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  1. The Ace of Glass stuff is a hoot. His injury issues were noticeable, and pretty much a worry up to the point he he became the real ace in 1993. One wasn't sure he could hold up. Pretty amazing that he did through 1993 and 1994, not just in the TC matches but also when the world tag titles weren't cake walks, the Carny and Tag League weren't either, and the tv taping tags and six-man tags were still worked at a high/tough level. Misawa tended to pick his spots in the normal tv taping matches more than his match-mates, which wasn't hard when he was pairing with Kobashi through almost all of the period who was going to put on the Kobashi Show whether you wanted him to or not. But Misawa wasn't typically sleepwalking through many of those matches. He worked his spots to build up the TC or WT match that might be on the tour. Didn't think he would hold up.
  2. These are great threads. Thanks for the great work, Kinch. One quibble here, which is odd. The 10/24 Triple Crown match was always going to be Jumbo defending against Kawada. It was announced in advance. It was in the WON in advance of Misawa's injury. The series was booked that way on television from the start: 9/27 opening night taping at Korakuen Hall had Jumbo and Kawada in the tag team main event working spots to build heat for it. Misawa was in the semifinal tag opposite Gordy & Doc to avoid distracting from it 10/3 second taping had Jumbo and Kawada in the semifinal tag working spots. Misawa was in the main with Kobashi against Gordy & Doc to again not distract from it. 10/10 was the third taping which had a six man main, so Misawa and Kawada were both in it. Again, more focus on Jumbo-Kawada while Misawa more paired off with Taue. 10/14 was the injury. 10/15 Misawa worked the six man main at Korakuen because it was another TV taping, but was largely taken out of the match to make it two-on-three most of the way. He was out after that. Key thing to remember: 10/24 was at Yokohama Bunka Gym. If they were going to run a second Jumbo vs Misawa match in the year, it wasn't going to be at a 5000 seat arena in the Tokyo metro given where the post-unmasking singles matches between the two took up to that point took place, and what they drew: 06/08/90 - packed Budokan 9/01/90 - packed Budokan 04/18/91 - packed Budokan Baba may have been conservative, but at that point he wasn't going to piss away extra 10000 tickets by booking a match that would pack Budokan into Bunka Gym. Example - the anniversary match the follow year was a fan voted match where everyone knew the match that would win... and would draw a ton... and Baba booked it into Budokan to expand the number of matches in the building per year. So like I say, it's odd. There are other things in the threads that I could quibble with, and avoid it unless it reaches a certain level. This is just odd from Ichise given the level of detail he brings to the table, and clear ability to pull from notes or other historical records. Of course I'm a well know Kawada fanboy, so things like his first Triple Crown match, that it happened against Grumpy Jumbo, and that they worked some stuff from the start of the series (as they typically did for these things) pretty much has always stuck from me since picking up the weekly tape of that opening night match some... Holy Shit! It was more than 30 years ago! Pretty nuts the shit that sticks with you all these years later.
  3. jdw

    Old School John Pelan

    I didn't find a note on this via the search. I know a lot of people interacted with John over the years. https://locusmag.com/2021/04/john-pelan-1957-2021
  4. jdw

    [1969-12-3 JWA] Dory Funk Jr. vs Giant Baba

    Awesome. Thanks!
  5. 1996-97 roughly. Overtime I got distracted by online discussions which were easy and conversational, and got lazy about written stuff for publication which required work. My fault as I do have a big streak of The Dude in me and might be the laziest person in Los Angles.
  6. jdw

    [1969-12-3 JWA] Dory Funk Jr. vs Giant Baba

    Where did this wash up?
  7. jdw

    Disentangling the Triple Crown (AJPW, 1973-1989)

