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2 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Take your pick, or watch both

 

Vader and John Tenta vs. Gary Albright and Kazuo Yamazaki, 8/10/1994

Looks like some beefy dudes (and Yamazaki) are going to fuck each other up, YEAHHHHHHH. Vader and Albright have beef and they would like to carve up that beef and eat it with mashed potatoes, metaphorically speaking. Albright has a face for wrestling, with the missing teeth and the wicked scar. He looks like a dude who gets into fights for fun and recreation. Tenta and Vader genuinely care about one another, aw. Tenta has to calm Vader down and start out the match so that things don't fly out the window immediately. 

Faux sumo is a cool way to start. I love watching sumo on NHK because the athleticism and quickness of these big dudes is super-impressive. It's like watching a really good OL handfight away a pass rusher in American football. So what I'm saying is, pro wrestling in America needs to recruit more former sumo guys. 

I also appreciate that everyone wants Vader/Albright, is begging for it, shit just after the initial introductions, I'm excited to see what they're going to do, so we have to wait for the good stuff. It's why I don't mind the initial mat wrestling. Yamazaki comes in and throws a bunch of kicks and Tenta eats them like candy. I'm a HUGE fan of Tenta because he's so good at using his size, but he can get up and go when he needs to. It's wild that a team of two bigs like the Natural Disasters could work effectively as a face team with a FIP and all, and Tenta's a big part of that. He doesn't get his flowers like he should. I digress.

Tenta eventually smothers the outsized Yamazaki's attempts at striking and then getting an effective hold on him, and SUPERVADER comes in, catches a Yamazaki kick, and punches Yamazaki square in the jaw. It's pretty sweet. OK, so there are standing ten-counts here, like boxing, because it's UWFi. It's so weird to see a tag match as a worked shoot to me. Vader is tossing Yamazaki around like it's nothing, and Yamazaki is selling like he's punch drunk. He suddenly fires up and makes a comeback and he has this very intense strike-fest with Vader. They work it really nicely, as whenever a Yamazaki kick rings Vader a bit, he smothers Yamazaki before the smaller man can fire off again. 

Tenta's back in, and after some ineffective graps, Yamazaki tags back out, which he really should have done earlier after eating two knockdowns from Vader. Albright and Tenta struggle over a pinning attempt and Tenta gets a break, followed by the crowd begging for Vader/Albright. Yeah, we get a tag to Vader! The crowd thinks this will be hot, so I'm excited. They start the graps, which surprises me because I'm waiting for a strikefest, oh, there it is. Vader gets a standing three-count, but no more. He goes back to working Albright over in the corner. Albright fights back and punches out of the corner and hits a belly-to-belly, and what strikes me is how good everyone's timing is. They're hitting their comebacks at just the right moment. 

@Curt McGirtargued that Gary Albright might be considered the star of this match here, but may I suggest that it's actually Kazuo Yamazaki? I love this guy. He has sweet kicks, and he reminds me of, weird as this might sound, 1-2-3 Kid era Sean Waltman in that you just are rooting for this small dude in a land of giants who has lots of fire and sweet feet that give him a chance of a flash victory. I found myself really getting behind him, and when he reverses a Vader submission attempt into an armbar of his own, I was so happy for him! He can't hold it because he lacks the weight to do so, but man, this guy is so good at selling beatings and weaving around hurt, and when he gets a move or a flurry in, it feels so earned. He eats a pair of Tenta suplexes and just barely beats the count at eight, and I cannot help but root for this man, who is working one of the better FIP segments that I've ever seen in my life, legitimately. He takes an asswhipping from Vader next, but kicks his way out of the corner and gets a hot tag to Albright, who hits a nice belly-to-back suplex and then a nice belly-to-belly suplex and then snaps on an armbar for the win. 

This was really fascinating, probably the first tag team worked-shoot type of match I've seen in my life. I've seen some Volk Han and someone had me watch some RINGS, or maybe UWFi, in one of these before, but none of them were tags. I am going to review the second one of these as well, I think, just to see how it evolves. That Yamazaki, though, fantastic FIP. His selling and timing on comebacks was GREAT. What's the consensus on this guy? I know nothing about him. 

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57 minutes ago, Gordlow said:

OK, @Mollusc, you more or less asked for this:

Epic? Check! 

Story? Oh hell yeah! Something for you to really sink your teeth into. (Do octopi have teeth? I think this one does).

Classic joshi? Double check!

Hokuto? Kandori? Nakano? Triple check!

And throw in Aja Kong!

 

Thanks, George Gordwell. We have a beak where you think our butthole would be.

