Huh, read my review from 10 years ago, and apparently, I thought they missed the boat by working a largely mat-based match at that point in the feud.
But I just watched it for the first time since then and have to say, I blew it. I did not see a MOTDC because they lost momentum at times in the back half. But it was an excellent match with so many cool little moments of struggle. So thanks to Jetlag for steering me back to it.
In general, the long Inoki singles matches are my biggest regrets from that particular DVDVR process. The Fujinami broadway should certainly have been on there.
I gotta bring this thread back up again cause I've subscribed to the NJPW network and naturally, I've been watching a lot of Inoki matches for the past few weeks.
So people have said that Inoki is boring and they can't understand why he was such a big star. To me, this is utterly mystifying. More often than not, he knew exactly how to get his audience by the balls and build heat. He also understood how to keep his matches unpredictable, especially post his match series against martial artists.
Most importantly, Inoki was badass. Once in a while, he would look like the baddest dude on the planet by snapping someone's arm or knocking someone out with stomps and punches. He really knew how to punch someone in the face when it counted. In the 80s, there were times when he would look like a master grappler with crazy transitions.
- the 8/8/88 match against Fujinami is, for my money, the greatest 1 hour draw in history and honestly Inoki looks better than Fujinami there. The 85 match is great too but the 8888 match has amazing style
- the whole series vs. Choshu. I am mystified the 84 singles match didn't make it on the DVDVR set because it's crazy good, low end MOTDC.
- underrated matches in the 1970s against Strong Kobayashi and Kintaro Oki, two workers who as far as I can see did not have matches on that level against anyone else
- figured out how to get watchable, genuinely exciting matches out of guys such as Rusher Kimura or Tiger Jeet Singh
- the 1978 match against Roland Bock in Stuttgart, which is an uncooperative, hideous mess and somehow, great
Inoki sucking is a bit of a myth, I think. Not saying he was a superworker, all the time, but he could certainly turn it up and look world class especially in that 80s stuff where he would work as untouchable wrestling god getting taken down a notch by his tenacious opponents. He may be the ultimate spectacle worker in a way, given that he got more out of his proto MMA voodoo bullshit than anyone else did out of their own shock acts. I do regret leaving him off my GWE Top 100.
Which Inoki/Choshu match was that? The short, heated one? If so, Phil and I dug it. Will, not so much.
Back to TV matters, I get what they are trying to do but I'm not sure having Brock's gimmick be the guy who no shows TV is the best idea when you're angling to renew your TV deal that happens to be the backbone of your business plan.
It's pretty silly to think a short-term wrestling angle is going to affect a multi-year corporate television deal. Brock could vanish into thin air tomorrow, and it would have no impact on WWE's value to USA, Fox or whomever.
Heymans promo, taken literally, was rubbish. But I suppose if you view it as a heels ode to delusional hypocrisy, it was okay. Not psyched for five more weeks of this though. I just want to see the match.
So I didn't participate but their rubric was this:
N: Nuance (Longevity, Flexibility, Intangibles) J: Jump Up Factor (Memorable Peak Matches, Moments and Storylines) P: Promo Skills & Character Work W: Workrate
At which point, in ring work itself shows up in the N (can they work a bunch of different sort of matches/different roles, plus all sort of intangibles stuff), the J (peak matches and moments within matches, plus paid off storylines in ring), P (how well did they portray their character through their ringwork), and obviously W. But a whole bunch of other stuff crops up too.
How many memorable moments does a guy like Jericho have? The debut, the promo on Steph, the HHH dusty finish, the tag with Benoit against Austin/HHH, the turn on Rock, winning the unified title, getting turned on by Trish, and on, and on, and on, and on. How about his flexibility? How he changed his character? He's reinvented himself a ton of times and it's worked more often than not. And so on.
He definitely does better on this rubric than if it was just the work alone.
I agree Jericho rates well by their rubric. But I don't think I'd want to use a rubric that rates Jericho well