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  1. NJPW handheld flood gives us Liger's first shot at the IWGP Jr. Title. Altough this is very different from the matches that would come in the future. Essentially young Yamada is a huge underdog against shootstylist Takada. During the early matwork portion Yamada is super cautious to avoid all of Takada's UWF submissions. Eventually Takada gets sick of this and blasts him with kicks. Takada goes for the Tombstone but Yamada desperately avoids that move aswell. Soon Yamada is selling big and the crowd is going bananas for every offensive move and counter he is able to land. Basic match executed extremely well and really fun to check out a way different Liger.
  2. This match was the final of a round-robin league to crown the very first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. There's nothing new here, but it's a well-done match and a historic one. The opening minutes feature an all-time-great dropkick by Cobra. Check out my full review, as part of the 365 Wrestling project.
  3. One of the best tag matches of the decade. Just non-stop action with intensity, violence, blood, psychology and selling. Incredible amount of hate too. My favorite spot is where Jumbo is seconds away from being beaten but Tenryu is more concerned with beating the fuck out of Choshu at ringside than saving the match. **** 1/2
  4. While it is hard for me to call this a feel good match considering the beating Chigusa takes for most of the match, the ending and postmatch have such a satisfying overcoming the odds feel to them. This has a more commanding Matsumoto performance as compared to 8/85: strutting around arrogantly, beating up the referee, torturing Nagayo. Chigusa delivers yet another epic selling babyface performance. Her wandering around, dazed and half blinded by blood is quite the visual. The hope spots are great and the crowd reactions enhance everything. Great finish that works as the perfect payback spot. Dramatic and emotional. Must-see just like the first hair match. **** 1/4
  5. Crazy crazy heated match. You don‘t see a lot of matches with the crowd this excited for a bunch of technical guys in black trunks. Not quite a shootstyle match, but really tight action and really intense stuff with Fujinami & Kimura being outgunned by the UWF duo. Kido can always beat you with a slick reversal, and anytime Maeda starts throwing kicks you think he is about to kill someone. Kimura taking it to Maeda was cool to see and he and Fujinami had some inspired exchanges. Lots of cool moments throughout, including an awesome dive tease and a great crafty finish. It happens in a split second and once you realize what happened you smile. Check it out if you‘re a fan of the time period. This happened on the same card as Fujiwara/Yamada. Mid 80s NJPW was loaded.
  6. Let's talk about AJPW in the Spring of 1986! These are the Samurai Classics so no Riki Choshu but hey there's lots of other great stuff going on. Ted Dibiase/Ron Bass v. Motoshi Okuma/Rocky Hata (04/06/86): Kind of a squash match. Of the Japanese guys, I'm not sure who was who. Respectable start to the show nonetheless. Kuniaki Kobayashi v. Masa Fuchi (04/06/86): Now we're cooking! Kobayashi and Fuchi are just beating the crap outta each other and I loved it. Two of my favorites in their prime. Very good match Tenyru/Takashi Ishikawa v. Ted Dibiase/Ron Bass (04/19/86): Oh man everyone is on fire here. We get the nice introduction to the DiBiase & Ron Bass team and now we see what they can do versus one of the top AJ native teams. This was so basic but absolutely wonderful because you don't need big moves and flash to have a great tag match. DiBiase in AJ is the best. He vs Tenryu is money in the bank! Tenyru v. Ashura Hara (04/12/86): Holy cow '86 Tenryu is awesome! The Tenryu/Jumbo vs Yatsu/Choshu match from 01/86 is a classic but now I'm seeing more of him and there's more to the story. He's not quite as well defined as a hard hitting wrestler yet but man does Ashura Hara bring that out in him! It makes sense though as Hara is a tank and I love their tag team during the Revolution era of AJ/Tenryu. This totally exceeded my expectations. I want to call it a classic but I'll pull back a little and just say near classic at ****1/4. Harley Race/Jerry Blackwell v. Tiger Jeet Singh/One Man Gang (03/13/86): Quick bout, Blackwell vs OMG were like 2 sumo but after that it turned into a double DQ. Shohei Baba/Ricky Fuyuki/Takashi Ishikawa v. Rusher Kimura/Ashura Hara/Goro Tsurumi (04/06/86): Really fun 6 man match! Fuyuki and Ishikawa along with Hara kept this really competitive. Goro Tsurumi is an awesome character looking like a manga heel wrestler with afro pirate mustache and skull adorned unitard. Rusher and Baba do their job and yeah this is the stuff that puts a smile on my face. Baba/Ishikawa v. Killer Khan/Masanobu Kurisu (05/10/86): OK, thought I'd like it more with Kurisu & Ishikawa but it didn't do much for me. Tenyru v. Ted Dibiase (UN Title, 04/26/86): Well here is the singles match that I was looking for. And man, it's what I wanted. Great smart arm work by DiBiase. Just a really good give and take in the beginning/middle. This is joined in progress so not sure what the true start is like. Nonetheless, the match goes on pretty long I think. In that time we get solid mid 80's meat and potatoes wrestling from both guys. Its the stuff I could watch for an hour because they have created a world where it looks like their struggle is real and relatable. Not only that but we get two of the best in the world doing it. They are physically and stylistically a great match for each other. A great match for sure! If you're a fan of Tenryu and what they were doing in SWS and WAR, you really want to check out some of these matches. Thanks for reading and stay safe folks!
