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Found 73 results

  1. Antonio Inoki vs Tatsumi Fujinami (08/08): It was a gruelling 60 minutes of struggling to gain the upperhand. Inoki probably controlled more than Fujinami (60-40) but, Fujinami had youth on his side. Just an amazing display of endurance and athleticism and a perfect story showing the fighting spirit, strong style and NJPW leading up in essence to this very match. It's not really an ending but the continuation. The clips really helped get this across especially after the match. The definitive strong style match, the definitive epic, a must-see. Re-watch: 54 minute version..I swore that I had the full version but, we don't miss too much. 60 grueling minutes of wrestling action is right! I really don't think this was planned out at all! In a good way Both guys just fought over holds, working in strikes and suplexes when they could find an opportunity. This was amazing and organic. But, this was Inoki strong style and that is Pro Wrestling as the strongest of all martial arts. This is the perfect example of that (disregarding mix style matches). This was student proving that he was the true IWGP champion and the equal to the legend and hero that's Antonio Inoki. All that being said, I'm not fond of long matches anymore. So, I would probably have this as my #3 NJPW 1988 classic behind Fujinami vs Choshu and Inoki vs Choshu. But a must see classic nonetheless! Glad that I took time to watch this again. Thanks for reading! Stay safe folks
  2. A little bit of a delay in posting this what with the pandemic being a bit of a distraction and all. Nevertheless, we push forward with NJPW 1988! Buzz Sawyer & Manny Fernandez vs Super Strong Machine & Kuniaki Kobayashi (07/05): I'm going to go with this date although I'm not 100% sure. Who cares though? Its Manny & Buzz smashing skulls and Super Strong Machine, the most iconic NJ wrestler that most people haven't seen more than 3 matches of! Me included! Well, this is a finish only match but, I'm going to add it to my tally. Wrestling-wise Buzz & Manuel do some nice heelin' and double teamin' which made me really push for the Riki-gun team comeback. Very good stuff from what was shown. Helluva lot better than the Gaspar Bros. match! Kengo Kimura vs Riki Choshu (07/09): This was just about complete, yay! A fast and exciting match. Way moreso than you thought Kengo vs Riki in '88 would be. Kengo is getting phased out from what I can tell but, man he's going for broke against Riki. As a reminder, this is a round robin match to face Fujinami in August so, there is a lot at stake. That what really makes this so very good..plus Inoki is on commentary. And damn you'd better believe he gets up in the mix post match. Ric Flair style too - shirtless & in dress slacks! This match and post match were just a blast. Masa Saito vs Big Van Vader (07/22): I have the TV version which is pretty much the last few minutes but, I was able to locate the full version via handheld on Youtube. You're not missing a lost classic with the handheld...let me say that much. There's some nice slams and Vader took some sick bumps for a man his size. Good match and Vader tantrums afterwards No way I would say that to his face...he'd toss me like a fucking guardrail. Riki Choshu vs Antonio Inoki (07/22): The clear main event and reason Vader vs Saito was clipped. Choshu is so amped to get at Antonio that he won't let the big chinned hero in the ring for introductions. He's like a junk yard dog walking the perimeter of the ring, blocking Inoki, getting into his head before the bout begins. And when the bell sounds, it is on! Inoki out-wrestles the rebel Riki and we see that for once, he is the underdog. This is a scramble, this is a fight, I love it. Loaded with intensity and explosiveness...its on the short list of great sub 10 minute matches. Hell, for its sense of urgency, intensity, story, and finish...it is a classic. I've never heard anything about this bout but, man I was glad it was included on my DVD set. If you've been watching any of these matches or like that Riki Choshu Strong Style then, you'll want to see it. Next time, we've got more Manny & Buzz, a return to Jr. action and more! Thank you for reading! Stay safe and be smart out there wrestling fans!
