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Found 6 results

  1. Wonderful matchup, the kind that exemplifies the charm of 90s indy sleaze. Everyone here is a unique character with their own style, and they mesh really well. Rider was in his goofy Seikendo suit and working a mix between highflyer and submission wrestler while almost knocking himself out on dives, Funakoshi a mysterious MUGAesque technician, Exciting Yoshida a goofy IWE tribute heel, and of course our boxing gloved hero Toba. Toba really is the MVP in this match potatoeing everybody and always getting the best out of everyone, when you are facing Toba you are guaranteed to get punched in the face, so everyone fires back with unusual piss and vinegar. I especially loved Nishino crushing him with sick running headbutts. Phantom Funakoshi always looks like a real worker in these matches, working fun MUGA vs. Seikendo exchanges against Super Rider and channeling Fujiwara when he was facing Toba, I’d love to see more of him. Exciting Yoshida was a bit weird, he kept trying to no-sell Toba and getting punched and spin kicked in the face, and also did a bunch of banana peel heel spots, then again he also worked a sick headbutt exchange at one point so I can’t hate the guy. There’s also more shootstyle floor brawling involving Toba and a crafty finish between Super Rider and Funakoshi. Neo Winger blew, but wasn’t in the match much. Really everything you can ask for from a match up full of random indy dudes from forgotten sleaze feds (how often do you get Nihei Gumi, Seikendo, DDT and SPWF representatives in one match?).
  2. Super fun 7 minute undercard match full of slick mat scrambles and stiff blows. Super Rider sucks when he's doing pro style, but he looks really good doing straight shootstyle exchanges. His submissions are a bit different to what the BattlARTS crew usually does and it makes for a fun contrast. All of his submission counters were great. Ono was of course fantastic demolishing him with slick strikes. He also did some crazy sharp, brief work on the leg. It makes me sad though that a wrestler as good as Ono was jobbing like this to a no name outsider in 2001.
  3. Here's your 2000 indy MOTY. No kidding, this was just awesome and shockingly better put together than you'd expect. Really makes me wish there was more footage of the DDT crew doing BattlARTS style matches. I liked the opening matwork between Sasaki and Rider a lot. It felt very raw and unrehearsed, but they still whip out some cool transitions. Watching Sasaki here made me extra sour he spent the rest of his career as a go-through-the-motions bleeder because his stuff was inspired and he hit everything with a lot of snap. He looked like a rich mans Yuji Nagata here, a slick pro style wrestler who can hang doing stiff shootstyle. Ishii was in CAPTURE mode here - basically trying to crush his opponents with every single move he did. He opens this with one of the nastiest lariats I've ever seen against skinny thaiboxer Toba and basically doesn't let up after that. Even his basic "throw guy into corner to set up a tag" looked really violent. Toba is the DDT guy who works as basically a boxer which works very well in this kind of sleaze shootstyle match. He does exactly what you want, by punching guys in the face hard a lot and getting ragdolled around. I was also really impressed with Super Rider here - he made some brief Sasaki legwork that could easily have been filler compelling by selling vulnerability. He would then shoot for takedowns and submissions to protect himself, and also maul opponents on the ground. I also loved his Volk Han like ragdoll throw on poor Toba. The Ishii/Sasaki pro style section was probably the weakest point in the match but still had enough neck compression and potatoe shots to keep you entertained, with Sasaki doing some cool things that he would later drop - presumably because his athleticism declined. I liked how Ishii, when reversing a basic suplex, immediately went for the kill by dropping Sasaki on his head. The finish is between Super Rider and Takashi Sasaki, which is a match up only the most hardcore tape nerds (i.e. me) would anticipate and it totally delivers with Rider whipping out some genuinely awesome reversals. So there you have it, great ultra stiff quasi-shootstyle action that was actually well put together while retaining some of that sleazy underbelly of pro wrestling rawness. Maybe a low end nomination when it comes to all-timer discussion, but golly I loved checking this out. The whole thing is on the DDT Universe streaming service.
  4. A bunch of legit martial artists and strange masked gimmicks step up to work a more surrealist BattlARTS match. Lots of nasty potatoes and credible shootstyle exchanges. Black Hole was inspiring - a fat dude with a genuinely cool mask, clubbing Vader like blows and judo throws. Hopper King is Super Rider and doesn't hold back with the kicks. Most importantly this had the kind of chippy fighting that elevates pro wrestling. Loved how Kimura wouldn't accept Akiyama breaking up his submission attempts. Then Kimura tried tooling Black Hole only to get rocked by those swinging fists. Even the crowd brawling was fun and the finish absolutely nasty. This was everything.
  5. I miss BattlARTS. The style is such that even two undercard workers can just come out like this and have a very good little match. Some very good shootstyle mat exchanges here. Super Rider is the more complete fighter and dominates early, including catching Junji with a brutal kick during a leglock exchange. Junji would get a lucky armbar but get stretched again soon after. Junji however is able to hang on and beat down Rider with some good looking NWA TV squash offense... nice headbutt to the shoulder, knee drops etc. Really liked Riders subsequent low kicks. Nifty finish.
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