Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Thursday, February 05, 2015

2014 Ongoing Match of the Year List

21. Yuki Ishikawa v. George Terzis Battle Arts 6/14

PAS: So glad this showed up, any chance we get to see Ishikawa is a treat. Terzis is a apparently a long time Canadian indy guy who is a co-trainer at the BattlArts Academy. I had never heard of him before, but he was pretty good, and felt like he belonged in a Yuki Ishikawa match. This was kind of worked like a poor mans Ishikawa v. Greco match. Terzis isn't as fluid on the mat as Greco (who is really) but he was able to exchange hold with Ishikawa on the mat. I also really liked Terzis on his feet, he hit some very nasty high kicks, which Ishikawa sold like a champ, he also really laid in the high knees. Finish was a classic Ishikawa/Fujiwara finish as he is getting rocked with big shots and is some how able to lock in a flash submission for the win. So much fun

ER: Okay, so when I started watching this I admittedly was disappointed. When I read the name George Terzis I was hoping it was some big lumpy Czech or Greek guy in a gi, with a horseshoe haircut and dad mustache, the kind of guy who would show up in RINGS or in a random Fujiwara PWFG match. I pictured his training being 15 minutes of grappling followed by 15 minutes of cigarette break, just grapple, cigarettes, repeat. I imagined the jogging suits that you knew he had to own, like a 70s gym teacher. I imagined his look of seething hatred and drugged sleepiness, the way all those galoots looked in the pre match intros of a Volk Han match. And then Terzis turned out to be a stocky kickpads guy. He kinda looks like early career Ken Shamrock, and he kinda works like early career Ken Shamrock, which is a great opponent for Ishikawa! Ishikawa moving to Canada and not getting his brains turned to pancake batter by regular face kicking has done wonders for him. He moves around better than the last few years of Japan matches that popped up, and physically he appears to be in the best shape of his wrestling career. And not one of those phony "best shape of my life" platitudes that tons of athletes toss out before their respective sport's season. He's clear eyed, looks lean, has more muscle tone than I've ever seen on him, just moves around great. This match is a great example of how wonderful Ishikawa is at putting over holds, as sometimes a hold can actually be very painful while looking not painful. Ishikawa is maybe the best at putting over levels of pain while in a hold. He's really great at going from "not a concern, I can still look for an opening" to "more of a concern, better try and reverse instead of looking to advance" to "Okay better find a way out FAST" to "OH LORD my leg!" It's a two way street and he's also great at showing when he's really going for the kill and wrenching in one of his own subs. They do a lot of nasty legbars in this and lesser wrestlers can make this stuff look like two partgoers getting tangled in a painless game of Twister. Think of Kurt Angle applying the ankle lock, and how it always looked like he was just holding a man by the leg. Here we get real struggle, we get great blocked reversals like when Ishikawa tries to roll out of something, finds continuing to roll that way would mean a snapped leg, so acts fast to find another way out. Add on to that some big head kicks from Terzis, a nice out of nowhere left hand that puts Terzis down, and some big knees, and this would rank favorably with BattlArts stuff. Good work Phil for tracking this down.


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