For you I choose the short and sweet world of 05 Saturday Night Heat. I have a soft spot for both Tajiri and Rhyno (they were part of what got me back into wrestling after a brief hiatus), Christian is always great, and if you had tattoos you’d be Tyson Tomko.

 

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@porksweatsis an OPEN BOOK!  So here is 29 minutes of Hayabusa vs Hisakatsu Oya!  I haven;t seen this match in 25-ish years but it was the first match where I noticed that Hayabusa was more than a spectacular highflier.

 

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14 minutes ago, DEAN said:

@porksweatsis an OPEN BOOK!  So here is 29 minutes of Hayabusa vs Hisakatsu Oya!  I haven;t seen this match in 25-ish years but it was the first match where I noticed that Hayabusa was more than a spectacular highflier.

 

SANTO~! Review

Love me some Hayabusa from what I've seen and haven't seen much Hisakatsu Oya because FMW really is underrepresented in my watching history. Does Hayabusa wear alot of brown? It's rare to see a wrestler decked out in it, maybe early Mankind but Hayabusa makes it look very cool. Oya is one balding dude but those are the guys you gotta watch for. Really nice slow paced technical exchange of holds and locks to start until Oya hayabustas Hayabusa with a back drop outta nowhere at the 7:56 mark that accordians Hayabusa. Oya keeps control for the next few minutes, really working Busa's arm. When he starts working in some kicks to keep Hayabusa down, he's the spitting image of Mac from It's Always Sunny. Why Oya Hate? Hayabusa Bastard Man. We're at the halfway point and Hayabusa shifts it to his favor with a rolling wheel kick and a flip over the top rope to the outside that almost doesn't connect but Oya was pretty far back, and it's followed by some even more impressive taking to the air. At the 19:00 mark, Oya's got Hayabusa in an Octopus Hold, a move that will always get a pop out of me. Serena Deeb did one that'll be on this week's Dark and my wife lost her mind at it when she saw it, so I know I married a good one. Oya's got some good offense but Hayabusa changes the whole game up when he snags Oya's clothesline into what could've been a good crossface but he didn't go for it. Hayabusa's comeback here is better than his first shot at it, almost scoring the win with a Fisherman's Buster but Oya gets the foot on the rope! It's back and forth after a missed Phoenix Splash. I really like how Oya locks the arms on the overhead suplexes, it's like Al Snow but better. Hayabusa lands on top of Oya after a failed back suplex, and hits him with some of the hardest powerbombs I've seen from a high flyer which somehow don't get the job done? What! Oh it's a draw. That's anti-climatic.

Takeaways: Octopus Holds rock. Hayabusa rocks. I don't like 30 minute draws. I will watch more Oya going forward. Thanks DEAN, I hope my review was up to snuff.

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Oh man I got a lot of other people's stuff to watch now. 

Anyway, Yamazaki was one of the UWFi guys that unfortunately didn't get the push he probably deserved as a singles wrestler back in his original home, New Japan. Looking him up on Wiki he won tag titles twice after his return and got to the end of a G1 but was beaten by Hash (I really need to see that match). He trained Yuji Nagata and Kendo Ka Shin so I'd say his success rate as a trainer is 50/50. He was really great in UWF/UWFi though, a stone-faced ass kicker who always looked deadly. 

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8 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

Take your pick, or watch both

 

 

Well, it's still a bit too warm to start dinner, and my wife is watching a movie that I'm not too interested in, so it's back to the study room to pass the time. Why not pass it with more UWF(i?). 

Vader and John Tenta vs. Gary Albright and Kazuo Yamazaki, 10/14/1994

Man, you really get the sense that Vader and Tenta are dudes who genuinely care about one another, with all the high-fives and the shoulder rubs and the general emotional support they show one another. It's kinda nice!

Vader can't even wait until the ring announcer is done saying his name to jump Albright, and things spill outside. Tenta has to go help his very emotional wrestling bro calm down so they can execute their gameplan once again. Did Yamazaki tell Vader "Let's get it on" or did I hear that incorrectly? Then he throws a kick and taunts Vader. This guy is KING-SIZED, like I think I'm a legit fan of this dude after seeing him this afternoon. 

So yeah, Yamazaki and Vader have this AWESOME opening strike exchange in which Vader closes the gap of Yamazaki's kicks and throws some bear claws at him for a bit, but Yamazaki ducks out of the way and ends up knocking Vader to a knee and kicking him in the head. The crowd roars, just as they should. Unfortunately for Yamazaki, Vader closes the gap, punches his way to a standing three-count, and then ends up belly-to-back deadlift suplexing Yamazaki shortly after. Yamazaki sells it like he's punch-drunk. He baits Vader into catching a kick when they're at a standstill, but this time, Vader doesn't keep his distance and eats an enziguri. Very nice exchange between these two.

