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G. Badger

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About G. Badger

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    Viceroy of Catlandia

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    In my chair, psyched to start my British Bulldogs '85 project

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  1. G. Badger

    [1988-12-26-NWA-Starrcade '88] Ric Flair vs Lex Luger

    This is a classic match with a simple story and layout. They never go too complicated in the moves department and therefore never mess anything up. Then, you're riding on charisma and selling in order to get the match over with the fans. Here they truly excel. Flair is a given but, Luger at this time seemed to have even God on his side. Never was I a Lex fan until I saw him from this era. And, man! Did he have "it" for a few years. The physique and the power are on full display and it really seems like Ric is facing his replacement for the 90's in this match. This bout could have lasted all night but, we do get a winner. And is it perfectly timed? Gosh it feels like it. Best Luger match I've seen. A classic without a doubt!
  2. This part is comprised more of single matches than tags & isn't as awesome as the first two but does an excellent job of showing just about every one of the main players going at it alone. There may be some spoilers ahead by the way. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue (All Japan 1/26/91) Misawa is such a dick here. He slaps Taue during a rope break & when they go to lock up he hits him with a stiff elbow shot. Taue gets his revenge though throwing up some mean boots, dumping a couple Samoan drops & even throwing our little superhero on a row of chairs. Misawa only get pissed and gets his comeback mojo going by countering the DDT with a northern lights suplex (never seen him do that one!) and getting a nearfall with the Tiger Driver. This is the first time I believe he's done that on the tapes, also Taue does the first chokeslam on the tapes too. Still it's not enough for Taue! Then Misawa does the unspeakable, whether it was planned or improvised, he performs the first Tiger Driver '91!!! It's still the most dangerous finisher & establishes it's reputation soundly. Taue isn't kicking out or really even moving that afterwards. Me thinks Jumbo & Taue want payback...bad. Relatively short match but all action. ****1/4 Jumbo, Taue & Fuchi vs. Misawa, Kobashi & Kikuchi (All Japan 3/23/91) This one started out a little slow & without too much intensity. Kikuchi was really being introduced as an ally of Misawa and he got whooped on. Fuchi is also in a bit in this early section & while some of his offense is dated in it's impact, his submissions are top notch. Once Misawa got the tag, this thing blew up & you really can identify with Kobashi & Kikuchi as almost brothers. That & it makes one wonder why their so rough on Kikuchi & Kobashi when Misawa & Kawada are the ones the really want. This is a little bit of a sentiment switcher since the two K's are just a couple of young guys, there's no good reason to beat them so hard. The story here's pretty good but the beginning is a bit dull but the ending really saved this & kept the heat on. I can't wait to see these guys go at it again! ****1/4 Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Toshiaki Kawada (All Japan 4/6/91) Slow starting match but it picked up with Kawada showing his toughness and his hard hitting offense. Jumbo really had to go all out here to put Dangerous K down. Very nice Champion Carnival match. **** Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Stan Hansen (All Japan 4/6/91) This one here is a lost classic or close to it. If you don't get this on a compilation, I'm sure most people would never see it. And that's the problem I have with all of these Best of the 90s AJPW lists. People should do a forgotten classic AJPW list or something like that...matches that are spectacular but don't get a fair look. This certainly is one of them. I've never seen this on any list & it really deserves to be mentioned. Incredibly stiff, there's a neat story with Hansen being tied to Misawa's progress...an indicator if he's ready to take on Jumbo man to man. I'll have to re-watch this but it was better than the Jumbo/Kawada match for sure. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Stan Hansen (All Japan 4/16/91) This is the type of match you want to see between two of the biggest wrestlers in Japan. They were just slamming into one another & Jumbo was working Stan's arm very well. Hansen once again show's that he's a hell of smart performer by using other attacks while his arm "heals." I didn't care for the finish but since they wrestled this in more of the 80's style it was excusable & special but not really up to par with most finishes in this time period. **** Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (All Japan 4/18/91) I didn't really think this match stacked up with their earlier matches & wasn't up to snuff with the Champ. Carnival matches. It really took awhile to get going and the strikes weren't as good as the previous matches. I wouldn't be surprised if someone was injured or something. Still the last five minutes were pretty damn good & I wonder if there's some parallel to the Dr. Death/Kobashi match in '93? **** Thanks for checking this out! Go see some of the great matches! I'll be back with more of my absolute favorite feud shortly
