Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Pride.1

  1. #1
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    12,633
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Pride.1


    Pride.1
    October 11th 1997
    Tokyo Dome(Tokyo Japan)


    I've written a few reviews for Pride shows from their prime later years, Pride.25, Pride.26, Total Elimination 2003, and Bushido 1 all from 2003. Now that we are approaching the 20 year anniversary of the beginning of Pride, and the 10 year anniversary of it's demise, I figured I'd start reviewing the shows from the start. Pride 1 is a pretty historic landmark MMA event. It can't be stressed enough how critical the Japanese fight scene was to the overall rise of MMA, the sport was on it's ass in North America for so long, while it thrived in Japan as a world class presentation where top level fighters could make enough money to make something happen, open and finance gyms, quit their jobs and train full time, the infrastructure of North American MMA was built on Japanese MMA money. As far as Japanese MMA goes, Pride 1 was like Wrestlemania III.


    You can't review Pride 1 without going over the backstory for the show, and it's a long winded backstory that goes back over 20 years before the show. The series of events that led to Pride 1 actually stretches back even further to Rikidozan and his top proteges Inoki and Baba. After the death of Rikidozan Inoki and Baba went their separate ways to start their own promotions, with Inoki starting NJPW and Baba starting AJPW. Baba's AJPW had access to top foreign stars that NJPW didn't, so they became the more popular promotion. Inoki had to resort to freak show "Wrestler vs Martial Artist" hybrid style special attraction matches, such as his infamous bout against Ali in 1976. Inoki vs Ali was a huge debacle but it gave NJPW a lot of recognition and was pivotal in the promotion's rise to popularity. Inoki took on other martial artists in mixed rules bouts in NJPW, including martial artists like Willie Williams, Willem Ruska. The concept of pro wrestling being it's own legit martial art being pitted against top ranked Judo, Karate, Boxing, and Kickboxing stars was a concept taken to the next level when some of the NJPW undercard wrestlers broke off to start UWF. Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Akira Maeda, Nobuhiko Takada, and the original Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama broke away from NJPW in the wake of a political controversy within the promotion, starting UWF in 1984. The first incarnation of UWF started out with more of a traditional pro wrestling style but eventually as ownership of the company changed hands they evolved into a much more realistic shoot style of wrestling based on the stuff they trained in the dojos, catch wrestling passed on to them from Karl Gotch.


    ^Antonio Inoki vs Karl Gotch, the original feud that New Japan was built on. Karl Gotch was a legit master shooter in submission wrestling, a student at "The Snake Pit" catch wrestling dojo in Wigan England. Gotch trained New Japan wrestlers in legit shoot style wrestling, one of his finest students was Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Fujiwara was Inoki's right hand man because of how legitimately dangerous he was, Fujiwara was in Inoki's corner for the fight against Ali. Later on Gotch and Fujiwara went to UWF and were influential in their move to more of a legit shoot style of wrestling product. Gotch and Fujiwara went on to start "Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi" in 1991 after the death of UWF Reborn. Gotch was instrumental in training Minoru Suzuki, Masakatsu Funaki, and Ken Shamrock, the trio that broke away from PWFG to start Pancrase in 1993 about a month before UFC 1.

    The original UWF only had a small but diehard fanbase as most Japanese wrestling fans found the more realistic shoot style hard to digest. The original UWF fizzled out and died in 1985. In the aftermath Satoru Sayama went on to found Shooto, the first real MMA promotion. Shooto was designed by Sayama to be it's own fighting style, with a system of dojos all working together and competing against each in amateur(and later pro) competitions to refine their techniques. Shooto was a primitive form of MMA in the 1980's, starting out as a hybrid style of Karate and Judo, by the early 1990's they were incorporating more submissions and ground techniques. As Sayama gave up on the wrestling business to set up Shooto his UWF contemporaries Takada, Maeda, and Fujiwara all went back to New Japan for a huge UWF shooters vs NJPW angle. The UWF shooters exposed the realistic shoot style of wrestling to a much broader fanbase in NJPW in 1986-1987 through this invasion angle. Akira Maeda came out as the biggest star as they built up to a Maeda vs Inoki match that never happened due to the heat between the two. Maeda had the infamous showdown with Andre The Giant in 1986, then the "kick heard round the world" where he broke Riki Choshu's face in 1987 which bolstered his shooter gimmick and put him over with fans as a legit rogue bad ass.


