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Found 9 results

  1. Microstatistics

    [1969-03-05-JWA] Giant Baba vs The Destroyer

    Far and away the best display of old style matwork I have ever seen. Innovative, intense and fluid, just amazing stuff. Destroyer is simply brilliant as the vicious, cheating heel using every dirty trick in the book to gain the advantage while Baba is great as the top guy relying on skill and toughness. Along with the French Catch stuff, the highlight of the 60s. **** 1/2
  2. 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,
  3. 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. ****
  4. The announcer says the match went 10:46, and we get a little more than three minutes of action, but the match *feels* complete, so props to whomever cut it or mother nature for preserving the parts of the tape they could make something off. We see some opening armwork after which they move onto the legwork and thing get heated-Oki just obliterates Andrews, relentlessly going for Figure Fours. Andrews does a good job of using ring positioning to escape, but eventually Oki gets back on the onslaught, and thing continue to look grim. Andrews literally takes a full on Flair/Michaels corner bump to the outside as a stark reminder there is nothing new under the sun, and Oki finishes him off with a nice strike combination, including a neat back elbow/headbutt in the corner. Very, very good.
  5. We only get about a minute and a half of action, but man oh man does it look incredible. There's an awesome bit where Oki runs away from Killer X, even almost hiding behind the ref, only to suck in Killer X into a Headbutt, and Oki's Headbutt is the be-all and end-all of all strikes. It's almost unreal seeing Killer X bump the way he did in a match from 1961-really gigantic pinball selling with him jumping in the air, taking a huge bump off an irish whip and swinging once he was caught up in the ropes. Killer X got back into the match by throwing some mean strikes and finishing the match off with a brutal diving knee. Hard to judge without it full thing, but what we have makes it look great.
  6. Nowhere near as cool as it sounds. A two minute clip shows Antonio doing a feat of strength in which he pulls a full buss, a lot of crowd shots and a JIP with some fun brawling before a count-out finish. Worth a watch for the novelty of it at least.
  7. Decided to rewatch this and was startled at how tight and great everything before the finish was. While Kimura has the judo prowess, Rikidozan simply uses his strength to counter his attempted throws and submissions, easily shoving him away most of the time. Kimura's fear of pins is so refreshing-he immediately gets his shoulder up, kicks away and/or rolls to his stomach, no sign of even allowing a pin, let alone any counts. Kimura seemed to have a strong graps of selling-loved how he desperately fought off the headscissors and just recklessly threw himself out of them first chance he got. Rikidozan's offence may have been quite basic but there's nothing quite like hearing a gigantic thud made by someone bouncing off the mat, and I struggle to think of seeing anyone with better bodyslams than the ones Rikidozan executed here. There was some fun finisher teasing which the crowd bit on, especially when Rikidozan would go for his big Neck Chop, I totally bought into him making Kimura flinch. The finish somehow looked even more violent on another watch, it's basically a combination of Bas Rutten vs Funaki and Fujita vs Bob Sapp, you get the world's nastiest palm strikes combined with brutal soccer kicks, but even PRIDE didn't allow fighters to basically stomp someone on the back of the head. Of course the match is an amazing piece of historic footage, but the work rules too. ****1/4
  8. Ah, that old 60s/70s style of matwork. I remember years ago when I was obsessed with this stuff and downloading everything from Ditch I could find. If you've seen lucha title matches, british matwork or really anything modern this stuff will seem rather prehistoric to you, but there's lots of good stuff here. The star of the bout was Gene Kiniski as he has such a simple, yet cool style. He did a number of nifty holds and all of his offense was extremely painful looking. It was almost like incubatory ground and pound, as he would get Baba on the mat and then just stomp and knee drop him into oblivion. He does have really great stomps and knee drops and he was constantly attacking Baba's throat. His selling for Baba was also off the charts. Baba - well, I am not the biggest fan of this guy. He is a good wrestler - much better than you expect a weird giant with matchsticks arms to be, but watching him against these legendary guys I always wonder what they could do against someone a little more gifted. Also, no matter what they do on the mat, his matches always turn into Baba throwing a guy around with his signature offense and chops. To his credit, I liked his use of his freaky long legs to reverse Kiniski's holds, busting out the flying headscissor which is a pretty crazy spot for him. The famous "Smart Baba" was also present as this 2/3 falls match had 3 very good, genuinely surprising finishes and some dramatic selling in the last 3rd. Very fun contest if you can stomach watching something slow.
  9. This was apparently Gotch's first match in Japan, seeing rare footage of prime Gotch is such a treat, we get lots of nifty matwork as you'd expect. Gotch's German Suplex here is as picture perfect as it gets and I believe was used as a sample when the move was animated for Fire Pro and some other games. Though it is nice to see how much of Gotch's knowledge was preserved in the traditional New Japan style this still had some things that were lost to time, like Gotch's brilliant counter to Yoshimura's attempt of countering Gotch's indian deathlock with a sleeper (2:30), countering a counter attempt to a Hammerlock I'm not even going to try to explain etc.
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