  3. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (All Japan 9/1/90) ****1/2+ In this match-up Misawa tries to use his elbow strikes to go toe-to-toe with Jumbo. He finds out that he's no Tenryu and gets a beatdown. It's not that Jumbo isn't really messed up by this attack but it's not enough to transition into a serious pinning predicament. Still Misawa uses his quickness & flying but not in conjunction with much other than his strikes. So Jumbo does what he can to shift momentum and work Green Jeans over. I would've liked I little more variety other than a elbow battle to make this 5 stars like some say but, still it's awesome but not like their match in June. Re-Watch: This is a pretty great match but stylistically I preferred the June match. Misawa tried to be Tenryu to Jumbo, you know to try and slug it out. Misawa had much greater effect with his flying moves but wanted to get the big shot in. In the end he got caught and flat out beat. Still I would have liked a match with more variety in offense since Misawa slung 40 elbows or so in this one. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada (All Japan 9/30/90) Wow! An awesome time limit draw match that was one of those matches that were so well paced that you could have watched it all day. It wasn't a sprint so there wasn't a bunch of unbelievable sequences or crazy moves although by the end things were getting quite interesting. Kawada did blow a couple kicks and he took a double arm suplex like a Tiger Driver but everyone was worn out & hurt so mistakes like these were excusable because they were insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Jumbo, Taue & Fuchi vs. Misawa, Kawada & Kobashi (All Japan 10/19/90) It took me some time to get this one started as I was having some problems getting this to play just right. Once I got it going I'd seen the first 8 minutes a couple times. This match went nearly 30 minutes and I distinctly recall saying to myself, "This is the greatest match ever." That's pretty cool considering I thought I'd seen all of the great AJPW stuff. Greatness is only a state of mind. As an aside, Fuchi is a sadist but his striking offense is weak, Kawada hasn't quite found his Dangerous K persona & moves, Taue is impressive despite the conventional notion that he didn't get good until '95, Kobashi is already the baby-face you just can't pin, and Misawa is an upstart jerk. Jumbo is the old guard, he is the elder & Misawa doesn't give him the respect he's due. It's like a youngster taking on tradition. At this point I'm rooting for Jumbo but, I like seeing Taue & Kawada go at it, and feel sorry of Kobashi, & well Masa Fuchi's there grinning while breaking your bones. That's really neat that they're telling 3 different stories at the same time. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada (All Japan 12/7/90) Maybe I'm just a sucker for tag-matches but this was amazing. The timing was really brilliant stuff & showing Akira Taue's toughness was a great little story here too. I wasn't sure he could take all that Misawa & Kawada were dishing out. Although this was clipped a little bit on the front end since I think it was a TV episode (complete with commercials!), it didn't effect the greatness of the match. They're building off of past confrontations or adding neat twists. Kawada really comes into his own here too. I felt that in the couple months since the last match he's got his intensity dialed up. Great stuff! Stan Hansen vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (All Japan 1/19/91) A solid Triple Crown match between two of the biggest, toughest guys around. Things got a little loose at the end with Hansen & Jumbo trying some sequences but, it came off in a way. Hansen went down to a Baba neckbreaker drop which was cool. I don't know how believable it was though ; ) ***3/4 These are some of my desert island matches. You've got to watch these!
