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Charles (Loss)

[2008-08-31-BattlARTS] Ikuto Hidaka & Munenori Sawa vs Yuki Ishikawa & Yuta Yoshikawa

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Brutal BatBat tag, but without the overarcing story of the 6-man or the Otsuka vs. Super Tiger 2 match. This one is just 4 guys beating the shit out of each other with a rivalry (Sawa vs. Yoshikawa) playing out at the end. It's still loads of fun and will get a vote, but I liked the others better.

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I have this third overall for the tremendous BatBat year.

 

Ikuto Hidaka & Muneori Sawa vs Yuki Ishikawa & Yuta Yoshikawa - BattlArts 8/31/08

 

2008 was BattlArts everyone else was just playing for second place. Sawa is just a dynamo in the ring. Hidaka complements him well as a quick paced junior who introduces a little pro wrestling, but can go on the mat. Even though Ishikawa is a lot bigger than his opponents they have some great mat exchanges with Hidaka using his quickness to best Ishikawa's weight advantage. I love shoot-style tags for their internal logic like Ishikawa backing Hidaka into the corner to tag out and Hidaka hightails it out of there. Or when Ishikawa is trapped in the other corner and Sawa unloads with wicked fists to the face and even hits Hidaka because he is in the way. Ishikawa does not dominate Sawa, but the kid gets in his licks. Yoshikawa gets trapped as the face in peril after an axe kick by Hidaka and a really cool Hidaka powerbomb. Hidaka's heel hook gives Team Sawa their target, Yoshikawa's leg. Yoshikawa does a great job modulating his selling as the beating progressing peppering in hope spots early before he gives a last ditch effort which ends with Hidaka almost kicking his head. off. Deep, deep half crab by Hidaka should win it but Yoshikawa gets to the ropes. Ishikawa really ought to interject himself. Yoshikawa mounts a comeback with Zidane headbutts and now an inverted figure-4 and double wristlock combo. He catches Sawa in a heel hook and Ishikawa puts him in an armbar, sweet spot. Yoshikawa knows it is time to get out of there. Hidaka swats Ishikawa out of the sky with a kick to the head. He retreats and tags in Sawa. IT IS ON BABY!!! This is so scrappy. Sawa wants to prove himself to Ishikawa who is trying to weather the storm and knock this punk out. Sawa lands a head kick and then a Shining Wizard and it looks to be over. Ishikawa grabs a German Suplex and wisely tags out to Yoshikawa. Sawa winds up for the big punch, but gets caught in a cross armbreaker. Yoshikawa keeps going back to the cross armbreaker and Sawa goes for a KO punch. Neither gets it done and they both look ready to pass out from punching themselves out. Hidaka and Ishikawa scuffle while the very fatigued Sawa and Yoshikawa look to finish this one out.

 

Another hard hitting gem from BattlArts as they showcase their style through the battle of attrition at the end with Sawa and Yoshikawa. Sawa had plenty of chances to tag out, but pride kept him in there to finish off Yoshikawa. It became a war not just about winning a match, but to see who the better was Yoshikawa or Sawa. Hidaka was great in this match with tons of sweet offense and really added a lot by bringing a little bit of pro wrestling to the match. Yoshikawa was a great underdog face that was there right to the end. Sawa was just a huge bundle of energy and really drove the match home. Would have loved to see more from Ishikawa as he played a backseat to the other three. The match lacked a big overarching story that would have the finish run better if Sawa/Yoshikawa had interacted more earlier as it seemed the issues were Ishikawa/Sawa and Hidaka/Yoshikawa. Still it is a great match and will definitely make my top 100. ****1/4

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BattlARTS matches, especially tag matches, have almost no structure. It’s just worked at an incredibly stiff pace with so much going on, it can be overwhelming. Tons and tons of nasty strikes in this one. Yoshikawa being the baby gets worked over the most, his leg being targeted and whenever he tries to fight back, they take advantage of that leg. There’s an awesome four person submission hold spot.The selling is whatever but that tends to be the case with a lot shoot-style/hybrid style match-ups. Hidaka and Ishikawa did a lot of fun counter wrestling and when Sawa’s in there against Ishikawa, he’s just blasting him with gnarly kicks to the head and face. But Sawa also takes it hard to Yoshikawa, especially during the final stretch. Yoshikawa keeps coming back for more, slugging away, slapping faces, getting slapped int he face. And then the actual finish saw some of the most brutal strikes, as Hidaka tries to take off Ishikawa's head with a high kick which allows Sawa to get the grounded octopus hold for the win. Violence escalated.

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