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DVDVR 80s Project
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  1. Jetlag

    2026 Nomination Thread

    Shinichi Nakano Easily overlooked Japanese undercarder who went from being a great tenacious underdog in AJPW and SWS to doing a heroic job carrying his own scummy WYF promotion, which is a story I'm really invested in. He also has some awesome feud under his belt participating in WYF vs. Shin FMW and WYF vs. WAR. Great outmatched hero type of guy, who also looks really good doing hard nosed technical wrestling and being a psycho potatoeing lower ranked guys. He''s grown to be one of my favourite Japanese heavyweights of the 90s, having a few Black Terry-like performances working his ass off on tiny shows, and he has a number of great matches from 1988-1997, possibly earlier than that depending on if I can find any of his New Japan matches. Footage is a bit of an issue but right now I'd say for someone who didn't make tape much he has a really strong body of work. w Shunji Takano vs. Ricky Fuyuki & Toshiaki Kawada, AJPW 7/19/1988 vs. Genichiro Tenryu, WAR 1/23/1996 w Masayoshi Motegi vs. Tarzan Goto & Ryo Miyake, WYF 7/16/1997
  2. Jetlag

    Shinobu Kandori

    Wow, where the hell did that come from? Really good match, as much a piece for Devils greatness as Kandoris. With early JWP and LLPW being hardly watched, Kandori has to be one of the most discoverable Japanese workers.
  3. Jetlag

    Killer Karl Kox

    Love him, but obviously there's precious little footage. Does he even have 10 full matches on tape?
  4. Jetlag

    Women's Professional Wrestling

    Borne shows up in the French archives: LOLA GARCIA VS BRIGITTE BORNE (07/15/1978; 24:54)
  5. Jetlag

