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[2002-10-26-NJPW] Bas Rutten vs Koji Kanemoto


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Bas Rutten wrestled a total of 6 matches in NJPW, two of which I've seen, and his last match in NJPW was against Koji Kanemoto for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title. Not to my surprise, he plays pro-wrestler quite well. Sure, he's got some goofy...uh, dropkicks...but he knows how to work the fans and he sells Kanemoto's legwork well. He's able to use his raw strength to muscle Kanemoto into predicaments or escape them, like his awesome powerbomb counter to the triangle. At one point, he just starts slamming Kanemoto's head into the canvas. And of course, we get some slick matwork from Bas. Kanemoto's clearly overshadowed here, and while he'll get in some mounted tantrum slaps or go back to the leg to set-up the finish, Rutten really makes this match an interesting spectacle of sorts. After he hits Shining Wizard!!, Bas doesn't go for the pin but instead, plays to the crowd, like "hey, I can do this too", but it ultimately costs him the match. Pretty good match and from what I've seen, Rutten's best pro-wrestling performance.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2002-10-26-NJPW] Bas Rutten vs Koji Kanemoto
  • 6 months later...

Neat 10 minute Rutten showcase. It's funny that Rutten in some aspects comes across like a 50s wrestler. I mean, he makes you believe in body shots or slamming the other guys head down as nearfalls. Kanemoto didn't add a ton, but he played his part. This was entertaining because Rutten comes across as so dangerous, always knowing what to do on the mat, plus all the out there cool thing he will do.

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  • 1 year later...

Bas was really giving for a non-pro-wrestler.  And way better than you would expect.  He had Koji at every turn on the mat, but makes him look just credible enough to buy the finish.  Is BAs Rutten truly a world class grappler like he looks to be or is there just that much of a difference between the wrestling and MMA guys?  I am going with the latter, I would guess the wrestling guys learn enough to be effective against your average joe.  Where the MMA guys would get murdered in a real fight if they weren't up  to snuff.

As an example, most pro guys when they throw kicks leave themselves way off balance.  If you watch you'll see where a good fighter could step out-step in real quick and clobber them with something in between.  Bas is able to throw a side kick to knock Koji off the apron before putting his leg down from a high roundhouse and 100% balanced through both kicks.

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