Tenta's in next and once again eats a few kicks to the thigh like they're candy bars. An enziguri wobbles him, though, and Yamazaki gets a front facelock that he worked his ass off to get. You know what I love about these matches and maybe this style? How hard it is to earn things. Like, when is a front facelock ever anything but a lame resthold in the U.S.? But here, it's a big fuckin' deal. 

Tenta keeps Yamazaki off with a series of sumo slaps, legit E. Honda style one-hundred hand slap stuff, and ends up fighting off an armbar attempt. Yamazaki tags in Albright. There's some decent mat struggle in their initial sequence, but I must admit that I would rather just watch Yamazaki work this style some more. Albright is interesting, and he's definitely good for beefy boy suplexes, but he's definitely the guy who I have the least interest in here. Tenta gets him on the mat and stuffs him with a few open-palm slaps, but they come to a standstill and Albright calls for Vader. Man, Vader throwing punches is great. He looks like he's straight killing dudes. Actually, he probably is straight killing dudes most of the time. 

Albright and Vader fight over a full nelson, and Albright wins that fight, but Vader gets a break. He's pissed, so he charges and gets a few blows and what I think is an illegal headbutt before being tackled. The flow here is that Vader needs to win this fight standing up because he's getting double-legged after too long. His problem is that Albright is a tough dude and can eat punches for long enough to get him on the mat. Albright gets position, fights for, and wins a nice belly-to-back suplex for a standing three-count. Vader has lost all semblance of strategy and looks to be easy pickings. He gets up, charges Albright again, and Albright easily slips him and gets position for another belly-to-back that garners a standing six-count. Vader looks fucked, but as Albright comes in for the kill, he eats a punch combo that ends in a right haymaker that drops him for a standing three-count.

This is fucking AWESOME, man, what a dope match. I love this house style. Both guys look exhausted, but Vader works Albright back to his corner and gets a tag to Tenta, who hits a nice fucking powerslam and then turns Albright over on a Boston Crab, just to remind us that this is still pro wrestling, fellas! Albright gets the ropes. Vader tags back in and drills a belly-to-back, but it knocks Albright back into his corner. He tags, and Yamazaki is a house afire! He kicks the FUCK out of Vader and gets a legbar and I think he's done it, he's won, but Vader just barely gets the ropes! Yamazaki kicks and kicks and tries another enziguri, but Vader ducks it and pulls him into position for a POWERBOMB and that's it, Yamazaki's not getting up, it's over. Vader and Albright would like to continue their disagreement after the bell, but Tenta and the refs break it up and Vader and Tenta leave, victorious. 

THAT WAS GREAT. I WANT MORE. GIVE ME MORE. 

 

Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
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ANTONIO INOKI vs ERNIE LADD- 3/21/1974- 2/3 FALLS- Cleveland, OH:  This was two months past the Ox Baker/Ernie Ladd riot in Cleveland, so I'm guessing Ladd was still a babyface.  Ladd is more fun as a gigantic bumping heel, but let us watch, shall we?  Inoki is sporting manly mutton chops that lured the ladies of Cleveland into his erotic web.  Inoki looks like he pulled up to the auditorium in a purple Challenger with Nazareth pumping out of the speakers.  Ladd looks sleek and athletic, a look that he would no longer have when I first saw him when he came to the Mid-South Arkansas territory four years after this.  I think his knees gave out between this and then.  Inoki is 6'3" but Ladd, at 6'9", towers over him.  Being the 1970s, they start off with an extended head scissors section.  Ladd is big and athletic so it looks like it would suck to be in his vice.  Oh, this match is awesome.  Inoki goes total heel by being a dick in the breaks.  Oh man, this goes straight from RESPECT and SPORTSMANSHIP to Mance Warner vs Jon Moxley.  Huh, according to cagematch.net, Inoki had been wrestling 14 years and Ladd had been wrestling 10 years when this took place.  Anyway,  they go back to headscissors, but it's a more angry headscissors.  Inoki tries to apply an Indian Death Lock and they OPT to start punching each other in the face.  Yeah, this rules.  Inoki keeps getting Ladd in these pinning situations but Ladd is too powerful and he kicks out with authority.  Inoki finally gets Ladd in a head scissors that functions as a Sleeper Hold and Ladd gets his hand up the third time and then gets his shoulder up when he appears to have passed out with his shoulders on the mat.  I don't think I've ever seen a head scissors worked like that.  I'm sure if Gordon Solie was commentating, he would explain how Inoki is putting pressure on the Carotid artery by placing his shin across Ladd's throat or something.  So yeah, it's a variation on the head scissors, but it's still a head scissors.  I will quit obsessing on it now.  They keep at it until Ladd gets to his feet and invents the gentlest version of the Buckle Bomb.  I see where Dusty got his schtick for fighting out of the Sleeper, it was how Ernie Ladd fought out of the Head Scissors against Antonio Inoki.  Inoki hits a SWEET dropkick and then they are bouncing around the ring and they slam into each other and neither can answer the count- so I think that makes it one fall for each.  They start the third (?) fall with a Ernie Ladd Body Vice and I like the simple story they are telling-  Inoki will slaughter you with a head scissors.  Ernie Ladd will slaughter you with a Body Scissors.  It's like they took the first two minutes of the Claudio Castagnoli/Konosuke Takeshita match and went 28 minutes with it.  I don't know if the Grand Rapids crowd would stick with it like the crowd in Cleveland does.  At exactly 20 minutes in, Ladd hits the first bodyslam.  And then he hits another.  This is like Claudio hitting that Everest Gut Wrench Suplex off the top- in that it signals that the big stuff is about to hit.  Inoki counters his third bodyslam attempt with a roll-up FOR TWO!  This is Takeshita counter the Riccola Bomb with a rana and a roll-up.  This match is very much the 1974 version of Takeshita vs Claudio.  Ernie Ladd is the dominatingly strong and athletic wrestler in his home ring.  Inoki is the flashy Japanese guy visiting the US.  Inoki applies a Lucha version of a  Bow and Arrow and that had to look like Skytwister Press in 1974.  Inoki lands a Flying Head Scissors and we are back to the Sleeper Idea.  Ladd threatens to punch Inoki in the face, but the referee talks Ladd out of it.  Ladd finally gets to his feet and they start chopping each other and Ladd goes on offense, hitting two Irish Whips and the Big Boot!  And Another Big Boot!  And a flash pin! The Big Boot is Ernie Ladd's Riccola Bomb!  Ernie Ladd retains the NWF championship that Inoki would win in December of 1974.  That was just enough violence to take the edge all the Scientific Wrestling.  That was good.

 

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5 hours ago, Octopus said:

Thanks, George Gordwell. We have a beak where you think our butthole would be.

For you I choose the short and sweet world of 05 Saturday Night Heat. I have a soft spot for both Tajiri and Rhyno (they were part of what got me back into wrestling after a brief hiatus), Christian is always great, and if you had tattoos you’d be Tyson Tomko.

 

This is kind of a bummer. 

it's interesting that you were just getting back into wrestling after a hiatus here, because I was just about to drop entirely out of watching current American pro wrestling at this point. 

Because this is right around where I started to straight up hate the WWE and Sports Entertainment. 

So, kind of a bummer. 

It's not just that I don't have warm nostalgic feelings for this era. It's that it brings back unpleasant feelings and memories. Which is why I literally said, "Please please please no sports entertainment."

I really like Tajiri, though. I met him once . He spoke to me in English. I spoke to him in Japanese. Everyone in Cowboy Steakhouse was staring at us. I wondered why, then realised that a white guy speaking Japanese and a Japanese guy speaking English must seem pretty strange.

So, this pick also brought back a happy memory. So, thanks for that.

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But please please please please please if anyone else gets matched up with me: I do not wanna watch any WWE. Or NXT. Old WWF or WWWF is,OK, I guess, but there is a whole world of pro wrestling out there, and a whole rich history, and I pertmuch prefer any other aspect of it to Sports Entertainment. Which I fucking hate.

I did a whole long post on the first page listing all kinds of other things I like.

Anyway.. at least this match was short. 

I watched it twice. It's pre-Dunn swooshing cameras era, so that makes it watchable. The commentary is not my cup of tea, but not yet corporate speak so that is bearable. The crowd noise is weirdly washed out, which beats duelling chants that don't react or relate to the acton in the ring. 2004 Heat is much more watchable than 2021 Raw, in my opinion.

There's not much in the match itself for me to hang my hat on. Christian does a good job, as always, playing the cowardly, sneaky heel. He's great. Tajiri is springy and quick and semi-hemi-demi-stiff and I always like him but prefer the un-neutered version. 

Rhino and Tomko facing off gives a kind of Jeff Cobb vs Lance Archer vibe. A shorter stockier power guy vs a big tall mean guy. Neither one afraid of the other. They do a fairly OK job of playing that out, I guess. I can't help thinking about how much more awesome Cobb vs Archer would be, though. 

basically everyone gets a bit of their shit in and when it's time to go home the big men tumble out of the ring, Tajiri misses a buzzsaw kick on Christian then eats an unprettier and the pin. 

