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ohtani's jacket

DVDVR 80s Project
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  1. ohtani's jacket

    [1977-07-01-Houston Wrestling] Harley Race vs Terry Funk

    Great match! Loved this. Really great mix of submission wrestling and striking. Funk was in amazing shape. He had a physique to rival even Nick Bockwinkel. The matwork was a step down from previous generations but it was tough, gritty and uncompromising and matched the personalities of the wrestlers involved. The strikes were fantastic as was Funk's selling. Those two things gave the match an edge. There was no doubt in the viewer's mind that Terry Funk was hellbent on winning the title back and would go to any lengths to do so. The blood stoppage was a cool way to end the bout and set-up a rematch. It was such a clever idea that it wouldn't surprise me if Funk thought of it himself. Race was just sort of "there." That's unfair to stay in a match that was hard fought, but Race is a guy who people want to like more than they do. The problem here was his lack of personality and lack of expression. At no point did you stop and think "that's why this guy's the champ" or "man, Race wants it just as much as Funk." I didn't have a problem with his selling -- his selling of Funk's strikes was solid and understated and I couldn't give a toss about long-term arm selling -- he simply lacked the fire that Funk had. I actually think he got better at that type of stuff as he got older and became the gruff, surly Harley with the beer gut and the huge afro. That said, even if Race couldn't match the intensity of Funk it didn't detract from Funk's performance and the greatness of the bout. This was Funk at the height of his powers. There's a high possibility that any wrestler would have played second fiddle to Funk on a night like this. I just felt that if Race had gotten angry during the bout the way that Thesz used to do that the match would have been even better and that Race repeatedly punching Funk above the eye would have been even cooler. Still, great match! First Terry Funk match I've seen in a while where he lived up to the GOAT hype.
  2. ohtani's jacket

    [2000-04-09-Monterrey] El Hijo del Santo vs Blue Panther

    Originally, I didn't intend to re-watch this as it was already cemented in my mind as an all-time lucha classic. But since I've watched so much footage from the year I thought I would cap things off with the two Monterrey matches. What a beautiful wrestling match. This is exactly the type of match that folks should watch when they're first getting into lucha. For longtime fans, it's a gem. A payoff to all those tag matches and trios matches where Panther and Santo squared off and showed us just how beautiful lucha libre can be. In the past, people found it unfortunate that the match ends cheaply but by Monterrey standards it was clean. If not for Villano and Atlantis, this would have been the lucha MOTY for sure.
  3. This was pretty average. The exchanges between Super Crazy and Tajiri were good but the rest of the match was weak. ECW did such a poor job with its presentation. The commentary is ratshit. I would rather watch a legit indy from 2000 than a wannabe national promotion. At least the indy will have some charm.
  4. ohtani's jacket

