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Found 24 results

  1. Way too fun. This was about the best match you can possibly get out of two dudes as limited as Abby & Benkei. First Anjo and Tiger take turns laying into pudgy old sumowrestler Benkei before Abby comes in for the old stab & chop. Anjo ends up bloodied and playing a really good Ricky Morton for such a natural dipshit heel before coming back by beating the shit out of Abby and bloodying him in return. Undeterred by the potential Hep infection Tiger Mask comes in and beats the shit out of a bloody Abby aswell. Tiger can't really do highspots against these fat dudes so he just throws a bunch of kicks to the face and kneedrops and it's awesome. Abby trapping Anjo with his blob physique was a great spot too. Tiger Mask & Anjo looked super here and Abby selling and coming back with a last ditch throat chop was genuinely exciting stuff.
  2. Sayama and his fat man flips are great, no questions about it. Solar is really fired up and carried this, even though there wasn't as much matwork here as there needed to be. This would've been really good if Diablo & Azteca weren't so mediocre. Seriously these two have been working their own vanity promotion for years and can't have an exciting exchange to save their lives.
  3. This is one of my all time favorite feuds in puro. It probably won't get much attention nowadays but, that's time for ya! This isn't a definitive match list but, it covers most of the seminal puro program. These are my original reviews and star ratings when I was watching my DVDs as if the matches were weekly episodes. I've been in a wrestling rut lately so I hope this will get me out of it! Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Tiger Mask II (All Japan 3/9/88) ****1/2+ What an amazing little match. Misawa mainly keeps Jumbo contained with a side headlock for the majority of the middle portion. This would be risky nowadays but back then, it works. Wrestling is still the focus and the psychological direction is strong. Misawa can't trade blows or throws but he can contain Tsuruta & possibly score a quick pin. Jumbo won't be so easily wrangled and breaks the hold a few times. First, he is respectful by using the ropes. Next he, frustrated, peppers Tiger's ribs with short elbows. Finally, the champ shows the youngster who's boss & slings Misawa onto his back. From there, the match is wide open with a foreshadow of the action to come for AJPW in the 1990s. Fantastic! Tiger Mask and Toshiaki Kawada vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu and Ricky Fuyuki (All Japan 5/14/90) - Nothing really special move-wise but this is the match where Misawa decides that the gimmick & mask are holding him back. Jumbo, Kabuki & Fuchi vs. Misawa, Kobashi & Taue (All Japan 5/26/90) ***3/4 A good 6-man match but the real focus is on Fuchi & Jumbo putting the upstart team in their place. Kabuki to some extent too but Fuchi & Tsuruta are not impressed with the team of Misawa, Kobashi, & Taue...all look like Muppet Babies. It's wild. What's even more wild is that Misawa has the gall to elbow Jumbo off the apron (unprovoked) and that Kobashi isn't killed in the ring. Taue strangely supplies most of the action and is quite adroit in his execution. It really proves what a great tag-teamer & wrestler he is. He really lets Misawa/Kobashi work the story aspects by keeping the match going. This was a smart move on his part as early on it really was losing direction other than Jumbo is pissed. Still, the finishing portions were quite good, enough to build the excitement for the win. Suffice to say big old Jumbo is not pleased with the results. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (All Japan 6/8/90) ***** This is the epitome of a big match without doing anything "big." There were plenty of teases to finishers and all of that but, that's not where the match lay. It was a story of Misawa's speed & guile against Jumbo's brutish strength. Misawa's biggest attacks were his dives to the outside & his top rope moves. Tsuruta in contrast used his more pedestrian offense but with the weight & stiffness he is known for. Things such as stomps, axe handles, scoop slams were done with intensity that really few can rival. Just a fantastic athletic match that was really one of the best of all time. Tsuruta, Kabuki & Inoue vs. Misawa, Kawada & Kobashi (All Japan 7/12/90) **** A very exciting match in a small venue that teased and played off the new rivalry between the old guard and the young guns. Kawada even kept his feud of sorts with Kabuki going and putting his kicks over with the fans by knocking Kabuki out (legitimately?) & Kobashi showed that he could definitely hang with the top guys. We already knew that but, hey it's 1990 and he's not quite throwing the lariats & chops yet. Honestly, he's really interesting because his body of work is split in two distinct periods yet, both are really good. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Stan Hansen (All Japan 7/27/90) ***3/4 A simpler old style match that saw Misawa control Hansen for three-quarters of the time. He had his arm tied up in locks and would strike it with knees & elbows. In fact Misawa was as much a Heel as I've ever seen from him. He worked the arm over against the post and even a chair! Anytime Stan broke free though he really hit the crap out of his opponent. There were 3 or 4 really stiff shots that Misawa caught including a back elbow & from a chair. What's also pretty remarkable is how well Hansen sells the injured arm & really is on the short list for best seller. He does it so that he won't use the injured arm for really the entire match. It's a basic program that Hansen & Misawa worked in the next few years but, it's really smart & pretty great when executed by two intelligent & talented performers. Overall, this is an excellent start with 2 absolute classic matches & really fun six man outings. Pick a few, watch, and enjoy! Thank you for reading! Part 2 coming soon!
