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Matt Watches 1989 AJPW/1986 NJPW on a Treadmill


Matt D
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6/19/86: Murdoch vs Inoki. The finals of the Inoki-Is-No-Longer-In-The-Doghouse tournament. Loved this. It's 30 minutes. About twenty seconds in, Murdoch nails Inoki in the gut and starts on the arm and he really never looks back. Lots of compelling and varied offense, including the beloved short arm scissors, but also whacking it on the apron and dragging him around with it. Inoki comes back now and again, first with an enzuigiri out of nowhere and later with the other sort of "milking the moment" comebacks you'd expect from him, Murdoch missing off the top, reversing a slam into the post on the outside after Murdoch had previously used it to open him up, etc. When he was on offense, he respected the fact his arm was hurt for the most part, using the other arm to strike or using kicks. Murdoch would go back to the arm though, or capitalize on a mistake and THEN go back to the arm and they made the most of it. I'm almost certain the fact it only ranked 26 was because of the finish. After Murdoch kicked out of the back brain kick (this was the culmination of that last comeback with the posting), Inoki hit a German with a bridge and the ref seemed to count to three but didn't call for the bell and the crowd though it was over. You can sort of buy that Inoki couldn't hold the bridge due to his arm but at the angle we had, it didn't really look like that. He hit another enzuigiri for the win, and the fans still loved it but it was all a bit weird. Anyway, great match.

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55 minutes ago, Octopus said:

Could you send me the link to that match? I’d like to watch 😎😈🤠

Definitely. I’ll repost the thing tomorrow as it got blocked.

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I just watched it, bud. Thanks.

 

A lot of this was what I love in wrestling. Am I becoming an Inoki fan? Or do I just really like hammerlocks? I really enjoyed the first 10 minutes. Murdock grounds Inoki with a hammerlock and he struggles to get to the ropes. Throughout this first third of the match it is entirely a slow game of arm control, with a handful of clobbering strikes from Murdock.

Meanwhile, my 6 month old watching with me continuously yanks on my hair and my beard as he contently watches along. I feel your pain, Antonio.

Inoki sells wonderfully in this portion of the match. He does this moment where he breaks free and backs into the corner. Inoki leans against the turnbuckle and shields his pained arm by putting it over the top rope. In another moment I love their grapple where Murdock places his hand on the head of Inoki as a way to maintain an upper hand and control the momentum of their movements.

Then we get Superman. Never forget Inoki is super strong. And rightfully, he is a badass. Enzuigiri to change the tides. BAM! Non-hurt arm with a killer punch. Murdock sells like crazy. Inoki gets him back up for another punch. Murdock will regain control and this will set the table for the repeating tale.

We’ve now established the in-ring characters of this match. Murdock is larger, can hit hard, and has a game plan that will ground and disable Inoki. But Inoki is Inoki and can believably come back because he is Inoki.

Fun parallel moment in this with Murdock lifting Inoki up in his shoulders, on the outside, to ram his head into the turnbuckle post. Good ol’ forehead blood. Then later goes for the same move and Inoki gets out in time to push Murdock into the same corner. Good fun.

I was confused by the ending and just assumed it was a two out of three falls. But I guess the ref didn’t ring the bell, but a few fans threw streamers. 

Enjoyable match. I will watch more 80’s New Japan. 

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Posted (edited)

Glad to see you liked it, wonky finish and all. Yeah, I didn't think I'd get into this particular version of Inoki but he really gets wrestling and his crowd. I don't know. I generally hate the whole notion of a "Big match wrestler" because I think it's limiting but Inoki might be an exception. In general, when you hear that it's a wrestler who had a lot of opportunities and used them to have great matches, but with Inoki, it's more that he has a lot of opportunities but then knows how to maximize the moments within matches that those opportunities present which feels different somehow? I don't know.

In general, if anyone ever wants to watch anything that I cover, just let me know. It might take some effort, but I'll get it to you.

