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This was a really entertaining card from a pure mat watching perspective.  You have a slightly similar style of match writing to my own, telling the story moreso than emphasizing every move in detail.  It makes the matches easy to read and follow.

A few highlights for me from this show:

Tully is the perfect mouthpiece for Brock.  I can't wait to see how far this young stud will go under his tutelage.

I'm still unfamiliar with (but slowly learning) a lot of your competitors, but I really think I would have enjoyed seeing the Yamamoto/Naruse match.  Stiff and two guys putting on their working boots.

This Suzuki-gun faction is powerful and growing.  They are slick about picking their spots and making sure they are the ones standing in the end.  Picking on Ken Shamrock is kind of a foolish thing to do, but so far so good.  I can't wait to see their eventual reckoning when the sides get evened up (if they do!)

I also got into the main event, I know nothing about Volk Han but I have always really enjoyed watching the Russian Sambo style.

Great show!  

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Really dug how you handled that Kawada match. He absolutely would be vulnerable in a shoot-style match, but he's still Kawada and can kick someone's head off if he catches them. Yamazaki looked really strong in defeat, so that was played perfectly.

I like how Brock is being brought along slowly, beating names with some credibility without rocketing up the card.

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Beauty of this specific promotion: it just makes me learn more about that shoot style you're going for. Pretty realistic and great show overall!

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I like the shoot style approach to keep you separated from the other promotions. I am pulling for Kawada to be the man here... I haven't seen a ton of him but I know he would definitely hold his own against anyone. I think for many of us; your build of Lesnar is going to be a focal point. I am interested to see how you adapt him to this style.

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Flashback Friday: Kensuke Sasaki versus Satoshi Kojima, IWGP Heavyweight  Championship Tournament Quarterfinal, 1/4/01 | King of Sports

With the announcement of the U-COSMOS Crown, one name that has been in the conversation for top contenders is Kensuke Sasaki, formally of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Sasaki was enjoying quite the success in NJPW prior to the promotion's collapse and it seems Sasaki wants to carry that momentum forward into U-COSMOS. On the heels of another sold out show this past Saturday at Korakuen Hall, Sasaki was quick to issue a challenge for this Saturday's Fighting Art 3. "It's nothing personal," said Sasaki in a post-match interview, "but if I want to be the strongest, I must defeat those I admire the most." On 8/15, Sasaki will face none other than his former tag team partner, Hiroshi Hase, in standard singles action. Sasaki hopes that a win over his former partner will secure him a spot in the U-COSMOS Crown tournament in the near future. When asked about his relationship with rookie Takehiro Murahama, Sasaki said that Murahama has all the tools to succeed in U-COSMOS and he plans to mentor him as part of the aforementioned Kensuke Office. Another name associated with "the office" is Alexander Otsuka, who Sasaki said is one of the most dangerous competitors in the promotion and he'd rather have him as a friend than an enemy. When asked if any other names would be joining his office, Sasaki remained vague and thanked the press before making his exit. 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 3", 8/15/2000                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1. Kensuke Sasaki vs. Hiroshi Hase
 

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I love how you are telling the storylines for your matches and competitors in this way, building up towards your shows.  It is kind of ingenious, once we get to the show, we already know everything we need to, so you can just do your match write-ups.  It's an interesting approach.

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WCW Turned Down Brock Lesnar Before WWE Reached Out

 

Tully Blanchard, the American liaison to U-COSMOS, invited the media to a training session featuring Brock Lesnar, and Russian sambo expert and former RINGS wrestler, Mikhail Ilioukhine. Blanchard revealed that he had acquired the services of Ilioukhine to "further enhance" his client's abilities in the ring, and seemingly indicated that Mikhail had signed a contract with U-COSMOS as an active competitor. Blanchard narrated as the media watched Lesnar and Ilioukhine spar in the ring, with Lesnar working through a series of transitions and holds, while Ilioukhine dished out a few throws and takedowns. Blanchard hinted that he was looking to bring in a "dangerous striker" to work with his client but that the deal was still "in the works". Following the workout, Lesnar was asked what his goals were in U-COSMOS and Lesnar's response: "to be the best." Blanchard said that Lesnar will compete in his first UWF Rules match-up this Saturday against another young rookie in Katsuyori Shibata. According to Blanchard, Shibata has been working with the likes of Kazuo Yamazaki and Yuji Nagata, and is showing a lot of promise..."but obviously, not to level of Brock Lesnar." Obviously.

