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ohtani's jacket

DVDVR 80s Project
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  1. ohtani's jacket

    RIP Harley Race

    Well, if Harley Race can die there's no hope for the rest of us.
  2. ohtani's jacket

    How much wrestling was on TV when *you* were a kid?

    I grew up in New Zealand. WWF Superstars began airing in 1988. We got to see the PPVs on television but we never got to see Saturday Night's Main Event aside from the clips that aired on Superstars. We were several months behind and were bombarded with spoilers in the TV guide, a trashy tabloid named "The Truth," the WWF magazine and the Apter mags. The video stores had a lot of random tapes with non-WWF stuff, and we also knew about the existence of other territories from the Apter magazines but I remember the territorial stuff seeming a bit bush league to me as a kid. The only guys who caught my imagination were guys like Sting or the Road Warriors because of their get-ups and face paint. The WWF aired until 1991. It was taken off the air because it was too violent and too many kids were copying the moves. The video shops still ordered the tapes but it was out of sight, out of mind for me. Worldwide began airing on Satellite TV in 1994 and eventually other WWF and WCW syndicated shows began to air as the mid-90s boom took over. Eventually, we had one-hour edited versions of Nitro and RAW, but on the whole, I think our wrestling experience was unique in that it really revolved around PPVs and magazines. I can't imagine too many fans who grew up with spoilers the way we did whether it was in the magazines, on the syndicated shows or later on the internet. We were such a small market, and so far behind when I was a kid (maybe six months or more), that you would literally tune into Worldwide to try to figure out the results of the PPV matches they had spent weeks building to. I used to really love it when they recapped the entire PPV with highlights because we couldn't get WCW tapes from the video store until 1997.
  3. ohtani's jacket

    [2001-04-30-ARSION] Ayako Hamda vs GAMI

    This was the semi-final of the ARS tournament. Quite a good match considering it was one-night tournament wrestling. GAMI scored the upset that they didn't portray it as a major shock. Instead, it was presented as something GAMI was capable of if she wrestled at her best. In the quarters, Hamada squared of against Yagi, one of my personal favorites, and that was also quite good. So not a bad night for Hamada work-wise despite bowing out early.
  4. I liked this match. It didn't pretend to be anything different than what it was. You had Kim Duk, who was older than dirt and had stolen Rambo's gimmick from IWRG, and a perpetually grumpy Tenryu vs. two midcard guys who are suddenly more important to the company than before because of the departures. I haven't enjoyed too many things about Japanese wrestling in 2001 but I am enjoying Taiyo Kea's sudden rise. it's fun watching Smith get a bigger role too. Both guys were up for the challenge and good enough workers to make it work. If you like Tenryu, he was in vintage form here. He spent most of the bout being snarly and throwing punch combos.
  5. Tournament final from the Toryumon show. This was given plenty of time but never really captured the imagination. There was a crappy reset at the beginning which didn't amuse me much. The upshot of the tourney was that Mochizuki proved he was the chief dog in Toryumon. Magnum was crying and pleading with CIMA after all. It was very emotional and poorly acted.
  6. ohtani's jacket

    [2001-04-14-Toryumon] Magnum TOKYO vs SUWA

    This was the other tournament semi from the Toryumon show. Fairly standard stuff but they made sure SUWA got enough licks in to look credible.
  7. This was a pretty cool match. It was a tournament semi so it was quicker and spottier than usual but it felt decisive.
  8. ohtani's jacket

    [2001-04-29-Jd'] Sumie Sakai vs The Bloody

    I liked this a lot. The premise was no different from an LCO match but it was interesting to watch Sakai scratch and claw her way back into the match. I thought she gave a tough, gritty performance. The match would have been better if The Bloody had been more expressive but I was impressed with Sakai's fight back.
  9. ohtani's jacket

