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Found 17 results

  1. Beautiful wrestling with excellent exchanges and a real mean streak.
  2. Piper is under the hood as the Masked Canadian and challenging Fujinami for his just-won WWWF Junior Heavyweight Title. The match goes about 30 minutes and we have roughly 10 minutes of footage here. It's interesting to see Piper working a more standard, technical style of wrestling, but that novelty and the rarity of the footage are really the only reasons to watch. Read my full review, as part of the 365 Wrestling project.
  3. This isn't outstanding, but a really fun match and interesting because it's natives vs. natives with clear face/heel roles. Okuma and Kojika are fun stooging bruiser heels who work over the faces with nice punches and headbutts, cutting off the ring and doing extended beatdowns, while Hamaguchi and Inoue are really fun when they get fired up. I also dug their fast amateur wrestler movements. There is blood, brawling and they keep up the pace throughout, altough admittedly this match probably went 15 minutes too long. Still, I enjoyed this.
  4. You could classify the matwork here as "NWA" style-in that holds are worked and worked over until there is a transition and that transition really determines the quality of the match. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time but sometimes it's worth sticking through it. It's worth sticking with it here. Before the match Andre gets annoyed by Inoki getting a bigger reaction than him and refuses to shake hands. He attacks Inoki's arm early on-no sitting in a hold for five minutes but repetead wristlocks and armlocks that really establish his dominance. Andre easily drags Inoki to the middle of the ring once Inoki reaches the ropes and does a cool hammerlock slam, both of which make for cool visuals. Andre gets frustrated with the ref over.....something, leaving himself open to Inoki who goes for his leg, thereby establishing Inoki could get in control that way. When Andre goes to attack Inoki's arm again Inoki tries to kick away at Andre's legs, but they don't transition into Inoki's control quite yet. Eventually Inoki manages to counter Andre's armlock with a Headscissors-which looks amazing. Andre then manages to cross over Inoki's legs and changes his focus on attacking them. Inoki eventually manages to counter that with a Keylock-another big visual. They do tease Andre countering it a couple of times but before countering it Inoki turns him back into the Keylock to further establish the armwork. Once Andre does pick Inoki up into the air instead of placing him on the top rope like the norm is in 70s matches he throws him out of the ring, putting over the peril of the situation. Andre nurses his arm for a bit but Inoki quickly returns to the ring and we get to the finishing stretch, with Inoki nailing a couple of big Enzuigirs that connected well and Andre doing a Suplex and a ot of headbutts. I particularly liked the Canadian Backbreaker counter where Inoki pushed the corner-post instead of the ropes to counter Andre into a Back Body Drop. Unfortunately politics get in the way here-as Inoki can't even get a visual count-out win, Andre immediately no-sells him and only loses because he started brawling with a remember wrestler ringside, then gets back in the ring and lays out Inoki to get his heat back. Damn that 50/50 booking Very good match based around strategy, though I doubt Andre had the skills to produce anything truly great with lots of matwork. ***1/2
  5. Jetlag

    [1978-AJW] Maki Ueda vs Lucy Kayama

    Maki Ueda!!! At this point, I'd kill to see some of those longer title matches from the Budokan that AJW had. This was quite the spectacle - as it was a 20 minutes clean technical bout. Just a chance to see Ueda being quite the skillful grappler. Kayama was good too, but kind of along for the ride. Not for the faint of the heart, as they do a bunch of limbwork that isn't really sold, but it's such an oddity that I can forgive it. Interesting holds and throws a plenty. Interesting fact: According to wrestlingdata, both Maki and Jackie Sato were trained by Umenosuke Kiyomigawa. Who is Umenosuke Kiyomigawa, you ask? Kiyomigawa is a guy who has spent quite a bit of time wrestling in central europe, and is the one japanese guy that I've heard european wrestlers speak highly of. Klaus Kauroff even credits Kiyomigawa with training him. Maybe that explains the unique grappling style the AJW girls used that seems more advanced than anything I've seen from japanese natives at the time, besides the occasional Fujinami match.
