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Found 18 results

  1. This is the infamous match where Choshu gets shoot kicked in the face. Aside from questionable morals, it‘s a really hot match with the crowd being absolutely white hot for all the Choshu/Maeda exchanges. Maeda kicking the hell out of Choshu is fun, but Maeda outgrappling Choshu may be even funner. I wonder if that is what caused Maeda to snap because Choshu seemed not ready for Maeda to actually wrestle him and just wanted to do his usual spiel. The initial moments after the kick are some of the most intense you‘ll ever see in a wrestling ring, with Maeda egging Choshu on further and Masa Saito tackling the big guy. Really a thrill to check out, pity the kick was real because this would‘ve set up an amazing singles match.
  2. La Gran Guerrera I: Carlos Colon, Invader I, Bruiser Brody, Dutch Mantell & TNT vs Abdullah the Butcher, Hercules Ayala, Chicky Starr, Kareem Muhammad & Grizzly Boone 12/12/87 WWC This is a match where the result is almost better than the match itself. The opening of this is a bit like a battle royal, guys lean against the ropes and punch eachother. Invader #1 is by far the most enthusiastic guy here, throwing hands and really punting Chicky in the balls with a vengeance, while Colon is the one who pops the crowd. The handcuffing stuff doesn't look great altough I dig that Abby has forearms too huge to be handcuffed easily. It comes down to Iron Sheikh vs. Colon and Sheikh is really hammering Colons forehead with his fist. The match feels almost tame for Puerto Rico standards but after the match Sheik tries mutilating Colon with the belt and all the heels beat on the handcuffed faces. I'll say that Rip Rogers is absolutely hilarious on commentary yelling about Domingo Robles.
  3. I wasn't expecting this one to actually GROW on me on a rewatch since I thought it was pretty great the first time I saw it but here we are. Fujiwara jumps Choshu at the bell and dominates the opening with neat punches and headbutts. What really stands out is how much Choshu protecting his image of a badass adds to the match-he's always looking for a way, either with body blows or kicks. Fujiwara dismisses Choshu's comeback attempts initially but quickly resorts to choking once he realises he is in serious peril. And Choshu doesn't let Fujiwara just choke the life out of him either-he grabs Fujiwara by the face, to which Fujiwara reacts by grabbing that arm and Armbaring Choshu. It is a reactionary match. When Fujiwara spends too much time untying the corner post Choshu goes after him and Fujiwara knocks him down. When Choshu tries to counter the Wakigatame Fujiwara changes it into another armlock. The first Wakigatame counter was brilliant-Choshu went for a big move too early and got dropped with a "shooty" counter. Similarly Fujiwara's choke was an excellent way to feed Choshu the Backdrop Suplex counter and the move itself looked amazing. Choshu's arm selling was pretty great-it isn't that it was the focus of the match, but not everything has to (or can) be. It doesn't excuse filling time with nothing as a good idea or mean selling that plays a bigger part in how the match turns out is inherently better-in fact often it's just the opposite. Fujiwara's wobbly selling after Choshu bloodies him up is as great as you'd expect it to be and Choshu modifies his Lariats here by just hitting Fujiwara straight in the face with them, absolutely brutal stuff. Choshu stomping Fujiwara after the match was already over was just icing on the cake. ****3/4
  4. Good match but felt like a Flair one man show to be honest. His great selling and the usual cage match goodness carry this. *** 1/4