  3. I'm trying to put into words how much I liked this match but I don't think I'll be able to do this justice. If the match was about ten minutes shorter I think it could've rated it as a top ten match of all time. It's still an absolutely incredible match, an the crowd never really dies but after a certain point they just aren't buying the submissions as much as they did and it's more of a "clap for rope breaks/escapes/general effort" thing. This was a perfect showcase for both wrestler's abilities, the matwork was phenomenal and they managed to escape a perfect sense of one-upmanship. It is a match that manages to excel both at the little things and the big things, there's a moment where Inoki does a bridge and Fujinami tries to drive him to that and I swear Inoki did the most beautiful bridge I've ever seen, the kind of thing that could only be possible because of stuff like this: The crowd was fucking insane, you get shots of people standing up and not leaving their feet for about ten minutes just mesmerized by the drama of the match, Inoki firing up while Fujinami had him in a Figure Four was one of the greatest spots I've ever seen and Fujinami responded appropriately by pushing himself up as far as he could and trying to rip apart Inoki's leg, the struggle over everything was so well done here and the match also served as a great display for their character though I'd find it understable if people used to gigantic bumps for irish whips and WWF wrestling didn't pick it up (not actually trying to call anyone out here fwiw), Fujinami has a chip on his shoulder and while being a great athlete in his own right doesn't really possess Inoki's strength and they play it up really well, Inoki goes for an illegal Sleeper in the beginning and Fujinami sells it like a huge threat, later on Fujinami uses the same maneuver several times but never manages to damage Inoki as much as Inoki had damaged him, I think that came off really well every time Fujinami would grab a hold for a longer period of time where, he'd just come off as the most tenacious wrestler ever, and later in the match when Inoki stars slapping the shit out of him and Fujinami sells it enough so it doesn't come off as no selling (especially with his facial expression) but no sells it enough so the crowd can put his awesome facial expressions together with him refusing to go down to Inoki's strikes and it's this humongous amazing moment and everyone is losing their shit and pro wrestling fucking rules mate. I also find it amusing how Fujinami's character seems to consistent both in his on air presentation and in scummy backstage videos and stories (him slapping Kevin Nash comes to mind, also there was a video where him and Inoki just yell at each other for five minutes and Fujinami responds to Inoki's weak fifth grader bully slap by Bas Ruttening him). ****3/4
  4. Back for the second installment of my adventure in 1988 New Japan land! We are now in uncharted territory...ooohh spooky...Well, not too spooky although Vader's entrance head apparatus is some kinda Geiger stuff. The big change is that the 2nd UWF split has gone down so, Maeda, Takada, Yamazaki, and Fujiwara have left again. So, the emphasis of the promotion from what I gather is Riki Choshu's army vs New Japan's army. And then Vader being an absolute monster who cannot be stopped even by Inoki! Let's see what's going on... Riki Choshu & H. Hase vs Antonio Inoki & S. Koshinaka (04/11): Oh man, even the ring intros are heated! Then, TV picks back up and Team Riki are looking to demolish Koshinaka. Great tag wrestling from them. Inoki is playing the spoiler of their fun but isn't necessarily out for blood. I would have liked a minute or two at the end but, this was a good match and a proper start to my new batch of matches. Then the DVD set shows fallout after it appears Fujinami and Inoki lose to Vader & Masa Saito. Some shouting and a couple stiff slaps and we've got some set-up to the August showdown between Icon & Ace of NJPW. Next bout! Keiichi Yamada & S. Koshinaka vs Kuniaki Kobayashi & H. Hase (04/22): Tons of excitement here as these two athletic teams go at it! Hase and Koshinaka potato'ing each other was a highlight. However, Kobayashi's stumbling piledriver on the floor was righteous...I just wish it led to something greater...oh man...It looked so good! Yamada is the one really selling this match and if everyone else wanted to then, this would have been a great match. But, I can understand...this was a blast nonetheless. Very good bout with a nice finish. So, the above bout sets-up a 5-on-5 elimination match between the rank and file of NJ Army vs Riki Army Akira Nogami, Tatsutoshi Goto, K. Yamada, K. Hoshino & S. Koshinaka vs Hiroshi Hase, K. Kobayashi, Kensuke Sasaki, N. Honaga & H. Saito (04/27): These are all TV matches I've figued out so, there is some JIP and unfortuately, we get some here. I say that because, we start out with Hase already bleeding. That is BIG as he's at the top of the food chain in this match. So, it looks like NJ already has a leg up however, they quickly get two of their guys eliminated. We get a commercial break and New Japan has got Hase in there looking to get revenge. Mind you, eliminations can happen by pin, submission, or getting tossed to the floor. We're saying you can even get tossed through the middle rope and be out! So, believe me the action picks up fast and we get some big surprises. Its a 2 on 1 situation at the end and man! It is a nail-biter! The tension was so high as any mistake could lead to a elimination. Great match and in full, it could be a near classic. About 14 minutes shown. Things are picking up and I'm having fun with 1988. More to come next time with Vader vs Fujinami and more. Thanks for reading!!!