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 3", 8/15/00                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1. UWF Rules: Brock Lesnar (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Katsuyori Shibata
2. Kensuke Sasaki vs. Hiroshi Hase
 

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I enjoyed reading so far, some of the guys you've incorporated make it really rather interesting. It had me thinking about how funny it'd be bringing back MacDuff Roesch for a UWF nostalgia appearance, just to take a kicking from one of the native up-and-comers.

Not familiar with the format of these things; are they supposed to be entirely insulated from the real world goings-on at the time or is there some crossover allowed? Sakakibara cannot be happy about losing his golden boy!!

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We try to stay true as much as possible to retirements but with injuries, it's up to the writer to deal with them.

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Not one to be outdone by anybody, Shinya Hashimoto issued an open challenge for a UWF Rules match-up at this Saturday's Fighting Art 3 at Korakuen Hall. Hashimoto has been engaged in a bit of rivalry against Toshiaki Kawada and upon seeing Kawada's success in the UWF style last week against Kazuo Yamazaki, Hashimoto wanted to prove that he too could work under that particular set of rules. Hashimoto doesn't care who steps up to the challenge but promised a victory, stating the old "Annie Get Your Gun" adage of "anything Kawada can do, I can do better." Hashimoto won't be satisfied until he gets the opportunity to face Kawada one-on-one in the ring, regardless of the match rules. 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 3", 8/15/00                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1. UWF Rules: Brock Lesnar (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Katsuyori Shibata                                                                                                                                                        2. UWF Rules: Shinya Hashimoto vs. X
3. Kensuke Sasaki vs. Hiroshi Hase

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Following the traditional competitor’s parade to open the show, Akira Maeda and Nobuhiko Takada announced a special event on Sunday, 8/30, entitled “HEAT OF BATTLE”, which will take place at Tokyo Nippon Budokan. While no matches were officially announced, Takada indicated that this event would essentially “kick-off” the race for the coveted U-COSMOS Crown. The opening contest saw the undefeated Brock Lesnar take on Katsuyori Shibata under the UWF Rules. Shibata’s strategy was simple: keep Lesnar at bay with kicks and strikes, and try to take out the legs for a ground submission. Lesnar, however, was trying to get in for a suplex, or an amateur-style takedown into a choke. Shibata was able to avoid many of Lesnar’s throw attempts but after a belly-to-belly suplex stunned him, Lesnar launched Shibata with a release German suplex, keeping him down for the 10 count. Blanchard bragged about his client backstage, saying Lesnar could fight anyone, under any set of rules. When asked who he’d like to fight, Brock called out Kiyoshi Tamura!

In tag team action, Shinjiro Ohtani and Koji Kanemoto defeated Alexander Otsuka and Takehiro Murahama in a fast-paced, back-and-forth match-up. Otsuka was obviously the biggest threat in the match, and Ohtani and Kanemoto had to work to isolate Murahama. Murahama fought well, trading kicks with both opponents and even taking out Kanemoto with a beautiful dive to the outside. Otsuka cleaned house off of a hot tag and tried to submit Kanemoto with a front necklock but Ohtani made the save for his partner. In the end, Murahama tried to finish off Ohtani with a brainbuster but Ohtani was able to slip out into a full nelson and snap Murahama over with a dragon suplex hold for the pinfall. Otsuka was clearly frustrated with the loss but made sure Murahama was alright.

Kiyoshi Tamura battled Katsumi Usuda in a stiff, strike-heavy UWF Rules match. Usuda knew he was no match for Tamura on the ground so his goal was to kick Tamura as hard as possible, looking to pick up a KO victory. And boy, did he try, blasting Tamura with a ton of kicks, from all angles and directions. At one point, he staged Tamura with a high kick in the corner. But his fatal flaw came when he tried to turn that into a cross armbreaker on the mat, which Tamura was able to overpower and turn into the double wristlock for the quick tapout. Backstage, Tamura was briefly asked about the potential of facing Brock Lesnar, and Tamura responded that he would take on any challenger.