  4. This is one of my all time favorite feuds in puro. It probably won't get much attention nowadays but, that's time for ya! This isn't a definitive match list but, it covers most of the seminal puro program. These are my original reviews and star ratings when I was watching my DVDs as if the matches were weekly episodes. I've been in a wrestling rut lately so I hope this will get me out of it! Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Tiger Mask II (All Japan 3/9/88) ****1/2+ What an amazing little match. Misawa mainly keeps Jumbo contained with a side headlock for the majority of the middle portion. This would be risky nowadays but back then, it works. Wrestling is still the focus and the psychological direction is strong. Misawa can't trade blows or throws but he can contain Tsuruta & possibly score a quick pin. Jumbo won't be so easily wrangled and breaks the hold a few times. First, he is respectful by using the ropes. Next he, frustrated, peppers Tiger's ribs with short elbows. Finally, the champ shows the youngster who's boss & slings Misawa onto his back. From there, the match is wide open with a foreshadow of the action to come for AJPW in the 1990s. Fantastic! Tiger Mask and Toshiaki Kawada vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu and Ricky Fuyuki (All Japan 5/14/90) - Nothing really special move-wise but this is the match where Misawa decides that the gimmick & mask are holding him back. Jumbo, Kabuki & Fuchi vs. Misawa, Kobashi & Taue (All Japan 5/26/90) ***3/4 A good 6-man match but the real focus is on Fuchi & Jumbo putting the upstart team in their place. Kabuki to some extent too but Fuchi & Tsuruta are not impressed with the team of Misawa, Kobashi, & Taue...all look like Muppet Babies. It's wild. What's even more wild is that Misawa has the gall to elbow Jumbo off the apron (unprovoked) and that Kobashi isn't killed in the ring. Taue strangely supplies most of the action and is quite adroit in his execution. It really proves what a great tag-teamer & wrestler he is. He really lets Misawa/Kobashi work the story aspects by keeping the match going. This was a smart move on his part as early on it really was losing direction other than Jumbo is pissed. Still, the finishing portions were quite good, enough to build the excitement for the win. Suffice to say big old Jumbo is not pleased with the results. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (All Japan 6/8/90) ***** This is the epitome of a big match without doing anything "big." There were plenty of teases to finishers and all of that but, that's not where the match lay. It was a story of Misawa's speed & guile against Jumbo's brutish strength. Misawa's biggest attacks were his dives to the outside & his top rope moves. Tsuruta in contrast used his more pedestrian offense but with the weight & stiffness he is known for. Things such as stomps, axe handles, scoop slams were done with intensity that really few can rival. Just a fantastic athletic match that was really one of the best of all time. Tsuruta, Kabuki & Inoue vs. Misawa, Kawada & Kobashi (All Japan 7/12/90) **** A very exciting match in a small venue that teased and played off the new rivalry between the old guard and the young guns. Kawada even kept his feud of sorts with Kabuki going and putting his kicks over with the fans by knocking Kabuki out (legitimately?) & Kobashi showed that he could definitely hang with the top guys. We already knew that but, hey it's 1990 and he's not quite throwing the lariats & chops yet. Honestly, he's really interesting because his body of work is split in two distinct periods yet, both are really good. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Stan Hansen (All Japan 7/27/90) ***3/4 A simpler old style match that saw Misawa control Hansen for three-quarters of the time. He had his arm tied up in locks and would strike it with knees & elbows. In fact Misawa was as much a Heel as I've ever seen from him. He worked the arm over against the post and even a chair! Anytime Stan broke free though he really hit the crap out of his opponent. There were 3 or 4 really stiff shots that Misawa caught including a back elbow & from a chair. What's also pretty remarkable is how well Hansen sells the injured arm & really is on the short list for best seller. He does it so that he won't use the injured arm for really the entire match. It's a basic program that Hansen & Misawa worked in the next few years but, it's really smart & pretty great when executed by two intelligent & talented performers. Overall, this is an excellent start with 2 absolute classic matches & really fun six man outings. Pick a few, watch, and enjoy! Thank you for reading! Part 2 coming soon!
