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Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi vs. Lou Thesz & Karl Gotch (NJPW 10/14/73)

Antonio Inoki NJPW Seiji Sakaguchi Lou Thesz Karl Gotch 1973 October 14

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#1 Jetlag

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 02:05 PM

The Thesz/Gotch team may be old school wrestling incarnated. You have Gotch, that gentleman european technician who is just a trip to watch, with his beautiful judo-esque throws, slick transitions and all kinds of funky moves, including a physics defying bridge. And then there's Thesz, who will cheap shot and stall incessantly and knee you in the face in the middle of a grappling exchange. Don't get me wrong, Thesz was gold here. In fact the whole match was gold. This was really long, but there was not a single dull moment. Just one cool exchange after another. Well, if you like grappling, that is. I really enjoyed Thesz' psychology as his strategy was basically about countering into a backdrop or Thesz press. He hits some great backdrops too. The whole match was built like, there would be hold exchanges, but occasionally one guy would attempt a move and then the other would try to counter into a potential finisher and then it was all about squirming out of that situation. And sometimes one guy would slap the other's shit too. That's how you keep a viewer on the edge of his seat. Well, it worked for me atleast. Also, Sakaguchi's reaction to Gotch lifting Inoki with one arm was priceless. I also really liked how he got fed up and almost choked Thesz out with a nasty front choke. The japanese team won't leave a huge impression on you but they are perfectly fine in their roles and the Thesz/Gotch duo was a delight to watch.

#2 Edwin

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 07:14 AM

Yeah, this was good -- and I agree with your stance on Gotch and Thesz. I thought Sakaguchi was perfectly fine trying to keep up with Gotch and Thesz, but Inoki just sorta felt there and didn't really add much aside from a nasty bump from a Thesz backdrop. Speaking of, those two Thesz backdrops were brutal for 2018 standards, more so for the 1970's. I think this would have benefited by cutting 10 or so minutes as its kinda lengthy as it goes over 40 plus minutes, but its worth watching for Gotch and Thesz alone.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Antonio Inoki, NJPW, Seiji Sakaguchi, Lou Thesz, Karl Gotch, 1973, October 14

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