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[1988-12-22-UWF] Nobuhiko Takada vs Bob Backlund


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Backlund in UWF, looking bewildered as ever but somehow managing to pull it off, with his "whoa whoa-ing", his silly taunts, and his vicious elbow shots to counter Takada's stiff kicks. Backlund's quirkiness adds charm to the match, a fun, almost unpredictable element that distinguishes this from a lot of other shoot-style bouts of the 80's. I won't go through the whole match because at times, it's all over the place, but there are so many cool touches and moments. When Backlund is on the mat, working the arm, he throws his weight into the hold. He has answers for Takada's offense -- at one point, taking a rush of knees from Takada and turning into a backdrop before immediately going into a reverse armbar and forcing Takada to use another rope break. Once Backlund's nose is bloodied, his intensity picks up and his elbows are some of the best thrown. The work on the mat becomes more desperate, the strikes less yielding. One of my favorite moments of the match comes when Backlund uses a fireman's carry slam to put Takada in leglock and Takada responds by heel kicking his way out of it. He really takes it to Backlund in the final minutes with his kicks, using a belly-to-belly slam to set-up a calf slicer, turning that into a single leg crab. With Backlund's face a bloody mess, Takada slaps on the double wristlock, the match ends, and Backlund's like "what the heck?" -- great, great stuff. Watching Backlund fight his way out of this giant predicament of a match was a blast.

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  • 2 months later...

El-P A-fucking-Men brutha

Nobuhiko Takada vs Bob Backlund - UWF 12/22/88

A weird dream match that happened that no one besides me and a few others care about. These are two of my all-time favorites hooking it up in their prime. I used to watch the shit out of this but it had been four years since I seen it.

First ten minutes: Bob Backlund is fucking great isn't he? Takada throws a check kick to say this ain't the WWF anymore. Backlund takes a bunch of kicks to the face because he is a man. Then catches one and dumps Takada on his ass. Then dances around because he is Bob Backlund. Lots of great struggle on the mat. At first I was worried Backlund would have the amateur wrestler in MMA problem where he can take down at will but can't finish. He gets a good leg bar early. I like how he clasps his hands on the cross armbreaker. Thank you! He forces a break with a tight Camel Clutch. Takada comes back with a leg bar to force a rope break. Takada throws a bunch of Muay Thai knees in the clinch and Backlund responds with a back Suplex to get a down. Backlund throws his weight on an armbar to force another break. Takada tries to pop up so Backlund pops him in the mouth with a wicked right forearm to get another down. Takada Fucking Unloads. Kicks, back Suplex more kicks and Backlund is finally considered down and ref starts his count. Absolute war thus far. 

Second ten minutes: Slowed down here but the struggle is so intense. Dripping with effort on the mat. I love how Backlund's solution to everything is to Bridge out on his neck. Cross armbreaker bridge out. Full mount bridge out. Heel hook bridge out. Backlund was selling and working like a horse for everything. He lost a break on single leg crab. Takada realizes he can't handle Backlunds freaky strength on the mat so just kicks him in the face really hard and draws blood from the nose and two more counts from ref. 3-2 on downs favoring Takada. Takada wants a Suplex so Backlund gets a ferocious hip block takedown and drops into an armbar. Bob Backlund shoot style is awesome.

Last Five Minutes: insane finish run. Backlund gives Takada a shiner. He was fucking popping him with those forearms. Big Butterfly Suplex by Backlund! FU OUT OF NOWHERE BY BACKLUND! Sleeper! Crossface Chickenwing? Can't get it. Backlund gets legbar and Takada just wails on him in the face with his free leg. Takada kicks the dog shit out of him. Single leg crab doesn't get down. Backlund is bloody and Takada is bruised. Deep double wrist lock by Takada and the ref calls the match for Takada TKO. Backlund is confused and it is the Iron Sheik all over again. 

This was wicked exciting. It is not the prettiest or most logical match. But shit is always going down and the struggle for holds is ferocious. Once Takada explodes Backlund's nose the match becomes a total banger. They just ripped into each other. Anyone who has seen Backlund/Valentine knows Backlund is made for this style. God I wish Valentine wrestled in UWF! Huge feather in Backlund's cap showing why he is one of the best. ****1/2

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  • GSR changed the title to [1988-12-22-UWF] Nobuhiko Takada vs Bob Backlund
  • 9 months later...

This is a fucking banger, isn't it? I didn't know this thing even existed until I was organizing the boards and ran across this nomination. I would concur that this is a dream match I didn't know I wanted in my life until I got it.

Takada is my favorite shoot style worker and part of the reason is that he is really good at adapting to other style. This is a shining example of that. This is clearly a shoot match, but at the same time you get some tinges of WWF title match at times. On the other hand I love and hate Backlund. He is so entertaining and I really love his style of athleticism, but at the same time he has some terrible tendencies (mostly with regard to his selling) that can take me out of his matches. All of that is out the door here. This match brings out the best in Backlund without really allowing space for his worst instincts. Great mix of striking and grappling. Backlund's style of wrestling brings something sort of fresh here and his walloping strikes play big when he reverts to them. He is also so physically gifted that he can hold his own and add some unique flavor to this. When Takada went for that third knee off the rope break part way through the match only to have Backlund side step it and pick him up for the back body drop I popped my tits off. The exchange of rope breaks knock downs was great. I actually liked the finish. I thought Backlund sort of flailing to grab takada's leg was strange at the end during head kicks till I saw takada had busted his nose good. Upon reflection this is pretty close to full marks for me. Just fantastic stuff.

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