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Superstar Sleeze

[2008-10-25-BattlARTS] Yuki Ishikawa vs Super Tiger II

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Yuki Ishikawa vs Super Tiger II - BattlArts 10/25/08

 

As I have become more accustomed to the work of Ishikawa, the more I realize how much he likes to work underneath. He is up there with Flair and Kawada in terms of selling the general fatigue of battle. He has a hard time on the mat from what I can tell. He does not really sell the holds offensively or defensively. I feel like he gives up on holds too readily and when in a hold does not do much to convey the pain he is in. Still, in terms of stand up fighting, there are very few better. He dishes out as good as he gets. It is amazing how hard he hits and how hard he is hit. His selling of exhaustion and his striking work make up for a medicore mat game. I liked the Greco match, but besides that, does anybody have recommendations for better Ishikawa mat performances?

Surprisingly, I liked the Otsuka match a lot more even though Ishikawa has impressed me alot more than Otsuka. Otsuka and Tiger told a simple story of stylsitic differences with a few entertaining highspots that led to a satisfying conclusion. This match meandered a bit before it got into its groove. Their matwork was an exhibition with each moving out of holds at will without much struggle. Super Tiger finally remembered that he is a lot better striking and instead of giving a rope break starts stomping. Tiger comes up with a few nifty ways to kick and knee Ishikawa in the face really hard. It is amazing the amount of punishment the human body can take. Tiger is actually able to use this to set up some nice submissions like a triangle choke. Ishikawa is starting to make his comeback as Tiger is puncking himself out. Ishikawa is grabbing heel hooks out of the weaker Tiger kicks, before he finally reels him into a suplex. Ishikawa hits a head shot and dumps him on his head for the victory. Tiger sure does lose a lot of matches by getting suplexed. He ought to learn a defense for that. Slightly under Otsuka match for me, but both are close. Otsuka/Tiger was a tandem effort whereas the Ishikawa/Tiger was the Ishikawa show with his selling and comeback being the focal point. ***1/2

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I think this was the first Ishikawa singles I saw. I really liked this years ago and on rewatch it almost feels shockingly epic. This is ST2's career match, and while still clearly ST2, he brings it. This is in the style of their teachers and a total out of control fight, right at the get go Tiger flips out and knocks the shit out of Ishikawa, kicks to the face, punches to the throat, the whole deal. Match is frantic with both guys going head to head and moving swiftly on the mat, reborn BattlARTS changed it's style quite a bit, with Ishikawa working almost like a lucha maestro, and he definitely did some nifty stuff here, but Tiger was holding his own, and also constantly potatoeing his opponent. There's moments where Ishikawa reverses a move, but is too beaten to follow up. At another minute he breaks out of a Triangle Choke by raining hell with a taped fist. Match is worked like that, with Tiger always being slightly ahead, always landing blows, Ishikawa gets eaten when trying to go toe to toe, but he is always dangerous with his submission grabs. The last minutes are all about that, with Tiger trying to safe and kill him off, so he does these moves where he sprints across the ring, including an absolutely unreal savate kick square in the face and a similiarily terrible knee, until Ishikawa makes a grab then turns it into a suplex to even things up, then is able score his bombs and put the puzzle together. Don't get me wrong, this match isn't flawless, but it has the neat story, nifty execution, and insane violence, just a good example of what a breath of fresh air BattlARTS was in 2008.

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