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Found 9 results

  1. Calling this match shoot style or just shoot inspired might be the easiest way to get it over it but it would provide a shallow and historically inaccurate description. Shoot style was the creation of 1984 and 1988. New Japan continued to have its own style that would come in contact with the shootiness, but really started seriously flirting with it when they had the UWFi feud and then started bringing in Naoya Ogawa, Don Frye and so on. It peaked in the early 2000s as that was the peak of both PRIDE and Inoki's insanity, and you can see it in this match. It doesn't feel like UWF or RINGS or UWFi or PWFG. There's a distinct flair and style in this match-one that has maximized many of the elements of New Japan training Maeda used when creating the original style, but they also appropriate many of the elements used in modern combat fighting of the times such as soccer knees, knees on the ground etc. I know many aren't really fans of it, and politics and workers that couldn't thrive in the style could detract from it, but as far as looking for a good example of it being done right this might be your best bet. The brutality is just off the charts, but watching them fight for guard positions and takedowns and seeing how they set up the big spots is just as interesting. Shibata soccer kicking Fujita right in the eye is up there with the most brutal spots in wrestling history and you get a bunch of zoom ins at Fujita's swelling too. There was something chilling about the whole thing that's hard to put into words, during his entrance Shibata just completely covered his face with the towel and he ended it laying on the mat looking lifeless, as if he was a young lion going to a battle he wasn't ready for. ****1/2
  2. Ah, the glorious period of New Japan when wrestlers were forced to shave their heads and wear gloves. It is always interesting to see what conclusions workers came to when doing matches like these. Kensuke's Lariats and Strangle Holds aren't exactly shooty, but they don't feel *that* out of place in these hybrid matches either, and certainly give the match a unique flair. There's a lot of face punching, which is enjoyable on its own but these two find smart ways to incorporate them into transitions as well as make it look like a struggle-you'll see dodging, shoving, blocking and so on. Kensuke's great timing maximized the value of his flash attacks and hearing the echo of the Dome crowd is always a special feeling. Fujita's side mount knees were a nice callback to what he was doing in PRIDE at the time and the TKO finish was worked about as well as it gets. ***1/2
  3. This match is famous because of the clip where Inoki gets in the ring and punches Nakamura. There was nothing exciting about the match itself; I mean this would've been fine as a midcard tag, but as a Dome main event...? There are some solid exchanges and a brutal soccer kick finish but that's it pretty much. Kashin adds nothing (shocker!) and the potential fun matchups don't deliver their potential. Nakamura was pretty mediocre here so I guess he deserved to get punched. He was working like a US indy guy in the opening portions and that's a real disgrace. He also put up very little fight against Fujita during the finish. There is a little bit of Fujita and Nakanishi crowbarring eachother, and Nakanishi manhandling Kashin, but not enough really. Worst of all is they never really engaged the crowd.
  4. The promo video for the match is great-they show Kensuke playing with his sons, and him and Hokuto talk about his role in the family, Fujita as a pro wrestler/MMA fighter, being a monster champion, the risks of facing him and so on. The match lasts for only two and a half minutes, as Fujita pins himself in a sleeper to lose the belt. They exchanged some nice shots while the match lasted but the angle itself is so much more fascinating. Kensuke is pissed, not happy he won that way whatsoever, as Fujita seemingly threw the match. That is more of a result of all the backsta politicking that was taking place at the time than a result of some geniously planned angle, but it does make one wonder how something like that could be used for storyline purposes. Divorced from all the emotion and rage fans at the time experienced my observation was that it was fun and unique, though obviously not a good business model. ***
  5. Kazuyuki Fujita vs Toshiaki Kawada - NJPW G-1 Climax 08/14/05 Kawada is so fucking good against shooter. His way of selling and firing back up is perfect for the environment. I have seen MMA fights, when they are in pain it is for a bit, but they know they got to fire right back up. Kawada knows how to do that jelly leg sell and then just snap out of it to fire a big kick to the head. This is basic Fujita lots of great fucking knee lifts. He seems to have punched himself out and Kawada looks to actually win with a jumping kick to the head and then a guillotine choke. Fujita just has to much for him and a barrage of knees win it. Fujita's knees on the ground need some work. I loved the length of this because they were beating the shit out of each other and shouldn't go long. Was hoping for something as good as Fujita vs Tanahashi, but not quite there. Fujita is definitely no Brock and he is not even an Naoya Ogawa. He just does not have that presence of badass shooter even if he is one. ***1/2
  6. This was a blast, Goto really took it to Fujita, busting out a bunch of nasty Backdrops together with Lariats and other offence you'd expect from a lumpy old guy who worked WAR. The match was essentially a three minute long finishing stretch, Fujita played FIP for most of the match and couldn't go all out with the violence because of who his opponent (the clubbing blows to the back and stomps don't really suit him) was but he still managed to throw a brutal counter forearm and a Frankensteiner of all things. ***
  7. Fun little match in the vein of the faux shoots that started becoming more prominent around the time. McCully didn't do anything of note, lots of kicks and punches that looked ok but were mainly there so Fujita could counter them with takedowns and also picking McCully up in the air like a child and slamming him down. **3/4
  8. Let me tell you something, I don't care what anyone says, I don't care what the fans in the arena thought, this match ruled, the modern New Japan fans and all the weaklings that have been conditioned to have their wrestling clean can buzz off. Suwama and Fujita have REAL HEAT, and the match begins with a long staredown which feels like something out of those epic Hashimoto matches I rated seventy six stars, the crowd is perplexed that they would do this and of course turns on them but Suwama and Fujita proceed to have out of this world amazing interactions regardless, slapping the shit out of each other, brawling all over the place, legit busting each other open, it's amazing. Okabayashi and Sekimoto have their usual interactions, and I like two big dudes running into each other with shoulder blocks and exchanging a million chops as much as the other guy but the money is in what Suwama and Fujita do. For all the shit Fujita gets he had no problem getting his ass handed to him here as he suffered severeal visual defeats in the end. Sekimoto and Okabayashi are way more interesting when they're pushing people off the apron and fighting in a match with actual heat. Awesome WAR tribute match. Man do I regret not ranking Kazuyuki Fujita. ****1/4