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[1985-04-18-NJPW] Antonio Inoki vs Bruiser Brody

Superstar Sleeze

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Antonio Inoki vs Brusier Brody - NJPW 4/18/85

Call me crazy, but I really liked this match. I am kinda annoyed with myself because I had to drive my airport and do some work (who fucking works? LAME!) immediately after watching this. So I am going off two hour memories so I will try to recall as best I can. 

The crowd is molten lava in this match. THUNDEROUS INOKI CHANTS! Excellent Clash of the Titans match built around Hope Spots and Cutoffs. It was so, so well done. Brody's propensity not to bump enhances this match. He does one thing that bugs the shit out of me in this match but I will mention that later. Inoki has a bandage around his his left bicep. HUGE FIGHT FEEL! Inoki gets an early dropkick, Brody shrugs it off and bars the arm. Ok, Brody does two things that bug the shit out of me. One was these loose arm bars and just generally lackluster arm work. Inoki was so amazing at running hope spots out of these armbars. He shoulder tackles Brody at one point who catches him right into the slam and GETS UP HUGE FOR A MASSIVE LEGDROP! It is all about working in & out of the weak arm bar doing cool hope spot-cutoffs. Inoki trying with all his might to get an armbreaker over his shoulder got massive heat. This was such a great underneath performance. Brody was just feeding Inoki constantly letting him tee off, but always cutting off the rally at the most dramatic times.  That was about the first 15 minutes. Then they started throwing huge bombs and Inoki started working the leg hard. This is where I am most annoyed I didnt write my review immediately after is it is now kinda jumbled in my head. Brody ended up blading his fucking knee in the midst of all this, which was so badass.

I guess i can talk about what pissed me off about Brody. I didnt mind him sandbagging Inoki on a Butterfly suplex. Shit shouldnt always hit clean and Brody is a monster with some life left in him. It is more his inability to convey true horror movie villain invincible charisma. The best excample of this is he eats a suplex from Inoki after he had suplexed Inoki. Brody did not no-sell it, but he didnt sell it either. Brody stayed down for two so it was not a total fuck you. It was like he was just not selling, which bugs me a lot more than no-selling. If he no-sold like Undertaker then that would have popped the crowd and Inoki would have grown wide, what do I need to do to beat this superhuman. If he sold, the crowd would have went wild because Inoki finally hurt the Monster. This weird not selling thing he does is my issue. He is oddly not charismatic. I think of early 80s Snuka like 1981-1982 that was a horror movie villain that stalked his prey. Brody actually is very smart about bumping and feeding. He is just terrible at "the how" of pro wrestling. 

Inoki really does a number on the knee. They work some great highspots down the stretch with big bombs. There is a ton of countout teases and ref bumps. Lots of big Bombs Away knee drops and great Clash of the Titans wrestling. It ends up being a double countout with Brody piledriving Inoki and Inoki coming back and quite literally kicking Brody out of the arena. 


As a first match, in the series I loved this. Brody's selling choices leave a lot to be desired. After being disappointed by the big stadium clash between Roman and Cena, I really enjoyed this. Specifically, the hope spot/cutoff dynamic which gave the match a ton of energy! I recommend checking this one out! ****1/2

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