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[2000-12-31-Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye] Bas Rutten & Alexander Otsuka vs Naoki Sano & Ricco Rodriguez


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  • 5 months later...

Rutten and Rodriguez start us off and both are clearly pulling their stuff.  Ricco catches a kick and drops ‘El Guapo’ with a palm strike.  Slow motion take down and it doesn’t look like much must’ve happened as the camera is focusing on Otsuka on the apron and when it cuts back to the action they’re already getting back to their feet.  Guillotine attempt from Rutten and Rodriguez with a bodyslam to escape.  More palm strikes that have got nothing behind them.  Double leg take down by Bas and he’s in Rodriguez’s guard.  Ricco looks for an armbar from the bottom but Rutten is able to power out.  Now Ricco with the double leg, practically falling into a triangle choke, which he powerbombs his way out of.  Armbar submission on Otsuka who is just about able to stretch a leg to the ropes for the break.  After a scramble on the mat and being close with the power guillotine, Sano with an STF forcing Otsuka to go the ropes for a second time.  Reverse rolling kneebar and, now close enough to his corner, he tags Rutten.  ‘El Guapo’ with a couple of kicks, another armbar and another rope break.  Rear naked choke by Sano that he just gives up on.  Otsuka throws a dropkick that misses and now he’s on his back like Inoki against Ali.  A cartwheel pass brings the crowd to life but Otsuka snatches his leg and applies an ankle lock.  They suddenly move away from the ‘worked shoot’ aspect busting out some traditional pro wrestling moves.  Otsuka whips Ricco towards Bas who demonstrates his great vertical leap with a spin kick (although it barely connects as his timing is off).  Dead weight German suplex by Otsuka on Ricco.  Baseball slide dropkick sends Sano to the floor and Otsuka follows that up with a tope.  Sano ducks the clothesline, lands a release German and hits a shotgun dropkick off the top.  That’s as good as it got for them though as Rutten gets the taps shortly after, floating over on the double underhook and applying an arm lock submission.

Was this an MMA exhibition?  Was this a worked shoot fight?  Was this pro wrestling?  It felt like all three at various points of the match and didn’t particularly excel at any of them.  I thought Rutten would translate pretty well to pro wrestling but he was a disappointment and it was his exchanges with Rodriguez that made this feel like it was an exhibition of sorts.  Things picked up when Otsuka and Sano were against each other as they at least showed an urgency that was lacking from the MMA fighters.  It was very weird how they all of a sudden went full on pro wrestling towards the end of this.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2000-12-31-Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye] Bas Rutten & Alexander Otsuka vs Naoki Sano & Ricco Rodriguez

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