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Jetlag

[2001-03-02-ZERO-ONE-Truth Century Creation] Shinjiro Ohtani vs Kazunari Murakami

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You have to wonder whether the ZERO1 debut was the best debut card of all time. Just loaded with exciting fights. This is a Murakami match with Ohtani stepping up to the challenge, just a hurricane of wild strikes and a feel of danger. Ohtani sweeping and punting a crazy MMA fighter is way cooler than Ohtani working fighting spirit epics. Not much depth, but you know what youre getting.

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This was a fun fight. Ohtani, to me, was still one of the best workers in Japan in 2000. This was a bit like watching him work an ill-advised PRIDE fight. You knew he was going to job but it was fun watching him get his flurries in. If Ohtani had followed Sano's career path into shoot style, I imagine it would look something like this. 

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You’re used to a wrestler jumping his opponent before the bell in the U.S., not so in Japan, you’re therefore caught completely off guard by Ohtani’s furious and relentless onslaught, dropping Murakami and repeatedly kicking away at him.  An amazing start to the match.  Kaz is on the floor in no hurry to return, pacing around ringside trying to work out what just happened while Ohtani guards the ropes.  When the official pushes him backwards Murakami seized the opportunity, unloading with punches and kicks of his own.  Ohtani looks outclassed standing but manages to take Murakami off his feet with a low kick and then it’s one soccer kick after another to the ribs.  They trade again, this time Kaz is landing the flusher shots.   Nice Judo throw by Kaz.  Ohtani gets the back and lands an awesome German suplex.  He’s looking for a modified choke but Murakami gets to the ropes for the break.  Kaz tees off on him and Ohtani collapses like a Giant Redwood, from where he quickly sinks in a rear naked choked and the ref stops the bout.

The action was frantic, frenetic, believable and violent.  A great shoot style match.

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