    [2000-02-22-BJW-Exite Series] Ryuji Yamakawa vs Kintaro Kanemura

    Nothing like a death match in the morning to get your day started right. Actually, this wasn't much of a death match. There were tables and chairs but that could describe a regular match in 2000. It was a lot of fun, though. It could have been a sprawling mess but they kept things surprisingly tight. Both guys are charismatic which helps. I love Kanemura. He looks like the type of Japanese comedian who'd advertise plus-sized clothing stores but instead of making people laugh his calling in life is to brawl like a motherfucker. Another cool BJW match. I've now successfully cherrypicked BJW for the year. I enjoyed the highs that the promotion had. I've probably watched more garbage wrestling from 2000 than I have from any other year in wrestling history. I won't be jumping through barbed wire anytime soon but I do feel enlightened. Thanks for taking me on the journey (pun intended.)
  5. If you like the NOAH cast you'll like this. Personally, I think Kobashi has taken a step back in NOAH from the best wrestler in the world to an also-ran. and I don't think that Akiyama has really found himself as a heel yet. If you look at guys like Jumbo, Tenryu, and Kawada, they were all heels but all different in their own way. Akiyama pinches most of his heel spots from Kawada but can't summon the same sort of attitude. He doesn't have the rage that fueled Kawada. He's still the same punk ass kid that he ever was. And for that reason, I'm not feeling Kobashi vs. Akiyama. It should be an intense, personal rivalry but it doesn't come across that way. Tenryu vs. Kawada blows it away, if you ask me. This match did have a fabulous finish, however, centered around Shiga vs. Kikuchi. They produced exciting action all match long and it culminated in a cracking finishing stretch that was probably the most fun I've had watching NOAH thus far.
  6. This had a pretty intense opening. Williams appeared hellbent on proving he had something left. Unfortunately, the match lost steam as it went along and turned into a regular-sort of tag match instead of something special.
  7. This was cool. Tokyo has a lot of live event spaces like this and it was surreal to see one of them being used for a barbed wire match. The shitty cover of Wild Thing that Onita uses reminds me of that old Swamp Thing cartoon. I don't find Onita as charismatic as others do but I have to admit that his entrance was pretty cool here and if you can pull that off in a club with 200 people as easily as you do a baseball stadium then you must have a fair amount of charisma. I like his look at this time as well. He reminds me a bit of veteran rocker, Eikichi Yazawa. I LOVED how this was worked on the mat. It probably went on for too long, and Onita is another of those Japanese workers who make strange breathing noises to keep from running out of breath, but I was frankly surprised that Onita could work the mat so well. I guess he hadn't forgotten his All Japan training after all. That was actually the catalyst for them to ditch the matwork as Onita started tossing some verbal grenades about it being a stalemate due to his All Japan background. They finished things off with a series of nearfalls that were fitting for the locale and the fans got right behind Takagi. Y'know when I'm looking off the match listings and Chad's star ratings, this is the kind of match I would scoff at and think "I can give that a miss" but it ended up being one of, I dunno, the 50 best matches in Japan in 2000. A large part of that was how unique and interesting it was but they really worked an excellent match in such a tiny crawl space and I liked it a hell of a lot.
  8. I don't think this flowed very well. The men didn't seem comfortable working with the women. When they made a save they would break the girls up like they were children fighting and every time they did intergender stuff the women got all the offense. Surely, they could have done some exhibition-y stuff where it didn't matter too much that the women were bumping for an arm drag or something similar. I'm pretty sure the Apaches vs. Hamadas was less stunted than this. Yagi was fun to watch but that's a given on most nights. She got way too much offense against Sasuke but that was due to the strange nature of the match. The finishing stretch wasn't bad but the match would have been better if they'd done more double teaming to make it a more competitive bout.
  9. This was pretty good. I'm sure there have been dozens of matches in the record books of similar quality to this so I would call this standard quality for a mask match. The elimination period was a bit too long but once the final pair were decided this was old-school mask vs. mask wrestling with plenty of great visuals and some nice dramatic moments. There was a time when Fishman's mask was one of the most valued in all of lucha. He probably waited a bit too long to drop it but those are the choices people make in life. I was surprised by how bald he was, to be honest. He looked like he could have snuck down to the local supermarket without anyone guessing he was a famous luchador. A really "quiet" unmasking compared to VIllano III given that they were contemporaries in the UWA but at least the action was worthy of a mask vs. mask match and carried the tradition into the new century.
  10. And then there was this... This was some Escape From New York shit right here. I don't know if it was any good but this is what wrestling will look like if a world leader ever pulls the trigger.
  11. This was cool. Death matches aren't my thing. You know I'd rather watch Lou Thesz work a headlock for an hour than watch a death match, but I thought this was a cool title match. Sure, the crowd brawling was shitty, but it was 2000... everybody was doing shitty crowd brawling in 2000. You need to write that shit off and not let it bug you so much. I liked these guys and liked the effort they put in. Maybe I'm in a good mood because I think it's great that Yamakawa uses Journey as his entrance music but nothing about the bout felt convoluted. It flowed pretty well and the setup to the board spots was okay. There was a bit of wrestling here and there and some decent selling. Other people may have been expecting a classic but for a guy like me who is predisposed toward disliking this type of match, it wasn't bad. Not bad at all.
  12. Men's Teioh had an interesting career. People always talk about Sano's career but Men's career is just as interesting. This was a solid juniors tag. I reminded me of those New Japan tags with Makabe and Tanahashi. What is with these young lions being so jacked? I guess the young guys were more interested in bodybuilding than their seniors. I loved it when Journey started blaring after Yamakawa won. I may not be able to watch another Big Japan match without listening to Separate Ways.
  13. This was okay. I'm not familiar with these workers so I wasn't surprised one way or the other. I thought it was a bit move heavy for a Southern Style tag. Where was the heat? And the selling and the FIP in stuff? There was a lot of double teaming and innovative tag wrestling but it didn't seem to matter that Thompson was worked over. The commentators were trying to add a bunch of psychology to the match but it didn't mesh with the in-ring action. I'm sure Southern style tag with an indy twist has been done better n other matches. This imitated a Southern tag but I don't think it got the details right. But I guess what Chad is saying is that it was miles better than what they usually did.
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  15. ohtani's jacket

    [2000-08-24-Toryumon] SUWA vs Dragon Kid

    This was pretty good. I liked how it was worked as an apuesta match in the beginning and not some watered down shit but I did have a few complaints. First of all, it should have been a 2/3 falls match. That would have eliminated the need to have a restart. SUWA could have simply won the first fall and Dragon Kid could have battled his way back. Secondly, in this sort of match Dragon Kid needs to be pinpoint accurate with his offense. And he wasn't. Not by a longshot. Thirdly, there was no need for Crazy Max to interfere. SUWA was kicking ass and looked like The Man. He didn't need anyone interfering. Lastly, when it was all said and done did Black Dragon (or whoever it was) need to attack Dragon Kid? That was pretty stupid especially since GAORA cut to Dragon Kid cuting SUWA's hair as though nothing had happened. The GAORA commentary was terrible but at least SUWA pulled a Fuerza Guerrera-level cheapshot at the end. That was class personified. SUWA was great in this but it was poorly booked compared to the Arai bout.