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[1997-01-21-BattlArts] Yuki Ishikawa & Takeshi Ono vs Daisuke Ikeda & Katsumi Usuda

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Yuki Ishikawa & Takeshi Ono vs Daisuke Ikeda & Katsumi Usuda - BattlArts 1/21/97

How are the teams decided in BattlArts? In October, Ono and Ishikawa were on separate teams. Is the only rule that Ishikawa & Ikeda must be opposing sides?

This is another Jetlag recommendation nominated in the Greatest Match Every project. Anytime, Ishikawa and Ikeda hook it up it is going to be good. I thought these were some of the best Ikeda kicks I have ever seen. They really played up the striker vs wrestler matchup in the first half of the match. Each of the heavy hitters had to save their junior partner in the opening exchange then they both came in and Ikeda LIT Ishikawa up, but Ishikawa always had the counterpuncher's chance and was able to lock in a deep kneebar. This enabled him to tag out to Ono with the advantage. Ono continued to work the leg, but Usuda saved him with a kick to Ono's back. I thought the Usuda/Ono stuff has been technically good, but is a step down in electricity from Ikeda and Ishikawa. Ono should have tagged out a couple times, but he waits to get the advantage to tag out. Usuda does a great job using his kicks to position Ishikawa into his team's corner and Ikeda & Usuda double team Ishikawa with ferocious kicks. Usuda wisely tags out. Ikeda is just rifling Ishikawa. They are right to the head and he gets a knockdown triggering the count. Ikeda tags out to Usuda, big mistake. He took his foot off the gas pedal. Ishikawa explodes with a backdrop driver and Usuda is OUT! He is easy pickins' for Ono who kicks him in the face for the knockdown. Usuda is able to get to Ikeda to tag him in. Remember how they were working on Ikeda's leg well that turns out to be a big deal. Ono escapes and as Ikeda is getting to his feet, Ono rifles him with a kick and it is ON! Ishikawa tries desperately to submit Ikeda with a variety of toeholds and legbars. A combination of Usuda & the ropes are the only things that saved Ikeda. Ono tries to KO Ikeda, but in the process does not keep himself between Ikeda and the corner. Bad tag wrestling. Ikeda tags out. Ishikawa comes in. I was wondering what the strategy would be. Ishikawa is going with the dump Usuda on his head strategy and then goes for the Fujiwara armbar, but Usuda is game on the mat and traps Ishikawa in a cross armbreaker, Ono quickly saves, but the damage has been done. Usuda's strategy is to go after Ishikawa's arm, but Ishikawa is guarding well. Usuda wrangles a rear naked choke, but Ishikawa makes the ropes. Ishikawa goes for the leg and gets a single leg crab. Ikeda smokes him in the face! Ono comes flying in with a superman knee and that blasts Ikeda in the face. Ishikawa locks in a kneebar, but Usuda desperately makes the ropes. Ishikawa smartly tags out to the fresh Ono who summarily knocks Usuda down with a kick to the face to trigger the count. Octopus Stretch by Ono...Ikeda cracks him in the back of the head. First wild swing by Ikeda misses, BEAR PAW SWIPE STRIKES ONO DOWN! Usuda hits a spinning back chop to Ono's neck and applies a rear naked choke. Why the fuck did Ishikawa just stand on the apron? Usuda taps Ono.

BatBat tag matches are definitely one of my favorite genres of matches. They do a brilliant job integrating shoot-style and All Japan tag structure into a beautiful hybrid. I thought this was on the level of the October 96 tag and I would say I would like this a shade more just because I thought the psychology was a bit more pronounced Ikeda really going for the KO, they worked over Ikeda's leg creating a ton of drama, the Ishikawa/Usuda segment was some really tense grappling. Didnt love the finish, I didnt feel like it fit with the wildness of the match, but it was definitive. Another BatBat tag match that everyone should check out. ****1/2

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1997-01-21-BattlArts] Yuki Ishikawa & Takeshi Ono vs Daisuke Ikeda & Katsumi Usuda

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