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Found 11 results

  1. I really like the Best of BattlARTS comp, however, the fact that matches like this are missing from it – and thus are being overlooked – is crazy. Believe me when I say this was crazy good, not just „eh, why not check out this match, some good matwork and stuff“, seriously probably the best tag they did that year. This matchup the previous month was more of your typical slow building BattlARTS main event with solid mat exchanges throughout and so on, this on the other hand was a fucking house of fire, and it was very different, while still sticking to the story of Honma & Fujita as trying to prove themselves in the house of BattlARTS. So right at the get go Honma starts dropping bombs on Usuda, hitting him with a diving headbutt in the middle of a mat exchange and following up with a huge dive and some crazy high kicks of his own. Usuda desperately using his superior shoot skills to regain the advantage was really great and the opening exchanges really made me believe the match could end at anytime. To follow that up, all the Ishikawa/Usuda exchanges were insanely violent, full punch-you-in-the-face-kick-you-in-the-eye barfight mode, setting the table for their singles match. Fujita was great once again, having an awesome slick mat exchange with Honma and constantly working for his signature submission hold, he also dumped him with one of the most brutal german suplexes I've ever seen, not just from a tiny dude like him. I also loved how he desperately tried to escape Ishikawa's armbreaker. Seriously this whole thing was so intense and hard fought, both the BJW boys really lost their calling as BattlARTS/quasi shootstyle guys. Really loved all the Usuda/Honma exchanges as whenever these two started trading you felt someone was about to get knocked out, and Usuda twisting up Honma on the mat near the end was just spectacular. There is one major goof where Fujita no-sells a brainbuster, but honestly the rest of this was so fucking good and just classic BattlARTS hybrid wrestling material that I can forgive it.
  2. This was a fun undercard match that they actually showed in full. I liked the opening basic hold exchanges with both guys doing something nifty – Fujita hitting a cool STO from a front headlock and Yamakawa with a nice leg trip. The rest of this was mostly a Fujita showcase. His basic offense is much more vicious than your average junior – dropkick to the head, hurty looking headbutts, kneedrop to the back of the head etc, while also mixes in innovative stuff. Yamakawa didn't look quite up there as he seemed nowhere near as in shape as Fujita and was struggling to get into position at times, but he got it together for the finishing run, hitting some huge kicks. The win actually felt like a nice achievement. Really fun unpredictable match.
  3. Motegi is surprisingly effective as surely vet carrying skinny indy juniors and this was no exception. The match had a simple layout that worked: Fujita would get the advantage through a flashy move or highspot, and Motegi would repay him with a gritty stiff receipt. Highlights include a brutal lariat, some nasty as hell work on the stomach and making Fujita faceplant on the floor. Fujita is so skinny the beating looks double brutal and Motegi can just manhandle him. One goofy no selling spot, but this stuff ages better than your average 90s junior match.
  4. Usuda vs. Indy junior continues to produce the goodness. This was worked exactly as it should be – Usuda being the far superior shooter who would dominate on the ground and Fujita as the gutsy flyer who'd use quickness and determination to survive. Fujita can get aggressive and Usuda is a great counterwrestler to work with that aggressiveness. The middle portion of this match where both work the mat and refuse to go for ropebreaks while coming up with counters was solid gold. Highlihts include Usuda locking in an ultra tight Chickenwing Crossface which seemed to almost pop Fujita's shoulder, a pissed off Fujita raining headbutts from mount (and receiving a receipt in kind later on), Usuda countering Fujita's finisher etc. Fujita eats some huge blows in the standup section while finding believable ways to come back. This was largely excellent, logical junior vs. Shooter action which is only brought down slightly by 2-3 blown/weak looking spots.
  5. 3 out of these 4 guys had an absolute banger the previous month in BJW, and now swap in Yuki Ishikawa. This wasn't a state of the art inventive junior sprint like the january match, but just a really good BattlARTS formula tag. It is really cool to see Honma and Fujita adjusting into this environment, they aren't shootstylists, but they can grapple and hold their own and you can totally see them getting the hang of it, aswell as believably working moves like armdrags and huracanranas into shootstyle exchanges. These two having lengthy quasi shootstyle runs would have been awesom- ah let's not talk about it. Aside from lots of quality mat exchanges there is some nice disdain, as Ishikawa disrespects Fujita in the opening minute of the bout, so later Fujita to break up submission nearfalls would just pounce on Ishikawa like a mad dog. Fujta would get one back on Ishikawa by actually hitting him with a suicide dive. It was a cool dynamic that got paid off nicely in the second half of the match when Fujita took a sick beatdown. Honma is a guy who can drop bombs and after 15 minutes of matwork something like a piledriver or brainbuster has extra snap. Of course Honma is a guy who has no problem to get powerbombed into barbedwire so he also has no problem getting kicked in the skull by Usuda. Brutal finish. Gutsy as hell match and they worked this for like 70 people in attendance, current indy wrestlers aren't that stupid anymore, but it has made wrestling less fun.
  6. This is pretty much your standard work rate indy early 2000's Jr. match, so if you're a fan of the style, then you'll def. dig this. I particularly dug how Fujita got into a slap exchange with Ki and he got one up on him and quickly put him in a headlock as he knew he didn't want to strike exchange with Ki. To me, this was better than the Fujita singles match with CIMA from Michinoku Pro and it may even be the best Fujita singles match. Good stuff.
  7. It's old time DVDVR's dream junior matchup! Parts of this had the feel of two guys who trained together a lot making their first faithful attempt at an epic. However, these two are solid enough at the basics to keep you entertained. They don't pussy out of exchanging stiff slaps, when they work the mat they go for actual submissions, and they understood to set their big spots up. Also they both have ultra choice swank movesets making this match worth watching just to see what coolness is coming up next. Fun junior spectacle. A million billion stars etc.
  8. Pretty fun BattlARTS spotboy match. Kinda veered into trained monkey show at times, Minoru Tanaka was even slapping his thigh, but Hidaka & Fujita were pretty fun to check out here. It has fallen into complete obscurity, but once upon a time Minoru Fujita was a talented little dude who had all the ultra choice moves. His La Casita into Calf Slicer and Terry Funk rolling cradle into the same hold were really post modern and steal-worthy. He does some good legwork on Mochizuki (who of course doesn't bother to sell) then some fun finishing sequences ensue.
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