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Charles (Loss)

1994 Recommendations

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Tossing out a few other comments:

 

* Baba

 

So either one accepts Baba in "competative" matches with the top guys in 1993-94, or one doesn't. It would be tough to come up with a golden rule in the sense of "If you like X or Y or Z, you'll be fine with Baba in these matches". I just don't know what the various XYZ's would be. Perhaps the closest I can come up with is that if you're a fan of Baba's stuff in the 60s and 70s, you'll probably have an easier time accepting / enjoying him in these.

 

My analogy would be Flair Fan still enjoying Flair after say 1993 when it was becoming really clear time passed him by. That might be late 70s Baba. Then Flair Fan still enjoying him in the 00s, when it was clear that Ric was really washed up, and pretty damn embarassing at times. That's probably Baba in competative matches in the late 80s and on into the 90s. Or people who still like Flair.

 

I suspect that I've over time become a Baba Fan, going a complete 180 from someone who didn't want him on the screen whenI first starting watching puroresu in 1989. One of the turning points was the 11/30/93 tag, though I can't say I enjoyed watching Baba on my TV regularly after that. Some matches were okay, others weren't. The next turning point was watching his older stuff, where it became pretty clear that he was Good Taue in his era, except probably twice (or three times) as smart as Good Taue... who wasn't exactly a complete moron in there. You watch enough good Baba matches you start accepting the limitations... then you accept the aging... and you're picking up on the crowd still popping for his stuff, his willingness to do whatever the opponent wants (within the limitations of his body), and that pretty much everyone is having fun with it while at the same time taking it series... all in a competative match.

 

One of the nice things about 1993-94 is that Baba had largely taken himself out of competative matches while Misawa & Co. vs Jumbo & Co. was going on. He still worked the Tag League, in "contending" teams with Andre in 1990 & 1991, and pairing with Kobashi in 1992 to move Kobashi higher up in the standings with a "near contending" rub. But in truth, those teams didn't drag attention away from what was essentially a Big 4 grouping of teams that chased the prize each year. Andre & Baba and the Funks were just Special Attractions. In turn, Baba did get involved in the regular six man tags or key storylines much.

 

When the Four Corners feud started in 1993, he wasn't involved to a notable degree. Then Gordy went out, and Ted went down... and Baba stepped in to team with Hansen to help save the 1993 Tag League. And after close to three years of not being in the mix, there was something "fresh" about the old fart being in the mix. Even then, it was a bit of picking spots. The focus was on the Four Corners, but Baba was a little spice added in here and there.

 

And in a sense, everyone had fun with it. The wrestlers sold their asses off for him, but he also ate a ton of their stuff. Double Main Event at Budokan? The result was to job to Misawa.

 

It's a short window here in 11/93 through 4/94 where it's nice, you accept it, have a good time with it. There are occassions afterwards where he pops up: had to step into the 1994 Tag League when Omori didn't work out, and they special one hour draw in the 1995 Carny when Doc got busted.

 

So I have to confess... I found all six of the Baba matches above enjoyable in one degree or another. When I had issues with them or some things that were subpar, it rarely had anything to do with Baba. He pretty much nailed his role, and the folks in with him did as well. If someone is putting together a Baba Comp, there's some stuff off here that warrants going on it, and I'm not just talking about the Budokan match. Entertaining stuff.

 

* Doc

 

Doc is really quite good at this point. I'd say the three best workers in the series were Doc, Hansen and Kawada... and it's not like the two gaijin need to take a backseat to Kawada. Hansen never seemed to take a night off, often working in a difficult role. Doc was full of confidence in his bigger push, and seemed to want to drive himself to show he was worthy of it. But more than just being an ass kicker in the big push, he was extremely confident and improving in his selling and making others look good. Earlier in the decade it often looked like the wheels were moving when he sold, akin to someone dancing while counting off the steps in their head... rather than just feeling the music and knowing the moves. By this point, Doc was feeling it. Terrific stuff.

 

* Misawa

 

It won't come out in what makes the comp, but it's really clear he's "off". Like I said in the post above, it's not clear if he was injured coming in and they worked the injury angle to ease his load, or if he was gased out from the load he carried over the past year plus since Jumbo went out. But he was off his feed. He's generally pretty damn fine the rest of the year in his Big Matches. I haven't watched the non-big matches in a long time. In the tag league he's got Kobashi at his side, and Kobashi is just going to overwhelm matches anyway... so I don't recall anything off the top of my head where he seemed out of it in those. This may have just have been taking a breather.

 

John

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I absolutely second Doc/Akiyama. The difference between that match and their one on the first show of '93 is staggering; Doc really looks like he's having a ball working with the guy and really wants to put him over.