  5. This has been a project I've been waiting to do for quite sometime. My busy season with work is all done and we've finally finished moving into our house. Sure, there are tons of boxes and bags full of stuff that we need to unpack, sort, and put away. That can wait though! I want to get back to wrestling and specifically 1980's puroresu! New Japan 1988 is my first stop. I'm somewhat acquainted with this year from my Nobuhiko Takada comps and the 8/8/88 Inoki vs Fujinami bout. I'm going to start the year with reviews from my "vault" but, I will scratch the surface a bit more as I progress. Let's start! (01/11): Keiichi Yamada vs. Masakatsu Funaki- This one was full of sound mat wrestling and some punishing holds. The best part was seeing shooter supreme doing pro-style moves! Its totally fresh and interesting to see this mat master to hit these moves. Funaki is darn good at it too! A fun match and bit of late 80's juniors gem. A match made me declare Damn! Liger's my favorite wrestler! *** 3/4 (01/25) Nobuhiko Takada vs Kazuo Yamazaki - Yes! finally the strong style match I knew they could do! Awesome work by Yamazaki and Takada lets go of his ego and plays the vulnerable young ace to Yamazaki's perenial yet gutsy underdog. This is the Yamazaki match to watch...well every Yamazaki is worthwhile but even moreso here because like 9/11/85 he's allowed to compete. The joint locks and holds are sold like killer moves as all worked shoots really rely on. This plays really well off the May & Sept. '87 tag matches. ****+probably higher. (02/04) Takada vs Shiro Koshinaka - This started out pretty good but they were getting too complex with their spots & they weren't hitting them how they wanted. It started picking back up but there was a glitch in the DVD on my player so I turned it off. I was not into it what can I say. It's worth a re-watch. (02/04) Hiroshi Hase vs. Keiichi Yamada- A fun, smart, well wrestled match. Each man picked his opponent apart as best they could. Of course Yamada had his moves from the top rope but, Hase surprised me with some of his maneuvers. He was pretty brutal as he was still a protoge of Riki Chosu. This of course wasn't the classic one would hope for but, it was pretty good stuff. I just wish it could have gone on longer as it was just starting to pick up when it ended. That's really the only knock on this match but, this tendency to go-home around 10 minutes is an 80's Jrs. thing. ***1/2 (03/11): Nobuhiko Takada vs Hiro Hase - I was expecting a mat wrestling clinic but um...we didn't get that. That's OK though since both guys brought their A game and Takada wasn't stalling here and Hase was his great self albeit a bit in a heel/Choshu mode which was very cool because Takada seemed quite vulnerable. Expectations aside, this was an awesome match with great performances by both men and a match that goes on their highlight reel. These last couple of matches have really saved Takada for me because he was really getting in a rut in the summer of '87... and shows Takada really wanting to go out of NJPW with a bang. Another piece of evidence that the UWF guys or Takada at least was best against NJPW guys. It allowed him to fluff off their "fake" offence, allowed them to really put over the holds as near-finishes since they weren't experienced "shooters", it provided unorthodox sequences and rope running scenarios and the made so much out of the "fake" offence when it did connect. In essence, showing that the puro moves were in fact just as deadly as a head kick or armbar. In other words no one's style was discredited as they were simply different points on the same continuum which is a big part of what makes Inoki Strong Style so great when done right ****1/2+ (03/14) Takada/Yamazaki vs Yamada/Funaki - You know the more I see Yamada without the Liger