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Found 18 results

  1. Do yourself a favour and make it a priority to watch this match asap. Literally one of the most awesome brutal spectacles I've ever seen. It starts out with Tenryu chopping Kabuki in the throat in the middle of an exchange, leaving him suffocating on his back, which sets the tone nicely. The early Orihara sections were pretty fun, as every couple minutes he would try something stupid and get punished swiftly. Kabuki & Kitahara end up putting a massive assbeating on him. Kitahara looks like such a killer in this match, just walloping everyone with kicks left and right and dealing them kicks to the eye and the skull, and Kabuki looks great aswell, dishing out extra mean punches and kicks. It also helps that you can really whip Orihara around, he would eat a neckbreaker and his head would just bounce off the mat. Oriharas initial comeback was pretty much perfect as he ditches his junior offense and just tees off with reckless kicks. Later he would hit these great looking dives. His springboard crossbody is an example of a perfectly timed highspot. Tenryu wasn't in the match a ton but he would occasionally walk in and remind you who he his. Earlier Kabuki had blindsided him so, after he Orihara hit a dive and left Kabuki prone outside Tenryu would casually stroll over and clock him with a chair. It's these kind of moments that help make this sort of match so much more intense. Tenryu going mad with the pre-PRIDE soccer kicks, not letting off and leaving Kitahara bloodied is why he's Top 5 all time. Note how he would also put over his opponents, with Kitahara almost KO'ing him and Kabuki pretty much beating him silly with the punches and super kicks. What a fucking match, I wouldn't be shocked if this ends up in my All Time Top 10 as far as tags go.
  2. Fun as hell little undercard trios centered around Nakano and Fuyuki hating eachothers guts. They are immediately at eachothers throat and trading beatings, Nakano asks Fuyuki to tag in etc. This is broken up by some weird and wonderful Sano/Ishikawa workrate interactions with Ishikawa hitting an awesome tubby old man plancha. However it's back to hatred and soon Nakano has punched a beeding wound into Fuyukis forehead. Then we get Kabuki punching and kicking a bloody Fuyuki in the face (as it should be). Fuyuki is quite the good sympathetic babyface here, doing his high pitched yelling etc. The finishing run is really fun too with Takahi Ishikawa being fired up, Kabuki hitting superkicks. Finally Nakano goes to town on Fuyuki with the chair. These two probably faced eachother at a Pioneer Senshi houseshow or something and we only got a taste here, but it really elevated what could have been a throwaway undercard tag.
  3. The main event was a stupidly good sleazy WAR battle with Arashi basically walloping everyone with stiff lariats all the time and not bumping ever and crusty old Kabuki ruling it doing you know exactly what, hitting the worlds greatest punches and superkicks. Yamada basically gets the shit beaten out of him and eats the fuck out of every lariat and superkick he gets, just drilling himself into the mat with enthusiasm. Okamura is pretty blah but he and Yamada are EAGER and Kabuki is totally carrying this by bumping like a motherfucker and getting chairs chucked in his face and making me give a shit for his nerve hold AGAIN. He teases the fist drop and eats a flying lariat in a sequence that wasn't athletically impressive or anything but awesome in context of the match. I was totally a Kabuki fan before getting into IWA Japan, but seeing him crusty, old and broken down as an improbable but determined company ace who throws fists and gets spin kicked in the face is an enlightenment.
  4. The crusty main event! Kabuki train 98 continues! Everyone in this match gets WALLOPED and it rules. Yamada & Okumura get all uppity and Nagasaki fucking wastes them both with chairs. Kabuki & Nagasaki turn into the worlds lumpiest Anderson brothers and procure some brutal armwork and stomps, with Nagasaki rocking the shoulder dislocating Armbars. It's improbable and strange and great. Kabuki hits his awesome fist drop and starts working the ARMPIT CLAW and it's fucking gross. Okumura & Yamada are not technically great but they are willing to smack the shit out of the crusty old bastards and in return get punched in the face, elbowed in the chin and kicked in the throat a LOT. Kabuki & Nagasaki actually have enough cardio to keep things moving for 15 minutes and we get a handful of great spots and thrust kicks. FEAR THE GREEN MIST! Also, SICK piledriver finish. I loved this.
  5. Just the last 10 or so minute of what looked like a solid match. The highlight was easily Kawada and Kabuki waffling eachother. Also, Inoue gets the snot beaten out of him by the young punks but wins with flash rollup, which is one of my favourite things. Other than that this was mostly a flurry of moves.
  6. Leave it to a bunch of sleazy dudes and old geezers to have one of the funnest bomb throwing sprints of the year. You know any match with Tarzan Goto & Ryuma Go in it is pure money. If you don't, I hereby decree it. I was expecting a wild brawl, but they mostly stay in the ring and stick to the all star team of Tarzan/Go/Kabuki waffling the shit out of the sleaze greenhorns. Matsuda & Okumura aren't all that great, but that DOES NOT MATTER because they were here to get punched in the face and kicked in the throat a whole LOT. The exchanges between Goto & Yamada were insanely gory and easily the highlight of the match. I also unexpectedly loved Kabuki, who is supposed to be way over the hill and corpse-like at this pound but still BRINGS it - by doing what he always did: throwing punches and thrust kicking dudes really hard. I can't believe people widely don't like this dude - even his nerve hold was awesome! He was KILLING the poor guy with that nerve hold. I imagine if this had a grand stand exchange between Goto & Yamada at the end or something this would have been near all time level, but as it stands it was basically 3 badass vets waltzing in to kick the shit out of anyone and it kind of ruled. Also, do not watch this match if you dislike lariats, because this had about 30 of em.