    Nobuhiko Takada also became super popular with Japanese wrestling fans through this angle as he often teamed with Maeda in tag team matches. Maed and Takada won the IWGP Tag Team Championship at some point during the angle. By 1988 Maeda and Takada broke off from NJPW again to restart a new UWF, this time it was a much bigger deal because of their run in NJPW in 86-87. The first Reborn UWF show in 1988 sold out in just 15 minutes. Every UWF show sold out in 1988, including a show at the Osaka Baseball Stadium. Maeda was the superstar of the promotion, being booked similarly to Inoki in the 70's facing off against martial artists in mixed style matches, taking on guys like Karate fighter Gerrard Gordeau, Sambo fighter Chris Dolman, and a match in 1989 against Judo master Willie Wilhelm. Maeda's match with Wilhelm set a record with 40,000 tickets sold in the first day they went on sale, eventually selling over 60,000 and drawing a live gate for the Tokyo Dome with $2.9 million, all records for pro wrestling at the time. The UWF realistic shoot hybrid style of pro wrestling was over like a motherfucker. Akira Maeda was one of the hottest tickets in Japanese wrestling, with Takada being built up to be just as hot. One of Takada's biggest wins in UWF was his victory over Bob Backlund. Takada was elevated into one of the biggest stars in UWF Reborn when Maeda put him over clean in one of their head to head matches.



    ^Akira Maeda vs Nobuhiko Takada in UWF Reborn. They wrestled each other countless times in the original UWF in 84-85, with Maeda winning every match. They also teamed together a lot in tag team matches in the original UWF, as well as in New Japan after the death of the original UWF where they won the IWGP Tag Team Championship together. To put it into context of how big it was for Takada to defeat Maeda clean in UWF, Maeda's total win/loss record in UWF Reborn from 1988 to 1990 is 26-3, two of those losses were to Nobuhiko Takada(the other one was to Fujiwara).

    Even though business was strong the second UWF fell apart due to politics at the end of 1990. The "Three Emperors" of UWF, Fujiwara, Maeda, and Takada all went their separate ways and tried to keep the loyal fanbase alive by started their own vanity promotions built in the image of UWF. Maeda started Fighting Network Rings, Fujiwara started Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi(Suzuki, Funaki, and Ken Shamrock broke off from PWFG in 93 to start Pancrase), and Takada started UWFI, all three promotions launched around the same time in early 1991. Takada's UWFI was the most popular, even though it was straight up worked pro wrestling(shoot style) they claimed that it was 100% real, more real than any other Japanese pro wrestling promotion. Takada had big time matches in UWFI, such as his rematch against Bob Backlund, American wrestlers Dan Severn and Gary Albright, heavyweight boxer Trevor Berbick, and former Sumo champion Koji Kitao. UWFI followed something that the original UWF of 84-85 used in that they would issue boisterous challenges and grandstanding stunts to champions from other promotions to get their gimmick of authenticity over with the fans. UWFI made a challenge to New Japan champion Masa Chono at one point for him to face Takada. The big angle for UWFI was when they were able to bring WCW Champion Vader over for a huge match against Takada, with Takada winning by submission.



    ^One of Takada's biggest matches in UWFI was against WCW World Champion Vader in December 1993 in front of 46,000 fans in a Tokyo Baseball Stadium.

    In 1994 UWFI issues a $1 million dollar challenge to all the champions around the world to enter their Best in the World tournament. This got a lot of press in Japan, Shinya Hashimoto the IWGP Champ from New Japan blasted UWFI in the media but never accepted their challenge. Genichiro Tenryu from WAR gave a public excuse for why he couldn't enter the tournament. Maeda from Rings put UWFI on the spot and challenged them back in a grandstanding stunt of their own. During all of this UWFI was making offers to Rickson Gracie, the baddest dude in the Gracie family with an urban legend fighting record of 400-0 in bareknuckle no rules matches. As the UFC tapes became a cult underground hit in Japan, Rickson Gracie became a hot commodity. Rings, Pancrase, and UWFI all began making offers for Rickson to come fight and put their promotion over as the premier bad ass fighting league on the planet Earth. UWFI came the closest to bringing Rickson over to face Takada but Rickson was ultimately turned off by the thought of doing a worked match, instead he opted to sign with Sayama's Shooto, setting up one of the biggest landmark events in Japanese MMA history at the Budokan on July 29th 1994, the "Vale Tudo Japan '94" tournament. This was the first ever full contact MMA event ever in Japan. This was basically Japan's UFC 1, except instead of Royce Gracie using it as an infomercial for Gracie Jujitsu, it was his half brother Rickson Gracie who ran the table and defeated 3 men in one night, further solidifying his aura of invincibility in Japan.

