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Found 18 results

  1. Murakami and his BattlARTS pal shake things up in New Japan. Tanahashi & Kenzo actually step up here, working shootstyle and look good. Tanahashi's matwork is especially way better than pretty much anything he did from 2006 onward. Kenzo throwing big crowbar suplexes is certainly way better than whatever he did later also. This was basically an Ishikawa section followed by a Murakami section with both guys bringing their signature stuff. Ishikawa doing cool matwork and Murakami punching dudes in the face. Good shit but you come out of this match wanting to see a singles match.
  2. This would've been a great match if Nagata was as good as Murakami. The opening was sketchy as that was where Nagata had his shine, and it had him do weird slap-claps on Murakami's back, bad looking worked spots and just generally offence that would look bad for a house show tag, let alone a big Dome match, and his timing in general seemed off. Then we get to the meat of the match, which is Murakami's beatdown, and it rules every bit as much as you'd hope, he beats the hell out of Nagata with all sorts of awesome punching and kicking variations, awesome throws and so on. May not be the best one he's ever done, but still totally badass. Then it's time for Nagata's revenge and he amps up the violence, laying in some nice kicks, but it's clear his ideas on how to project violence without actually hitting someone aren't nearly as good as Murakami's, he can throw a good kick, and he can even throw a good knee once in a while, but when he's forced to rely on them too much he wasn't able to maintain that level of believability for long, when he was on the outside throwing knees that Murakami bladed for they looked quite good, but by the time he went for them again in the ring they'd already started looking head scratching. His headbutts were just disappointing, the idea of him throwing headbutts so the blood spills from Murakami's forehead to his was cool, but the actual headbutts weren't very good looking, someone like Akiyama can make headbutting his own hand look way more violent than Nagata does actually connecting with the move (maybe that's the problem-if you connect you need to go all the way ala Ikeda/Ono while working allows more room for misdirecting the viewer). I did like the finish a lot-Murakami continuing to get up despite beating to a pulp was something resembling a movie more than a wrestling match, maybe it's just that his facial expressions are so big and memorable that one can't help think he'd make a great villain, it was quite well done, Murakami's last flurry of throwing desperation shots looked exactly like he was gassed/spent, and when he went for a throw Nagata easily countered it with a Backdrop. I also enjoyed how the crowd bit on the penalty kick as a nearfall because they'd teased it in the beginning and they were conditioned to matches ending at any time because of Inoki's insanity, and the post-match brawl was lovely, I almost expected them to shake hands or show some kind of respect when they kneeled in front of each other but instead they just slapped the taste out of each other's mouths and it turned into a gang war. Not on the level of their 2002 classic but still very much worth watching. ***3/4
  3. A well done, aggressive sprint with the ferocious striking prowess of Murakami vs. the pro wrestling smarts and skill of Ohtani. Ohtani momentarily deviating from his pro-style game plan near the end cost him dearly as it opened the door for the KO. ***1/2
  4. You have to wonder whether the ZERO1 debut was the best debut card of all time. Just loaded with exciting fights. This is a Murakami match with Ohtani stepping up to the challenge, just a hurricane of wild strikes and a feel of danger. Ohtani sweeping and punting a crazy MMA fighter is way cooler than Ohtani working fighting spirit epics. Not much depth, but you know what youre getting.
  5. Murakami wasn't doing his googly eyed psycho act at this point, but he was getting there. This was a really fun match. Yone is hit and miss, but put him in a short match where his sole duty is to hit and get hit really hard, he's quite formidable. Lots of guys pushing into eachother and trying to land thudding kicks and punches which is Murakamis forte. His non-showy style of matwork was a nice contrast to the BattlARTS crew and their shenanigans as well. Last few minutes was basically Murakami acting as a mini-Naoya Ogawa which works just for fine. Short, stiff, to the point, nothing too complicated and the ending drew big crowd reactions, it's everything an undercard on a post modern shootstyle/lucharesu joint show should be.