    Takumi Iroha

    Trying to see what the hype is all about here... The first match I watched is vs. Syuri (9/25/2021). I have vowed not to watch another Syuri match, but I will break the vow. This is actually a pretty good match in the first half! They start nice with a snug lock up and a tackle through the rope. Then they do some nice matwork and actually build this slowly. Really nice control segments built around side headlocks and armdrags, with complex sequences to battle over those simple holds. Really liking it and reminds me a bit of Misawa/Kawada from 1992. Iroha likes to kick, and while she has nice form on her spin kick not all of her kicks land well. But Syuri is supposed to be the superior striker, and kicks the snot out of Iroha a few times, so it kind of works to the story of the match. They lose me when they start trading German suplexes and then settle into a rather standard ending stretch before the time runs out. They lost me at the ending, but the first 15 minutes or so had potential and it was better than the movefests STARDOM fans usually recommend. The next match is vs. ASUKA (WAVE 8/19/2018). This is Irohas 2nd highest rated match on Cagematch, so I expect something impressive. Right away ASUKA (who is not Kana but some goth looking girl) rushes Iroha, but Iroha shuts her down quickly. For some reason, they slap their thigh on EVERY kick they throw. There is no shine segment for ASUKA, instead Iroha works on her leg right away. ASUKA fires up and I guess Irohas leg kicks don't hurt her suddenly? ASUKA hits a slap and a kick and she's back on offense. She hits the Toyota dropkick to the outside where she splats hard on the floor and it looks like it hurt herself way more than her opponent. So I guess all that legwork was meaningless. ASUKA didn't really have a shine segment, doesn't sell, wrestles the same as every other indy random, there's nothing to draw me into her. Iroha at least sells a little, although she also keeps slapping her thigh. 5 minutes into this and I really want to turn this off because this is a garbage match so far in my book. Iroha goes back to work on ASUKAS leg for a minute and... ASUKA no sells back to offense with another sloppy move. Iroha hits some kicks that have no impact because she slaps her thigh the same way on every single one of them. Iroha hits a whole bunch of moves that ASUKA kicks out of and then ASUKA ducks a clothesline and its her turn to do moves. 10 minutes in and I'm tapping out, this is trash, no story, no selling, the moves they do aren't interesting. I'm giving Iroha the benefit of the doubt for now as she had nothing to work with here. After that, let's watch Iroha vs. Mayu Iwatani (10/18/2020). It's Irohas highest rated match on Cagematch! That means it's probably gonna be shit, I am tempering my expectations at this point. Iwatani tries to rush with a shitty looking solebutt, but Iroha cuts off the suplex attempt. Not a bad start but I wish these girls did some character work or something to get me into their story instead of just doing moves right away. I also wish Iroha didn't slap her thigh so much. Iroha goes to work on the leg with a Figure 4 right away. I hate it when Japanese workers just slap on a Figure 4, but Iwatani collapses after she makes it to the ropes, so I guess it wasn't completely meaningless. Iwatani transitions back to offense soon, but it was a gradual transition, she didn't just reverse one move and go back to control, she caught Iroha and then had to string a bit more together and survive a strike exchange to get back in control. The legwork ended up meaning nothing as soon she's back to sprinting across the ring to hit suicide dives and what not but I will give credit that they actually did a transition. Iroha hits a superplex which Iwatani no sells to keep control into a chokehold. Iwatani hits a few superkicks in a row where she slaps her thigh really hard. Some more kick exchanges where they absolutely slap the shit out of their thighs. Iwatani eats a couple kicks to her head and does Takaiwa yells. Even though this is getting pretty silly now I will give them some credit, they do a bit of selling and make it look like a struggle to stay on their feet, which prevents this match from turning into an absolute shitshow in my book. Iroha hits a very nice german suplex. Okay, now they do a strike exchange and now Iwatani is smiling when Iroha hits her? Iroha is actually selling though and Iwatani tags her with a nasty boot and that was the first strike in the match I gave a fuck about. Iwatani with the tombstone piledriver for a nearfall and now she is in control, Iroha is struggling and Iwatani is kicking her. How will Iroha comeback from this beating? She stands up, shoves Iwatani across the ring and hits a fast thigh slapping kick combo, so that was easy, I guess. They settle into the big move trading finishing run now. There are some impressive death moves and I liked how Iwatani kept rana-ing Iroha to counter her powerbombs. I wish Iroha had retaliated against Iwatani with some nasty strikes but she just kept hitting the same thigh slapping kicks she had been doing since the beginning of the match. The finish is bad as Iroha drops Iwatani on her head with a crucifix bomb - the deadliest looking move in the match - and Iwatani rolls her up for the 3. I will give them some credit, they did some good work and both girls were very expressive drawing me into the match, but whenever I was getting into it some silly shit occurred and pulled me right out. Finally, on to Iroha vs. Chihiro Hashimoto (Marvelous 1/10/22). Hashimoto is someone I actually like, so, it's probably wise for me to watch this. Wait, why the hell is Hashimoto not nominated? This is WAY more my speed of match. Slow beginning that establishes Hashimoto as a dominant force. There's matwork, Hashimoto busts out some cool holds and makes a nice cut off with a big body block and works Irohas back a bit. Iroha is good here with her selling, she doesn't just pop up when it's time to make a transition, she keeps selling even after she hits a move and draws the viewer in, the sign of a good worker. The transition is Hashimoto lariats the turnbuckle, which is a bit bog standard, but Iroha does a nice job working the arm, hitting a cool snap Fujiwara armbar at this point. I am not nitpicking this match because there's really nothing to nitpick, it's just really solid and they build well to the ending run. This is also the most I've been into Irohas strikes, since they are actually well timed here, I just wish she stopped slapping her thigh so much because it makes them look way worse. Hashimotos gigantic suplexes rule. The finishing run is generic, but because they built to it and took their time, Irohas moves like the powerbombs and her Swanton Bomb actually feel like moments and just moves that are thrown out. But the ending... the ending is really bad. Hashimoto slips out of another Iroha powerbomb attempt and locks in this badass sleeper (which Iroha sells great, eyes zoning out and all), then hits another gargantuan suplex. It was a great moment, but then Iroha gets up smiling, no-selling all that completely, and just hits another powerbomb where she almost kills Hashimoto dropping her on her head/neck badly. It was building to a really good match but holy hell that ending pissed me off. So yeah, very mixed reaction to Iroha here. I should probably seek out more stuff like that Hashimoto match, even though the ending left me really sour. I am not seeing anything that suggests no brainer Top 100 All Time worker or the stuff that other people have praised, but there is some promise.
