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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Ganbare Professional Sekigahara II (July 9) Outcomes & Evaluation


Ganbare Professional Wrestling
Ganbare Professional Sekigahara II
July 9, 2023
Ota Metropolis Common Gymnasium
Tokyo, Japan

Watch: Wrestle Universe

For a lot of, Ganbare Professional is that different promotion on Wrestle-Universe. Whereas definitely not as widespread as NOAH, DDT, or TJPW, it’s a promotion that’s been quietly elevating its sport through the years. Sekigahara is their annual massive present from Ota Gymnasium and a superb place to begin from.

Translated into English, the Japanese phrase Ganbare means “let’s go” or “you are able to do it,” and when you begin watching the promotion recurrently, it’s simple to see how this completely resonates with the vibe. Ganbare Professional is a babyface promotion. A bunch of wrestlers, most of whom didn’t slot in with larger promotions, discovered their means right here to this type of last-chance saloon for wrestling careers. This can be a place, then, with wrestlers who’ve one thing to show; typically, this implies successful matches, and different instances, it means merely with the ability to hold with the larger stars from different promotions. However this doesn’t imply that Ganbare is of a decrease high quality than different promotions. Certain, there are some matches the place issues are a bit tough across the edges, however isn’t that true of any promotion? On the high finish, although, there’s actual high quality right here, and I’ve recurrently added matches from the promotion to my Match of the 12 months checklist. It’s additionally an excellent platform to see a few of the finest indie wrestlers in Japan who recurrently are available all year long for brief runs.

Unusually for Japan, it’s a mixed-gender promotion, and on the subject of matches that function an outsider taking over a core member of the Ganpro roster, the ringside turns into lined with each women and men roster members cheering their hearts out for his or her ‘staff’ member. The vibes are good right here.

Curious? Ganbare Professional Sekigahara II featured English commentary making this can be a great spot to begin.

Masahiro Takanashi def. Munetatsu Nakamura 

Nakamura is a rookie, and he’s good and crisp together with his grappling, however holy shit, he nearly died on a dive to the skin, touchdown on his face.

Mio Momono & Takumi Iroha def. Tomoka Inaba & YuuRI

“Stick that in your spreadsheets,” declares Chris Brookes on commentary on the finish of this match. I received’t go that far, however this was good. The story right here was all about Ganbare’s personal YuuRI proving she may hold with the extra established Joshi, and thus its a defeat. however an honorable one for her ultimately, completely embodying the spirit of Ganbare.

Unagi Sayaka def. Riara 

I haven’t seen Unagi wrestle since she left TJPW, and there’s an aggression right here that she definitely didn’t be taught within the pleasant woman’s promotion. Like a basic “Stone Chilly” Steve Austin match, she begins this with some stroll and brawl with Riara throughout the world. Within the ring, too, she brings perspective, with some emphatic leg drops and axe kicks. This was just about a squash of poor Riara, and hopefully, one thing that turns into character-building long run.

Miyuki Takase def. Yoshiko Hasegawa

Hasegawa, extra generally often called Yoppy, is the Ganbare Professional consultant towards the well-traveled Miyuki Takase. I used to be frightened this was going to be one other squash match, however fortunately Yoppy obtained sufficient offense in to make it a correct contest—a median match with nothing important right here.

Workforce Dream Futures (Keisuke Ishii, Shigehiro Irie & Soma Takao) def. Akito, Shinichiro Tominaga & Shota 

This was a enjoyable dash of a tag match with Workforce Dream Futures using some progressive triple-team offense and utilizing Irie’s (shoot?) laborious head. Lot of transferring elements right here, however all six labored collectively like clockwork. A very good match to begin with should you’re brief on time.

Spirit Of Ganbare World Tag Workforce Title #1 Contendership 4 Means Survival Match
Hartley Jackson & HARUKAZE def. Sento Minzoku (Daiki Shimomura & Minoru Fujita) and Ken Ohka & Kuma Arashi and Tsuyoshi Okada & Yuki Kanzaki 

It’s considered one of wrestling’s best tropes—the odd couple tag staff. An enormous bear of a person Hartley Jackson, and wee HARUKAZE observe proudly on this custom, and you may’t assist however root for them right here as they put collectively tag strikes that look nearly cartoonish in execution. A very good match that didn’t outstay its welcome regardless of the elimination stipulation. All through the match, Kuma Arashi stored by chance hitting his companion Ken Ohka after which turned on him on the finish, elevating the query of whether or not it was unintended in any case and opening the door to what needs to be a superb match going ahead, particularly as Ohka, Ganbare’s totemic founder, is in superb form.

