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Found 54 results

  1. We are closing in on the epic battle between Tatsumi Fujinami and Antonio Inoki on August 8th. Let's see what else is going on in New Japan at the time... Buzz Sawyer/Manny Fernandez vs Riki Choshu/Masa Saito (7/22) Short clip of just the finish. Everyone looked pretty cool and like skull crushers. Next, the TV program shows us a recap of the events leading to the Fujinami/Inoki encounter. Some I've covered in previous posts while some footage is new to me. Riki vs Vader looks particularly interesting. This match and others are available but, I didn't happen to pick that disc up at the time. Anyhow, we're now properly excited for the showdown. But first... Shiro Koshinaka vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (8/08): Both men wrestled like they wanted to steal the show from the headliners. Never a dull moment and I recant my statement from an earlier post- these guys are awesome opponents for one another. It reminded me of Misawa vs Kawada in '92 - move sets that emphasize action while not minimizing the importance of leverage based pinning predicaments near the end. Wow, that's specific! But, that's what's so great about late 80's and early 90's junior style. They would go for flashy moves but, would return to time tested cradles and bridging suplexes for the win. This reminds us that the wrestler is there to pin or submit his opponent first and foremost. Later, of course, the flash would be the finish and the match becomes a game of 'one upping each other.' Anyhow, this was a great match. Probably the best Jr. bout shown in '88 thus far AND probably the longest. It clocked in at about 9 minutes. Bam Bam Bigelow vs Big Van Vader (8/08) Vader attacks Bigelow with the helmet smoke! Hell yes! The battle of the bulldozers is on! And it doesn't stop until the final bell is sounded. We get an expected 80's finish but, that does not diminish anything that occurs prior. Vader and Bam Bam were able to be athletic and really sell the idea that Big Van had met his equal in the Beast from the East. A very good match for sure! And its shown in full. Nice! Next time, we see if Fujinami vs Inoki lives up to the '88 and historical hype. We'll see if it lives up to my memory as well! Thanks for reading!
  2. Jerry Lawler vs Bam Bam Bigelow - Memphis 9/8/86 Texas Death Match I knew I was watching something special once Bigelow starting working the ribs and Lawler’s selling really kicked in. It was during Lawler’s comeback I realized the greatest David vs Goliath match may be happening before my eyes. I was rooting for the Lawler piledriver to end it so badly. I think this maybe Jerry Lawler’s masterpiece. The Mantell/Funk/Dundee matches he had a great dance partner and are amazing brawls. Here he weaves an amazing story with a green as grass, fresh out the kitchen, Bam Bam Bigelow. Bigelow came here to play and he never once had a mis-step. It is probably depressing that this the greatest match of his career and he never even came close to replicating it. That’s why Jerry Lawler is the King because he could make people look like a million bucks. The match is so fucking good that I don’t want to bring this up, but God it was just too funny. The first image of this match is Bam Bam Bigelow doing decent cartwheels. When I think of Texas Death Matches, I think of cartwheels. I get it the cartwheels are supposed to show the Bigelow is not your typical lumbering giant he is also aigle, but c’mon cartwheels and not even very good ones at that. They were like his moonsault a little bit off to side. This is the case with Bigelow in a lot of ways he was decent at lot of stuff, but not excellent at any way and he gets lumped in with the greatest big men, but for me he is definitely a level down. Jerry Lawler brought out some disc jockey to counteract Larry Sharpe (Bigelow’s trainer turned manager) the DJ does a cartwheel into a back handspring into a split. Yep, shown up by a chump. Don’t let the lame start fool this, this match is fucking bitchin! The layout of this match is so perfect that is a bit of a shame the finish was not definitive. Bam Bam is the monster and Lawler is the undersized hero that just has his fists and his wits to level the playing field. It is a story as old as time and I don’t know if it was ever told better than during this match. Bam Bam establishes power game with biels out of the corner. Lawler’s