Fuck sports entertainment.

Christian and Tajiri are great, though. For all my bitching (and I have done a lot of it) there are worse ways to kill 20 minutes than watchin watching them fight twice.

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Woof. I missed the boat on this one, Gordson Welles. I feel like William Regal getting Claudio to be more violent. I shall call our group the Nara Combat Club! I had a feeling you’d like Tajiri and Christian and looked for a short match with them. 

I’m gonna cheat and throw a second one at you hopefully as a Tajiri pallet cleanser. 
 

Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Super Crazy.

Edited by Octopus
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MX VS. FANTASTICS

Awesome! This ticks off several boxes for me: 1. Mid-South 2. JCP 3. MX 4. Fantastics. Because I haven't seen enough of any of them. Fantastics, all their matches I've seen are I think Sheepherders matches. Mid-South, I have the WWE comp but that's it. Midnights, I REALLY haven't seen enough of (I can't recall that other match at all), and I'll count Jim Crockett Promotions here because that's probably where the feud got its start, and I really need to see as much pre-WCW WCW as humanly possible. 

What strikes me most about this one is that both teams are total pros who were able to run this program around different loops so many times because all they had to do was slightly tweak the formula and it would always work. This one has a little of probably everything except blood that they could do. It has The Jim Cornette Show, with him being an ass on the outside after winding homophobic Southerners up by hugging and even kissing his consorts. It has the technical/high-spot aspect with the dropkicks, one double-team from MX and a great double headscissors/headlock takeover from Tommy Rogers. It has begging off, stalling and cheating from the heels. It of course has cutting off the ring and the hot tag, which was the bread and butter. Now if they wanted to they could lean hard on any one of those aspects and make a full match of it and the crowd would eat it up, but instead they made a little potpourri here for our entertainment. And BOY did the crowd eat it up: big OOOOs for the punches, big pop for the hot tag, and the pop at the end is just ridiculous, with one guy in a trucker cap turning around and desperately high fiving everyone behind him while another guy raises his kid in the air like it's The Lion King. Fulton and Rogers probably got people's daughters offered up to them like sacrificial gifts while Corny and the Midnights probably had to wear hoodies at the Waffle House to keep from being recognized and having their tires slashed. That, my friends, is Professional Wrestling. In the '80s, anyway.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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1 hour ago, Octopus said:

Woof. I missed the boat on this one, Gordson Welles. I feel like William Regal getting Claudio to be more violent. I shall call our group the Nara Combat Club! I had a feeling you’d like Tajiri and Christian and looked for a short match with them. 

I’m gonna cheat and throw a second one at you hopefully as a Tajiri pallet cleanser. 
 

Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Super Crazy.

Oh. Hell. Yeah!

This is SO much more my cup of (green) tea.

The alley this is up is SO much more my alley.

Super Crazy is another dude that I have met! He was also awesome. He acted like he was more excited to meet me than I was to meet him. Made my day.

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These two. Tajiri and Super Crazy. You wanna talk about ring chemistry? These lads have it. Like Rey/Eddie or Misawa/Kawada levels. Something special.

According to Cagematch they had been in the ring together three times before this. Once in a Mexican trios and twice, months earlier, in ECW. They were still tagging together in All Japan last year! They had a match 20 years after this one where they didn't work as fast or fly as high but that chemistry was still totally there. 

At least in part, I'd have to imagine it comes from Tajiri being a Japanese guy who did his young boy excursion in Mexico and Crazy being a Mexican guy who went to Japan and both of them wanting to make it in America. A continuation of that Jericho/Eddie/Ultimo Dragon etc etc path that smaller wrestlers once had to walk that took them all over the world fighting and learning.

They work at a blistering pace here. Not so much with all the counters and reversals that you'd get from them later, but instead just chaining insane things together seamlessly. Like, for example, missile dropkick -> tornado DDT -> clothesline - inverted tornado DDT.

Crazy. Super Crazy, in fact. 

I guess the standard don't -think-just -react hipster take would be to bitch about the no-selling. But, think about what is going on here. It's two foreign guys, on the smaller side, with ten minutes to get over in front of a crowd that presumably has next to zero idea who they are.

Tajiri, short-haired, clean-shaven, wearing trunks with a little Japanese flag on them, could be any Japanese young boy. 

I would argue that they wrestle the perfect match for the situation they are in.  Commentary does a great job explaining, for example, how resilient Crazy is. The fans react to everything they do in the ring. Such a great crowd.

except that they boo Super Crazy for shouting "Arriba! Mexico!" I have to imagine we'd cheer him for that, these days.