    They had a very short period in the pre-split era of belt overload: 02/27/73 - 02/04/75: PWF Title (1) 02/05/75 - 08/27/76: PWF Title & Int'l Tag (2) 08/28/76 - 04/29/81: PWF Title & Int'l Tag & UN Title (3) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 04/30/81 - 04/24/84: PWF Title & Int'l Title & Int'l Tag & UN Title (4) 04/25/84 - 03/08/88: PWF Title & Int'l Title & Int'l Tag & PWF Tag & UN Title (5) 03/09/88 - 06/09/88: Int'l Title & Unified PWF+UN Title & Int'l Tag & PWF Tag (4) 06/10/88 - 04/17/89: Int'l Title Unified PWF+UN Title & World Tag (3) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 04/18/89 - Split: Triple Crown & World Tag (2) There were reasons for it. First, the elevation of Jumbo without the casting aside of Baba. The Int'l Title wasn't a bad way symbolically to do it, along with Jumbo capturing a US World Title a few months later. They PWF Title was also a way to engage Hansen in a single title without rushing into a Jumbo vs Hansen singles title feud soon after Hansen's jump. Second, the UN Title had moderate value in being retained to elevate Tenryu, along with sliding him into being Jumbo's partner in the Tag League and eventually with the Int'l Tag Titles. I always thought the PWF Tag Titles were a waste. I get it as it gave Hansen & Brody a tag title without putting the Int'l Tag Titles on them, which they wouldn't be able to defend regularly given the number of series they both worked on. They sort of replicated it when the Warriors were given the Int'l Tag belts for a year, defended them all of three times, the last being the unification match. Largely a waste. Belt overload largely in 1986. The number of title matches of the five belts was messy. Part of it was dealt with in early 1987 by deep sixing one of the tag titles into the hands of the Warriors. Another part dealt with by merging the PWF and UN titles into one combo. Part of it by resolving the tag titles into a unified tag title a couple of months later. By that point they needed just one more. They also looked around and saw that they didn't really need a Jumbo/Tenryu style UN Title. The #2 Japanese wrestler in the company was going to challenge for the Triple Crown, and eventually hold it. That didn't happen with Baba and Jumbo, and it didn't happen with Jumbo and Tenryu until the Triple Crown was created... almost two years after Tenryu moved opposite Jumbo. They had non-title singles matches in 1987-88. What was kind of nice is that the space opened up for the All Asia Tag title to be kind of a cool little division from 1988-93. Basically the rise of the Footloose, then subsequent teams. They really botched it as 1993 went on. Easy to blame the cutting of time in the weekly TV show, but they aired enough mediocre / wasted matches that they easily could have found space for roughly 5 All Asia defenses a year on TV. There also was talent to fill the division. But that's a side tangent. That's not even touching on the Junior Title getting some run in the same time period. I'm obviously biased, but I tend to think they had the number of titles well in order in the early 90s. I think 1986 was bloated. I never liked the two tag titles. One of the nice things about 1986 was that Jumbo & Tenryu dropped the vaunted Int'l Tag Titles to Choshu & Yatsu, rather than having them lift the PWF Tag Titles from Stan & Ted. They got their names in the honor roll of the big belts, not the one that came along much later. When the belts were unified, issues like that were resolved.
  8. jdw

    Is the knock on George Scott for 88-89 run unfair?

    Just for some clarity, since people have bounced around different dates: Scott took over as booker after Steamboat had been signed, the Flair-Steamer Chicago PPV card was locked in behind the scenes, and the Flair & Barry vs Gilbert & Mystery Wrestlerboat was taped. Cornette has it "by February 1", and the it's in the first issue of the WON in Feb though teased the issue before. I'd place it as the last week of January, with Dave making the comment that the "first Scott shows" would be a week or more into Feb. Dave was very explicit on when Scott got fired - the Tuesday after the April Clash. He was in chance for a week or so over two months. * * * * * There's a lot of blame that Scott's run is shaped by Cornette ripping him. I guess for newer fans. The notion that Scott was shitty in this stretch goes back to... this stretch. He got shat on in the WON. The Torch's are someone in a box, but I'm sure that all of the columnists shat on him. I'm guessing the Matwatches are now in the public domain with recent collecting and sharing, and it's quite possible he was shat on there. It really was there from the start in real time. I think a decent amount of that spread onto the net before Cornette got a chance to rip Scott in the past decade plus. My guess is that if one looked on Wrestling Classics they will find some praise of Scott in JCP/Mid-Atlantic in the 70s, not much praise for his work elsewhere in the 80s, and him being a punchline for his 1989 run in WCW. Cornette was just the cherry on top, though frankly Jimbo ripped most everyone else from 1989 onward even more than Scott simply because Scott was a fly on the ass of things that went south for Jimmy.
  9. jdw

