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Found 11 results

  1. The best of the Fujinami-Choshu singles series, featuring a masterful performance by Fujinami. A story of pride and honor. **** 1/4
  2. Mid-South Tag Team Champions Butch Reed & Jim Neidhart vs Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum TA - Mid-South 12/25/83 Steel Cage Mid-South is probably the territory I know the least about in terms of the American Power 6 of the 1980s (WWF, Crockett, AWA, WCCW, Mempho, and Mid-South). I have understood that is generally considered one of the best booked territories and has among the best episodic TV ever produced in pro wrestling all under the helm of Bill Watts. Of course, this presents a problem watching a "Best Of" comp without much context, but hey that's what Kayfabe Memories is for. In 1983, it seems Mid-South had transitioned to having Butch Reed be the co-lead heel of the territory. While DiBiase and Duggan were having a blood feud that carried the territory in terms of sheer hatred. Reed and the ever-popular Junkyard Dog feuded over the North American Championship. Magnum TA was plucked from relative obscurity (Florida mid-card scene, I believe) and was immediately pushed as Duggan's tag partner and tag champion, but with the need to focus Duggan (co-lead face) elsewhere veteran Mr. Wrestling II and all his booty-shaking glory was introduced as TA's mentor. The angle that led to this tag match was two-fold. Mags & Duggan lost the tag titles to Reed & Neidhart (Neidhart was a heel du jour) and they ran a hot TV angle as an off shoot of the JYD and Reed feud. Reed was supposed to defend the title against the Dog, but balked and instead gave the title shot to the young up and comer, Magnum TA, which he thinks would easy pickins. However, when JYD was made special guest ref, it became anything but that and Magnum TA became the North American Champion! A meteoric rise for the newcomer! Due to some technicalities, the title change was reversed and now Magnum TA who had tasted the gold only to have it ripped away from him wanted to prove he could do it again against the arrogant asshole, Butch Reed. Instead of coming after his North American Title, he was going to share his glory with mentor, Mr. Wrestling II. Butch Reed is really fucking good. I have heard it bandied around that he is the greatest black wrestler of all time and having watched a Flair match, I knew he was good, but seeing him here makes me excited to see more Butch Reed. He was a fantastic big bumper for the faces in the beginning. He did a nice Flair Flip and bumped huge for Mr. Wrestling II's famous kneelift. A couple things about presentation in this match, in my smattering of Mid-South watching, it seems most of the footage we have is shot from one hard camera in the corner and sans commentary. I ain't complaining as long as we get to see the action, I'm cool. The steel cage does not rest on the apron, but actually goes to the floor thus there is an area to powder and it makes taking cage bumps a little more difficult. Neidhart tries to slow TA down with an eyerake, but does not consolidate the advantage and TA overwhelms the heels. Reed finally stymies Mags by throwing him into the cage, which I said before is complicated as he goes over the top rope into the cage and then falls the floor in a nasty bump. Mags blades and the heels are content to send him into the cage, The camera zooms in and I think this is going to be the opposite of WCW where they zoom in on the blood, but instead we get a long close up of Mr. Wrestling II. TA uses shoulderblocks and rolls around to avoid Neidhart and tags out to II. II is a great hot tag and as a knee lift mark I think we are going to get along well. Neidhart trips him up. Pretty good heat segment ensues with some impressive power spots from the heels like a Neidhart Samoan Drop and Reed flying shoulderblock. II shows some good underneath fire. The heels get cocky and keep pulling up II. The Anvil goes after the mask and he yanks it off! He is very proud of himself, but II was wearing another mask. Reed is frantic trying to get Neidhart to turn around. II, unphased, tags in Mags, who unloads on the heels. Belly to Belly on the Anvil, cover, II leaps over the cover to hit Reed with a kneelift. WOW! Great finish. There were some parts where they were kind of out of sync and it seems Magnum's strong suit at this time is selling. It is ok because II makes up for it in spades with great offensive fire. Neidhart was a perfectly servicable heel and Reed was badass. I love the cage spots and thought the finish was fantastic. Still needed some more heat or a more interesting hook to take it to an all-time classic level, still a great match! ****
  3. Excellent technical match with awesome leg selling by Terry and aggression by Bock **** 1/4
