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PWO Monday Match Madness - Week 2 up now!


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#1 cactus

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 04:07 AM

PWO Monday Match Madness

 

Rules:

  • I'll start by posting a match with a write-up for everyone to watch and leave their thoughts. Anyone is welcome to participate.
  • At the end of the weekend, I will nominate a poster who rated my match to post a match of their choosing for the next week's pick.
  • At the end of of that weekend, the nominated poster will choose another user to take over and so on.

 

Hope that all makes sense. Also, always include a link for the match that you will be nominating.

 

Week 2 (as nominated by gordi): Vader & John Tenta vs Gary Albright & Kazuo Yamazaki (UWFi Kings Road 10/08/94)

 

The nutshell version of the background for this match is: Albright was UWFi's top gaijin from near the beginning in '91, feuding with Takada. When Super Vader arrived, he supplanted Albright as the top gaijin and Albright was moved down the card.

In 1994, UWFi held the "Best in the World" Tournament which Vader won by beating Takada in the finals. On the same night, Albright beat Kiyoshi Tamura to finish 3rd in the tournament. UWFi started to build toward a dream match between the two huge gaijin. This match is one of two between these teams, both of which drew a white-hot, sold-out crowd as part of that build.

 

The characters:

Vader: The UWFi Champion. An "unstoppable force" type of monster. 

Tenta: An "immovable object" type of monster.

 

Albright: Against almost anyone else he'd be a monster himself, but in this case he's the scrappy underdog who has clawed his way back to the main event from the mid-card. Albright has the most legit background in amateur wrestling of anyone n this match, though Tenta was also no slouch in that department. 

Yamazaki: The ultimate scrappy underdog. The Ricky Morton or Tsuyoshi Kikuchi of shoot style pro wrestling. 

 

Why this match: cactus gave us Laughter7 bringing their beautiful shoot style into a pure pro wrestling promotion. This is Tenta & co bringing pro wrestling psychology and crowd work into a pure shoot style promotion. 

 

I don't want to give too much away, and I want to leave some stuff for other people to notice and write up, but: The crowd is rabid to see Vader vs Albright. Look at how they use that to draw heat.

 

There is a moment here where Tenta perfectly illustrates how "no-selling" can work as a story-telling device. He uses it judiciously to get his character over. It's one of the many fine examples of pro wrestling psychology sprinkled throughout this match. 

 

Please enjoy one of my absolute favourite matches of all time:

 

https://ok.ru/video/6876631535

 

(Actual match starts about 6 minutes in. Don't miss the crowd work at the very beginning).

 

Previous weeks:

 

Spoiler



#2 gordi

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 07:46 AM

I'm getting a huge puroresu.tv flashback here!

 

GREAT choice to get the ball rolling.

 

A couple of days ago I made a long post going over my "old man yells at cloud" talking point of how current wrestlers are too concerned with getting all their stuff in, and too many recent matches are 50/50 my turn/your turn back-and-forth, and these young whipper snappers don't show any character in there, nor are they willing to look bad to get the other guys over...

 

And here you post a match that is ALL character work, simple but violent, with Inoue selling his ass off to put Supernova & Ikeru Densetsu way the hell over.

 

The character stuff is perfect, illustrating exactly what I so badly miss when I'm watching current stuff: Sakuraba & Shibata are both real-life high-end ass-kickers and they both absolutely look the part, with cauliflower ears and shooter's physiques, and the casually athletic way they carry themselves. Inoue looks like a guy who is badly out-matched but just tough enought o keep fighting back. Makabe is a very big very angry-looking dude.

 

And Laughter7 play the role of: Asskickers. And Inoue plays the role of: Guy getting his ass kicked. And Makabe plays the role of: That guy's big tough friend who is not afraid of the ass-kickers. 

 

It all fits together perfectly. Thanks to Inoue's selling, Laughter7 come across as guys who can just overwhelm their opponents, immediately establishing them as a real threat. With Makabe also involved, they are not just steamrolling a couple of ham-and-eggers, so that makes them look like even more of a threat. Makabe igets to show that he isn't afraid of these guys, so he keeps his aura even in defeat.