gimmick the more I wish they hadn't given it to him. He is fucking amazing in every match on this set. The same with Yamazaki. He really pulls himself out of the UWF mold at times and he's damn capable & quite underrated. It's a shame that he stuck around UWFi to get jobbed out. Forget that though. I ignore that now that I've seen these matches. He plays a great babyface who's capable but just not always "good" enough to get that big win. Here the story broadens as the German suplex is his trusty match ender and separates him from the others or at least defines him a bit. He doesn't have the aura of Maeda, Fujiwara or Takada but, he's a contender. Anyhow, this was another damn good tag match with a young Masakatsu Funaki which is funny because we all know how legitimately great he would become & how brutal he could get (7/89 UWF match for that). (04/11 handheld) Keiichi Yamada & Masa Funaki vs. Anotonio Inoki - This is kind of like a 2 on 1 elimination match but, turns into a regular 2 on 1...I guess because the junior want to beat Inoki and the big-chinned one can beat 2 guys at once. Its a quick fun match taped from a fan's camcorder in a gymnasium. If you're a fan of these guys then you'll get a kick out of this one. Its not worth searching out for at like 10 miuntes but, it's a nice inclusion on a compilation. So, I hope that got you pumped to check some of this stuff out! There are definitely some must see match ups. I'll pick back up with Choshu & Hase vs Inoki & Koshinaka TV match from 04/11/88 next time and we'll go from there. Thanks for sticking with me during the hiatus and thanks for reading!
  6. About what you'd expect from a three minute exhibition match between those two, some nice grappling, a little awkward at times due to Renzo not being familiar with working but nothing significant overall. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the shenanigans surrounding the match. It was interesting to hear Renzo's post-match interview and how he saw the whole thing as well.
  7. 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
  8. I have to have watched this match like ten times already. Great Antonio is this giant fat guy, he no-sells everything Inoki does and slaps his stomach to showcase dominance, then if that wasn't enough starts stiffing Inoki with brutal clobbing shots to the neck which infuriates Inoki and results in one of the most famous and brutal wrestling shoots of all time. An absolute spectacle, I love battles of carnies and you can't go much better than this match in that area. The strongest image is probably the one that comes after the match as a bloody and likely concussed Antonio contemplates where he is and what happened to his greatness.
  9. Pretty simple match. Tiger comes in with his goofy rapier and is ambushed by an overzealous Inoki throwing wild punches. Jeet produces forth a foreign object and stabs the fuck out of Inoki and from then it's Singh procuring every dirty tactic in the book to work over Inoki. Choking, hits to the throat, bashing his into turnbuckle post, tables and chairs, and then some more chairs... Inoki quickly comes up bloody and there seems to be a DQ of some sort but the match is restarted (or 2/3 falls?) and Singh continues the beating. Inoki finally makes a pretty cool comeback by ramming into Singh like a bull. After some good payback using the steel posts again Jeet is bloodied aswell and Inoki finishes him off by snapping his arm, forcing the ref stop. This match had good pace but at over 20 minutes it was far too long. You can argue whether Singh's tactics were effective heel work or lazy garbage brawling... if the later, atleast give him credit for being the patron saint of the art form. Inoki ate an epic beatdown and gave gruesome comeuppance, so the match did everything right in that regard.
