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Matches You Must See Before You Die


Al
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I thought this would be an interesting list and I'd like to get some input. Essentially I would like to compile a list of "must see" matches. The matches that ultimately define wrestling and its history. What I'm looking for is not a comprehensive list of "five star" matches. Rather, matches that are representative of workers, styles, promotions, countries, what have you. Such a list would include great matches, but also great angles, memorable moments, perhaps great crowds or big houses. Misawa/Kawada (6/3/94) would make the list, but also Hogan/Andre from Wrestlemania III, and the Von Erich/Flair cage match. (You may not agree with them, just demonstrating some examples.) So what are your "must see" matches?

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I honestly cannot think of a single match that is on tape.

 

I assume you are also asking of stuff that isn't taped? If yes, then probably one of the Holy Grail Ric Flair matches, like his July '82 match against Backlund. I have always felt there would be real moments of hate, stiffness, and overall dickheadness from both guys.

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I honestly cannot think of a single match that is on tape.

 

I assume you are also asking of stuff that isn't taped? If yes, then probably one of the Holy Grail Ric Flair matches, like his July '82 match against Backlund. I have always felt there would be real moments of hate, stiffness, and overall dickheadness from both guys.

Footage has to exist. I'm not asking about stuff you haven't seen, but matches you think all wrestling fans should see.
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Akira Hokuto vs Shinobu Kandori from Dreamslam I is pretty epic and a pretty famous match in Japan as well.

 

I think your longtime fans would probably point to Lioness Asuka vs Jaguar Yokota as the standard 80s Joshi match, but I'd probably go with the Chigusa Nagayo vs Dump Matsumoto hair match from 8/28/85. It is by far the most heated and emotional match in wrestling history. Nothing else comes close.

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Akira Hokuto vs Shinobu Kandori from Dreamslam I is pretty epic and a pretty famous match in Japan as well.

Without being aware of the background of this match (which I'm going to watch on Youtube), can you fill me in? Is there a review you've done?

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I haven't really done a review, per se, but the background is basically that Hokuto has had big injuries come at inopportune times in her past. There's a famous match where she legit broke her neck and pushed her head into place so she could still have the match. Anyway, this match is worked, but plays off of Hokuto's very real history of injuries. Kandori is a submissions expert from another promotion that stepped up to challenge anyone in AJW. Hokuto accepted, and the storyline was basically that she may have bitten off more than she could chew by doing so, given Kandori's area of strength and Hokuto's past. This was at the height of the interpromotional stuff between AJW and JWP that drew big money, but Kandori represented LLPW, which she actually owned. Hokuto also sold the injuries from this match in other matches she had for a little while, which is probably one of the reasons it's so remembered.

 

There are people who are more versed on AJW than me, but that's always been my interpretation of it. If I missed out on something key or was wrong about something, please correct me.

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It's not a great match, and I agree with all the criticisms I've seen lately regarding the match itself and how the angle wasn't executed very well, but Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich from the Star Wars show on Christmas of '82 should probably go on a list like this too.

 

I might also add the Texas Stadium match from May of '84 (27 years ago tomorrow!) where Kerry won the NWA title.

 

There are better Flair/Kerry matches, but those are the most famous.

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Some other matches that come to mind:

 

* Larry Zbyszko vs Bruno Sammartino from Shea Stadium

* Steve Austin vs The Rock from Wrestlemania X-7 (Defined and wrapped up an era)

* Dory Funk Jr vs Jack Brisco from AJPW, 1/30/74 (Not their best match, but their most talked about match)

* Rock & Roll Express vs Heavenly Bodies from SMW Bluegrass Brawl '94 (Presented as the blowoff of the 10-year rivalry between Jim Cornette and the Rock & Roll Express)

* Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood vs Sgt Slaughter & Don Kernodle (3/12/83 Cage match, which gave birth to the Starrcade concept)

 

More later.

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Rumi Kazama was the owner of LLPW not Kandori. Kandori had a rep for being tough because she was a legit judoka and shot on Jackie Sato and all the rest. Hokuto trash talked her a bunch in the lead-up to the fight including the promo at the beginning of the match where she rubbishes Kandori's talent. Most of the feud was about Hokuto claiming Kandori didn't have the heart for pro-wrestling because she wasn't a real pro-wrestler.

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I dislike technical Dory. I kind of like him when he's fired up because he and his brother are getting their asses kicked by monsters. He just needed someone to beat some urgency into him.

 

It is weird that he's kin to Terry, who ranks among the most charismatic wrestlers of all time. The inevitable comparisons do him no good.

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Anyway, matches to see before you die are too numerous to list, but if I were a nascent hardcore fan, here are some matches I'd want someone to show me...

