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Charles (Loss)

[1999-04-26-BattlARTS] Daisuke Ikeda vs Alexander Otsuka

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This is a stupidly good match, and I mean that in the best possible way. It's not your dad's BattlARTS. The matwork is there and remains the centerpiece of everything, but there's a lot more chance taking and deviations from the usual house style. I loved Ikeda doing a sort-of Space Flying Tiger Drop and Otsuka doing his own somersault plancha later, along with a giant swing. The tone for this being something different was set up right away when Otsuka bloodied Ikeda immediately with a headbutt. Great submission-based drama in the last few minutes with Ikeda finally squeezing out a win, but really having to earn it. Tremendous match.

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Oh man, this match is GREAT. They really push this match toward the pro-style spectrum of the Battlearts style and end up with something really unique even for the promotion. This is great from the very beginning where Otsuka busts Ikeda open with big headbutts and Ikeda's comeback is awesome, especially the spot where he knocks Otsuka over the ropes. Awesome things are happening in this match every minute. Toward the end they really start throwing bombs and Ikeda comes back from taking huge damage with a big kick followed by a brainbuster setting up a reverse choke. One of the best matches of the year so far.

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Wow I was kinda dreading this but man what a great match. Ikeda gets busted open early and that causes him to go crazy. Love the Sasuke dive by Ikeda and then Otsuka goes even more nuts with his plancha. I did not expect that at all. Great strikes and a mix of mat wrestling and american style indie wrestling. MOTYC for sure.

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Sublime stuff and worked differently from Battlarts matches with the risk taking that Loss mentioned. Otsuka is a treat every time he is out and may honestly be my favorite Battlarts guy at this point. Tough to not rank since we get the vast majority of this, but this is something to seek out for sure and its a great match.

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JIP after 5m as Alex draws blood with a legit headbutt. Of course there were plenty of meaty strikes and submission attempts. What differentiated this contest was the pro moves you wouldn't normally find in the BAT. There was even a wicked dive. It all fitted nicely together and was a good all around match. I don't think the clipping would've done much damage, if any.

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This match contained the worst Space Flying Tiger Drop I've ever seen, which perversely, added to my enjoyment.

 

The headbutts at the start had me hooked and resulted in me being invested throughout.

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#289

 

This was so far removed from what I like BattlARTS that it may as well have been worked in a New Japan ring. But Ikeda is still a great wrestler and entertaining to watch even when he veers into juniors territory. Otsuka's a guy I've always thought had more holes in his game than swiss cheese and sure enough he was awkward in this. I can see how others liked it, but even if you prefer hybrid shoot style to, I dunno, Kohsaka vs. Tamura, they didn't really knock one out of the park here. I'm not a huge fan of their '97 match but it feels substantially better. BattlARTS seemed at a crossroads here stylistically. It's interesting that the same thing befell ARSION. I guess my beloved shoot style never was that sustainable.

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I daresay this is my #2 MOTY so far, behind the 3/6/99 AJPW tag. Is it telling that my two favorite BattlArts matches are ones that completely dump on the style? Ikeda is really good but Otsuka is just on another level here--he's seemingly capable of doing absolutely anything and executing it to perfection, whether it's shootstyle, high-flying, bomb-throwing...he could probably be a great shtick/comedy worker if he wanted to.

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Daisuke Ikeda vs Alexander Otsuka - BattlArts 4/26/99

Otsuka is definitely the most pro wrestle-y of all the BattlArts competitors and it seems like Ikeda is the most likely to indulge these tendencies. I thought this was a big step down from their 1997 match. It is still enjoyable but there is a lot less struggle and it is more about the spots. They are just waiting to take these headbutts. The head butt that busted Ikeda open they were lining up and Ikeda did not even struggle he just let it happen. Then Otsuka let Ikeda do the same thing. I should NOT be using the word "let" so frequently in a review. I LOVE pro wrestling and have no problem with them doing a pro wrestling match but they cant forget the struggle. I popped for Ikeda doing the worst Flying Space Tiger Drop Ever because it was cool and I popped huge for Otsuka's dive because it was a badass, out of control dive. Otsuka hit all his big spots and they looked great. It was very entertaining, but they forgot the struggle aspect. They were just letting each other do the moves. Otsuka peaked too early I could just feel it. As he was pouring it on, I knew the Ikeda comeback was coming. Ikeda hit that "Trouble In Paradise" like head kick that just pulverizes Otsuka. That was the move that started Ikeda's big run in the 1997 match, but in the '97 match it was Ikeda that peaked too early. BRAINBUSTAAAHHHHHH! Ikeda chokes Otsuka out! Damn good, economical finish run. 

Ikeda vs Otsuka decide to have a pro wrestling match, all the spots of a great pro wrestling match are there, but they forgot the struggle. Still fun. ***1/2

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