  7. This is the stuff right here. Beginning is about what you'd expect from a big Choshu match with these two gauging the distance between them and carefully attacking, awesome lock-ups etc. I'm certain I heard the commentator react to Khan not wearing any paint, which-idk, I don't remember ever seeing Khan wear paint but let's build the narrative on him not wearing paint as he's decided to paint his face with CHOSHU'S BLOOD. Ahem. Match really picks up when Khan starts stomping Choshu in the head-the stomps look really good and are reminiscent of the kind of head stomps you'd see in high end lucha matches, the kind of stuff Santo did during his rudo run. Khan misses a Knee Drop on the floor for the big transition which looks just ungodly brutal. Choshu's reaction to this opportunity if to just thorougly beat Khan's ass with awesome punches, kicks, and of course head stomps because fuck you Killer Khan Riki Choshu is the greatest wrestler of all time. Choshu really makes sure you buy into Khan bleeding here-most guys would just be done after one ringpost shot and get to the bleeding part as soon as possible but Choshu slams Khan's ringpost into the head a couple of more times and hits him with the awesome lucha through the ropes kicks and punches to make sure you really believe Khan should do a blade job for this. And it rules. The big hope spot for Khan comes when he reverses a Choshu Lariat with a big boot-a counter that would be very predictable in say, a modern WWE or New Japan match, but the way All Japan uses rope running moves and irish whips in the 80s is that they have a much bigger chance of working so you buy into the sequence more, plus the actual counter looks great and is timed well. Khan's big nearfalls are some of the most brutal knee drops you'll ever see and his delusional heeling complements them perfectly. Choshu uses the awesome looking Backdrop both as a means of coming back into the match and as a means of wearing down Khan and setting him up for the finish-which included one of best nearfalls I've ever seen, it couldn't have been timed any better. ****1/2
  8. I liked this better than their other match on this disc (04/19/1986), but it never really kicks into the next gear. Odd that these two never had a great match against each other.
  9. It's the day one of the trial version of Wrestling 365, so here we go. This starts off with a super intense collar and elbow tie up which I always love. The focus for Ole is the ribs with punches, knees, etc.. Ricky kept trying to fight him off, but Ole was focused.The crowd was super crazy too. What does Ricky do to counter, he goes after Ole's ribs! Yes we have a rib battle with no Abdullah in sight. They have a commercial and they come back and Ole is in charge. Never a fan of that, I like seeing the transitions. Although back from break Ole is going after the nose they broke on Ricky over the summer. Ole's tossing of Ricky into the turnbuckle nose first as one of the best I have ever seen. Ricky makes the comeback, gets a few nearfalls and then Ole regains control going after the ribs again. Just great pro-wrestling. The punching fest between these two was great here and this crowd. Did I mention the crowd? There is some back and forth action as Ricky out hearts Ole and then Ole outsmarts Ricky. A crossbody by Ricky could had been the end, but Arn jumped in for the DQ. Double Gourdbuster by the Andersons brings out Dusty and some elbows. Arn drags Ricky to the floor and rubs his nose on the concrete. Just brutal. Tully out too and now Dusty is double teamed too.Magnum finally comes out and the Horsemen leave. Dillon and Horsemen promo after. Morton done. Dusty done. Magnum is next. This match was freaking great even if it was short, but the angle afterwards was even better. This is the perfect kind of segment. Everybody should watch.
  10. UWF top dog delivers a monstrous beating to New Japan's hero, who will not stay down no matter what. Maeda is good as the destroyer but Fujinami's epic selling performance makes this a classic. The top NJPW match of the 80s. ****5/8
  11. Brief but very good match that brought lots of quality matwork. Young Keichii Yamada was really good at shootstyle matwork, no question about it. Yamazaki is a UWF guy himself but Yamada was just overwhelming him here with constant wrestling and staying on him like a terrier until Yamazaki is able to dish out some kicks and catch Yamada in a fast scramble with a suplex. Some cool holds and the constant pressure from Yamada made this really entertaining.
