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Indy shoot-style matches


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I've heard the shoot-style scene has been experiencing a revival over the past few years on the US and Euro indy circuit. Could someone fill me on what's been going on and what the must-see matches are?

 

I just watched this match and was blown away. Only found it because the channel also had Ikeda/Honda lol

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3gwba9

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The only thing close to actual shoot style I've seen or heard of happening was in tiny japanese indies. It's true there were/are guys like Thatcher doing more matwork-oriented work but my opinion of it is that it's artless and shit, and untill someone whom I'd trust on the matter makes a really strong argument for specific matches I'm not going to waste the I make for ~5 matches a month I watch for it when there's plenty of wrestling I know I'll earnestly like out there.

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It's been a thing for a very long time. I recall Bryan Danielson and Bobby Quance doing a full on BattlARTS inspired match in PWG in 2004 or so, not to mention the Danielson/Ki bouts especially the one with Shamrock as the ref. I haven't seen any great matches come out of it yet but I prefer this stuff over your typical comedy/spotfest indy match.

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The only thing close to actual shoot style I've seen or heard of happening was in tiny japanese indies. It's true there were/are guys like Thatcher doing more matwork-oriented work but my opinion of it is that it's artless and shit, and untill someone whom I'd trust on the matter makes a really strong argument for specific matches I'm not going to waste the I make for ~5 matches a month I watch for it when there's plenty of wrestling I know I'll earnestly like out there.

Phil Schneider had it on his MOTY list and made an MDA topic about it. I could also rewatch and do a more detailed write-up if you trust me. More importantly, though, I'm surprised to hear you're so down on Thatcher. I would have thought he ticks all the right boxes for a shoot-style fan to dig, at least based on that one match I linked. What matches have you watched from him that gave you such a negative opinion?

 

It's been a thing for a very long time. I recall Bryan Danielson and Bobby Quance doing a full on BattlARTS inspired match in PWG in 2004 or so, not to mention the Danielson/Ki bouts especially the one with Shamrock as the ref. I haven't seen any great matches come out of it yet but I prefer this stuff over your typical comedy/spotfest indy match.

I've watched the Danielson/Ki match with Shamrock as the ref, and thought it was great, but not shoot-style. I watched it right after Tamura/Kohsaka and the difference in the technique displayed in the matwork was obvious. I enjoyed it but as a pro style match where they found a nifty way to use shoot holds than as a shoot-style, if that makes sense. The difference with the Thatcher match I linked is him and that Graves have pretty clearly had extensive training in some form of submission wrestling and they use that knowledge to have a match that's basically a more dramatized and tricked out version of how a shoot sparring match between them might look. It's really that kind of match I'm seeking when I talk about shoot-style.

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I watched some of his stuff like, 2 years ago when Evolve and grapplefuck in particular were emerging and remember him being an uninteresting grappler (who, like the rest of the guys there, worked more in the traditional pro wrestling matwork style with some legit holds mixed in than anything resembling shoot style) whose stand-up included thigh slapping headbutts, idk how much he's changed in the mean time, but it just left me with the impression that him having like, Yuki Ishikawa connections is like Kotaro Suzuki having a Misawa one. Even if they do all their spots it won't be nearly as cool.

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It seems like there are a lot of great matches that borrow elements of shoot style that don't get their due because they aren't pure enough stylistically. I don't think that's what's happening with GOTNW, but I do see that sometimes with complaints of UWFI or BattlARTS having too much pro-style influence, for example. There's nothing wrong with doing cafeteria-style pro wrestling if it works.

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Well, Tim Thatcher is a tribute wrestler for sure. He's still not great and his selling is still weird, but atleast he's made a niche for himself and all that.

 

When I heard "indy shootstyle" I just assumed you were talking about that brand of cafeteria shootstyle, because that's what all indy shootstyle is to me. Atleast I've never seen an indy match (atleast outside japan) that I'd label shootstyle ala UWF or RINGS, not even that match linked in the first post. Altough it doesn't matter a lot to me. Of course the original shootstyle doesn't really look like real fighting either, so for me it's a little nonsensical to get all uptight about what is and isn't shootstyle... atleast there is a very noticeable difference in skill between your Tamura/Kohsaka matches and your average indy schmoe attempting some armbars.

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It seems like there are a lot of great matches that borrow elements of shoot style that don't get their due because they aren't pure enough stylistically. I don't think that's what's happening with GOTNW, but I do see that sometimes with complaints of UWFI or BattlARTS having too much pro-style influence, for example. There's nothing wrong with doing cafeteria-style pro wrestling if it works.

