Looking Back Puroresu

The Decade in Indie: Ikuto Hidaka vs. Munenori Sawa (Zero-1, September 19, 2010)

ZERO-1 Tenka Ichi Jr. 2010 – Finals

Korakuen Hall – Tokyo, Japan

Pre-Match Thoughts: Two light grapplers about to go at it! Hidaka is a better version of Minoru Tanaka in a way. Meaning, he is a better junior wrestler who mixes in shooty stuff in a better way. Here he faces Munenori Sawa who I have liked from what I have seen. Feels masochistic to watch his stuff at this point. Best case scenario is I think he’s great and I was depressed like a lot of others that his career ended so quickly. Junior shoot style can go one of two ways, violence at a rapid pace or confusing fanciness. Why ever do the later?

Match Thoughts: Body shots are the name of the game! In no short time, Hidaka starts going on a rampage, blasting a down Sawa with kicks to the stomach. I wanted to throw up a couple times. Throughout the match, Hidaka goes at the midsection with knees, kicks, punches, and the almighty slap. Sawa threw some body shots out there but for the most part, he was headhunting. That’s that young guy mentality. The main concept of the bout is Sawa being young and full of pride while Hidaka is a vet of the game who knows how to get the job done. Pride isn’t always a bad thing though as Sawa at one point punches his face to motivate himself to reach the ropes during a leglock. He was unwilling to go out like that.

The match feels like they are building to something but couldn’t help but be disappointed by the eventual execution of what they had in mind. Throughout the match there were poorly timed exchanges, not something I tend to care about frankly, and the finishing run compacted a lot of miscues. The two were throwing strikes, love that stuff, but either the other dude wasn’t expecting it or didn’t care and it never registered. It could have felt like two dudes standing in the pocket…but it didn’t. They were not pressing forward. Meh, I am forgiving of wrestlers going with a concept I appreciate with poor execution rather than executing something perfectly that is detrimental to the match. The ending plays off the ideas of the rest of the bout so throw that in as a plus.

Beating the 10-Count: Decent build. Ending “shoots” but misses. GET IT?!



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