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Superstar Sleeze

Member Since 19 Aug 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:10 PM
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Topics I've Started

Japanese Booking in 70s-Mid 80s: Native vs Native

Yesterday, 11:27 AM

I understand that Japanese booking philosophy was very nativist with the general archetype being to bring in foreigners from all over the world to face the major stars of the promotion and that had been the booking philosophy dating back to Rikidozan. My understanding is that changed in All Japan with Riki Choshu invasion in 1985, which was the first native vs native feud in that promotion and due to the success of Choshu invasion angle: Jumbo vs Tenryu was born and the rest was history.

 

So my questions are the following:

 

1. Were there ever any major native vs native matches in All Japan pre-Choshu? I am pretty sure the answer is no, but I just wanted to check.

 

The one I am more curious about is New Japan. 

 

2. Inoki ran some round robin tournaments in the mid-70s which required him to face Masa Saito and Seji Sakaguchi, which look like the first ever main event native vs main event native matches in puroresu history? Is the 1974 World League the first of its kind?

 

3. It seems like Umanosuke Ueda is the first ever Japanese heel. He regularly teamed with Tiger Jeet Singh and wrestled Inoki regularly in the late 70s. Is he the first of his kind? Is Inoki vs Ueda the first native vs native feud in puroresu history?


Riki Choshu vs Genichiro Tenryu - JWP 2/21/85

28 March 2017 - 10:18 PM

Riki Choshu vs Genichiro Tenryu - JWP 2/21/85

 

The first singles match of the feud that would change the course of All Japan Pro Wrestling happens in Riki Choshu's renegade Japan Pro-Wrestling. Choshu after feuding extensively with Tatsumi Fujinami in 1983 was set to begin a major feud with Antonio Inoki in 1984. The feud began, but in late 1984 Choshu and allies departed from New Japan and formed Japan Pro Wrestling, which basically became a satellite promotion of All Japan and did not have many important matches besides this one. Choshu & Co. invaded All Japan at the beginning of 1985 leading to first ever native vs native feuding in All Japan Pro Wrestling history. This would eventually lead to Jumbo vs Tenryu then Jumbo vs Misawa and ultimately the Four Corners of Heaven. The Choshu invasion of All Japan is incredibly influential. On top of that, this had New Japan vs All Japan implications, besides gaijin switching promotions, I cant think of any natives that switched since the split in the early 70s. It is fitting that the first major New Japan vs All Japan battle happens on neutral ground.

 

Match is wrestled like a Dome match. Everything is HUGE. Just a great Clash of the Titans feel that totally matches the high stakes, big fight feel of the match. Since this is Choshu's promotion, he is wrestling face and Tenryu heel. Tenryu clocks him while the ref is checking him. IT IS ON!

 

Tenryu is out to humiliate Choshu by beating him quick and decisively. Big bombs like piledriver and DDT with pinfalls after each. Eventually, Tenryu runs out of steam and works some holds. Choshu is able to finally counter with a big back drop driver to a big pop. He goes for the Scorpion Deathlock. The struggle is titanic. He cant get it on the first attempts, but gets second. Tenryu retreats to the outside. On the apron, Tenryu gets a cheapshot then an enziguiri. Great dickish heel way to regain the advantage. He nearly GANSOS Choshu with a typically shitty Tenryu powerbomb. Two count. Tenryu reverse elbow gets two. Boston Crab attempt, but Choshu pops his hips and Tenryu goes flying to outside. Tenryu sends him crashing HARD into the railing. Choshu comes flying back with a Lariat that DECKS Tenryu! I popped for that! I can feel the double countout as Tenryu holds the foot. Both on apron, Choshu hits a BACK DROP ON APRON! WOW! Choshu beats the count to win by countout.

 

Two huge stars no way there would be a clean finish, but that was a GREAT FINISH! No wasted motion and no downtime. Just big bomb after big bomb. It worked because it was two huge superstars trying to win quick and the transitions made sense and there were long runs of momentum. Little short (~10 minutes), it was fun, but it did not have the drama to make this an all-time classic. As a breezy, summer action blockbuster between two of the biggest Japanese wrestling rockstars you cant beat this. ****1/4 


Nobuhiko Takada vs Kazuo Yamazaki - UWF 9/11/85

28 March 2017 - 04:25 PM

Nobuhiko Takada vs Kazuo Yamazaki - UWF 9/11/85

 

