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[1987-08-02-NJPW] Antonio Inoki vs Bam Bam Bigelow

Superstar Sleeze

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IWGP Heavyweight Champion Antonio Inoki vs Bam Bam Bigelow - NJPW 8/2/87

Inoki is the newly minted IWGP Champion having defeated Saito two months ago to become the inaugural champion. He is defending against cartwheeling, wet behind the ears Bam Bam. Look I can’t cartwheel, it is impressive that he can. But cmon it just makes him look silly. I mean nothing says menacing like a well-executed cartwheel right? Gimme a break. Whoever told Bigelow to knock off cartwheeling was a wise man. 

This is not the Lawler classic but this is still a pretty fun Inoki vs generic monster match. Bigelow looks really green at the beginning with Inoki basically feeding him and directing traffic but Bigelow gains confidence as the match wears on. Bigelow working holds dragged. I did like his hollering while Inoki broke his clasp and turned it into his own arm bar. Bigelow’s highspots looked great. I liked the double leg drop banana split. The missed flying headbutt looked gnarly! Massive belly flop. Inoki felling him With three clothesline’s looked good. Bigelow’s big flourish missing the diving headbutt was great. Inoki’s death enziguiri knocking Bam Bam out of the ring and drawing blood was awesome. Bombs away kneedrop gives Inoki the clean win.

A pretty bulletproof formula Inoki is so damn charismatic and his great timing he had this down Pat. Bigelow is very athletic and was game for this match. ***1/4

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1987-08-02-NJPW] Antonio Inoki vs Bam Bam Bigelow
  • 1 year later...

Bigelow is so good at working big and opening up for opponents. There's always an edge to his matches working underneath where you aren't sure if he's going to go along with what comes next. I don't know if that's something about how he wrestles or because he's a bit unhinged but I really enjoy it. Inoki is his usual big match self and because Bigelow is game this works very well. Bam Bam's selling and general aura bring this up from something skippable to well worth your time.

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