    By October 1994 UWFI was making challenges to the Gracie family for either Royce or Rickson to come to Japan to face Takada in a cage match. The Gracie family got the inside scoop on UWFI from Sayama and wanted no part of their worked matches. By November 1994 UWFI was hosting press conferences where Takada Dojo/UWFI wrestler Yoji Anjo claimed he could beat Rickson Gracie in under 1 minute. In December 1994 UWFI took it one step further with the biggest grandstanding stunt of them all, sending Yoji Anjo to Rickson Gracie's dojo in California to challenge him to a fight! At approximately 11:10 AM on December 7th 1994 Anjo took a Japanese news film crew into Rickson's dojo unannounced and called Rickson out. The idea was that Rickson would turn the fight down and that it would make UWFI look strong but it backfired in their faces in the worst possible way. Rickson wasn't even in the gym that morning he was at home with his family. When his students called him to inform him that Anjo was there calling him out, Rickson immediately made his way there, taping his fists along the ride. When Rickson arrived he accepted Anjo's challenge and destroyed him for about 7 minutes before choking him out behind closed doors in front of about 20 of his students.





    It was a punch to the gut for UWFI at a time when Pancrase, Rings, and Shooto were thriving. What made it look bad for UWFI was that Takada never showed any interest in getting revenge against Rickson for what he did. Meanwhile Rickson would return to Japan to win another Shooto hosted tournament in the Spring of 1995 when he again choked out 3 opponents in one night to win the Vale Tudo Japan '95 tournament(the subject of the excellent documentary, "Choke"). As UWFI struggled with sagging attendance they went to New Japan for a co-promotion angle, a pseudo invasion storyline that inspired the NWO angle in WCW. The UWFI vs New Japan storyline made huge bank. Takada eventually won the IWGP Championship during this angle and headlined 3 Tokyo Dome shows with crowds of over 54,000 in the span of six months. When it was said and done this turned out to be a disaster for UWFI as all of their top stars were jobbed out by submission to far less realistic pro wrestlers from New Japan. UWFI struggled through the later months of 1996, eventually holding their final show in December at the Korakuen Hall(the home arena for the original UWF).


    One of the fat cats that bankrolled UWFI in it's final days was Hiromichi Momose. Momose along with a man named "Ishizaka"(Kim Dok Soo) were deeply intertwined with multiple factions of the Japanese Yakuza, these two men were part of the group of investors that put together "Kakutougi Revolutionary Spirits" in 1997 to promote the very first ever Pride event in the Tokyo Dome. The sole purpose of this event was to promote the dream match between Nobuhiko Takada vs Rickson Gracie, the fight that fans had been wanting to see for years. The event drew substantial attention from the media in Japan, with a crowd of 47,860 fans packing in to see the first ever martial arts event in the Tokyo Dome. The fight was also the first ever pay per view fight in Japan. The event itself was a major spectacle with a grandiose performance by a popular magician/music act in Japan, complete with a live tiger! To put it into context this event took place just about 6 days before UFC 15, which went down in front of a crowd of about 2,000 in a casino in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. I read in the Observer that Pride and UFC actually had some meetings in September 1997 where they agreed to help each other out(UFC was planning on debuting in Japan in December 97). Just a week after those meetings Pride stole away 2 key fighters from the UFC 15 card, including the main event challenger to the UFC Heavyweight Title.


