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[1969-05-16-JWA] Antonio Inoki vs Chris Markoff

Superstar Sleeze

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Antonio Inoki vs Chris Markoff - JWA 5/16/69

Is Chris Markoff the great lost heel of the 60s? He reminded me a lot of Pat Patterson and it was just the bleached hair and Bombs Away Knee. It was big bumping and the energy. He was even more vocal than Patterson and I liked that. Reading about him, he was born in Yugoslavia raised in Minnesota and seems like he was kinda big deal in AWA. Him vs Da Crusher sounds good to me!

Had no idea what to expect out of this but energetic bloody brawl is not what I was expecting but I loved it! Markoff jumpstarted the match and just hurled Inoki around. This was a great vicious heel performance. Chairshots, foreign objects, blood and big knee drops. First Bombs Away kneedrop lands but he pulls up. Second misses this is Inoki's first big opening as he works the leg. Markoff retaliates with great punches and kicks to the breadbasket. A lot of throwing him out the ring this is when he bashes him with the chair. He jaws with crowd and Inoki comes from behind and dropkicks him out of the ring. Goes for the Octopus Stretch! Great hope spot/nearfall and this is when Markoff brutalizes and bloodied him. Inoki fires bank up and gains hold of the foreign object and let's Markoff have a taste of his own medicine. Octopus Stretch finishes it! Big celebration and Inoki ends up with that huge head wound bandage to sell it. I love old school Pro Wrestling!

Markoff was a great old school heel lots of cheating, violence and bumping. Inoki actually sold, fought from underneath came off as sympathetic maybe it was because he was not the boss yet and was younger. It was a nice change of pace. Just an excellent old school brawl. ****1/4

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Don't expect to see many wrestling moves here, but this was a good babyface vs. foreign heel brawl that had plenty of heat. Markoff had every heel trick down. Attacking before the bell? Check. Giving the hero no room to breathe? Check. Concealing a weapon in your tights? You betcha. Inoki throws some great punches and Markoff sells them by bumping around in a stooge-like fashion. Inoki takes a beating and ends up bleeding, but he's able to get Markoff's weapon out of his hands and it takes no time for him to make his comeback and score a win with the Octopus Stretch. ★★★¾

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