  6. Talk about it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOIc8qn1r0Y&feature=youtu.be
  7. Jetlag

    Big Mouth LOUD

    BE MAD WITH ATTACK!!! BML was a japanese indy from a time when there were a fuckload of japanese indies. The guy behind it was former NJPW Fumihiko Uwai and the point of BML was to be some sort of Neo NJPW and keep it's spirit while Actual NJPW was drifting away into La La Land under Tanahashi. For a promotion with so many awesome guys (Fujiwara! Kurisu! BattlARTS dudes! Random MMA stiffs! Murakami!) BML gets kind of slept on. A guy on YouTube was nice enough to upload all of it, so time to give it a look. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOfKmK5nZIurQ8fUk26GcA/videos Show 1 - BML "Illusion" 9/11/2005 Osamu Kido vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara I love a fed that begins with two old guys doing essentially a maestro match. It was a little weird that while Kido was much smaller than Fujiwara here they didn't play the size difference up much, but what do ya want. Also, I can't recall the last time I saw a Fujiwara match where he was this respectful to an opponent and never came across as eating the other guy up. They actually start this working in the extinct early 80s NJPW native vs. native junior style with monkey flips and stuff and it's all fun, until a few minutes in they get into what you expect these two to get into and start fighting over armbars on the ground. Kido is such an underrated guy, actually may have outworked Fujiwara as he moved swiftly and gracefully and just had so many awesome defensive spots. Fujiwara would sink into his signature Armbar, but couldn't actually get a submission because of Kido's resistance, so had to continue working. This style is much less fancy than Johnny Saint or Navarro/Solar maestro matches, but really hard fought. Kido also had these nifty knee lifts to the face. Kido pretty much ruled. Embarassing finish where the timekeeper guy forgets there is a timelimit and Fujiwara has to explain to him the match is over. Still, what a trip to watch. Daisuke Ikeda vs. Katsumi Usuda I love a fed that follows a technical match with something really violent. This was pretty much high end BattlARTS violence in a 5 minute Velocity match form. Usuda did a slick submission counter at one point, but the rest of the match was just these two killing eachother. To be honest, the match was kind of stupid as they busted out all these stiff shots and neither the lightning fast spinning backfist to the face nor the absolutely terrifying running square hook to the jaw followed by brutal lariat combo ended the match nor did any of the brutal kicks they threw. I don't expect a random undercard match from a defunct vanity indy fed to have some sense though. If this happened on some WCW syndie show it would be legendary. They killed eachother, and it was good. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hiroyuki Ito See, this is what I'm missing from current puro. A martial artist vs. barrel chested powerhouse match that has some sense. No cute signature moves or 2.9999 forced epic bullshit, just two guys with a lot of anger going at eachother. The key here was the pacing as they moved back and forth from doing mat stuff to knocking the piss out of eachother very nicely. Honestly, Ishii was kind of poor in this match and I think Ito may have carried it. Ishii did a bunch of his "Here is my chest, please hit it so people will see I am very tough" shit and for a guy who's a Choshu kid he doesn't really know how to be very charismatic. Ito did a bunch of nifty dodging and acting like a dipshit (especially loved him pussying out of an Ishii headbutt and just waffling him in the face). His knees and slaps were also brutal. I also liked his selling towards the end where he keeps trying to withstand Ishii's force only for Ishii to hit him with nastier and nastier shots until his body went completly limp. Riki Choshu & Takashi Uwano vs. Buck Quatermain & Steve Madison Okay, now these are some name gaijins! To his credit, Madison was pretty solid, doing some nice wrestling, mocking Choshu and clubbering his boy in the face at one point. Quatermain on the other hand was pretty worthless. It didn't really matter as this was a Choshu style tag where guys just run in and hit their stuff. Uwano's stuff looked really nice, as he can stomp and kick and throw a bodyslam, and Choshu can do whatever he wants anyways. Enson Inoue vs. Gerard Gordeau Okay, now for the really amazing stuff. This was shockingly fun. Gordeau as a tattooed bum who will rip your eye out wouldn't look out of place in a Tarantino movie and Enson gets to be hero, withstanding the eyepokes and taking him down a bunch. Shockingly entertaining 3 minute bout. Alexander Otsuka vs. Yuki Ishikawa A really great match. If you haven't seen it go watch it. It's pretty much a distillate of what these two were doing in BattlARTS over the years packaged into a neat sub 15 minute highlight. Some beautiful, unorthodox grappling on the mat leading to brutal headbutts and punch and then a bunch of spine compressing suplexes before a great finish with an excellent build to it. Usuda/Ikeda in the undercard was the awesome 5 minute Velocity match, this is the awesome 12 minute Regal/Benoit main event. Except it's better. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kazunari Murakami The big main event with a lot of prominent guys in the audience watching! Young Shibata obviously had a big weight on his shoulders going into this match, but they got up gave a spirited performance. Murakami is a great guy, but didn't act as crazy as I expected him to. They just collided into eachother throwing everything they had, spin kicks, punches and frantic mat scrambles. It wasn't anything truely elite and the finish could have used a little more pomp, but they never lost the crowd and gave them the reckless spin kicks and epic staredowns a good main event needs. Not on the level of the semi main when it comes to skill, but I prefer this stuff over whatever Shibata is doing in Actual NJPW these days.