    Before we get to the matches there was 1 fight that was never put on the home video release, Igor Meindert a big 6-8 and 286 pound wrestler beat Hiroki Kurosawa in what was implied by the Observer to have been a worked match(a bad one), with Meindert winning in the third round by Tko/injury. As far as rules for this show they all vary from fight to fight, there is a kickboxing match on this card, as for the MMA fights they are wearing the standard modern day fingerless gloves, some fights have different rounds, knees and stomps to a grounded opponent were not legal yet, and there are no judges so if the fights go the distance they are automatically ruled a draw. Lets do this:


    Kazunari Murakami vs John Dixson


    This is one of those early Pride fights that is generally thought to have been a work. Watching it again for this review the only thing that looked obviously worked was the finish, the way Murakami takes the top position on the ground and punches Dixson to the body, then it's like Dixson gives him his arm for an armbar. Everything up to that point kind a looked like a shoot. I think it's possible this was not a work but most likely it was indeed a work. Either way it's nothing special, Murakami lands a pretty good Judo throw then takes the arm for the submission 95 seconds into the match.


    Gary Goodridge vs Oleg Taktarov


    This is a fight between UFC veterans. Gary Goodridge was originally signed on to fight in the UFC 15 heavyweight tournament on the October 17th, he was set to face Mark Kerr in the first round of the tournament but he was stolen away by Pride for this fight as they offered him $20,000 and he jumped on it. This fight takes place about 3 months after Gary Goodridge's ball squeezing incident at the first IVC show in Brazil(I reviewed that a few years ago). Oleg was the tough Russian Sambo master that won UFC 6 tournament with an epic fight against Tank Abbott, also lost in the semi finals of UFC 5 and the finals of the Ultimate Ultimate 95 tournaments, losing both fights to Dan Severn.


    Oleg comes out and makes this a boxing match. He actually connects with some stiff punches that stun Goodridge early but Goodridge recovers and outbrawls Oleg, knocking him down with some wild flurries. Goodridge connects with a monster overhand punch that drops Oleg face first to the mats. Gary follows up with some scarry looking shots until the ref finally stops it at about 4:57. Pretty brutal knockout.




    That knockout is dark comedy at it's finest, nothing really funny about a man getting concussed like that but the way he lands face down and then the kicker is the way the towel comes flying into the ring WAY too late, I can't help but laugh every time. It helps knowing that Oleg was just fine and went on to star in movies like Air Force One, 15 Minutes, Rollerball, Bad Boys 2, and countless other movies and tv shows. Pretty big win for Big Daddy Gary Goodridge though.


    Renzo Gracie vs Akira Shoji


    This was the best fight on this card. Renzo Gracie is Royce Gracie's cousin, not as much of a bad ass aura as Rickson but a little faster and more athletic than Royce. Renzo actually fought with more of a traditional boxing style stance and movement compared to the other Gracie fighters from back in the day. This fight always stood out to me because at one point Renzo lands a fucking perfect textbook hip heist sweep. I remember when me and my brother were getting ready for our first fights, we had like 6 days notice so I wanted to go over some basic Jujitsu stuff with my little bro so he wouldn't get embarrassed. He absolutely hated rolling around on the ground, as I was trying to teach him this sweep he threw up his hands and said fuck this bullshit, this shit will never work in a real fight. I actually learned this sweep from Renzo Gracie's instructional Jujitsu book(Mastering Jujitsu, great book co-authored by John Donaher).

    I always use this fight as a reference to show the hip heist sweep in action because Renzo executes it perfectly here in this fight. What I noticed watching this fight on this go around was the beautiful way he sets it up using a high rubber guard with his right leg. He nails the sweep to take the top mount position but Shoji almost immediately escapes out the back door. Shoji shows a lot of character and emotion in this fight. He goes the full distance and they rule the fight as a draw. Honestly I think if I were a judge I would give the fight to Shoji, he lands some good leg kicks through the fight and just seemed much more active with offense. Just like Kimo and Yoshihisa Yammamoto, Akira Shoji is a made man here just for surviving against a Gracie the way he did.


    Koji Kitao vs Nathan Jones


    This is another fight that is generally thought to be a work, even in Meltzer's review of the show in the Observer. Kitao is a former Sumo champion in Japan and a veteran of UWFI worked matches. Kitao also wrestled in a tag match at Wrestlemania VII in 1991. Jones is a huge dude from Australia that also had a run in the WWE several years later, after I stopped watching WWE so I honestly don't know much about him. I do know that he's a really big bad ass looking dude. He comes out and throws some surprisingly athletic kicks, a spinning crescent kick that misses by a mile but still looked nice being thrown by such a big dude. Kitao ends up taking him down and finishing him with a top wristlock/keylock submission at just 2:14.