    Real World Tag League Teams 1977-2000

    Cool chart. Couple of corrections: 1981 - Brody & Snuka won (you have both Dory and Snuka's bolded) 1982 - Funks won (no bolding) 1987 - bolding can be removed from Hansen & Gordy as you have Jumbo already covered 1988 - Hansen & Gordy need bolding Couple of suggestions: * switch Brody for Snuka Brody won with both Snuka and Hansen, while Snuka was a non-factor without Brody. He was only in 3 of them anyway, while Brody was in 1981-84 and 1987. * probably could be good to include Yatsu and Akiyama Yatsu would show the two years with Choshu and the three years with Jumbo, where he was a player in all of the years. Akiyama would show 1992-99 activity, and he was in the last match of the year in 1992 and 1996-99, winning twice. Probably these switches: Snuka --> Brody Slater --> Yatsu (moved to Japanese side) Bock --> Jun (moved to Japanese side) Bock wasn't a factor except when paired with Race, whereas Race was for the most part always treated with a respectful finish. Comp their respective finishes in 1985 when Race was stuck with Barr while Bock had Hennig. It's kind of painful to look at their respective finishes. Slater wasn't a factor either.
  10. jdw

    Disentangling the Triple Crown (AJPW, 1973-1989)

    Some additional background: The Jumbo bio thread covered the belt getting put in the meat locker when Rikodozan died, then being brought out for Baba while in JWA for his long dynastic runs. Baba left JWA without jobbing the title. It eventually went to Ohki in JWA, then JWA died and Ohki took the claim with him to South Korea. Ohki worked in All Japan starting in 1973 and was there through the last series of the year. The Int'l title wasn't defended, and he didn't work any singles matches with Baba. Ohki last worked for All Japan in this stretch in December 1973, and AJPW's relationship with the NWA was firmed up when Brisco came over to defend the NWA Title several times in January 1974. Ohki jumped to New Japan in 1974 to do a high profile job for Inoki. The Int'l title wasn't a part of it, instead it was for Inoki's NWF Title with Ohki doing a clean job. 10/10/74 NWF: Inoki pin Ohki Ohki got a trip to Seoul from Inoki the following year, with this: 03/27/75 Int'l: Ohki dcor Inoki (Seoul) It's listed in cagematch.net as an NWF title match, but Hisa and my old records have it as an Int'l title match. Ohki worked the 1975 NJPW World League after that, gets a quick COR win of Inoki on opening night (and TV), eats a pinfall loss to Strong Kobayshi, and goes to a DCOR with Sak in the semis to avoid either of them facing Inoki in the Final. That was interestingly it for him in New Japan. He turns up in All Japan on 10/30/75 on the series finale at Kuramae Kokugikan to do a short pinfall job to Baba. No titles involved. He comes for the Open League in December, barely appears without much of a showing. He's back for the 1976 Carnival, is largely protected like a DCOR with Baba, but also eats enough COR, DCOR and draws that he's not a factor. On his next series, he finally gets to defend his title in Japan for the first time since JWA... and it's not the Int'l Title but his old All Asia title: 09/24/76 All Asia: Ohki draw Waldo Von Erich (title held up) 10/21/76 All Asia: Ohki 2-1 Waldo Von Erich (∆ Ohki regains title) A week later, Ohki & Kim Duk would lift the Int'l Tag Titles from Baba & Jumbo and drop them back two weeks later. 1977 is similar for a while. Same protection in the Carvival, including a DCOR with Baba and the avoidance of making it to the Final. Finally... finally... he gets a chance to defend his title against a Japanese wrestler in All Japan, as part of the famous Jumbo Test Series. Wait... by this point, you can guess this: 07/28/77 UN vs All Asia: Jumbo dcor Ohki Next series he gets Baba twice in title vs title matches, and again it's not the Int'l Title: 10/05/77 PWF vs All Asia: Baba dcor Ohki 10/29/77 PWF vs All Asia: Baba pin Ohki (∆) That's the end of Ohki's All Asia claim. Ohki & Duk get a second, longer run with the Int'l Tag Titles winning them a little over a week later in Seoul, one suspects as the payback for the All Asia job to