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Found 211 results

  1. I am biased and try to stay away from the WWF/E as much as I can. Other than a handful of periods in time, it is not for me. So a few years back I was watching the SWS promotion and they had a working relationship with the WWF and some of those mixed matches were pretty good depending on who was in them. After watching the Grizzly Smith Dark Side of the Ring I decided to see what Jake the Snake matches I had. Not many...but I found one from my AJ Classics and I thought 'what the heck! Let's see how these WWF vs Japan matches are!' Jake Roberts vs. Big Bossman - I wanted to like this but skip it. It was Bossman beating up Jake at a snails pace and sneering at the crowd. Jake was good but this wasn't really his forte. Bret Hart vs. Tiger Mask - Full match, a lot of the reviews in the Match Discussion Archives are about a clipped version. This is a good match. I'll be frank Bret can be a boring wrestler without a good story or an opponent who he knows well. So we're 0 for 2 here. Misawa was an upper midcard guy here and wrestled like one. The problem aren't those things though. The issue is that they had them wrestle a longer match. 15-20 minutes...Bret's the guy to do it but again he didn't know Misawa & Misawa isn't supposed to be showing up Hart. 'Cause I'm going to be honest, Misawa in later 1990 had IT because Baba took off his restraints of the mask/character/position in the company...this wasn't that Mitsuharu though. Shoehi Baba / Andre the Giant vs. Demolition - This was fun but only because it was short. Demolition do nothing for me. Jumbo Tsuruta / King Haku vs. Curt Henning / Rick Martel - All right! This is a match up that I never knew I needed to see...but it did not disappoint! All guys are great workers and speak English and probably shared some locker rooms over the years so we were getting great moves and fun sequences. Not only that but some drama too! This was a very good match...scratching on the door of greatness. Randy Savage vs Genichiro Tenryu - Randy with Sherri Martel (who was as much a part of the match as the guys) vs Mr. Puroresu. And in the Dome, Tenryu lives up to that. Like New Mr. Puro Kobashi, Tenryu just embodies the style and sport. So it was a treat to have him face a lunatic like Savage...who I think is an embodiment of American style with the fashion, promos, but the in ring excitement to back it up. Like the above tag bout, this was really good stuff...the fans were loving this! Hulk Hogan vs Stan Hansen - Have no doubts, this is a great match. I avoid Hogan matches but, this is not something to miss especially if you enjoy Stan Hansen. If you have never seen Hansen then this may be your best entry point. At thirteen minutes, we get distilled Lariat - Unsinkable Battle Ship Hansen vs Hulk -I'm in Japan where they still think I'm a badass- Hogan and they live up to it all in my view. I did a big write up and took screen shots to send my dad...it was that great. I mean not to spoil it but give you a taste, we get double blood! Those last three matches are worth checking out for sure. They aren't in that order on the full show or even on the AJ Classics but this is how I would have booked it. Thanks for reading! Keep safe!
  2. WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat - Wrestlemania III History beckons the Macho Man! One of the all-time great promos and singular lines in pro wrestling. I had forgotten that during the Steamboat promo that they do mention this is the Dragon's last shot, which is only further proof why the match was worked the way it was and the correct way to go about it. I always loved how they weaved in the George Steel story into this match. I love how Savage moves Liz away from Steele because of what happened at the last SNME where he kidnapped her. Well-played spot. The finish is just awesome with Steel saving Steamboat from the bell. It is too bad that Savage could not get himself to be hit with the bell a little bit more convincingly. Much like Hogan vs Andre, this match has been talked to death and I don't have a completely revolutionary fresh take, but I did enjoy this match more than I ever have in the past. The first time I watched this was probably about ten years ago and I hate to admit I was pretty underwhelmed. It just seemed like guys moving really fast, but without much substance to it. This match for me at least has gotten better with each subsequent watch and I really enjoyed it this time around. The Toronto match really helps put things into perspective. I highly recommend watching the Toronto match before this one to get the full experience. In fact, I would imagine if you go back and watch 2 or 3 of their 86 matches it would help even more. It is actually surprising how many spots are similar to Toronto but they work them in different fashions, but it is still organic. They even played off the Toronto finish with Savage reversing a O'Connor Roll, but this time Steamboat kicked out. I think there are times when Steamboat does show aggression that have been brushed over like the choke on Savage at the beginning and the aggression of his chops. Savage is a particularly nasty heel in this and in general that is his style. He takes shortcuts and uses nasty short strikes to keep his opponents at bay. The eye rake when Steamboat was unleashing all that karate popped me. I really loved his use of the high knee in this match. It was a well-delivered attack and it was always to the back. Great dick move. Around this time, he decks Steamboat in the midst of the skin the cat and Jesse delivers my all time favorite line "You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one up on the Macho Man." This is a type of feud that I think could benefit wrestling more and that is the one-sided hate feud. Steamboat hates Savage and that's clearly evident. Savage does not actually hate Steamboat. He is lashing out in fear of losing the title. It makes sense for Savage to cheat like a muthafucka and go for a ton of pinfalls. Steamboat does actually work aggressive at times, but this is tempered by the fact that this maybe his last shot for the IC title. Do they move too fast in this match? Yes and no. I think this match is very influential on the current style used today. Pack in a ton of action and lots of nearfalls at the end = This Is Awesome chants. I think they move way too fast at the beginning. There are way too many momentum shifts and there is very little rhythm. it does not feel like a struggle. I would say around the high knees that match settles into a nice structure with Steamboat fighting underneath due to Savage's cheating. I actually dig the urgency of Steamboat's nearfalls. It is a really heightened sense of drama. I think during the finish the speed at which they were going was warranted and was a boon to the match. Overall, I thought they moved a bit too quickly early on, last half was wicked hot. It was downright revolutionary for the WWF at the time. Those nearfalls were wicked hot. You always think of the one after the karate chop near the ropes that gets a monster pop because everyone thought Steamboat had won. I also did not think there was one consistent thread through the entire match like a real cool overarching story. I am sticking the Toronto match ahead, but this is a badass match and very, very important in the history of wrestling for how it influenced the fans, wrestlers and the promotion. ****3/4
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