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Charles (Loss)

[1999-06-09-BattlARTS] Yuki Ishikawa & Daisuke Ikeda vs Joe Malenko & Carl Malenko

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BattlARTS is just killing it on this set. This was just as technically great as most of the best BattlARTS matches, with the added dynamic of brothers (I'm assuming) taking on the two kingpins of the company. I continue to be really impressed by how BattlARTS has really found a way to make tag matches work in this environment. They were brave enough to just take every element of typical pro wrestling that suited them and keep it, discarding everything else. So there is great selling. There are strong finisher teases. And you still get the top notch matwork to go with it. Just below MOTYC status but another great fucking match from a great fucking wrestling promotion.

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Another great outing from Battlearts. Love the dynamic here, a team of gaijin brothers vs. the top two natives. Opening stuff is awesome, Joe brings a real explosive athleticism and does some cool amateur stuff. This feels maybe a little bit more to the shoot style side of things than most of the other Battlearts matches so far on the set. There's a great spot where Ishikawa is doing those drop downs while in a reverse indian deathlock and Joe comes into the ring and kicks him but Ishikawa falls down with it still locked in like he had done the drop down himself and turns to Ikeda and laughs. Some really great exchanges toward the end and the actually ending is pretty neat too, Carl hits a move that wouldn't look out of place in a 2014 too-much-offense indie match and turns it into a submission for the win.

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Sweet match but I think I liked it a little less than Loss and Tim. The brothers did work a cool style and Ishikawa/Ikeda is a big tag team. The contrast of the Malenko brothers was fun to see and them picking up the win felt well earned compared to the All Japan tag clips we just saw. Battlarts continues to be on a good role. ***3/4

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Good match from what I saw. The video kept going out especially towards the end. Carl is really incredible with his mat work and strikes. I had no idea Joe was still wrestling around this time?

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Carl Malenko is the new and improved Carl Greco to clear that one up. He's obviously not blood brothers with Joe, but what does that matter in wrestling? This definitely exceeded my expectations going in. I was highly impressed by the new Malenko. I'd seen him before on the sets but he hadn't stood out to me. Here he looked like a beast on the mat as both opponents put him over strong. The new name and haircut were doing wonders. I liked how the bout was structured. Too often shoot style tags feel like a series of singles encounters with interruptions, rather than having a proper team dynamic. Plus not staring at a blank wall is nice TY BattlARTS.

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God almighty, you don't normally associate Malenkos (real or fake) with stiffness, but was this a fucking war or what? There are slugging-it-out portions here that rivaled what we just saw with Tenryu and Hash, but these guys can also bring finesse and build to a climactic finish and intricate matwork and even some High-End Offense that the previous match simply lacked. Carl has been one of the biggest revelations of the past couple of years and I really need to see more of him, and I think he would have killed it in a bigger environment in Japan as well. Great intensity, great matwork, and some neat moves that I really don't think I've seen since. Maybe another MOTYC and I certainly don't remember seeing this many of these in 1998.

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Hell yes man! Ditto to what Pete says. This was a damn good match. I might even say this was a classic match with everyone performing fully to their potential- great mat wrestling and counters/escapes. ****1/4 probably more. This is a match more folks should check out especially those into original NJPW strong style.

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Yuki Ishikawa & Daisuke Ikeda vs Joe & Carl Malenko - BattlArts 6/9/99

Forget the Malenko brothers teaming up, forget Joe's retirement, this is Ishikawa & Ikeda teaming up! The BattlArts All-Star Tag Team finally happens so you know this match is a big deal. According to Wikipedia, Carl Malenko was a wayward youth on the streets on Florida that Boris took in and taught wrestling so thats the family connection. Joe comes in with those Dory Funk Jr European Uppercuts and this match is rocking. Oddly enough, this match is really not all that much about Joe. It is mostly about Carl. I dont know if the idea was to get Carl over or if Joe was just being selfless and deferential to his brother who would continue wrestling. Carl would tag in and take his licks. Ishikawa gets a cross armbreaker that causes a desperation rope break. Then Ishikawa & Ikeda trap Carl in their corner. Carl gets some hope spots like his flying karate kick, but mostly this is the Ishikawa & Ikeda show Ishikawa does that 'ol fun spot in the Indian Deathlock where he falls back and so when Joe knocks him down it causes more pain to Carl. That one will always be over with me. Ishikawa had a big smile on his face during all this. Ikeda transitioned into a bow & arrow and Joe came in definitively broke this up. Joe & Ikeda hooked it up. Ikeda was not above raking the eyes to avoid a cross armbreaker. It was a mostly respectful contest, but Ikeda added a little heat. Now it is Ikeda's turn to take heat after Carl took it earlier. Joe gets two near submissions that Ishikawa has to save Ikeda and Carl comes in on the second to try to keep Ishikawa at bay. Joe tags out to Carl and never tags back in. Carl gets some deep armbars and headscissors that require Ikeda to make the ropes. Ikeda BLASTS him with a lariat and here comes Ishikawa. It is the final match up of the match. Ishikawa drops Carl on his head, but misses the enziguiri and that would spell doom for Ishikawa. Carl rifles him with a kick to the head. Ishikawa gets back up only to be blitzed by kicks and another knock down is earned. Ishikawa mounts a comeback and Joe has to save on the sitting Octopus Stretch, Joe saves. Carl shows some personality playing to the crowd before taking down Ishikawa into the LeBell Lock, Ikeda comes in with a diving punch. Joe gets rid of him. Ishikawa gets the abdominal stretch as his last gasp, Carl reverses and Butterfly DDT into his own knee and a Butterfly Stretch (my old submission finish from when I would fight my brother) wins him the match. I did mark out of the finish and my little brother will attest how painful that hold is. 

I was expecting more Joe, but hey he is retiring and wrestling is about looking to the future and the future with Carl Malenko looked bright. They traded FIP segments, lots of good matwork a lot less in the striking game, the finish stretch was hot and felt more like All Japan with Carl playing to the crowd and doing more pro wrestling spots while Joe kept Ikeda at bay. I am surprised the dream, all-star team of Ishikawa and Ikeda lost, but great match. ****

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