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Found 5 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. Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi, Saki Akai & Yukio Sakaguchi) vs. THE HALFEE (Katsuzaki Shunosuke, Moehiko Harumisawa & Washi Sakurai) - DDT Ganbare Pro Hermit Purple 2020 21/03/2020 This looked really good on paper. Eruption have been super solid since their formation in January of 2020. And their opponents mirror them in terms of styles, individually anyway. Sakaguchi and Shunosuke/Shuichiro Katsumura have the MMA influence, Harumisawa/Moeka Haruhi are the slender women of their team and Sakurai/Shuhei Washida are the burly big men of the respective groups. Something they were eager to explore in the opening exchanges. The GanPro team THE HALFEE were on the defensive for most of the match with Eruption asserting their dominance with some systematic tag work. The crowd rallied behind the regulars who responded with quick stretches of offence and some of that underdog flair. They utilized the styles match ups really nicely, as well as blending the pairings together. Sakurai, who was the young guy of the team, impressed me a ton. He and Higuchi were probably the best together out of the lot. His selling was really good, and while his offence was naturally basic, being only two years in, he used it really well. The match went at a super fast pace, making the whole match feel exciting and thrilling to watch. Great use of time and wrestlers involved. ***3/4
  3. Interesting story behind this match. As of a few hours before, this was supposed to be Sakaguchi vs Kota Ibushi for the KO-D Openweight Title but Ibushi was out with High Fever so HARASHIMA took his place instead due to his high ranking in the DDT Election that year (3rd place). Yukio Sakaguchi, who is the son of former NJPW President Seiji Sakaguchi, is the defending champion of the KO-D Openweight Title and has already beaten KUDO (Peter Pan) and Daisuke Sasaki (DDT Who’s Gonna Top). Sakaguchi was rather new to wrestling at the time, well compared to HARASHIMA anyway, with him being three years into his career in wrestling and was 42 years old at the time so there was a lot against him but he took to wrestling like a glove and was on a high and he wasn’t ready to let that slip. This was an excellent match considering they weren’t opponents only a few hours before. A match built around grappling and stiff striking which meant Sakaguchi’s MMA career came into play here. Sakaguchi controlled the majority of the match but HARASHIMA put up a fight hitting some nasty kicks. One thing HARASHIMA brought into play here was his excellent facial expressions. They were on point and add a tone to the match. A highly unique match, especially in DDT and a great one at that. ****1/2
  4. This was so awesome. The kicks were deadly, the mat work ruled big time - Yukio Sakaguchi impressed me greatly; I already liked his performance in his tournament match vs. Shuji, but here he was even better - everything he did came with a wonderful sense of urgency. Same could be said about Speedball who also had another super strong performance. Great match. ****
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