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Antonio Inoki


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#41 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 08:59 AM

Has anyone ever watched his matches against Johnny Powers?

I find Powers a fascinating, curious and more or less forgotten figure in wresting history.

#42 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 03:57 PM

The 7/78 bout with Backlund is another excellent Inoki match. Backlund was pretty fantastic in it. He does that weird thing where he sticks his ass out and looks like a duck, but aside from that I thought his selling performance was nuanced and rather good. Tons of fantastic action and work. Definitely in the running for best Inoki match ever. 



#43 Childs

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 04:23 PM

I cannot watch that match without falling asleep. I don't know if it's great or not, because I've never seen more than 15 minutes of it.



#44 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 04:45 PM

I listened to a strange mix of Yarbrough & Peoples, Merle Haggard and REO Speedwagon while watching it. 



#45 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 07:10 PM

He does that weird thing where he sticks his ass out and looks like a duck


He does that every match!

I do feel loathe to watch that match considering how boring I found their bouts in 1980, but I think I might have to. Kelly, ready the Leaping Lanny machine!

#46 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 09:25 AM

I don't think I'll be in a hurry to watch another Inoki worked shoot after the Karl Mildenberger fight. Nothing interesting about that fight whatsoever.

The Brisco match from May '79 is okay, but I think the magic was gone from Brisco by that stage and Inoki didn't look great either.

#47 Parties

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 10:01 AM

There's about ten minutes of Inoki-Backlund from '79 on Youtube that is so good it made me think I could have voted Inoki even higher, and wonder if when this poll is redone in another ten years I'd consider Backlund on the strength of his post-WWF Japan stints and the '78-'82 run. There's as much awkward/kinda bad Backlund as there is great Backlund, but the great is really great. The way they struggle for power moves and display their strategies for defending against pins felt like something so absent from wrestling right now. Their pace was exactly right.



#48 Lee Casebolt

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 05:02 PM

By the sound of it I am definitely going to be the high Inoki vote, and that's having forgotten how much I love the Roland Bock match.



#49 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 03:10 PM

Lou Thesz always kind of bores me, but I liked his old man performance against Inoki. It was a neat maestro performance simply to Pat O'Connor's All Japan stuff from the same era. 

 

I broke my own rule and watched Ruska/Inoki I. It wasn't that bad actually, though I can see why the martial arts world thought it was a sham. From memory, it drew one of the biggest television ratings of all-time. Ruska heeled it up far more than you'd expect.

 

Inoki vs. Strong Kobayashi was similar to the Sakaguchi match and another strong native vs. native bout from the mid-70s. Inoki bled and there was a cool image of him bandaged up at the end with a blood stained face.

 

I got a kick out of Andre and Inoki working the mat. I doubt armwork is what anyone wants to see from an Andre bout, but given my general dislike for limbwork (or rather the over-reliance of it as an expression of psychology), it was surreal enough to be some of the most fun limbwork I've seen in a while. 



#50 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 05:00 PM

 

I got a kick out of watching Inoki wrestle a potbellied Akram Pahalwan under the rounds system in 1976. Worth it alone to see the fashions Pakistani gentlemen were wearing in the 1970s and the subtle heeling from Inoki's camp. 

 

 

 

So, apparently Akram tried to shoot on Inoki during this bout and Inoki ended up breaking the guy's arm when he wouldn't submit to the chicken wing arm-lock. I Because Akram was the nephew of the Great Gama, Inoki returned to Pakistan a few years later to help restore the family's dignity. He let Akram's 19-year old nephew, Jhara, manhandle him for large portions of a five round draw and symbolically raised his hand at the end. I didn't know any of this. I actually thought the younger Pahalwan making mincemeat out of Inoki was a sight to behold until I read up on it. When I realised Inoki wasn't putting up a fight the bout took on an entirely different light. One thing I'll say for Inoki, he may be a charlatan but he wasn't afraid to stick his neck out. And if you've never seen a Pakistani in-ring celebration you really should. 



#51 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:04 AM

Man, that Inoki vs. Great Antonio work-turned-shoot was so surreal I had to watch it twice to fully get it. And read YouTube comments. And turn the sound up. 



#52 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 08:17 AM

OJ, I think I'm finally going to sit down with that Johnny Powers match from 12/10/73 later. I've read a couple of pretty interesting reviews of it putting it over pretty strongly.

It seems like in the NJ lore, Powers is one of the big scalps in Inoki's rogue's gallery. I seem to recall reading somewhere that when they made their championship belt, Inoki had to go through all his old foes and they invited Powers back for it. I'd love to know any more info about that deal.

Also, looking for a rogue's gallery for Inoki, I came across this internet page that can only be from the 90s: http://www.asahi-net...-ON/erival.html

#53 Lee Casebolt

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 09:46 AM

God, I need to see an Inoki/Bockwinkel match yesterday.



#54 Childs

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 12:03 PM

God, I need to see an Inoki/Bockwinkel match yesterday.

 

 

Hmm, I could see that being really great or kind of boring. But probably great given Bock's willingness to go hard on the mat.



#55 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 09:28 PM

The Powers match I saw was good but not one of Inoki's best. If anything it epitomised how a lot of people see Inoki: as a guy who lies around on the mat for long periods of time, picks things up a bit, then lies back down again. I kind of see Inoki  as more of an interesting worker than a great one, but I can see why people find his style boring. His matches don't build to a dramatic climax and despite the bid for legitimacy they're not that great shoot style bouts either. I respect his single-mindedness, though. 



#56 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 10:47 PM

Just watched the Great Antonio match. Was he drunk. I was laughing pretty hard when Inoki goes for a shoulder tackle  and just goes flying off the fat guy. It is self-serious Inoki so it is pretty funny. Then Great Antonio starts hitting him pretty hard in the back of the neck and I was like this is not going to end well for him. Inoki beats the living shit out of his face for like a minute and he is a bloody pulp. Inoki was a bad muthafucka.



#57 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 12:58 AM

The Powers match I saw was good but not one of Inoki's best. If anything it epitomised how a lot of people see Inoki: as a guy who lies around on the mat for long periods of time, picks things up a bit, then lies back down again. I kind of see Inoki  as more of an interesting worker than a great one, but I can see why people find his style boring. His matches don't build to a dramatic climax and despite the bid for legitimacy they're not that great shoot style bouts either. I respect his single-mindedness, though. 

 

Turns out the YouTube version only showed the first fall. The full version had more of a climax than I gave them credit for. Powers went into total heel mode after the first fall and Inoki had to fight through injury to take the title. Didn't change my opinion of the match much but at least it rounded out that rough edge. 



#58 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 04:14 AM

Inoki vs. Kintaro Oki was such a cool bout. Inoki potatoed him to start with and they worked this really awesome cagey defensive bout until Oki started unloading with headbutts. Kintaro Oki, where have you been all my life? Inoki bled hardway but fought back with that legendary punch of his. Perfect minimalist wrestling. If you're a fan of Fujiwara or Nishimura or Ishikawa vs. Ikeda then I don't see how you wouldn't see this as a spiritual forerunner to that type of wrestling. I need to see more Oki or die wondering. 



#59 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 12:32 AM

I must have lucked Into the one good Andre/Inoki match, or maybe it's a case of diminishing returns, because the rest of them kind of suck.

#60 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 11:17 AM

Which Andre match? I just watched the '76 one and I thought it was incredible! Maybe the best Inoki match I have ever seen. I have not seen the Backlund draw (which I also love) in a while though.






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