and the finish fits in perfectly with everything they'd had established.