6/19/86: Kido/Maeda vs Samu (Wild Samoan)/Snuka: Samu had some cool stuff here, as he does throughout the tour. He had a chinlock where he'll wrench the neck for a few seconds and then give this gnarly headbutt to the collarbone right next to the next, then go back to the chinlock, then do another. There was also a completely ridiculous but also awesome spot where he missed a corner charge only to somehow back up and hit a flying mule kick out of nowhere onto Kido, which really was all on Kido being in the right spot at the right time and taking it. Crowd was excited whenever Maeda came in. I kind of wanted to see more Kido/Snuka to see what they would have done but that wasn't the pairing we got a ton of (past Kido taking Snuka's big rope running sequence). Amusingly, right after the mule kick, Snuka his only real thing of meaning in the match where he went to the second rope for a fist drop, obviously realizing Samu was showing him up. They had another nice bit where Snuka just jammed Maeda trying to vault him over with the head under the armpit, and then Samu tagged in and hit a belly to back out of that position. It's always interesting to see Maeda sell clubbering offense and the crowd buying it. This isn't anything to go out of your way for but 23 year old Samu looked good with these guys.

6/20/86: Now I'm into the Sagawa Express one night tournament. I have no idea how the brackets for this work as some guys just magically show up in later rounds. It'll take me a few days to get through this certainly.

Let's start with Kimura vs Maeda: This was really good. Maeda had the arm wrapped in the tag but it never mattered. Here it did as Kimura targeted it early, and then, when Maeda protected it and tried to kick, by catching kicks and locking in holds. Maeda came back by tossing Kimura all around the ring. I'd call this more of a sprint than anything else as they weren't going long. Kimura's stuf was more simplistic but it was clean and credible and effective I think the fans were going with dueling (or transforming) chants at times. The finishing stretch was kind of wild with Kimura kicking out of the spin wheel kick at 1 and then hitting the Inazuma Leg Lariat only for Maeda to roll out and both of the going over the rail for the double elimination. It was good while it lasted though. Kimura could definitely be scrappy in small doses.

Edited by Matt D
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Can someone tell me what the Sagawa Express cup even is?

6/19/86: Ueda vs Snuka: This was not very good. Pretty dull stuff on the mat, just holds for the sake of holds. A kind of fun finish where Ueda really clobbers himself on a missed chairshot in the corner and Snuka getting DQed after getting the chair and making contact. These two probably could have had a really wild match six years earlier. Ah well.

6/19/86: Murdoch vs Wild Samoan (Samu): This, on the other hand was  a good six minutes, with holds that were sold and worked hard, first a Samu headlock and then Murdoch really dismantling the arm, just wrenching the heck out of it three different ways. Kind of weird finish where Samu missed a corner charge huge and bumped accordingly but got right up to dropkick, only to then try for a slam and get rolled up. An early example of the delayed sell that plagues wrestling these days? Who knows.

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4 hours ago, Matt D said:

Can someone tell me what the Sagawa Express cup even is?

I can tell you what Sagawa Express is; It's a big transportation company in Japan. Their founder and then-chairman, Kiyoshi Sagawa, wasn't a wrestling fan, but Inoki sold him his New Japan shares to resolve his Anton Hi-Cel debts. so there was an association between the two companies for a while.

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Would you give Antonio Inoki money?

Anyway, 6/20/86: Inoki vs Sakaguchi: Hey, this was good. Sakaguchi was more the aggressor. Inoki would snatch a leg and try to come back but Sakaguchi would just drive in and take over. He also went off on him in the corner for some reason but Inoki did fire back there. The crowd does love to chant for Inoki but it always sounds a bit like the same 30% of the crowd. Sakaguchi had good varied arm stuff here and Inoki sold well. This is single night tournament wrestling so instead of a finishing stretch, Inoki just slipped out and hit the back brain kick after eating a couple of atomic drops. Still good and they embraced after the match.

6/20/86: Inoki vs Masked Superstar: I have no idea what the brackets are on this thing as I think we have to be missing a couple of couple of matches. There is a random battle royal on this card that I'll get to later. This was Inoki being Inoki. Superstar targeted the leg instead of the arm and leaned on him ok, but Inoki had nicely timed comebacks and kicked him in the skull.

6/20/86: Andre vs Ueda: Tournament Lucha NJPW. Single night tournaments inherently kind of suck right? This was maybe 3 minutes with the best part being Ueda going out to try to get an object and getting this blue toolbox that felt like it should actually be there for once. He didn't use it. Andre just caught him and headbutted him and hit him in the gut and that was that. What's the best single night tournament in history? Especially one that was more than just semis and finals. KOTR 93 comes to mind, maybe?