Baba. They job to Baba & Jumbo on the final night of the Open League right before the famous Funks vs Abby & Sheik. Ohki finally got his win over Baba... in the 1978 Carinval with no titles on the line. A few more tag title matches against Baba & Jumbo. No singles titles. He wraps with All Japan with the 1979 Tag League. We've got the entire decade since JWA closed down without him defending the Int'l Title in Japan, instead doing jobs to the top guy in both All Japan and New Japan for their titles, and dropping a different old belt of his to Baba. The Int'l was a Korea-only title, and the closest anyone came to touching it was Inoki challenging for it in Korea a lot time ago. No one seemed to care about this. So what happened? After Baba cut his ties with Ohki at the end of 1979, he turned up in the IWE in March 1980. He capped his first series with a 2-0 DQ+Pin win over Dick the Brusier. In between that series and the next, IWE ran a special card with four title match of which this was the main event: 03/31/80 AWA: Bockwinkel dcor Ohki (special ref Lou Thesz) Oh oh... they're not thinking what I think they're thinking... The very next series: 05/15/80 Int'l: Ohki over Jos Le Duc Followed on the next three series: 07/01/80 Int'l: Ohki over Gypsy Joe 09/20/80 Int'l: Ohki over Bill Dromo 10/04/80 Int'l: Ohki over Ueda There's your problem right there. Ohki brings in the *NWA* Int'l Title, defends it regularly in the very non-NWA IWE. Of note is that he appeared on the final IWE series of 1980 and did not defend the title. That is quite likely the point at which the NWA via All Japan told them to knock it off. Ohki got one last defense in Seoul in 03/04/81 against Bob Brown Then in April 1981 after the Carnival, All Japan ran a tournament to crown the new NWA Int'l champ. Dory over Brody by default. The match with Terry was a "defense" to make up for Brody not being able to work in the Final. Terry had already gone out of the tourney losing to Baba in the QF. Not quite the end of it there. Ohki got invited in on the next series, and two of the other series that year. All of them 20+ card series, a nice little respectful pay off. The following year they sent a crew of the mid-to-undercard guys to Korea, along with the All Asia belt. Ohki got it back in a decision bout over Hara, and he was able to defend it in Korea until he hung up his boots. Anyway, tl;dr version... The Int'l belt was ignored in All Japan and New Japan in terms of *defenses* in the 70s. All Japan ignored bothering about it. Not going to say it wasn't mentioned on New Japan when Ohki jobbed to Inoki, or the it never was mentioned on AJPW tv in the long run Ohki worked there in 1973 and again from 1975-79. It just didn't play a role in ever being defended in those promotions. It only appears to have become a bit of a problem when Ohki brought it into IWE. At which point it appears to have been shut down. All Japan came up with the bright idea of making something out the Int'l belt. Ohki was invited back into the fold and treated pretty respectfully. All Japan lived happily ever after... for two decades. It was #1 until the Int'l Title was brought in. At that point, they were very carefully booked. We need to remember that during the Dory-Brody era of 1981-83, the Int'l Champ wasn't always on the series. Top Gaijin didn't work every series like they did as the 90s went along. They word 3-4 or so a year, and joined a number of those in progress. So the Int'l holder wasn't always there to defend it. They also tried to defend them on different cards. That didn't always happy. For example, when Harley won the PWF Title from Baba on 10/26/82 , it was the main event over Dory-Brody for the Int'l Title. For what it's worth, that was the only time the two titles were defended on the same card. Baba was on top, in a title change. It's also worth noting that while Baba was in the Int'l tourney and did a pinfall job, he never challenged for the Int'l title while PWF champ or even the stretch where Hansen initially lifted it from him. In contrast, Brody challenged Baba for the PWF title on 06/08/83, while Brody's own Int'l title wasn't on the line to make it a title