I did love Ki/Danielson and Justice/Garrini. I tend to enjoy pretty much all shoot style branches as well stuf that just uses its elements to create something unique like Porky/Escorpion or Lawler/Snowman, but including modern indy matches that happen to have some grappling with legit holds in it seems about as convincing as saying Lesnar vs Punk was a shoot style match because it had an Armbar spot or describing 2018 Minoru Suzuki matches as shoot style because he heavily relies on legit holds. I'm really big on traditional prowres matwork done right, but see whether it's great as a different issue than whether it's shoot style. You render the term pointless if it becomes too inclusive.
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Well, Tim Thatcher is a tribute wrestler for sure. He's still not great and his selling is still weird, but atleast he's made a niche for himself and all that.

 

When I heard "indy shootstyle" I just assumed you were talking about that brand of cafeteria shootstyle, because that's what all indy shootstyle is to me. Atleast I've never seen an indy match (atleast outside japan) that I'd label shootstyle ala UWF or RINGS, not even that match linked in the first post. Altough it doesn't matter a lot to me. Of course the original shootstyle doesn't really look like real fighting either, so for me it's a little nonsensical to get all uptight about what is and isn't shootstyle... atleast there is a very noticeable difference in skill between your Tamura/Kohsaka matches and your average indy schmoe attempting some armbars.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm uptight about what I count as shoot-style. I don't have an issue considering UWFi or BattleArts as shoot-style, for example. As I said, I think Danielson/Ki is a great match and I was just trying to explain why I see it as a different beast than Thatcher/Graves. To me, shoot-style is neither about just doing shoot-style submissions over pro-style submissions or fooling people into thinking it's real, but about having guys who know enough to hold their own in a real fight building a no-frills match around that knowledge. At least originally, I think it was conceived as a minimalist throwback to the style seen in the clips we have from matches in the 1920's and early 1930's where matches were built around guys struggling for shoot holds and not much else. Using real techniques to create real emotion. I'd be game for any match that roughly fits that description regardless of if I come out viewing it as "real" shoot-style. I made this thread for match recs, not to argue about what is and isn't shoot-style.

 

Cain Justice vs Dom Garrini in CWF, brother.

https://youtu.be/BmDvB1W99aY

Now this is the kind of match I wanted to see when I made this thread. It's not a RINGS match, but it doesn't try to be and I really appreciated the creativity that went into it. I loved the the story with both guys coming in inexperienced and initially relying on their respective backgrounds in judo and BJJ until the guy with more pro style experience is able to seize the advantage. The matwork isn't as slick as what you'd see from Japanese feds, but that adds to the match's charm. A southern indy fed built around shoot-style is the dream I never knew I had. The holds looked really stiff as well, especially that finish. Would love to see some more recs.

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PREMIER was a really great short-lived Bay Area fed. I think they only ran 11 shows? There was a different, just as awesome Thatcher/Graves match on show 10, and they never ended up posting that one online. I wish they were still around, easily worth driving 2+ hours each way.

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Speaking of indie shoot style, I remember back in the day in the Observers there was a groups Dan Severn and Al Snow worked for called GAME that ran shoot wrestling like matches and was where Art Davie the co owner of the UFC first saw Dan and interviewed him to participate in UFC 4 after being invited there by Severn.

 

Did any of those shows ever make it to tape? I'd love to see it.

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I mean, as far as one offs go, there's the upcoming Matt Riddle's Bloodsport on WM weekend, which is KO or submission only. Not sure if it's necessarily going to be "shoot-style" but it should be interesting to see how it's structured.

 

I can’t wait to see how it goes. All I know is Nick F’N Gage will probably be there and that made my front row purchase worth it.
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  • 3 weeks later...

the only promtions that do Shootstyle are Real Japan and IGF[some times] anf the best of all shootsyle promotion ever was Rings it had the Kings of the Style even Ikeda and Ishikawa once Each both repping for PWFG at the time

 

I disagree, I still believe Newborn UWF although it had a short run of 2 years was the best shootstyle group of all time. It had the most talented roster and was groundbreaking and different where the next wave of spinoffs like RINGS,UWFi, and PWFG were all just trying to recapture their success with their own twist on it.

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the only promtions that do Shootstyle are Real Japan and IGF[some times] anf the best of all shootsyle promotion ever was Rings it had the Kings of the Style even Ikeda and Ishikawa once Each both repping for PWFG at the time

 

Hard Hit tries. And occasionally, BJW will put out something akin to shoot-style, or promote something like the KakiRide show last year.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
On 3/14/2018 at 3:20 PM, Edwin said:

Not a U.S. indy, but wXw in Germany holds a shoot style indy tournament annually called Ambition.

I'd actually recommend this year's tournament since it's only around an hour long and the matches are all super short.  Can't remember TOO much since I watched it a couple of months ago, but I do remember one match having a nice BattlARTS-ish finish and thinking Mike Bailey was the standout of the whole tournament with his tae kwon do base.

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