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Matt D

Match of the Week: 2/3 - 2/9: 5/18/94 All Japan Misawa/Kikuchi/Kobashi vs. Hansen/Williams/Ace

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Yeah, viewing this as indicative of All Japan is like being turned off by some random Crockett TV match. People tend to go looking for the heel/face dynamic too strongly in these matches but the Japanese crowds aren't exotic or anything.

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OJ - do they ever boo anyone though? I don't think I heard them do it once in 150 matches on the All Japan set. Their four modes are: excited, stony quiet, laughing at a comedy spot, running away from a crazed worker who has charged them (e.g the Sheik or Hansen).

 

Booing does not appear to be part of the culture.

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I don't get why it you would say it took a while for Kobashi to work his way up the card. He was in important marque matches a year into his career 7/15/89 and was one of the 2-3 most important people in the company 3-4 years into his career. He also won the Triple Crown around 8 years after he started. This is shorter than it took Austin, Flair, Misawa, Kawada, Michaels, etc.

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Jerry, it depends which promotion you're talking about and which part of Japan the match is from, but I think on the whole the fans watch the matches the same way we watch the tapes -- they mark out, get excited and cheer, but don't boo as such. In fact, if you've ever heard a Japanese crowd boo because they think they should be booing it's the worst thing ever (unless it's Osaka Pro, huh Gordi?) When a heel does something really bad to say Antonio Inoki, the heat tends to be in the comeback. The heels themselves were super popular and I think the lack of jawing with the fans is one reason why they were seen as entertaining as opposed to being truly hated. Hatred on the part of Japanese fans would be reserved for a native whose character or behaviour rubs people up the wrong way.

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All Japan fans tend to boo tactics. American fans tend to boo people. I always liked that because it seems more ... fair? Wait until you get to 1995 and hear the jeers for Taue cutting off Misawa's comeback in the Carny final by just grabbing his injured face and gouging for all his worth. It's probably my favorite moment in All Japan history.

 

Anyway, I've seen wrestlers on opposite sides get booed in the same match. You do something they don't like and they'll boo you.

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Fans boo the most for interpromotional matches between natives, and wrestlers often go more for a face/heel dynamic as well, which is a major part of why I looooove interpromotional stuff.

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YES. Totally forgot that. It's funny because he was only ever marginally more heelish than Jumbo or Fuchi (and probably LESS than Fuchi). Then he'd always give this blank "what y'all so mad about?" look to the crowd. Taue

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Natives/gaikokujin then, if you must. But if they're happy to call themselves such...

Perhaps Will can introduce a politically correct filter to PWO. Something like gaikoku no senshu. Considering how everyone misuses words like puroresu and joshi at least they get the usage of gaijin right.

 

How are puroresu and joshi misused?

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Those Spanish words are also misused, but lucha can at least loosely refer to a form of professional wrestling developed in Spanish speaking countries and a sombrero is still a hat. I think the usage of the Japanese words is worse, but I don't really care about it or anything. Finding gaijin offensive reminds me of a Zach Arnold talking point or Lorefice writing those incredibly long Japanese names for submission holds. It just seems goofy.

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