DICK MURDOCK! FUKINAMI! BLACK WOZMA! MAEDA! ADRIAN ADONIS! ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER! and other stuff I saw and heard this week!
Welcome to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER VIDEO REVIEW #20!
I watched a batch of stuff and I’m here to yammer on about it. It’s the holidays, so I’ll keep it short and not too overwrought.
I watched the first couple of volumes of the History of the IWGP Heavyweight Title history (Rob- the man! The legend! the guy!) and it’s pretty freaking choice in places. Akira Maeda against Tatsumi Fujinami in the 1986 IWGP tournament is about as good as it gets folks (except for the ending- but they weren’t afraid of bad endings back then.) Fujinami gets the holy FUCK kicked out of himself by the soon-to-be-crappy leader of RINGS. Maeda was a powder keg back then and this was a good demonstration of it. By the end Fujinami is a hard-way bloody wreck, but Maeda is also a lot worse for wear as they kick and suplex each other into oblivion- with Akira doing the high kicks to the head and superdick kicks to the knee and Tatsumi doing hip suplexes, though Maeda does a weird prototype Fisherman Buster suplex accidentally while recovering after blowing a spot. There is one point where Maeda is outside of the ring kicking Fujinami in the face and it is just WAY TOO INTENSE. I was freaked out ten years after the fact, I can’t imagine what it must have been like then. Fujinami is so much cooler in this match than in the two against Chosyu. Here he is Strong Style defender and goes at the Shoot style punk like a champ and takes the beating like a champ. You just want him to beat the crap out of the vicious upstart jerk, so the incredible spinning kicks by Maeda build my super-hatred as each land on Tatsumi’s face and by the final Garganta-kick you want Fujinami to go get a chair or something and go at him. Nobody should have to sell all of that. Not in 1986 anyway.
The two matches against Chosyu are the Fujinami we all love to hate, with the gimpy knee and all. Chosyu looks like a long haired freak and doesn’t bring it out of Fujinami like Maeda did. The earlier matches from 83,84 and 85 had WAY too much Andre the Giant, because Andre REALLY sucked by 82 and was really pathetic by 84, with all the gigantism side effects setting in. My main complaint is that I have seen so little of Sakaguchi, that to have his match on this tape be an Andre squash is irritating. The awesome match from 84 is Adrian Adonis vs Dick Murdock. Adonis was a freak. What a great wrestler and you can’t really pin down why. He could fly- throwing some GREAT dropkicks for a guy his size-, he could go to the mat, and he takes a hellish bump- he pumps a great match out of Murdock. Vince McMahon can burn in hell for what he did to this guy. The weird thing about the tape so far is that there is very little of Antonio Inoki actually wrestling and way to much of a young Hulk Hogan wrestling- which wasn’t truly truly horrible back then.
I watched the 6/24 Tokyo Pro Champ forum with the infamous Sabu vs Abdullah the Butcher match and it… wasn’t… very… good. The first match is okay- pitting Black Wozma (Too Cold Scorpio) vs Daikokubou Benkai. I’m assuming that Benkai is a former Sumo wrestler, but he’s too old, fat, and slow to get on with WAR. Wozma sells all of his lame chops (which is pretty funny) and then works in his highspots against his much older opponent. Wozma dances with the young seedy Tokyo Pro crowd when its over and it goes far to explain where all those seedy young punks that hung out at IWA shows have migrated to. The Sabu/Abdullah match was basically an ode to the Sheik vs Abdullah, with Sabu basically walking around with Abdullah, stabbing him in the head with a pencil and trying to open all of Abdullah’s scar tissue- just like his uncle used to do. I guess Abdullah is actually finally feeling the years or Sabu didn’t feel like doing any wrestling because this was about as low impact as it gets. It was more of a Red Cross Blood Drive than a wrestling match. The final match on it was two guys from Tokyo pro against Tarzan Goto (or Tarzan Scroto,as I call him. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAAH) and Mr. Gannosuke- you’re basic FMW bleeding freak. I fast forwarded after a few minutes, so, yes, I’ve let you- the RSPW reader- down.
NEXT WEEK: Back to the Lucha and the Liger and the rest of the IWGP stuff! Unless Phil mails me more stuff, then its All Japan Women until we’re green around the gills! YES!
Dean Rasmussen, Super CaloHEAD!