    Kickboxing Bout:
    Ralph White vs Branko Cikitic



    This is a kickboxing rules match but they are wearing some really weird gloves, instead of boxing gloves they are wearing some really big open finger gloves like the ones Bruce Lee wears in the opening scenes of Enter The Dragon. Branko is a famous kickboxer that won the very first K-1 Grand Prix. I really don't know who Ralph White is but his cornerman here is Dale "Apollo" Cook, the trainer out of Oklahoma that was prominently featured in the Rickson Gracie "Choke" documentary where he cornered the guy that was fighting to fund his Olympic bobsled career.


    This fight doesn't last long before White slips and falls down and Branko takes a cheap shot kick to the head while he's down. This results in a big scene where White's cornermen argue with the referees for several minutes while a huge knot swells on the side of White's head. The commentators for the show here are Bas Rutten and "The Fight Professor" Stephen Quadros and they really shine here, telling stories about Branko's wars with Don "The Dragon" Wilson where Branko was undefeated but Don knocked him out even after breaking both of his hands. They joke about the huge knot that swells on White's head, saying that it looks like something from a Sigourney Weaver movie, like there is an alien about to pop out of it. I'm fairly certain that Bas and Quadros' commentary for these early Pride shows was recorded in a studio several years after these shows actually happened. Their commentary during these early Pride shows is one of the highlights as they really talk about a lot of shit and have a certain chemistry together where it almost feels like an MMA version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. As for this fight they finally call it off as a no contest after only about 2 minutes.


    Kimo vs Dan Severn


    This fight has an interesting backstory to it because it was originally planned to be Kimo vs Tank Abbott. Tank got into some trouble with the law about a month before the fight and was not allowed to leave the country, so they pulled him and replaced him about 2 weeks out from the event with Dan Severn. Severn was set to fight Maurice Smith for the UFC Heavyweight Championship on the October 17th UFC 15 show. According to the Observer Pride offered Severn $40,000 to fight Kimo so he took it. Severn intended to fight in both shows just six days apart but he injured his hand in this fight and was unable to fight at the UFC show a week later. The UFC ended up asking a bunch of different guys to take Severn's place on just a day or two notice but the only one that would do it was Tank Abbott. Tank ended up fighting Mo Smith for the UFC title at UFC 15 on very short notice. So here with Goodridge and Severn you have Pride stealing away 2 of the UFC's biggest draws for their UFC 15 show with some huge money offers.

    I remember when I bought this DVD back in the day this was the fight that I bought it for, and man what a disappointment it was. This is a dream fight between two of my favorite UFC fighter, when I seen this listed in the description for the DVD I marked out, surely this has to be an awesome fight but it turns out to be a total disaster. For the longest time I always considered this the worst fight in major league(Pride/UFC) MMA history. Watching it again here for this review I actually didn't find it to be that bad. It is definitely a shitty fight but I've seen more boring fights in modern day UFC. Bas and Quadros shit all over this fight on commentary, Quadros at one point calls it a marathon of inactivity. Both Severn and Kimo keep it standing for almost all of the fight but they just kind of throw really sloppy punches at each other, neither man ever really connects with anything, both guys fight with their hands down and lunge in towards each other with their chins high up in the air. A decent boxer would have knocked both of these guys out pretty easily here the striking is such amateur level. Finally at the end of the fight Severn lands a takedown and we get a small amount of action but it's too little too late, the fight ends in a draw. If I were to judge the fight I'd probably give it to Severn. Just to give you an idea of how much of a letdown this was the crowd was actually booing this fight at times, something that is rare for Japanese MMA crowds.


