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Hogan/Hansen vs. Backlund/Inoki

Guest TheShawshankRudotion

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Guest TheShawshankRudotion

I love this match.


Not just because two of my favouritest wrestlers are tagging with each other -though that is a pretty big part of my enjoyment- but because everything and everyone is awesome in this match. The pace is so fast because of the way they keep revolving the guys in - there is never a period where Hogan or Hansen are in there too long, which keeps things fresh. The finish is appropriate and well done, though I wish this could have gone on 10 minutes longer because I enjoyed it so much. I think what I like most about this match isn't the whole of it, but rather the individual performances. Not that the match wasn't well structured, but it in itself was nothing special, but each wrestler was so good that it was a lot of fun to watch them do their thang.


Bob Backlund


I haven't seen much of Backlunds stuff from the early 80's, but jesusgoddamn does he kick it in this match. He's so alive and full of energy and I'm like "who the fuck is this Bob Backlund and why does he kick it so hard?" Cause, like, seriously, I haven't seen this dude before. What's with New Japan in the early 80s and making me rediscover all these fuckin American pro wrestlers?


Backlund bodyslamming Hogan and Hansen back to back was a great spot. The spot where Hogan tries to get Bob into his corner, but Backlund ducks under and goes through Hogans legs and gives them a wag of his finger was fantastic. The interplay between Backlund and Hogan is just overall tremendous, especially when Hogan throws Backlund in the corner, does the breaking of the twig gesture, Bob reverses Hogans second throw and gives one back to him and Hogan just goes nuts. Another spot had Backlund breaking out of a bearhug and headbutting Hogan, only do a bit of a Flair spot and stand there dazed before he fell backwards.


Stan Hansen


Hansen is professional wrestling, to me. And why professional wrestling sucks so fucking much to me nowadays is because there isn't a single fucking Stan Hansen that I can see. His first move in the match is trying to take Inokis head off with a clothesline and he falls over the top rope and to the outside. He lands on his feet, gets on the apron, walks the apron, and gets back in cause he's fucking pissed off for whatever reason and just wants to kick ass. The way he walks, his whole body language, it's just tough and unrefined and real. The video quality isn't good enough to where you can see his face, but you don't have to because his body expresses it perfectly.


His knee and elbow drops are great, and the spot where he tries to forcefully pin Inokis shoulders to the canvas by pressing all of his weight down and across his upperbody was a particular favourite of mine. So simple, so effective. There's another spot where Hansen scoops Backlund over the ropes (Bob was on the Apron at the time) and bodyslams him down and then drops a knee on his throat and continues to drive the knee down. The knee to the stomach on the ground is such a good move.


Antonio Inoki


I have never, ever, EVER, seen a wrestler run the ropes like Inoki does in this match. Sweet Jesus Fuck the man is going at Mach 10 throughout. I like how early-on in the match Inoki is flying and Hogan and Hansen both work a chinlock spot to slow him down. Despite the insane speed, I think Inoki was the weakest link in this match. The leglock spot with Hansen slowed down the match a lot and didn't seem to matter anyways (ok, it did lead to a rowboat spot). The rest of this match was so fun and flew by, so maybe that's why it was so noticable.


Probably my favourite part of the whole match is the sequence where Inoki gets the hot tag from Backlund, dropkicks Hansen a bit, throws Hansen back against the ropes and bodydrops him, successfully hits a shoulder block, then runs against the ropes -Hansen leap frogs (~!)- and then quickly turns and hits Inoki with a Lariat which Inoki sells amazingly. The fast pace contrasted with the quick shift and Inoki going from being full of energy to laying lifeless on the ground after the lariat is just a perfect sequence. Of course, the crowd is just RABID after something like this.


Hulk Hogan


Hogan is fucking awesome here. FUCKING AWESOME. He is the Baskin Robbins of Awesome - all 31 flavours. Hogan is a workrate KING in this match. I have never seen Hogan move so fast, and for a guy that was 6'6 300lbs, he was moving a lot faster than he should have been. The spots after the standing switch with Backlund where Bob sweeps him off his feet twice just blew my mind. I always thought Hogan could go when he wanted to, but the boy could GO.


Aside from the workrate, Hogans selling was top notch. Infact, there are certain parallels one could draw between Hogan in this time period and HHH today given the way they carry themselves in the ring. Maybe the same guy influenced both, maybe its a Superstar Billy Graham thing I dunno cause I am not familiar with the dudes work, but there are similarities between the two. Hogan sells a dropkick from Inoki like Inoki dropped a hand grenade and it exploded infront of him.


Moveset-wise, Hogan does a fucking flying knee in this which stunned me and followed it up with a shoulder breaker. Hogan does an awesome elbow drop in this. Hogans vertical suplexes are so sweet. A nice running powerslam too. Of course, his punches weren't very good and his stomps were too soft, but there's something I appreciate about Hogan trying to protect his opponents and being a safe worker. The Hogan-mark in me LOOOVED this performance.

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