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Mixed Up Monday: AJPW, Dick Murdoch, AJW


G. Badger

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Giant Baba, Kenta Kobashi & Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada, Masanobu Fuchi & Akira Taue (01/29/94 AJPW): What do ya know!? Another match from today's date :) Just stumbled across this write up in the back of a notebook.

 

The 6 man matches of AJPW were really something. I know you're probably a little worried about Giant Baba working a match in 1994. I was too! If you've never seen Baba then, do yourself a favor and watch a couple older matches of his. One of many against The Sheik or Abdullah the Butcher. They're usually quick and chaotic...perfect for any of you young workaday kids out there. Once you've got a couple under your belt, come back and appreciate '94 Baba.

 

So, this is in Korakuen Hall, the best wrestling venue in Japan. The fans are awesome and are chanting Masa Fuchi's name louder than Misawa's!! They are hardcore fans :D I think Dave M. gave this match 5 pinecones but, I didn't think it was THAT good. Maybe he was there in person and yeah...I'd buy that.

 

My favorite segments were Kawada dealing with Kobashi. And I'm not sold on the Kawada vs Kobashi single encounters but' these two are magic when on opposite sides of the tag ring. It's beautiful when Dangerous K sneak attacks the more heart than brains Kobashi! I didn't seem to have much more in my notes but, highly recommend this one. I think it's really good to go back and revisit these oddly booked team matches in AJPW. Most people, including your author, focused too much on the super saiyan classic encounters of the 90's and not enough on the odd or unassuming little gems.

 

Chigusa Nagayo vs Lioness Asuka (02/26/87 AJW): Extremely high workrate and paries were the hallmark of this match. Lioness was the tougher of the two but Chigusa wouldn't back down. There were times this could have been a ***** classic but they went to the finishing-move well too many times for me. The restart only hurt the match.

 

Re-watch the next day: This is definitely a better match on the re-watch since, I knew what to expect move-wise and the ending. If I understood Japanese, I'm sure I would've caught the announcers talking about time running out, which undoubtedly corresponds to the go-for-broke attitude toward the end. After some thought, I've realized that my initial disappointment stems from the fact that it's less of a shocker-match. The outrageous moves and brutal stiffness just aren't there...so that tendency to give this type of a match a lower rating upon initial viewing has to be overcome by a second or third watching. Classic matches like this forced the moves to be faster and crisper, the strikes to be harder, and the drama to be more nail-biting. It's required viewing for joshi fans.

 

For the Indy fans out there: This summer, I watched 2 Murdoch in the sleazies matches. In IWA Japan vs Motegi: This was pretty darn good stuff. Technical bout with nice kicks and arm work by Motegi. Dude stayed focused like a laser on Dick's arm. Everyone was buying that pain. Murdoch was no slouch either finding escapes out of holds and pounding the life out of Motegi when he could. High recommendation.

 

Then, there's Dick vs Matsunaga in W*ING '92. This is more karate vs wrestler than, brawling which is what I was expecting. This was clipped but, again I didn't see any fault in that. Both guys really laid it in...moreseo Murdoch. For every 5 Mr. Danger kicks to the arm & body Capt. Redneck elbowed straight down to the face. Yup, this was good stuff.

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