Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Takeshi Ono Saw Ten Thousand Talkers Whose Tongues Were All Broken (he broke them)

Takeshi Ono v Ryuji Hijikata (Battlarts, 12/25/99)

Wonderful little ten minute scrap. Ono was fucking incredible in this, decking Hijikata in the first couple seconds with a straight right, unleashing hell with his strikes the whole way through, finding ways to escape whatever predicament Hijikata put him in to come back and drill him in the face. At a couple different points Hijikata left a limb dangling and Ono pounced on it, first tearing at the shoulder before moving onto the knee. He also has some of the most obnoxious hairstyles in wrestling history and this time he was rocking the bleach blond Johnny Rotten spikes. This really had something cool and/or brutal happening every other second and I loved Ono grabbing hold of Hijikata's kneepad so he couldn't reach the ropes out of the armbar. That sort of attention to detail is probably second only to his attention to punching you dead in the nose as my favourite thing about him.

Takeshi Ono v Daisuke Ikeda (FUTEN, 9/26/10)

Probably the best five minute match there's ever been. What a preposterously violent shitstorm of a thing. Ono starts throwing grenades right out the gate and drops Ikeda with an early knockdown, and I love how they managed to work a solid narrative into four and a half minutes. Ono is a whirlwind of punches and kicks, really going hell for leather, no beating about the bush. He's here for a good time not a long time, he doesn't get paid by the hour, etc. Ikeda is Ikeda, though. There's probably only a handful of wrestlers in history who can endure a more hellish beating than him and less than a handful who can dish it out even worse in return. So Ikeda survives the onslaught and just fucks Ono in the face with a headbutt. Ikeda's riposte is truly harrowing and yet Ono won't stop coming forward. The bit where Ikeda over-commits and Ono full force knees him in the back of the head is legit one of the most truculent things I've seen in a wrestling match. I've referenced this a few times as the bar for sub-five minute matches and every re-watch of it still leaves me sort of stunned.

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