  12. Hey, look... it's two ultra charismatic dudes in a hot battle! This was exactly the kind of uncooperative high-resistance technical contest I like so much. Nothing fancy, just two guys who can grapple hitting the mat hard and battling it out. Give Inoki credit where it's true, there are not a lot of aces who could believably hang with Fujiwara in a match like this, let alone come across as the dominant force. When not on the mat, Inoki would constantly increase the pace by attacking Fujiwara with great looking punches and kicks. It's almost needless to say but Fujiwara's selling and was flawless and he had a ton of great facial expressions and thus came across as the most tenacious dude on the planet taking on the legend. Amazing how he can go from a smirking dick to that. Last few minutes were great with Inoki downing Fujiwara with an epic punch and Maeda taking offense to an Inoki kick leading to a near riot. But we still get a decisive finish, so it's all great. Hell of a thrilling contest and one of the finest 80s japan singles matches I've seen.
  13. UWF Heavyweight Champion Terry Gordy vs Hacksaw Duggan - UWF TV 8/3/86 Watts looks to go national and has positioned Hacksaw Duggan as his lead babyface and the Fabulous Freebirds as his lead heels. I think of Duggan as a sort of Northern version of Dusty Rhodes. He is a tough everyman and more no nonsense than the Dusty. I was definitely looking forward to this hoss battle and it did not disappoint with Hayes & DiBiase (awwwwwww they made up!) sent to the back, it was mano y mano. There is a fucking MASSIVE shoulder tackle to start that sends Gordy flying through the ropes out to the floor and you just know this is going to be a straight up badass power match. Duggan is here to win the championship and he is gets a hot cross body for two. He just keeps pressing his advantage. He is overzealous and misses that three point stance wedgebuster into the turnbuckles and Gordy promptly applies the Oriental Sleeper, but Duggan rakes the eyes. Duggan misses a kneedrop and Gordy does not miss a beat working the leg in logical fashion: wrapping it around the post and then the figure-4. Duggan is selling like a champ including a one-legged sunset flip! Now Gordy misses a kneedrop and it is time to taste his own medicine. Gordy nails a piledriver and this is just a badass hoss spotfest. Gordy hits his Asiatic Spike into the Oriental Sleeper, but Duggan will not be denied. The TV time is winding down as they are about to go off the air and Duggan starts rallying with his big three point stance and the crowd is rabid for a Duggan championship victory as the screen goes to black. The next episode shows the finish with Buddy Roberts saving the match for his running buddy, Bam Bam and triggering the DQ. DiBiase in a mask saves the day. Besides the shitty finish, this was one helluva power struggle, basically, a bonafide hoss spotfest that just never let up. You could feel how bad both men wanted it and how much the crowd was behind Hacksaw. Wicked entertaining. ****
  14. This was previously available as near unwatchable post stamp size handheld from a japanese site, however, due to recent flood in new japanese handheld footage we get a proper quality version where you see all the details of the grappling. Damn what an intense contest. Almost all on the mat, and Yamada looks really impressive. It's crazy that he was only in his 3rd year as a pro wrestler, but Fujiwara puts him over really strongly. Yamada was a stud and going at Fujiwara like a relentless amateur wrestler. No surfboards or anything from him here, instead he was rocking banana splits and flying legbars, even busting out a credible shootstyle Figure 4. He could've easily gone on and become a high end shootstylist - well, if he wasn't too small maybe. Fujiwara is awesome as you expect from a grappling master, doing lots of cool shit such as using his head to dig into Yamada's elbow joint or reversing the figure 4 into a toe hold. Early on Fujiwara seems to be disrespecting Yamada and mocking his submission attempts, bitchslapping him in the corner, but Yamada keeps pushing him, fighting back with huge slaps and a dropkick that almost kicked Fujiwara's head into th 3rd row. Fujiwara refuses to uses the ropes, but eventually is forced to resort to them. There are like half a dozen great armbar counters from Fujiwara in this match proving why he is the master of the move, several times he seems to be luring Yamada into a trap in order to snap him, but Yamada immediately curls into a pyramid in order to defend against the submission. My favourite moment my have been Fujiwara getting the armbar and flatting Yamada in order to prevent his defense and using his leg to apply the pressure, never seen him do that anywhere else. Yamada keeps pushing and escaping though and going after Fujiwara like a terrier until he goes for one shot too many. Great match.