vs title match. The concept was peer titles, while using Dory and Brody to get the Int'l title over before it went to Jumbo. They were 1 and 1-A while Baba was in the mix, with little worry about what was 1 and what was 1-A. One of them had the anchor of Jumbo-Brody after Jumbo got it through most of 1984, while the other had the anchor of Baba-Hansen until Baba dropped it for the last time and didn't challenge for it again. Interesting is that the very next PWF title match was a triple title match: Hansen's AWA & PWF titles against Jumbo's Int'l. Still pretty much peer titles. Choshu got the PWF Title the follow week. Again, they tended to run the two titles on separate cards. Exceptions: 10/21/86: Hansen vs Jumbo where Jumbo got the Int'l Title back / Choshu vs Terry for the PWF That actually is a fluke. It was suppose to be Choshu vs Flair for the NWA Title, but Flair didn't make the trip it appears to be due to Magnum's car crash. Ionically... Choshu vs Terry went on last. 04/24/87 Jumbo defending the Int'l against Yatsu while Hansen vs Waijima was for the vacant PWF... and went on last. 03/27/88 Jumbo vs Brody Int'l title change went on last, while the Hansen (PWF) vs Tenryu (UN) unification match went on in the semi spot After that, when they're were defended on the same card it was the four unification matches it took before the Triple Crown finally came into being. He gave it up in 1983 before he won the Int'l title to focus on *winning* the title from Brody. It's kind of mixed up. It appears that Ted won the title in the US in fictitious tournament over Jerry Lawler. Thought there are also notes that he won it by forfeit over Lawler, which... who knows. It was all bullshit. Ted clearly is the champ in the first match on 10/14/83 where he gets the pinfall win over Tenryu: And the champ later in the tour in the rematch on 10/23/83 where they go to DCOR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=682OyIpAe3w Not really sure why they didn't just run a tourney on the series, other than they were really light on talent. The gaijin side had Hansen (too big for the title at the time), OMG as Hansen's tag partner, Ted, and NWA Champ Harley Race in for 5 cards, two of which were defenses (Jumbo and Ted). The money was going to Hansen and Race, and with the Tag League coming up with a large number of top gaijin in for all of it. The series before had a fair number of expensive gaijin as well for Terry's retirement series. So many this was a bargain basement series and they went with a fake tourney. So... it was a mess early on with the fake Ted tourney, then somehow it going from Ted to Michael Hayes in a fake match so that Hayes could lose it to David Von Erich who could then come over and lose it to Tenryu, but David overdosed and the title ended up going to Tenryu in a decision bout over Steamboat. Irony? Ted came in on the next series and jobbed to Tenryu as the challenger. They could have shipped the whole David stuff and left the belt on Ted. Don't even get me started about the stupidity of the belt being vacated off Tenryu in 1986 only to be given right back to him. 1985 was an initial blip: 10/09/81 Int'l: Dory vs Brody (∆) 11/01/81 Int'l: Brody vs Dory (∆) 04/17/82 Int'l: Dory vs DiBiase 04/21/82 Int'l: Dory vs Brody (∆) 10/07/82 Int'l: Brody vs Jumbo 10/20/82 Int'l: Brody vs Tenryu 10/26/82 Int'l: Brody vs Dory 04/16/83 Int'l: Brody vs Tenryu 04/23/83 Int'l: Brody vs Terry 04/25/83 Int'l: Brody vs Dory 04/27/83 Int'l: Brody vs Jumbo 05/26/83 Int'l: Brody vs Jumbo 06/12/83 Int'l: Brody vs Jumbo 08/31/83 Int'l: Brody vs Jumbo (∆) 10/14/83 Int'l: Jumbo vs Brody 01/10/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Olsonoski 02/23/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Bockwinkle (title vs title) 02/26/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Bockwinkle (title vs title) 04/14/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Brody 06/07/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Robinson 06/13/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Robinson 07/25/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Martel 09/06/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Brody 