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Found 50 results

  1. People have soured on the 90's Jr. Style but, think its still pretty fun. This match is one that I've gone back to a few times and should be watched. There might be some spoilers below but, I tried to edit those out somewhat. Ultimo Dragon vs Shinjiro Otani (08/04/96 NJPW): I loved the beginning portion of this match as Shinjiro would not be sucked into a Magistral cradle...a possible parallel to Dynamite Kid/Tiger Mask...not wanting to be tricked into one of the lightning fast moves Dragon & Tiger respectively have at their disposal. Eventually, both guys slowed down and did the usual creative mat wrestling, which was punctuated by Ohtani trying to snap Ultimo's shoulder/elbow in an arm bar. This segment was great but the comparison to Dynamite/Tiger ended here. Too often wrestlers scoot over for a rope break rather than escape the hold. Ultimo Dragon is the king of quickness so I expect him to be able to reverse a hold or escape in spectacular fashion. It's possible that Ohtani was just too smart or too quick tonight for this tactic but I would have liked to see a proper escape only for Ultimo to be snared into a more devastating hold. Both men were equals and I think that this course of action would maintain this point by demonstrating that Ultimo is quicker/craftier but Ohtani is stronger or has more guts. Certainly this match was great despite this difference in taste. To address the general nature of the bout, strikes were stiff when thrown and execution was beautifully accurate. I just loved Ohtani's springboard moves. He really connects! The only downside, which is quite minor, is that the ending was sudden. Dragon seemed to say "Enough of this foolishness! Let's finish it!" Which was smart since the whole match Shinjiro was watching out for the flash-pin only to get out-powered. Neat twist to a NJPW Jr. classic! Rewatch: Yeah this match still is pretty great especially since the matwork is exciting. And the rope breaks didn't destroy Ultimo's cred. RE-re-watch: Oh my goodness this is still one of my favorites. It really makes me appreciate the greatness of Otani too. Hot damn is he good on so many levels. He references back to the early 80s with NJ standard bearers wearing the black trunks (Inoki, Fujinami, Kengo Kimura, UWF guys etc.) and he certainly has the mat skills to back it up. It makes me want to see this Samurai/Otani match by the wayDragon is no slouch either. He is quicksilver and really does appear to be the heir apparent to the Tiger Mask as I guess he would assume for a short time in the mid 2000s. I cant go on too much about this one. Its just one of my favorites because it does everything it needs to do and the more wrestling I watch the more my fondness grows. I crave more Otani and Dragon for sure.
  2. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Masato Tanaka

    Masato Tanaka was pretty much responsible for me getting into puroresu. His matches in the States with ECW were eye opening to me. He was tough, intense, and innovative. I would say he, Mike Awesome, and Tajiri were the 3 guys that convinced me that wrestling in Japan was something worth seeking out. After ECW folded, so did my interest in newer wrestling at the time. It was another 5 years before I got back into it. I've never really looked at what "Dangan" Tanaka was doing in that time when I was away. Masato Tanaka vs Samoa Joe (Zero-1 2001 or 2002): There was no date on this from the Youtube video but, based on the size of Joe and his attire (cut off tee & track pants), this was pre-ROH Joe. I believe per Quebrada.net that it's from BURNING HEART League 09/15/01. All that being said, this was 8 minutes of spots but, I'll be darned if this wasn't a blast! Joe was pulling out all kinds of stuff like a Fosberry Flop dive and Pedigree type move. Obviously Tanaka was going over but, you'd be surprised. Cool finish too! vs Shinjiro Otani (Zero-1 07/31/02): A classic 16 minute tournament match. It's like in that **** 1/4 - **** 1/2 range to me. It's best described as NJPW Jrs. style with 2000 era hard hits, a hot Korakuen krowd, and tourney match urgency. Tanaka & Otani don't go for epic, they go for the win. Dangan gets busted open from a Tree of Woe baseball slide if that's any indicator. Plus, Otani's facial expressions are as top shelf as ever. He takes the drama to another level with his emoting. Totally surprised by this match since no one really talks about Zero One especially in 2018...if you're a fan of either guy, see it. It'll be one of the best bouts you'll watch this week. Tanaka & Shinjiro Otani vs Steve Corino & Low Ki (ROH 11/09/02): This was the main event to the inaugural All Star Extravaganza. Otani & Tanaka kept this a lean mean contest. Otani damn near put Ki's face into the back of his head with a kick. Not to be outdone, Dangan hit a brutal lariat and shotgun stunner. Sure, it was Philly but, no chairshots needed. Corino & Ki were excellent as well. Highly recommend checking this out. vs Mike Awesome (Zero-1 02/29/04): Holy shit...wow. For an Awesome vs Tanaka match this might be the most dangerous one. I don't know if the match quality is the tops since they really do just run through the spots but, what spots they are! Highly recommended match for those missing this rivalry. I had no clue this existed especially since their One Night Stand match from 2005 was touted as their most recent battle since ECW. But that's WWE history for ya! Go see this Zero One match and witness the brutal spots for yourself! vs CM Punk (Wrestling-1 04/09/04): I'm not 100% on the promotion title as it appears to be a US indy with affiliation to Zero-1 or a US offshoot when they were trying to do a global wrestling thing. I read in the comments online that Punk was sick at the time but, this was a very good hotel banquet hall level match. Punk focused on Masato's arm amd gave the match a good sound body. It was really solid when they could have just winged a bunch of moves. It felt good because they eventually got into a nice little finishing run. Some big moves were hit and some were countered but, they never gave it all away. These two worked really well together. vs Samoa Joe (1PW 2005?): Again, the poster didnt' put a date but, this looks around the time Joe had the bleached brown/red bit in his hair while in TNA. This was a 10 minute sprint of wonderful stiffness. If the above match was about moves, this was about hitting each other. They go bat shit with it. This pairing is really, really good and I wish there was more available. Match goes to a double DQ but then we get... vs Steve Corino: ECW rules type of match. They're in the crowd and being a little cute for the people that loved ECW back in the day. I'm sure I would have dug this at the time but, the let's take a tour without actually fighting isn't as interesting anymore BUT it's not all of that. It's brutal at times too. So, this is a 2 in 1 or Gauntlet match for Tanaka and a must-see. Dangan all the way man! Tanaka to my knowledge only wrestled in ROH the one time but, he seemed like a perfect fit for early ROH from his performances above. 2002-2004 Tanaka in ROH would have been great and is certainly fodder for fantasy bookers out there. These matches are a hint of what could have been. Next time, I want to tackle what I'll call the Tanaka revival- from my estimates late 2000s to early 2010s. I'll see what I can find on the web.
  3. Otani's invasions of Noah were always great and produced some quality matches. This is no exception. He gets a ton of love from the Korakuen fans which are pretty lively during this and his exchanges with Akiyama are great as they both dish it out on each other with some quality strikes and some big throws. His exchanges with him bullying Kanemaru are quality too. Unfortunately the exchanges with Saito are way too short. That finishing stretch, namely the stuff with Kanemaru and Asako I thought was really great.
  4. Another pretty fun Noah tag match. This is mostly based around Misawa and Otani and the crowd for some reason is fully behind Otani. I thought Ogawa and Omori were OK here and Misawa and Otani just outshined them with their interactions. Despite how fun those exchanges were, I felt this was a bit long and it dragged at times, but when they toned it up it was good fun.
  5. Nifty little big man tag team battle in which everyone looks good in. We get some crowd brawling and big dudes whaling at each other. Fools engaging in slap battles with Rikio is one of my favorite things of 2001.
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