  6. So I recently got my hand on the biography of Roland Bock, the man who destroyed Inoki so bad the Japanese still put him in Fire Pro Returns 30 years later. The book is in German and was written by the same guy who did the Rene Lasartesse biography, and there are some interesting bits on German wrestling as well as a very deep dive into Bocks psyche. - Roland Bock was born 1944. His earliest childhood was characterized by his mother having to hide with him in bunkers while bombs dropped on the town. At one point his mother had to give him to another woman because she was unable to produce enough breastmilk to feed him due to the general lack of food at the end of the war. - Bocks biological father was a monster, who tried to drown young Roland in the bathtub when Roland was an infant. Bock only met his biological father once as a teenager and immediately identified him as the mysterious person from that nightmarish memory. Roland also had a brother and a sister. - Bocks grandfather was also a very evil and violent man, and probably the only person that Bock ever feared. One thing that he did was torture young Roland by sending him down to the basement and then turning the lights off, a traumatic memory that would haunt Bock for a long time. The grandfather was an undertaker, which is why it stung Bock that he was later given the nickname "Undertaker" in wrestling. However the grandfather drunkenly slipped one night, breaking his neck. - Bocks grandmother and mother were also very harsh, although they were largely influenced by his grandfather and eased up when he died and Roland forgave his mother. Back then it was normal to beat your kids and they would also get beaten in school. Roland recalls getting beaten with a wooden spoon to the point he was bleeding among other things. However, as he grew bigger he would learn to stop adults from beating him. On one occasion he challenged an abusive teacher to a wrestling match to show him he would no longer let himself get stepped on. The teacher agreed and Roland wiped the floor with him. His mothers husband was also a good man who accepted Roland and his brother as his children even though he wasn't their biological father, and never beat them. - Bock was recruited to his towns wrestling team after he bested one of their wrestlers in a streetfight. He also practised other sports like basketball and volleyball. He soon became very succesful in wrestling, doing well in international tournaments, with his biggest success being him winning the European championship in Greco Roman wrestling in 1970, where he among others defeated the at the time world champion Alexandar Tomow. However, Roland had nervous issues which troubled him in competitive matches as well as his childhood trauma haunting him. He also felt that amateur wrestlers were treated poorly. They tried to fix his nervous issues by giving him pills and juicing him, whereas he felt the Soviets took better care of their athletes mental health. He also received a lot of hostility for switching to another wrestling team, and describes how his rival Wilfried Dietrich received death threats over similiar things. - after a falling out with the president of the German wrestlers organization, Bock was not nominated for the olympic games and burned his bridge to wrestling. His greatest rival in amateur wrestling was Wilfried Dietrich. Despite that they had a friendly relationship, and Bock felt that Dietrich was treated poorly by the German public despite his legendary achievements. - after he quit amateur wrestling, Bock was introduced to a pro wrestling booker by a BILD reporter. The booker, Maxe Krüger, was described as the boss of a larger wrestling organization, the VDB, but came across as very sketchy and carny. Krüger had a rough voice and he would tell everybody that he got it when Rene Lasartesse used his throat kneedrop on him. However Bock had hung out with pimps, prostitutes and shady people in his home town, so he knew how to deal with these kind of people. - Bock was skeptical of pro wrestling, but he wanted to earn money, so he agreed to fight in one of the tournaments. His training was brief and mostly about learning how to bump, run the ropes and not break your back on the ring apron when falling out the ring. Bock had his first match where his opponent was supposed to get DQd in the 3rd round, but Bock just started to shoot suplex him moments into the match and the ref had to stop the match in the first round. After the match the booker was furious with Bock and explained to him that he can't just destroy everyone to avoid injuries and also to help with long term story telling and booking. - the German bookers seemed to have a good idea of storytelling and matchmaking. The book mentions how they would use double DQs to set up rematches, do injury and authority angles, book gimmick matches, have top heels etc. They also taught Roland about selling, and that matches need to have ups and downs and buildups. - another interesting thing was that the modus operandi of the VDB was to find local money marks who would shoulder the costs. So they would have a mark playing the promoter while the VDB matchmaker booked the wrestlers and ran the show. They also called marks "gadsche" and the mark paying the bills was a "Lobi-Mann". - Bock didn't like wrestling much at first, but he fast grew fascinated with how the wrestlers controlled crowds and told stories, as they did a "theatre of bodies". Bock especially respected Rene Lasartesse, who didn't have much legit skill, but could drive crowds into a frenzy with his body language and a handful of moves. - Bocks ring style was very uncooperative. He felt he would lose his face being a legit greco roman champion if he got thrown by a random, so often he would just block throws and throw the other guy, and generally be a stiff cunt. He was a top 10 amateur wrestler in the world and 120 kgs, so there wasn't really anyone around to stop him. - Bock ended up working for promoter Gustl Kaiser, who wanted to run more serious pro wrestling. Kaiser told Bock to tone down the "Catch" moves and do more real wrestling in his matches. - one guy who forced Bock to work hard was George Gordienko. Gordienko was a huge and legit skillful guy and their matches were very shoot-like with little show moves. - one night, Bock felt Gordienko was trying to fuck with him. Bock defended himself and twisted up Gordienkos leg, injuring him. Bock had a bad conscience over doing that and visited Gordienko in the hospital, were Gordienko confessed that Kaiser had told him to humble Roland. However, the two ended up forgiving each other. Bock quit working for Kaiser, but he would continue to work with Gordienko. - Bock wanted to run his own shows. Because Antonio Inoki got world famous fighting Ali, Bock decided Inoki would be the best opponent. When Bock travelled to Japan and saw the Japanese style of wrestling, he was highly impressed. He also saw how professional New Japan was as opposed to the carny German promoters, and decided he wanted to run his own version of New Japan. He would show tapes of NJPW to investors. - the tour with Inoki cost 5 million DM, with 1 million DM alone going to Inoki and New Japan. Bock and his partners could barely scrap the money together and often had to borrow money from shady underworld people. Unfortunately the tour didn't do well as Bock had booked very large buildings. For example, one show drew 2500 people but was considered a disappointment as that was only about a third of the capacity. - Bock was able to bring in guys like Karl Mildenberger (boxer who thought Ali) and Wilfried Dietrich to face Inoki. However, both of them were scared that Inoki would mess them up, and Mildenberger was very old and out of shape. Their matches ended up not being good due to the mistrust, and Inoki/Dietrich ended in an ugly scene where Inoki fell out the ring and some fans in attendance started kicking him. Inoki fled backstage. Bock claims the Japanese film crew filmed every match Inoki had on that tour but Im not sure since we've only seen the Mildenberger and Bock matches. - even though the tour was financially a disaster, the final match where Bock fought Inoki for the WWU title in Stuttgart was a good moment since Bock got to have his heroic moment in front of his family in a sold out stadium. They decided to have the match go 10 rounds and have Bock win via judges decision so Inoki could save face since Inoki didn't want to get pinned by Bock. There's a video of the match and even though it looks like Bock was eating alive, Bock describes it as not being very malevolent towards Inoki and that he also got punished by Inokis stiffness. This was also a match that good reviews from the German press due to the realistic style and stiffness. - after the Inoki tour, the other shows Bock promoted weren't very successful. He did a tour with New Japan where he met Stan Hansen and another Inoki match and then decided to quit wrestling, questioning if he ever truely belonged in this world. He received 80 000 DM from NJPW and hid the money in Hong Kong. Later, he was jailed for all the debt he made with the Inoki tour, and never found the Hong Kong money again. Once again, Bock noticed how well wrestlers in Japan were treated while nobody in Germany cared about them. Before, during and after wrestling, Bock was a grandiose businessman with some absurd and some genius ideas. Among his projects were: - owning several steakhouses and a hotel - promoting man vs. bear wrestling matches (usually having local folks challenge a bear and then wrestling the bear himself) - promoting topless womens boxing where all the boxers were given gimmicks similiar to GLOW (something that was quickly sabotaged by feminist activists) - running two very large discos - living in Thailand (to hide from German tax authorities) and importing cement from Thailand and later Indonesia to Europe (something he claims was sabotaged by a global cement cartel) - buying a bullfighting arena in Gran Canaria and wanting to turn it into a huge concert stadium and later into a refuge for Hong Kong businessmen - acting in a movie with Gerard Depardieu (he regrets not dabbling into movies further) - selling shoe trees He now lives a rather modest life in Stuttgart and needs crutches to walk.
  7. Jetlag