Last Original UWF show, I feel like this is the most conventional shoot style match yet from the Original UWF. Match would have been helped a lot to JIP's 12 minutes in because the first half is just brutally boring. I was so confused why this was highly rated, but boy did it pick up. Once Yamazaki started unloading those knees in the clinch and they fell outside the ring, the match became awesome. Yamazaki caught Takada right in the face with a brutal left kick. Yamazaki was rolling. German suplex and submissions at will. Takada was able to recover enough to corner him and caught pretty good with a kick to the gut that doubled him over. Takada was great pressing his advantage here. He was throwing great kicks and slaps. Yamazaki was going for home run kicks to try work his way back into it. The first spin wheel kick missed and almost cost him the match when Takada did a legbar. The second one connected and then match became more even. There was some really great kick and stand up exchanges down the stretch. Really dramatic. Great selling too. There worked in some really nice deadlift, shoot style throws. Each had one really good one. Takada was ferocious on his feet. Quick strikes to the head on every break. Takada back drop driver was great. I loved him taking time to sell before going for cross armbreaker->triangle choke to really put over the attrition accumulated over the course of the match. Yamazaki powerbombs out of triangle and immediately goes for cross armbreaker. It is night and day how much better the last half of this compared to that dreadfully dull first half. Yamazaki gets him in the clinch with knees, but doesn't have great positioning so he lets go and Takada hits a LIGHTNING QUICK SPIN KICK to the midsection that drops Yamazaki. Yamazaki goes for a wild kick and falls over, but Takada does not take advantage. Dramatic moment. Yamazaki gets a single leg back heel trip into a single leg crab. Takada makes ropes. Takada sells shoot style well. He gets up gingerly but then gradually gets pep in his step in like 5-10 seconds. It is well done. TAKADA SWEEPS THE PLANT LEG! I love it! Again does not take advantage. Takada unleashes a barrage of kicks to the midsection. Yamazaki blocking as best he can, but leaves himself open and Takada rifles him in the stomach. Takada sells how own kick really well. Yamazaki cant make ten count.

 

Awesomely dramatic back half that featured Yamazaki the home run slugging aggressor against the lightning quick, counterwrestler in Takada, Takada showed a lot of poise going down early to make a comeback. Yamazaki's strategy was go for bombs. Yamazaki was not nearly as good at defense left himself open to Takada's ferocious kicks. Really great story down the stretch. Back half was definitely ****1/2. I just cant rate a match where nearly half of it is so boring much higher than ****.


Nobuhiko Takada vs Super Tiger - UWF 9/6/85

26 March 2017 - 11:59 PM

Nobuhiko Takada vs Super Tiger - UWF 9/6/85

 

Four days after the infamous Maeda/Tiger shoot, which led to Maeda being fired and then UWF folding with all the stars invading New Japan, Super Tiger has his penultimate match for nearly ten years against Takada. I liked this a lot more than the subdued July match even though we are missing about six minutes of a 14 minute match. Both guys are just unloading with rifling kicks. After the clip, we see Takada catch Tiger in the head with one that causes him to take a count. Not to be outdone, Tiger catches with a jumping roundhouse kick to the midsection that doubles him over. Tiger was throwing butterfly suplexes and the struggle over Takada's throws was great. The kicks were just vicious in this match each trying to destroy the other and they were connecting.  I thought Sayama the super shooter was coming out at times the way he easily reversed a cross armbreaker into a single leg crab stretched reality. For a short, portly, unassuming fellow, once Sayama starts kicking he comes across as a badass. There were some really hot, spirited kick exchanges between these two. I thought the last minute before the finish was kinda boring just Tiger laying on Takada with a headlock. It was good struggle, but it was not as hot as the rest of the match. Takada goes kicks, but Tiger catches him in a Human Capture Suplex and immediately applies legbar after some struggle he wins. Too much of the match missing to be considered great and thought the finish was not as hot as the kicking sequences. Loved the kicking though. ***1/4


Nobuhiko Takada vs Super Tiger - UWF 7/21/85

26 March 2017 - 11:37 PM

Nobuhiko Takada vs Super Tiger - UWF 7/21/85

 

Sayama without his Tiger Mask?!!? Not as cool. Two of the all-time best kickers here. First like three minutes of fifteen minute match are cut. They are throwing some really beautiful kicks, but both are so good at blocking and movement nothing really lands until the end. The matwork is pretty good. Both are better on the mat with a pro like Fujiwara rather than left to their own devices where nothing seems to connect. It is just kicks and then takedown attempts nothing connects the matwork. I liked Sayama's legsweep/legscissors combo that Takada countered with a double wristlock. Sayama had good selling during Triangle Choke with his coughing. The narrative felt like they were equally great at kicking and equally mediocre on the mat. I felt Sayama was dictating ring positioning better, but Takada being a bit taller and stronger was better at takedowns. The match complexion changed in the last minute when Sayama finally lands a wild spin kick to the head that causes Takada to take an 8 count. Takada had his bell run and it is  a matter of time. Takada goes for a throw and Tiger squashes it and grabs a double wristlock for a win. The match flew by and there were some good kicks, but not much else. I was hoping more some really badass kicks to the head. ***