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Found 12 results

  1. Takashi Iizuka vs. Khabil Biktashev (NJPW 12/6/1989) It's Sambo Pro Wrestling baby~! Biktashev is yet another East European/Caucasian shooter who fought Naoya Ogawa in judo and is decidedly good at pro wrestling. At this point, can we say the Soviet Union produced the most natural pro wrestlers ever? This is really a hidden gem. It's a rounds match with both guys mostly working the mat and it builds to some really big drama. Biktashev wears a jacket, so Iizuka controls the first round dragging him by the jacket. The second round Biktashev gets some more amateur style takedowns on Iizuka. The 3rd round onwards Iizuka just gives Biktashev the business kicking the crap out of him. Iizuka really looks like he was made for this kind of match, busting out cool takedowns and matwork. He would've had a great career if he had more matches in this style. Biktashev sells really well, the problem with Pro Wrestling is it conditions you to view things like a kick to the ribs or spine as minuscule. Here Biktashev was really selling Iizukas knees and stomps as such, struggling to get up and looking anguished. He was selling so well a big Biktashev chant broke out! Japanese love themselves some soviet judokas when they are gutsy. Finish was pretty great simplistic pro wresting, with Iizuka trying to put Biktashev away with the sleeper and Biktashev trying to throw him off and failing. Really big drama for such a basic move and the failed escapes ruled.
  2. Iizuka returns to wrestling. And he gets to fight Nishimura in a long technical battle! Is this the longest singles match Iizuka has ever been in? Does anyone even remember any significantly long Iizuka singles matches?? As far as lesser known 2002 Nishimura singles matches go, I'd say this was better than Nishimura/Shiga. Iizuka was much less luggage than Shiga, instead he was actively trying to crack the stoic grappler, while Nishimura seemed to have an answer to everything. Iizuka finally found what he was looking for when he got Nish in one of his sambo leg locks. An awesome battle of leg entanglements ensued that left both guys struggling to get up. Couple brilliant nearfalls down the stretch that I bit on. Nishimura was the man in 2002 and Iizuka more than held up.
  3. Surprisingly good tag action here. This was really solid and moved logically from one section to another. Nishimura & Yamazaki outskilling their opponents was a ton of fun. I don't think anyone has ever praised Yasuda, but he was perfectly good here as your big sumo guy who will stomp you. Also, reminder that Iizuka was once a perfectly capable grappler. Really liked the finish and the Dome crowd got into Yasuda big time.
  4. Had to check this out because of the potential Suzuki vs. Shibata interactions, and I sure wasn't disappointed, because I got some awesome action between those 2! It looks like they might do a singles program between them, it sure felt like it w/ Suzuki constantly targeting Shibata & staring him down + attacking him post-match. I am hyped for that. The match was super fun - you got Liger as the FIP, and he was awesome, as you'd expect. Suzuki-gun did some solid heel work over him, ripping his mask & all - but the highlight of the match was indeed the Minoru Suzuki vs. Katsuyori Shibata sequence when they were both in the ring. Their interaction did not disappoint. Awesome match. ***1/2
  5. I lost it when I saw this existed, Murakami-Nagata is a New Japan MOTD candidate and we get to see them go at it again, life is good. Enson Inoue is a guy I assume was universally hated at SSS ten years ago that I totally love and I'm not sure whether this was before or after Iizuka was broken down, I'l assume before because I'd like to stay positive and think BML wouldn't book someone that bad. And also he's still a face here and he turned heel after the injury so. My only problem with this is that Nagata has already picked some of his annoying quirks here like his goofy selling (especially the facial expressions he makes while doing so) and I also find his slapping style annoying, stomping the ring like some wrestlers do when punching while throwing slaps that make fine sounds on their own is just stupid in my book. This was still an awesome chaotic brawl though, Murakami is just wonderful and as of this moment is my favourite wrestler, Enson Inoue's com logic is basically full mount>face punch and his chances of making my GWE 2026 ballot improve with each match watched, I love the spot where he climbed onto the first rope while Holding Nagata in a Guillotine Choke as it looked like something done naturally to prevent Nagata to counter it by hitting him with body blows in the courner AND it was also a great way to feed Nagata a counter with a Northern Lights Suplex. Iizuka was good here too, viciously brawling, hitting people with brutal knees, stomps and punches, still Murakami vs Nagata is the main draw and they deliver, punches, shoot headbutts, kicks, they unload on each other and it rules. ****
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