  8. Total dream match for me right here. Ten seconds in Kensuke and Murakami quarrel over who's going to start and chop and punch each other for a second before Kensuke starts things off, that spot is awesome in that setting but when you have like, Sekimoto and X modern puro guy doing it for twenty minutes it's boring. MiSU-Kensuke interactions sound least intriguing since I've seen them go at it plenty of times including a 40 minute match. They do a quick strike exchange and Kensuke irish whips MiSu into the ropes and-stare offs might not work in junior matches after doing kung fu sequences but they totally work here when MiSu suddenly stops as Kensuke is going to chop him. That's UWF blood for you. Fujiwara and Murakami do some nice grappling and MiSu stomped Murakami when they were near his corner which was a great touch and him not so subtly repeteadly kicking off Murakami's feet of the ropes to break the rope break was awesome as well. Murakami is just the best, he might be the greatest ever at conveying disgust and disdain through facial expressions. Minoru Suzuki can phone it in but man he is great when he wants to be, it's so much fun watching him troll Murakami and just act like a dick. The Murakami peril in section was absolutely hilarious, you gotta love the tremendous pastice of shoot style and comedy Fujiwara and MiSu present here. Loved the way Fujiwara fell down after Sasaki Lariated him, it looked like a beast of a man hit him in the back of the head and that's how he sold it. I fucking lost it when Kensuke fucked up the save, laughing out loud while Fujiwara punches people in the face is about as ennjoyable as wrestling gets and they immediately followed it up with Suzuki stomping on Murakami's head in the corner (which is Murakami's signature move), Fujiwara shitbeating Murakami and then choking him when Murakami yelled at him in an insulting matter AND then Fujiwara distracting the ref so Suzuki could choke Murakami and just pull his nose and do all these disgusting things. Murakami's comeback is the world's greatest uppercut (boxing, not european) and the finishing run is awesome as Kensuke Sasaki runs over people, Murakami and MiSu beat the shit ouf of each other and Fujiwara bleeds a lot at the age of 200. ****1/4
  9. Jo and Okuda cut a classic "we're not done with each other yet, but we're teaming up to face the invaders" promo before the match and proceed to absolutely deliver. A great coming out performance for them, and a wild, chaotic tag team brawl I'd expect more from WWC of whatever indy decides to book LA Park, but it is back in Korauken and suddenly the days of Tarzan Goto blasting people don't feel so long ago. The key here is the modern puro strike exchange-usually a dreadful sight as two people exchange strikes for x amount of time. There are several differences here which make it work. There's a hierarchy-Jo and Okuda are severely outclassed. Murakami and Sato take their shots, but they can't afford to take shots back. The stubborness and agression in Jo and Okuda's performances really shakes things up-they keep getting up as fast as they can, desperately striking away, blindsighting and double teaming Sato and Murakami every chance they get. The consistency and dedication in their performances successfully creates the illusion that, once they do go down, it's not because it's "what you're supposed to do after losing a strike exchange", but because they really have been terribly overwhelmed. Sato and Murakami deliver the beating you'd want from this type of match-Murakami might as well have time traveled back in 2001, he looke like the best wrestler in the world here, just throwing ungodly punching combinations, wicked uppercuts, nearly killing people by hitting reckless Harai Goshis. Sato's forearms, headbutts and knees were on point as well, and the suit and giant tatoos make them look like a convincing yakuza pair. ****1/4
