Thursday, June 15, 2017


RINGS Russia
May 20, 2000 in Ekaterinburg, Russia
Sports Palace drawing 7,000


RINGS Holland
June 4, 2000 in Utrecht City, Netherlands
Vechtsebanen Sport Hall drawing 5,000

FIGHTING NETWORK RINGS IS WORLDWIDE OR SO IT WOULD HAVE US BELIEVE AND SO TOO 株式会社 WOWOW ワウワウ AT LEAST IF YOU GET TAPES OF IT IN THE MAIL AND ACTUALLY I HAVE JUST NOW READ THAT THE THREE W's IN WOWOW HAVE BEEN BACKRONYMED INTO "WORLD WIDE WATCHING" so it should come as no surprise that we continue abroad after our "shoot" dark encounter with RINGS U.S.A.. This two-hour block of WOWOW takes us first to Ekaterinburg, a place already well-RINGSknown to us, and opens with a bout between Yuri Bekichev and Christopher Haseman atop an uncommonly beautiful canvas:

Oh wow(wow), okay, Christopher Haseman, who is fighting really an awful lot these days (I have just now checked, and he took eleven fights in 2000), walked right into a Bekichev punch and has been knocked very much out at 2:30 of the first round. On voiced-over commentary, Kenichi Takayanagi and Hideyuki Kumakubo say karate at least a few times, which suggests to me this is Beckichev's way or do? Perhaps his way is that of the house of pine waves? We waste no time between bouts here, that's for sure, and little time in them, either, as before you know it (only because I have yet to tell you, the fault is entirely mine, please forgive me) Boris Jeliazkov has finished Igor Perminov at 1:15 of the first round with a knee to the body and GROM ZAZA has defeated Travis Fulton, who has been all over these shows of late, by that gromzazamost method of standing kata-ashi-hishigi (single-leg-crush/straight-ankle-lock); that he in this instance dropped to the mat to finish it is in my view immaterial. Achmed Labasanov, who perhaps you will recalls as Lee Hasdell's first-round WORLD MEGA-BATTLE OPEN TOURNAMENT KING OF KINGS opponent, bests Valentijn Overeem by that same waza, and both applications of this technique remind us of how you can totally twist someone's knee around pretty well with kata-ashi-hishigi, too; it's not just ankles. "Rentato" Babalu "Sobral" has no trouble with Jacob Zobnin, finishing with hadaka-jime in 3:20. 

We spoke of Lee Hasdell only moments ago and here he is now, fending off the ashi-kansetsu (leg-bone-locking) of Mikhail Ilioukhine, whose shooting and shoot-styling have been a revelation to me throughout this long and strange project we have shared together as RINGSbloggeur and RINGSbloglecteurs respectively (I thank you again). The first round was I believe Ilioukhine's, certainly, and in the second he really takes it to Hasdell (in a græppling sense, don't worry, there is very little hitting). I believe the format in these bouts, unlike those of RINGS U.S.A. or indeed of the WORLD MEGA-BATTLE OPEN TOURNAMENT KING OF KINGS, calls for three rounds, rather than two rounds and then a third should the first two be (ad)judged a draw. Ilioukhine carries all three in this instance, to the delight of the boisterous Ekaterinburg crowd (witness, if you dare, their boist). I should note that Ilioukhine, unlike Hasdell, opted to compete in this match without gloves, so as not to impede his græppling; in exchange, he was not permitted to strike the head with a closed fist, which nobody should ever do anyway (hands are for helping). This is a great rule (about the gloves, but also that hands are for helping). 

Tom Sauer, who we have come to know in RINGS U.S.A and who enters, fittingly, to the gooniest death metal, faces Alexander Bezroutchkin, a minimally-singleted wrestler and a long guy. Bezroutchkin does well with taking-down but he is hadaka-jime strangled unto defeat in only 3:30. Referee Ryogaku Wada was peering in so closely at the ne waza in this match that I think he really cares/does not want to see a death. 

Volk Han, who recently defeated Brandon Lee Hinkle by 腕挫三角固 ude-hishigi-sankaku-gatame (the triangle arm-lock) in his first non-sambo shoot (that we know about), is in next against Yasuhito Namekawa, who is ever-spirited but really kind of a lot smaller than Volk Han. Han's takedowns seem nearly effortless, though not so effortless that I am suggesting anything is "amiss" here at all. Han is given a yellow card for dropping an elbow, point-down, to Namekawa's back, and Han's position is like come on Ryogaku Wada it was an elbow to his back or I guess maybe shoulder and Ryogaku Wada is like hey Volk Han I do not write the rules of Fighting Network RINGS, I just enforce them with diligence and considerable care. Volk Han is our rightful winner by decision but Namekawa fought well too. 