Suzuki-gun’s Daisuke Ikeda and Kendo Kashin were in tag team action against Yuji Nagata and Kazuo Yamazaki. Ikeda and Kashin were accompanied to the ring by Kazuyuki Fujita, who worked as the ringside enforcer. Nagata and Yamazaki had the fans firmly behind them as they rallied around the shenanigans and pulled off the win following a backdrop hold by Nagata on Kashin. The exchanges between Ikeda and Nagata stood out, in terms of their intensity, while Kashin was, more or less, trying to get his opponent outside of the ring and into the hands of Fujita.

Shinya Hashimoto had his hands full with a feisty Masahito Kakihara in Hash’s first UWF Rules match for the promotion. Kakihara answered Hashimoto’s challenge and Hash had to withstand the constant barrages of open-handed slaps and kicks from the quicker Kakihara, the fans once again interested in seeing Hashimoto work outside of his element. No stranger to hard kicks, Hashimoto dished out plenty against Kakihara but nearly found himself caught by an armbar on the mat, in which he had to utilize a rope break. At one point, a palm thrust by Kakihara bust Hashimoto’s nose, and with the release of blood came the unleashing of Hashimoto’s anger. As Kakihara charged in for an attack in the corner, Shinya blasted out with a huge roundhouse kick that cut Kakihara down like a tree. After the match, Hashimoto grabbed a microphone and issued a challenge to Toshiaki Kawada for a singles match at HEAT OF BATTLE.

Yuki Ishikawa teamed with his former PWFG cohorts against Suzuki-gun’s Minoru Suzuki, Kazuyuki Fujita and Kazunari Murakami. A brutally hard-hitting six-man tag, with Ishikawa getting busted open from a shoot headbutt by Fujita. Of course, the major focus was on the feud between Shamrock and Suzuki, but also Funaki and Murakami had some heated exchanges. Kendo Kashin and Daisuke Ikeda were at ringside and tried to intervene when given the opportunity but referee Kyohei Wada kept them from too many shenanigans. Ishikawa at one point had Suzuki in the octopus hold, and the fans were losing it at the thought of Suzuki submitting as Shamrock and Funaki held the others back. But Suzuki was able to roll through in a counter and very quickly spiked Ishikawa with the Gotch-style piledriver for the three count. After the match, Shamrock grabbed a microphone and demanded a match with Suzuki at HEAT OF BATTLE, to which Suzuki happily accepted.

The main event was about as King’s Road as it gets, with Hiroshi Hase giving his all in his performance against Kensuke Sasaki, with tons of head dropping bombs thrown by both men. Sasaki was the heavy aggressor of the match, with Hase working as the sympathetic elder statesman, but when he got fired up, he dumped Sasaki with ura-nages and even got the crowd chanting for his giant swing. He managed to survive not one but two lariats from Sasaki, and scored his final nearfall with a beautiful Northern Lights suplex hold. But after a third lariat, Sasaki put Hase away with the Northern Lights Bomb. Hase bowed to the crowd following his loss, and Sasaki cut a promo, thanking Hase, and once again, reiterating his goal to capture the U-COSMOS Crown.

  • U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 3", 8/15/00                
  • Tokyo Korakuen Hall
  • 2,000 Fans – Super No Vacancy Full House
  •  
  1. UWF Rules: Brock Lesnar (w/ Tully Blanchard) beat Katsuyori Shibata (8:56) by KO (German suplex).
  2. Shinjiro Ohtani & Koji Kanemoto beat Alexander Otsuka & Takehiro Murahama (11:29) when Ohtani used a dragon suplex hold on Murahama.
  3. UWF Rules: Kiyoshi Tamura beat Katsumi Usuda (9: 08) with the double wristlock.
  4. Yuji Nagata & Kazuo Yamazaki beat Daisuke Ikeda & Kendo Kashin (10:23) when Nagata used a backdrop hold on Kashin. 
  5. UWF Rules: Shinya Hashimoto beat Masahito Kakihara (7:38) by KO (roundhouse kick).
  6. Minoru Suzuki, Kazunari Murakami & Kazuyuki Fujita beat Ken Shamrock, Masakatsu Funaki & Yuki Ishikawa (14:34) when Suzuki used the Gotch-style piledriver on Ishikawa.
  7. Kensuke Sasaki beat Hiroshi Hase (18:33) with the Northern Lights Bomb.  

