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Found 15 results

  1. How about this for a lumpy undercard dream match? This was like some parallel universe Dark Tower shit because both guys are basically each other if their career trajectories happened to be swapped. Nakano works SWS/WAR? He's Kitahara. Kitahara does shoot style and ends up in a Takada promotion? He's Nakano. To be fair, though, I actually didn't expect Kitahara to be as fun in this environment. I mean, it isn't really a shoot style match as opposed to a pro style match with shoot style trappings, but it was a neat enough amalgamation and I liked how Kitahara handled himself. The early mat exchange was nice and solid and once again Nakano ends up with a bloody nose. It must be made of mashed potato. Pretty soon they start smacking each other in the face real hard and my Clone Wars theory is confirmed as Kitahara's nose also gets opened up, though this was at least a result of a nasty looking knee and not just breathing, which is what I assume did for Nakano. Nakano hits a German and Kitahara no sells it like "*I* am the lumpiest here!" and roundhouse kicks Nakano in the head. This was yet another fun six minutes.
  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. For a match that wraps up in under 10 minutes, there is a lot do it. Funaki is wrestling his fourth match for UWF 2.0 and already has losses to Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Yoji Anjo, plus a DQ loss to Bob Backlund on his record sheet. Nakano came up through the original UWF and while by no means a star, is positioned as both the veteran and fan favorite against Funaki. There is very much an “our guy” versus “this other guy we are unsure about” vibe from the fans throughout. The match has excellent heat form the start. Just that total anticipatory shouting and yelling type of heat. Hakata Star Lane only holds a few thousand fans (and it shows) but man, those fans made a lot of noise. An awesome big fight atmosphere that is made even more remarkable by the fact that these fans just sat through a 30 minute draw between Mark Rush & Minoru Suzuki. You would never know that this match was coming of the heels of a 30 minute draw and was positioned second on a five match card by the crowd reaction. They take advantage of that anticipation by going at it right away and cutting a remarkable pace. This is a brawl in every way possible. They throw hard kicks and slaps in a reckless but still skilled manner. There is almost no separation between the two wrestlers, save for few times the times when one is trying to answer a ten count and a couple of timeouts for the doctor to check on Nakano. The doctor looks at Nakano because he gets a busted up and has his nose bloodied early. The blood adds another dimension to the match and heat, as blood tends to do. Nakano and Funaki had a better pro wrestling brawl by staying in the ring and not using any weapons than most guys who lean on those gimmicks do. The mat work is overall very good. They were able to take the intensity from the standup stuff and transition it the ground, which is not always easily done. There was a real struggle and stiffness to the mat portions of the match, with both guys constantly in motion trying to counter and escape. There are shoot style matches that have higher level submission attempts and escapes, but given the intensity they were wrestling with it didn’t make an ounce of difference. They fell into the somewhat common shoot style trap of getting tied in dual leg locks, but got out of it quickly without losing any of the momentum they had built. In fact, they only gained crowd momentum as the match wore on. As hot as the crowd was at the start, they only got louder in throwing their support behind Nakano. One the blood starting flowing, the crowd threw all their weight behind Nakano by chanting his name and screaming during his comebacks. Nakano lifting his fist towards the crowd after the doctor decides that the match can continue was a great moment and only served to get the crowd even more behind him. Funaki jumped right back on top him after that. Funaki never allowing Nakano to gain much space was a big factor in the match working as well as it did. Nakano’s low-to-the-mat suplexes are great. I loved how he teased one signature snap suplex only for Funaki to half-block it in this really realistic manner. Funaki didn’t just put on the breaks or get on a knee like you would normally see. Rather, it came off like he was holding his weight back as much as he possibly could, but still ended up being driven halfway into the mat on his head. When Nakano pulled off the same suplex cleanly later in the match, it got a big reaction. I could see the argument that they could have used a couple more high level near-submissions for Nakano near the end, but the ones they had felt like more than enough. It would have been difficult for them to draw more heat for a near-victory than what they were already drawing. The finish felt like it came at just the right time, plus Nakano milked it just long enough before giving up that it had time to sink in. It is a cliché, but this was one of those matches where both winner and loser came out looking strong. My first thoughts after watching this was “that’s what some people think Ishii matches are” and “that’s what Ishii matches should be.” I am not picking on Ishii or at least I don’t intend to. But this was a hard hitting, super intense brawl of a match that never let up and got there without burning through a bunch of stuff or going long. I read a lot of people talk up matches from Ishii, Sekimoto and the like because they gravitate towards matches where two guys take a lot of punishment and go down swinging. That is fine, but matches like this are an example of how that can be done without resorting to no-selling, burning through moves, or going long. A match like this is potentially appealing to a far wider offense because it doesn’t do those things, while keeping the positive elements (drama, intensity, the feeling of a throw down brawl) of an Ishii-type bomb fest. Awesome match overall and probably one of my favorite sub-10 minute matches of all time. It is quick, heated, and hits almost all of the right notes. http://www.crossarmbreaker.com/masakatsu-funaki-vs-tatsuo-nakano-uwf-2-0-07241989/#more-3100