  5. AWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel vs Jeff Jarrett - Mid-South Coliseum 5/4/87 One of my favorite genre of matches is the veteran champion up against the overmatched, but zealous young lion. It is a match when done correctly that everyone wins. The young lion will look strong in a competitive loss and the champion reminds us why he is indeed the champion. I can't think two better people to really excel in this match type. Due to footage limitations, Bockwinkel is the veteran champion. That's the lens we see Bockwinkel through. Yes, we have 70s footage with him & Ray Stevens as the tag champions, but the majority comes from his excellent 80s run in the AWA as the elder champion wrestling youngsters like Martel and Hennig. Now for the modern fan, it may seem a little strange why Jeff Jarrett would be perfect in the role of plucky, young babyface. Early on his career, Jarrett actually had a shit load of babyface charisma. Where it all went, I have not a clue. At 1987, we are very early on in his career. If we got 1987 Bockwinkel against 1991 Jarrett, we could have got something really special, but as is it is a really good match in this genre. Jarrett is a late substitute for Lawler and Lance sells this as a huge opportunity for the young Jarrett. They both play their roles excellently. Bockwinkel gets his way early and seems like this will be a blowout, but Jarrett starts getting that movement going. Bockwinkel, ever-calm, breaks Jarrett's momentum by going outside of the ring. Bockwinkel is always ensuring he is dictating the pace. In the turning point of the match, Bockwinkel rams his shoulder into the turnbuckle. I loved how Bockwinkel subtly sells it. He uses the ref to buy some time and stands so that the bad shoulder is away from Jarrett, but Jarrett is here to win and he quickly gets a top wristlock. Bock tries to buck him off three times, but it is no use. Jarrett is tenacious. They work some fun reverse hope spots for Bockwinkel getting out of a hold, but being flustered making an uncharacteristic mistakes that allows Jarrett to go back to holds on the arm. Lance starts selling the idea of a massive upset unfolding before our eyes. Bockwinkel and Jarrett trade blows in the middle of the ring. Watching this footage, you would think that Jarrett would have been one of the best babyfaces of the 90s or at least a great star for the 90s, just a great fired up wrestler. Jarrett goes up top for the missile dropkick, crashing and burning and Bock rolls up him up for the win. Bockwinkel was at a point that he did not need that strong of a win and he really gave a strong performance in terms of elevating Jarrett. Jarrett kept it basic, but he told a strong story from his move selection and body language. He tried to press his advantage, high risk means the rewards may be big, but more often than the house wins. ****
  6. Ok, so here's the thing. I kinda watched this match. I didn't sit down and stare at the screen for two hours, since not even my love of Inoki is that strong, but I went through the entire match in a span of, idk, 20-30 minutes steadily skipping ahead, because I needed to know what happened in it. And what impressed me more than anything is how badass the whole thing looked-there was prety much an unlimited number of amazing shots. The setting is as big of a part of the match as anything the workers do, as you get these amazing shots of mountains and the ocean while Inoki and Masa Saito are fighting, really it's something you'd expect to see on a "Visit Japan" commercial with no context and just be in awe of what you've just witnessed. The biggest accomplishment of that match is probably its strange allure of a symbiosis between man and nature: Why did this image speak so much to me? Is it the nostalgia of my childhood, where I'd often run around parks with grass fields, (play)fighting and so on....or is it just an universal human feeling, something that we truly all sure, when we see a scene like this, of two men settling their issues by duking it out on grass. Will humans still relate to this picture if those futuristic movies ever turn into real life and we're slowly shut down in our own four walls? The shots reach another level when Inoki starts bleeding: And peak when they burn a bunch on wood on fire to provide lightning for them, really showing their dedication to evoke a scene of cavemen fighting. I guess calling this a shitty match that lasts is easy and the way people got out of even discussing it for so long, but it's about time it's recognized for the incredibly ambitious endeavour it was. These metamodernistic times in which meme wrestling is celebrated so freely give me hope this interpretation won't fall on deaf ears.
