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[1974-11-20-IWE Japan] Verne Gagne vs Billy Robinson


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Long, focused control segments with snappy counters. The counterwork throughout was just phenomenal and they really work the holds, even in the slower moments of the match. Gotta love ole Verne egging Robinson on with those little taps to the face before he starts laying into him with shoulders. They go back-and-forth with the side headlock takedown/leg scissors counter spot that’s become so prevalent in modern chain wrestling sequences before Verne picks up the first fall after Robinson passes out to the sleeper hold. Great selling from Robinson at the start of the second fall as he’s still a bit loopy from the sleeper hold. Gagne sends him outside with a really snug forearm shot but when he tries going back to the sleeper hold, Robinson uses that awesome backbreaker of his for the pin. The third fall saw Robinson spending a lot of time working Gagne’s back with bearhugs but then they really heat things up down the stretch with more backbreakers, a double arm suplex, Gagne’s white ass cheeks, and a double KO finish. Really good stuff.

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  • 10 months later...

A true testament to old school wrestling. This was such a tough physical contest that it was a wonder that they could keep going. The first fall was the best, yet each one had something special about it. I wouldnt put this in the very top tier of "old school" matches that I own but, its still quite good. The only drawback is the lack of variety of action in the final fall but, they picked it up when they needed to. This balanced it out when all was said and done. Great match nonetheless!

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  • 3 months later...

This is just a masterfully worked match between two wrestling masters. The early hold exchanges are textbook old school goodness - simple, tight, with both guys fighting in and out of them. At no point would one guy sit in a hold. Billy would put on a headlock, and the next thing was that Verne was pushing his knuckles into his face. Verne would get an armlock, and Billy would start maneuvering and shifting his weight. Because of Billy using his holds to set up impact moves and Gagne's dangerous sleeper hold, the hold for hold work never feels pointless. Billy is a wrestling machine, but Gagne looked really great too and at least as good. In the first fall, Billy would get the advantage in the grappling, so Gagne was forced to try and outsmart him. The shoulderblocks in this match were just awesome and Gagne's use of them so inspiring. Should also mention that Gagne's selling and bumping was worldclass. When he would get thrown into turnbuckles, he made it look like he was launched out of a car with his back to a steel post. The final shoulderblock bump looked like it would force a KO aswell. First two falls had brilliant finishes, each fall playing off the previous one, and the last fall had superb build with Robinson chasing his opponent down. That bearhug was one for the ages for sure. By the end of this the folks in the crowd are jumping up and down with excitement, smiling and going bonkers for ever false finish. Man I wish I had a bulk of matches from the 70s of Verne available.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1974-11-20-IWE Japan] Verne Gagne vs Billy Robinson

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