  4. This is my favourite Fujiwara/Super Tiger match. They work it with Fujiwara having the upper hand on the mat and Tiger being the dominant striker but the gaps aren't huge and both can hang and fire back in both departments. Fujiwara is awesome here, busting out awesome takedowns, countering Tiger's strikes, reversing his holds on the mat etc. but he also has all time great punches and just rocks Tiger with them when they're standing. There's a really great moment when Fujiwara starts choking Super Tiger with a Sleeper and Sayama sells it with this disgusting cough. Finishing stretch is just unreal with Sayama killing Fujiwara with brutal kicks seemingly forever and his knee drop is also up there with the best there have ever been. Fujiwara is the master at blocking kicks and reversing everything so you can buy he could come back at any time but Sayama just keeps on kicking him in the head and destroying him and it's this super dramatic struggle and then one time when Fujiwara finally gets a comeback in he gets cocky and throws a headbutt that knocks HIM down. That spot played up so many things, from Fujiwara's arrogance to the damage of Sayama's offence neutralizing a spot that I don't think had ever been neutralized before. And he just keeps on killing him and pretty much invents the shoot style KO/TKO finish in the process. FIVE STARS.
  5. Oh man did this rule... Its a WarGames style elimination match where a new entrant comes in every 2 minutes and anyone can get eliminated at any point in the match and eliminations can be done by getting thrown over the top rope. Finally we get the 2 top Crazy MAX guys with Michinoku Pros top heels and a decent lucha rudo. I really dug the stipulation and how the heels were able to keep the advantage and make the best out of it. I thought Pentagon and Pantera looked a bit lost at times, but it didnt drag the match that bit. TAKAs entrance was epic. It seemed he was a mysterious entrant and the crowd went nuts when the lights went out and his music hit. What hurt this for me was the eliminations near the finishing stretch seemed rushed. The wild brawl with everyone involved was great. I can see some disliking the way TAKA was built as Superman by kicking out of everything in the end, but considering the it seemed it was his return and he was built during his entrance, it made some sense to me. Really strong stuff. ****
  6. This was a fun match with everyone dishing out stiff shots and Anjoh making jokes. Takayama was wearing biker gloves for some reason, but other than that his exchanges with Anjoh and Tiger Mask were the highlight of the match. Tiger Mask works best against heavyweights because it adds some restraint to his work and Takayama forces him out of his usual spiel by not going along and making him actually hit the mat and work exchanges instead of just hitting his spots.
  7. This was really, really, really damn good. The match was mostly dominated by the veteran in Tiger Mask - he did a great job doing that. Volador got his highflying, high impact comebacks in & all of them were really enjoyable. ***3/4
  8. YUJI YASURAOKA OF THE DAY #1 This was a really fun junior's tag as you had guys flying around recklessly plus all the awkward painful violence that WAR entails. Problem with the match was obviously Lance Storm who is such a terrible wrestler. Half his stuff looked really out of place soft and he didn't have a clue about how to sell, or really add any substance to what he was doing beyond just executing one move after another. However, I'd say Sayama carried him okay with his shoot techniques (boy you are in trouble when Sayama has to carry things). Tiger Mask I is fat here and like Mil Mascaras meaning he is on offense whenever he is in, and really recklessly kicks the little dudes. No wonder Storm is such a pussy about working stiff, he probably still wakes up at night dreaming of fat Tiger Mask awkwardly spin kicking him in the liver. Mochizuki and Yasuraoka are really the best guys in the match as Mochizuki really really REALLY brings the nasty shots from all angles and positions including axe kicking Yuji in the face and Yasuraoka is maybe the only guy in the match who actually sells properly between the moves making everything a lot more meaningful when he is in there. Really dug his desperation lariat after almost crumbling and super fast double jumping dives. Also because this isn't Dragon Gate these guys aren't super polished so sometimes you get junior moves like a moonsault turned into a nasty backflip kneedrop. Super enjoyable match.
