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Found 15 results

  1. I wish MUGA had been a full time promotion at this time. This was mostly on the mat, which is where everyone here looks good. This was certainly a good use of Hase whose amateur style stuff still looks very powerful. He and Nishimura with his awesome briding where the standouts here early on. Mutoh just did his usual spiel for the finish, altough Fujinami hitting a flying knee on him was really fun and Nishimuras selling made it look better than usual.
  2. Most of the match is worked in Nishimura's style, lots of matwork and spots you're used to seeing in his matches like the neck bridge test of strength and so on, Sasaki mostly plays along and occasionally utilizes his strength to escape Nishimura's holds, which is the only thing setting it apart from the usual Nishimura sequences. The finish leans more towards Kensuke's style, as he takes the initiative and starts rocking Nishimura with bigger moves while Nishimura tries to avoid them and utilize his throwback techniques like Cobra Cluthes, the Octopus Stretch, Inoki's low kicks from the Ali fight and so on to fight back. Both guys are good at whey to but it felt like they needed a few more years of seasoning to really mesh in a way that could produce greatness. ***1/4
  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. This was the best of the Forgotten Kawada TC Defenses I watched today and a borderline classic. And the reason for that is, of course, Osamu Nishimura. Nish often gets branded as a novelty worker who just does tribute matches imitating Dory Funk Jr spots, which is simply not true, as he does a bonafide job working a true Kings Road style match against Kawadas strike based style here. Not forcing him to work his trademark style at all, just building a really good match around his signature spots while educating the crowd on the importance of Backslides and Abdominal Stretches, telling a story and all while never losing his composure. The opening sees Nishimura ambushing Kawada and targeting his leg, they then proceed to work a basic exchange, Kawada goes for a cheapshot but Nish blocks him and hits back, showing he's prepared. They continue in this vein, with Kawada lacing into Nishimura with strikes only for Nishimura to fire back on him, often punching or headbutting him in the eye. This causes Kawada to actually get fired up and look like a dangerous striker against Nishimuras more toned down offense like getting punched and headbutted in the eye actually shook him after years of getting elbowed, kicked, chopped etc. There is some excellently executed legwork and a flawless build to a Figure 4 which was full of struggle and great. Kawadas selling was pretty hit and miss as per usual during this period but I actually thought it was acceptable. The finishing run was really great, well put together stuff with plenty of neat spots and I thought it was largely carried by Nishimuras amazing charisma, he is such a wrestling master with how he manages to work his stuff with so much urgency, he really yanks on Kawadas neck when he goes for a sleeper, he would also go from an Abdominal Stretch to a pin to an armbar trying to force the tap, like he was trying everything he knew to get that win. His bumping is also up there with the best of the 90s death seekers, as when he takes a back suplex his head and feet touch the ground at about the same time but he folds his neck up. I thought his performance here was close to Hondas GHC challenge in 2003. Kawada had one of his better nights on his TC run too, I really liked how he would sell Nishimuras finer strikes and really liked the Octopus Hold into Stretch Plum as a Fuck You to Nishimuras lineage. Great stuff and one of the few matches where you'll see Kawada carried.
  5. Surprisingly good tag action here. This was really solid and moved logically from one section to another. Nishimura & Yamazaki outskilling their opponents was a ton of fun. I don't think anyone has ever praised Yasuda, but he was perfectly good here as your big sumo guy who will stomp you. Also, reminder that Iizuka was once a perfectly capable grappler. Really liked the finish and the Dome crowd got into Yasuda big time.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. This is a fun matchup even though it's rather obvious from the start that it would be better off in a smaller setting than the Tokyo Dome. Suzuki pretty much dominates the matchup from the early going as he has a creative shoot-style counter to all of Nishimura's old-school spots. Eventually catching Nishimura in a cross-armbreaker then focusing his attack on the arm. Just when it looks like Nishimura has no answer for Suzuki's attack he gets a backslide out of nowhere for the win. This was fun but it comes off as a teaser to watch this to could do if you gave them 20+ mins at Korakuen.
  9. This starts off with some great, great pro style matwork and leads to a stalemate where Akiyama offers a great fake handshake to "congratulate" Osamu for hanging with him thus far. That is just one spot obviously but I don't see the general Akiyama is bland arguments at all. He is a super magnetic performer to me. I guess charisma is relative. My biggest problem with him is that he seems to have fewer singles matches around this level than some of the other elite and that's why I am hesitant to place him in the absolute top tier of greats. Anyways I digress, the match develops into dueling neck work on Nishmura and leg work on Akiyama (which he sells brilliantly). Nishimura presents himself as the underdog well to get the crowd behind him and the heat increases to crazy levels by the end. The finish is smartly done. Excellent match. **** 1/4
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