 

I got more story from Kobashi/Akiyama, personally, the last time I watched it. It's "action-based", of course, but I recall getting an underdog story, and remember thinking some of the sequences were particularly well put together even by the assumed standards.

Jun is always going to be the underdog against those four in that time period, so it's kind of a given. I'm kind of looking for more than just that in the match.

 

I think I had quick summary that I deleted out. Something along the lines of:

 

Misawa-Jun

- Misawa By Numbers

- Misawa By Bored

 

Kobashi-Jun

- Technically Good

- I Think This Is How I Work With Someone Lower But I'm Not Really Sure

- Just Roll It Out

- Not Compelling

 

Kawada-Jun & Williams-Jun

- Tighter

- Interesting

- You Actually Give A Shit About The Wrestlers Rather Than Just The Spots The Roll Out

- You Care About Just How Rocky He Can Make It For The Tough Guys

 

I recommend all of them. But if two have to go, I'd pitch the two with his partners rather than the other two. Which is a bit sad: you want to see how well he does with his regular partners. The problem is that one isn't terribly interested, and the other isn't at the time really good at knowing how to work with a younger guy like Jun. Kenta does have lots of cool stuff to do, and they do it well... so it's still better than say an average 1994 Shawn Michaels match. :) But the other two are just better, more interesting matches.

 

John

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Bret Hart vs Bob Backlund, 7/3 (Superstars): Every so often I see people ragging on Backlund and I honestly don’t get it, especially what comes *after* his big WWF title run. He was effective doing shoot-style in Japan, he’s effective as a crazed technical foe for Bret, and another couple of years after this he was still good in Japan. Anyway, I prefer this to the Bret vs Owen bouts as straight-up quality grappling.

God I remember this like it was yesterday, with all the hype promos they gave Backlund to build up his challenge it really felt like a huge deal to me at the time. I always recalled this being a great match, one of the first I think I ever apreciated for the pure in ring aspect. Re-watched it for the first time since it aired yesterday and god damn if it's not just as epicly awesome 17 years later :)

 

Watched a lot of Backlund the past few days, boggles my mind how anyone could hate that man too.

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Dump truck of recomendations

 

AJW

3/3/1994 Toshiyo Yamada vs Sakie Hasegawa - Don't know if it'll hold up to that lvl upon a re-watch but at one time I thought this was one of the best AJW matches ever.

3/27/1994 (IWA Title) Manami Toyota © vs Plum Mariko

3/27/1994 (JWP Tag Titles) Mayumi Ozaki & Cuty Suzuki © vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda

3/27/1994 Sakie Hasegawa vs Dynamite Kansai

3/27/1994 (All Pacific Title) Toshiyo Yamada © vs Kyoko Inoue

8/24/1994 Takako Inoue & Cuty Suzuki vs Devil Masami & Candy Okutsu

8/24/1994 Chigusa Nagayo & Toshiyo Yamada vs Sakie Hasegawa & Mariko Yoshida

10/9/1994 (JWP Tag Titles) Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda © vs Hikari Fukuoka & Commando Bolshoi

11/20/1994 Jaguar Yokota & Bison Kimura vs Lioness Asuka & Yumi Ogura - overlooked amongst all the hype for the V-top, this is the best non tournament match on the show and really good.

 

FMW

 

6/19/1994 (WWA Independent Womens Title) Megumi Kudo © vs Combat Toyota

6/19/1994 (Street Fight) Atsushi Onita, Matsunaga & Fumiharu Asako vs Mr. Pogo, The Gladiator & Hideki Hosaka - not that i've seen a lot of 94 FMW but this is my fave match of the bunch.

12/1/1994 (Exploding Barbed Wire) Great Nita & Tarzan Goto vs Mr. Pogo & Hisakatsu Oya

12/20/1994 (Lumberjack Match) Great Nita vs Mr. Pogo

 

JWP

 

1/15/1994 (2 count match) Dynamite Kansai, Devil Misami & Chigusa Nagayo vs Mayumi Ozaki, Cuty Suzuki & Plum Mariko

2/19/1994 Plum Mariko vs Chigusa Nagayo - Chigusa is 100% back by this point after returning in 93 and just tearing shit up and making up for lost time. This is one of Plum's best matches ever too which says a lot.

5/28/1994 Chigusa Nagayo vs Mayumi Ozaki - Ridiculously great brawl. OZ vs Chiggy never fails and this is one of their better matches.