  6. Man this wasn't any good. Nothing match that consisted of them just spamming moves. There was some glimpse of character work-but it was more of "this is stuff I usually do so I better get it in" than a case of them bothering to properly construct a match with anything interesting. Grab an armlock, hold it for a while, move on to a hammerlock, hold it for a while, and so forth. Red botched a Headscissors and looked sucky in general, Inoki was better but this was one of his worst showings. Crowd didn't seem to care much. **
  7. Krupp is already doing the roman salute during the introductions and proceeds to warn everybody of ZE GERRRMAN KLAH!. Very subtle there, mein Freund. For a guy who is so outwardly heelish, he starts this off with a lot of wrestling. Lothario was clearly a world class pro wrestler at this point. I really dig the detailled selling, such as Lothario leaving his arm up his back after escaping from a hammerlock. The first minutes of this are great, if you can get into this kind of 70s rolling on the mat like I can. Then Krupp locks on some kind of under the shoulder claw hold, to which Lothario responds by attempting to break his nose and I am in love with this match. Then you get the nerve hold and claw sections, but Lothario is such a champ selling for it that YOU will believe in it. Everything Lothario does is amazing and brutal. He works his way back into the match by neutralizing the claw and it's brilliant. The stuff he does has a prime Kawada feel of simple nastiness: chop to the nose, knee drop to the bent wrist, square punch to the face, knee drop to the back of the head. You expect Krupp to get up with his brain hanging out of his nose. Then Jose busts out the stomach claw and we get a battle of the claw holds, with Krupp doing his best terrified B movie actor impression to sell it. This was a better finish away from being listed. Maybe I'll list it anways somehow. It is def. near the top of the list of brilliant matches centered around claw holds. Regardless, take my word: Jose Lothario is the fucking man.
  8. Karl Mildenberger is a german boxer. He was the european boxing heavyweight champion and even fought Ali for the title. Hence this being billed as wrestler vs boxer, though the boxing part is more present in how they lay out the match. They both wear boxing gloves and Inoki tries to hang with Mildenberger on the feet. Occassionally he tries leg kicks and takedowns but they get blocked, don't do much damage or the ref makes them stand up. Initially it starts out with a lot of swaying, gauging the distance and the stuff you'd expect from an actual boxing match but as it progressess Mildenberger manages to find openings, first cornering Inoki and making him go on the defensive and then repeteadly knocking him down. At the height of Inoki's puril at the opening of the fourth round MIldenburger rushes him with a flurry, Inoki escapes with a clinch, the ref breaks them up and in the split second Mildenberger takes to complain to the ref Inoki lands a BEAUTIFUL Enzuigiri that knocks him down and quickly follows that up with a Boston Crab and it's all over. Boxing gloves make a lot of submissions virtually impossible, and with the ref not allowing them to spend much time on the ground I doubt one could've come up with a better finish that woud play up to everything that they set up during the match as well. ***1/4
  9. This match is such a huge mismatch-Inoki is like two heads taller than Hoshino and their difference is status is even larger. It's worked like that and that's precisely what makes it so intriguing. Hoshino has to desperately throw everything at Inoki not to get 2.99 counts that and interpreter then twists as "surviving"-he has to do that just to make Inoki register his offence. When Inoki trips Hoshino it's a show of dominance. "look how easy it was for him". When Hoshino does that he has to time it perfectly because he doesn't have Inoki's strenght and size that would allow him to just push him away-and the narrative makes it work even more when you add the meaning of a payback spot to it. Hoshino's offence consists of super awesome punches that Inoki sells *perfectly* which ties into the finish-in a modern match after Hoshino's managed to weaken Inoki you'll usually see a wrestler in his position spam go into the *I do big moves/nearfalls now*. Inoki still fights him off-culminating in one of the best Snapmare spots I've ever seen if not the best (I doubt those 2006 ROH "Snapmare is suddenly the world's deadliest move" matches are going to hold up seamlessly). And then, in the portion of the match where you'd usually just have Inoki go on a rampage Hoshino immediately dives at his legs because he knows he's dead if he doesn't stop him. Hoshino sells Inoki's palm strikes like death which adds another dimension to the strike exchanges and makes them feel more significant and consequent AND they do the "Jumbo slams Misawa's head into the canvas" spot 12 years before Misawa/Jumbo! ****
  10. A nothing match. Headlocks for a minute before the time limit expired. Seems like a weird way to end the show but oh well.