  7. WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat - Wrestlemania III History beckons the Macho Man! One of the all-time great promos and singular lines in pro wrestling. I had forgotten that during the Steamboat promo that they do mention this is the Dragon's last shot, which is only further proof why the match was worked the way it was and the correct way to go about it. I always loved how they weaved in the George Steel story into this match. I love how Savage moves Liz away from Steele because of what happened at the last SNME where he kidnapped her. Well-played spot. The finish is just awesome with Steel saving Steamboat from the bell. It is too bad that Savage could not get himself to be hit with the bell a little bit more convincingly. Much like Hogan vs Andre, this match has been talked to death and I don't have a completely revolutionary fresh take, but I did enjoy this match more than I ever have in the past. The first time I watched this was probably about ten years ago and I hate to admit I was pretty underwhelmed. It just seemed like guys moving really fast, but without much substance to it. This match for me at least has gotten better with each subsequent watch and I really enjoyed it this time around. The Toronto match really helps put things into perspective. I highly recommend watching the Toronto match before this one to get the full experience. In fact, I would imagine if you go back and watch 2 or 3 of their 86 matches it would help even more. It is actually surprising how many spots are similar to Toronto but they work them in different fashions, but it is still organic. They even played off the Toronto finish with Savage reversing a O'Connor Roll, but this time Steamboat kicked out. I think there are times when Steamboat does show aggression that have been brushed over like the choke on Savage at the beginning and the aggression of his chops. Savage is a particularly nasty heel in this and in general that is his style. He takes shortcuts and uses nasty short strikes to keep his opponents at bay. The eye rake when Steamboat was unleashing all that karate popped me. I really loved his use of the high knee in this match. It was a well-delivered attack and it was always to the back. Great dick move. Around this time, he decks Steamboat in the midst of the skin the cat and Jesse delivers my all time favorite line "You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one up on the Macho Man." This is a type of feud that I think could benefit wrestling more and that is the one-sided hate feud. Steamboat hates Savage and that's clearly evident. Savage does not actually hate Steamboat. He is lashing out in fear of losing the title. It makes sense for Savage to cheat like a muthafucka and go for a ton of pinfalls. Steamboat does actually work aggressive at times, but this is tempered by the fact that this maybe his last shot for the IC title. Do they move too fast in this match? Yes and no. I think this match is very influential on the current style used today. Pack in a ton of action and lots of nearfalls at the end = This Is Awesome chants. I think they move way too fast at the beginning. There are way too many momentum shifts and there is very little rhythm. it does not feel like a struggle. I would say around the high knees that match settles into a nice structure with Steamboat fighting underneath due to Savage's cheating. I actually dig the urgency of Steamboat's nearfalls. It is a really heightened sense of drama. I think during the finish the speed at which they were going was warranted and was a boon to the match. Overall, I thought they moved a bit too quickly early on, last half was wicked hot. It was downright revolutionary for the WWF at the time. Those nearfalls were wicked hot. You always think of the one after the karate chop near the ropes that gets a monster pop because everyone thought Steamboat had won. I also did not think there was one consistent thread through the entire match like a real cool overarching story. I am sticking the Toronto match ahead, but this is a badass match and very, very important in the history of wrestling for how it influenced the fans, wrestlers and the promotion. ****3/4
  8. WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant - Wrestlemania III My favorite running gag of Titans was Parv always asking after every Hogan/Andre 1980 match how it compared to Wrestlemania III and finally Pete got wise and watched it. It always got a laugh out of me. I don't really have a new take on this match. I sit right where pretty much everybody who has watched this match. It feels enormous, but it is not a good match. I really wanted to be able to construct an argument for it, but it is not there. It is amazing Andre competed for another three year after this because he looked to be in a lot of pain. I did really like Hogan's selling in this and the general back psychology that resulted from him trying for the bodyslam too early. That bearhug was just long and what followed was pretty lame. Detroit just loved Hulkamania. Hulk Hogan was just so perfect for the 1980s America. The clothesline that knocked Andre off his feet got a huge pop and that bodyslam was awesome. A great spectacle, but too late in Andre's career for a great match.