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6/20/86: Inoki vs Murdoch: Another good one. These two match up very well. Most of this was Murdoch working over Inoki's leg, including a great series of elbows with it splayed on the apron and some nice kicks while it was hanging in the ropes in the corner. Inoki's pretty much excellent working from underneath and when he fires back with a bomb, he really leans into it and makes it matter. I was lukewarm on him against the UWF guys because I think his ego came into play but here he's fairly Lawler-esque in knowing exactly what to do and exactly when to do it and giving and giving and giving so that he can make it matter all the more when he takes (and you know he's going to take. There was a spot late in the match where Murdoch caught him on a cross body and they both went backwards over the top rope and I give Murdoch all the credit in the world for that. It's not visually spectacular considering all the things we see today. It's really easy to take it for granted, but he's catching a guy who's pretty big, stumbling back a few steps until he can feel the ropes, and then falling backwards while still holding him. That's got to be such a practiced, precise action. Anyway, this set up the next match, to a degree (though not enough) with Murdoch regaining control but dodging a shot against the rail and accidentally getting DQed by tossing Inoki over, leading to....

6/20/80: Inoki vs Andre: Inoki theoretically came in hurt having Sakaguchi and Murdoch work over a leg and Superstar an arm, and I'm sure in a post show promo or in the press, it could have been recognized, but he didn't really show it in this match. Instead he took it to Andre with gutshots over and over and eventually a belly to back, which is the big spot of this tour for Andre. This felt more like 89 Andre, where you could hurt him but one touch from him could send you flying than what I picture 86 Andre (generally a babyface) to be. Inoki had momentum but leaped into a foot on a knee drop attempt and Andre crushed him at the last second with a whip into the post for a pretty dramatic countout finish. Andre won the tiny trophy. Hurray.

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On 6/13/2022 at 12:16 PM, Matt D said:

What's the best single night tournament in history? Especially one that was more than just semis and finals. KOTR 93 comes to mind, maybe?

1986 Crockett Cup?

2003 ECWA Super 8?

Edit: Super J Cup '94!

Edited by Gordlow
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I'll go back to that battle royal. It's too tricky to watch on the phone.

In the meantime

7/4/86: Fujiwara/Maeda vs Ueda/Kimura: Another good showing for Ueda, as he was able to keep up on the mat believably with Fujiwara. Again, nothing is tricked out but you don't get that same sense of trying to overcompensate that you get from Inoki with the UWF guys. Kimura was scrappier and also got completely crushed by Maeda kicks and shots in the corner. Finish was wild with Maeda hitting the best spin wheel kick I've ever seen him do but instead of putting Kimura away he let him up and there was an awesome camera angle for the Inazuma leg lariat which I should try to capture at some point. After that they went to the floor and both went over the railing and that was that.

7/4/86: Inoka/Sakaguchi/George Takano vs Steve Williams/Hacksaw Higgins/Johnny Mantell: It's our new batch of foreigners. Bad News is with them at some point too, I think. Takano was Cobra up until a couple of weeks before. Not sure why the change, maybe just him not wrestling as a junior anymore? He got his own entrance after Inoki and Sakaguchi came down together and while Inoki looked bemused, it was to make him seem like more of a big deal, I think. Higgins had size and used it to impose pretty well. Mantell was annoying in a good way and caused distractions. Doc didn't have it all together yet but he did have a lot of energy and intensity. He wanted Inoki to start, setting up the rivalry for the tour and then overpowered him quickly. Inoki got a bit of revenge later but it was striking as it was meant to be in order to establish Doc. There was a nice bit where Takano took butterfly suplexes from Higgins and Mantell one after the other and they beautiful to see. Williams won fairly definitively after smashing Sakaguchi with a running block, clothesline an elbow drop. I bet Sakaguchi vs Doc as a singles would be fun.

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Probably a dumb question but were all of the 80's AJPW matches clipped or were many in full? I know with NJPW they were clipped often but didn't know if AJPW did as well.

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2 hours ago, Pedro said:

Probably a dumb question but were all of the 80's AJPW matches clipped or were many in full? I know with NJPW they were clipped often but didn't know if AJPW did as well.

I'd say most 89-90 AJPW matches I discussed were in full and when they weren't, I mentioned them. I'm not sure if that was later classics pickups or what. A lot of times they weren't clipped as I'd personally use the term, but JIP. They often give us the entrances and then skip ahead. With AJPW, you get some sign of how many minutes in you are. Less so with NJPW when it happens.

7/4/86: Hoshino/Fujinami vs Pogo/Nagasaki: Yeah, these are Wakamatsu's goons for July. They were ok though. This one DOES come in JIP. They have ok stuff, Pogo with a spike pile driver and a nice spinning kick, Nagasaki with a belly to back and a nice gutwrench. Hoshino, who had a great neckbreaker drop and could really scrap when it came down to it, both punches and palm strikes, took the brunt of the match and got beat up a lot but never really felt in danger. He could tag more or less whenever he wanted to, which hurt the drama....