6/4/1994 Kyoko Inoue vs Candy Okutsu

6/4/1994 Takako Inoue vs Cutie Suzuki

6/4/1994 (3WA Title Match) Aja Kong vs Dynamite Kansai - On the one hand, it's not as good as their other 3 singles from 93 - 95, on the other it's still really damn good and an important part of their story.

6/25/1994 Mayumi Ozaki vs Hikari Fukuoka

6/25/1994 Devil Masami & Cuty Suzuki vs Dynamite Kansai & Candy Okutsu

 

LLPW

 

7/14/1994 (Chain Match) Bull Nakano vs Shinobu Kandori - Legendary match, surprised this thread has gone this long and no one has mentioned it.

 

ECW

 

1/18/1994 (ECW Title) Terry Funk © vs Shane Douglas - 45 min draw, smokes the 1st 3 way with Sabu

 

West Japan Pro Wrestling sometime in 1994

 

(Street Fight) Mr. Pogo & Poison Sawada Julie vs Mitsuteru Tokuda & Masashi Aoyagi - These yearbooks need more indy sleaze and this was pretty good as far as that goes.

 

Michinoku Pro

 

7/30/1994 Ultimo Dragon & Great Sasuke vs Jinsei Shinzaki & Gedo

12/14/1994 Taka vs Great Sasuke

 

WAR

 

3/2/1994 Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto - Won the Tokyo Sports match of the year award

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M-Pro 7/30/94 Taka vs Jado

with a little bit of a stretch this could be a good comparison to 4/30/92 Liger vs Samurai. Similar stories of one guy cheating until the other snaps and fires back followed by a finishing run.

 

Jado's scummy heel work is off the charts great here, way better then Samurai's. Taka's controll segment wasn't as annoying or long as Liger's but got across the same point. Pissed off guy who's not going to take it anymore. Tossing ref down, trying to choke Jado out, using weapon shots of his own, etc... Minus 1 annoying chair spot, the finish in this awesome with a really hyped crowd. Won't say the highspots here were better then Liger/Samurai but they're atleast as impressive.

 

Easy high recomendaionon this one.

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For WAR, are you guys including the 1/5/94 tag with Tenryu and Muto? I watched it a couple of months back and forget who the other two guys were on their respective sides (I think Kitahara and someone else). I think it's awesome and like it better than some of the other famous Tenryu vs NJ tags. Muto is an awesome prick in this.

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Things that look intriguing:

 

WWF SAN JOSE CA 1/14/94 IC Title ladder match Razor © vs HBK

WWF Los Angles CA 1/15/94 Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels (Ladder match)

WWF YOKOHAMA JAPAN 5/7/94 Bret vs Savage

WWF NAGOYA JAPAN 5/8/94 Bret Hart vs Bam Bam (Title match), Owen Hart and Doink vs Smoking Gunns, Adam Bomb & Martel vs Savage and Tenryu

WWF OSAKA JAPAN 5/9/94 Bret Hart/Randy Savage vs Owen Hart/Adam Bomb

WWF SAN JOSE CA 5/15/94 Bret Hart vs Owen Hart

WWF NASSAU NY 5/19/94 WWF Title Bret Hart vs Owen Hart

WWF MSG NY 5/20/94 Bret Hart vs Owen Hart (WWF Tile)

WWF NASSAU LI 7/9/94 Jerry Lawler vs Randy Savage

WWF ESSEN GERMANY 7/13/94 Rock N Roll Express vs Smoking Gunns

WWF MSG NY 8/25/94 Bam Bam/Jarrett vs Doink/Mabel

WWF Nasaau NY 8/26/94 Bam Bam/Jarrett vs Doink/Mabel

WWF MEADOWLANDS NJ 8/27/94 HBK shoots on a fan and calls him out, IRS vs Tatanka Indian Strap Match

WWF ONTARIO CANADA 10/2/94 123 Kid vs Owen Hart, Smoking Gunns vs Heavenly Bodies

WWF COLOGNE GERMANY 11/13/94 WWF Title Bret Hart vs King Kong Bundy, Heavenly Bodies vs Smoking Gunns

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Lord Steven Regal v. Arn Anderson 2/20/94

 