  10. This might be the greatest squash I've ever watched. I love watching Kensuke beat the shit out of people, there a lot of guys that use offence similar to Kensuke today like Sekimoto, Okabayashi, Hino etc., part of the problem with them is probably that they're too selfless and end up doing shitty modern puro tropes and as a result neither guy in the match looks good, Kensuke only cares about looking strong and he is much better at projecting himself as a badass asskicker than the modern guys and he also does a lot of great looking combination and moves current guys don't like the sandwich lariats, chops to the throat and neck etc. His matches are also a lot less likely to feel stale-there is a lot more urgency behind his movement and it feels like he is trying to win when he throws himself at his opponent with these big power moves. So yeah. That should have been my Kensuke Sasaki GWO case. Sorry mate. I'll do you justice by 2026 I promise. Anyway. Kazunari Murakami is amazing at getting annihilated-he takes an insane bump over the top rope for a chop and just generally does such awesome facial expression while getting beaten up and tries to fight out of the position he's in. He never quite does-he hits some nice punches and kicks for a moment but quickly loses control. Still the match feels like a lot more than just a squash. I loved Kensuke's Ipponseoi counter to Murakami's haymaker and liked the restart of the match-the thirty additional seconds we got felt like an ending of an all time classic. I hope their match from Kensuke's vanity fed is still preserved somewhere I have to rewatch that one as soon as possible now. ***1/2.
  11. This was really cool. The Sekimoto and Zeus interactions were the least interesting portion of the match, not that they were bad or anything but they were as standard as they get, Sekimoto is a one trick pony and his trick was never that good to begin with. Super Tiger II may not be a shoot style master but just his willingness to do shooty stuff is enough to make matches more interesting. Murakami was the star of the match as expected, I could watch him just taunt Sekimoto and his stupid face for twenty minutes and he seemed unusually motivated here and did way more than I expected him to. Highlight of the match was the finish, after some dull crowd brawling Murakami just goes berserk and starts blasting Sekimoto with punches in the face and starts throwing chairs around, it was the kind of awesome chaotic brawling I'd like to see more out of japanese wrestling these days. ***1/4
  12. Not the awesome all out brawl this would've been if Suzuki was around for Big Mouth Loud but still a fun time. Murakami might not do much these days but he's absolutely hilarious and I loved the way he and Wada played off each other here. T-Hash wrestling in an Iverson jersey may not even have been the most random outfit of anyone in the arena as I'm pretty sure I saw fans with ECW, IGF and Slayer shirts in the front row. An entertaining comedy match. ***
  13. A bizarre and awesome match, probably the closest we ever got to Tanahashi doing shoot style. You'd get tricked into thinking he is a good wrestler by watching this, he put his amateur wrestling skills to use and did some really nice takedowns and matwork. Eventually he tries to trade strikes with Murakami and dies via face punching. Super fun match, I doubt anything from this year's G1 will endear itself to me as much as this little bout did. Inoki come back. ***-***1/4
  14. I lost it when I saw this existed, Murakami-Nagata is a New Japan MOTD candidate and we get to see them go at it again, life is good. Enson Inoue is a guy I assume was universally hated at SSS ten years ago that I totally love and I'm not sure whether this was before or after Iizuka was broken down, I'l assume before because I'd like to stay positive and think BML wouldn't book someone that bad. And also he's still a face here and he turned heel after the injury so. My only problem with this is that Nagata has already picked some of his annoying quirks here like his goofy selling (especially the facial expressions he makes while doing so) and I also find his slapping style annoying, stomping the ring like some wrestlers do when punching while throwing slaps that make fine sounds on their own is just stupid in my book. This was still an awesome chaotic brawl though, Murakami is just wonderful and as of this moment is my favourite wrestler, Enson Inoue's com logic is basically full mount>face punch and his chances of making my GWE 2026 ballot improve with each match watched, I love the spot where he climbed onto the first rope while Holding Nagata in a Guillotine Choke as it looked like something done naturally to prevent Nagata to counter it by hitting him with body blows in the courner AND it was also a great way to feed Nagata a counter with a Northern Lights Suplex. Iizuka was good here too, viciously brawling, hitting people with brutal knees, stomps and punches, still Murakami vs Nagata is the main draw and they deliver, punches, shoot headbutts, kicks, they unload on each other and it rules. ****