No idea about the finish because, for the first time in almost two years, I actually fell off the damn treadmill. It's almost happened a couple of times where my foot drifts as I'm going almost 6 mph and scrapes the side. This time it happened and I kinda sorta look like I've been in a car wreck. Pretty bad "treadmill burns" on my right forearm, left elbow, left knee. Right shoulder's banged up. Smaller cuts on my knuckle and ankle. Don't think anything's broken but maybe my left pinky finger (We'll see). It's a little hard to tell what's a scrape and what's a bruise at this point. I showered a put bandaids on the three worst offenders blood wise. Wall is dented. So we may be on brief hiatus here. I'll update on how I'm feeling in the morning I guess.

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The beauty of both half’s of this thread is that it’s two eras I’m not as familiar with. The All Japan portion is just before the time I really enjoy the main event scene. The New Japan portion is something I’ve been meaning to eventually watch but haven’t gotten around to. With it being a Matt project, we really get as much of the picture as he can produce with all over the cards and not just marquee match ups.

Selfishly, I would love the All Japan journey to continue through the 90’s, but I don’t think Matt would enjoy that. The switch to New Japan has been a treat. Do you have a third year(s) of a promotion you’ll treadmill to next? Staying in Japan or even jumping to Mexico?

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1 hour ago, Octopus said:

The beauty of both half’s of this thread is that it’s two eras I’m not as familiar with. The All Japan portion is just before the time I really enjoy the main event scene. The New Japan portion is something I’ve been meaning to eventually watch but haven’t gotten around to. With it being a Matt project, we really get as much of the picture as he can produce with all over the cards and not just marquee match ups.

Selfishly, I would love the All Japan journey to continue through the 90’s, but I don’t think Matt would enjoy that. The switch to New Japan has been a treat. Do you have a third year(s) of a promotion you’ll treadmill to next? Staying in Japan or even jumping to Mexico?

I appreciate the no-selling of my clumsiness. Kind of hurts to type but it also makes me feel better to have this dialogue, so...

Anyway, that's a fine question my Cephalopod auteur friend. As I think I stated, I started in 89 because it was before what most people know well, had plenty of footage available to me, and was post-Brody. In retrospect, I wish I started AJPW in 87 (immediately post-Choshu) which was the beginning of something though I figured it out and honestly, I probably had a more satisfying time in 89 than I would have in 87. I have no idea how long I'm going to keep going with NJPW. I have no goal for AJPW to make it into the mid 90s, but I absolutely have that goal, someday, for NJPW. I want to understand Hashimoto. I want to watch the Musketeers, etc. Before that, I want to see the Russians in context, and so on. For now though, it's kind of bizarre. I crashed and burned watching Mr. Pogo and Kendo Nagasaki. The foreigners this month are Hacksaw Higgins and Johnny Mantell. But it's still all interesting and the fact it's less looked at is appealing to me, because I'm still learning stuff.

But you'll be glad to know that my plan IS to go back to 90 AJPW next. I want to see if Gladiator Jumbo is different than Grumpy Jumbo. I want to see how they adapt to so many people leaving. I want to see Taue develop. In the shorter term, I want to see turned Fuyuki and what he gets up to. How far will I go? I won't make it to 93, that's for sure.

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22 hours ago, Matt D said:

I'd say most 89-90 AJPW matches I discussed were in full and when they weren't, I mentioned them. I'm not sure if that was later classics pickups or what. A lot of times they weren't clipped as I'd personally use the term, but JIP. They often give us the entrances and then skip ahead. With AJPW, you get some sign of how many minutes in you are. Less so with NJPW when it happens.

7/4/86: Hoshino/Fujinami vs Pogo/Nagasaki: Yeah, these are Wakamatsu's goons for July. They were ok though. This one DOES come in JIP. They have ok stuff, Pogo with a spike pile driver and a nice spinning kick, Nagasaki with a belly to back and a nice gutwrench. Hoshino, who had a great neckbreaker drop and could really scrap when it came down to it, both punches and palm strikes, took the brunt of the match and got beat up a lot but never really felt in danger. He could tag more or less whenever he wanted to, which hurt the drama....