  11. Hard to write a novel and fresh comment on a match where you get the opening two minutes of pretty much......any match ever with lock-ups and hammerlocks and then Koko hits two nice Dropkicks for the win. The *wrestling* looked fine and I like how wrestlers often kinda tease kicking out after they get pinned. I'd give this match, like............52%. Still an average match but something that will give you a good impression of workers in it if you watch it.
  12. Basic match with simple, well executed offence combined with an interesting angle and efficient match structure. After opening the match with pretty standard matwork spots they move into the FIP segment where Sawyer refuses to help Gilbert, Gilbert eventually snaps, tries to fight back and even strikes his own partner but ultimately falls short. ***
  13. Fun little match, Bounty Hunters had simple but good looking offence, their punches definitely met Memphis standards but I also really liked their elbow drops that looked like they were just smashing the back of their opponent's head. I liked the chaotic brawling at the end, though the corner post shot looked way more dangerous than the Piledriver on the floor they based the angle around. **3/4
  14. I'm not sure what a lot of Valiant's moves were even supposed to be. His partner looked a lot better in terms of actual work, had some nice knee strikes and a good right hand. I did get a kick out of Valiant's goofy antics. **1/2
  15. This didn't do much for me. I liked the early stalling but whenever there's stalling, a long hold etc. I try to give the workers the benefit of the doubt and see where the match goes. I didn't like where this one went. It went straight into babyface armdrag/keylock spots, which weren't particularly interesting. I like the spot where the babyface picks Rose up in the air and slams him, and generally they'll work the hold enough that watching it doesn't bore me to death but not enough where I'll got much out of it. Wonder whether the missed elbow drop is something Rose relied on as a transition. Rose is a lunatic bumper and deserves credit for that. Finish was very workrate-y with them quickly exchanging control segments in an attempt to produce excitement and, it worked for the crowd but it's not something that holds up fourty years later. Snuka's Piledriver looked pretty terrible. **1/2
  16. One of the strengths of the traditional All Japan style is that irish whip maneuvers have a good success rate which makes transitions done via irish whips feel more special. Case in point-Jumbo's High Knee here. Combined with his impressive leap and Robinson's perfect sell it made for a wonderful moment. Wild Angus continues to look ~fine I guess~. Match is mostly about the struggle for holds and building to the transitions. Nothing here feels redundant-Robinson gets his knee worked over for a bit and the next time he's in the ring and he hits a Backbreaker he sells the impact of his own which I vastly prefer to someone questionably falling down from "exhaustion" on his their own move to move onto the next sequence. Robinson-Destroyer bits were fun but weren't transcendent like one might hope from the two. ***1/4
  17. This is a weird to match to rate because of Wild Angus. He looked.....somewhat servicable. Hit some solid clubbing blows but was pretty bad at tying his offence together and selling. He wasn't of much use. However-this was pure magic whenever Billy Robinson was in the ring. Completely enchanting performance by him. It's not just that he himself looked great, everyone looks better than they usually are when they are matched against him. He brings a certain intensity and legitimacy that instantly transform his matches into something special. Jumbo aggressively shoved him aside when Robinson was going for a hold and hooked his leg to pick him up for a Piledriver which I really liked. I like how wrestlers go for the rope break instantly when they are near the ropes here and dive to break up pins and make actual contact when doing so. I love how Robinson sold Baba's big chop like he ran him over. I love how he counters moves mid sequence in ways other wrestlers don't that totally make sense and are incredibly aeshetically pleasing. ***1/4-***1/2