    Adam Page

    This guy is 30 and has been wrestling for 12 years, longer than lots of other guys nominated. What has he been doing before AEW came around?
  8. Jetlag

    Command Bolshoi - send in the clown

    Haruyama is someone nobody talks about anymore but her matches against Hyuga back then were all the rage. It wasn't unwarranted praise either, she could go hard and should've been a bigger star.
  9. Jetlag

    Masao Inoue

    Very intelligent psychology in his big matches, but there's a lot of undercard tags where he's just there or being crappy. I recall Ikeda trying his darndest to carry him to a good match and Inoue just not bringing anything. Also, literal one-trick pony.
  10. Jetlag

    Kaori Yoneyama

    Ferocious worker, I like her better than the Toyota descendants. She also had a really good match series against Natsuki Taiyo and a title match against Hyuga early in her career that looks really good, plus the Bolshoi singles. I didn't really see her as a contender the first time but the more I come across her the better she looks, she might warrant a deep dive.
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  12. Jetlag

    Command Bolshoi - send in the clown

    There is a theory that she was Mie Dohiki before she was Bolshoi. Her origins are very mysterious, though.
  13. Jetlag

    Tatsumi Fujinami vs Bret Hart

    I'd say Fujinamis peaks pretty much crush Brets, though Bret never had the luxury of facing Maeda, Inoki, Vader, Hashimoto etc. in their primes.
  14. Jetlag

    Bryan Danielson vs Mitsuharu Misawa

    Match by match Bryan is the better guy, but if you lined up their Top 50 or so performances Misawa would annihilate him. At his best he was that great.
  15. Jetlag

    Demus 3:16

    Demus has had one of the most interesting career turns of all nominated luchadores. He left CMLL, and built himself a body of really violent indy brawls. That's pretty unique. Like with all luchadores who had great matches in the 2010s and later, I wonder how much of his early work is available. The Pierrothito match still stands as a lucha singles MOTDC.