    [2001-04-20-NJPW-Strong Energy] Minoru Tanaka vs Takehiro Murahama

    One thing that's been missing from 2001 has been a steady stream of Osaka Pro on our screens. Minoru Tanaka has never been a favorite of mine, and this was very much a Minoru Tanaka bout, but at least it was a chance to see Murahama have a solid match and for that I'm grateful. Some nice moments here and there. A couple of nice "near falls" off submissions. It was a short match but they managed to main what I would call a "competitive pace" without too much back and forth. Murahama didn't really shine but it's hard to do that as the outsider. At least it was a good match. I'll take that in 2001.
  10. I can't quite figure out which is worse, NOAH or Zero-One. What I do know is that Ogawa and Murakami have to be two of the most overrated workers in the history of Japanese wrestling. Japanese wrestling is in such a funk it's not funny.
  11. I was expecting far more from this. Wildly disappointing.
  12. ohtani's jacket

    1970s New Japan

    I haven't come across the Piper or Patterson match. I haven't watched a Singh match yet but I'm sure my curiosity will get the better of me. Antonio Inoki vs. "The Monster Man" Everett Eddie (8/8/77) This was supposedly one of Inoki's better mixed fights. I suppose that's because it was mostly stand-up fighting with a lot of action and movement. Inoki won after an awkward-looking powerbomb and a leg drop. It amuses me that this headlined Budokan. Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Killer Khan (3/26/83) If you've ever wanted to see Fujinami and Killer Khan have a long, hard-fought match, look no further. This was worth it just to see Khan work the mat with Fujinami. The long grueling battle afterward was the icing on the cake. Antonio Inoki vs. Hiro Matsuda (12/16/78) This was either going to be mind-numbingly boring or fascinating. The latter prevailed and we got some really good work out of this, including one of the best arm breaker sequences I've seen in a long time. Saito and Ueda kept lurking about threatening to derail it, and they ran out of steam toward the end, but it was pretty much everything you could have hoped for from a unique encounter like this. Antonio Inoki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (3/19/83) This was never going to live up to the expectations in my head but it was hard fought and intense. Antonio Inoki vs. Seji Sakaguchi vs. Killer Karl Krupp (5/8/74) This was a three-way tournament final. Sakaguchi vs. Krupp was nothing special but set the tone for the carnage that would follow. Inoki's mutton chops were phenomenal in 1974. Inoki and Sakaguchi had amazing chemistry together. I bet that's something you didn't know. I might even go on record and call Sakaguchi Inoki's best native opponent. Krupp returns to bust Sakaguchi open and we get Krupp vs. Inoki, the Fritz vs. Baba of New Japan. It's not quite as good as their match from the following year but it's better than 90% of the Inoki vs. foreign dreck.
  13. All Japan Women's has been up and down in terms of match quality but I thought this was a good bout. It didn't break any new ground in terms of the rivalries. Everybody on Hotta's team still hates everybody on Ito's team and vice versa, but aside from some of the usual Korakuen Hall tropes like crowd brawling this was a solid grudge match.
  14. This was all right. I like the idea of crafty old Misawa trying to get by on his wiles except for the fact that he's still being presented as the top guy. That's pretty stupid given the fact that he doesn't have the same eye for detail that he did in his prime and his body keeps betraying the fact that he's broken down. Akiyama should be about to take him in these matches. To be honest, it makes him look bad that he still lays down for the boss. Remember that young rebellious guy who wouldn't lay down for the top guys anymore? The guy who threw away his mask and turned into a gigantic star overnight. Wrestling wasn't as hot in the early 00s as it had been a decade earlier but Akiyama needed some type of springboard to tell everyone he'd arrived and this wasn't gonna do it. I hated the reset, btw. That was lame. In the end, the result maintained the status quo, which I don't think was particularly helpful for these lean times but I'd probably have a gripe with Akiyama even if he'd won so I'm probably just bitching for the sake of it.
  15. Slow and methodical, but a decent bout overall. I keep waiting for a superstar performance from Akiyama to justify some of the praise he gets at times. And, honestly speaking, I would have for him to snatch the mantle as the best worker in Japan and run with it because he has youth on his side. But I just don't see it. A guy I used to really love was Masakatsu Funaki. To me, he was poised to take over the mantle as the best shoot style worker in Japan and a major star in the business if he hadn't gotten into MMA, and in my mind, he still was a huge star. He had fire and charisma and the type of edge you need to be a big-time star. When I look at Akiyama, all of that seems missing. I keep telling myself that I'll turn the corner on Akiyama but it's hard to see where and when. But I'm keeping an open mind about it.
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