 

It's not a long match, but it tells a perfectly clear story. After seeing this, how can you not want to see what Sakuraba & Shibata are going to do next?

 

When I'm doing armchair booking, I'm sometimes at a bit of a loss when it comes time to match shoot style guys up with pure pro wrestlers. These guys make it look so easy and so natural. 



#3 Richeyedwards

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 10:58 AM

I remember this run from just after it happened and was loving it, it is something that has been seen before the arrogant invaders facing off against defiant company men but the reason it has been done many times is that when it works it really works. I did not know much about sakuraba at the time having only been watching japanese wrestling for about a year and do not care about MMA so he was not impressive to me when he first came out the first time i saw him.. My first impression of shibata was just wow this guy carries himself so well and seems so baddass without him trying to hard to be badass.

 

As for the match itself it is really good with a great crowd. We start with an interesting contrast that sets the stage for the match, inoue drives shibata into the corner and then proceeds to do pro wrestling style stomps to him while stomping his other leg to get the noise but shibata fires back with a slap and spin kick to the gut with zero theatrics. This ever so simple introduction sets up the differences in styles and that both guys are coming in with high intensity. Both guys get an extremely short period on offense on the other that shows that both styles are valid and one will not completely steamroll the other but still puts over the intense danger of the more shootyish style of the invaders. It is so quick and simple but so very clever.

 

The rest of the match features some good back and forth action always angry from inoue especially.

 

I thought this was a great way to introduce laughter 7 in a bigger match than the squash they had a month earlier.

 

around ***1/4-***1/2

 

...



#4 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:24 AM

The crowd was superb in this & really helped to elevate the match quality. Inoue was AWESOME, he was man on a mission trying to bring down the MMA invaders - all of his work over Shibata was great, even though I thought while I was watching the match that he got to do a little too much offense & that Shibata was on the selling-end of things a little too much, BUT by the end I was all about it as the crowd response to it was perfect. Really good, borderline great match. ***3/4



#5 gordi

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 07:39 PM

Vader & John Tenta vs Gary Albright & Kazuo Yamazaki (UWFi Kings Road 10/08/94)

 

The nutshell version of the background for this match is: Albright was UWFi's top gaijin from near the beginning in '91, feuding with Takada. When Super Vader arrived, he supplanted Albright as the top gaijin and Albright was moved down the card.

In 1994, UWFi held the "Best in the World" Tournament which Vader won by beating Takada in the finals. On the same night, Albright beat Kiyoshi Tamura to finish 3rd in the tournament. UWFi started to build toward a dream match between the two huge gaijin. This match is one of two between these teams, both of which drew a white-hot, sold-out crowd as part of that build.

 

The characters:

Vader: The UWFi Champion. An "unstoppable force" type of monster. 

Tenta: An "immovable object" type of monster.

 

Albright: Against almost anyone else he'd be a monster himself, but in this case he's the scrappy underdog who has clawed his way back to the main event from the mid-card. Albright has the most legit background in amateur wrestling of anyone n this match, though Tenta was also no slouch in that department. 

Yamazaki: The ultimate scrappy underdog. The Ricky Morton or Tsuyoshi Kikuchi of shoot style pro wrestling. 

 

Why this match: cactus gave us Laughter7 bringing their beautiful shoot style into a pure pro wrestling promotion. This is Tenta & co bringing pro wrestling psychology and crowd work into a pure shoot style promotion. 

 

I don't want to give too much away, and I want to leave some stuff for other people to notice and write up, but: The crowd is rabid to see Vader vs Albright. Look at how they use that to draw heat.

 

There is a moment here where Tenta perfectly illustrates how "no-selling" can work as a story-telling device. He uses it judiciously to get his character over. It's one of the many fine examples of pro wrestling psychology sprinkled throughout this match. 

 

Please enjoy one of my absolute favourite matches of all time:

 

https://ok.ru/video/6876631535

 

(Actual match starts about 6 minutes in. Don't miss the crowd work at the very beginning).