    Nobuhiko Takada vs Rickson Gracie


    This fight was the big one, the one that everybody paid to see. This is pretty much a 1997 version of CM Punk vs Mickey Gall, except way more of a mismatch. The story for this is that Takada actually went to USA to train with Bas Rutten for a short period of time, according to Bas he had white belts and blue belts that were tapping him out pretty easily. Prior to the fight they play the Brazilian national anthem while Rickson puts his hand over his heart and sings along to the Brazilian flag. Then we get a female singer come along to sing the Japanese national anthem. Yoji Anjo is there in Takada's corner for this. They talk on commentary about how Takada is the Hulk Hogan of Japan. They say that he is a wildly popular pro wrestler, then Stephen Quadros tells the story of Anjo storming Rickson's dojo as they wrap up the national anthems.




    Takada comes out and circles around Rickson who just marches him down like a robot. This goes on for a solid minute as Takada runs circles around Rickson. Rickson lunges in with some sloppy straight punches that miss. Takada responds with a low kick that gets the Tokyo Dome all worked up into a frenzy. Rickson finally closes the distance with a straight push kick. They tie up in the ropes but the ref stops them and separates them for a restart. Rickson looks pissed about it. They tie up again but Takada kind of overpowers Rickson back to the center of the ring. Takada throws a knee to Rickson while he's down but Rickson scoops him up and slams the shit out of him. Rickson immediately moves into the full mount and starts to ground and pound Takada. Rickson sets up the armbar and finishes it with the submission at about 4:47. The Gracie family celebrates in the ring as the show closes, Rickson is presented a huge trophy and celebrates with his sons. I read in the Observer that they did a weird pro wrestling style set up after the fight where a Marco Ruas representative came into the ring and challenged Rickson to fight Marco, nothing ever became of it though as they never fought.


    So that is Pride 1. Not a very good show at all but still hugely important for Japanese MMA as it was the beginning of something really special. This show was enough of a success that KRS financed some follow up Pride shows, they just kept building from show to show until Pride was bigger than anything else in Japan or anywhere else in the world. UFC compared to Pride was like ECW compared to WWF in the 90's to put it into perspective how much bigger of a deal Pride was in the grand scheme of MMA. Pride was truly the Super Bowl of martial arts, they swallowed up all the best fighters from Shooto, Rings, Pancrase, UFC, K-1, and even pro wrestling, as much as it grew throughout it's decade of existence, it never really wandered off too far from it's roots in Pro Wrestling. Something that was said to describe Pride in the Japanese book "Pride: Secret Files" was that Pride was a "dream stage" where the strongest pro wrestlers from Japan could test their might against the best fighters and martial artists around the world. That was pretty much what Inoki's fights against Ali was, that was pretty much what UWF was, and it was exactly what Pride was here starting with the first show. Pride would eventually grow into what UWF would have been had it not died in 1990. This was just the beginning.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-24-2017 at 06:29 AM.

    ECW: Fuck The Bullshit

  2. #2
    It's only '17. Kilgore's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New York
    Age
    32
    Posts
    2,790
    vCash
    2000
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Pride.1

    Yeah, buddy. I love this so much. A little added backstory to the Rickson vs. Anjo gym fight. Anjo went back a second time, soon after the fight, but he did so to show Rickson respect. Rickson thought the feud was over, but then a couple weeks later Anjo went to the Japanese press and said Rickson and his students jumped him, and that's why cameras weren't allowed in. Rickson had the entire fight recorded, though, as he recorded pretty much everything back then (there's gold on Youtube of him rolling with people in the eighties and nineties), and Rickson sent one of his guys over to Japan with the tape. The Gracie rep called a press conference, showed the Japanese press the tape (as in there was only one, and he had to bring it back to Rickson), and Anjo lost all respect for lying to the press about being jumped. It was a fair fight, and Rickson toyed with him.

    Rickson never released the tape, which make some people suspect of what actually happened (those that don't know the story of the Japanese press seeing it that is), but the reasoning has always been suspected that Rickson was embarrassed by how brutal he was. Anjo reportedly gave up his back almost immediately, and in a match, Rickson would have just choked him out for the win. But this was essentially a street fight, so Rickson wasn't looking for a quick win, so he turned Anjo back over, and beat his face up more instead, really bloodying him up, probably for the theatrics for when he opened the doors back up to the press. A man getting choked out, with little marks on his face, wouldn't have had quite the same impact as a dude with a nose split in half. Either way, Rickson still has the tape, and he shows it to his homeys when they come over his house.


