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William Bologna

Member Since 21 Mar 2017
Offline Last Active Today, 11:09 AM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Tatsumi Fujinami

22 February 2018 - 08:46 PM

FUJINAMI TATSUMI VS KENGO KIMURA 12/10/1986

 

They're partners, brothers in arms. But tonight, they are foes.

 

We think it's going to be all respectful as they shake hands, but as soon as Kimura turns his back, Fujinami jumps him. This is war! Wrestling without the romance!

 

No commentary on this one, which is interesting. You can hear the competitors constantly grunting and muttering, which helps gets the match over as a real struggle while they roll around on the mat. It also underscored just how much English the ref was using - "Give up?" "Break!" "One, two, three..." and even "No no no no!" Nothing quite rises to the level of a Tenryu vs Koshinaka (I think) match in which the Japanese ref told the Japanese wrestlers in Japan to "Watch the kicks" in English, but it does demonstrate to what extent English is the lingua franca of professional wrestling.

 

Fujinami dominates the early matwork, which is good and struggly. Eventually we get a rope break, and Kimura gets up selling his arm. Fujinami is behind the ref bouncing in anticipation, and the crowd is ready for something to pop off.

 

It's at this point that they start going a million miles an hour, running the ropes until Fujinami attempts a sunset flip only for Kimura to lean down and smack him right in his damn face. It's here that I realize that Fujinami is heeling a little bit - another slap prompts him to roll outside and whine about closed fists, which Kimura is not throwing.

 

Well, he wasn't throwing them then, but when Fujinami rejoins the action Kimura starts boxing. Fujinami catches fist after fist (the ref doesn't care) and then two piledrivers, but he gets a foot on the rope.

 

They exchange backslides, which I thought was going to be the finish since Fujinami kind of screws his up, and that's something he does at the end of his matches. Finally Kimura runs at Fujinami in the corner only to be greeted with a sunset flip (is that still a sunset flip? Not sure what to call it) for the three count. Fujinami doesn't screw this one up - it looks great.

 

Kimura looks annoyed, but he does finally shake hands and raise Fujinami's arm. I'm glad they worked it out.

 

This was really good. It was fun to watch Fujinami in this role, where he's higher-ranked and cheating a little bit. I can't help but be a bit disappointed by the man's lack of presence, though. He just doesn't have in same way as, say, Choshu or Tsuruta. He's not dull, but he's not as memorable as the super charismatic guys.


In Topic: Tatsumi Fujinami

13 February 2018 - 02:00 AM

FUJINAMI TATSUMI VS BRUISER BRODY 9/19/1986
 
Brody is a guy I'd been talked out of liking before I'd ever seen one of his matches. Looked like a wildman but dull as dishwater once the bell rang, they said. Ate up his opponents and never sold nothing. The poor man's Stan Hansen, if not the poor man's John Nord.

 

I tried to be fair, but he annoyed the hell out of me before the match even started with his monotone yells. He proceeded to squander my goodwill further acting as though pro wrestling had no affect on him. Fujinami gets his back but might as well not be there, as Brody just stands up. Fujinami nearly procures an octopus hold, but Brody slams him out of it. Brody gets caught going to the top for a knee drop (he's the poor man's Togi Makabe!) but despite Fujinami having the element of surprise and solid footing, Brody manages to avoid the humiliation of having a wrestling move done to him.

 

At last Fujinami gets in a little offense, as he works the leg for a while, giving us a nice closeup of the carpet samples on Brody's boots. Brody sells a figure four by yelling, looking slightly annoyed, and then reversing it. Just super compelling stuff here. Fujinami finally gets Brody to sell after he kicks in the knee. This leads to about thirty seconds of knee-related offense until Brody gets bored and tackles him.

 

They do a few sequences here, which don't look bad even though they're mostly Brody winning all the tie-ups and booting Fujinami. Our hero does hit a German suplex hold, which popped the crowd and, thirty-some years later, me. I should mention that while Brody isn't winning me over, the fans are super into him. I don't get it, but these people are presumably big Inoki fans as well, so we're clearly not on the same page.

 

When I saw this matchup, I said to myself "I bet this ends in a double countout." That happened, and it wasn't even one of the better double countouts. Fujinami treats us to one of his patented late-match screwups as he runs into Brody sending them both . . . nowhere. So they have to roll together outside, where they fight a little bit, climb on the apron, and get counted out. This one is right up there on the scale of obvious, half-assed 80s non-finishes.

 

My pain is not over. Brody re-enters the ring, and he and Fujinami have the most perfunctory, half-hearted brawl I've ever seen. They were obviously just checking off an item on the list of stuff that happens in a Bruiser Brody match. The list is complete when Brody gets his rope and chases people around.

 

I understand how affection for the departed can lead people to some outlandish conclusions, like that Tupac was better than Nas or that Roberto Clemente was better than Frank Robinson. But I don't care how murdered he is - I don't know how you look at Hansen vs. Brody and pick Brody.


In Topic: Dave Meltzer stuff

12 February 2018 - 06:10 PM

I'm broadly speaking pro-Meltzer, but the latest WOR where he turns the Mysterio announcement into him fantasy booking how Rey and Liger can team up to put over his pals the Young Bucks was a low point.

But not as low as thinking Ospreay/Takahashi was better than Okada/Sanada.

In Topic: Tatsumi Fujinami

07 February 2018 - 08:26 PM

IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH FUJINAMI TATSUMI & KENGO KIMURA VS AKIRA MAEDA & OSAMU KIDO 8/5/1986
 
Fujinami and Kimura apparently won the tag titles at some point - NJPW World gave us no hint of this happening. But the UWF guys are here to challenge. They're backed up by Yoshiaki Fujiwara, who's in his casual Sunday outfit today - short-sleeve Oxford shirt and white slacks. He looks ready for a barbecue, which he must be late for, since he shakes everyone's hands and leaves before the match begins. The camera follows him the whole time, so I guess something was going on here.

 

Normal stuff until about halfway through, when Maeda unleashes the kickpads and start destroying people. Kimura really gets it this time (I guess Fujinami had learned his lesson). At one point he tags in, kicks Maeda a bunch of times, and then gets absolutely floored by a kick to the face. He was holding his jaw while Maeda had him in a leglock, so there's every possibility that he wasn't selling here. You saw what happened last time - Maeda can't control these things.

 

Kido was pretty good, although he's out of sync with the rest of the UWF guys. He keeps throwing these quick slaps, which are cool but about as shootstyle as a paradise lock.

 

We think the finish is coming when Fujinami ducks a spinning kick only to get caught by another on the rebound. Maeda then tries one in the corner, but Fujinami ducks and Maeda starts selling the leg, which Fujinami takes advantage of. Great sequence.

 

It had no bearing on the actual finish, though, which comes as Kimura (who looks kinda like the singer from A-Ha) is beating up Kido. He goes for an abdominal stretch or something, but Kido cradles him for the pin, the certificates, the trophies, and the belts.

 

Real solid stuff. This isn't a match I'm going to look back on wistfully in the years to come, but it was a fine example of professional wrestling in the age of Greg LeMond and Princess Diana.


In Topic: Tatsumi Fujinami

23 January 2018 - 09:04 PM

Interesting, thanks. Fujinami really needs to learn to stay between (among?) the ropes. Bad things happen to him out there.