Anyway... Thanks very much, Science Officer Spoctopus I LOVED this match. Made me very happy.

Edited by Gordlow
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32 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

Hmmm, I guess the feud actually started in Mid-South? They only took it to Crockett territory for about a year according to Wiki. Somebody here can tell the tale I'm sure.

Yep, that's it. They went to Crockett in '88 IIRC and had an all-timer of a feud with the Eaton and Lane MX over the U.S. Tag Team Championships, followed by a feud with the Sheepherders that ended prematurely when the latter left for New York.

Edited by SirSmellingtonofCascadia
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OK, @Matt D, thank ye for for your patience, Brody-free content but one day, my no-relation-to-Chuck bonhomme, we gotta sit down and hash this out mebbe you can hip me into something I turn my nose up at like Inoki or AEW. Anyway, I was gonna go into the deep dark World Class world but I was feel more rugged, and this is so festive. 

Yeah, it's pretty much a step above a squash, merely a wheel-spin in a longer feud, but there's gold here, baby. This is why Ms. Debbie Harry prefers that Southern rassling to her homegrown product. I am a big big mark for heel Slaughter, one of the best big men, and maybe you can see the glimmers of Mike Rotundo's babyface charisma too. Kernodle looks like he would be smelling of beer and cigarettes when he stopped to help you when your car broke down on the side of the road, damn he's probably drunk but sure enough he gets it started again and you don't mind that he hits you up for a fiver, in fact you're a little intimidated he was checking out what you had in your car a lot but it all worked out.  Pvt. Nelson is awkward and shaped like a dollar store Bob Backlund doll. ANYWAY I ramble, you watch & use your wordsuffs, enjoy.

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And away we go with this arcane gem from @Matt Dhttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZkiGfIC4muVK95qUPwV0rsXx-K0dOQO0/view?usp=sharing - we got your Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling/NWA card from Norfolk, Virginia at the Scope Coliseum, 09/11/1986 (The Italian Stallion defeats Mark Fleming, Misty Blue defeats Linda Dallas (attn. @DEAN), Buddy Landel defeats Hector Guerrero, Arn Anderson defeats The Warlord, NWA National Heavyweight Title Match Wahoo McDaniel (c) defeats Ivan Koloff (oh my, attn. RAF), NWA United States Heavyweight Title Match Nikita Koloff (c) defeats Magnum TA by DQ (post the best-of-7 series), NWA World Tag Team Title Best Two Out Of Three Falls Match The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) (c) defeat The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey) (w/Jim Cornette) [2:1], Street Fight Dusty Rhodes defeats Big Bubba Rogers by Count Out (in a street fight?)), and I am watching the main event, daddy, a NWA World Heavyweight Title Match
with your champ Ric Flair against a mildly babyface Dick Murdoch. This match appears to be from a Japanese broadcast, no worries, I imagine just this one bout was shown there but the whole thing was hopefully filmed for future generations to learn from.  Let us not forget that Mr. Flair is working with one of his heroes here. Baby Doll is at ringside. Incidentally, one of our rescue cats came to us named Baby Doll, and she is a dirty jezebel too but I love both species of BD. Two-legged Baby Doll does not interfere at all, and merely has to perform some reaction shots for the benefit of Her Man - maybe that's due to the Japan audience? Tommy Young is your ref and as usual with Flair matches he gets involved. He does have to do the untangling of the combatants' legs after a Figure Four is rope-breaked, I dig that. And a big Yahweh blessing to the potty-mouthed Slick Ric supporter at ringside, screaming out encouragement. Where are you now, adult Flair fan, did you take the same paths as your idol or are you stagnating in a VA suburb? My big impression of this match is how hurried it is: they went immediately into the lock-up, and the execution, story and psychology are performed at an accelerated pace over the course of a no nonsense 15 minutes. Maybe some of the previous matches went long, and there was a curfew? Probably Dusty's match went over, I bet, that's so Dusty. It's pretty back and forth, and the final sequence gets a bit involved, and yes everybody, Flair's naked ass makes an appearance. Oh, Ric, we were all so young and innocent then. My only objection was to thee World's Softest Brainbuster, I mean, the Japanese announcers couldn't even give out a AHBRAINBOOSTAHUUUU, it was just abrainbusta, damn. Video and camerawork was first rate, and I have never seen this before, so it's pretty exciting. So, thank you Matt D, this is on my hard drive for a later rewatch.

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7 hours ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

OK, @Matt D, thank ye for for your patience, Brody-free content but one day, my no-relation-to-Chuck bonhomme, we gotta sit down and hash this out mebbe you can hip me into something I turn my nose up at like Inoki or AEW. Anyway, I was gonna go into the deep dark World Class world but I was feel more rugged, and this is so festive. 