    DO NOT FUCK WITH RICKSON GRACIE

    It's cool you mention Renzo quickly using the rubber guard, because I've seen Eddie Bravo cite that moment for his inspiration for building his entire guard around that. What was kind of a throwaway moment for Renzo, was another's inspiration for a new guard. And you learned a sweep from the same damn fight.

    I love Renzo. He is my second favorite Gracie, after Rickson, mainly because he's funny as fuck. Also, no Gracie handled a Sakuraba loss better.

    Kimo vs. Severn was indeed a dream fight back then, believe it or not. Kimo became a star without beating anybody, almost entirely carried by a good look. Severn and Kimo were two of the biggest UFC stars, and it took PRIDE FC for them to fight.

    r.i.p. dogs playing poker

  3. #3
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    12,633
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Pride.1

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post
    Yeah, buddy. I love this so much. A little added backstory to the Rickson vs. Anjo gym fight. Anjo went back a second time, soon after the fight, but he did so to show Rickson respect. Rickson thought the feud was over, but then a couple weeks later Anjo went to the Japanese press and said Rickson and his students jumped him, and that's why cameras weren't allowed in. Rickson had the entire fight recorded, though, as he recorded pretty much everything back then (there's gold on Youtube of him rolling with people in the eighties and nineties), and Rickson sent one of his guys over to Japan with the tape. The Gracie rep called a press conference, showed the Japanese press the tape (as in there was only one, and he had to bring it back to Rickson), and Anjo lost all respect for lying to the press about being jumped. It was a fair fight, and Rickson toyed with him.

    Rickson never released the tape, which make some people suspect of what actually happened (those that don't know the story of the Japanese press seeing it that is), but the reasoning has always been suspected that Rickson was embarrassed by how brutal he was. Anjo reportedly gave up his back almost immediately, and in a match, Rickson would have just choked him out for the win. But this was essentially a street fight, so Rickson wasn't looking for a quick win, so he turned Anjo back over, and beat his face up more instead, really bloodying him up, probably for the theatrics for when he opened the doors back up to the press. A man getting choked out, with little marks on his face, wouldn't have had quite the same impact as a dude with a nose split in half. Either way, Rickson still has the tape, and he shows it to his homeys when they come over his house.
    I'm glad you posted this. I knew you posted this before, I actually tried to find it but couldn't. Such an interesting part of the story, that tape is like a holy grail. If I ever come across a bunch of money I'm going to do what the Fight Pass j-brones should have already done and that's make a big 3 hour long "The Rise and Fall of Pride FC" documentary, I'd break that tape out of Rickson's vault and show footage of that fight in it. Dave Meltzer talks about the incident in one of the December 1994 Observers and says that he knows people who have seen the tape. Also Stephen Quadros when telling the story prior to the Rickson vs Takada fight mentions that he also knows people who have seen the tape and says that it was a merciless beating. I really can't feel sorry for Anjo, you got to think Rickson's dojo was a place of business, his main source of income that he was feeding his family with. So Anjo storming the dojo trying to embarrass Rickson in front of his students was practically trying to take food off of the man's table. Rickson making an example out of him was absolutely necessary if only to prevent other people from trying the same thing in the future. There's a saying that I always felt to be true, there comes a time every once in a while where you just got to whoop a man's ass. That was definitely one of those times.

    It's cool you mention Renzo quickly using the rubber guard, because I've seen Eddie Bravo cite that moment for his inspiration for building his entire guard around that. What was kind of a throwaway moment for Renzo, was another's inspiration for a new guard. And you learned a sweep from the same damn fight.
    Now that you mention it I think I've heard Eddie Bravo say that, I believe it was on the Joe Rogan podcast with Rickson. I know some of Renzo's students Matt Serra and Ricardo Almeida used the rubber guard a lot. Eddie Bravo definitely took it to the next level though. I actually broke out my "Mastering Jujitsu" book from way back in the day and there are a bunch of highlighted passages and side notes about certain moves being used in actual fights:



    Mastering Jujitsu is such a great book, if only for the great history lesson about where Gracie Jujitsu came from.

