June 12th, 2009
1) Katsumi Usuda v. Akifumi Sato- 2
2) Takeshi Takeshima v. Keita Yano- 5
3) Muneori Sawa/ Baisen TAGAI v. Ryuji Walter/ Yoshinori Narita- 4
4) Yujiro Yamamoto v. Sanchu Tsubakichi- 5
5) Yuki Ishikawa/ Yuta Yoshikawa v. Super Tiger II/ Tiger Shark- 5
Usuda is a crafty vet, this was more like a training exercise for him than any kind of formal match. Sato looked outmatched in every way but what I didn't like was Usuda never went for the kill.
This bout had a great back and forth and was a big hit with the kids. I believe Yano was in a boogie board surfer's outfit and was really dynamic with reversals. Had an Ichi the Killer style hair do and his work on the wrist lock was dy-no-mite. Takeshima (whose first and last name are strangely almost the same) looked like Donshoku Dino's slightly more hetero cousin and also was really good with reversals.
Some fun parts to be had here, as a whole think it was a tad long, about 4 minutes to be exact. Narita looked like a goof, wearing swimming trunks and looking as athletic as a potted plant. Walter was a mean mamajamma, brutally dissecting his opponents with big meaty hands. Sawa is all about submissions and was just cranking them out on everyone he could grab a hold of, incl the strangely set up anklelock he secured the win with.
Haven't seen a bout based around slaps since that Tyson- Robin Givens bout leaked online. Not sure who was who, but the guy with Tokyo on his tights was dominating the first portion, not sure what happened. He was just slapping him over and over again then a couple weak looking armbars and it was over.
Our big main event was def. the longest of the bouts and didn't feel so much worked as a shoot fight but sort of like a very technical tag match. I think it worked, mostly because it steps away from the only thing BattlARTS is known for. The Tiger team worked modestly well as the "heels" even though they did nothing heel like except some doubleteams. Yuki is the grizzled vet and my god you don't know how grizzled he is until you watch closely; I can't even imagine how much crow's feet and smile lines we could see in HD. But he plays the role to the hilt, reminds me of a less emotional Tenryu, does the old man selling and some looping punches. His partner should have been a young gun who could keep up, but he was just a limp sardine for most of this.