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Guest kowking
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Guest kowking

Are there any wrestlers in the world whose matwork can compare to the very best in Lucha, like Blue Panther, El Dandy, Negro Navarro? Got exposed to Japanese wrestling, which is great for its own reasons, a few years ago. Only in last six months have I been exposed to real Lucha. And man, I don't think there's better wrestling out there if you care about, um, wrestling -- matwork, submissions, ground game, pinfalls. I'm astounded more American wrestlers don't take holds from Lucha.

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Depends on exactly what you define as matwork, and in what parameters. Kurt Angle, by definition of being an Olympic gold medalist, has better mat skills than pretty much anyone else in wrestling. But clearly he doesn't dust those skills off very often, and is usually content to stick to "hey, look at the hundred different ways I can reverse something into an anklelock (and let my opponent do vice versa)".

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Along with the aforementioned Han/Tamura/Fujiwara, Otsuka/Ishikawa/Greco are also personal favorites of mine. Too bad Greco just disappears, if he stuck around, he could have been an elite level all time great. But I agree that I favor Panther, Solar, Navarro, Daniel Lopez, etc over the rest of the world. Atlantis is not someone that's going to be brought up as much as those elite guys, but I think he was Panther's best partner at producing some of the great matwork in pro wrestling history. Both their 1991 and 1997 matches are classics, and they had a bunch of great trios.

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Dork Funk Jr. sucks

Is this view reflected by everyone?

 

If so, what was his reputation based on? Being NWA champ for 4 years?

 

Why does Dory suck but, for example, Backlund or Bockwinkel not?

 

Dory is largely considered boring with no discernable charisma these days. He's also often considered someone who would just sit in a hold and not do anything to make it interesting as opposed to Bockwinkel and Backlund, who you mentioned, who even when working on the mat tried to keep things interesting. Saying he sucks is probably overstating it though.

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So you're saying the fact Dory had zero chairsma has affected his reputation as a technical wrestler?

 

How does Jack Brisco rank as a mat worker?

 

Just interested to see how far stock has fallen in that 60s/70s generation of mat technicians.

 

And I wonder if it's partly down to this again. I think the 70s guys are hurt by the perception that they were slow and bland.

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So you're saying the fact Dory had zero chairsma has affected his reputation as a technical wrestler?

No. "Zero" is overstating it. "Little" is probably more accurate.

 

His rep is affected because his matches are boring. There are plenty of guys who stay on the mat who have exciting matches. It's not a referendum on the style. It's a referendum on Dory.

 

How does Jack Brisco rank as a mat worker?

Most people tend to like Brisco.

 

And I wonder if it's partly down to this again. I think the 70s guys are hurt by the perception that they were slow and bland.

I think anyone that labels everyone in a style from the same era in the same way is overly simplifying the issue.

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I think to some extent Dory is hurt by there being a lack of footage of his prime years. Some people who saw him during his NWA run rank him as one of the best NWA champs ever, above the more well thought of by tape watchers Brisco, Terry and Race.

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Along with the aforementioned Han/Tamura/Fujiwara, Otsuka/Ishikawa/Greco are also personal favorites of mine. Too bad Greco just disappears, if he stuck around, he could have been an elite level all time great. But I agree that I favor Panther, Solar, Navarro, Daniel Lopez, etc over the rest of the world. Atlantis is not someone that's going to be brought up as much as those elite guys, but I think he was Panther's best partner at producing some of the great matwork in pro wrestling history. Both their 1991 and 1997 matches are classics, and they had a bunch of great trios.

I want to add to the Atlantis/Blue Panther love. Their 2008 match is really good as well although not at the level of their other singles. You don't see matwork like that in CMLL anymore.

 

El Dandy vs Negro Casas from 7/5/1992 is one of my favorite matches that I would recommend. The first fall is almost twenty minutes of intense matwork. Satanico vs Gran Cochisse from 1984 as well.

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Guest kowking

Along with the aforementioned Han/Tamura/Fujiwara, Otsuka/Ishikawa/Greco are also personal favorites of mine. Too bad Greco just disappears, if he stuck around, he could have been an elite level all time great. But I agree that I favor Panther, Solar, Navarro, Daniel Lopez, etc over the rest of the world. Atlantis is not someone that's going to be brought up as much as those elite guys, but I think he was Panther's best partner at producing some of the great matwork in pro wrestling history. Both their 1991 and 1997 matches are classics, and they had a bunch of great trios.

I want to add to the Atlantis/Blue Panther love. Their 2008 match is really good as well although not at the level of their other singles. You don't see matwork like that in CMLL anymore.

 

El Dandy vs Negro Casas from 7/5/1992 is one of my favorite matches that I would recommend. The first fall is almost twenty minutes of intense matwork. Satanico vs Gran Cochisse from 1984 as well.

 

Got that from Lynch recently, loved it. So great.

 

Been meaning to watch Satanico/Cochisse -- will soon.

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I think to some extent Dory is hurt by there being a lack of footage of his prime years. Some people who saw him during his NWA run rank him as one of the best NWA champs ever, above the more well thought of by tape watchers Brisco, Terry and Race.

The tough thing about "Dory's Prime" is that back in the mid-80s, no one was saying that Dory's Prime was limited to the four years where he was Champ. He was 33 when he dropped the title. I don't recall ever reading anything in the 80s that he got "lazy" like say Jumbo did. :) Dory rep was thought to be a very good worker into the early 80s.

 

Look at the ages:

 

02/03/41 Dory Funk Jr.

09/21/41 Jack Brisco

04/11/43 Harley Race

06/30/44 Terry Funk

 

All in the same generation. Terry and Harley had good matches well into the 80s, and no one every said that Dory slowed because of injuries or made up any bullshit excuse for his work (i.e. "Brody didn't bump on his back due to a bad back.")