 

Andre-Hansen 9/23/81

Choshu vs. Fujinami 4/3/83

Buddy Rose vs. Curt Henning - 5/28/83

Lawler vs. Dundee - 6/6/83, 12/30/85

Flair vs. Jumbo - 6/8/83

Satanico vs. Gran Chochisse - 1984

NJ 5-on-5 gauntlet - 4/19/84

Jumbo vs. Kerry - 5/22/84

Fujiwara vs. Sayama - 12/5/84, 9/11/85

Santo vs. Espanto - 8/31/86

Jumbo/Tenryu vs. Choshu/Yatsu - 1/28/86, 2/5/86, 1/24/87, 2/5/87

Flair vs. Windham - 4/11/87

Fujiwara vs. Choshu - 6/9/87

Hansen vs. Tenryu - 3/9/88, 3/27/88, 7/27/88

Jumbo vs. Tenryu - 10/28/88, 6/5/89, 10/11/89

Fujiwara vs. Yamazaki - 7/24/89

Liger vs. Sano - 8/10/89, 1/31/90

Hansen/Tenryu vs. Jumbo/Yatsu - 12/6/89

Jumbo vs. Misawa six-mans from - 10/19/90, 4/20/91, 5/22/92

Sano vs. Shamrock - 5/19/91

Sano vs. Minoru Suzuki - 7/26/91

Vader vs. Sting - 7/12/92, 12/28/92, 2/21/93

Hansen vs. Kawada - 2/28/93

Hansen vs. Kobashi - 7/29/93

Tenryu vs. Hashimoto - 6/17/93, 8/8/93, 2/17/94 plus any interpromotional tag involving these two

Misawa vs. Kawada tags - 12/3/93, 6/9/95, 5/23/96, 12/6/96

Misawa vs. Kawada - 6/3/94

Regal vs. Finlay - 3/24/96

Tenryu vs. Takada - 9/11/96, 12/13/96

Han vs. Tamura - 9/25/96, 1/22/97, 9/26/97

Austin vs. Hart - 11/17/96

M-Pro six-man - 12/16/96

Tenryu vs. Fujiwara - 7/24/97

Santo vs. Casas - 9/19/97

Ishikawa vs. Ikeda - 8/29/99, 4/24/05 (date??)

Navarro vs. dandy - 11/18/01

Danielson vs. Low-Ki - 6/7/02

Hashimoto vs. Kawada - 2/22/04

Necro vs. Samoa Joe - 6/11/05

Eddy vs. Rey - 6/23/05

Danielson vs. Nigel - 6/9/07

Danielson vs. Morishima 8/25/07

BattlArts 6-man - 7/26/08

Black Terry on YouTube 2010

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I honestly cannot think of a single match that is on tape.

 

I assume you are also asking of stuff that isn't taped? If yes, then probably one of the Holy Grail Ric Flair matches, like his July '82 match against Backlund. I have always felt there would be real moments of hate, stiffness, and overall dickheadness from both guys.

Footage has to exist. I'm not asking about stuff you haven't seen, but matches you think all wrestling fans should see.

 

My bad, man. I was under the influence.
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Magnum TA vs. Tully Blanchard "I Quit" Cage match from Starrcade 85.

 

The best cage match of all time. In my opinion, the best match of all time period. The utter hatred that comes off the screen as these two guys try to maim each other is just awesome. And the end is my favorite ending to a match. Tully tries to stab TA in the face with the wood shard but Magnum kicks him away, gets the shard and shoves it in Tully's bloody eye. Tully says "YES!" when asked if he quit, and TA stands over him holding a quivering Tully by the hair in one hand and the shard in the other. He looks at the shard, looks at Tully and throws him down with a look of disgust on his face. As Tully lies there shaking, TA casually tosses HIS US belt over his shoulder and leaves the cage looking like the world's biggest bad ass who got the job done (in his last chance at Tully) and fucked up this piece of shit who'd cheated him out of the belt, and fucked him over for months.

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Oh, WWF Matches? Off the top of my head:

 

1. Hogan vs Sheik at MSG when Hogan wins the belt. Just for the crowd going APESHIT.

2. Slaughter/ Sheik Boot Camp Match

3. Slaughter/ Patterson Boot Camp match

4. Hogan/ Savage at Mania 5

5. Savage/ Steamboat at Mania 3

6. The Dusty/ Superstar matches from the Garden

7. Tito and Bruno vs Adonis and Savage in the cage at MSG

8. Hogan vs Valentine from the Spectrum

 

And everyone needs to see "Dr. D At Home", the greatest wrestling vignette of all time.

 

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