  4. Simple, smartly worked undercard match. The opening is full of lock-ups, headlocks, fighting for positions, defence spots etc.-they mix in some strikes as well, do enough to keep you interested but not enough to garner a reaction outside of a polite clap here and there. They naturally bridge that to the escalation of the finishing stretch where they go all out, laying in brutal palm strikes, knees and doing a bunch of swank submission counters. ***1/4
  5. The perseverance of Nakano is also a part of the ~shoot style storytelling~. A big win on the last show earns him a match against Takada. Pretty standard match for these two, so quite good but not quite what it could've been had they went all out. Love them fighting for positioning on the ground and the fighting spirit spot was really interesting and in character for Nakano-they do a "is that kick all you've got?", it gets a big pop and they move on. Because it makes for a far better match than exchanging low kicks for five minutes in the centre of the ring, and one where you can suspend your disbelief much more easily. I was impressed by how synchronized they were on knockdown spots, convincingly following through when you you're going down adds a lot to the viewing experience. Awesome finish here as they tie a callback to Nakano's big win from the last show into a sequence where Takada counters Nakano and Nakano dramatically kicks away before being forced to tap. ***1/4
  6. I was surprised to see how this match actually looked like, since I remembered it just as a couple of minutes of awesome striking. On a rewatch the almost five minutes were still awesome, but their content and what made it work quite different. It's true that there were strike exchanges-and they worked for the characters, Nakano is an undercard shoot wrestler overmatched by Tenryu, who uses sumo-style slapping shoves to corner Nakano time and time again. Nakano's only chances are in going for a submission and utilizing kicks-and even in such a short match they'll take their time in Tenryu recuperating from an Armbar and setting the pace for their next show-off instead of just going straight to it, it really makes a difference in how the crowd perceives the match and reacts to it. It's remarkable how much thought they put into the finish of a match like this-Tenryu goes for a Hiptoss, Nakano stops it by palm striking Tenryu's face off, and as he's about to get on top of him Tenryu kicks his leg out from the bottom, injuring it, and then quickly takes care of Nakano with a Half Crab. If you think about it Tenryu's matches vs UWFi guys really were basically Battlarts style. ***1/4
  7. Lots of goodness here. Match started of pretty slow but I find it muche easier to concentrate when wrestlers are fighting for position, gauging the distance for striking and generally acting like they are actually fighting than when they just grab a hadlock for five minutes. Early highlight was Nakano busting out a shoot DDt, but things got out of control once Miyato broke Nakano's nose with palm strikes, then the transitioned to a cool subplot of Anjoh and Nakano hitting each other with illegal elbows and they finished the match off with Anjoh and Yamazaki blasting each other and Yamazaki's awesome selling of peril where he gradually acted weaker and weaker before going down. ***1/4-***1/2
  8. Before the match Anjoh signals he doesn't want any elbows in this match, doing a callback to their tag from May and thus cueing the famed ~shoot style storytelling~. And so they fight, and Anjoh starts punching Nakano in the body and Nakano loses his temper and starts foreaming/elbowing Anjoh, somewhere in there he gets his nose broken and this turns into an even bigger shootfight with both athletes sneaking in punches during their striking flurries and an awesome flash finish. Sometimes the most shocking thing to do is to actually end the match instead of doing an escape/counter/kick-out when you're most expecting it. ***1/2
  9. The spot where Tamura charges in for a takedown and Nakano just knees him in the face and casually walks away is one of my favorites ever. The rest of the match is really good too: gritty, hard fought stuff with some great Tamura character work. *** 3/4
  10. The second match from UWFII's first show Starting Over is as intruiguing, ambitious and entertaining as you'd hope for. The structure of the match is simple-it starts out with them simply gauging the distance with leg kicks and some simple takedowns and mat exchanges and the match gradually heats up. The way the holds are used here is hard to compare to anything else-like a weird combo of U-style and classic NWA style. Essentially, there are plenty of submission attempts where the submission isn't fully locked in, and the true pay-off is more in the transition which comes after the hold than the hold itself. They managed to convincingly display their character gradually getting frustrated and going from cheapshots to just plain brawling. Anjoh pinballed as much as he possibly could've in this setting, the novelty of the style resulted in some interesting moments like Anjoh going for a Jacknife Pin, shooting Nakano into the ropes and Nakano going for a Dragon Suplex as well as going for a pin straight off a German. The match also had a well executed shoulder injury angle, which was sold fittingly (Anjoh targeted it with his kicks and strikes and went for submission on Nakano's bad arm, Nakano sold it initially and after the match but didn't weep and go overboard). Really, had they found conclusions other than rope breaks a few more times when there was a locked in submission this would've easily been a great match. ***3/4
  11. This was a really fun trios where guys mostly run in to do fun shit. Itakura likes to throw stiff kicks, but ends up taking a big beating and ends up suplexed into a bunch of chairs. Fujiwara was mostly slapping the taste out of people's mouths and Nakano, for a UWF guy, mostly focussed on bringing hurty looking strikes, at one point raining punches to the back of Itakura's head from back mount. Go was off the chain here and acted like a crazy motherfucker you wouldn't want to confront, ramming into people with headbutts like a madman. Yatsu and Okamura were decent enough but mostly this was a showcase for the fun stuff the Fujiwara/Nakano/Go dream team could do.
  12. Grimmas

    Tatsuo Nakano

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