El Lindaman def. Yumehito Imanari 

I used to be fairly disenchanted to see the house promotion hero lose right here, though that was actually the story of the evening. Whereas this match featured the wild emotion that has turn into Imanari’s trademark, I felt prefer it didn’t actually hit the epic beats that different matches of his have. For what it was, this was respectable, and felt like a shift in high quality as we approached the tail finish of the cardboard. A completely disgusting German suplex with Imanari touchdown straight on his head was among the many memorable moments right here and one thing I don’t actually wish to see once more, to be sincere.

Spirit Of Ganbare World Tag Workforce Title Match
Shuichiro Katsumura & Takuya Wada def. Hentai Punch Drunkers (Hikaru Sato & Tyson Maeguchi) (c) 

The story right here is that everybody has a connection to the Arduous Hit promotion. Suitably this started with some tentative grappling which finally gave approach to extra open strikes. With a transparent weight benefit, Sato will get one of the best of Katsumura, and Wada will get one of the best of the pitbull-like Maeguchi. This leads properly to a Wada vs. Sato showdown, with Wada nearly, however not fairly, getting the armbar utilized. It’s all comparatively easy stuff however executed with an enthralling reasonable depth that makes you marvel what an actual MMA tag match can be like.

Because the match progresses, extra commonplace professional wrestling tropes like dropkicks, clotheslines, and Irish whips start to pepper the efficiency, giving the center part a way of ahead momentum. The ultimate stretch reverts to pseudo-MMA with Wada, Sato, Katsumura, and Maeguchi pairing off to alternate hard-hitting strikes and kicks. At one level, Tyson is flailing his arms and lacking Katsumura fully, however not like an everyday professional wrestling match, this simply provides to the realism issue, and the sense of desperation. All of it ends with Katsumura mounting an enormous comeback to win with a submission maintain.

This was excellent, and should you’re a fan of realism in professional wrestling, then I’d urge you to verify this out. What elevated this was the story it instructed, with the opening exchanges clearly displaying that the lighter Katsumura was no match for Sato and likewise with Maeguchi and Wada. These opening grapples then, weren’t perfunctory, however a means of two groups feeling one another out and discovering a worthy preventing companion within the different staff, which performed into the end. A pocket book match (****+) for certain.

Spirit Of Ganbare World Openweight Title Match
Isami Kodaka def. Mizuki Watase ©

Following his loss, Watase was distraught and apologized to the trustworthy crowd, however fittingly sufficient, it’s Katsumura, one of many few Ganbare winners tonight, who takes the mic to remind Watase that Ganbare is a household and he needn’t apologize for having an excellent match. Watase’s matches have come to be outlined by their heavy hits and jaw-dropping moments of brutality. It’s probably not what you count on from him, together with his sleight body, speedo trunks, and babyface. Oh, and the foolish purple hair too. However for individuals who know, Watase has been one thing of a revelation in Ganbare. which begs the query of what went unsuitable at DDT, a spot he hung round for years with out ever getting something a lot that amounted to a push. The final 12 months has felt like a basic ‘show them unsuitable’ run, and Watase definitely has, and is, for my cash, probably the greatest champions within the nation.

I can’t deny that the consequence right here was disappointing, however should you’re into match high quality alone, this was fairly nice, and the easy story right here was Kodaka carrying down Watase’s proper arm to the purpose the place Watase’s forearm strikes couldn’t break by. Combating spirit, massive strikes, dives, all that jazz is right here. In all probability simply lacking out on the pocket book, however properly value a watch.

Remaining Ideas

Total, Ganbare Professional Sekigahara II was a superb present, and if you wish to dip your toes into the waters of Ganbare, that is the right jumping-off level. It’s an extended present, so should you’re pressed for time, then you’ll be able to’t go unsuitable with the ultimate three matches should you like hard-hitting matches; should you like to combine issues up a bit, then the Girls’s tag, the six-man tag are additionally properly really helpful. Chris Brookes and Mr. Haku have been a delight on commentary, with an ideal quantity of rationalization versus play-by-play.

It isn’t Ganbare’s breakthrough present, however the firm has been placing in effort and is regularly gaining plaudits within the English-speaking world. In the event you’d prefer to observe Ganbare, then the superlative Dramatic DDT is at all times your first port of name for DDT-related promotions, and a shout out to the Dramatic Dream Dragons podcast, who did an excellent evaluation of this present in a latest episode.

On the draw back of Sekigahara II, the meta-story of virtually each Ganbare wrestler shedding to an outsider was a bitter notice to complete on, particularly when Watase didn’t reach his important occasion protection. It’s an odd path to tackle their largest present of the 12 months. Politically, Ganbare must steadiness bringing in exterior wrestlers who may also help them draw homes, whereas ensuring their homegrown expertise doesn’t come throughout as second-rate. That stated, it’s a part of the promotion’s distinctive attraction {that a} loss can turn into a victory of kinds, and even the much less attention-grabbing matches on the cardboard have been nonetheless infused with that Ganbare ardour that actually elevates the promotion for long-time viewers.

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