Superstar Sleeze Posted April 11, 2017 Report Share Posted April 11, 2017 Antonio Inoki vs Dick Murdoch - NJPW 12/10/85 This was the same month Murdoch was working excellent bloody brawls against Ted DiBiase in Mid-South. This match was not an excellent bloody brawl. It was a very good technical match. It wont change your world, but it will remind you that Dick Murdoch is such a damn entertaining wrestler to watch. New Japan was in an interesting position in 1985. They lost their shoot style crop (Maeda, Fujiwara and Takada) to Sayama's UWF and they lost Choshu & Co. to All Japan. Choshu vs Inoki seemed to be poised to be the big feud of late 84 into 85. It was not all losses. New Japan did acquire Bruiser Brody. The main program of 1985 seemed to be centered around Inoki vs Brody. So while the house may not have dipped, the quality of pro wrestling sure did. As only two matches from 1985 cracked the Top 100 in the New Japan 80s project. I checked this one to refamiliarize myself with Inoki, but ended up remembering that Murdoch is the man. Murdoch is so great on top. He just tortured Inoki's arm. It was brutal and interesting. Just so many combinations and contortions. Always great with the facial expressions of determination. He knew when to create movement and hope spots for Inoki. Then cutoff him off with a bruising elbow. Really great stuff. Then selling was just so good. That one punch by Inoki where did the perfect tooth loss sell and the way he kept selling afterwards was great. Inoki did sell the arm by wringing it out, but his facial expression was so mute. He runs the ropes funny. He genuflects when he hits the ropes. He is very mechanical in how he wrestles. I don't doubt his shooting prowess but he is not smooth. Some good hope spots before he gets a drop toehold. That first fall back on he drop toehold got a huge pop. I think that is what he added most to this match. Just being Antonio Inoki because the crowd was totally behind him chanting his name. He definitely gave it heat. I loved the economy of the finish stretch. Murdoch hits a great enziguiri. He was a great athlete. Rides him down the knee calls for the brainbuster hits it, but Inoki is outside the ropes. Inoki press slams him off the top, gutwrench suplex and Enziguiri by Inoki with THE GREATEST SELL EVER BY MURDOCH! It was such a basic layout, but everything was tight flowed. Murdoch's great heat segment then Inoki working the deathlock, Murdoch's finish run and Inoki's finish run. No wasted time. The matwork was pretty much forgotten about so it felt like you could have JIP'd to Murdoch enziguiri and not missed anything. Inoki really only brought crowd support to the table. Murdoch really carried this both in terms of offense and really amazing selling. Just a very good, economical old school match with some fun touches from Cap'n Redneck. ***1/2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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