Here's a short, sweet, tight match from New Japan Pro Wrestling, just posted on YouTube here. It features one of the most popular and one of my favorite Japanese wrestlers, Kota Ibushi, 5'11", 190#, up against Mexican wrestler Mascara Dorada, 5'8", 170#. This match occurred last June. After being sidelined with a dislocated shoulder for eight months, Ibushi returned to pro wrestling last month, losing to another favorite wrestler of mine, El Generico (to whom, by the way, I smugly provided the Spanish word "nombre" when he was signing a photo to me the following weekend).

This bout features hard, resounding kicks, leaps from the top rope, and breakout action into the crowd, with Ibushi at one point climbing up to a basketball hoop to hail down on Mascara. If Ibushi does not have the constant low boil of intensity of KENTA, another great Japanese wrestler, he does have a terrific howl of frustration when he does not quite get a pin on his guy, not to mention a killer bod and perhaps the best haircut in pro wrestling anywhere.


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