  9. So this was meant to be for the Tag Team titles, but Dynamite Kid's injury prevented this. It was then made a six man tag match to cover up his limitations and it does so well. Danny Davis is fantastic as a chicken shit heel non-wrestler. He tags in when an opponent is down and he takes a shot and tag himself back out. This riles up the crowd and they can't wait to see Davis get taken down. Santana gets the hot tag and isolates Davis and beats him down, much to the roaring approval of the audience. Davey Boy Smith tags in and delivers an absolutely viscous Tombstone Piledriver before Davis sneaks away with a cheap win. Who would of thought a match with all this talent and Danny Davis is the MVP? ★★★
  10. Much like the JYD/Race match, this has phenomenal bumping. Adonis throws himself around the ring in an almost slapstick like fashion. The spots where Jimmy Hart gets involved are even more marvelous. Roddy Piper is super over and the crowd even believes this is his final match. Piper's offense may look weak, but Adonis sells it so well it's forgivable. A total Adonis carry job. ★★★
  11. Just a three minute match showcasing how over JYD was and how excellent Harley Race was, even in his advancing years. The stipulation of this match is that the loser must bow to the winner. Harley bumps like crazy for JYD here. He misses a nasty falling headbutt of the apron and you can see why he regrets inventing that move. I'm not sure why a non-finish was needed here. Surely JYD could of done with the win, especially considering he's the man standing tall in the aftermath of this segment. ★★¾
  12. I'm not sure how my taste in wrestling managed to change so quickly, maybe it's the insane GWE-related amounts of wrestling I've watched, but last time I watched this match wasn's so long ago, maybe a year or two ago. I thought it was good, this time I thought it was absolutely marvelous. Super Strong Machine trips Maeda as he's entering the ring and attacks him, that whole angle was so great and really puts into perspective how amateur a lot of angles even major promotions do cime off. Maeda does a disgusting blade job, so naturally you need a million people to hide it well, and the commotion a pre-match attack causes is the perfect opportunity for that. All you really see is Maeda eating shots and the ringpost and by the time he gets up he's just covered in blood, it's insane. Maeda falls down as he enters the ring and sets the stage for the match. Maeda is on the verge if defeat the entire match, as Masa Saito just nuked him with Suplexes and Lariats. They cool it off with a Boston Crab and while the crowd senses Maeda isn't losing to such a hold they use it to transition to Maeda's comeback, as Maeda pushes Saito off him by going backwards. From then on it'a a matter of life and death, and they pack so much neat stuff into the finishing stretch it feels kinda redundant to name every singLe thing done and why it worked. Saito's punches could've been better, but that's just nitpicking. ****
  13. Quite an odd structure here-the match starts with awesome brawling, as Tenryu and Hara just beat the hell out of Nakano, and light Yatsu up goint toe to toe with him, but then that's broken up by a limbwork section that serves no purpose (from a narrative standpoint, you could argue its use in terms of pacing) and then the match turns into a spotfest. Still, the good prevails-Tenryu and Hara make everything they do vicious, Yatsu has some neat moves like the German Suplex and his cut-off Sliding Lariat was fantastic, and Nakano fired up well and made the crowd buy into him, together with Tenryu's selling and timing on the kick-outs late in the match. ***1/4
  14. Neat neat neat! Exactly what I had hoped for-Tenryu-Wajima is the biggest match-up, and they smartly tease it, and while they do so Ishikawa carries the workload, not only does he bust out awesome chops and knees, he even makes the sloppy middle kicks seemingly everyone in 80s All Japan did look great. Hara is just so on point here too-really bringing the violence, his Headbutts looked vicious here, and his chops and Lariats are just on another level, he's like a whole smashing into something. Wajima is hardly a super worker, but the crowd buys into him and he has solid offence, that's enough to reach greatness when everyone else is so good. Loved how he and Tenryu provoked each other, how they played mind games by tagging out, when they finally got their hands on each other it was exactly as rough as gritty as you'd expect, they were getting into these awesome positions that are really hard to explain, something between sumo and wrestling, just getting into each other's face, it ruled so much. I also loved the sequence where Wajima just dared Tenryu to chop him and after he'd failed to cut him down Tenryu just sweeped his leg. ****
  15. Kind of a formative match for these two. The story is that Bull shocked the world and took the title off of Wanz, now the question is can the old champ withstand the beast and take his title back? Wanz was already pretty slow and couldn't do much anymore, and this wasn't as violent as some of their matches, but it was a fight like all their matches are. You could argue that there were a lot of restholds, but they always moved right back to beating the snot out of eachother. Vader was mostly interested in bashing Wanz's skull in, while Wanz for some reason did a lot of knee strikes and european uppercuts. These super minimalist, long Wanz matches really make you appreciate the most basic spots, such as getting the boots up in the corner or catching a charging opponent with a clothesline. And the crowd really loved every single thing Wanz did. I can't think of 5 more beloved babyfaces of the top of my head. Folks were jumping up and down and waving the austrian flag at the most simple things. The recurring theme of the match was a) things kept spilling to the outside (something that seemed to happen a lot more often in the brightly lit Graz Ice Skating Hall) and guys kept getting safed by the bell. I think both themes were solved nicely in the finish, altough it would have looked dated even in the 70s. Still, Otto Wanz vs. Bull Power is always a special match.