methodical, stand up style plays right into Bigelow’s strategy. Let’s see how Lawler can combat the Beast from the East. When he gets the monster angry with some quick crosses and Bigelow started to charge allowing The King to side step him. However, Lawler cannot create that movement on his own and ends up getting trapped into a corner. I would love to see Lawler against a high flyer, who could create that movement for him and see how Lawler would react. Amazing selling of those punches by Lawler. Wrestlers should be trained on how to throw and sell punches by watching tapes of Jerry Lawler. On the outside, Bigelow punches the post and this creates an opening for the King. Great selling of the hand by Bigelow by putting his good hand forward. I loved the stand up battle and Lawler luring him into a test of strength only pop him one. Bigelow chokes Lawler and uses headbutts to ribs to win first fall. Lawler is up holding the ribs and Bigelow buries his hands deep into the ribs and another falling headbutt scores the fall. After two straight falls, Bigelow is cocky; Lawler comes over and punches Bigelow right square in the mouth, what a great punch. Bigelow buries hands deep into the midsection again, but misses headbutt! Lawler covers and scores a fall. Russell says it a morale victory and I say it is 20 extra seconds of rest for Lawler. Lawler presses the advantage with big punches. Bigelow is very dazed from his own headbutt. Bigelow is bumping and selling ala Brock Lesnar of today. Really good shit! Flying fist drop gets Lawler his second fall and more rest and more momentum. Lawler is staggered but buoyed with recent success looks to punch himself out of trouble but is falling over himself. He misses a fist drop and Bigelow immediately falls on him with a headbutt on the midsection. Perfect responseby Bigelow. Bigelow punches Lawler so hard he falls forward. Bigelow lays with all his weight on Lawler and hooks in a sleeper. This is such smart wrestling by Bam Bam. Bigelow is wrestling like a ten year vet right here, wow! Gnaws at Lawlers head and busts him open. Bigelow sleeper puts Lawler out and he looks in real danger. Larry Sharpe screams is “There a Doctor in the house” Bigelow is surprised he got up and gouges at cut and the eyes. Lawler gets a sleeper of his own and Lance’s call of it is amazing. Listen to it. He slowly becomes more and more encouraged until you can hear the elation that Lawler has sunk it in. Bigelow gets up and snapmares him off. Bigelow elbow gets the three. It was Pyrrhic Victory. Lawler strap down! Lawler’s comeback is phenomenal. Bigelows bumps are incredible! Huge bump over the top rope. Lawler slams him to railing. Piston punches. Bigelows kicks him in midsection. Tries to turn tide and Irish Whips him into ref. Bigelow pin with a dazed ref. Kinda lame. Larry Sharpe horse collars Bam Bam with chair by accident. Ref counts both men down. First man up wins. Lawler wins. After the match, Sharpe berates Bam Bam so he gives chase and turns face. Up until the finish, this looked to be the greatest David vs Goliath match I have ever seen. However since there was a need to protect Bam Bam since he was turning face they finish was a bit off. It was not so much the fact they went with the first man gets up to his feet wins. It was that Lawler was knocked out via the bump with the ref that seemed kinda lame. Enough complaining, this match fucking rules. Easily one of the best of the 80s, check it and see! Lawler's masterpiece! Bigelow's best match of his career! One of the best of Memphis! One of the Best Texas Death Matches Ever! ****3/4
  3. Bigelow is a guy whose matches I have definitely watched in the past that I have absolutely no opinion or one way or the other, this wasn't a very good showcase for him. Early shine with Inoki punking Bigelow was fun but Bigelow's control segments did very little for me, mediocre strikes, slams and clotheslines as well as faux-athletic big guy moves that don't look good and serve no purpose, Inoki might as well have been facing Kane. Inoki's comeback attempts and comeback were totally badass though, you have him going fiercely going after Bigelow by throwing great punches, raking his eye and dragging him in the ring over the ropes with a Choke Sleeper which looked absolutely brutal. Inoki chokes Bigelow out but Bigelow has his foot on the ropes and they have Bigelow sell forever before getting up and throwing a tantrum at ringside. **3/4