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Found 8 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. This was, I believe, the first time Mile wrestled in the Hannover tournament. So, this is the new kid taking on the aging heavyweight top babyface. In hindsight, Axel Dieter is a pretty good veteran technician. Not a master, but he could go in this type of high workrate "young athlete takes the old vet to the limit" match. He didn't have a problem going along with Mile's highly athletic moves. The structure in these matches is always a little rough, I assume because there was no TV wrestling or tapetrading in germany and workers were adjusting to the changing nature of wrestling that came with the new import wrestlers on the fly, but they are wise enough to tease an early finish,have Dieter be the one to start roughing Mile up (with interesting fan reactions) and then work an enduring contest that puts Mile over big time for going the distance.
  5. This is for the European Middleweight title and something I've had for years, but never actually watched. Foolish me, because this is an utterly fantastic match, maybe the best match I've seen for either guy. Mile did some brilliant stuff here, some of which I haven't seen in any other match. Which is crazy considering he would hang up his boots soon after this - I guess all these maestro type guys all get better with age. He may be one of the most underrated bridge users. Seriously his neck bridges and maneuvering around on the mat in and out of pin positions were amazing. If you like awesome wrist lock and neck chancery work, painful leg snapping techniques aswell as a variety of bridge spots this is your match. Collins at this point was an experienced pro and game for this kind of contest. He did some good stuff, unique stuff (dug his falling headbutt) but Mile was the king of the mat here. Of course both guys like to get aggressive too and weren't afraid to lay in the european uppercuts, and they moved back and forth from holds and matwork to beating the piss out of eachother nicely. The weak point of the match is the finish, as Collins blew a couple rope running sequences and they just ended the match. Still, totally kickass bout, the best from these VDB discs and a hidden gem.
  6. I haven't watched this one in years, and since OJ relieved my nostalgia for middle european pro wrestling, I gave it another spin. The first trivial observation is how much more play matches like this would get had they been filmed professionally. After watching so much different wrestling over the years I can say that the quality of these vienna handhelds is the dirt worst. Bad camera angle, unnatural colors, clips, crowd noise eating up most of the sound, you may see footage like this as an experimental foreign arthouse film. That aside, this being a rare 30 minute middleweight title match from austria with absolutely no shenanigans is worth powering through the video quality. And let me tell you, there is some quite fantastic stuff here. You didn't see these kind of faster paced lightweight matches much in germany/austria, and clearly they were going out of their way to make this special. People have their issues with Steve Wright, but I felt his flashiness was well integrated here as the much more down to earth Zrno is a great counterpart to him. These matches were worked much rougher in germany than in the UK. No cute stuff, just fierce takedowns, twisting on the mat and constant trading of stiff as hell european uppercuts and headbutts. They really go hard at it and just back and forth with mat stuff, rope running and laying into eachother with shots. It almost feels like a workrate match at times, but the constant stiff shots and battling over basic throws make it quite the engrossing, gruelling battle. Highlights include Steve countering a takedown attempt by turning Mile inside out, aswell as both of them turning seemlessly into an amateur sequence after a missed pin attempt. Steve really shows his wares in this match and seems to be constantly advancing. You won't be blown away by this if you've watched a ton of euro stuff, but for the time (late 80s when brit wrestling was winding down) this is really good stuff that exudes charm especially with the fans being behind their respective favourite all the way and yelling Bravo! in genuine amazement at every throw. The finish feels like a triumphant victory appropriate for a classic wrestling bout, along with the tremendous endurance displayed by both contenders adding greatly to the match.
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