Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

Matches From 1987


Recommended Posts

This is from the Stampede Classics set I got from Mort, and it's an interesting match for a couple reasons. First, and most obviously, Yamada is Jushin Lyger wrestling sans mask and under his real name. Secondly, I don't know if it's Yamada's first match in North America or just in Stampede, but he's palpably nervous out there. Probably worried about Stu kicking his ass if he screws up. Thirdly, I don't know if its because he's not wearing the Lyger bodysuit, but Yamada looks thick here. He looks like a hoss-in-training rather than what he'd end up becoming. The best comparison I can make is he looks like a young Mr. Saito out there.


The match itself reminds me of the Muta (as the Ninja) match from the Best of Florida set that Mike Graham put out. Both feature guys who end up becoming legends doing stuff that was unheard of for the time period. Poor Ed Whalen can barely call the match as there's stuff being done that he's obviously never seen. Anything remotely resembling a flip of any sort gets called a somersault.


Beef holds the match together well, and I'm reminded of the thread earlier around here saying that he could have been a superstar with Benoit had he made better business decisions. He looks very Benoit-esque throughout this set and I have no doubts he could have been bigger had the cards played out differently.


The match itself isn't really too remarkable, Yamada wins after a flip off the top rope, but it's interesting for historical purposes and as a glimpse of what might have been with Beef.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thirdly, I don't know if its because he's not wearing the Lyger bodysuit, but Yamada looks thick here. He looks like a hoss-in-training rather than what he'd end up becoming. The best comparison I can make is he looks like a young Mr. Saito out there.



It's the suit. The suit Lyger wears is a detrimental one as far as showing your physique off. Lyger is built underneath the clothing.



I've never seen this match so I can't comment on it. I'm pretty sure they use one Yamada's in ring flying space tiger drop (I do not know what you call that) from this match for the starting and ending of the Stampede show though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Couple of matches we review in the hidden gems section of Segunda Caida


Riki Choshu v. Yoshiaki Fujiwara New Japan 6/9/87


PAS: Pretty much a textbook example of a simple match performed by ridiculously charismatic performers, and how great something like that can be. Very few wrestling moves performed by either guy. Fujiwara does basically headbutts, punches and a Fujiwara arm bar. Choshu does kicks, one back suplex, a scorpion deathlock and Choshu lariats. It isn't about what they do, it is how and when they do it. Fujiwara jumps Choshu in the aisle and just destroys him for the opening five minutes. Choshu is bleeding and Fujiwara is smirking and strutting, Choshu gets control with a back suplex, and Fujiwara has an awesome "Oh Fuck" look on his face as he goes up. It gets a little more back and forth after that, but Fujiwara still controls most of it, until he makes the mistake of getting cocky and removing the ringpad. Choshu reverses the whip, Fujiwara takes a bump, they spill to the outside, and Choshu just smashes Fujiwara's head into the ringpost. Fujiwara has a traditional comedy spot, where he no-sells getting his head smashed into the ringpost, so Choshu really has to crack open his skull to make it work. Then it is all about a repulsively bloody Fujiwara trying to survive incredible looking Choshu lariats. Both guys come off as such superstars, it was like watching Hogan v. Rock with actually contact being made on the moves.


TKG: So Fujiwara attacks Choshu in the aisle busts him open and beats on him, and beats on him, and beats on him...and there is no comeback and it almost had a lucha fall feel as just completely one sided but you can tell everything by reading both guys eyes. Phil mentions Fujiwara's facial expressions and I don't care how long one studies mime with Decroux...Fujiwara can communicate more with a wrinkle of his nose. There is this point where Choshu is punching Fujiwara in the corner and Fujiwara goes from anger at being in the corner, to defiance , to struggling to maintain the defiance, to just a fuck you face that would make Murakami cower. The first lariat that Choshu hits Fujiwara with is just an absolute blast..like getting run over by a truck. the second and third ones are less impressive lariats but Fujiwara has these really awesome ways of selling/taking them. I mean they are still impressive lariats but its more about Fujiwara going into a flamingo stance and the flipping downward in what really looks like a boxer getting KOed and moving legs involuntarily on fall kind of deal. The lariat take that ends the match, I can't even come up with a way to describe it.



Original Midnight Express v. Jerry Lawler + Bill Dundee AWA 10/30/87


PAS: This is for the AWA tag belts and is a match which on paper looks really awesome, but especially in the 80’s on paper matches were often pretty disappointing. This however was even better then it looked on paper. Lawler and Dundee are a great tag team, we all know what great individual wrestlers they are, and how well they match up against each other, but they also have great face tag team shtick. Their opening babyface in control section was just full of great stuff. I especially loved the variations on the partner blocks the Irish whip into the corner, also this was a punch marks dream match with both Lawler and Dundee breaking out tons of different combos. I especially loved the running left hook by Dundee. OMX were a lot fun in this too, especially Randy Rose who looked Eaton great in this, he takes a huge high backdrop, and has a bunch of fun offense. Slim Paul E. with his sport coat with rolled up sleeves throws in the phone and the OMX win the belts. I liked this more then any of the Rose/Somers v. Midnight Rockers matches and this was fucking with the high end Rock and Rolls v. Midnights matches.


