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Thread: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

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    Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    I want my country back...

    Last we met, I had put 1990 to bed praising Ultimate Warrior, not for his title win at WrestleMania, but for beating up Phil Collins and taking home the coveted Andre the Giant Panda Tribute Award. As the calendar turned to 1991 the WWF moved Warrior away from the title & somehow went to an even more offensive direction to build the company with Sgt. Slaughter being booked as an Iraqi sympathizer as Desert Storm was kicking off. It's telling how the company was so eager to prey upon the American public's patriotism to this extreme. Imagine if John Cena had a character change today to a North Korean patriot who was given gifts from the North Korean dictator like Slaughter was with Saddam Hussein in 1991? Specifically of note because I know a lot of my friends here were young at the time. What'd you guys think of this angle back then & now and the use of war and politics in wrestling angles in general? It'd be interesting to see if there are any divides between the US contingent and the foreign fans.

    In the Japan men's scene we saw the next steps in the plans laid in 1990 with the Four Pillars & Three Musketeers getting continued pushes along with Jumbo continuing his all time great run. Onita was horsing around in FMW and putting himself over everyone, & the most positive thing I can say is at least there were no Puerto Rican stabbing angles. But on the whole the freshness & impact of 1990 wasn't really there for AJPW or NJPW on the whole, but on the bright side, the Champion Carnival is brought back for the first time in almost a decade & NJPW brings us their very first G1 Climax this year so it was a really noteworthy year. To add on Shoot style saw UWF split three ways after politics consumed it with PWFG, UWF-i, & RINGS spawning from it as a result.

    Joshi was coming off a legendary feud between Aja & Bull which continued early on, with Hokuto & the surprising Toyota having a breakout year that's been underrated throughout history. Will they continue riding the hot hands? And what of their rival fed JWP? They make the list for the first time too and an all time cult favorite of mine to boot.

    Lucha was all over the place and a year away from the big shakeup so CMLL was the big dog still, but the indies showed a decent following as well and brought some obscure, but wonderful matches as well.

    WCW sucked as always. But there's a few highlights so thankfully the rest of you won't have to suffer through Herd-era WCW too much. (Spoiler: The Chamber of Horrors will not be in my top 50)

    What's your MOTY picks and standouts for '91?

    The List:
    Spoiler:

    50. Hijo del Santo & Black Shadow Jr. vs. Fuerza Guerrera & Octagon - Monterrey, December 15th

    49. Randy Savage vs. Jake Roberts - This Tuesday in Texas - December 3rd

    48. Super Generation Army (Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada) vs. Miracle Violence Connection (Steve Williams & Terry Gordy) - AJPW Real World Tag League - December 6th

    47. Jushin Liger vs. Owen Hart - NJPW Explosion Tour: Top of the Super Juniors - April 28th

    46. Octagon vs. Fuerza Guerrera - CMLL Super Viernes - February 1st

    45. Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman - WCW Saturday Night - April 13th

    44. Toshiyo Yamada vs. Yumiko Hotta - We Are Running Through Korakuen Hall - Sign of Brave Women - May 26th

    43. Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect - WWE SummerSlam - August 26th

    42. Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Masahito Kakihara - UWF-i Moving On - May 10th

    41. Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue - AJPW Champion Carnival - April 18th

    40. La Fiera vs. Jerry Estrada (Chain Match) - Monterrey, January 23rd

    39. Riki Choshu vs. Shinya Hashimoto - NJPW G1 Climax - August 9th

    38. Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman - WCW At The Meadowlands - December 27th

    37. Jungle Jack (Aja Kong & Bison Kimura) vs. Gokumon-to (Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue) (Hair vs. Hair) - AJW Shogeki! Waisha Kamikiri Tag The Soul of Shout ~Kawasaki Jikkon~

    36. Sting vs. Cactus Jack (Submit or Surrender) - WCW Power Hour - November 23rd

    35. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Kenta Kobashi - AJPW TV - May 24th