  15. This has a time limit of just a few minutes, so they go all out. This had the kind of intensity and emotional weight these retirement matches tend to have - still, some of the wrestling was as if Yokota was to scream she is retiring at the height of her game. Damn that stupid "retire at 25" rule. Yokota had some real determination to win this thing. After the match, a heated altercation between Jaguar and a younger girl (Chigusa?) ensues. Then all the lights go dark and Yokota is left to reflect on herself while "Soledao" plays. Amazing imagery. I wish they'd let Jaguar go out with a real bang but the pageantry here was magnificient regardless.
  16. Skippable match that was more about putting the heat on the manager than anything either wrestler did which was illustrated perfectly by the camera zooming out so much and someone doing a promo over it in the first minute. Barbarian did hit a nice Dropkick but there was too much generic stomping/biting for me to care. Diving Headbutt continues the trend of questionable low impact finishers.
  17. Oooops just realised my mind autocorrects Worldwide to Wildside like it sometimes does MM/DD/YY to DD/MM/YY. I wonder if the complaint about fans in the 80s were that they were too plastic and predictable, kinda like NBA fans are now. Face gets some quasi-shine early on so the crowd buys into the match and then Koloff takes over and goes over. Koloff's offence looked good (him throwing Jeffer's head into the ropes looked particularly nasty) except his finisher which looked lame. Fun if you decide to watch it but not fun enough to make yourself watch it. Almost above average?
  18. Enjoyed this way more than the 40 minute Flair "classics" where I wonder what I'm doing with my life twenty minutes in. Simple story of Flair not taking whatever goof Mack Jeffers is and easily taking care of business. Not a fan of his Kneedrop missing and it was funny to see him lose Jeffer's leg on the Figure 4 but other than that I quite enjoyed his performance here. Post match brawl was exciting, wrestlers logically interfered into it and it made me want to see next week's show. **3/4
  19. Nuclear heat for this because of the angle that took place earlier on the show. This match ruled. Brillinat performance by Tully, there was a lot of armwork on this show but Tully was the first one who made it look good, really cranking the arm but also working it into the match and feeding Brown a counter with it. Tully also did a great job of obstracting the referee's vision to land cheapshots and looked like an intelligent competitor-i.e. he would hit Brown in the head with an elbow when he'd attempt a Back Body Drop, Knee him whe he'd get on top of him etc. There was a sense of struggle that really made this, as there was a feel both men were constantly looking for ways to maintain or get back into control, they never just stood there and let the other guy hit them twenty times. ***-***1/4
  20. First match from the show I'd describe as worth watching on its own, the previous matches being so one-sided made it this one being worked a little more evenly a bigger deal. Mostly it's about these two throwing quality punches, Bass also hit a mean back elbow. Not really a fan of people other than Fritz Von Erich using the Claw as it never looks good but I won't lose sleep over that. **3/4
  21. You don't want a five minute match to drag. This was boring, ok when Bart was sloppily throwing Tanaka around in the beginning but then he started doing armwork, and, let me tell you, few things in wrestling make me question spending my time watching it as much as seeing one man punch another one in the arm. I could've at least understood it as a set-up for a face comeback, but as the body of a squash match? Advances in understanding of how actual fighting works only make matches like this look even more stupid. Fast forward material here.
  22. One thing I can definitely get behind is the victor(s) taking pretty much the entire match. Nothing special here, RNR only breifly lost control of the match when Cornette showed up so they could get a comeback in. Post-match angle with Midnights attacking Morton got a nice amount of heat. Average.
  23. Solid squash match with Magnum T.A. spamming a couple of throws before scoring the pin on a belly to belly. Not as good as the recent Braun Strowman/Nia Jax squashes but certainly better than pointless five minute matches that only last so long because Vince has TV time to fill.
  24. Interview stars out pretty boring kinda like Flair's earlier did, "woah look at me I am so rich and successful and better than that babyface guy", doing pretty much nothing to make me care about the feuds. Then Blanchard starts questioning Baby Doll and they argue and he just slaps her in the face and pulls her hair and suddenly I really care about this. Then Dusty Rhodes comes and, welp "she belongs to me now" he says as he grabs her and pulls her away. I think the morality of this feud is going to be highly questionable but that the feud itself is going to be amusing.
  25. I looked and looked for a source for show dates/cards/results and this is the best I could find: http://wwfoldschool.com/nwa-wcw-world-wide-wrestling-1986/ so if you know better please foind me to a good source so I can use correct dates when creating future threads. Nothing match. Thunderfoot jumps Manny, throws a bunch of shitty punches, Fernandez hits a not particularly impressive Flying Forearm and wins. Moving on.
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