Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2010 Match of the Year

Daisuke Ikeda/Takahiro Oba v. Makoto Hashi/Kengo Mashimo FUTEN 10/24/10

PAS: A truly transcendent piece of wrestling violence. The match starts with a little jiving and taunting, especially by Ikeda and Obo, although in true FUTEN fashion that includes a teeth loosening Ikeda kick to Mashimo's face. I also really liked how Oba used his taunt as a way to feint out Hashi and get a takedown. The middle section of this match was pretty damn great too, with each pairing getting a chance to stretch out a bit and show some things. Oba had some truly impressive grappling exchanges with Hashi as they were grabbing limbs and throats and twisting and cracking. We also got to see Ikeda and Mashimo kick each other in the face, thighs and ribs, Mashimo and Oba do their thing and some teases of the Ikeda v. Hashi hellstorm yet to come.

Then like most of these matches, it comes down to two guys battling it out, and sweet Christ on the Cross dying for our sins, do they battle it out. Hashi and Ikeda just rip into each other with about the most brutal exchanges I have ever seen. The final showdown is basically Lawler v. Dutch with withering headbutts instead of punches. It was truly vile. They have a very cool mini story here, unlike most back and forth strike exchanges in Puro, this wasn't a battle of equals. Ikeda is the big bad killer, he has been for a long time, still when he is cracking skulls with Hashi he is being outpunched. He is like a boxer who has finally run into someone with heavier hands. He can't go toe to toe, but never learned to do anything else. Early in this showdown he takes a sickening headbutt and stumbles to his corner, Oba slaps him hard in the face to say "You are Daisuke By God Ikeda, this is your house, there no tagging out, go beat that motherfuckers ass." By the end of the showdown, we see Oba in the corner cringing, you can see him thinking "He is going to die in that ring, I should have let him tag out." The FUTEN camerawork was great here, we get some amazing closeups of the bruised and bloody foreheads of both guys, it was pretty spectacular. When Chris Nowitski autopsies their brains, they are going to look like spoiled bananas. The ending of this was epic, Hashi hits a big slap, and one final headbutt dropping Ikeda. They go for a ten count, and as Ikeda raises at 9, you get this great shot of an exhausted Hashi. He has this terrified look on his face, he unloaded it all and the monster didn't stay down. It didn't matter what followed, Ikeda walked through hell and mentally broke him. Professional wrestling at it's absolute best.

ER: Man Phil has been crushing some of these MOTY reviews. He covered most anything you could love about this match, but it really is something else. This is so different from so many other, similar matches, even within the fed itself. The structure is so odd and cool. You get all the different match ups that don't often happen, and then you get the king willing to die on his cross for a long, long home stretch. But it's not Mashimo and Hashi cutting off the ring, it's this wild perseverance that is encouraged by Oba, and not believed by Mashimo or Hashi. Well, eventually they believe. Ikeda is able to portray both vulnerable and unbeatable all at once, and this is an amazing performance. He had a couple of beasts to work with, as Mashimo has all sorts of kicks from weird angles and throws some of the sharpest knees you've seen. He gets nervous first though, seeing that insanity in Ikeda's eyes and leaving things up to Hashi. And Hashi is a monster. He's got this weird soft body that you know could also rip you in half, an epic fail Minoru Suzuki haircut, and this weird feminine swamp thing face; oh, and also an ability to headbutt the math skills out of Ikeda. But this is much more than guys stiffing each other. There is palpable drama behind these strikes, and the more you keep wondering why one of them is standing back up for more, the more you cheer them on. Ikeda's staggering around, going on muscle memory; Oba is rooting him on after laying a lot of groundwork early; Mashimo tired himself out trying to take down the minotaur; and now Hashi in his weird dominant cynicism is left to finish him off. Just as Ikeda is vulnerable and unbeatable, Hashi is masterful at being cocky and nervous all at once. The forehead altering headbutts stand out here, but it's all good. The strikes are killer, the throws are often unexpected, and the stand ups are filled with drama. Just all out classic pro wrestling.

ALL TIME MOTY LIST


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