Yeah, it's pretty much a step above a squash, merely a wheel-spin in a longer feud, but there's gold here, baby. This is why Ms. Debbie Harry prefers that Southern rassling to her homegrown product. I am a big big mark for heel Slaughter, one of the best big men, and maybe you can see the glimmers of Mike Rotundo's babyface charisma too. Kernodle looks like he would be smelling of beer and cigarettes when he stopped to help you when your car broke down on the side of the road, damn he's probably drunk but sure enough he gets it started again and you don't mind that he hits you up for a fiver, in fact you're a little intimidated he was checking out what you had in your car a lot but it all worked out.  Pvt. Nelson is awkward and shaped like a dollar store Bob Backlund doll. ANYWAY I ramble, you watch & use your wordsuffs, enjoy.

One thing I love about 83 JCP is how strategy based the storylines were. There were goofy things where Steamboat and Youngblood would destroy Slaughter's hat or whatever, but a lot of the best stuff is Johnny Weaver coaching them up or, as seen here, when Jim Nelson turned face and took all of Slaughter's secrets over to the babyfaces. You can kind of see it here as Kernodle and Slaughter weren't on the usual same page (best example is when, towards the end, after Slaughter just kills Rotunda with the hot shot, Kernodle slams him into his own corner allowing Nelson to come in to set up the finish). Rotunda is very interesting to watch here. I get the sense, and this is a connection I never made before, that he was really ill-served from coming in when he did. Remember, he came in as an amateur who was taken under the wing of Dick Beyer of all people. He didn't love pro wrestling growing up and he learned what was correct pro wrestling in this late-era studio time. What he does here, hanging on to a headlock against two game opponents who try every trick in the book to pry him off, absolutely works. There's an energy to it, an excitement to it, real timing that moves the crowd and keeps them behind him. I don't think it would work the same way for an 85 WWF taping. It wouldn't serve him well as a heel later on, even working the other end of such exchanges. It was almost useless to him in the 90s. I wonder if he came in just a year or two later if he wouldn't have developed skills that somehow served him better, if he wouldn't have been more of a bruiser or a bully or a character as a heel than from what he's learning here wrestling Kernodle. Case in point is that, despite all of his talents, just a few years later there'd be no where in wrestling where Kernodle fit. That's such a crazy notion if you were to say it to a fan in Charlotte in 1983, right? But wrestling would change in the exact ways that he just didn't fit anymore. Maybe he could have had a Continental run in 87. Maybe he would have worked in Global in 91. But there was just no purpose to him in the big promotions anymore not because anything he did wrong but because wrestling had contorted itself in ways that didn't make sense to the meat and potatoes grind of a match like this. That was the forge that Rotunda was tempered in. He was credible but never properly dynamic, all because the setting no longer existed for him to be so. Nelson had the crowd behind him here, but he was always going to be a cog in a bigger machine. Becoming Boris Zhukov was still one of the odder physical transformations in wrestling. Anyway, this is really functional stuff. It establishes Rotunda as game against someone as lofty and dangerous as Slaughter. It furthers the Boris story. That allows both of those guys to mean more as midcarders at live shows. It lets Steamboat interject in the end to further the larger feud. It gives Nelson and Rotunda the moral (and actual) DQ victory to make it seem that maybe, just maybe, Slaughter/Kernodle were on the rocks, but they're still a force and hit the Slaughter Cannon (Atomic Bomb!) after the match. Rotunda sure looked good working those headlocks though, really hanging on and making it seem like an energetic struggle. All to emerge in a world that he was not in the least prepared for. Ah well.

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17 hours ago, Matt D said:

One thing I love about 83 JCP is how strategy based the storylines were. There were goofy things where Steamboat and Youngblood would destroy Slaughter's hat or whatever, but a lot of the best stuff is Johnny Weaver coaching them up or, as seen here, when Jim Nelson turned face and took all of Slaughter's secrets over to the babyfaces. You can kind of see it here as Kernodle and Slaughter weren't on the usual same page (best example is when, towards the end, after Slaughter just kills Rotunda with the hot shot, Kernodle slams him into his own corner allowing Nelson to come in to set up the finish). Rotunda is very interesting to watch here. I get the sense, and this is a connection I never made before, that he was really ill-served from coming in when he did. Remember, he came in as an amateur who was taken under the wing of Dick Beyer of all people. He didn't love pro wrestling growing up and he learned what was correct pro wrestling in this late-era studio time. What he does here, hanging on to a headlock against two game opponents who try every trick in the book to pry him off, absolutely works. There's an energy to it, an excitement to it, real timing that moves the crowd and keeps them behind him. I don't think it would work the same way for an 85 WWF taping. It wouldn't serve him well as a heel later on, even working the other end of such exchanges. It was almost useless to him in the 90s. I wonder if he came in just a year or two later if he wouldn't have developed skills that somehow served him better, if he wouldn't have been more of a bruiser or a bully or a character as a heel than from what he's learning here wrestling Kernodle. Case in point is that, despite all of his talents, just a few years later there'd be no where in wrestling where Kernodle fit. That's such a crazy notion if you were to say it to a fan in Charlotte in 1983, right? But wrestling would change in the exact ways that he just didn't fit anymore. Maybe he could have had a Continental run in 87. Maybe he would have worked in Global in 91. But there was just no purpose to him in the big promotions anymore not because anything he did wrong but because wrestling had contorted itself in ways that didn't make sense to the meat and potatoes grind of a match like this. That was the forge that Rotunda was tempered in. He was credible but never properly dynamic, all because the setting no longer existed for him to be so. Nelson had the crowd behind him here, but he was always going to be a cog in a bigger machine. Becoming Boris Zhukov was still one of the odder physical transformations in wrestling. Anyway, this is really functional stuff. It establishes Rotunda as game against someone as lofty and dangerous as Slaughter. It furthers the Boris story. That allows both of those guys to mean more as midcarders at live shows. It lets Steamboat interject in the end to further the larger feud. It gives Nelson and Rotunda the moral (and actual) DQ victory to make it seem that maybe, just maybe, Slaughter/Kernodle were on the rocks, but they're still a force and hit the Slaughter Cannon (Atomic Bomb!) after the match. Rotunda sure looked good working those headlocks though, really hanging on and making it seem like an energetic struggle. All to emerge in a world that he was not in the least prepared for. Ah well.

Everyone on this thread and their gotdang match analyses are so flippin' SMART that Ima going to have to knuckle down and fire up the brain pan, less quippin' and more deep level science, Mr. RAF... Wow, I am impressed.

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Week 3. Web Conn's out for now. Feel free to double back to the match I gave you and give me one, even if it's a couple of months down the line. No rush.

So that leaves us with..

@Curt McGirt
@porksweats   

    @DEAN
@thee Reverend Axl Future

    @SirSmellingtonofCascadia
    @Octopus

    @Gordlow
    Matt D

Gordi,

I know you check out SC at times, but I also know you only have time to watch matches judiciously, so I'm betting you haven't seen this yet. I've timestamped it for you. It's just a little over 20 mins, but it's brisk and fun with a giant I'm sure you've never seen before (Because none of us have).

If you're feeling adventurous, you should go back and watch the Prince/Noced match since everyone's talking about Prince right now and this, at under ten minutes, is his most accessible match against a very good base, where you get everything that makes him special in a short burst, but certainly do not feel obliged.

Here's more on Bill. https://www.wrestlingheritage.co.uk/klondyke-bill

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@Gordlow, tough night with getting lik Octopus down. So in theory I’ll get the Hokuto goodness up today!

@SirSmellingtonofCascadia, you like old stuff ehhhh. I see a lot of Sugunda references and a La Petit Prince match, so why not stick in that world.

La Petit Prince vs Michael Saulnier.

The link has two matches on it, this one of the first half.

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Since I got thee Reverend @thee Reverend Axl Future, I was looking for a Dr Luther in FMW but all of those matches are five minutes long.  But I did come across THIS!  Luther and Brett Como as Black Dragon in Portland against the late Adam Firestorm and a guy!   I love that this match isn't listed in cagematch.net.

 

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I love getting paired up with you, Matt! I always get a great one (or more) to watch and also interesting thoughts on the match I pick for you. Even more so than usual in the Santoverse.

i am legit excited for both Klondike Bill and Petit Prince!

And I have been saving this for you (or Dean) since the links got in sent to me. I'm sure we have talked at least briefly about Otoko Sakari, Alexander Otsuka's sex addict comedy wrestling character, who I once dressed as for the Osaka Pro Halloween party. Whichever of you or Dean I got first was getting this one, something I am all but sure you have never seen, from a series of shows promoted by my special friend Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru in 2020. I recommend watching with captions on. Or maybe not...

It's a really short match, but definitely gets across the essence of Otoko Sakari. Which,really, everyone should experience at least once. Even though it's really pretty awful.

And, he is "fighting" someone you're familiar with from AEW!

And since it is a short match, the optional extra is a much, much different intergender match also featuring familiar names from All Elite:

 

 

Edited by Gordlow
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