    34. Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs. Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW World Tag Titles) - AJPW Champion Carnival - April 18th

    33. The Scorpion vs. Cutie Suzuki (Mask vs. Hair) - JWP, October 19th

    32. The Rockers vs. Orient Express - WWF Royal Rumble - January 19th

    31. Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter (WWF Title) (Desert Storm Match) - WWF at Madison Square Garden - June 3rd

    30. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW World Tag Titles & All Asia Tag Titles) - AJPW Summer Action Series II - September 4th

    29. Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Yoji Anjo - UWF-i Moving On II - July 3rd

    28. Los Brazos (El Brazo, Brazo de Oro, & Brazo de Plata) vs. Los Infernales (MS-1, Pirata Morgan, & Satánico) (CMLL World Trios Championships) - CMLL Super Viernes - November 22nd

    27. Los Ninja Turtles & Robin Hood vs. Los Temerarios (Shu El Guerrero, Jose Luis Feliciano, El Texano, Black Terry, & Ricky Boy) - Hamada's UWF - September 10th

    26. Akira Hokuto vs. Bull Nakano (WWWA World Championship) - AJW TV - January 4th

    25. Naoki Sano vs. Minoru Suzuki - PWFG All for One and One for All - July 26th

    24. The Scorpion vs. Cutie Suzuki - JWP Climax - August 30th

    23. Bull Nakano vs. Kyoko Inoue (WWWA Title) - AJW, September 7th

    22. Masahiro Chono vs. Shinya Hashimoto (G1 Climax) - NJPW August 9th

    21. Trio Fantasia (Super Muñeco, Super Raton, Pinochio) vs. Los Thundercats (Panthro, Leono, & Tigro) (Lucha de Apuestas) - Monterrey, December 8th

    20. Naoki Sano vs. Wayne Shamrock - PWFG Hataage Dainissen 2 - May 16th

    19. Hulk Hogan vs. Genichiro Tenryu - SWS Superwrestle in Tokyo Dome - December 12th

    18. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Jumbo Tsuruta, Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi - AJPW October Giant Series - October 15th

    17. Akira Hokuto vs. Suzuka Minami (All Pacific Championship/White Belt) - AJW WWWA Champions Legend - April 29th

    16. Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue - AJPW New Year Giant Series - January 15th

    15. Hijo del Santo vs. Brazo de Oro (Mask vs. Hair) - UWA, January 15th

    14. Hijo del Santo vs. Negro Casas - WWA, May 17th

    13. Vader vs. Keiji Muto - NJPW G1 Climax - August 10th

    12. Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (Triple Crown) - AJPW Giant October Series - October 24th

    11. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (Triple Crown) - AJPW Champion Carnival Tour - April 18th

    10. The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage (Career vs. Career) - WrestleMania VII

    9. Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Larry Zbyszko & Sid Vicious vs. Sting, Brian Pillman, Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner (War Games) - WCW Wrestle War - February 24th

    8. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue - AJPW Real World Tag League - November 29th

    7. The Enforcers (Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko) vs. Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes (WCW World Tag Team Titles) - WCW Clash of the Champions XVII - November 19th

    6. Akira Hokuto vs. Manami Toyota (All Pacific Title/White Belt) - AJW Shogeki! Waisha Kamikiri Tag The Soul of Shout ~Kawasaki Jikkon~ - January 11th

    5. Stan Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi - AJPW Summer Action Series II - September 4th

    4. Masahiro Chono vs. Keiji Muto - NJPW G1 Climax Final - August 11th

    3. Jungle Jack (Aja Kong & Bison Kimura) vs. Manami Toyota & Esther Moreno (WWWA World Tag Titles) (Best 2/3 Falls) - AJW TV - April 29th

    2. Atlantis vs. Blue Panther (NWA World Welterweight Title) (2/3 Falls) - EMLL Super Viernes - August 9th

    1. Super Generation Army (Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, & Kenta Kobashi) vs. Tsuruta-gun (Jumbo Tsuruta, Akira Taue, & Masanobu Fuchi) - AJPW Fan Appreciation Day - April 20th


