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Found 32 results

  1. Well executed fast paced multiman matched. Just the right mix of character work and bomb throwing. Loved the highly unpredictable opening exchanges. Loved Haku, who is both a menacing beast and really agile, Nakano is a good underdog trying to topple Tenryu here, and the Tenryu/Ishikawa/Hara team is a murderers row of charismatic bulldozers. Not much extended selling or great transitions but enough tubby guys cracking eachother hard to keep you entertained.
  2. Another round of beefy dudes clobbering eachother. This wasn't peak WAR interpromotional material, but I still probably liked the best out of all the matches on the show. Particularily because the whole match felt thoroughly violent, and Fuyuki and Koshinaka were really at each other's throat. They randomly broke out into this super violent exchange that lead to a poor sap getting punched repeatedly and all was right in the world. I continue to enjoy Goto in these Heisei Ishingun tags as old guy with 2 moves who comes in to lariat and backdrop fools and nothing else, altough there was some sloppiness on his part. Hara's career was winding down but he could still take some big bumps. These matches pretty much write themselves but they still work in some things you won't expect.
  3. Uuh what to you think happens in this match. Two thickly built japanese dudes have a tea party or something? No they beat the hell out of eachother. Hara starts this match working like Kurisu, trying to take the match to the outside and brain Saito with chairs. Meanwhile Saito just tries to cave Haras chest in with kicks. I've no idea why no japanese promotion (besides W*ING for a brief moment) has tried to do more with Saito in the 90s because he was a perfectly good b-side Hashimoto and the crowd loved him here. Lots of nasty kicks and lariats, Hara takes bigger bumps than you'd expect from a thick old dude, and they keep it short and sweet.
  4. Slow paced match, but I'd say there's enough of two tubby guys cracking eachother hard to keep this entertaining. The early exchanges here are pretty fun as obviously these two work really snug, and Ishikawa also hits the worlds greatest plancha early on. There were also some nasty suplex bumps from these big guys. The submission stuff was filler, but it lead to a transition. Both guys would use these nasty short kicks, very pro wrestling style, looks hurty and nobody really does those anymore. By the end this gets pretty epic with Ashura Hara selling the beating he took huge. He would hit a suplex, but be unable to continue because he was too beaten up. So he would just rely on Ishikawa coming too close and then brutally clock him with lariats and headbutts. Obviously there are lots of great lariats in this bout. Hara launching himself around ruled including just flying out of the ring, totally unexpected and looked great. This largely worked because it was built around Ishikawa being really great at brutalizing someone and Hara being really great at putting over a beating. Credible finish. This kind of „bloated guys stiffing eachother“ has become en vogue again recently with the BJW roidheads and WALTER so forth but I'd say this was better than 99% of those matches.
  5. Tubby japanese guys slap the shit out of eachother for 20 minutes. Love this because it's a really good example of how to build a lengthy match around a handful of strikes. Nakano and Kitahara are not over at all due to the SWS midcard being almost meaningless, but they give their all taking on these tanks and get the everliving crap kicked out of them. Hara & Tenryu deserve some credit for selling a good deal for these middleweights while outgunning them completely. Lots of neat spots and there are some good examples on how to make basic strikes interesting by SELLING. See: Tenryu getting caught in the ear by an enzuigiri or selling Nakanos corner dropkick. Hara is also really good at taking kicks to various body parts and refusing to bump. By the end Kitahara and Nakano are basically beaten half to death. There is one great sequence where Nakano is giving everything he has hitting several dropkicks and enzuigiris only to be forced to tag back in and run on empty. Tenryu just powerbombing him is an example of no selling that works because it was done in context of the match with a set up and purpose. Kitaharas leg selling was also cool and added some direction. This is a rare match where one side never comes close to winning but still ends up being great in my book.
  6. This was their 2nd match that year as Zrno tries to get back the WWU Jr. title. This was much less heated and intense than the first encounter but may have had even better grappling before the somewhat disappointing finish. Hara continues to look really good grappling with Zrno, being right there with the bridge spots and tricky wrist takedowns and what not. Something funny is how Zrno works the exact same as if it were a european match always waiting for his opponent to get up even though there's no 10 count. Match didn't have much direction and the ending wasn't super exciting as it looked like Hara was gonna defend his title anyways. Still, I get a kick out of watching these two grapple for 15 minutes.
  7. JIP 20 minutes into a 30 minute time limit draw. There was still plenty of action with flying headscissors and snappy armdrags and stiff european uppercuts and dropkicks and what not. Verhulst doesn't do a ton here but I still enjoyed seeing him come in and do stuff as his technique is ridiculously good. Zrno was pretty „stiff“ here e.g. blocking opponents moves by stiffening up. It may not result in picture perfect execution of certain spots but I still thought it was cool and they did the usual time limit draw spiel where both guys were working for pinfalls equally before the end.
  8. This was a fun defensive, cagey bout where neither guy was willing to get thrown easily. This builds really nice into the second half where both guys have enough and start throwing stiff slaps and headbutts. Go was chasing Hara here, hitting a mean dropkick and dropping him on a table for a spot that was pretty crazy by 1980 standards. Match had good heat and tension and the uncooperativeness made this a cool encounter.
