Co-founder of Pancrase and student to Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Karl Gotch, a Masakatsu Funaki in his prime showcasing his Catch Wrestling skills was a joy to watch. Many might only remember him in his more recent one sided losses of the last decade but even starting with his loss to legendary Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player Rickson Gracie, Funaki was several years past his prime and battle damaged. Funaki would not fight again until seven years later in 2007 losing to Billy Robinson trained catch wrestlers Kiyoshi Tamura and Kazushi Sakuraba before ending his career with a win over Ikuhisa Minowa in 2008.
This video demo was from the early 1990’s at a Martial Arts expo in Europe where Funaki shows his blend of takedowns, transitions and submissions that showcase how dynamic and visually aesthetic Catch Wrestling can look in our modern era. (HT: Magnifico)