10/29/84 Int'l: Jumbo vs Gordy 04/17/85 Int'l: Jumbo vs Slater 06/04/85 Int'l: Jumbo vs Gordy 09/19/85 Int'l: Jumbo vs Race 03/10/86 Int'l: Jumbo vs Gordy 03/29/86 Int'l: Jumbo vs Hansen (title vs 2 titles) 04/19/86 Int'l: Jumbo vs Hansen (title vs title) 05/24/86 Int'l: Jumbo vs Race 07/31/86 Int'l: Jumbo vs Hansen (title vs title) (∆) 09/03/86 Int'l: Hansen vs Jumbo 09/03/86 Int'l: Hansen vs Choshu (title vs title) 10/21/86 Int'l: Hansen vs Jumbo (∆) A large chunk if 1985 was focused in Ishingundan coming in, which didn't revolve around belts as much as it could have / should have. That's not just at the Int'l and UN levels, but also at the tag title level that didn't really heat up until the next year. With some much talent to deal with given Ishingundan being added, the ranks of gaijin being brought over to challenge thinned. Defenses picked up the following year... before they thinned again in 1987 as gaijin went down, and Ishingundan left. More on that later... It's a little easier to line a gaijin up to defend against a couple of AJPW guys in a series than for a AJPW guy to line up a few gaijin in a series for defenses. Especially as talent availability declined as the 80s went on. So, in 1985 we were in the full swing of WWF expansion. JCP was starting to respond a bit. The older generation of talent was starting to get even older, without a lot of guys lined up to step in. You also had a massive influx of quality Japanese wrestlers into All Japan in 1985. 1987 saw Choshu leave, Tenryu move over opposite Jumbo, and Baba not even running Jumbo vs Tenryu in a singles title match until April 1989. He didn't need it. They didn't focus on tourneys with the exception of the Tag League, which was one series a year. The Carny died after 1982 and didn't come back until 1991. They did mini tag leagues in the Carny series in 1983 & 1984, the second creating the PWF Tag Champs. They didn't really impact singles title defense. The Int'l was impacted because Jumbo was the AWA Champ for a couple of months. For the most part as the decade went on, All Japan felt there were too many titles and too many title matches. Hence the consolidation of the five top belts into just two. The loss of outside talent had a big impact on that - 1986 was a good example of how a largely close promotion can burn through a ton of stuff fast. It was a bit hidden at the time because (i) it was the real first run of the Jumbo vs Hansen feud, and (ii) Ishingundan was getting involved in the title picture. If you run at the same pace in 1987-88, you burn through everything fast. That's pretty much what happened to Tenryu vs Hansen over time. It certainly happened with 5 Jumbo vs Hansen title matches in 1986, and no real gaijin behind Hansen to step up next. The balance in the 90s ended up being fine. 1992-94 struck a good balance, though perhaps 1994 not having a Triple Crown match until El Clasico was a little long in holding off to have one. They were stuck with Carny eating up one of the first three series, so that was out for a Triple Cown match. If they knew what they were running at the first Budokan, they should have balanced it with a TC match in the opening series... which they had done a number of times in years past and years to come. Anyway... The wrestling in Japan of the 60s and 70s where you could pull on a constant supply of non-Japanese wrestlers to come face off against the local champs was changing the more the 80s went on. The WWF and JCP ate up talent. Territories were dying. Development was dying. The business in Japan for both AJPW and NJPW changed. As far as the prestige of the belts, they got passed along and transformed into the Triple Crown. In turn, Baba quickly learned with Barry Windham in 1990 that he didn't really need to go outside the promotion to bring in gaijin "stars" to have a credible challenger. Better off working in house. That did create a longer term issue down the road when there was no native coming up behind Akiyama (and Jun himself was problematic), and the gaijin well dried up after he got lucky (then unlucky) with Doc.
  11. This thread is a good interesting read.
  12. jdw