    ECW: Fuck The Bullshit

  4. #4
    It's only '17. Kilgore's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New York
    Age
    32
    Posts
    2,790
    vCash
    2000
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Pride.1

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinobiMusashi View Post
    Now that you mention it I think I've heard Eddie Bravo say that, I believe it was on the Joe Rogan podcast with Rickson. I know some of Renzo's students Matt Serra and Ricardo Almeida used the rubber guard a lot. Eddie Bravo definitely took it to the next level though. I actually broke out my "Mastering Jujitsu" book from way back in the day and there are a bunch of highlighted passages and side notes about certain moves being used in actual fights:

    Spoiler


    Mastering Jujitsu is such a great book, if only for the great history lesson about where Gracie Jujitsu came from.
    Those notes are cool as hell. I never picked up on Serra or Almeida using rubber guard back then. Went completely over my head. It's interesting that Almeida could pull it off, because between Renzo and Bravo (and Serra too), are short legged dudes, so I thought it might be a prerequisite for pulling it off. Almeida seems to be more proportional.

    I want to see you programming MMA Television. Can you imagine getting the keys to Rickson's vault. Like twenty years of him rolling with everybody, Chuck F'n Norris probably included.

    r.i.p. dogs playing poker

  5. #5
    Moderator Emperor's Avatar
    Asteroids Champion! Breakout Champion!
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    England
    Age
    28
    Posts
    13,103
    vCash
    10592
    Mentioned
    104 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Pride.1

    Gracie vs Shoji was an amazign fight. I need to rewatch that and the Sakuraba fights from Pride 2 and 3.

  6. #6
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    12,633
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Pride.1

    Was watching my DVD for Pride 6 for my next review and it has a bonus feature "The History of Pride", like a 5 minute long little piece on the early days of Pride narrated with some pretty funny Engrish narration. In this feature they talk briefly about how big of a spectacle Pride 1 was, they show some clips that were not included on any of the US versions of the show, including the magic show by Princess Tenko:



    Edit: can't watch the video here I guess, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX9WjpUpS1M

    This was an earlier video of her performance from like 1994 but she did a pretty big show at some point during Pride 1 on the big entrance stage in the Tokyo Dome. Also Nobuhiko Takada had this huge massive epic entrance with smoke and confetti, I need to find an unedited copy of Pride 1, would love to see the Japanese versions of all the Pride show as the US versions usually tried to edit out any type of pro wrestling stuff. They spoke on the Rogan podcast with Bas and Renallo about how Pride would make these big grand videos to air before each fight, with each one being like a big dramatic movie trailer for the fight, they always cut those out of the US versions. It was like they tried to market Pride to US as a totally different product compared to the Japanese version of the show.

    All the Conor vs Mayweather talk this week makes me think about how that was pretty much how Pride got started, actually how the whole MMA sport got started, what would happen if this guy fought that guy, what would happen if this style fighter would fight that style fighter, what would happen if a UWFI/NJPW pro wrestler fought the 400-0 legend of Vale Tudo? A lot of purists think it's a ludicrous idea but this idea was what Pride was built on, dream matches, dream fights, Pride was the dream stage. Pride was a pretty big part in the evolution of the sport, while guys like Tom Erikson were fighting for peanuts in North America in front of small crowds they could go to Japan and fight in front of 50,000 people and make a $40,000 pay check. Japanese pro wrestling took MMA from bush league to major league.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 02-18-2017 at 12:03 PM.

    ECW: Fuck The Bullshit

  7. #7
    Sega Boy ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Back arse of nowhere
    Posts
    12,633
    vCash
    1000
    Mentioned
    74 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Re: Pride.1

    Was looking for pictures for my Pride 6 review this morning and found a few great ones, including this one of Yoji Anjo(wearing UWF gear) standing outside Rickson's dojo probably just a few minutes before the infamous incident:



    Something I read recently that I forgot to mention in my review for this show was that Rickson had no idea who Takada was or what he looked like, they had been challenging him and offering him ridiculous offers to come do the job to Takada in worked matches but he always turned them down. Rickson assumed that Yoji Anjo was Takada when he fought him that morning in his Dojo.

    Also this pretty sweet event poster for the Shooto Vale Tudo Japan '94 event, which was basically UFC 1 for Japan:



    Love that, looks like the cover for a straight to VHS action movie from the 90's.

    ECW: Fuck The Bullshit

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •