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William Bologna

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  1. Hacks wouldn’t have imitated him if he did it badly.
  2. William Bologna

    Tatsumi Fujinami

    December 6, 1984 Hiroshima prefectural gymnasium Super heavyweight battle royal Fujinami and Murdoch are pulling double duty! Later in the same evening as their epic double count-out showdown, both are here for the Super Heavyweight Battle Royal! This is my kind of battle royal. It's five minutes long, they get the chumps out of there quick, and it tells a story which despite its brevity is full not only of twists but also of turns. Inoki sees KY Wakamatsu (whose name is Japanese for "Jimmy Hart") and a couple Strong Machines outside the ring and is so incensed that he eliminates himself going after them. The swole ref in the WWF polo really has to put his foot down about Antonio getting back in. It's like, yeah I gave you a pin on a two count last time, but the rules of the battle royal are sacred. I'll have to keep an eye out for this guy - we may never see him again after he crosses the boss like this. I gather that there's an issue between Fujinami/Kengo Kimura and Murdoch/Adrian Adonis. Kimura and Adonis eliminate each other like they're Eteocles and Polyneices before one of the seven gates of holy Thebes. The rest of the match tells the tale of Murdoch, Fujinami, and the near-literal elephant in the figurative room, Andre T. Giant. Andre is down, and Murdoch takes the unexpected but expedient route, motioning for Fujinami to cooperate with him in dumping the giant. The crowd is thrilled. But can Captain Redneck be trusted? You will not be surprised to learn that he cannot. He betrays his momentary ally but comes close to eliminating Andre accidentally as Fujinami ducks a double team maneuver. Murdoch recovers to dump Fujinami, only for Andre to bring things to an abrupt end by dropping Murdoch atomically with such force that he springs over the top rope. It hurts more when you're a giant. My heart sank when I saw there was a battle royal on the docket. The last one I saw was that time the Rock tried and failed to convince everyone that Roman Reigns was extremely tough and cool, so I'd soured on the whole concept. But this was a hoot. Five minutes. Told a story. Made Inoki look stupid. A triumph.
  3. William Bologna

    Tatsumi Fujinami

    1984 Other matches December 6, 1984 Hiroshima prefectural gymnasium Tatsumi Fujinami VS Dick Murdoch Finally we get some Dick Murdoch! He's been hanging out in the margins of this project, even giving Fujinami a postmatch handshake at one point, but this is the first time we see him in action. He's awesome, of course. The match is built around his peerless punches. Fujinami gets a transition off blocking one and complains to the ref (resplendent in a WWF polo shirt) about them. The crowd is good but unusual. They're just loud in general. There's a high level of background noise, but they don't always react to the things you'd expect them to. There's a repeated chant that I don't understand, but at least they're enjoying themselves. Murdoch is a perfect opponent for Fujinami. Consider: Fujinami is at his best when he's getting hit really hard. Hashimoto, Tenryu, Dynamite - these are the guys who bring the fighting spirit out of him. He's a pretty colorless guy unless he's getting pasted in the face, and Murdoch is happy to oblige. He has a tendency to get overshadowed and eaten up when he's in the ring with a dominant personality. I love the Hogan matches, but you don't remember Fujinami's performance in them. Against Flair he's the proverbial broomstick. Murdoch, however, complements him. He's got all kinds of personality, but he uses cartoonish selling to make his opponent look like a badass. He's physically imposing in spite of his physique (he towers over Fujinami), and his offense is as believable as fake fighting can be, so it really means something when he switches gears and starts staggering around after getting punched. This is a lot of analysis for a ten minute match with a typical 80s non-finish (DCOR), but man is Dick Murdoch good. I liked this a lot, but I'm not objective about this guy. He's the gaijin Tenryu - I'd watch him order lunch and give it four stars.
  4. William Bologna

    Tatsumi Fujinami

    1984 Other matches November 30, 1984 Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium MSG Tag League Antonio Inoki&Tatsumi Fujinami VS Strong Machine No.1&Strong Machine No.2 This may look like a mismatch in the ring - you have a couple IWGP champions vs. Junji Hirata and some Korean guy - but the Machines have backup. KY Wakamatsu is yelling into his megaphone, and Hiro Saito is ready to make his presence felt. The good guys, meanwhile, have only a young, pimply Masa Chono in their corner. There's plenty of heat; the crowd is going banana as they brawl among the streamers, and the enthusiasm doesn't really let up. Not even when Inoki wraps a towel around his hand to punch a Machine. Must have been extra fighting spirit in it or something. Inoki is just not any good except when he's brawling (when he's really, really good). He lacks ring awareness or something. There's a spot where he gets one Machine (either 1 or 2) to run into the other one (either 2 or 1), and instead of following up, he just strolls in the direction of his corner while the Machine waits for him to do something. But it's far from the worst Inoki experience, since he keeps things moving and throws a lot of punches. The finish is very mid-80s sloppy. Whichever Machine loses (presumably the less Super Strong one) lands kind of under the ropes on an enzuigiri, so he has to move his hand and Inoki has to move his ass to stay in bounds for the pin, which I swear is only a two count. Different rules for the guy who owns the place. Hiro Saito immediately runs in, and we brawl again. One other thing about Inoki - in kayfabe, he's just an awful tag partner. Fujinami hit a dragon suplex, which got a huge pop from the crowd, the announcer, and me, and Inoki could barely be bothered to get into the ring to protect the pin attempt. Even worse is in the post-match brawl. Saito is choking Fujinami with a rope, and Inoki completely ignores it. He at least waits until Saito stops to raise his hands in triumph, but his partner's suffering is obviously not troubling him.
  5. William Bologna

    The Wednesday Night War

    Absolutely. They're clearly taking the long view on this, willing to put unknowns in the spotlight and resisting the urge to hotshot. It speaks well to management.
  6. William Bologna

    The Wednesday Night War

    Pulling out the “those other guys are fanboys!” card isn’t the best tactic after you’ve argued that your favorite promotion lost just cause WWE fans are teetotalers who stay at home knitting.
  7. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 9 - 27 Nov 2019

    Wardlow’s tie is a great touch.
  8. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 7 - 13th November 2019

    Was that the first actual squash in Dynamite history? Dark Order has go away heat.
  9. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 3 - 16 October 2019

    Interesting to compare this to the Omega/Janela dark match. Longish, lots of plunder, clear underdog. The big difference is that this was good.
  10. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 3 - 16 October 2019

    I never realized how much Omega works like Michael Elgin. Which is to say that he’s awful.
  11. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 3 - 16 October 2019

    Riho’s amazing. She gets over by having people watch her wrestle. Novel concept. I can’t imagine anyone thinking a bunch of Isaac Yankem shit is going to get Baker over. Weird misfire.
  12. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 1

    The people behind me were absolutely marking out about Swagger. I don’t know if that’s representative.
  13. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 1

    That was great. Crowd was thoroughly roped in by the end.
  14. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 1

    Here’s Britt Baker. I’m going to start an argument with the people sitting around me about whether it’s OK not to know who she is. Get that PWO experience.
  15. William Bologna

    AEW Dynamite Week 1

    Hebner getting some “you screwed Bret” chants in the building.
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