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[2005-04-24-FUTEN] Yuki Ishikawa vs Daisuke Ikeda

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This here was....if you take Battlarts and add MORE vicious punching and kicking with less suplexes and submissions...this is what you get. And oh boy, these guys know EXACTLY how to work this style. Want to break that nasty submission that your opponent has on you? Punch him in the face. He's down but not quite staying that way, run up and kick him a few times. Ikeda starts off by being a dick and presses his advantage. They go to more back and forth with Ikeda being a dick. Ishikawa brings the comeuppance just the right amount of stiff and brutal. Ikeda is getting his left arm worked over as we progress, which does come into play. Then we get to the end run. Ikeda brings the big, stiff kicks. Ikeda bumps HUGE for the suplexes. Both guys are punching themselves out. This is a war to the end and it's fucking amazing. Ikeda was wasted on NOAH. This is the kind of stuff he does best. I've always loved how he is such a dick with the big strikes and then bumps huge for suplexes and sells his ass off for the other guy's big strikes and submissions. This is number 3 for me right now.

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Nothing like a sharp departure from Dragon Gate with some Shoot-Style.

 

Yuki Ishikawa vs Daisuke Ikeda - FUTEN 4/24/05

A Japanese Shoot-Style promotion that allows closed fists, my prayers have been answered! As soon as the ref breaks them, Ikeda punches Ishikawa right in the face to get an early knock down. Ikeda never really looks back earning 4 knockdowns and forcing 2 rope breaks to Ishikawa's one knockdown and 2 rope break forces. These punches are incredible how they are laying them in. I was watching Ishikawa punch Ikeda right in the face on the ground and could not believe the force. Ikeda seems better at take downs, striking and submissions. Ishikawa just has crazy resilience and even crazier hair. They work their double wirstlocks from odd angles sometimes. They are definitely better off standing up. I love that Ikeda would not break his leg lace, but once Ishikawa reversed it, he was desperately grabbing the ropes. Ikeda absolutely ripped up Ishikawa fact with boot lace kicks. Is Randy Orton secretly a huge Daisuke Ikeda mark? Ishikawa makes his big comeback with a pair of back drop drivers. Ikeda is definitely the better "pro wrestler" of the two based on how he sells and feeds Ishikawa. I love him climbing up the ropes trying to escape it. Ishikawa ends up closing the gap earning 5 knockdowns and forcing 3 rope breaks against Ikeda's six knockdowns and 3 rope break forces. FUTEN does not use a point system, but it is interesting way to keep tabs on the flow of the match. Ishikawa finally forces a submission with a crossface chickenwing. I preferred the drama of Tamura's U-Style matches with the point system, but this had the way better striking. I am going to put this somewhere around the Tamura/Ito match given it is hard for me to place shoot-style match still at this point even though I really enjoy them. ****

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On rewatch, I get why people are not huge fans of this on a certain level. There's a certain point where you do wish they'd take it easy on punching each other right in the jaw and it becomes a tad difficult to watch. However, there was a story in the early match of Ishikawa picking apart Ikeda's left arm and Ikeda doing the same to Ishikawa's right. And there are less uber-stiff punches to the face than you remember. The leg sequence was really good. I still rate this high because I see how they did most of what they did as far as keeping it safe, but god damn is it on the side of brutal.

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What the fuck was I smoking? This match is absolutely amazing and brutal. That one Ikeda six inch jab to Ishikawa's face coming out of a rope break followed by a wicked, wicked kick to the head was batshit incredible. I stand-by complaint that this was not the best when they took it to the mat. I have definitely seen Ishikawa have better mat-based performance. The stretch run with Ishikawa's face getting destroyed and bleeding profusely from the mouth was riveting. The suplexes and then crossface chickenwing submission was just the cherry on a sundae with extra bite. ****1/2 and a pretty solid lock for Top 20.

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This is definitely a brutal and violent match but as this thread has mentioned, you realize how story-driven and how much mat-based work is involved on repeat viewings. Incredible match, definitely one of the best of 2005. Also, is this really any more violent than the late-90s Misawa/Kawada Triple Crown matches that were double or triple its length? I don't think so.

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Ishikawa and Ikeda look like they’ve seen some hell, and they're about to put each other through hell in a match all about the violence of the strikes. Ikeda's man enough to shake Ishikawa's hand and then immediately punches him at the sound of the bell. Tons of sick punches, elbows, kicks, with some queasy camerawork trying to capture the action. Built around the struggle, there's still some neat little things, like Ishikawa kicking out Ikeda's arms when he tries to push for for leverage during a leglock. But when it hits, it hits hard. Ishiakwa gets busted open with a gross punt kick to the face, Ishikawa folds Ikeda up with backdrop drivers, and then they're punching each other in the face and headbutting, finally scrambling around for a final submission hold in a cool departure from the brutality of the match. In the end, Ishikwa finally catches him in the rear naked choke for the submission.

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Still the baddest fight ever. People are talking about how BRUTAL this is, and it is brutal, but as far as the psychology and WORK goes, this is one of the finest showdowns in wrestling history. I recommend everyone read Mike's review on WKO, because he has done a great job summarizing the story of the match.

I don't think this is the most violent match ever, you can find more brutal stuff on joshi cards, however, it is easily the finest match ever at creating a flair of violence. It is a testament to these two's ability to create a feeling of escalating violence throughout every exchange. I mean you watch the opening exchange and how the hell can this escalate even further? But they manage to work you into feeling that by telling the story. This was one of the first puro matches I watched online and re-watching it so many years later, it's almost mindblowing how much this is worked like a classic grudge match/brawl. Some of the greatest receipt/payback spots ever, and the match layout would work just aswell for a Lawler/Funk match. Even the mat stuff serves to further the story and is fueled by their personalities. Needless to say, both guys sold flawlessly and displayed tremendous instincts. An almost spent Ikeda trying to crush Ishikawa with everything he could think of, only to be caught repeatedly, leading to what may be the greatest 15th round exchanges ever is as good as pro wrestling gets. Hell, this whole match is pro wrestling done right. Take away the stiffness and it would still be an amazing battle.

Also, I should mention that with the quite crowd, this feels like an alley brawl at times. They did get a few great reactions for simple spots, proving that they had their audience by the balls all the way.

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Now, this was brutal. Ikeda cheap shots Ishikawa at the start and this puts Ishikawa as the babyface of this match. He gets stiffed and ends up bleeding from the mouth. I had no idea how Ishikawa throws his audibly loud punches and not seriously hurt his opponent. He's a darkhorse pick for best puncher ever. I miss Futen. 

★★★★

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