  9. Had to check this out because of the potential Suzuki vs. Shibata interactions, and I sure wasn't disappointed, because I got some awesome action between those 2! It looks like they might do a singles program between them, it sure felt like it w/ Suzuki constantly targeting Shibata & staring him down + attacking him post-match. I am hyped for that. The match was super fun - you got Liger as the FIP, and he was awesome, as you'd expect. Suzuki-gun did some solid heel work over him, ripping his mask & all - but the highlight of the match was indeed the Minoru Suzuki vs. Katsuyori Shibata sequence when they were both in the ring. Their interaction did not disappoint. Awesome match. ***1/2
  10. Kobayashi was always one of my favorite juniors and I’m reminded why watching this. He goes move for move with Tiger Mask and has an impressive variety of kicks at his disposal. This is better than the Dynamite Kid match, if only because you get the feeling watching those that fans are just waiting for the next big move. Here, the crowd even got into the submissions, chanting loudly for Tiger Mask when Kobayashi locked in the cross armbreaker. There is some sloppiness from Sayama here yet again, but he’s opposite a guy who seems to have the perfect understanding of how to work opposite him, so it doesn’t detract from the match as much as it does in some other cases. Kobayashi goes all rudo trying to unmask Sayama, which builds the heat in a big way. He even yanks Sayama from the ground by his mask at one point. The match ends when the referee can’t stop the mask ripping and I’m actually really looking forward to their January match. This was pretty great. ****1/4
  11. Paul Cooke recently wrote an article for the site entitled 'The Homogenization of Pro Wrestling', which brought up some interesting points that are pretty relevant to the kinds of discussions that take place on PWO. In particular, he questions whether the modern equivalents of Ultimo Guerrero, Tiger Mask, Gran Hamada, Guerrero, and Mysterio -- who merged styles and ways of working in certain respects -- have now become the norm as far as the global landscape is concerned. There is also a big question as to whether or not WWE's acquisition of talent and creative restrictions, to whatever extent, will and have caused a fading of one pro-wrestling's greatest assets -- its diversity as an art form. The article can be found here.
  12. This seems to be the night they pulled a rabbit out of their hat and delivered the best match of their series. TM was pretty sloppy at times and there were moments where it looked like Dynamite was about to die from a botched move. But overall, if I saw this match, I would almost believe the hype, more for Dynamite's performance than Sayama's. His timing and bumping was top notch. Nothing I'd go to bat for, but I thought it was excellent, warts and all. ***3/4
  13. I liked this match. Thought it was solid and well-executed, but probably nothing I'll remember too much. Bret looked very good in this, but everyone did to varying degrees. ***
  14. Charles (Loss)

    [1982-05-26-NJPW] Tiger Mask vs Black Tiger

    Before this match, Tiger Mask's matches suggest a guy who was doing some fresh stuff and was pretty good, but who was not really the transformative worker his reputation suggests. Still, he was pretty good and I would consider strong criticism to be hyperbolic. This is the worst performance he has had so far, slipping on the ropes quite a few times and looking very lost at other times. I also have never really liked the Black Tiger gimmick at all, probably because New Japan has taken two guys with great facial expressions and sleazeball charisma -- Mark Rocco and later Eddy Guerrero -- and pulled that personality into a vortex. It's the opposite of the Midas touch. Watching this also makes me appreciate other masked wrestlers even more for how demonstrative they are. Sayama eats plenty of moves, but there's no expressive selling or anything like that. My-turn, your-turn is a criticism that has always been difficult for me to understand, but it's awfully apparent here. You have Tiger Mask just working a wrestling match and doing things at the times wrestlers typically do those things in a match because that's what they typically do. But there's no mileage from the shifts in momentum and no real emotion driving the action. A match spotlighting the new style du jour shouldn't feel so joyless. And I realize I'm saying that even though the crowd ended up really into this by the finish, but this was still a disjointed mess.
  15. This was interesting. Bret really was mechanically very good even this early, when he had yet to see his 25th birthday. But my biggest takeaway from this is, "Oh, so that's why so many wrestlers have long hair." The right hair and ring attire gives everything a bit more umph, and that's a lot of what's lacking here -- just that everything seems so small. Besides that, the match is technically well worked but on the bland side, although by the standards of 1982, it's pretty action-packed. I like Bret working as a power junior, with the biggest aspect of his game being hard strikes and a great suplex. The timing on the dropkick as Bret was running the ropes was fantastic, and I'll never complain about a butterfly suplex getting a win. Not really hugely memorable, but a good, enjoyable match. ***1/4
  16. Talk about it here.
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