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I really like the way you are having Brock Lesnar work a certain style in this fed.  I think his skillset is perfect for it and it would be fun to watch him take on even more of a realistic style like this.

I was surprised to see a Suzuki-gun team take a loss here, but factions are always more interesting when they have some vulnerabilities.  This is earlier than I expected to see it, but it's a good win for Nagata and Yamazaki

Your match descriptions do a great job of quickly establishing not only who these wrestlers are, but what their character and personality is.  For someone not that familiar with Japanese stars, it's so helpful.

The semi-main event seemed to have some real heat attached to it.  This seems like a situation worth keeping a further eye on.

Love the respect shown after a fun and well performed main event.

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Three huge matches have been confirmed for U-COSMOS special event, "HEAT OF BATTLE", taking place on 8/30 at Tokyo Nippon Budokan. The matches were confirmed following yesterday's Fighting Art, and more are likely to be announced after next Saturday's show. First and foremost, Ken Shamrock and Minoru Suzuki will finally clash under UWF Rules after weeks of Suzuki-gun attacks on Shamrock. Nobuhiko Takada made it clear that Suzuki-gun would be banned from ringside for the match. In addition, Toshiaki Kawada and Shinya Hashimoto will battle it out following Hashimoto's challenge. Kawada answered the challenge, stating that Hashimoto has had this coming for "quite some time" and won't apologize for what happens to him in the ring. And finally, the young and ambitious Brock Lesnar, while undefeated thus far in U-COSMOS, may have bitten off more than he can chew when he challenged Kiyoshi Tamura to a match under UWF Rules. Lesnar's manager, Tully Blanchard, revealed that Brock is receiving all the training he needs to be able to beat Tamura, and confirmed the previous rumor that he had acquired the services of "one of Tamura's greatest rivals" to help prepare Lesnar for the match. 

U-COSMOS "HEAT OF BATTLE", 8/30/00                
Tokyo Nippon Budokan

1.    UWF Rules: Brock Lesnar (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Kiyoshi Tamura
2.    Toshiaki Kawada vs. Shinya Hashimoto
3.    UWF Rules: Ken Shamrock vs. Minoru Suzuki

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With the confirmation that Ken Shamrock would be facing Minoru Suzuki under UWF Rules at HEAT OF BATTLE, Suzuki has ordered Kazuyuki Fujita to take out Shamrock this Saturday at Fighting Art 4. Fujita, who previously fought in PRIDE, is a dangerous combatant and it's Suzuki's hope that Fujita can "hurt" Shamrock prior to their match on 8/30. Fujita and Shamrock will adhere to UWF Rules but with Suzuki-gun being banned from ringside at HEAT OF BATTLE, it's very likely their presence will be felt this Saturday in a last-ditch effort to get the better of Shamrock. Shamrock was not available for comment. 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 4", 8/22/00                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1.    UWF Rules: Ken Shamrock vs. Kazuyuki Fujita

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1287164-260_l.jpg

Tully Blanchard revealed that he has officially acquired the services of none other than Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, a long-time rival of Kiyoshi Tamura, to further train his client, Brock Lesnar, in the shoot-stylings. Kohsaka was seen at a sparring session between Lesnar and Mikhail Ilioukhine, and when pressed for comment, he said that he was not only here to work with Lesnar but that he had another objective at hand: to defeat Kazushi Sakuraba in a match. Kohsaka left it at that and resumed his observation but Blanchard was excited to announce that Ilioukhine would make his in-ring debut this Saturday at Fighting Art 4 against...well, KiyoshI Tamura. Blanchard says this will be a good preview match for Tamura, as he believes Lesnar is excelling at a rate that is "beyond human." 