  9. What I wrote a few weeks ago in OJ's thread on Zrno: Well, I was wrong. This was not a 2 minute clip. It was 22 minutes, unedited, pro-shot, 2/3 falls clean title match with 3 clean finishes. What a time to be alive and get to see wrestling matches like this. The first amazing thing is getting to see Mile in 1979. God damn what a talent, and in what shape he was. I can't think of 5 guys from british TVs in top form like him. The yugoslavic flag with the big red star is hanging over the ring next to the japanese one, making this feel like the most surreal prelude to the russians in RINGS a decade later. Sure, Zrno is western european trained and Charley Verhulst is his second, but this feels like the home talent taking on a yugoslavian champion and not just any european technician. The wrestling here feels closer to amateur style (albeit very fast paced) than the stuff you'd see in britain, france or german. Maybe all 70s middle european wrestling was like this, but we'll never find out. Needless to say I loved the bridging work, rolling around and resistance to basic holds here. It wasn't the long brainy headlocks of 70s japanese wrestling or the fancy escapes that the brits did, but I loved it. Then you also get to see Ashura Hara, a guy I loved for being a rugged tough dude in WAR slugfests, as junior ace. He wore this absurd silver sparkling jacket and headband, and he was beloved by the crowdn a way I can't recall seeing with many other japanese wrestlers from the 70s. I have never seen anyone talk about his junior work, but this Ashura Hara feels worth discovering. His technique and form wasn't on the level of Zrno, but he was game to have a contest and totally held up his end. The air was bristling with excitement for this match and Zrno was selling this match like it was a sports contest the whole world was looking at. The crowd was willing Ashura forward to take the title off of Zrno no matter what and both athletes succeeded in giving them their moneys worth. The finish feels like a gigantic moment and the fans react accordingly My only complaint with the match is that it's too short. If there's ever a match that should've gone 60 it's this one. Just so many fascinating aspects to it. It's just the combination of having a Mile Zrno match (rare), a junior Ashura Hara match (rare), an IWE junior's match (bloody rare), an IWE match that is all clean with no bullshit (rare), and then it's something that was buried in complete obscurity for so long. Regardless of whether you care about Mile, Hara or IWE, this a nice fast paced 70s junior match worked in a way that nobody really does anymore in front of a hot crowd that feels fresh and interesting all the way to the end.
  10. 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
  11. I LOVE 80s JUNIOR WRESTLING! And this has prime Fujinami in a match with interpromotional flavor. We know junior Hara is game from his match with Zrno the year before, and he was game here once again. But this match was less about matwork and more about building intensity, as they would work uncooperative holds, slap eachother, stare and make you root for Fujinami kicking Hara in the mouth. In terms of technical work this bout isn't on the level of the high end 1980 stuff, but the general sense of "these two really are about to kick the shit out of eachother" is awesome in it's own way. Like all great old junior wrestling the timing is great, as they really build towards the dropkicks and other basic highspots. Hara busts out the rugby tackles and his insane backflip suplex once again, and gets so mad by Fujinami retreating that he busts him open with meaty punches and headbutts. Match felt like it ended 5 minutes too early, altough I take a pissed off Hara stomping a bloody Fujinami in the face and Fujinami making a desperate flash comeback over lengthy sections of 2,9999 counts and shocked faces.
  12. 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. ****
  13. This match wasn't much, mostly because Terry Gordy's performance was god awful, Memphis TV undercard matches had more intensity than he did in this match. The structure was quite dull too, the foreigners pretty much took the entire match, and it just doesn't make for an interesting experience to see someone get cut off over and over and over again, especially knowing more shitty worked punches await. There were some nice moments of violence when Hansen would get it on, and Hara's comeback punches looked great (unlike his headbutts, which looked terrible, backyard level headbutting your own hand), Tenryu's role was kept to a minimum, he had a couple off stare offs with Hansen's and managed to Lariat him in a throat near the end, but he wasn't the focus off the match. Hansen going on one of his signature rampages at the end and destroying everything in sight is enough for me to call this above average but if you're itching for some 80s All Japan tag action there are better choices out there. **3/4
  14. This is the perfection of the Bruiser Brody memorial match on 8-29-88. Holy cow is this match some closed fisted, sweat swapping wrestling. People don't talk a lot about Yoshiaki Yatsu or Ashura Hara yet they are total skull crushers. Yatsu is a real top talent and is worthy of a spotlight review because I know he's a tag master! This match is just another fine example that our chubby cheeked friend will smash his elbows into your skull and eat your brain!! Maybe not so much on the second part. So, Ashura Hara is equally vicious especially his Crowbar Lariat. I can't remember where I heard it called that but, shit! Its about as stiff as one. Love it and his jehri curl. Tenryu rocks one as well and everyone loves Tenryu. I am really glad that I have this match because it is a true classic and maybe a forgotten one at that. I never hear it batted around as one of the "all time never forget this date" classic AJPW matches. I think people get confused with the finish. I have no idea why though. This bout becomes a whirlwind of legs, arms and bodies by the finish. And it ends perfectly for me. Go see the Tenryu-Jumbo singles matches, and see this match because it's just as essential as any of those:P Classic Match
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