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It's Clubberin' Time!


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After that Ishikawa vs Aoyagi match blew my socks off (by the way, Ishikawa probably means "stone river" and Aoyagi probably means "blue goat" so those are pretty great wrestling names) I went looking for more Aoyagi. He's a favourite over at Segunda Caida, because of course he is. And here he is in a match against another SC favourite, Masanobu Kurisu.

This might be the closest thing out there to pure, uncut NBC* There is, like, one single-leg crab hold that lasts two seconds and otherwise it's just two absolute bastards beating each other to death. Handheld footage. No commentary. No mercy.

 

*NBC = Nothing But Clubbering

 

And, over on MattD's YouTube channel:

Hot damn! Thanks, brother!

Edited by gordi
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On 4/4/2020 at 5:17 PM, DEAN said:

Dump Matsumoto does no suplexes.

 

Dump Matsumoto is the greatest heel to ever live. There, I said it! You may disagree, but you would be wrong. Even Johnny Valentine must bow before the great woman and her kendo stick. "Singapore cane" my Irish ass, She would show the Sandman who the fuck she is and where the fuck she comes from. Dump would clubber her own entourage just to loosen her arm up. That's dedication to your craft right there. 

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On 4/13/2020 at 9:29 AM, Curt McGirt said:

"He chairs, and chairs, chairs chairs chairs, chairs chairs chairs!  😂

 

Thanks for that match. That was a legit great brawl, and it was a treat to see Kazuo Sakurada in action! RIP

 

This particular match is worked at a very deliberate pace and is mostly intricate mat work. It's a shame the crowd wasn't more into it. But, if you pay close attention you might notice the very subtle way they work chairs into this match:

Which does kind of bring to mind this classic moment featuring two former world champions:

 

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Love it that I'm sitting here baffled at Combat's hairstyle, suddenly realizing it's a variation on your typical Psychobilly cut (punk-modified pompadour with buzzing and coloring, only here with all kinds of batshit lines in the back) and then they start laughing about it on commentary. You can even hear the dude say "hairstyle" haha.  

And then Megumi uses the tuft of hair in the front as a handle to beat on her. Perfect!

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@Curt McGirt @DEAN @Matt D @thee Reverend Axl Future

Matt, I have not seen Blackwell vs Mulligan nor have I seen Ratchke vs Weaver before. In fact, It is probable that catching up on this thread over the last couple of days marks the first time I have ever seen Johnny Weaver or Killer Kowalski in action. I don't think I've ever seen the Dustin vs Vader match that Curt posted. Surely I would have remembered that sick clothesline on the floor and the terrific flip bump Dustin took off of it. Vader has to be one of the all time kings of clubbering. His big inside forearm shots are literally the perfect example of clubbing blows. That being said, the more Blackwell I watch, the closer he gets to Tenta and Vader on top of my personal rankling of masculine behemoth pro wrestlers. 

I love this call in the Blackwell match:

"The big fat man is using his weight to his advantage."

"Yes, he is."

I loved Blackwell vs Blackjack, and I enjoyed seeing Raschke, too. I think the most impressive thing in that entire video was Gene Mean's astounding curly toupee. My head almost exploded when I realized who that was. I remember Terry Funk telling the story of how Raschke would line up an opponent in the corner and lunge in with the claw, only for the opponent to dodge and Raschke's claw hand to get stuck on the turnbuckle with him unable to break his grip. Imagine getting something like that completely over with the crowd! Has anyone even tried something remotely similar since, I guess, the MasterLock challenge? It was a damned interesting thing to have two claw-centric matches on one TV show. 

I agree with Curt that the sound on that Kowalski vs Rikidozan match was amazing. Those strikes! They didn't have the sharp crack that we are too used to hearing in the kickpads/leg slap era. It's the dull fleshy thud of bone slamming into muscle. I wonder how they mic'd up that ring. I wish someone could figure it out and copy it. Imagine that sound paired with the sweat-flying visual impact captured by modern lighting and high-def cameras! 

Then those two Joshi matches that DEAN posted: The first part of Kudo vs Toyoda was like Black Terry vs Wotan without the gravel. It didn't feel like a pro wrestling match fought by pro wrestlers wearing street clothes. It felt like an actual street fight. It was almost disappointing when they got back in the ring and started doing more pro wrestlingy type stuff.

If Megumi vs Combat was like two rival gang members throwing down, Kansia vs Hotta was like the two toughest ladies from rival kyokushin dojos settling a grudge. It was like a combination of Tenryu vs Hash with Shibata vs Shinsuke.

What amazes me here is that, even if we narrow our focus to something as specific as "90s Joshi brawls" there is still a depth and richness to what we might find. It's also pretty amazing that (unless I'm mistaken) that the second of those matches is from the same card as The Greatest Joshi Singles Match of All Time. Pro wrestling, man...

