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Jetlag

[1996-12-01-Inoki Festival] Daisuke Ikeda & Takeshi Ono vs Alexander Otsuka & Satoshi Yoneyama

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This is the DVDVR 100 match that Dean labelled as "Samurai TV debut card", which is why it took me so long to track this down. Not very helpful labelling, dude. I have little grudge though, because this was as good as advertised. They downtuned the matwork elements and just went right to straight up murdering eachother. This is really as good of an introduction to BattlARTS as I can think of, as they establish their "shootstyle with pro style psychology and 200% more death" dynamic as well the tactics of the Team Taco "we'll isolate you and then stomp you to a pulp" heel team, Otsuka's ability to kill folks by dumping them on their necks till the lights go out and Yone's underdogness. Ikeda and Ono were constantly cutting off the ring and whenever in trouble would buckle the opponent to their corner and reign shots on him 2 on 1. Ono looked damn great here, as he was obviusly a target being the smaller guy, but got the better of his opponents using his superior speed, getting chokes and felling them huge kicks in the standup. Ikeda and Otsuka were as good as you've ever seen them here and Yoneyama didn't get in the way, hitting some brutal moves of his own and mostly being punching bag for Team Taco otherwise. 13 minute match, but probably the 2nd or 3rd best BattlARTS tag that year.

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For a stiff as day-old catshit BattlARTS exhibition tag, this match ruled. Everyone had a role to play in this, and Ikeda’s willingness to get dumped on his head by Otsuka’s brutal suplexes will never not impress. Yoneyama’s the unknown underdog rocking the Tiger Mask IV pants and for a guy I’d never heard of, my first impression is a thumbs up, as he dished out some punishment as much as he took it, especially in the end against Ikeda. Ono was awesome with his wiliness both on the mat and on his feet slinging kicks. I liked the way he nonchalantly tapped Otsuka with kicks or how he'd kick his opponents from the apron. Both he and Ikeda did a good job of patrolling submission holds, so mostly, this was about the fold-up suplexes and hard hits. The finishing stretch was ugly beautiful, as poor Yoneyama tries to quickly submit Ikeda with the front necklock but that backfires and Ikeda solebutt kicks him in the throat, kicks him in the head, and when Yone won’t stay down, he slaps him silly and kicks him back down for good.

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