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[2003-02-15-U-Style] Kiyoshi Tamura vs Wataru Sakata


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The main event was obviously the best match and had everything a Tamura match entails. The good thing about U-Style is that they didn't do straight up UWF or RINGS worship but instead it was this exciting new take on shootstyle with faster pace, shorter matches and submissions being more important. Great mix of slick, athletic matwork with intelligent pacing and strong standup sections. Tamura comes across as a very dangerous force but he mostly works even with fellow RINGS leftover Sakata. Sakata is someone who seems to rough his opponent up a little more than average, it didn't come across strongly here but he had his moments. Really liked how tough the body shots here felt. Whenever Tamura shows vulnerability Sakata goes after him and his crazy desperation assault after almost getting KO'd was the highlight of the match. Some really great submission nearfalls while keeping it believable. 

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [2003-02-15-U-Style] Kiyoshi Tamura vs Wataru Sakata
  • 3 years later...

If there's one thing Japanese wrestling has been missing in the 00s, aside from, I dunno, a motivated Toshiaki Kawada, a relevant Shinya Hashimoto, and a healthy Kenta Kobashi, it's been this man, Kiyoshi Tamura. This wasn't exactly a triumphant return, but it was the return of one of the best wrestlers of the 90s and another guy to add to the list of the dozen or so Japanese wrestlers worth watching from this era. I thought Tamura showed a bit of rust in this bout, and hadn't quite figured out what he wanted U-Style to be, but I was happy to see him back in a wrestling ring. I also know there's better things to come from this promotion, so I didn't hang my hat on this being special. Decent workout for Tamura. 

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