  4. NWA US Champion Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs "Rowdy" Roddy Piper - NWA Starrcade 1983 Dog Collar Match The 1980s were just a decade of absolute awesome, violent brawls. It is a total lost art. I love how Valentine and Piper put over the danger the match early with the tug of war with the chain and just how cautious they are. I love a barnburner brawl, but there is something about this slow build that adds to the danger element. You add in Gordon & Caudle stressing the injury to Piper's ear. You know at any point Valentine could lash that heavy steel chain against the Hot Rod's vulnerable ear. Piper was in command early and used the chain more effectively. We got some many cool, violent chain spots. Valentine wrapping it around Piper's eyes only to have Piper wrap it around The Hammer's mouth and nose was an awesome visual. We got of course Piper yanking the chain out from under Valentine into his crotch, a good TIMBAH spot and Piper fucking around with Valentine in the corner. One of Piper's counters was just to take the chain hold it taught and pop right into Valentine's face. I let out an audible "Shit!" and grimace every time I see that spot. On the outside, Valentine seeks refuge, but Piper just hurls a chair at him and continues to wail. The ref tries to restrain Piper and BOOM! Chain lashed straight against the ear. What follows is one of the nastiest and gnarliest heel heat segments. Valentine bashes the side of Piper's head into the post and chucks him into chairs. He constantly is brutalizing the ear with the chain, his massive forearms and knees. The infamous blading of the ear takes to a whole new visceral level. There are two times Piper is in his element: loud, obnoxious jackass you want to punch in the face and scrappy underdog. We get the best damn scrappy underdog Piper! I loved when he fires up and just tackles Valentine. He sees his own blood and just fucking loses his shit. The best part about any Valentine match he will take as good as he gives. So he is game for taking all the beating from Piper. Also what is great about the Hammer is he ain't just let you fucking hit him. He is going to fire right back at you with some stiff shots. It was awesome watching this. The suplex struggle and the visual of both men lying on their backs with the chains on their faces was more telling than any words I can write. After all this violent awesomeness, how can I have complaints, I do and they are minor. I have never really like Piper's punches and some of them were clear whiffs. I wished he tightened that shit up. My bigger problem is the finish. It is just too anticlimatic. In the 80s, you can get away with that finish because the crowd is going to pop anytime an over babyface goes over an over heel. It was just Piper yanks Valentine off the second rope in the safest bump of the match, sort of throws the chain around and then just pins with a half-hogtie, just was not that definitive violent ending. What takes Slaughter/Sheik, Duggan/DiBiase, and Mags/Blanchard to that next level is that definitive, satisfactory and memorable violent ending. It is the lack of that ending that gets this knocked down a peg. Up until that finish, it was right there with him in terms of sheer brutality and great hated-filled brawling. ****3/4
  5. Microstatistics

    [1983-06-08-AJPW] Ric Flair vs Jumbo Tsuruta

    One of the all time great 1 hour draws and also easily the best Jumbo vs. Flair match ever. **** 1/4
  6. Good to know I can STILL thrust myself from 6 years ago. This was awesome, bloody and ass-stomping indeed. The cool thing about these 80s main events from germany/austria is that you get to see guys like Slaughter stretch out and do these ultra simplistic carnage ladden main events with no fluff whatsoever. So, after some warm up stalling and heat mongering, this is largely Slaughter wasting Wanz with punches and awesome knees on the ground. We also get Slaughter throwing chairs and bashing a bloody Wanz's head into the glass barrier. The announcer was telling the fans to stay in their seats for their own safety at that point. Wanz didn't get a lot of offense which is not a huge problem, and when he did something Slaughter would bump like a motherfucker. Another strong finish. This type of super minimalist wrestling is not anything that will blow people's minds but still extremely enjoyable.
  7. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Kevin Von Erich - WCCW 4/1/83 It is always Kerry, Kerry, Kerry and David, David, David, what about Kevin Von Erich!!! Kevin is an aggressive offensive dynamo. He is not going to take any shit and quite frankly does not give a shit. He is going to punch and claw his way through any situation. He does not wait for Flair to cheat, he just attacks. I love it! Kevin Von Erich does not believe in clean breaks. He believes in winning goddamnit! I love that spunky, high energy babyface of the 80s and Kevin was probably the best because he had the cool moves, he laid his shit in and he had the aggression. Kevin is telling Flair to put up his dukes early and is totally crowding the Nature Boy. I think Flair the master of the corner in setting up a transition is really thrown off by Kevin not giving him a clean break. Their brawl out of the corner is a great heated exchange. Kevin also adds dropkicks and flying headscissors to make him a dual threat. Kevin was definitely the best brawler of the family. Flair punches Kevin right in the face and Kevin yelps "I think my nose is broke!" Flair is in the ropes and Kevin calls for the Claw. The other brothers would be dissuaded not Kein who applies and yanks Flair out! Flair desperately gets out only to be put in a sleeper, he rakes the eyes. Great selling by Kevin! We get our first Flair press slammed off the top rope. On a kick out, Kevin lands on Bronco and when he moves Flair elbows the ref. Flair sends Kevin over the top and they do a great job teasing the countout. Flair works in his high impact blow like that nasty elbow. In the middle of a backbreaker, Kevin just punches Flair in the side of the head. This is a fight! Kevin kicks him legs up, but Flair has it scouted. Kevin starts teeing off on Flair. I love when the Von Erichs grab Flair by his mane and just start going off. Kevin runs through the ref. Kevin sends Flair over the top, but that is not the right side because the ref ain't over there so Flair gets him to toss him over the other side. Back in, Kevin hits a tremendous reverse crossbody. 