  7. This was okay for parts and then a bit ropey for others. Standard criticism of Flair and/or Flair Formula is that he/it can sort of stifle guys because they need to change some aspects how they work when they're opposite Ric. They're forced to do press slams or always apply the figure four or whatever. If I'm watching a guy opposite Flair for the first time I'm usually interested in seeing how he'll plug his own stuff into Flair's formula, how much he'll delegate to Flair, etc. The first fifteen minutes of this was really just Kabuki being Kabuki and it didn't feel much like your typical Flair match at all. Kabuki threw a bunch of superkicks and I liked how Flair sold them as if he had no idea how to defend against them. He'd just walk into a superkick and have to scramble to the corner for a reprieve. Kabuki can hit them from anywhere and Flair had no answer for it. Kabuki's nerve hold wasn't the most compelling way to fill time, but I get a kick out of him switching it up a bit from the traps to the stomach to the obliques. Flair was really vocal with his selling too, and if nothing else you could buy him being frustrated at having such a hard time figuring Kabuki out. Then the last ten minutes kind of teetered on being not very good. They tried a bunch of the Flair staples, but only about half of them came off. I didn't mind that the headlock into bridge into backslide spot never worked, because Kabuki isn't necessarily the most athletic guy and sometimes things like that add to the sense of struggle, but then they just got back up and went into the backslide after a few beats anyway. If something didn't work they'd just...do it again. There was no improvisation, it was all sort of "checking the boxes" and then Flair chucked the referee and that was that.
  8. This kind of match has a sort of inevitability about it. Taue is practically unblooded and Kabuki, broken down as he's becoming, isn't dragging a guy in his second year past two of the three biggest stars in the company. And Tenryu and Hansen themselves are inevitable. They're wrecking balls, they destroy things and you can't stop it. The fun, then, is seeing how the old guy with the nunchucks and his rookie partner meet their demise. Tenryu and Hansen obviously smashed them to bits -- nasty chops, forearms, clubbering, forty yarders to the spine. Taue wouldn't go down without a fight though, and there was a great bit where he caught Tenryu coming off the ropes with a big boot to the chin before following up with a weird chokeslam that dropped him face-first. If wrestling was real then Hansen would have to be one of your top draft picks for a tag partner. He's exactly the kind of guy you'd want at your back in a fight. Any time Tenryu looked to be in even the slightest bit of bother Stan would come in and help. Put Tenryu in a leglock? Hansen is in kicking your face. Indian deathlock? Not on Hansen's watch. Taue and Kabuki got no respite whatsoever. He was also awesome at responding to Kabuki's short uppercuts (which looked GREAT, btw). The more Kabuki threw the more Hansen would sell them, going from almost annoyance at the start to eventually needing to just bowl Kabuki out the ring so he'd stop. Finish was cool as well, with Kabuki taking a wild bump to the floor off the lariat as Taue lay dead for a while after the double powerbomb.
  9. This is one of my favourite 70s tags. Hell, it may be my very favourite. A long match that just flies by, because every section has some neat aspect to it. These stumpy legged IWE guys really knew how to hit the mat and get aggressive in entertaining fashion in between cool looking proto junior offense that doesn't look fruity. Takachio is the Great Kabuki, and he already had his great looking uppercut which is all I need. Kutsuwda is a big trollish looking dude and it was really cool to see Mighty and Hamaguchi use their skill on this brute. Another thing that I like is that these guys weren't afraid to lay it in, so you also get some stiff kicks to the chest etc. Every hold was really wrenched in too and my favourite thing is that the selling was really spot on, so the hold work doesn't feel like time killing. In the 2nd fall we get more cool matwork where Hamaguchi and Mighty really twist the hell out of Takachio's leg. He does this really cool selling where is punching his own knee as if to stop it from popping out. Eventually he makes a comeback by throwing punches on one leg which was awesome. The nifty little touches kept coming and from now on it feels like all guys are trying to finish this all the time. The 3rd fall is short but cool as hell too where they all really go at eachother, throwing wild punches and slaps, totally laying it in. I also like that all three falls ended in a flash. I would've really liked a bigger Inoue/Takachio showdown as these are two guys with the greatest punches but you can't have everything. Great match.
  10. Jumbo Tsuruta | Great Kabuki | Isao Takagi vs Genichiro Tenryu | Toshiaki Kawada | Samson Fuyuki January 2, 1990 All Japan Pro Wrestling New Years Giant Series 7.5 Even if we concede that the Jumbo-Tenryu rivalry, which was nearing the three-year mark at this point, was getting old, there is no denying that the work in the ring is still excellent, whether it comes from Tenryu and Kabuki trading chops and uppercuts or Isao Takagi's inspired underdog babyface performance, capped off by a five-alarm blade job. The entire match builds to Takagi getting a close, believable nearfall on Tenryu. Regardless of Tenryu's imminent departure, perhaps it was a sign that the rivalry was running out of steam when coming out of this match, Tenryu programs with Kabuki and Takagi seemed more urgent than big Tenryu-Tsuruta match. Availability All Japan Pro Wrestling Special on NTV - Aired January 15, 1990
  11. Some outstanding matwork between Fuchi and Joe to start us off, all with the announcers calling Joe the “#1 shooter” in the background. Every pairing works in similar fashion, and I suppose I’m surprised that Kabuki can hang on the mat with everyone else. But Joe Malenko is just an amazing wrestler to watch here, fluid in a way that very few have ever really been. That’s enough to make up for the fact that this would be a pretty bland match otherwise, considering there isn’t much of a layout and there aren’t really any repeated themes. It’s just a series of well-worked exchanges with everyone pairing getting some time. Sometimes, good wrestling is enough on its own. ***1/2
  12. Grimmas

    Great Kabuki

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