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DVD #4: Brad Armstrong vs The Great Muta


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  • 2 weeks later...

This match was mentioned way back in the RSPW FAQ as an example of improvisation, as these wrestlers apparently went in on five minutes notice. That's probably an exaggeration, I'm certainly not in a position to know.

 

To me, this match is a great example of how you can book a competitive squash. Nowadays the star has two minutes, gets his offense in on the JTTS ans scores a quick fall after his finisher. Armstrong and Muta got 15-20 minutes. Muta looked great because he could display his ability and won two straight falls. Armstrong came out looking a bit weaker than Muta, but by having a competitive match stayed over enough to make him a viable competitior.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This looked pretty weak to me on paper and I have to say I didn't think much of it. Brad tried but Muta is just useless when it comes to working holds in a way that can connect to a studio audience. Muta was always sold in the States as a high flyer, which isn't really accurate but that's the breaks and I don't think anyone wanted to see this. What's interesting here to me is that there are virtually no highspots in this despite the fact that it goes nearly thirty minutes and features two guys perfectly capable of reeling off solid highspots. A match for a different era and a different time. I can't call it bad, but it's really a waste of talent and a huge waste of time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Brad Armstrong vs. Great Muta (WCWSN 5/30/92)

 

I liked Brad Armstrong in his Mid South matches, and I was actually a bigger advocate for his title match on TV with Dibiase then the longer formed house show match. So I think Armstrong had talent and could go in a shorter TV match. Likewise, I like Muta, though I’m less of a fan of the Muta character than of Keiji Muto the worker. So going in I was excited about this match, especially since it was singled out by people I trust and spotlighted.

 

My problem with this match (it’s really the first fall because it’s 2/3 with TV time remaining) is that it is a wonderful display of holds and mat wrestling, but it barely ever gets out of first gear. You can make a case that at times they shift into second gear, but they shut it back down and head down roads they’ve already seemed to travel. There is no feeling of great struggle or urgency in what they do, it instead feels like they are treading water. And that’s okay. You can make a case that this is a different style of match that errors on the side of tactical and has the story of one man waiting for another’s mistake. But because it goes twenty minutes, it really wears on you and might have been more suited for audiences a decade or two earlier. Having said all that, the last twenty seconds was really good and exciting, and I liked the finish to the first fall. Then they head to the second fall and it feels like they go to second gear, but stay in a holding pattern. Maybe I was stunned by the first fall and I carried feelings over. It’s possible.

 

It doesn’t seem like I liked the match, but I did. Armstrong was a really strong “background” wrestler, and Muta was so smooth, his pace is simply to deliberate for me in this character. As always, depending upon the performer, I’m a hypocrite. I think I have a problem with Muta having the same mannerisms whether he’s selling or in control. I did like the way Muta closed out the match and shut the door for the definitive pin fall.

 

Also of note is Riki Rachtman, the host of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, on commentary. Now it seems kinda lame, but in 1990 it must have been cool to have a youth celebrity on a show like that. He doesn’t add much, but he’s careful not to detract from the wrestling going on, so I had no problem with it. Ratchman went on to host WCW Monday Nitro parties, a dream fulfilled I’m sure.

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  • 1 month later...

This match is very iffy to me.

The work is okay, something to be expected considering who's in the ring, but the overall feeling of the match is flat. Armstrong was keeping pace and outworking Muta through the contest, but loses two falls consecutively. Add in the color commentator, who was annoying, and it is a long match to endure.

 

Muta did seem like he was having problems with Armstrong, maybe not understanding what Armstrong was saying?

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My first thought, is that Riki Rachtman on color? Yes it is! :)

 

I thought this match moved a little too slow. I didn't realize it was a 2 out of 3 falls match until Armstrong took over with the headlocks halfway through. I was actually disappointed to hear the annoucement, because I wasn't getting into the match. I think the early part was so much Muta offense and so little from Armstrong that they lost me. Also, you bring Muta over from Japan to showcase his small package skills for the first fall finish? End it with a handspring elbow to save the moonsault for the second fall. I don't recall seeing this match when it originally happened but I think I would have been disappointed with that finish.

 

This match just didn't do it for me. I was never able to get into it. Nothing bad about it, but nothing I'd go out of my way to see again.

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