#6 Viking Hall

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 03:06 PM

Was really looking forward to this one as from a purely taste driven perspective it has a great selection of wrestlers involved. Vader is an all time favourite of mine, and someone who I can watch all day everyday while Tenta is someone who could perhaps make a claim for being one of the top 10 Super Heavyweight in-ring workers ever and one of the few 'legit' guys who perhaps doesn't get the respect he deserved. Albright, I haven't seen so much of but have seen enough to know he was a total badass and one of the best Suplex machines to ever step into the ring while Yamazaki isn't someone I remember seeing at all before now, so all in all, this should be an interesting match up.

First off, Vader looks like a total rockstar in the pre-match interviews, and everything I want from a nineties wrestler, the three English speakers do a great job of hyping the match and making it look legit. By the time all four are in the ring it becomes clear that there's some heat there, the crowd are pretty rabid to see Albright and Vader go one on one and the audible awestruck roar for Tenta (who looks massive even compared with Vader and Albright) during the introductions is a cool moment. His slightly modified Earthquake attire looks pretty great here too, nice to see it being recycled. 

 

The match itself was a slow burn to begin with but did a great job of showcasing each wrestlers background, Tenta gets some awesome looking sumo slaps in early on before he and Albright both show off their amateur and mat based credentials. While this didn't do much for me, it was an interesting contrast to the usual Super Heavyweight brawling we were used to in the early nineties and lends to the legitimate feel they're trying portray here. The pace picks up once Yamazaki hits the ring and he goes about putting on a great plucky underdog display with some great looking strikes, Tenta instantly switches into monster mode and the two trade back and forth nicely with Yamazaki in particular coming across as a fearless fighter despite the massive size difference. From here it doesn't take long until we're treated to our first piece of Vader action and there's only one way to describe it here and that's terrifying. Each shot, whether it's against Yamazaki or Albright looks like it could end the match at any second and it's easy to see why he was just about the most feared man in all of wrestling at this point. It seems to be a role he relishes as he dishes out the punishment with swift brutality and the crowd eat it up. By the time Albright and Vader face off the crowd are white hot and the pair reward them by quite simply beating the crap out of each other.

 

All in all, after a slightly slow beginning this descends into a really entertaining and incredibly hard hitting shoot style tag match which is only enhanced by a fully invested audience. All four wrestlers put in a great shift and do their jobs to perfection with a great contrast of styles. As you would expect, Vader looks like a total monster and legitimately dangerous with it, his punches and forearms look like they could knock down walls and even in defeat he loses absolutely none of his aura. However, the MVP has to be Yamazaki. He takes an absolute beating throughout and how he wasn't knocked out by some of the bombs Vader was throwing I'll never know. Despite this he looks great on the offense too, throwing some spectacular kicks and some heavy shots of his own and off of the back of this I'll be looking up more of his stuff. 

 

***3/4



#7 cactus

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 02:22 AM

Fantastic pick, Gordi. Not enough people talk about Vader's run in UWFi.

 

Man, this is how you build hype for a singles match. Vader and Albright get in each other's faces before the bell and they then don't interact with each other until ten minutes into this, and the pop is absolutely nuclear. Albright and Tenta start the match and the pace is slow and methodical. Albright could take down Godzilla with his suplexes if he got the opportunity. He demonstrates his strength when he throws Tenta across the ring with ease seconds into the match.

 

I have to give a shout out to Yamazaki's phenomenal performance.He's the smallest man in this by a considerable margin, but he's certainly no slouch. His strikes are rough, and he even manages to get Tenta and Vader into comprising positions. The best part of this match is when he's standing off with Vader. Yamazaki unleashing a violent barrage of strikes, only to be cut down when Vader brutally Germans him on his dome.

 

Three Big Lads tarring off on each other with a scrappy underdog in Yamazaki. Riveting stuff.

 

★★★★



#8 gordi

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Posted 17 June 2018 - 03:18 PM

Viking Hall, you are up!




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