In other news, Naohiro Hoshikawa will also be making his in-ring debut for U-COSMOS this Saturday as he teams with Shinya Hashimoto against Toshiaki Kawada and Masanobu Fuchi. Hoshikawa had previously worked with Michinoku Pro and Osaka Pro prior to his singing with U-COSMOS. 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 4", 8/22/00                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1.    UWF Rules: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Mikhail Ilioukhine
2.    Toshiaki Kawada & Masanobu Fuchi vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Naohiro Hoshikawa
3.    UWF Rules: Ken Shamrock vs. Kazuyuki Fujita

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ProWresBlog: RINGS 1/22/1997 - Volk Han vs Kiyoshi Tamura

During the parade of competitors, Suzuki-gun attacked Ken Shamrock but the other competitors were able to run off the unit before took much damage could be inflicted. Nobuhiko Takada addressed Suzuki-gun, stating that their actions won’t be tolerated and once again re-iterated that if the unit interfered in Shamrock’s match at HEAT OF BATTLE, they would be suspended. The opening  UWF Rules contest saw Brock Lesnar utilize more strikes, thanks to his training with Tully Blanchard’s newest assest, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Lesnar employed low kicks and some pretty nasty palm strikes to his opponent, Mitsuya Nagai. Nagai is scrappy and was able to weather the storm for a bit, catching Lesnar with a high knee that staggered the young brute. Nagai tried for a second running knee in the corner but in a display of pure athleticism, Lesnar caught him midway, overhead suplexed him into the turnbuckles, and then launched him with a release German suplex for the KO. Backstage, Tully further hyped Lesnar, saying that he is more than ready for Kiyoshi Tamura next Sunday.

In an old-school grappling match, Yoshiaki Fujiwara defeated Osamu Nishimura using his patented Fujiwara armbar. Tons of nifty counterwork by both men, with Nishimura at one point using a figure-four leglock on Fujiwara. The finishing stretch saw both men running through a series of holds until Fujiwara was able to snag the arm and tap Nishimura for the victory. After the match, Fujiwara addressed Fujinami and challenged him to a match next Sunday at HEAT OF BATTLE. Fujinami accepted.

In six-man tag team action, Jun Akiyama, Minoru Tanaka and Naoki Sano took on Yuji Nagata, Kazuo Yamazaki and Katsuyori Shibata. Akiyama was particularly brutal during the match, attacking the other competitors on the ring apron, refusing to break holds, and even arguing with head referee, Kyohei Wada. Tanaka and Sano brought the hard strikes, with Sano and Yamazaki having an especially heated exchange. Akiyama bullied Shibata throughout, with Nagata trying to defend the young rookie and getting into some scuffles with Akiyama. In the end, Akiyama submitted Shibata with the front necklock. After the match, the Golden Cups made an appearance, with Yoshihiro Takayama announcing that they would officially debut next Sunday at HEAT OF BATTLE.

Masakatsu Funaki teamed with Yuki Ishikawa against Suzuki-gun’s Kazunari Murakami and Daisuke Ikeda. A very hard-hitting tag match, with plenty of punches, headbutts, and kicks. While the exchanges between Ikeda and Ishikawa were especially memorable, hearkening back to their time together in BattlARTS, the heat between Murakami and Funaki was blistering. Murakami was all over Funaki from bell-to-bell, to the point where referee Wada had to pull him off and reprimand him. Funaki fought him off, took him out of commission with a high kick, before he honed in on Ikeda and finished him off with the Hybrid Blaster. Backstage, Murakami demanded a match with Funaki at HEAT OF BATTLE, saying he would tear him apart and leave the ring a bloody mess.

Under UWF Rules, Kiyoshi Tamura and Mikhail Illoukhine put on a shoot-style clinic, with the quicker Tamura more or less maintaining control throughout the match, but Mikhail would surprise him with a throw or catch him in a choke on the mat. Lesnar and Blanchard were at ringside for the contest, watching as Tamura snapped off kicks and had Mikhail reeling. Mikhail tried for an armbar but Tamura blocked the attempt and snagged him with the double wristlock for the submission. After the match, Lesnar entered the ring and confronted Tamura. While Lesnar stood imposingly over Tamura, Tamura didn’t back down as Blanchard stood by, rubbing his hands with a smile.

