Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

2019 Ongoing MOTY List: Ishikawa & Fujiwara Team Up

16. Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Yuki Ishikawa vs. Minoru Tanaka/Hiroyoshi Kotsubo Holy War 2/8

PAS: Even in 2019 Fujiwara and Ishikawa are a true dream team. This is an exhibition rather then a super heated tag, but if it's an exhibition you want, Fujiwara and Ishikawa are going to exhibit some things. I really liked the standup exchanges with Tanaka and Ishikawa, Ishikawa uses head movement nicely to avoid some shots but eats a big high kick. Kotsubo (a BattlArts guy who also worked as Tsubo Genjin) and Fujiwara do a lot of matwork with Kotsubo using power, but falling into Fujiwara's little traps, I especially loved him using his foot to put on a leglock from the guard. A good start for the year of Ishikawa!

ER: I actually had no idea Kotsubo was also Tsubo Genjin. I remember seeing him on a 2005 Futen show and thinking he was an untrained former amateur wrestler. Whoops. But this is a fun 10 minute falling out, me watching Minoru Tanaka and Yuki Ishikawa go at it in 2019 like teenage me getting into shootstyle so many years ago. Tanaka is a guy I loved then, whose style didn't age with my tastes, but I sure liked him and Yuki going at it here. I loved him popping Yuki with a high kick, and Yuki's slip and fall sell in the ropes before Tanaka hits him with a great hard dropkick to the chest. Kotsubo matches up nicely with Fujiwara, and it's fair since he and Tanaka were the young lions of this match (at a combined age of 97), and some of the best parts of this were Fujiwara and Kotsubo rolling on the mat with Fujiwara trying to catch a limb. Kotsubo even smacked the hell out of Ishikawa with a couple of brutal palm strikes down the stretch; you can really see Yuki's head whip back hard on one of them, a great combo. The finish was so cool it actually made me exclaim aloud, watching alone, a total classic Fujiwara moment: Kotsubo goes for a single leg takedown and Fujiwara throws his weight forward, hooking Kotsubo's outstretched arm with his own leg and stretching it for the submission. I didn't realize what Fujiwara was pulling until Fujiwara was already pulling it, and it felt like I realized Kotsubo was sunk the same moment Kotsubo realized it.


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