    Year End Awards:

    Spoiler:

    1991 Year End In-Ring Awards in the style of the Wrestling Observer:
    Category A:

    Wrestler of the Year:
    1. Jumbo Tsuruta
    2. Mitsuharu Misawa
    3. Masahiro Chono

    Very easy pick & Jumbo won in the observer too. There's not been a single moment where I didn't feel he was the greatest wrestler of all time, even compared to Misawa. Chono had a standout year as well as being positioned as the #1 star of the Three Musketeers in a great year financially for NJPW. I think Bull Nakano has a case as well holding onto the top of AJW but I thought the in-ring was a step back from last year & not as good as Toyota & Hokuto. WWF & WCW had poor years with WWF dealing with the George Zahorian trial & Ultimate Warrior going nuts, and WCW nearly imploded due to the sheer stupidity of the man in charge. CMLL also was on the eve of coming apart so no real candidates from there either.

    Most Outstanding Wrestler:
    1. Jumbo Tsuruta
    2. Manami Toyota
    3. Akira Hokuto

    Liger got this in real life and it's logical with his work between NJPW & bringing high end junior work to US shores with the likes of Flyin' Brian. He'd be in my top 10 but I enjoyed the AJPW contingent a bit more and I thought Toyota & Hokuto were world class throughout the year. But Jumbo was the man, the straw that stirred the drink & made everyone better. Absolutely loved his contributions to AJPW.

    Feud of the Year:
    1. Super Generation Army vs. Tsuruta-gun
    2. Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior
    3. Ted DiBiase vs. Virgil

    SGA vs Tsuruta-gun is an easy slam dunk now & in '91. There wasn't a better feud in wrestling. The other two are about emotion as more than in-ring work but Savage & Warrior had one of the best matches of the year and the stuff between Million Dollar Man & Roddy Piper was awesome, & Virgil's turn on Ted was one of my favorite moments. Awesome feud, wish Virgil didn't suck.

    Tag Team of the Year:
    1. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada
    2. Jungle Jack (Aja Kong & Bison Kimura)
    3. The Enforcers (Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko)

    They've all been covered in the thread but all 3 are all awesome & again I fall with the Observer readers who got it right. (A lot different from 2018!) Misawa & Kawada in particular get #1 & a shoutout for being one of the best teams ever despite Kawada forming an even better & more fondly remembered team later.

    Most Improved:
    1. Masahiro Chono
    2. Kyoko Inoue
    3. Cactus Jack

    Chono was still good in 1990, but took a huge step forward both in his push & getting the most out of the potential he showed in the two years prior. Kyoko went from being a total greenhorn to by the end of the year showing she could be one of the top stars of AJW. Foley showed similar improvement even from early in the year to the end. Dustin Rhodes got this from the Observer which is a fair pick, it's just I think the gap from Dec. 31st 1990 to Dec. 31st 1991 was larger for my 3.

    Most Charismatic:
    1. Hulk Hogan
    2. Atsushi Onita
    3. Bull Nakano

    I'll never like Hogan or Onita but it's hard to deny their charisma whether I like it or not. Bull was and will forever be awesome during this era although her time for high end matches was coming.

    Best Technical:
    1. Blue Panther
    2. The Scorpion
    3. Kiyoshi Tamura

    Blue Panther was THE maestro of technique in Lucha. Scorpion came from nowhere in JWP to get the absolute best out of "The Cute One" & work a variety of styles in a promotion that was still a year away from really arriving. Tamura will dominate the 90s in terms of technical wrestling and was just scratching the surface of how amazing he & Volk Han (remember him because he just debuted at the tail end of 1991). Liger won this in the Observer which was a tad odd considering he was a better shout for Flying wrestler but eh. He was great.

