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Found 3 results

  1. Hard Hit is such an odd and fascinating company. It puts on unique shows that aren't necessarily for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoy them as they do a great job of putting on shoot style matches between pro-wrestling and MMA fighters who mostly fought in Pancrase. Tsuchihashi is the difference maker here though as he's mostly spent most of his combat sports career fighting for Akira Maeda in The Outsider (an MMA promotion Maeda founded to put on MMA fights featuring guys with no combat sports training who are mostly gang members) which is why he is all tattooed up. The match isn't your traditional pro-wrestling match and is more so 4 guys rolling on the ground countering each others submission holds without a single strike thrown. There is plenty of great looking spots though, including HARASHIMA countering Imanari rolls into scorpion death locks, HARASHIMA tugging on Matsumoto's gi pants and pulling him into a German suplex, Sakaguchi trying to jump into Tsuchihashi's guard with a cartwheel and of course the beautiful helicopter armbar finish. Again, this isn't traditional straight up pro-wrestling or shoot style per se, but it does have elements of pro-wrestling and shoot style.
  2. This is a really fun match between two folks who have less than 50 matches in their careers combined. Monma is a former pro MMA fighter with a background in BJJ who is known as the Japanese Arona and who's fought some relatively big names in MMA like Kitaoka, JZ Calvan, Dan Hardy and Mach Sakurai in Japan. Matsumoto as we know is the BJJ brown belt who's wrestled mostly on smaller indy shows and mostly somewhat shoot style so this is the first time I'm seeing him in a more pro-wrestling style match. Despite both being relatively rookies in pro-wrestling, they do a fantastic job putting this together. You know all the grappling exchanges are nice and tight with some awesome scrambles as you would expect given the two parties involved. Aside from the grappling exchanges, Matsumoto can throw some nasty looking stomps and he also does a fantastic job using his belt to tie up Monma and take advantage. Monma also lands one of the nastiest backdrops I've ever seen where Matsumoto's get folded like an accordion. There's some brief ringside brawling with Matsumoto using his belt to tie Monma to a chair which is OK, but it's very brief. One of the trends that's infiltrated wrestling is folks shooting for horrendously loose and phony looking triangle chokes (I'm not saying you should choke someone out, because that's obviously ridiculous, but at least tighten it up a bit so there's no glaring gaps). Monma shoots for some triangle chokes here and they look nice and tight (yet it's safe as he's not pushing the arm across for the full choke) so it looks believable. He also does some neat looking armbars before eventually using Matsumoto's gi pants to catch him in a beautiful armbar.
  3. This is a blast. Chakukiri is a kickboxing gym that's spread branches all over the world. Their branches in Japan put together mixed combat sports shows. This is a pro-wrestling match from one of their shows. Takatoshi Matsumoto is a legit BJJ brown belt who fought MMA for a while in Pancrase. He only has a handful of pro-wrestling matches, but given his experience he was able to transition to pro-wrestling. Fujiwara is 70 years old in this and still rules. There isn't much strikes thrown in this as it mostly revolves around some tight and gritty grappling. For the most part the strikes that are thrown come from Fujiwara and they are vintage brutal body shots and Matsumoto trying to headbutt Fujiwara, but of course you know that's not going to be efficient. Matsumoto wrestles in his gi, but it's not of much help as Fujiwara being a former judoka knows how to use that to his advantage and in a moment catches Matsumoto in a gi choke. There's a ton of cool stuff here including Matsumoto getting frustrated and taking off his belt while in a heel hold and trying to choke Fujiwara with it, but it back fires on him shortly as Fujiwara uses his own belt to choke him in the ropes. There's also a cool transition where Fujiwara catches Matsumoto in a Fujiwara armbar and Matsumoto escapes and catches Fujiwara in a gator role and a choke.
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