The semi-main featured Shinya Hashimoto and the debuting Naohiro Hoshikawa teaming against Toshiaki Kawada and Masanobu Fuchi. The focus of the match was the ongoing rivalry between Hashimoto and Kawada, but they kept the interactions minimal and each interaction lit up the Tokyo crowd. Fuchi was the underdog of the match, being kept from making the tag to Kawada until he finally fired off a couple of backdrops. Nevertheless, Fuchi took the fall after Hashimoto spiked him with a vertical-drop brainbuster.

The much-anticipated UWF Rules match with Ken Shamrock and Kazuyuki Fujita went to a no contest after Suzuki-gun interfered as Shamrock had Fujita in the ankle hold. The match itself, up until Suzuki-gun’s intrusion, was mostly a stand-up fight, with Fujita receiving a yellow card after throwing a shoot headbutt. With Minoru Suzuki distracting the ref, Fujita was able to throw an illegal elbow to knock Shamrock down. But Fujita couldn’t capitalize on the situation and Shamrock was able to capture him in the ankle hold. As Fujita struggled for the ropes, Suzuki, Murakami, Ikeda, and Kendo Kashin rushed the ring and attacked Shamrock. Funaki and Ishikawa hurried down to the ring to help Shamrock, and finally, Yoshiaki Fujiwara himself came out. As Fujiwara entered the ring, Suzuki backed away, seemingly out of respect. Fujiwara walked up and slapped Suzuki in the face but Suzuki withheld attacking Fujiwara, grinning as he and his army left the ring.

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 4", 8/22/00                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
2,000 Fans
– Super No Vacancy Full House

1. UWF Rules: Brock Lesnar (w/ Tully Blanchard) beat Mitsuya Nagai (7:34) by KO (German suplex).
2. Yoshiaki Fujiwara beat Osamu Nishimura (w/ Tatsumi Fujinami) (8:12) with the Fujiwara armbar.
3. Jun Akiyama, Minoru Tanaka & Naoki Sano beat Yuji Nagata, Kazuo Yamazaki & Katsuyori Shibata (10:59) when Akiyama used a front necklock on Shibata.
4. Masakatsu Funaki & Yuki Ishikawa beat Kazunari Murakami & Daisuke Ikeda (9:29) when Funaki used the Hybrid Blaster on Ikeda.
5. UWF Rules: KiyoshI Tamura beat Milhail Illoukhine (12:34) with the double wristlock.
6.  Shinya Hashimoto & Naohiro Hoshikawa beat Toshiaki Kawada & Masanobu Fuchi (15:17) when Hashimoto used a vertical-drop brainbuster on Fuchi.
7. UWF Rules: Ken Shamrock vs. Kazuyuki Fujita (14:08) – No Contest

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I love how we get to watch the progression of Brock Lesnar as he builds his repertoire and adds different elements to his style.  You capture his suddenness well in this match, too, with the finishing sequence.

Your match descriptions are so good at capturing the basic essence of the personalities involved, that even with limited knowledge of your roster, I feel like by the end of reading each match, I know who was involved and what the story was.  Nice work.

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"Fujiwara walked up and slapped Suzuki in the face but Suzuki withheld attacking Fujiwara, grinning as he and his army left the ring. "

 

That to me was a great visual. Something that can get lost in this type of stuff but you built it and wrote it in a great fashion to get me hooked. Awesome stuff.

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image.png.ac542d093b7bfc86a99db3a3384eccb3.png

Following yesterday's Fighting Art, the card for HEAT OF BATTLE has been updated, with the addition of two matches. Tatsumi Fujinami and Yoshiaki Fujiwara will go one-on-one under standard pro-wrestling rules, while Masakatsu Funaki and Kazunari Murakami will battle it out under UWF Rules. More matches are expected to be announced in the week leading up to the big event on 8/30.

U-COSMOS "HEAT OF BATTLE", 8/30/00                
Tokyo Nippon Budokan

1. UWF Rules: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Kazunari Murakami
2. UWF Rules: Brock Lesnar (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Kiyoshi Tamura
3. Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara
4. Toshiaki Kawada vs. Shinya Hashimoto
5. UWF Rules: Ken Shamrock vs. Minoru Suzuki

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