Tremendous match, pretty much a textbook TV title style match. Both guys target a body part, Arn with the arm, and Regal with the neck, and they go after them. Lesser wrestlers working this style will just go back to the same holds (even Flair pretty much just works the leg in the context of the figure four), but both Arn and Regal put on a ton of different locks and they all look great. It makes inherent sense, if you can't get a submission with a cravate try a crossface, hammerlock doesn't work use and arm stretch. Arn works a great hammerlock, bodyslamming Regal, turing him into a pin while holding it. Regal meanwhile wrenched the hell out of Arn's neck, cranking cravates, cracking him in the mouth with crossfaces. The brawling in this match was great too, Arn has a really pretty right hand and Regal was just vicious with uppercuts and headbutts. Finish run was very exciting as they worked the countdown with Arn desperately trying for the belt and Regal stalling. The crowd was super into the match at this point, chanting USA and popping huge for Arn's spinebuster. Finish was pretty surprising, as Regal gets the pin by holding onto Dundee's umbrella with 15 seconds left. It was a twist in a good way as everyone was expecting either an Arn win or a time limit draw. 1994 maybe the best in ring year in wrestling history, and this felt on the level of the other great matches of that year. If this looks like something on paper you would like, go watch it, it truly exceeds expectations.

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Matches that placed in the top hundred of SC poll for WCW from 94:

 

 

#19. Bunkhouse Match: Bunkhouse Buck vs. Dustin Rhodes - Spring Stampede 4/17/94 (1207 points, 17 votes, 1 first-place vote)

#21. Street Fight: Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs/Jerry Sags) vs. Cactus Jack/Maxx Payne - Spring Stampede 4/17/94 (1120 points, 15 votes)

#22. Wargames: Dustin Rhodes/Dusty Rhodes/Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs/Jerry Sags) vs. Arn Anderson/Bunkhouse Buck/Terry Funk/Col. Rob Parker - Fall Brawl 9/18/94 (1079 points, 13 votes, 1 first-place vote, 1 third-place vote)

#25. Steven Regal vs. Larry Zbyszko - Saturday Night 5/28/94 (1064 points, 14 votes, 1 first-place vote)

#26. Dustin Rhodes vs. Vader - Clash of the Champions XXIX 11/16/94 (1062 points, 15 votes)

#27. No DQ Match: Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs/Jerry Sags) vs. Cactus Jack/Kevin Sullivan - Slamboree 5/22/94 (1025 points, 13 votes)

#40. The Boss vs. Vader - Spring Stampede 4/17/94 (808 points, 12 votes, 1 third-place vote)

#70. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat - Saturday Night 5/14/94 (368 points, 6 votes)

#71. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat - Spring Stampede 4/17/94 (360 points, 6 votes, 1 third-place vote)

#73. Bullrope Match: Bunkhouse Buck vs. Dustin Rhodes - Slamboree 5/22/94 (357 points, 5 votes)

#76. Steve Austin vs. Ricky Steamboat - Clash of the Champions XXVIII 8/28/94 (350 points, 6 votes)

#98. Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs/Jerry Sags) vs. Cactus Jack/Maxx Payne - Superbrawl 2/20/94 (261 points, 5 votes)

 

Personally I thought 94 was a MUCH better year than these results would indicate. I dragged this over mainly to argue that Vader v. Boss should not miss the cut unless you are absolutely dying for space as it was a match with a fairly broad constituency for the poll, and has a really awesome feel to it.

 

The rest of results can be found here:

 

http://board.deathvalleydriver.com/index.php?showtopic=49768

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Well I agree with Phil on the above Arn/Regal match.

 

Beyond that I think the Studd Stable/Dustin feud was the best thing in WCW angle wise and in some respects match wise.

 

Bunkhouse Buck/Terry Funk vs. Arn Anderson/Dustin Rhodes - Bash at the Beach 7/17/94 is the really good match with Arn turning on Dustin.

 

"The View Never Changes" promo has to go on, and of course this tag match Dustin Rhodes/Dusty Rhodes vs. Bunkhouse Buck/Terry Funk - Clash of the Champions XXVIII 8/28/94

 

Tully Blanchard vs. Terry Funk - Slamboree 5/22/94 I'd push for this pretty strongly as this was booked as just a random legends match, turned into a wild brawl with Funk out in the crowd with hat guy screaming "these are my people!" and of course later in the night debuting as a member of the Studd Stable.

 

Flair v. Regal Marquis of Qeensbury should go on as a famous match and another really good Regal match. Larry v. Regal from Slamboree would be a solid pick but I don't consider it mandatory.

 

Ricky Steamboat vs. Vader - Saturday Night 2/26/94 I thought that was a great match, better than their SN match from 92 with Steamboat's fiery comeback being a sequence of rabid chairshots IIRC.

 

Bunkhouse Buck vs. Dustin Rhodes - Saturday Night 8/6/94 Not an essential match from the feud, but a really cool one that featured Buck doing the jumping belt buckle smash to the head of Dustin. One of my favorite non-Clash tv matches of the year.