No idea about the finish because, for the first time in almost two years, I actually fell off the damn treadmill. It's almost happened a couple of times where my foot drifts as I'm going almost 6 mph and scrapes the side. This time it happened and I kinda sorta look like I've been in a car wreck. Pretty bad "treadmill burns" on my right forearm, left elbow, left knee. Right shoulder's banged up. Smaller cuts on my knuckle and ankle. Don't think anything's broken but maybe my left pinky finger (We'll see). It's a little hard to tell what's a scrape and what's a bruise at this point. I showered a put bandaids on the three worst offenders blood wise. Wall is dented. So we may be on brief hiatus here. I'll update on how I'm feeling in the morning I guess.

Thank you for the answer and I hope you feel well soon! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys, here's an update. I can post a picture of my arms if people really want, but after the wipeout, I had burns/abrasions up and down my right arm and on my right knuckle, on the right side of my upper chest (protected by my shirt though, on my left elbow, left wrist and left knee. Maybe a spot on my ankle and some brusing from my ring on my left pinky. Now almost two weeks later, I'm doing a lot better. The one on my knee was maybe quarter-sized and very deep. My knuckle and wrist were deep too but smaller. My elbow's almost healed. My right arm still has the signs of things but is healed. The knee remains pretty ghastly but is healing slowly. Wrist and knuckle are a little smaller every day. I'm still probably another week away from running again though but it could have been worse. Thanks for the concern.

I took the time to watch something today too.

6/20/86: Battle Royal: This starts with some long-haired foreigner just tossing everyone around with hip tosses and mares. I think it's Klaus Wallas but who knows. Anyway, the whole field get pissed off at this absolute force and pin him. I want to go back and watch some more Wallas now. I might bonus match the Jumbo/Baba vs Brody/Wallas tag and some of his European stuff. Then they pin Cuban Assassin just out of association with him. Then they run some weird spots with the ref putting his feet up in the corner as everyone runs into them and Hoshino raises his hand in victory. What the hell is going on here? And then he back body drops Ueda so he pinned and eliminated too. Madness. Then they do a spot where one guy sits on another guy and everyone lifts him up and slams him down. then they do a multi person headlock bit with a dropkick so they all fall over. Do people know that this sort of thing was going on in 86 NJPW? And Fujiwara does a bunch of stuff. There's one bit where everyone does a fireman's carry to someone and Fujiwara ends with an airplane spin. Then after he gets eliminated, he comes back in to mess with people. I need to isolate this thing. I'll post it.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, DEAN said:

Post pictures!

For you, big guy. This was night of:

Spoiler

D0-C660-C1-4-CDB-4943-A70-B-62-D5-E902-D

And here’s the match:

 

Edited by Matt D
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3 minutes ago, Matt D said:

For you, big guy. This was night of:

  Hide contents

D0-C660-C1-4-CDB-4943-A70-B-62-D5-E902-D

Jesus, tread mills are dangerous!

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Glad to see you back on the project, and glad to hear the updates.

 

Unrelated, but I have to share this with the world and it pertains to this era of Nooj. I dearly hope that all the (mostly uncited) things I just read on Kengo Kimura's Japanese Wikipedia page are true. Some highlights:

- He quit sumo by sneaking out of his stable at night with his loincloth tied around his head.

- He fell for his wife at first sight solely on account to her resemblance to his crush...Inoki's actress wife.

- While in LA, he drove to the DMV to test for a US license. Also during his excursion, he would take his wife to what he thought was Disneyland. It was a Denny's.

- He frequently rode on his motorcycle to Tokyo shows despite common downpour.

- Every time he got his paycheck, he would buy a wheelchair and donate it to a resident of his hometown in need.

What a dude.

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On 5/7/2022 at 10:06 AM, Matt D said:

5/30/86: Inoki vs Sakaguchi: This was part of the IGWP League, whatever that was and I'd say these two match up pretty well. Sakaguchi comes off as hugely credible, not as fast as Fujinami or Kimura but as technical as them with the size to put him over the top. He dominated a good chunk of this and really seemed like he had Inoki's number at times, though it's not like Inoki had his share of holds and without the same sense as someone "giving" him something you'd get from the UWF guys out of necessity. Finish was an errant crotching over the ropes by Sakaguchi onto Inoki for a rare loss that I feel was another display of contrition maybe?

Necroposting a bit here, but it is HILARIOUS that that finish was the cover of Weekly Pro after the previous week showed Inoki on a track field with the buzzcut of shame.

Image.asp?i=00001097&ex=1&c=MagNumber&crImage.asp?i=00001098&ex=1&c=MagNumber&cr

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