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[1998-05-27-BattlARTS] Yuki Ishikawa vs Daisuke Ikeda


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  • 2 months later...

Ikeda and Ishikawa have met numerous times throughout the years, with this match and their August 29, 1999 tournament final matches being the most highly acclaimed. I have always thought that Ishikawa was a good worker from 1996-1998 but truly started to get great in 1999. This match brings that theory into question as Ishikawa is great here. He is the perfect foil for Ikeda’s brutal standing game. Ishikawa starting in the guard position on the ground popped the Korakuen Hall crowd big time. This was obviously an Inoki spot but was also a clever bit of completely unintentional foreshadowing for a big story that was still to come in Japanese MMA: the Gracies butt scooting their way against Sakuraba. Ikeda lands a nasty spin kick square to Ishikawa’s face as well. Probably a top 10 match for 1998.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was a fabulous match, probably the MOTY to this point. While I love shoot style, this takes it a step farther by incorporating traditional pro wrestling selling and match structure. Ishikawa and Ikeda are pros, so we get the slow, agonizing attempts from Ishikawa to get to his feet. We get Ikeda favoring his arm for a while after Ishikawa works on it. This has the great exchanges, but it also has the same ebb-and-flow of a great wrestling match with a slow build, heat section and big comeback. Of course this is an Inoki fed, so moves like the octopus are established enough to get a big reaction. Fantastic.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Excellent match but not quite at the level of their very best. There were a few too many moments where one guy just seemed to wait for the other to hit him. And the finishing stretch lacked the drama of the best BattlARTS, though the knockout was sufficiently vicious. Those nitpicks aside, they beat the ever-loving shit out of each other, starting with Ishikawa's opening headbutt and climaxing with some hellish punch exchanges.

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I do have this slightly below their 1997 series, but damn it was still great. I did get the table setting aspects of this in the early going and the match picked up big time for me when Ishikawa went for the armbar. The attack by Ikeda was nothing short of vicious and I cringed multiple times watching. Him winning with a knockout blow seemed highly appropriate. I can watch these two wrestle every day and they are starting to become a late running strong contender for fued of the decade. (****1/4)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey I liked a BattlARTS match! The BAT isn't a lost cause for me. Not that I'd call myself a fan yet, but it's a start. Having it in the hallowed grounds of Korakuen Hall was a big plus point as their crowds are often sparse and lifeless. Not so today, and the rivalry also engaged me. Junior shoot style I guess you could call it with some hard hits. At stages it drifted a little although there weren't any bad spells. Too many down counts. Overall it was good stuff and the finish was most satisfactory.

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  • 1 year later...

All the Inoki touches are pretty great--I don't know what the Ishikawa/Inoki connection is, but they worked and they popped the crowd and they were also used well in the context of the match rather than just a way to jerk off. Definitely a MOTY contender--maybe a little downtime in the middle will keep it from the top spot, I dunno. The opening was great and the closing stretch was pretty great too, picking up as soon as Ishikawa started imitating Inoki again with the enzuigiri and the octopus hold. Really the most refreshing part of this match was the HATE--you don't always get that in shootstyle in general and in BattlArts in particular, but it's on display here: these two guys weren't going to deviate from their game plan but they were clearly setting out to hurt each other, and that's what we got.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...
This may be my favorite match of the series -- this or the August '99 match. By far, the most brutal of their match-ups to this point. Again, this is a match where neither man can keep the advantage for very long, and any minor mistake can be costly, as seen when Ikeda grabs the surprise armbar when Ishikawa leaves his arm open for too long. Ishikawa will play Ikeda's striking game long enough to grab a submission, while Ikeda will manage to find a submission of his own through a little hustle and grind. When Ikeda bails to the outside following Ishikawa's armbar, it's like he came back into the ring trying to appease his demon, because he becomes a real dirty daddy, batting Ishikawa around with forearms, straight punting him in the head, and then hitting one of the meanest lariats I've seen in awhile. He beats the shit out of Ishikawa, who sells the beating quite convincingly, to the point where he looks completely out of it. Then Ikeda suddenly runs into a whopper punch to the face and Ishikawa heats up, snapping him over with a backdrop, connecting with the enziguri to set-up the octopus in his best Inoki impression. But in the end, the submissions ain’t cutting the mustard for Ishikawa, and after Ikeda spin kicks him in the fucking face, he gets KO’d by a head kick. Awesome match/battle/asskicking.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1998-05-27-BattlARTS] Yuki Ishikawa vs Daisuke Ikeda

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