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[1996-09-07-Pancrase] Bas Rutten vs Masakatsu Funaki


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  • 1 month later...

This fight was held back a bit by the rule against punching on the ground. Funaki seemed best positioned to attack when he took Bas down, but he couldn't really do anything in Bas' guard. Bas was on another level in the standing game, and with Funaki neutralized on the ground, this became stalk and destroy. Funaki showed a lot of guts in standing and fighting, and it was fun to watch Bas' striking. But I don't think I'd call it a great fight, as others have. I'm glad it was on the set.

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This is my first exposure to Pancrase and I'm not really sure what to make of it. It doesn't seem as thrilling or visceral as UWFI or RINGS, even though it does get better toward the end. It's cool how the heat builds, but it's hard for me to go in cold and understand why "x" thing gets a pop and "y" thing doesn't, and that sort of thing. I'll try coming back to this sometime after seeing more Pancrase.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Why did you include a shoot on the set?

Someone recommended it, but I have no idea who.

 

I have no concept of the history of Pancrase or anything because it just never interested me, but I never would have talked about it in those terms had I known it was a shoot.

 

Good question.

 

Is any Pancrase worked?

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Is any Pancrase worked?

Matt Hume, Jason DeLucia, Dave Meltzer have all talked about some stuff in Pancrase being worked. Apparently, the Suzuki-Shamrock fight from "Pancrase-Eyes Of Beast 4" was worked and done to get the title off of Shamrock right before he went to fight Severn at UFC 6. It doesn't take an expert to realize that the obvious Shamrock vs Hume match was a work. Shamrock even does a variation of a spot he did to Duane Koslowski in Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi. In PWFG, he did a northern lights suplex, then transitions to a kneebar, while here in this match with Hume, he does a northern lights suplex then transitions into a kimura/double wrist lock:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtpgr2MUqqM

 

Meltzer has had some interesting things said about this Rutten-Funaki match. Take it however you wish, but Meltzer has said that Funaki wasn't trying to win this fight, but instead was just trying to have a great match. And that Funaki was extremely happy with the end result, not caring that he lost. But I've never heard this from anyone else but Meltzer, and of course Rutten denies it.

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Do you guys have any feedback on how we should treat Pancrase on future yearbooks? It sounds like there may not be a good "rule of thumb" standard, but if we could figure out something that would work most of the time, that would be great. I totally agree that shoots shouldn't go on the yearbook.

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It depends on the context, and obviously what you, Helmick, and others are comfortable with doing.

 

If a decade from now, you guys do a 2008 yearbook, I think something like Hideo Tokoro vs Daisuke Nakamura from K-1 Dynamite 2008 should be included. Nakamura is a U-Style guy who fights exactly like his hero and coach Kiyoshi Tamura (even wearing similar getup), and Hideo Tokoro is someone that idolizes Volk Han, and has patterned his style off of Han. Both guys then clearly have a match that is patterned off of Volk Han vs Kiyoshi Tamura and Volk Han vs TK matches, including using an exact same finish (rolling sambo leglock into armbar counter) that was used in the Volk Han vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (RINGS 08/24/96) match that you liked Loss. It could included, the argument being it is two guys doing an obvious tribute to RINGS shootstyle matches that they grew up with and that were obsolete by that point.

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I would leave Pancrase off. I'd also leave off the RINGS matches that were clearly shoots, and anything else that's along those lines (such as AJW's shoot tourney in 1996). If the Yearbook concept takes off, someone down the lines can do a MMA Yearbook, which would be pretty interesting in its own right. Pancrase, UFC, etc.

 

There were Pride works, as in Takada's wins. I don't think they have great value in a Pro Wrestling Yearbook concept, and instead would also be more interesting in an MMA yearbook where the workyness of them would stand out a bit more.

 

Bas-Funaki really fits more into a MMA yearbook.

 

In turn, I'd include Hotta-Lioness from Queendom '95 since it wasn't a real shoot. A work that they were trying to stiffen up a ton to make people think it was a shoot. There are Hotta shoots out there that one can compare against it to get an idea of what it looked like when she was fighting rather than working a dramatic "fighty" match.

 

John

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In turn, I'd include Hotta-Lioness from Queendom '95 since it wasn't a real shoot.

Yeah, it was a work. A very stupid one, but a work nonetheless. In a way it was the perfect work for Hotta since she's an unprofessionnal cunt and a bully so potatoing each other might be the only way to make her look decent. Really closer to the equivalent of Vader vs Cactus Saturday Night matches rather than a UFC fight.

 

There are Hotta shoots out there that one can compare against it to get an idea of what it looked like when she was fighting rather than working a dramatic "fighty" match.

She looks even more incompetent in a real shoot than in a shoot-style work, which says a lot.

AJW had some bizarre ideas about putting some of the girls in horrible shoot fights. I remember a young Shimoda in a shoot. I wonder what was the point of this. ARSION booked some shoot fight too, some were actually quite fun.

 

I agree shoot fights in a wrestling promotions should get lumped into a Shoot-fight yearbook if that ever occurs, and worked shoot-style matches happening in shoot promotion should appear in wrestling yearbook. Maybe you should send some of these to Dave...

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  • 4 weeks later...

This match brings back memeories

 

Interestingly, after Rutten's loss to Funaki, he went to Funaki to improve his submission game.

 

Rutten then avenged his loss to MMA legend Masakatsu Funaki in 1996 in what is considered to be one of the greatest fights in Pancrase history. Rutten described the war with Funaki in an interview:

 

“ "Before the fight when he came to me, he made that thumb over the neck, throat slashing motion like I was going to go down. I turned to my manager and said, "Okay, now I'm going to kill this guy, you watch". My game plan was to keep the fight going for 15 minutes...Funaki had never fought above 15 minutes. But then, like 12 minutes into it, while I'm still on my knees he kicks me in the head. I block, but for me that was an illegal thing to do. So right away I start, BANG, BANG, BANG, and he goes down. From that moment on, I totally destroyed him. You got to see the fight; it was a massacre. My palms were black from hitting him so hard. He had the gods on his side or something, because he stood up every time. I hit his face back on the mat and you hear it slam into the mat. His nose is all the way to the side, broke, they have to straighten it out. I go, "Oh my God, this guy can take a shot!" I kneed him so hard in the head. He went down four times. But the last knee I gave to him was like everything I had. I grabbed him by the head and kneed him. It was really like a Rocky movie. I'm standing there and I fall backwards, and I'm totally out of breath. I get up and the referee holds my hand up. Then he lets my hand go and I drop again, BOOM! I was exhausted, I gave everything I had; I really wanted to destroy him. I broke his cheekbones and broke his nose, just because he said he was going to kill me. Oh, I was so angry at him. But afterwards, friends again...what a crazy sport this is, huh?"

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  • 4 years later...

I'm no MMA expert but I did have the same observation Childs did: this was hurt by the ban on punching and ground striking. As a result, when things went into the mat, we got a lot of fumbling around and stalemating but not a ton of action, and for awhile I was wondering what this was doing here--the early Pancrase stuff I understood, and worked as a non-worked companion piece to the other shootstyle stuff of the early '90s. That said, the last five minutes of stand-up striking, are hugely dramatic and are as exciting as any worked shoot, and Bas' finishing knee is a true holy-shit moment. This really does illustrate how cooperative even the most no-frills matches are in UWFI and RINGS, but it also shows the appeal of real fighting in the end. Ultimately I'm glad I saw this.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-09-07-Pancrase] Bas Rutten vs Masakatsu Funaki

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