    Best Brawler:
    1. Stan Hansen
    2. Cactus Jack
    3. La Fiera

    I hate this award as "brawling" in wrestling could be applied to nearly anyone in a heated feud. But I think Hansen was the best & epitomized what I consider to be an amazing brawler. Jack was great, winning the Observer award in '91 & Fiera was amazing, but I haven't seen enough to go higher than #3.

    Best Flying Wrestler:
    1. Manami Toyota
    2. Jushin Liger
    3. Brian Pillman

    Liger won in real life & it's obviously fair, but Toyota was the better "Flyer" of the two as far as I'm concerned, although you could argue Liger was more versatile. (I would still go with Toyota) Pillman could have been number 1 if WCW didn't go completely into the toilet for most of the second half of the year.

    Most Overrated/Overpushed:
    1. Col. Mustafa
    2. El Gigante
    3. Sid

    Shockingly Warrior actually won this in 1991 and not to go full Jim on you but it really doesn't make much sense considering he was apart of one of the best feuds & best matches of the year. In general Warrior was way better in 1991 than 1990. Mustafa was TOTALLY done & added nothing to an angle that wasn't successful, yet wound up in the main event of SummerSlam. Adnan was equally as guilty of being worthless although seemed less redundant as Sheik. Gigante was a huge flop & Sid's biggest moment was a horrible performance in a great match. All 3 were way worse than Warrior, even if he held up Vince.

    Most Underrated/Underpushed
    1. Brian Pillman
    2. Steve Keirn/Skinner
    3. Terry Taylor

    Sweet job taking one of the best wrestlers on the roster and putting him in a yellow outfit where he also changes much of what made him great. After War Games he should have been moved way up. On the other hand, Steve Keirn was one of the best mic workers in Memphis and when he got to WWF, he like so many others from Memphis got an unbelievably stupid gimmick and ended up going nowhere. ...Poor Terry Taylor. He won in real life in the Observer this year.

    Best Promotion:
    1. All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling
    2. New Japan Pro Wrestling
    3. All Japan Pro Wrestling

    AJPW won in real life & deservingly so with their high level of matches at the top, but I think if we're judging promotions as a whole NJPW had the biggest moment with the first G1 which also was more creative than what AJPW was doing which while awesome was very reliant on the same crew of Jumbo & friends, whereas between the G1 guys & Liger & friends in the juniors that gives NJPW the bump. But Zenjo was the best in terms of overall, they had great wrestlers all over the place, and more coming with Kyoko looking good & the JWP's restart/feud coming in '92. They pushed various new wrestlers successfully & had compelling rivalries, in addition Bull Nakano was an absolutely phenomenal Ace, the main issue was too much Monster Ripper. Besides that the company had a very strong year.

    Rookie of the Year:
    1. Osamu Nishimura
    2. Satoshi Kojima
    3. Volk Han

    2 Young Lions & a future super amazing grappler debuted this year & I've seen a good bit of these guys and all of Han & the Lions were pretty good for guys just starting out. Tenzan was also in the same class as them but took a little longer to really "get there". Volk Han was already legitimately great but debuted too late & had too few matches to do better than 3rd. The Observer fanbase largely did good in their voting in '91 but this award was a major blunder. Somehow declaring Johnny B. Badd the best of the year, a name that will be highly unlikely to make any future iterations of my lists outside of perhaps worst gimmick awards.

    -

    Category B Awards:

    Best Major Wrestling Card: I'm gonna go with AJPW's Champion Carnival show from April 18th which featured Misawa/Jumbo, the second best Kawada/Taue match of the year & that sweet Hansen/Spivey vs. MVC tag. It was close between this & AJW's 4/29 show but the main event didn't deliver as well as AJPW's. Also shoutout to WCW's WrestleWar as another honorable mention which won in the Observer.

    Worst Major Wrestling Card: WCW's Great American Bash, a legendarily awful show and for good reason. Highly recommend watching for wrestlecrap purposes. No brainer.