 

Allegedly, Dory was thought of as one of the top workers in the world through the entire 70s, a decade where he hadn't yet turned 40 by the end of.

 

So we can take that and take a step back:

 

There's frankly *more* video of Dory in the 60s and 70s than most top workers.

 

There's more Dory than there is Brisco. AJPW Classics is our pimary source for both, and there is a ton of Dory.

 

I think it would be safe to say there's more Dory than Terry as well, especially singles matches... quite a bit more in the 70s.

 

There may be more Race singles matches, as they both participated in the 1975 AJPW singles league and then Harley had a fair number of world title matches that have popped up on Classics or been hunted down by people like Dan. On the other, Dory swamps him with all the tag matches that are available. I suspect we get to see Dory in there with a wider number of opponents in the 70s than Harley as well.

 

My guess is that there's more complete/mostly complete "competative" Dory matches from the 70 than Backlund, Flair, Terry, Brisco, Bockwinkel, Race, Beyers... perhaps any gaijin. Only guys like Inoki, Baba and Jumbo have more matches available.

 

Which takes us to:

 

07/11/30 The Destroyer

12/06/34 Nick Bockwinkel

 

If we're going to claim that Dory was somehow past his prime and washed up the instant he lost the title, and all those matches of his available in 1974-79 somehow don't reflect him at his best... we run into the problem of Beyers. I think even Yohe would admit he was better in the early/mid 60s in Los Angeles than in the 1969 match with Baba (when he was 38) or the matches with Mil (when he was in his 40s). Yet it's safe to say he looked good in those matches.

 

Same goes for Bock. Who in the heck knows when he peak was. Early 70s taggng with Stevens (when he was in his late 30s)? Second half of the 70s when he was Champ (and past 40)? Regardless, there are examples of him looking good into the 80s... and he's six years older than Dory.

 

There's a lot of Dory out there. There are the matches with Inoki, and one I believe with Sak, to show what he looked like as a touring champ. There are matches with him opposite Bisco. You get to see him as a vet opposite young gun Jumbo. You get to see him facing all sorts of folks.

 

It's pretty hard to say there aren't enough matches out there to draw an opinion on Dory.

 

John

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Two things John:

 

1. I love how you claim not to care about wrestling and then make posts like that :)

I never said I don't care about wrestling.

 

 

2. You neglected to mention what you make of Dory yourself.

I think I might have been the second person online to say that "prime" Dory was boring as all hell at matwork. Frank would have been the first. Dean may have been busting cracks at Dory looking like a shop teacher or something, but I don't think it was directed at Dory putting matches to sleep with some of his mat work.

 

I'd offer up the Funks vs Baba & Jumbo and Funks vs Robinson & Hoffman matches from the 1977 tag league. Each are 45:00 draws, so there's 90 minutes to watch the six of them work, and see how each does stuff on the mat or working holds. Dory's pretty not-so-hot.

 

On the other hand, I'd recommend (and have often) his singles match from 1975 with Hoffman. It seemed like Horst really pushed Dory outside his normal comfort zone, and Dory responed really well. One of my favorite matches of the 70s because it's so different from most of the usual types of stuff you'd see in All Japan and New Japan. There also is a Dory-Baron Von Rascke that was surprisingly good.

 

I don't think Dory completely sucked, or even that his matwork was 100% always sucky. There are some in the 70s that are more painful, like Sakaguchi being just horrible in a match with Pedro Morales. I also think that matwork wasn't something that Race was very strong at... pretty pedestrian and repetative. But Dory as the Master of Matwork is problematic.

 

John

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Not really someone i'd consider for a list of greatest mat workers ever but i've always liked Dory myself. The grab a hold, hold a hold style i've found I kind of have to be in a certain mood to watch as it's not the easiest to pick up and watch but I enjoy it at times.

 

Mariko Yoshida deserves a mention as well for a thread like this.

Many people of course will point to her run in ARSION when she adopted the more shoot/lucha tricked out hybrid style but making my way through her 91/92 AJW stuff she was having great matches based around working your more traditional classic style mat stuff too. Hell, she may have been the best wrestler period in the entire company in 92.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Andy

British wrestling seems to me to be less about elaborate hold/counterhold and more about elaborate escapes and escapes from escapes. But that's really an overgeneralization.

 

Still this is list of matches that Ohtani's jacket watched, not all built around matwork

 

http://z11.invisionfree.com/wrestling_ko/i...c=2555&st=0

I agree with this, and it's why I don't think British wrestlers get too much credit, a lot were very specific in style, although they were mostly great at that one style.

 

I second Fujiwara/Volk Han/Tamura - three of the best IMO.

 

Need to see more classic lucha though - a lot of guys don't seem to get enough credit on a worldwide stage, for example El Dandy.

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Han, Tamura, Kohsaka, and other RINGS legends are awesome and all, but I don't really consider that matwork. Not in a pro wrestling point of view. I see them closer to MMA than pro wrestling. Of course they're gonna do matwork.

 

I prefer stuff like Danielson's ROH career. He wanted to be the chiropractor for the entire roster.

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Guest Andy

Han, Tamura, Kohsaka, and other RINGS legends are awesome and all, but I don't really consider that matwork. Not in a pro wrestling point of view. I see them closer to MMA than pro wrestling. Of course they're gonna do matwork.

 

I prefer stuff like Danielson's ROH career. He wanted to be the chiropractor for the entire roster.

Danielson's ROH run in ROH was top class. Undoubtedly one of the best in the world since 2005-. I think he belongs on every top technical wrestlers list, IMO.

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