 

Speaking of which:

 

Edited by gordi
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Hansen & Gordy vs Tenryu & Baby Kawada is right up there with Tsurutu & Tenryu vs Choshu & Yatsu as Greatest 80s AJPW tag match that is also in the GMOAT discussion. Such lovely psychology and story telling mixed in with all the violence, and a good candidate for Best Hansen Lariat Ever, as well.

My favourite moment from those two videos, though, is DiBiase setting up for a dropkick and then apparently thinking "nah, that's too fancy for this match" and going right back to clubbering.

Also: How much easier must it have been to be a booker when * being from New Zealand * was enough to make you a heel, and waving the Kiwi flag could drive the crowd into a frenzy.

Also also: it was nice of Strike Force to lend Williams & DiBiase their gear.

 

I believe this is the famous "I broke Wahoo's Leg" match. It's only about 50% clubbering, but the strikes are every bit as stiff as you'd imagine. Valentine does his father proud here:

 

 

 

Edited by gordi
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4 hours ago, gordi said:

Hansen & Gordy vs Tenryu & Baby Kawada is right up there with Tsurutu & Tenryu vs Choshu & Yatsu as Greatest 80s AJPW tag match that is also in the GMOAT discussion. Such lovely psychology and story telling mixed in with all the violence, and a good candidate for Best Hansen Lariat Ever, as well.

I have to go look back at the Choshu/Yatsu again. All of those Choshu AJ matches are so full of piss and vinegar, and adding an amped-up Jumbo is always a plus. But the way Stan worked in that match (as in extra violent), and Kawada basically making himself before getting his leg destroyed... it's so good. 

And don't forget there is not one but TWO Lariats in that match. Another great thing about it is that both Hansen and Tenryu (on the first lariat) take absurd over-the-guardrail bumps for each other's offense in it, just to underline how powerful they each are to the crowd.

EDIT: That Wahoo/Valentine match was so good. It was like an evolved version of Rikidozan/Kowalski at points, and you can see the seeds of where Flair would go for the rest of his career. Best thing though is they took someone simply falling down while pulling on someone's leg and turned that into an injury angle that milked crowds for big money. I am convinced, you could still do that today and make it work if you did it right.

Edited by Curt McGirt
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1 hour ago, Curt McGirt said:

I have to go look back at the Choshu/Yatsu again. All of those Choshu AJ matches are so full of piss and vinegar, and adding an amped-up Jumbo is always a plus. But the way Stan worked in that match (as in extra violent), and Kawada basically making himself before getting his leg destroyed... it's so good. 

And don't forget there is not one but TWO Lariats in that match. Another great thing about it is that both Hansen and Tenryu (on the first lariat) take absurd over-the-guardrail bumps for each other's offense in it, just to underline how powerful they each are to the crowd.

EDIT: That Wahoo/Valentine match was so good. It was like an evolved version of Rikidozan/Kowalski at points, and you can see the seeds of where Flair would go for the rest of his career. Best thing though is they took someone simply falling down while pulling on someone's leg and turned that into an injury angle that milked crowds for big money. I am convinced, you could still do that today and make it work if you did it right.

 

It's a damned interesting thing, watching a bunch of brawls like this, how spots (like, say, someone taking off their boot and using it as a weapon) crop up in different matches, and how you can start to make connections like Rikidozan/Kowalski -> Wahoo/Valentine. You can also see who influenced who, and how, and where people went with things. It's even more fun than I'd anticipated. 

 

That Tenryu tumble over the barricade was indeed a thing of beauty. I think my favourite "you might almost miss it if you are not paying attention" moment in that match comes just after Young Kawada hits the German on Gordy - when Hansen stands on Kawada's boot and kicks him in the leg like he's trying to knock his (clears throat, looks around)   foot loose   from his body.

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21 minutes ago, gordi said:

 

- when Hansen stands on Kawada's boot and kicks him in the leg like he's trying to knock his (clears throat, looks around)   foot loose   from his body.

Ahem, it's obvious he's trying to kick his leg out of his leg. Where did you think Owen Hart learned it?

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I forgive you, COVID-19, for destroying our economy because you brought thee "Salt An' Peppah Jam, daddy" onto my chromebook (but not for imprisoning me with my big drunken Jersey wife). Is JYD the best worker with no wrestling moves ever? He is the proof that with charisma, interviews, a good gimmick and entrance, great booking and the right opponents, you can be on top. Kamala have a repertoire like Jushin Thunder Liger compared to him (and the Ugandan Giant was also over as heck) I can see why Mr. Dibiase did NOTHING once he got to WWF because he worked his second generation/adopted carny DNA ass off his whole career before that. The American Dream... well, he's the got dang AMerican Dream, daddy, the Red Blotch on thee Rasslin' Mt. Rushmore, baby.

- RAF

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Oh hell yeah, @Edwin that is a modern classic of a brawl. It gets pretty crazy at the end with these two guys rolling around in the gravel winging potatoes at each other. Hard to believe that a guy in his 60s can dish out and take that much punishment.

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