  10. Microstatistics

    [1971-08-05-JWA] Antonio Inoki vs Jack Brisco

    Inoki was ok here but Brisco pretty much drags him to a great match when his selling, intensity and attention to detail. One of the finest individual performances I've seen in a match. The matwork in the initial few minutes was mindblowing and felt like the precursor to shoot-style in some ways. ****
  11. Man, you gotta give some credit to these guys for understanding how to work these exciting matches. You won't get any workrate or high end grappling in a Rusher match, but they knew how to set the crowd into a frenzy. Man Inoki blocking Kimura's chops is about the coolest basic thing nobody ever does. Lumberjack stip didn't come into play match except to force wrestlers back into the ring. Inoki trying to snap a bloody Rusher's arm repeatedly probably would've been better if Kimura knew how to sell, but the crowd sure went wild for that armbar. This is why you don't mess with Inoki.
  12. Man, I love this matchup. Young Punk Choshu was the best. You can say what you want about Inoki, but he was great at portraying himself as an untouchable badass. You look at some of the stuff Inoki does here and it's no wonder people thought he was a genius. He also always has these crazy facial expressions. I think the first 15 minutes or so of this didn't even have a bump but still ended up mesmerizing pro wrestling. This was worked like a technical battle of megastars so that was really cool. Both guys struggled hard and every movement could possibly lead to a finish which is exactly what you want from a match with really high stakes. Choshu was aggressive and really putting Inoki through the wringer, not just when he throw punches and stomps, but also in his grappling, butting heads when looking up and uncorking a super tight front headlock roll. Inoki came across as calm and cool headed so exactly the perfect counterpart to Choshu's rage. His selling was really strong too, at the beginning of the match he was dominating on the ground, but after Choshu really put the torque on him with the Scorpion Deathlock he was limping and stalling. Seeing the cool headed Inoki getting into desperation mode when Choshu tried the move again was great too. A limping Inoki punching Choshu in the face from the knees was epic and so was Choshu trying to bulldoze the legend with lariats and suplexes. I think if they had continued in that vein the match would've cruised into my all time top 10-20, but instead they slowed down again and went back to the holds. It was still really strong work and they delivered a great, clean finish. For a clash of the titans type match in front of a super hot 80s crowd that was mostly built around matwork this pretty much delivered all you can ask for.
  13. After a failed attempt to get into the NFL, Brock Lesnar turns his attention to the world of Japanese wrestling. We cite Lesnar's autobiography "Death Clutch" as to get an idea of Lesnar's mindset going into NJPW and touch on his mindset wrestling his what was perceived as his final match in IGF as well. Also get an interesting peak into how the Inokis did business when they were heads on NJPW.
  14. Weird psychology as both teams cheat (and sometimes right in front of the referee). I understand the expression fight fire with fire but I didn't like how Inoki & Oki cheat that quick in the match - I even think they start switching without tagging before the heels. It's fun to see Royal & Jones (a babyface tag team in Crockett) being the dirty Texans before the Funks & Hansen & Brody. Royal has a great punch !! Love the antics after the match.
  15. The most impressive thing about this match is that in 90 minutes there is literally no downtime at all. Even the Inoki vs. Choshu matwork was compelling. The crowd heat is insane and the fact that that level of heat was consistently maintained for 90 minutes is even more insane. I would say Fujinami was the MVP with Animal as a close second but everyone was great in it. Incredible match to say the least but one I have had trouble rating because it is difficult to distinguish the individual pairings from the overall story.
  16. 12/2/69 Antonio Inoki vs. Dory Funk Jr. Inoki makes his 1st challenge for the NWA World Title. Harley Race riles the crowd up to the point where they're throwing stuff at the ring,
  17. Why doesn't this get brought up among „passing the torch“ type matches more often? It's quite the epic destruction of Inoki.Choshu immediately catches Inoki in a nasty headscissor and almost cranks his neck. Now Inoki wants a fight, throwing fists and all, but Choshu immediately nukes him with suplexes. A lariat should finish the job, but Inoki narrowly escapes and hangs on by a thread. Choshu is totally the dominant force in this though. Inoki hits some fast enzuigiris and they trade awesome punches and headbutts and this is great. Choshu ain't selling crap from this fossil though and another back suplex later he starts hitting the lariats. Choshu is like an airplane flying around Inoki now and just dropping him again and again. After like 20 lariats even Inoki has had enough. If you wonder why Inoki worshipper Yuki Ishikawa wrestles the way he does check out this match. Inoki's time had come, and Choshu was the cold blooded killer to put the old gunslinger down.
