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[2020-03-07-wXw-AMBITION 12] Daisuke Ikeda vs Yuki Ishikawa


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It’s old dudes punching each other in the face. I don’t know how else to more succinctly explain the appeal of this match. For a more discerning fan than I, there is decades of history and legacy between those two that enhances every move they did in the ring on this night. Being a much simpler kind of dullard though, I enjoyed it because it was two old dudes doing irresponsible and stupid things with their bodies. The punches in this match thud with such a disgusting smack that it’s almost comic to an indie crowd who have been taught thigh slaps and kick pads. Once you get past the initial shock with a laugh, what you’re left with is stiff strikes and two men headbutting each other very hard. It’s shocking, almost disgusting, and insanely compelling stuff.



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  • 3 weeks later...

This was very heavy with the stiff potatoes they threw at each other. Ishikawa started it all off smacking Ikeda right in the eye socket from the ground in classic Ishikawa fashion -- Ikeda had to keep the eye shut for most of the match -- and then again once he got control. And then they punched lumps out of each other when standing up. Ikeda nailed one on the jaw, rocking Ishikawa badly. Ikeda threw some really nasty down kicks to Ishikawa. The ref even attempted to step in before letting it slide, only for Ikeda to lay a big one in to get a KO count. Ishikawa found some great ways to wrench on Ikeda's neck like his grovit style neck crank and then another crank using his legs. And not just the neck, both wrestlers constantly fought for the Fujiwara armbar, with them being Fujiwara Gumi trainees, of course. There was a great KO tease when Ikeda totally threw for the wind and almost knocked Ishikawa out cold with him barely getting up before the 10. And that led into them again exchanging hard punches. One particular Ikeda punch left Ishikawa with a big dent imprint on his forehead. The headbutts were fucking vicious and the running headbutt before the finish, where Ikeda would throw a big lariat, then a few kicks for some great near 10 counts and then the actual win, was disgusting. Excellent match where they genuinely enjoyed knocking 10 bells out of each other with kicks, punches and using any moves that they could think of - for old times sake. ****1/2

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  • 5 months later...

These two motherfuckers. Two people doing this to each other is insane regardless, but I suppose it's been par for the course for these two going on a quarter century now so we can't really be surprised they're still at it in their fifties. Somehow they seem to add even more brutal wrinkles to every encounter, this one their first in nearly a decade. It was very much Ikeda v Ishikawa in all the ways Ikeda v Ishikawa is amazing, but at the same time this was maybe their most unique match together. Part of that is obviously the setting. Even though most if not all of the people in attendance would've been familiar with both guys and everything they're about, there was still a sense of "what in the fuck are these two old men doing to each other?" You could tell from the reactions that some in the crowd were mortified at what they were seeing. And then there was the referee, who had a few amusing interactions with both of them without it ever feeling like a planned comedy spot. He couldn't quite believe what he was happening either and it showed in how he winced at every headbutt or punch or kick. And good grief the headbutts and punches and kicks. They trade blows early, but not in your Okada/Tanahashi forearm exchange sort of way where it's all about the machismo and which good looking young gentleman is the most rugged. The entire history of Ishikawa and Ikeda is built on them being the toughest bastards in wrestling, both of them alone on top of that particular mountain, so their strike exchanges have a whole different level of not being a monkey show. And in very un-Okada/Tanahashi fashion they ditched the forearms and chops for straight punches and headbutts, every single one of them landing with a disgusting thud, leaving bloody smears on foreheads, Ikeda just about breaking his hand on Ishikawa's cranium. Their last singles match before this had a running thread of Ikeda throwing headbutts over and over despite Ishikawa being a Fujiwara trainee, thus having an indestructible head. Yet Ikeda would keep throwing those headbutts, even at great cost to his own brain cells, until he finally toppled Ishikawa. They carried that over to this and when Ikeda threw his first headbutt Ishikawa just came up smiling. Ikeda would keep trying it, keep clonking him with absurd headbutts, and Ishikawa would pretty much always come out on top. Through insane, disturbing persistence Ikeda eventually won out, just like he did in their last match, but the running headbutt he had to use to do so was truly vile. The roundhouse kick at the end was out of this world ridiculous and fully warranted the gasps of horror from our Oberhausen crowd. 

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