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[1999-03-12-BattlARTS] Yuki Ishikawa & Carl Greco vs Alexander Otsuka & Mohammed Yone

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Otsuka looks awesome in this, working in some high-flying moves amidst all the great shooty stuff. Greco does an insane half Indian deathlock on Otsuka that has to be seen to be believed. Some brutal strikes with Yone getting a bloody nose. I love all the styles clashing here, and Otsuka honestly looks like the very best wrestler in the world in this match because he's more willing to mix in pro-style spots. Check out Otsuka and Yone doing all the double team moves too! This is a total pro-style tag match with the best mat wrestling anywhere in the world and lots of unexpected highspots that still work in this context. Almost at the same level as the January tag - just sublime!

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This isn't as 'epic' or as good as the January tag but this is still awesome as hell. Greco is incredible here, busting out two really cool submissions including that crazy indian deathlock. He shows a lot of intensity in general and has a really good strike exchange with Yone. Otsuka might be the best in the match, he hits a fishermans buster from working the mat and busts out a rope climbing armdrag -- and keeping in the close-quarters spirit of the match follows it up immediately with a drop kick to the back of the head. The ending sequence is really great and clever.

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Otsuka busting out a springboard armdrag in a Battlarts match is insane. I love how he makes the save with a headbutt. I'm usually not a big fan of Yone but even he held his own. Good match.

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This was an awesome match with wrestling mixed with stiff strikes. I was impressed by Greco and Yone here. Especially Yone as he is so maligned currently and he did a great performance here and looked as shocked as everyone else when he got the pin on Ishikawa. Every Battlarts match has been a hit in 1999. ****1/4

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Yes, this was terrific and Otsuka was the man of a match in a tag with 4 pretty great performances. The wrasslin' fan in me would have liked a few traditional 2-counts amidst all the other pro-style graps, but in any case, I could watch Otsuka throw people around and do double-teams and double-submissions all day.

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Yuki Ishikawa & Carl Greco vs Alexander Otsuka & Mohammed Yone - BattlArts 3/12/99

No Ikeda in this one is weird. Again I have no clue why the pairings are the way they are. I am rooting for a return to BatBat's minimalist portrayal of tight grappling and stiff striking with lots of energy. They are in a much smaller building so hopefully that bodes well. Yone and Otsuka have matching flame tights. We get Yone and Otsuka using good team work to start. Otsuka drives Ishikawa down with a slam and then into a tight chinlock. Yone gets a swift kick to the midsection. Ishikawa sells this like a million bucks. Otsuka applies a headscissors but Ishikawa gets the ropes. Reset standing up. Ishikawa slap and then immediate drop down leg kick is blocked. They wrestle. Ishikawa gets a full mount and grounds and pounds. Ishikawa has a toehold. The grappling is better in this match thus far. More struggle and more positioning battles. Ishikawa tags out. Greco gets a series of kneelifts and kicks, but Otsuka catches it and sweeps the leg nice takedown. Good stepover toehold as he looks to negotiate something more Greco is able to roll through. Crazy deadlift suplex from Otsuka on Greco. Yone's kicks look fantastic. Good standup battle with Greco ends with Greco hurling him with a belly to belly. Greco almost gets the cross armbreaker, but Otsuka saves. 

I really liked Greco's Chickenwing/Chickenwing looked painful unlike the AsukaLock and strong entry. Yone grabbing a toehold to escape was smart. Grappling has been much better. Loved Greco bullying Yone into the corner and tagging in Ishikawa. He was doing well but was not finishing so lets get the fresh man in there. Yone is able escape the first Fujiwara armbar. Ishikawa tortures Yone with a really nasty version of a cross armbreaker, but Yone is too close to the ropes. Yone gets the crotch hold and then slam to tag out to Otsuka. Otsuka headsbutts Ishikawa. Ugh some Fighting Spirit, but hey Otsuka decides to do some Lucha instead. Yay! Delayed vertical from Otsuka. Otsuka definitely brings something different to BatBat. Ishikawa struggles to apply string leg holds to Otsuka. Good selling by Otsuka and Yone saves. Greco rushes in with a legbar, great scramble by Ostuka. Again Greco manhandling him with a nasty leg submission and great selling by Otsuka until Yone makes the save. This is really great stuff. Otsuka is trapped in the corner and he is coming out, Greco throws some kicks. Otsuka charges for a takedown is able to get to his own corner and tag out. Smart move by Otsuka. They double team Greco to great success! Single leg crab by Yone on Greco, but he wriggles into a headscissors and Ostuka saves. Greco drives Yone into Ishikawa and Greco tags out. Much better tag psychology here. Ishikawa wants to break Yone's arm off and take it home with him until Otsuka saves with a headbutt. They do a double roll into a double kneebar! That is great! Otsuka saves by stomping both. Great shit! Greco tries to submit Yone, but cant because of that pesky Otsuka. Yone slams Greco down. Greco gets a Fujiwara Armbar on a charging Yone great shit. Ishikawa hits a Butterfly Suplex and it is back to the same psychology tear Yone's arm off and Otsuka saves. Ishikawa drops Yone on his head and then Enziguiri and Octopus Stretch. Great stretch of offense. Otsuka has to fight through Greco to save. Greco hurls him outside. Now it is Ishikawa vs Yone! Yone's kicks make in-roads! Rainbow Heel Kick triggers the count. KICK TO THE HEAD! Otsuka dropkicks Greco. Ishikawa Octopus Stretch on Otsuka, but Yone saves. Double suplex almost double choke and now Greco is playing spoiler. Nice double tackle by Otsuka/Yone on Greco. Yone & Otsuka hits a legdrop/Back suplex combo and Yone chokes out Ishikawa for the win.

A return to form from the BatBat boys, there was a sense of progress, great selling and cool spots. Plenty of struggle and urgency. Not as great as the tippy top shit from 96-97 but still great. Otsuka and Yone were a great tag team, great chemistry. Lots of strong control segments and good transition. Great BattlArts match for everyone to check out. ****

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