1. Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Nobuhiko Takada (2/27/90) - 7
This match was tits. In the beginning, neither man was capable of getting the advantage, leading to some great take downs. Takada is the fucking man. His leg take down in which he grapevined Fuj's leg was nothing short of sweetness. Takada continued the leg-based attacks on the surly old bastard in order to take him off of his feet to prevent his striking. Fujiwara would have none of Takada's shit, and would begin wrenching his neck like a stuck bolt on the axle of a four-door sedan. Takada continued with the sweet take downs with a body scissors on Fujiwara, who was starting to crumble to Takada's leg-based offense. The leg continued to be a factor in the match with Takada pulling on the kneee of Fujiwara, who sold it well in the face. Strikes would explode out of nowhere at seemingly random times out of both guys, which led to a more shoot atmosphere. Fuj tried punking out Tak in the corner, then headbutted him so hard you could hear it in Hokkaido. Really sweet match and definitely recommended.
2. Masaharu Funaki vs. Minoru Suzuki (4/15/90) - 3
This match wasn't bad if you were simply looking at the mat-game. There was some good stuff, no doubt, but the match consisted of Funaki locking on holds and Suzuki using the ropes to break them every time... made Suzuki kind of look like a bitch. Match went eight minutes until Suzuki couldn't take any more and tapped out. The match really lacked any passion.
3. Minoru Suzuki vs. Yoji Anjo (6/21/90) - 5
Minoru owned this shit. Everytime Anjo would go to for a mid-kick, Suz would grab his foot as if to say, "Don't think so, bitch" then would proceed to take his ass to the mat. I dug how much time the match got -- went about 17 mins. Anjo looked impressive with his knees to the face, but Minoru just kept dominating him throughout the match. Finish came with a tightly-cinched juji gatame on Suz. This is why I dug the match: despite Anjo not being able to get the upper-hand for most of the match, he won with the gatame that made Minoru tap the hell out.
4. Ken Shamrock vs. Yoji Anjo (10/25/90) - 6
I gotta say that I dug this match. We got a really slow start, which worked well for the match because it allowed a real mounting type of atmosphere, causing the crowd to get more and more into the match. The back-and-forth element came about as both men were evenly matched and were able to get the best of each other multiple times, causing rope breaks and down counts. Shamrock looked great with his hot pink tights and rocking a mullet. Anjo also kicked ass with his strikes. Let's discuss the strikes. Both guys were laying the hell in with their knee lifts to the chest and chin of each other and they were selling and no-selling them great. Shamrock had a particularly great knock-out sell that I was marking for. We got a really nice sprint near the end that saw Shamrock get the victory over the surly Anjo with a choke after hitting a Dragon suplex. Good shit.
5. Masaharu Funaki vs. Ken Shamrock (12/1/90)- 7
This match was fucking awesome. I adored the even-keeled feeling that the two had going between them, which made the match that much better. Funaki and Shamrock were able to both lock in submissions, but nothing would cause the other man to give up. This mostly comprised the first 10 minutes of the match, which made the next five or so minutes of the match spec-fucking-tacular. The strike exchanges here were to die for. Sham hit some sick stiff knees right to Funaki's jaw, but Funaki would be sure to repay him with some solid kicks and strikes to the face. We got some of those sweet ass throws and takedowns mixed in with some suplexes that came of cleaner than a virgin's vagina. This was just the shit.
6. Nobuhiko Takada & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Gary Albright & Mark Flemming (11/25/92)- 5
This match provided a really cool element in that Albright looks scary and tough enough to dismember everyone sitting in the building, including the boys in the back. Yamazaki looks great. His enzuguris are off the chain and he connected well with them. Both guys on the Japanese team being able to take a guy like Albright off his feet so swiftly added a really awesome angle to the match in that it showed the potential power that both guys had. Albright and Flemming move a bit clunky in the ring, but the overall match worked well and featured some nice mat work and wrestling moves. A bit long, but it played out well.
7. Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara (12/20/92)- 8
Aw hell yeah, this was where it's at. Man alive was this stiff. You want to talk about a solid striking game? This was beyond solid -- this was fucking ultra strong style at it's finest. Both guys were just beating the shit out of each other, taking turns annihilating each other's heads with sick kicks to the dome. Both guys just had such a rock-hard striking game that came across as so legitimate that I gasped a few times at the kicks that shook the building's foundation. It's actually been a long damn time since I've sat watching a match with such intensity, biting my nails and waiting to see what these hard-asses would dish out next. Also, the decreasing point system for takedowns worked perfectly here, as it made the audience so unsure of what would unfold and who would win. Just an amazing match.
PS: THOSE MUTHAFUKKING KNEES~!
8. Nobuhiko Takada vs Naoki Sano (12/20/92)- 5
We close this disc with another solid outing. Sano is about six to eight inches shorter than Takada, but the little dude was beating ass. Takada's striking seems to never be outdone in any given match, as he dishes it out harder than he takes it. Takada also had this great methodical approach to decimating the arm of Sano with cross arm breakers and strikes. Sano's selling was great, especially of the strikes. It's the closest thing I can imagine to the facial reactions of a concussion victim: shock, pain, and the "oh shit" face. Sano got in his fair of strikes, but Takada really took him to school in the UWFi ring.
That's it for my disc, and what a disc it was!
sounds like you really dug that....can't wait to peep it
Masakatsu Funaki. Not Masaharu.
Man it was great.
Masaharu is his birth name (or (船木 優治 Funaki Masaharu) and was what he used during that period.
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