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[1989-10-26-Pioneer Senshi] Hiroshi Itakura vs Hideki Kawauchi


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Damn great match, possibly the greatest black trunks rookie match of all time. The reason for that is that this isn't your regular black trunks rookie match, instead it's two very young guys basically working a high end 20 minute shootstyle match that resembled 1950s pro wrestling here and there. Itakura ended up some kind of unfairly shafted 90s indy undercard hero, and Kawauchi was never seen or heard from again, and the concept of this kind of experimental indy shootstyle pretty much fell off the radar until BattlARTS was created 7 years later. It feels earned that these two went all out on a random card that just happened to be filmed so we can watch it and declare it an awesome match 30 years later. Kawauchi is the smaller of the two but he doesn't look outmatched at all. The early parts of the match see Kawauchi pushing the pace with superior amateur skills. The cool thing about this is that they work in some basic pro wrestling moves, like a drop toe hold or headscissor, but they really work these as shootstyle moves. Kawauchi's ground moves were inspired and when Itakura caught him with an awesome flying armbar (a holy shit spot in 1989) it felt like an awesome moment. As soon as Itakura got the advantage he would throw his smaller opponent around like a ragdoll, altough Kawauchi fired back with some nasty stiff kicks and then awesome suplexes of his own. While the matwork wasn't super slick and flashy, there are some crafty reversals (especially dug Itakura wringing his way out of a legbar) and some of the deepest Fujiwara armbars you'll ever see. While the striking wasn't a huge focus in the match as both guys were hellbent on forcing a tap, anytime both guys threw strikes felt suitably epic. There are some awesome 1950s like dropkicks and spin kicks. I also got the say the suplexes in this match were just awesome and some of the best I've ever seen. Even the more pro style suplexes, like a gutwrench or double underhook suplex felt like the guy was brutally hammered into the mat. There was also a great Randleman-like side suplex. Kawauchi going for a flying armbar of his own and failing feels like something that should happen more often. So, a really intense match with awesome suplexes and striking and some of the tightest submission work you'll ever see, with Kawauchi giving a cool gutsy performance fighting of his bigger opponent... damn I wish all pro wrestling felt this real and intense.

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1989-10-26-Pioneer Senshi] Hiroshi Itakura vs Hideki Kawauchi

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