  5. Re -watched this match and I think I enjoyed it more this time than above. Interestingly, my take away remarks are generally the same. I can contrast this with Liger vs Misterio Jr. from Starrcade '96 however. That is a similar match on paper and has similar qualities such as state of the art offense, counter moves etc. but, Otani and Eddie pull it off so much better here. They do have experience and that is some of it but, their execution is nearly flawless. And the stuff looks brutal. No one really remembers how hard Guerrero would snap his frankensteiners and powerbombs. And I think Otani is one of those guys who has been lost to the sands of time for a lot of people. He had a relatively small window of when he was great (mainly due to poor NJ booking in the late 90s) but, 95-96 is that time. His springboard attacks were so deadly and his character work was unique & engaging. Unfortunately, we only got to see a little bit at the start but, it was there. Not a perfect bout but, I'm sure a lot of Junior/Cruiserweight fans saw this in 95 and were damn happy. We're past the point of recommending introductory puro matches to people anymore but, this would be a good one to check out nonetheless.
  6. I agree with El-P's assessment of Dusty and Brain not knowing how to help this kinda match get over. There were comments where they both downplayed the action and significance of both guys. Some of that is hindsight on my part. Both guys were massively more influential on the next-generation than probably anyone ever in heavyweight WCW division. As a match, this was fun but, lacked intensity. The moves were nice but, didn't get me excited about, what little story they were trying to tell. However, it was an exhibition match of sorts so, I think it accomplished what it was intended to do.
  7. Its been awhile so, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite matches. Not just my favorite Dory Funk Jr. matches...nope, these are some of my all time faves. I cannot promise a bunch of moves and stuff so, don't be mistaken. I like my action matches but, my friends, this is different. vs Jack Brisco NWA World Title (01/24/74) This is possibly one of the top 5 greatest matches that I've seen. Excellent mat wrestling for an hour with each fall being a little bit different in style and in story. I can see people not liking this but, one has to appreciate wrestling and not necessarily a load of moves. vs Horst Hoffman (12/15/75) This match is another one of those ones where you can't really rate it. It is simply a treat to watch two masters go at it. A true wrestling fan would want this match to never end. Sadly it does but it rather clever fashion. If there was more of a story to this, then I believe it would be quite phenomenal. Re-Watch: Just a slight re-watch of five minutes or so and man alive, this is a classic. Its got that same chemistry like Bockwinkel vs Robinson. These two are great and this match is a must see for a Dory Funk Jr. fan. You can just see it in his eyes. This is what a world champion looks like. vs Jumbo Tsuruta (12/18/75) The teacher and the student go head to head possibly for the first time in Japan. If this ever shows up in a complete form it may be up there in the short list of top matches of the 70's. The action is there and the story is there to back it up. Dory knows after the bell rings just how good Jumbo is. You have to know your wrestling to "get" this one but, man is this good. Great? A classic? Take your pick. vs Terry Funk - NWA International Title (04/30/81) This was a 50 minute technical wrestling match in the old style. There were plenty of long mat sections of grinding holds and attempted escapes. The only portion I thought was a bit long was the very beginning when Dory had Terry locked in a series of headlocks. The match went long so it didn't seem necessary to milk 6 minutes at the front. Also there was nothing too explosively exciting with this match like something Terry would do on his own or maybe Ric Flair or even the stuff going on in NJPW at the time. This was good old mat wrestling NWA style and if one can't appreciate the holds and the escapes then this was a good hour to do something else. They picked it up and brought it down a number of times and gave the fans their money worth. More dynamism would have been great though but I think Terry wanted to show that he could hang in there with his older brother. Also to note very few rope breaks were used on holds, which is why I mentioned all of the escapes. Those holds & escapes were the majority of the match. I also would have liked some of the stuff to be a bit smoother but that's ok. It adds to the realism. Great stuff! vs. Bruiser Brody - NWA International Title (04/21/82) It's not necessary to dwell on a match like this since it is so basic. This is the primal kind of stuff that transcends styles, moves, eras. It is how wrestling should be done. If you really watch, this type of wrestling provides the base for those 1990s classics and most every classic since. Great match! If you've never seen a Dory Funk Jr. match, I highly recommend checking at least one of these out! Thanks for reading!
  8. G. Badger