1-2-3! THE CROWD GOES WILD! I am so confused and excited at the same time! Of course, Bronco reverses the decision since he saw Kevin dump Flair over the top. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! That is just cruel to do that with your fanbase. I hate, hate, hate those finishes. I am usually very open minded when it comes to a finish if a DQ or countout sets something up that is a good finish. This is cruel and stupid. Great match otherwise, I am so, so, so looking forward to more Kevin Von Erich. Everything he does is perpetual struggle. Him and Flair could have some Flair vs Garvin level encounters if they really let them go. I love the dynamic with Kerry being able to wrestle that long championship style while Kevin wrestles these high energy sprints. Flair is of course a master of it all. The finish brings the match down, but the work beforehand was World Class! ****1/4
  8. Another very interesting match. The heat for it is off the charts-the chants for Hogan and especially Inoki are just insanely loud before the match even starts. Andre is in the first row so you know what kind of BS finish we're getting here. The matwork consists of the most you can get out of Hogan-basic leg holds, headlocks etc. but it looks fine enough. What impressed me most here were the little things Inoki did-he'd go for a Figure 4 attempt, and Hogan would kind of stand up and shift his weight, but it's Inoki's facial expression and the way he put Hogan's feet back on the floor that *sell* the idea he was putting up any kind of defence. Inoki kicking Hogan when he grabs his leg may not sound like some amazing spot but in an environment when it's the last thing you're expecting it it really is. I also liked the way Inoki feinted before kicking Hogan's leg, he manages to fool the viewer very convincingly. They work two big count-out spots after hitting big moves-first one after an Axe Bomber, then another one after Inoki evades another Axe Bomber by sliding under (which someone needs to steal it's way cooler than the limbo Nagata used to evade Okada's Lariat) and hitting an Enzuigiri. Respect is shown and then forgotten about when it's tome to get in some solid brawling, finish is a mess as Andre interferes for no reason, then Inoki and Hogan team up to lay him out, then Andre gets up and scares them out of the ring. I swear the only difference between pre-UWF booking and today's is that the old ways served as a way to get everyone to not lose while today's serves as a way to get everyone wins. ***
  9. Awesome match. Loved Fujinami's look of disdain, him trying to use different strategies to overcome the bigger guy/better brawler and his exceptional selling. Khan had awesome offense and ruled at being the heel. A lot of intensity, hate, violence and aggression. Had everything that makes pro wrestling great. **** 1/4
  10. NWA World Tag Team Champions Jack & Jerry Brisco vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood - Starrcade 1983 I just watched for the first time a TV studio bout between these two teams that I thought was tremendous. It explained how these teams were once pals, but an accidental or perhaps not so accidental injury to Steamboat's knee had ruffled some feathers. So in the TV match, Steamboat and Youngblood target one of the Brisco's knees only for them to get hot about it and when they get on offense really go after Steamboat's knee. The finish was a Brisco jumping on the knees of Steamboat when he was in a figure-4 triggering a DQ and a lot of pain. Then in the summer, it looks like the Briscos cemented their heel turn by jumping Youngblood and sending him to the hospital as Steamboat explained in a promo with Ric Flair. None of this heat or hatred comes through at all in this match. I always thought it was a very technically good match, but with no really sense of going anywhere. I was shocked to find out there was all this awesome backstory and we get a match that just feels like well-executed standard tag team fare. I thought the opening portion of the match was entertaining, but forgettable. Youngblood is a good hand. Steamboat seemed content to do a lot of movement, but not really do anything at the same time. The transition to the heat was kinda weak. It was just like "ok time to beat on Steamboat". Jack kicking Steamboat's ass was great. Steamboat really delivered in terms of selling why Jack was just awesome one offense. He had the suplexes, the nasty offense, and drama from pinning combinations. The climax of this with Steamboat powering out of the short arm scissors with all his muscles bulging was an awesome visual. That whole segment was definitely the best of the match and really salvaged things. I liked the double football tackle on Younglood to end his very short lived hot tag. Jerry beating up Youngblood was just kinda there. Steamboat and Youngblood do a couple double teams to win the match to the delight of the crowd. It was a standard tag team match wrestled by four of the best so it came off professional and well-executed. Besides the heat segment, I don't think I'll remember anything about this match and having seen this match at least three times before I never remember anything from it anyway. ***
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