    AJW 1995

    They clearly wanted to push Toyota thinking it was her time, and as you say she won it end of the year and held it for the next year. She also headlined the Budokan against Hokuto. The problem is more the Aja --> Toyota --> Aja --> Dynamite dance. Toyota winning it the first time was something of a surprise. Dave and I were told very specifically by someone who should have known that Aja was going over. Same person expressed surprise when we talked to him after the show with a "that wasn't what I'd been told" explanation. Didn't really get a clearer explanation beyond, "they changed their minds at the last minute." He really wasn't someone who would be working *Dave*, so I've been less jaded about it compared to other people who have lied right in Dave's face... sometimes to such a degree that we laughed at the person. My read in 1995 as it was happening, and kind of still feel the same way barring more info: AJW in 1995 post-Big Egg Universe seemed to be heading back to being a stand alone promotion rather than pushing the semi-regular inter-promotional stuff of the past 2+ years. It was a little telling that they pulled the belts from the Double Inoues to have a tourney to crown the 100th WWWA Tag Champs in a big building and have 0.00 of the teams key interpromotional teams. No JWP team, not LLPW team, no FMW team, etc. It was a ridiculously flat card on paper after two years of inter-promotional matches in such settings. Less than a week later was Queendom in another big building with no real inter-promotional hook to help it. If you're going to away from inter-promotional, it's arguably time to move away from the promotion's WWWA queen of the inter-promotional era and crown the new one, either via a chase or just doing it. They just did it. I don't think they had in mind *at the time* putting the belt on Kansai and having her job the title back to an AJW wrestler on the climactic show of the year. Once they made that decision, it really had to be Aja who put over Kansai after going 3-0 against her in big matches. Toyota --> Dynamite --> Toyota doesn't work as well, and fails in giving Kansai the win over her real rival. Back to Aja, who jobs it wonderfully to Dynamite, and Toyota is kinda sorta symbolically crowned the new queen by upholding AJW's honor by getting Big Red back. It is awkward as all hell. It screws up the build of Toyota-Hokuto at the September Budokan by making it non-title... there isn't even a WWWA title match on the card. There's the whipsaw of having no chase by Toyota for Big Red, and instead paying off Dynamite's chase of Aja. A lack of a sustained run of Dynamite with the belt turning back a number of challengers over the course of a longer time before paying off in December. Really messy. It just didn't feel like things went how they planned when laying out the year. Either multiple changes (quick call on the first Aja-Toyota chance + deciding to do title business with JWP), or a single one (deciding to do title business with JWP which forced the belt back on Aja). Either way, I don't think that when they mapped out the year in late 1994 and early 1995 that they were thinking about four title changes. Not really consistent with how they had run the promotion since Yokota won the title for the first time. Also not consistent with how they would run it in 1996 or 1997 up to the point Inoue dropped Big Red to Hotta as she was heading out the door. I think they changed their minds, possibly twice. It made for a strange, choppy year. On the flip side, I was kind of happy about a few things: * unexpected title changes were at the moment a rare thing to see live, even if I was/am a bigger fan of Aja's * I felt/feel happy that Dynamite got her win over Aja and her name on the list of holders of Big Red at a time when it felt it mattered * I really loved that Aja-Dynamite title chance and Aja's performance in it John
  13. jdw

    Chris Hyatte passes away

    Thread Killer - your original post in this is exceptional. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
  14. The narrative of Manchester United gunning for a 19th League Title to pass Liverpool wasn't made by the Media. It was made by Fact, by comments between players of the two teams, and by the fans of two teams. The Media just followed the obvious storyline. Little different from United's question for the Champions Cup / Champions League in the 90s. None of us fans needed the Media to tells us about that one. We lived it. There are countless other ones. You're being silly here. They are regularly about Good and Evil. Fans of teams think their rivals are evil. The whole EPL hated Chelsea and Man City "buying titles" and thought it was an evil perversion of their game, including United fans who obtusely ignored their own team outspending everyone else in the 90s and early 00s until Petro Billionaires bought Chelsea and then City. Fans other than United Fans (and his national team fans) thought Roy Keane was an evil player. We tended to think he was a nutter, but he was Our Nutter. Don't ever try to tell Barca and Madrid fans that El Clasico isn't a passion play of Good vs Evil, or that the other side isn't Evil. They would laugh in your face. Again, this is as silly as it was all those years ago where I seem to recall you admitted eventually that you were stone cold wrong due Henry's return. Every Home Team is the Face to their Fans just like Jerry Lawler and Kerry Von Erich were to their Fans. In turn, Alabama coming to town is every much the hated Heel to those Fans just as much as Ric Flair coming to town as the NWA Champ. Well... except that Bama is hated *more* by those fans than Flair. In turn, Face Bama in the friendly confines of Bryant–Denny Stadium are more beloved Faces to their Fans than Hulk Hogan on his best day. This is all obvious stuff to anyone who has passionately followed both Real Sports and Fake Pro Wrestling. Controversial isn't the word you're looking for. Insane. And "is" rather than "isn't". That has nothing to do with silly claims that "There is no moral element in real sports" and "There is no narrative element in real sports". Or to pretend that there aren't Heels and Faces in sports. Seriously, slow down and recall what you felt when this happened: Saying that Real Sports have great storylines, great heels, great faces, narratives, morality plays doesn't mean that wrestling can't have them as well. They are not mutually exclusive, nor does the fact that we can see and enjoy/love them in one mean that we can't see and enjoy/love them in the other. Basketball season is about to start. I have more than a dozen storylines in my head that I'm looking forward to see how the turn out, and have a total knowledge that many more will spring up as they always do in every season. Which is little different than heading into the Rumble and pondering storylines that will playout from there to Mania.