    [1992-12-28-WCW-Starrcade '92] Big Van Vader vs Sting

    This was a great match but, not what I would call a classic. Everyone has talked about the positives which I agree with but, I'll mention my gripes. The DDT off the top rope should have been later in the match. That is such a devastating move on the ground so, an elevated version should be a guaranteed KO...especially in '92. The fact that it came off more as a chancery suplex..eh maybe that can explain it away. In a similar vein, I felt the selling of damage was intermittent. Sting absorbing Vader's forearm clubs in a rope-a-dope fashion is a good for instance. I haven't seen their other encounters so, there may be a reference that I'm missing. I appreciate the Ali tactic early on in the match or as the overarching story but, to employ this 75% of the way in is a bad idea Both real and imagined. And that leads to my final complaint which is the finish. Sting got obliterated by a 2nd rope splash but, he's got the stamina and wherewithal to get up and catch slam Vader? Nah...he shouldn't. Roll outta the way? Yes. Knees up? Yes. So, all that being said, this was still a physical, action packed match that would have been right at home in a 1992 NJPW ring. Great stuff but, not a classic in my book.
  9. Watched the match in full, the first fall was pretty good stuff with a good mix of technical wrestling and brawling. When Dustin threw Steve into the Colonel, it seemed like an appropriate first fall. The fans get psyched about the heels getting their asses handed to them but, officially pick up the fall. What's weird is that Austin bleeds for, really, little to no reason off of this bump. That is to say, his blood loss didn't really change the match anymore than him not bleeding. It just sorta ended. Maybe they got nervous with the lights cutting out? Maybe they ran outta time? Weird since the majority of the match was building to something great.
  10. A fantastic action packed tag title match! The write-ups above will probably be better but, I'll still give my two cents. The champions (Steamboat and Shane) are really unloading on Pillman. He is really awesome in Stampede by the way!! Even Windham can't fight them off...eventually the tide turns and the young Dean Douglas gets assaulted. Its great! There are a lot of ECW-to-be bumps in this so, I think that's why this match seemed ahead of it's time. Nevertheless, it still holds up quite well. The action and story are simple yet effective. Plus the the talent is top shelf so, everything is done just right. That title match desperation & intensity is there and I loved it! Great match!
  11. G. Badger

    [1985-05-19-AJPW] British Bulldogs vs Tiger Mask II & Masa Fuchi

    This was joined in progress. I'm guessing not too much was cut out as they did about 9 minutes of full speed ahead wrestling. My gripe is that no one really sold too much BUT as a TV show episode this wasn't totally necessary. They made an impression and it was a darn good one. A side note: Misawa and Davey Boy did not really wrestle each other for more than a few moments. I would have to think this was a communication issue. Fuchi, I'm sure, knew English from his Memphis time to work with Davey. Misawa not so much...it's a guess but, seems logical. Glad that I watched this!!
  12. G. Badger

    [1991-12-29-WCW-Starrcade] Battlebowl

    If you're watching the full match, once the introductions are done, fast forward to when Ricky (Richard to you) Morton and Liger are in ring #2. You can tell that they agreed to say 'Fuck it' and put on a junior fireworks display for 30 seconds before eliminating themselves. Then, we get everyone else making their way over to ring #2. Luger vs Vader remained in ring #1 and this was getting good. The process of getting to the second ring was good in theory but, in reality it was clumsy as a college kid at a kegger. Many of the wrestlers just willfully eliminated themselves to the second ring to spare themselves and fans from the awkwardness. Business really started when it was Steamboat and Sting vs Austin and Rude (with Luger in waiting). This part was very good but, as a whole I can't say the same. It was fun but, there was too much going on that looked crappy like most Battle Royals. Perhaps they could've gone down to 14 guys instead of 20...
  13. G. Badger

    [1996-12-29-WCW-Starrcade '96] Hulk Hogan vs Roddy Piper

    I'm with Tim on this match. It's good action, the guys told the story really well, and despite the finish being muddled by the crazed fan, it ended on a high note! It felt like an early 80's big non title grudge match. It wasn't the cleanest work but, damn, it was intense, they kept the fans into it and felt like a meaningful victory for Piper and WCW. Good match and glad I saw it!
  14. G. Badger

    [1998-12-27-WCW-Starrcade '98] Goldberg vs Kevin Nash

    I was a big fan of both Goldie and Big Sexay at the time so, I was hoping this was going to be a great match...at least in clip form on Nitro I was so bummed to see that the streak was over and Nash had to cheat to do it. BUT I was ok since Hall had to tazer/cattle prod Goldberg. Tazers were a relatively new thing and had an air of danger to them so, if the Wolfpac had to essentially electrocute Goldberg to beat him, then damn Goldberg really is a beast. Again, I didn't see the whole match let alone the PPV so, it worked. Seeing this in full 20+ years later...yeah it was good. Neither is a fantastic worker but, they played their part and did some good moves. It actually was a substantial match (which was rare to see from either coming from a WCW tv -only watcher) so, I'm happy
  15. Its rather amazing to see four true superstars go at it in the ring. Honestly this is a dream match you'd have on a video game because you'd never see the footage. Match-wise- It was fun! Andre was the real focus as the unpinnable monster. Good moves for the time, solid action, nothing to hate here plus, the star power makes it that much more exciting!
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