Saturday, June 19, 2010

Let's talk about Takeshi Morishima

Today's random wrestler feature will focus on Takeshi Morishima. Morishima has accomplished a lot in his short career, winning titles in Japan with Pro Wrestling NOAH, in America with Ring of Honor, and in Mexico with the AAA promotion. He also is highly praised for his brawling skills, even winning the Brawler of the Year award from the Wrestling Observer in 2007. So, with that in mind, and because I'm suddenly in the mood to watch some Japanese wrestling, here are just a few matches featuring Takeshi Morishima, who looks like this (photo from wikipedia):

Match 1: Takeshi Morishima vs. Naomichi Marufuji, December 2, 2007

Morishima comes out wearing a fur lined black jacket. Marufuji is wearing gold pants. They start by exchanging basic manuevers, but Marufuji gets the advantage by putting an arm bar on his opponent and holding it for a looooooooooong time. Morishima escapes, but Marufuji continues working on the left arm. Finally, Morishima has had enough, and clotheslines Marafuji off the apron. Morishima runs off the ropes, and does a suicide dive between the ropes, knocking his opponent to the ground. Morishima gains the advantage and beats down his opponent. Eventually, Marafuji gets back the advantage with a dropkick, sending the bigger man to the outside. He then tries to hit a dive attack, but barely clips Morishima, who sells it anyway even though it looked like crap. From there, it's a back and forth battle for the next eight minutes or so, as Marafuji tries to counter his opponent's size with speed, although he was able to lift him up for a falling power bomb off the middle rope and a german suplex with a bridge. Marafuji almost gets the countout win after hitting the C-4 off the entrance ramp to the mat on the outside of the ring, but Morishima gets back in at 15 (count-outs go to 20 to Japan, in case you are unaware). Morishima uses a variety of power moves, including a bunch of clotheslines, but shows some agility with a missle dropkick. The end comes after Marafuji gives his opponent three superkicks, but is short-arm clotheslined and backdropped for his efforts. That only gets two. Marafuji goes for his finisher, the Shiranui Kai (a.k.a. Sliced Bread #2) but Morishima counters, and clotheslines Marafui for the ninth time this match. Marafuji gets back up, but Morishima gives him a backdrop driver and gets the three count. Match had its moments, but it was far from an all-time classic. Still, it was overall a good match, so I'll give it a 3 out of 5.

Match 2: Morishima vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, GHC Title Match, March 2, 2008

Morishima comes out wearing a cowboy hat and a full-length leather coat, looking like a fatter, Japanese version of Cowboy James Storm. Misawa comes out with the belt in his traditional green coat and green tights. This is a hard hitting match, as both men use their signature strikes with alarming frequency (Misawa the forearm shot, Morishima the lariat). The match is a back and forth affair, as both men seem to be trying to outslug the other. Both men also use the tope suicida during the match, with the camera getting an impressive visual of Morishima's dive on Misawa, making it look as if Morishima is coming right at you. Basically, the story of the match is that Misawa tries to throw everything he has at his bigger, stronger, and younger opponent, including not one but two Emerald Frosions, but Morishima is able to absorb all the punishment and dish out some of his own. At the end, Morishima gains the advantage, winning this match the same way he won the last match, with the clothesline-back suplex-clothesline-Backdrop driver combo. Misawa landed right on his neck on the backdrop driver, which made me cringe considering that Misawa died last year basically because he took too many bumps on his neck. Morishima gets the three count, and Misawa's seconds come in immediately to apply ice packs on Misawa's neck.  Morishima gets presented the belt and addresses the crowd. Match was decent, but all the clotheslines and forerarm strikes become tiresome after a while. I'll give it a 2.68 out of 5.

Match 3: Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone vs Shinjiro Ohtani & Kazunari Murakami, November 25, 2006

The teams are introduced, and Ohtani and Murakami waste no time, attacking their opponents as soon as Mohammed Yone's name is announced. The match goes to the outside and it's a real "slobberknocker" in the beginning. Ohtani and Murakami isolate Yone, with Yone being put in the tree of woe and dropkicked in the head by Ohtani twice. Then Yone and Morishima get the advantage and Morishima does a flying butt attack on the outside of the ring. Morishima uses his weight to his advantage by sitting on Murakami. Eventually, Murakami gets the tag to Ohtani, who is angry and starts whipping up on fools. He delivers a few face washes to Morishima, and isn't above kicking him when he's down. Murakami comes back in, and since he's got fighter's gloves and kick pads on, you know instantly that most of his offense is strike based. But at least it looks good, so I've got no real complaints. The match looks over after Murakami puts Yone in a sleeper hold, while Ohtani holds off Morishima, but Yone somehow gets to the ropes. Yone is still in trouble, bot Morishima has had enough, so he gets in there and delivers a lariat to Ohtani. Tag in to Morishima, he gets in and delivers a lot more lariats, which by this point I'm tired of seeing. Murakami comes in, starts kicking some ass, but misses an attempted kick to the head on Morishima, who ducks and does a sloppy-looking schoolboy rollup to get the victory. Ohtani was fun to watch, but this match was not very good other than him. I'll give it a 1.958 out of 5.

Well, I'm all lariated out at this point, and since the lariat seems to be about 75% of Morishima's offense, I think I'll stop here. From what I can tell, Morishima's not a bad pro wrestler, but I can't see why anybody would consider him to the be among the best in the world today. Maybe I just haven't seen enough or watched the wrong matches. If there are any huge fans of Morishima out there, than feel free to tell me what I'm missing, because while I don't dislike his wrestling, I don't think he's anything special either.

Well, thanks for reading, and if you have any Morishima match recommendations, or recommendations for any other subject for that matter, than feel free to share them either by leaving me an e-mail at, or by leaving a comment on the blog.

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