 

Brad Armstrong vs. Vader - Worldwide 9/10/94 This has no chance, but it is one of my favorite under five minute matches of all time and would take up no time on a disc. Just saying

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Not sure if I saw this anywhere else in the thread, but Genichiru Tenryu/Ashura Hara v. Atsushi Onita/Tarzan Goto from WAR 3/2/94 is a must. Tenryu v. Tatsumi Kitahara from 11/29/94 WAR is also good. The 1/5/94 tag referenced earlier in the thread is Tenryu & Kikihara vs. Mutoh & Samurai.

 

I haven't watched the WAR six-man tourney from 6/30/94 but there are some intriguing combos.

 

You also might want Inoki/Tenryu from the NJ dome show for historical value.

 

From UWFI, I liked Sano vs. Tamura from 5/6/94

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*bump*

 

So this set will be next. We hoped to do 1990 next, but there is so much USWA to go through (for both Memphis and Dallas) that we want to give it the TLC it deserves. It will take some time to walk through the available footage and pick out the best stuff.

 

We are in a better position to release 1994 next. So if you have any recommendations you haven't made yet, we ask that you make them here. After 1994, we'll go back to 1990.

 

If you have any recommendations to add, please add them by the end of the year. Thanks!

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"At this time, obviously conspicuous by his absence, is the Macho Man Randy Savage. I'd like to announce, unfortunately, that Randy Savage has been unable to sign a contract with the World Wrestling Federation, not... unable to, rather, come to terms with the World Wrestling Federation for a new contract. But Randy, I know you're out there listening, and on behalf of all of us here in the World Wrestling Federation, all of your fans, and certainly, me, the number one fan, I'd like to say, thank you for all of your positive contributions to the World Wrestling Federation, thank you, Randy Savage, for all the wonderful memories for so many years here in the World Wrestling Federation. We wish you nothing but the best. Godspeed, and good luck."

-Vince McMahon, 11/07/94 Raw

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For lucha, make sure you include the El Dandy/Javier Llanes match as it's mat heavy and one of Dandy's best matches. The Ciclon Ramirez vs. Javier Cruz hair match is okay but not great. I always wanted to see the Stuka vs Jerry Estrada hair match. You should try to track that down. Mascarita Sagrada/Espectrito I and Panther/Mariachi should be locks. This match -- 7/15/94 AAA: El Hijo Del Santo/Octagon/Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Blue Panther/Fuerza Guerrera/Psicosis had a Santo performance that I raved about, but I don't think that's a good enough reason to include it. 1994 was a down year for CMLL and the footage we have is incomplete.

 

This is a desert island match for me -- Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Shinya Hashimoto (NJPW 6/1/94)

 

I marked out when I read "the view never changes" in Dylan's post. What a promo.

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Not sure if I saw this anywhere else in the thread, but Genichiru Tenryu/Ashura Hara v. Atsushi Onita/Tarzan Goto from WAR 3/2/94 is a must.

 

You also might want Inoki/Tenryu from the NJ dome show for historical value.

 

From UWFI, I liked Sano vs. Tamura from 5/6/94

Yes, yes and yes. Along with the Onita-Tenryu if it hasn't been mentioned.

 

John

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Fun, but probably not essential given how you cut the Yearbooks. The example I would give would be that you cut out both of the semifinals of G1 1995: Mutoh-Norton and Hash-Chono. Those are good matches, help round out the story of G1 and the Norton-Mutoh add to the notion that Mutoh is on a career-best run while Hash-Chono is good match of two big stars in the promotion. Space limitations means they got left on the cutting room floor.

 

As far as not in the star ratings, Tenryu-Inoki is one that was mentioned. Historic match, the draw at a Dome show, Tenryu knocking off the Big Dog of New Japan before jobbing to Hash (which needs to be on if folks haven't pointed to it yet).

 

The Hash-Liger probably has been mentioned, with folks perhaps mixed over it. A rare at the time match up of the top guys in each division in the company, in one of the companies big arenas rather than just a throwaway on a smaller card.

 

 

John

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WWF YOKOHAMA JAPAN 5/7/94 Bret vs Savage

Watched this the other day, quite the awesome match. Cool little story with Savage wanting to be all fair & sportsman like and have a nice gentlemanly scientific match but Bret keeps out wrestling him so Savage snaps and is like "fuck it i'll just kick you in the head and cheat instead". Must have for sure if you guys are still taking recomendations.

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Hey puro nerds, I have two conflicting dates for this match. 6/1 or 6/15. Don't use my Naylor comp or Liger set as a reference. Thanks!

 

Jushin Liger & El Samurai & Shinjiro Otani & Tokimitsu Ishizawa vs. The Great Sasuke & TAKA Michinoku & SATO & Shiryu

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