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  1. 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
  2. 1 fall match with about 20 minutes shown. There seems to be some clipping, but nothing too annoying. This was like the French version of a bomb throwing sprint. I could see this exact match happening in Korakuen Hall and the crowd going bonkers for all the ultra stiff european uppercuts and upkicks they did. It also helps that Ami Sola is a gentleman looking dude with a classy mustache and Couderc is balding and cleary muscular but a long way from having visible abs. There wasn‘t a ton of hold for hold work here, but the bits they did were great and felt really fresh. There was an awesome body scissors spot, a great wrist stretch from Couderc and some nifty leg trips amongst other things. Couderc also turned a headscissor sequence into a series of deadlift powerbombs that would make Takaiwa wince. Couderc may have been the man of the match but Sola held up. He uncorked some brutal headbutts and what may very well be the nastiest leg stretch I‘ve seen in any match ever. He looked like he was about to pop Coudercs hip with that. And, I feel compelled to say that these guys were bumping hard as motherfuckers. The ending crescendo was also damn great with these guys eating upkicks and bumping around like mad. The upkick is such a basic spot that nobody remembers these days but hot damn it looks awesome in these matches and these guys will fly face first into it. It was nice to see that the crowd seemingly filled up to watch this match. True to form, Couderc does not show up again, but it‘s save to say he made his mark in this sole appearance. This was a mix of high end technical work, brutally stiff and with a sense of classy athleticism. Exactly the kind of awesome unexpected match to remind us all that French pro wrestling was fucking awesome.
  3. Continental Wrestling Association August 8, 1977 Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, TN No review yet. Arman Hussein & The Gladiator vs The Exterminators (Butch Malone & Jim Dalton) Bob Ellis & Jim Garvin vs Dr. X & Ratamyus Jerry Bryant & Norvell Austin vs Brute Bernard & The Angel Handicap: Plowboy Frazier vs Leroy Brown & Mickey Poole AWA Southern Tag Titles: Dick Roberts & Jerry Brown (c) vs Norvell Austin & Pat Barrett AWA Southern Heavyweight Title: Jerry Lawler (c) vs Paul Orndorff Bill Dundee vs Jerry Lawler Bold matches are PWO recommended.
  4. Surprisingly good tag action here. This was really solid and moved logically from one section to another. Nishimura & Yamazaki outskilling their opponents was a ton of fun. I don't think anyone has ever praised Yasuda, but he was perfectly good here as your big sumo guy who will stomp you. Also, reminder that Iizuka was once a perfectly capable grappler. Really liked the finish and the Dome crowd got into Yasuda big time.
  5. This had a GREAT opening with Kansai and Harley facing off only for Yamazaki to step in and smash Kansai into the guardrails. Those guardrail bumps are about the manliest thing. This was a fast paced workrate tag, but another piece in Kansai/Saito rivalry with plenty of boss exchanges between the two. They meander at times and I dislike how Kansai would no-sell all the clever work that Yamazaki and Saito were doing. Ah well, Saito sells well enough and Yamazaki stepping up and kicking Kansai in the face is pretty much the greatest thing. Unpredictable match with lots of well timed transitions. I have no idea whether other folks can warm up to this type of stuff but I'm really enjoying it.
  6. This is a fun draw. I really like Ayako playing the angry vet, even though she's actually only a few years older than Tsukka. Both of them were pretty vicious with their strikes even though they worked the match in a standard, fast-paced, action style. I've been down on Ayako for about the last year but she's looked really good the last few matches that I've seen her in. Fujimoto continues to be one of, if not the, most underappreciated women in joshi. ***3/4
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