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Found 6 results

  1. FUTEN baby. Ultra-stiff fast paced basically shootstyle brawl where everyone lays into each other with the stiffest punches, headbutts and lariats pro wrestling has ever seen. This is not even remembered as one of the greater matches from that brief but sweet run of FUTEN actually making tape in 2010, but it’s chock full of fantastic and violent exchanges. Just the opening exchange with Ikeda and Hara trying to pulverize each other was fantastic. I have seen some people object to the Brahmans in Futen before, but they are fine here, working stiff and their comedy spot was over quickly and didn’t derail the match. One of them also had this sick leaping headbutt. Hara looks great coming in for his hot tag crushing everyone, and Moriyama is really good in his fired up youngster role. Ono isn’t in the match a ton but he looks great lighting up dudes with punches and kicks and stretching them with nasty submissions. His exchange with Ikeda was insane and the highlight of the match by far. Ikeda was working this match like an injured but still super tough and dangerous beast. His chemistry with Ono is really no worse than his chemistry with Yuki Ishikawa, except Ono is in more of an aggressor role. The finish is between Ikeda and Moriyama and basically about Moriyama trying to slowly chop the boss down and getting met with brutal punts kicks and straight rights. Absolutely dope material, it’s too sad FUTEN only started regularily releasing DVDs in 2010.
  2. Awesome match, which may actually be the best Gannosuke singles I’ve seen, which is crazy to say about a match that happened in 2018. I guess random uploads from Japanese micro indy related YouTube channels are the new gold. I think this was during Gannosukes retirement run so he was bringing the goods. First half of the match is all matwork. Suruga is obviously younger and more athletic and pushing the pace, so Gannosuke breaks out a bunch of awesome Fujiwaraesque counters. Totally didn’t know he had that in him. Second half Suruga continues to dominate by laying into Gannosuke with kicks and palms, I also did not expect a 48 year old has-been-coasting-for-years Gannosuke to eat that kind of stiff punishment. It’s really all about whether Gannosuke is tough enough to survive and break out a counter or whether the younger wrestler will blow him away. Gannosuke is of course a really fun tricky pro wrestler, he can always turn a match around by just kicking someone in the balls or busting out his awesome Gannosuke Clutch, and he fires back with some crowbar lariats and big bombs of his own. No idea what’s been going on lately with so many awesome unexpected Japan indy matches popping up but I love it.
  3. Another really good match built around Hashi as a dangerous monster. For a junior he does that remarkably well. Largely strike based match, which as not a bad thing as these guys aren't pussies when it comes to striking. Lots of nice palm strike flurries, and they build the match pretty well. Hara is initially able to avoid the big Hashi strikes but Hashi grabs him and drops him with a big Ki Crusher which is a spot that kind of rules in the middle of a shootstyle strike exchange. Really good ultra stiff Mantell/Lawler exchanges for the finish, with the headbutts being of course insane.
  4. Enson Inoue is someone you never hear anyone talk about that I really like, this was a pretty great performance from him, great punches and just super smooth matwork. The armbar escapes here were phenomenal, a lot of times you can sense where the workers are going and so can the crowd, here they looked like something from a real fight, just superb stuff. This managed to be very compelling despite Inoeu being so dominant which also made Hara's brief comeback more special. Love the way Inoue used the headscissors early on to control Hara, kind of rolling with him as he tried to escape or improve his position. ***1/4
  5. This was a spotfest, in the sense that there wasn't really a theme established during the match and it was more about the flashiness of the work. And it was a very good one. Hara is the least noteworthy guy here but even he is good, I always have time for a midcarder with nice kicks even if he doesn't offer much more. I loved the way Sawa used ring positioning in his striking exchanges vs Hara to express both dominance and peril and his usage of pro style moves was amusing. Ishikawa really is the master of making simple holds look deadly-it's not just that he knows how to properly apply them, he really wrenches on them and contemplantes them with great facial expressions and body language. I think they could've gotten more out of what they did here by attaching clearer roles to everyone involved but as an exhibition of violence and flashy matwork this was pretty neat. Also popped big for Usuda's Shining Wizard counter and Sawa cutting Usuda off near seconds before the finish. ***1/4-***1/2
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