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[1973-08-24-NWA Hollywood] Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi vs Pat Patterson & Johnny Powers

paul sosnowski

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This is 2 out of 3 falls, for the NWA North American Tag Team Titles, filmed exclusively for Japanese TV. Patterson and Powers suddenly appeared in Los Angeles a few weeks earlier and were awarded the belts as the Inaugural Champions. This match is from the famous Olympic Auditorium (RI9-5171). Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Louis is the special referee. Powers and Patterson are interviewed by the Japanese announcer at ringside, Powers ridicules him and the Japanese people, telling him to "Speak English" and saying "Regardless of how hard you strive, you're always gonna be second. Second in stature and second in the ring. It's gonna be all about fear". Johnny Powers is wearing a shiny gold vest, gold trunks and boots, that must be seen to believe. Patterson has on some funky striped rainbow trunks and a silver jacket.


Patterson jumps Inoki before the bell, but then bails outside. Powers and Sakaguchi start the match, Powers take a side headlock, Sakaguchi grabs a hammerlock, Patterson immediately runs in to break the hold, punching Sakaguchi in the face. They choke Sakaguchi on the ropes, Patterson nails another great punch from the apron. Sakaguchi gets the hammerlock, Patterson runs in and kicks him, arguing with referee Joe Louis. Sakaguchi gets the advantage, takes Powers in the corner and chops him in the chest, whips him to the other corner and tags Inoki. Patterson grabs a side headlock, then shoulder tackles Inoki twice, before Inoki takes him down with an armdrag. Inoki really works the arm, lifting Patterson off the mat twice and flailing him around. Patterson gets to his feet, whips Inoki to the ropes, but Inoki shoulder tackles him. Patterson slams Inoki and then gets slammed in return, back down with an armdrag. Patterson gets up again and whips Inoki, who goes and tackles Powers down off the apron. Patterson gets up twice more and winds up armdragged again, before Inoki tags in Sakaguchi. Sakaguchi takes both of Patterson's arms, but gets too close to Johnny Powers who starts choking him from the apron before tagging in himself. Powers punches and kicks Sakaguchi, but loses control of his arm as well. Patterson runs in and starts arguing with Joe Louis, Powers low blows Sakaguchi with a knee behind the ref's back. Inoki tags in, takes Powers down with an armbar and chinlock, Patterson tags in and tosses Inoki through the middle ropes out to the floor. He follows him and rams Inoki's head into the ring apron. Patterson gets back in the ring and dares Inoki to hit him with a closed fist, but instead Inoki chops him and throws him into Sakaguchi who also chops his chest, Patterson takes a few crazy bumps and bails outside. Patterson gets Inoki in a full nelson and Powers sneaks in and comes off the top rope with a one legged mule kick to Inoki. He goes for it again, but Inoki moves and this time he kicks Patterson in the face. Inoki dropkicks Powers into Patterson and they both fall outside to the floor. Powers gets back in, but Inoki hits him with a big chop, Sakaguchi does the same to Patterson, before Inoki bodyslams him. Inoki brainbuster suplexes Patterson and gets the three count to win the first fall at 12:23.


Second Fall--- Powers tries to start out, but is backed into the corner and intimidated by Joe Louis. Patterson is still down and begs off from Inoki, who kicks him in the gut three times. Patterson sends Inoki into the ropes, but both men collide mid-ring. Patterson rams Inoki's head into the mat and slams him, then goes to the top rope, but Inoki catches him with a punch and Patterson crotches himself. Inoki picks him up and starts to hook on the octopus submission, but Powers breaks it up right away. Powers tags in, punches and elbows Inoki,then hits an elbowdrop for a two count. Then he misses an elbow drop, and Sakaguchi comes in and hits an atomic drop, Sakaguchi goes for a boston crab, Patterson runs in. Sakaguchi gets Powers in a body scissors, Powers rakes the eyes and hits the elbow drop. Powers gets Sakaguchi in a full nelson and leads him over to Patterson who nails him with about six good shots from the apron. Patterson pulls Sakaguchi down and slams his leg into the ringpost four times while Powers distracts the referee. Powers goes out to the floor and works over the leg until Sakaguchi breaks free with some kicks to the head. Patterson drags Sakaguchi back to their corner and hits the Bombs Away kneedrop, Powers then comes off the second rope and stomps on it also. Sakaguchi keeps trying to get to his corner for the hot tag, but Powers and Patterson keep dragging him back to their side. Powers drops a big elbow on Sakaguchi's knee while Pat holds him down. Sakaguchi gets a body scissors on Powers and rolls towards Inoki, but Patterson jumps in and punches him in the head. Patterson tags in and hits a second Bombs Away, Sakaguchi kicks him off and makes the hot tag. Inoki chops Patterson in the corner four times and whips him across the ring, Patterson takes another crazy bump. Powers tries to save Patterson, but Inoki blasts him with a back elbow. Joe Louis warns Inoki about closed fist punches, but he rains down a few on Patterson anyway. Patterson is dazed and wildly swings at Inoki and at Joe. Sakaguchi nails Patterson with a punch. Patterson makes it back to his own corner, tags in Powers, who nails Inoki with a blatant low blow punch right in front of the referee. WTF? Powers stomps Inoki and kicks his leg, Patterson tries to sneak in, but Sakaguchi tags in and stops him. Sakaguchi grabs Powers and lifts him up by the throat, drops him and does the same to Patterson. Powers gets a double leg takedown on Sakaguchi, works over his leg for a few minutes and hooks on the figure four leglock. Inoki tries to make the save, Patterson punches him in the head, as Sakaguchi taps out at 15:28.


Third Fall--- Powers comes at Sakaguchi, kicking and stomping at his leg and knocking him down. Sakaguchi gets Powers into his corner and tags Inoki. Inoki gets into a slugfest with Powers and chops him. Powers sweeps the leg and hooks on the figure four. They roll outside the ring, with the hold still locked on and land on the floor. Powers refuses to break the hold and is DQ'd at 2:02. Inoki and Sakaguchi win the match, but not the titles. Total matchtime 29:53. The third fall may have been clipped, but I'm not sure.


Pat Patterson, Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi all looked pretty good in this match, but I don't get this Johnny Powers guy... Three and 1/4 ***




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