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[1997-02-28-BattlARTS] Yuki Ishikawa vs Alexander Otsuka

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The work here is really good, but it's hard for me to really get into wrestling where I can't see or hear much of a crowd. I remember that being true about much of 1996 BattlARTS too, so I'm hoping it's something that eventually changes. Otsuka has some great suplexes, and Ishikawa gives him most of the match. I liked this, but didn't love it.

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No doubt that BattlArts lacked atmosphere all too often. But Otsuka was such a purely fun wrestler, the kind of guy who might try anything at anytime. And Ishikawa was already into his next-gen Fujiwara role, with all of his nasty little punches and his ability to hit a submission at any moment. So this was a pretty engaging 10 minutes.

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Atmosphere was different enough that it didn't take away the match for me. I also think shoot style is the one wrestling style that I don't mind having less than great heat. Work here was very good with Otsuka pulling out a lot of funky submissions. Ending was too abrupt for this to be anything truly memorable though. Good primer for Battlarts.

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I see everyone picked up on the crowd in their comments. There looked to be more photographers at ringside than fans in attendance. Finishes in exactly 10 minutes.

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Did they have the crowd on the side the hard-camera was posted?

Battlarts liked doing that a lot over the years, you get used to it after a while but yeah it is weird when the building is so dark and however many fans there are are mostly sitting off camera.

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Decent little match--there's no reason why Otsuka using the giant swing should work, but it does. Ishikawa makes a sudden comeback and suplexes Otsuka to shit before tapping him with a sleeper, which came a little easy for me considering Otsuka's suplexes looked so much better.

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Ishikawa/Otsuka may be one of the matchups in wrestling history when it comes to shootstyle work. Them rolling is just beautiful while never looking overly rehearsed. Otsuka is such a motherfucker and for some reason he gets extra inventive when rolling with Ishikawa. This was shaping up to be a classic complete with some brutal headbutts and amazing looking Otsuka suplexes before a very sudden finish. Great little showcase for what they would do a year later.

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I thought this was a pretty awesome ten minutes, like a minimalist version of their best work together. Ishikawa worked mean as a bastard and took every opportunity to punch Otsuka about the head and body, while Otsuka went back to the throws again and again with repeated success. There was one out of a cobra clutch that landed Ishikawa on the side of his neck and in true Battlarts fashion you're thinking "holy shit that might be nastiest version of that thing I've ever seen." All of the stuff on the ground was predictably tight and rugged, and while the finish might've been sudden I was okay with it. 

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