    Best Wrestling Manuever: Masao Orihara hitting a Moonsault to the floor at the big SWS show won. I've seen it & it's pretty awesome, we just saw Io Shirai do a version last week on NXT TakeOver but her's was more impressive due to it being in jeans. I'll go with my pick of Liger's Avalanche DDT on Owen Hart in April. If possible I'd go with Hokuto's four corners ending sequence on Minami but I don't think that counts as a "move" per se, maybe a combo.

    Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic: The Persian Gulf War storyline with Sarge won in real life, & I'd have to agree. Highly exploitative and actually as bad as Sarge & co. were Hogan's promos were actually even worse. Hated this a lot.

    Favorite Wrestler: Robin Hood, hands down. One of my best & favorite discoveries, amazing luchador. Flair won this in the Observer which makes sense considering his beef with that complete idiot Jim Herd.

    Least Favorite Wrestler: There's part of me that wants to say Hogan who WON said...so I will. Screw Hogan for not just his offensive promos but also his lies on Arsenio. Onita is a close second.

    Worst Wrestler: There were a lot of bad wrestlers in 1991, if I had to single out one as a singles, I'd probably go with Van Hammer or Memphis' Jeff Gaylord. Andre won this which was another rare fail from the WON readers.

    Worst Tag Team: Baba & Andre won this & it was silly for them to win for the same reasons as Andre. Even if Andre & Baba weren't a legend act, they're better than Firebreaker Chip & Todd Champion outright, who were actually semi-pushed in WCW as The Patriots, even winning the US Tag Titles! They both are up there as two of the worst on their own.

    Worst Match of the Year: Nobuhiko Takada vs. Trevor Berbick from UWF-i's December 22nd show. This was a disaster & embarrassment to wrestling or whatever carny Takada was trying to do. Basically Takada brought in Berbick, an American Boxer who beat Muhammad Ali in Ali's last ever fight & fought Mike Tyson, so he could screw him over & put over UWF-i's style as better than Boxing. Now there's all sorts of theories about why things happened this way & who's to blame, but nearly all have this in common: Berbick thought that kicks below the waist weren't allowed, as even in a worked fight the risk to a boxer's legs were very high (see Ali), and as soon as the match starts Takada immediately doesn't give a crap about that and starts shooting cowardly kicks Berbick directly in the knee. (Berbick was nuts but even if this was all him screwing up somehow or not understanding the rules, kicking into the knee rather than the thigh or shin is extremely dirty & quickly taught against in nearly every martial art). Berbick complains to the ref to do something & Takada just cheap shots him over & over until Berbick has had enough, walks out of the ring, to the back, & out of Japan as the crowd nearly riots & pelts the ring with trash, calling Berbick yellow.

    Whatever the reasons, this was a huge trainwreck & awful to watch from a match standpoint, not to mention completely mindboggling, but also worth watching for a 2 minute match. Check it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru8DzzSBq2s

    Also for the record, I could have beat Takada in a fight even in his prime. Letalone an actual pro fighter. Takada is the dirt worst carny, despite actually being quite talented.

    Oh yeah, the PN News/Eaton vs. Taylor/Austin Scaffold match was also horrible & won in the WON.

    Worst Feud: Slaughter/Hogan was seen as the worst feud but as offensive as it was that Desert Storm match was just too good. I'll go with The Young Pistols vs. The Patriots who feuded for like 3 weeks in December. Why were The Patriots getting pushed? Why did the Southern Boys become Cowboys from Wyoming? What sense does this company make?

    Worst Promotion: Herb Abrams' UWF won in real life & I've seen enough to agree.

    Best Booker: Baba won in the Observer but Riki Choshu again booked a better overall company. Also was very unselfish so he gets the nod.

    Best Promoter: A rare case of it not being Vince. I'll give the nod to that lunatic Inoki just for staying out of the way.

    Best Gimmick: The Undertaker won in real life & it's almost impossible to argue against it, though certainly PN News must have gotten many votes too. I personally think Robin Hood is better on paper though just for fun.