  18. 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.
  19. The Thesz/Gotch team may be old school wrestling incarnated. You have Gotch, that gentleman european technician who is just a trip to watch, with his beautiful judo-esque throws, slick transitions and all kinds of funky moves, including a physics defying bridge. And then there's Thesz, who will cheap shot and stall incessantly and knee you in the face in the middle of a grappling exchange. Don't get me wrong, Thesz was gold here. In fact the whole match was gold. This was really long, but there was not a single dull moment. Just one cool exchange after another. Well, if you like grappling, that is. I really enjoyed Thesz' psychology as his strategy was basically about countering into a backdrop or Thesz press. He hits some great backdrops too. The whole match was built like, there would be hold exchanges, but occasionally one guy would attempt a move and then the other would try to counter into a potential finisher and then it was all about squirming out of that situation. And sometimes one guy would slap the other's shit too. That's how you keep a viewer on the edge of his seat. Well, it worked for me atleast. Also, Sakaguchi's reaction to Gotch lifting Inoki with one arm was priceless. I also really liked how he got fed up and almost choked Thesz out with a nasty front choke. The japanese team won't leave a huge impression on you but they are perfectly fine in their roles and the Thesz/Gotch duo was a delight to watch.
  20. This was another cool match altough way closer to your typical 70s match. The opening was pretty hot with Sakaguchi taking the fight to the outside to bash Inoki's head in and then landing a big press slam and atomic drop soon after. They move into a more technical bout and it's pretty much akin to something you'd see in WoS or AJPW. Lots of hold/counterhold stuff, monky flip sequences, Inoki working 4 or 5 Indian Deathlock variations etc.. Nothing mindblowing but they looked good working this style and the 30 minutes flew by.
  21. 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.
  22. G. Badger

    Assorted NJPW Tags from 1986

    Here are some really great tag matches from New Japan in 1986 that don't get much talk. Thought I'd share the love! Nobuhiko Takada & Osamu Kido vs Antonio Inoki & Keiichi Yamada (02/05/86): Wow what a great little match! The crowd really lets you know what's up since the work isn't mind-blowing or anything. This is the beginning of the legendary UWF/NJ feud and you can tell right here that dammit! It means something. Each guy just does his job well and it really pushes the intensity. Takada is such a bastard here & Yamada is such a good underdog but, we always knew that! Kido was impressive & Inoki is such a badass that anytime he was in the ring the place blew up with cheers as if the smallest offense could end the UWF guys chances. Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura vs Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido (08/05/86): An excellent strong-style tag match that was awesome when Fujinami & Maeda was were in together. They did some neat allusions to their 06/12 classic with Fujinami dodging the corner wheel kick. Maeda was sort of all over the place with his kicks, in the dangerous kind of way for instance he blasted Kengo in the mouth that almost killed the match. Still that makes him exciting and dangerous...adding to the combat sport aspect of strong-style. I would've liked a smoother finish. Overall pretty great match and fun compliment to the 06/12 match. Takada & Fujiwara vs Shiro Koshinaka & George Takano (09/05/86): A very good tag match with Takano being much better here than as Cobra, Takada was also much better here especially with his kicks, Fujiwara & Koshinaka are awesome throughout. Akira Maeda, Kazuo Yamazaki, Nobuhiko Takada, Osamu Kido & Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs George Takano, Kantaro Hoshino, Kengo Kimura, Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsumi Fujinami (09/16/86): People don't think this one is as good as the one in March & maybe they're right but, I didn't think so. I thought this one was much better from an in-ring stand point. It was a sprint like the last one but there was actual sprinting and much more involved one-on-one action as the feuds had developed & the NJPW team was better without the fat old blonde guy Ueda & Inoki wasn't there to be the spoiler...it helped put the finish in doubt.
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