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Charles (Loss)

[1998-04-24-BattlARTS] Yuki Ishikawa vs Carl Greco

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My favorite BattlARTS match so far. Carl Greco is incredible - so fluid and crisp on the mat. I also love his palm strikes. From a purely technical standpoint, I'm not sure there was anyone in wrestling that was better at this point except maybe Tamura. Ishikawa isn't as prolific but he doesn't have to be, and his simplicity makes for an awesome contrast. I love the fisherman's suplex position being done as a hold instead of an executed move. I also always pop for traditional wrestling spots like the abdominal stretch and reversal that find their way into a match like this. Ishikawa pulls out an octopus and yeah, this is full of so much great stuff, and I don't think just running down all the spots and sequences the best way to get over how great this was. This was an awesome wrestling display and is either my MOTY at this point or something awfully close to that.

 

Post-match, we get more Ishikawa-Ikeda brawling, as their acclaimed singles match is on the horizon. I love BattlARTS!

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Man this was great. Greco wrestling and reversals were so slick and ishikawa matches him with some nasty strikes. Everything here served a purpose and was a struggle. The finishing octopus submission looked especially great with ish calf stiffly on Grecos cheek. One if the best matches of the year so far. (****1/4)

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I didn't like Greco wrestling with his dangly earring. But that was about the only thing I didn't like. Again, Greco's superior athleticism came across, with him spinning off complicated move after complicated move like they were nothing. Ishikawa did a great job of selling that Greco had him on the defensive, so his counters at the end came off as both resourceful and desperate. The ending with the enzuigiris and the octopus felt like the world's greatest Inoki tribute, which, given the timing and Ishikawa's fandom, it probably was. One of the best BattlARTS matches we've seen yet.

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I watched this a while back. It looks like I didn't like it as much as their '97 bout, but here's what I wrote:

 

"Very cool bout that was somewhere between their pure shoot style work and a longer juniors style bout. Greco is one of my all-time favourite mat workers and Ishikawa is the grittiest fighter in the history of pro graps. Loved the Greco strikes in this, especially the shoot style dropkick in the corner."

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Another war, with a few nice wrasslin' spots to break up the matwork. This was STIFF matwork too, vicious and fluid at the same time. Definitely a low-level MOTYC and one of the best of the year so far. Ishikawa with another victory that really feels earned as Greco was tying him in knots for a big chunk of this.

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Ishikawa was on a roll in 1998 and barefoot Greco means business. This was lengthy, and accordingly great. They largely kept it to the mat with the exception of Greco landing a crazy flying kick in the corner and Ishikawa rolling out the big suplexes in the last few minutes. The matwork was just a joy to watch and highly aggressive, athletic and unrelenting stuff. Dug Greco's defense too and watching Ishikawa being put to the test against Greco and coming up with counters to the assault was fascinating to watch. Also, another great Cobra Twist spot here. A great prelude to their masterpiece a decade later.


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Yuki Ishikawa vs Carl Greco - BattlArts 4/24/98

The only other Greco match I watched was his 2008 match against Ishikawa in the revived BattlArts promotion and I remember liking that mat-heavy contest. Greco looks like a Backstreet Boys reject with his spiky hair, goatee and one earring. He is very 1998 is what I am saying. Dont let his looks fool you he is a mat wizard. Definitely a grapplefuck contest. Greco's superior bridging and bucking hips are on display (got to love up to my name Sleeze), but in all seriousness he is a wrestler's wrestler. Greco found himself on the losing end of many of these scraps even when he had dominant position. It was a flying karate kick in the corner that changed the complexion of the match and it was a sort of heat segment on Ishikawa. Nice chokes by Greco and a BEAUTIFUL Abdominal Stretch not even Gorilla could take issue with this hold. Those powerful hips are on display as he pops Ishikawa over on a belly to belly throw. I didnt love Greco applying the cross armbreaker and it not really being sold. Should have been more struggle and no full application. Ishikawa throws a wicked back drop driver! Ishikawa kicks ass and takes the match home with a deep Octopus hold. Beautiful wrestling and I loved that Greco needed to resort to the kick to take control and then Ishikawa dropped him on his head to regain control. The match was all about matwork, but the transitions were in the standup game, great blending. ****

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