Alistair Overeem comes out to exceedingly dark techno whereas Yuri Korchikin comes out to trance; a contrast in styles, certainly. Lanky young Overeem is still finding his way, I guess, as he is out-græppled here pretty badly on his way to a decision loss. Maybe if he added a little weight?  

Andrei Kopilov and Carlos Clayton are our main event and okay it is over in fifty-seconds not by ashi-gatame (leg hold) but instead by juji-gatame and Andrei Kopilov continues to thrive in this KING OF KINGS all-shoot era of RINGS and we continue to support him. Nikolai Zouev in a suit presents him a small trophy!

AND WITH THAT WE TURN TOWARDS THE HISTORICALLY VERY GRIMY RINGS HOLLAND and we open with several matches shown in DIGEST form and I do not recognize any of the fighters nor am I am able to read their names as my Japanese continues to not exist. Ah, but the venerable offers these results, which align perfectly with what has been here digested (my thanks to that site as always):

Brian Lo-A-Njoe KO Jassier Kaderi (1st - 2:12).
Fred van Doesburg beat Rick Rootlieb (1st - 4:18) via submission.
Sander MacKilljan KO Renaldo Rijkhoff (1st - 1:50).
Stephan Tapilatu beat Jeffrey Heijm (2nd) via unanimous decision.
Aziz Karaoglu beat Roberto Flamingo (1st - 1:50) via submission.

With those preliminary matters behind us we can attend properly to the matter of Valentijn Overeem and Fatih Kocamis. Hey so do you think there will be more and more of these RINGS Abroad shows making up what remains of the WOWOW broadcasts that constitute the RINGSbox? I wonder if they will maybe pretty much alternate with RINGS Japan shows as we reach the late stages: there are only seven RINGS Japan shows scheduled in 2000, and it's pretty much the same situation for 2001 (and then that's it). We are far removed from the fifteen shows of 1993; so very far removed from it. I guess I could just check the remaining shows to see but why rush? Let us instead speculate as an enormous man dressed like a (motor) biker hands Valentijn Overeem a small trophy for his second-round knockout win over Kocamis. Glenn Brasdorp is disqualified for totally punching Big Mo T in the head while Big Mo T was very much on the ground, which is unfortunate, but look at the guy who comes in to present the little trophies, his look is so strong:

Jerrel Venetiaan who is new to us, takes a decision win over Dave van der Veen, who is not, in a bout that almost certainly did lasting damage to the everyday functioning of both men, so that's a thing you want to see, before Joop Kasteel stops Lee Hasdell only 1:18 into a fight where he himself had already been knocked down. It seems that Hasdell had to stop because of an injury to his shoulder? His arm is hanging low, and is enslinged before he leaves the ring. 

Once Rob van Esdonk has secured the arm-lock from kesa-gatame known to some as kesa-garami on Peter Verschuren at 2:41, all that remains is our main event of YOSHIHISA YAMAMOTO VS. SEMMY SCHILT NOOOOOOO WHO KEEPS DOING THIS TO YOSHIHISA YAMAMOTO:

Yamamoto is cornered by Tsuyoshi Kohsaka which is a very good idea obviously but there is only so much he can do from there. Semmy Schilt as of 6/4/00 is not yet a K-1 World Grand Prix Champion several times over but he is the reigning King of Pancrase (I have not really watched any Pancrase in years but I have read that there are Queens now, too) and also he has a slight reach advantage over Yoshihisa Yamamoto. Yamamoto wisely attempts several times to bring Semmy Schilt to the mat, which was Bret Hart's approach when he faced Diesel in what I am pretty sure was also a shoot, but Yamamoto, lacking Bret's dungeon-honed græppz, is unable to do so before he is terribly cut and knocked super out at 2:54 by knees; by punches; by knees and punches. Please stop doing this to Yoshihisa Yamamoto, it isn't right.

Horrible crimes against Yoshihisa Yamamoto aside, this Russian/Dutch-split WOWOW presentation was way better RINGS U.S.A.! But I will be pleased to rejoin mainline RINGS when next we meet, which I think is what the RINGSbox holds next for us. Let's find out together! Thank you once again for your time.



  1. Semmy Schilt in pancrase was essentially an anime villain. He's great and was a scary scary man back in the day.

    1. Seventeen years later I fear his moving picture on a screen.