  16. Nominate: Terry Rudge vs. Franz van Buyten, Hamburg 10/1/1987 I re-watched this classic. Still a kickass match. These Hamburg shows were much more rowdier than the tame british TV wrestling, so Rudge was allowed to go all out. Of course the main selling point is that this is a match to see Rudge at his most aggressive and violent in an important match against the top babyface. But this match also has a simple, effective structure going for it, where they make the most out of using the round system. The first round is the feeling out and establishing of the characters. In the second round, they do some really slick wrestling about arm whips and a headscissor. Simple stuff executed great and done neatly. The third round Rudge is finally fed up with Van Buyten and so begins one of the baddest ass stompings I've ever seen in a wrestling ring. The following rounds eventually have the big, slowly built up Van Buyten come back and several nearfall attempts and back and forth in the last round. After the last round, they do an extra, 10-minute tie breaker section (because this is some kind of decision match) which is a fractal of the whole match. Like I said, the aggression and sheer fury Rudge shows here is off the charts. He looked like the single baddest dude on the planet and was attacking Franz like a machine. Even during the early feeling out and wrestling sections, he is constantly aggressivly shoving his opponent in the face, manipulating the fingers or bending the wrist in really painful ways like he was Gene Lebell. The heat section is off course utter pain, with the highlight being the hammerlock/head shove to face combo. You can totally see Fit Finlay being inspired by Rudge. Franz, on the other hand, is a guy with really great selling (especially love his shoulder bumps which make it look like he was being launched back with a ton of force), takes a reckless bump at one point and gives Rudge back as good as he can. That rope tie up/crossbody spot is something a lot of babyfaces in germany and austria did, but nobody made it look as good as Franz as he just rams into his opponent with his entire weight. So there you have it, a simple match built around a great face vs. a great heel to give the 2000 folks at the Heiliggeistfeld a good night.
  17. I haven't watched this one in years, and since OJ relieved my nostalgia for middle european pro wrestling, I gave it another spin. The first trivial observation is how much more play matches like this would get had they been filmed professionally. After watching so much different wrestling over the years I can say that the quality of these vienna handhelds is the dirt worst. Bad camera angle, unnatural colors, clips, crowd noise eating up most of the sound, you may see footage like this as an experimental foreign arthouse film. That aside, this being a rare 30 minute middleweight title match from austria with absolutely no shenanigans is worth powering through the video quality. And let me tell you, there is some quite fantastic stuff here. You didn't see these kind of faster paced lightweight matches much in germany/austria, and clearly they were going out of their way to make this special. People have their issues with Steve Wright, but I felt his flashiness was well integrated here as the much more down to earth Zrno is a great counterpart to him. These matches were worked much rougher in germany than in the UK. No cute stuff, just fierce takedowns, twisting on the mat and constant trading of stiff as hell european uppercuts and headbutts. They really go hard at it and just back and forth with mat stuff, rope running and laying into eachother with shots. It almost feels like a workrate match at times, but the constant stiff shots and battling over basic throws make it quite the engrossing, gruelling battle. Highlights include Steve countering a takedown attempt by turning Mile inside out, aswell as both of them turning seemlessly into an amateur sequence after a missed pin attempt. Steve really shows his wares in this match and seems to be constantly advancing. You won't be blown away by this if you've watched a ton of euro stuff, but for the time (late 80s when brit wrestling was winding down) this is really good stuff that exudes charm especially with the fans being behind their respective favourite all the way and yelling Bravo! in genuine amazement at every throw. The finish feels like a triumphant victory appropriate for a classic wrestling bout, along with the tremendous endurance displayed by both contenders adding greatly to the match.
  18. Good grief finding accurate dates for european matches (accurate as in them matching up in OJ's list and the youtube upload description) is nearly impossible half the time. I really like the way Murphy uses holds to control his opponents and how he will resort to cheapshots and grinding away at their face once he's in trouble. He's also really good at cutting his opponents off-him goading George into attacking him while he was playing to the crowd in the corner only to cut him off with a Back Elbow ruled as did his Clothesline. The spot where George countered Murphy ramming his head into the corner post because his head was too hard was neat but George wasn't that interesting on offence, some solid dropkicks and headbutts but the repetition of them wasn't compelling. Geore did do an amazing sell job to set up the Gator. Finish was interesting and a neat way to put over Murphy's finishing hold. *** edit: I just found the site where OJ gets hit dates from and this is actually 8/19 oooooops.
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