TKG: Man this was fun. A lot of faces do stuff effectively, heels try same spots only to have the backfire. If you’ve seen the Memphis doc on youtube, you may remember the Hector Guerrero vs. Lawler spot where Hector puts Lawler across top rope and then kicks at him…Lawler tries same spot and Hector gets out of way. Lawler does same spot with Rose but with Lawler working face this time out. Lawler is caught with knee in corner and ends up face in peril eating a punch with a big bump to floor and then taking body slam on the floor running powerslam from Rose, etc. Dundee is all over the place as guy on apron…running after Heyman on the floor. Holding back heel from making tag while waiting for Lawler’s attempt to make hot tag etc. But really this match is about the early face in control section with the two faces just laying in punches and clotheslines..with Randy Rose just running head first into the fists and lariats. Dundee does a top rope knee drop with refs back turned. I don’t know what the top rope rule was at the time but ref turns around and really can’t figure out what’s going on as Lawler and Dundee switch off going for two counts on Rose before ref can figure out who is the legal man. I don’t know if it was a stunt granny but there is also a nun in the front row who punches at the air with every face punch and gets absolutely irate at all the heel cheating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

I just watched Buzz Sawyer & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Antonio Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami from sometime in February of 87 from New Japan. I was immediately excited for this because Bigelow comes in without his flame attire and is instead rocking the black gear from Memphis with the "I am a monster" t-shirt, and so I can see that he is going to be a complete bad ass in this.


Bigelow and Buzz attack before the bell and the ref looks legitimately scared of Bigelow and starts calling Buddy Rose in to try and get him under control. Buddy seems to be more of a handler than a manager here, which I dig. Once things officially get started Fujinama and Bam Bam start in the ring, and Fujinama holds Inoki back from getting in there with Bigelow and instead calls for Buzz to get in there. I am happy to see guys act like they want nothing to do with the monster Bam Bam so I approve. Buzz comes in laughing and screaming like a mad man as only Buzz Sawyer can but Fujinama gets the best of him and ends up in control after Buzz misses a psycho splash. Fujinama pulls him into the corner and makes the tag to Inoki so Buzz gets away and tags Bigelow back in. And now we have Bigelow and Inoki in the ring but Bigelow comes in fired up and Fujinama tries to hold Inoki back. Bigelow is tired of Inoki avoiding him and does a cartwheel which sends the Japanese team to the apron, possibly to ponder how to get in the ring with Bam Bam and not die.


Inoki finally gets in there and the crowd gets hot chanting for him. Bigelow and Rose are not pleased. Inoki runs the ropes teasing a shoulderblock but is hesitant and hangs back. Inoki backs into the corner and Fujinama tags himself in, leaving myself and Bigelow disappointed. Bigelow, tired of dealing with their fear, tags Buzz back in. The camera focuses in on Buzz's face as he looks totally unhinged in the face off with Fujinami. Rose on the outside asks "where is your champion now? why isn't he in the ring against Bigelow?" and I am left to ask the same thing. Buzz shoots Fujinama into the ropes and leapfrogs him, and is so proud of himself. Unfortunately he turns around into a Fujinama dropkick and goes SAILING out of the ring. God Buzz was never afraid to bump like a madman to the outside. Buzz is so frustrated he starts slamming his own head into the guardrail on the outside.


Buzz comes back inside and Inoki has gotten the tag in. Buzz and Inoki do a test of strength and Buzz gets the better of it until Inoki starts to power back and decides he's had enough of the test of strength and starts kicking Buzz in the leg. Buzz decides it's time to get out and tags Bigelow in, and I'm hopeful that Bigelow and Inoki will finally face off. And they do! Inoki charges Bigelow and nails him but Bam Bam is having none of that and throws Inoki into the ropes and crushes him with a shoulderblock. Fujinama tags himself back in and Bigelow and myself are frustrated once again. Bigelow just wants Inoki so Buzz comes back in to try his luck with Fujinama again. Buzz kicks Fujinama in the gut and sends him into the ropes and Fujinama tries to come back with a cross body but Buzz catches him and hits a NICE powerslam. Buzz goes up to the top rope for a splash and Fujinama moves and Buzz lands awkwardly on his feet and falls down holding his ankle. Inoki gets tagged back in and hits an enzugiri on Buzz, who can barely sell it and falls down very gingerly. Inoki goes for a cover and Bam Bam comes in and tries to break it up but Inoki moves and Bam Bam elbowdrops Buzz instead. Fujinama comes in after Bigelow and Bam Bam tosses him outside and goes after Inoki press slamming him to the outside as the ref calls for the bell, I assume to disqualify Bigelow and Buzz.


After the match Bigelow and Inoki face off in the ring but the ring fills up with people to hold back Inoki before they can go at it. Bigelow is pissed and starts tossing young boys around and calls for Inoki to fight him. Finally Fujinama and others get Inoki to leave the ring, and I am disappointed that I never got to see them go at it. It seems like this one came to an abrupt end as Sawyer seemed to legitimately injure himself coming off the top rope on that splash attempt. If Buzz hadn't gotten injured, it felt like this was building to an eventual confrontation between Bigelow and Inoki near the end of the match that would have been hot, but as it was this one left me a little disappointed. I will have to try and track down the eventual Bam Bam vs. Inoki singles match that I am sure happened soon after this, as they really built up Bigelow as a monster here and a very real threat to Inoki.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

I just watched and reviewed Starrcade '87 for 411 and my own site. I was thoroughly impressed by the effort that all of the guys put in, considering it's got somewhat of a rep of being a bad show. I really enjoyed the Flair/Garvin match, and I think I'm going to hunt down their Detroit match to see if the Starrcade match is any better with the context of having seen that match.


I loved how they made the finish work, with Flair trying several times to use the cage, but Garvin always stops him, and Flair finally outsmarted him by picking him up and throwing him into the cage, which was enough to knock him out. Considering that the cage spot is usually done for an excuse to juice, or just for something to do, I really liked how they made the effort to make it mean something more.


The plays off the finish of their Detroit match (which I'd seen clips of) were also nice, and even the ref bump wasn't a big deal, it gave a measure of doubt for a single near fall, far from ruining a match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...