    Worst Gimmick: Oz. Kevin Nash dressed up like a Wizard because Turner got the rights to the Wizard of Oz. WCW, ladies & gentlemen.


    Andre the Giant Panda Award Winner: Jerry Lawler/Memphis Wrestling

    Spoiler:

    And now...we see the return of the Andre the Giant Panda award, given to the goofiest segment I can think of or find from each year. While Oz was a terrible gimmick, it really didn't go long or far enough to have any notable vignettes or anything like that that made me laugh. Even still, the winners would almost certainly come from these guys because I'm going to go against the grain from a singular entity already & give it to my beloved Hometown fed, Memphis Wrestling as a whole, who went through an extended period of introducing characters even Jim Herd would declare "dumb as hell". So let's run down this legendary cast of characters that even Arachnaman can't hold a candle to.

    THE DRAGON MASTER: Christopher Love (better known as Bert Prentice, a carny) started a feud with Jerry Lawler hilariously saying that Memphis' ratings & box office numbers were flatlining (hilarious because it was true) & that it was all Lawler's fault since he caused the AWA, World Class, & dozens of other promotions to go out of business since he was such a box office flop. Love's answer? The Dragon Master! A man in the same mask Ricky Steamboat wore in his Clash return, which he would then take off to reveal another mask. Hilariously Memphis actually put the World Title on this 7 foot tall humanoid for 2 weeks in '91 which deserves to be laughed at on its own.

    Watch Dragon Master's ridiculous vignette followed by his debut where he stumbles out of a box here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqnnDdeLNCg

    The Warrior: Memphis introduced a ridiculously blatant Ultimate Warrior with his catchphrase literally being "Remember kids, you don't have to be Ultimate to be a WARRRRIAHHH"~ Even better, Memphis promoted this guy with pictures of the real Ultimate Warrior! My God, USWA.

    Here's The Warrior cutting a promo (half-assed for a Warrior ripoff): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzk7ER8esBo

    The Spirit of America: USWA's attempt at...well, who knows what. The best way I can describe it is Hacksaw Jim Duggan crossed with Duke "The Dumpster" Droese. His vignette sees him cleaning up trash on the side of the road & calling upon his "Little Spirits" to get their parents to drive them out & help clean up America as he's dismayed at anyone littering this great land. After matches he would put guys in a trash can painted to look like the French Flag.

    Here's The Spirit cleaning up America (and Eric Embry laughing & making fun of him in his own debut promo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojdllB492h8

    Leatherface: You think Memphis cares about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre & their copyrights? Ha! This is exactly what you think it is, he ran around the studio waving the chainsaw, showing the chainsaw, cutting things with the chainsaw. Perhaps the scariest part of it all is that it was actually Mideon & that meant fans had to see him wrestle.

    Watch Memphis' attempt at a terrible B-Movie for 3 minutes. Jim, Fuji, how does this rank in the pantheon of other Leatherface movies throughout history?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Nqz4OILOBA

    Nate the Rat/The Gravedigger: Nate the Rat was a longtime chump heel re-gimmicked after Jerry Lawler watched Williard for the first time as a rat loving Paul Bearer to Gravedigger's blatant Undertaker rip off. Complete with Bodybag. Also putting a rat in the bag with the poor jobber.

    Nate the Rat talking about how much rats love him, his master plan with the Gravedigger to take out Lawler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N5BeldE7-Y

    Epicly cheesy Gravedigger vignette with Gravedigger...digging a grave & having the least intimidating voice in the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLZzQilpZmY

    Ta-Gar, Lord of the Volcano: And the greatest Memphis legend of them all. Get a load of this guy's backstory. We've seen wrestlers from the mountains of China, the jungles in Uganda, & even a caped cruader from Gotham City step foot in the Memphis ring in the past, but in 1991 The King found a new challenger, this time...from an entirely different galaxy. (also this is unconfirmed, but potentially a gimmick Ole Anderson voiced that was actually WORSE than Black Scorpion just a year later) Ta-Gar was an intergalactic traveler who spent his life challenging the universe's finest warriors, before burning them with his hand as a sacrifice to a fire god or something. He had a Captain America shield that shot off fire & his finisher was shooting a fireball into the air & then hitting an elbow before using the Iron Claw with his molten hand...what a guy. I asked Jamie Dundee about Ta-Gar once and he gave me a look like I was crazy but then started laughing & ranting about how Ta-Gar could beat the hell out of "pussies like Cena" (he was drunk or...God knows what. I mainly tried to stay the hell away from him). But regardless, Ta-Gar remains a legendary part of wrestling & the undisputed captain of Team Andre the Giant Panda.

    Watch Ta-Gar's Ole Anderson-esque promo where he talks about fighting the gladiators of Memphis, Tennessee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VylZhputrk

    God bless Memphis and Jerry Lawler's mind for wrestling. Who was your favorite of this coalition of evil to grace the wrestling ring in 1991?


    Stats:

    Spoiler:

    Number of appearances per Wrestler:

    Spoiler:

    Black Shadow Jr./Jake Roberts/Yumiko Hotta/Toshiyo Yamada/Owen Hart/Mr. Perfect/Masahito Kakihara/La Fiera/Jerry Estrada/Riki Choshu/Cactus Jack/Dan Spivey/The Rockers/Orient Express/Sgt. Slaughter/Yoji Anjo/El Brazo/Brazo de Oro/Brazo de Plata/MS-1/Pirata Morgan/Satánico/Los Ninja Turtles/Robin Hood/Los Temerarios /Minoru Suzuki/Trio Fantasia/Los Thundercats/Wayne Shamrock/Genichiro Tenryu/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi/Suzuka Minami/Brazo de Oro/Negro Casas/Vader/The Ultimate Warrior/Rick Steiner/Scott Steiner/Arn Anderson/Ricky Steamboat/Dustin Rhodes/Esther Moreno/Atlantis/Blue Panther: (1)

    Randy Savage/Steve Williams/Terry Gordy/Octagon/Fuerza Guerrera/Ric Flair/Kiyoshi Tamura/Shinya Hashimoto/Jushin Liger/Aja Kong/Bison Kimura/Kyoko Inoue/Sting/Stan Hansen/The Scorpion/Cutie Suzuki/Hulk Hogan/Naoki Sano/Masahiro Chono/Keiji Muto/Masanobu Fuchi/Larry Zbyszko/Manami Toyota: (2)

    Hijo del Santo/Brian Pillman/Bull Nakano/Kenta Kobashi/Akira Hokuto Mitsuharu Misawa/Akira Taue: (6)

    Jumbo Tsuruta: (7)

    Toshiaki Kawada: (8)


    Matches by Month (With the Highest Rated match per month)

    Spoiler:

    January: 7 (Akira Hokuto vs. Manami Toyota)
    February: 2 (War Games)
    March: 1 (Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage)
    April: 8 (Super Generation Army vs. Tsuruta-gun)
    May: 5 (Hijo del Santo vs. Negro Casas)
    June: 1 (Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter)
    July: 2 (Naoki Sano vs. Minoru Suzuki)
    August: 7 (Atlantis vs. Blue Panther)
    September: 4 (Stan Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi)
    October: 3 (Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta)
    November: 4 (The Enforcers vs. Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes)
    December: 6 (Hulk Hogan vs. Genichiro Tenryu)


    Matches by Promotion

    Spoiler:

    AJPW: 12
    AJW: 7
    NJPW: 5
    WCW: 5
    WWF: 5
    EMLL: 3
    Monterrey: 3
    JWP: 2
    UWF-i: 2
    PWFG: 2
    UWA: 1
    WWA: 1
    Hamada's UWF: 1
    SWS: 1


    Last edited by Zero; 11-30-2018 at 07:14 AM.
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Last time I thought that Warrior vs Hogan had a good shot at being the top US match but never made the list. Will be interesting to see how Warrior vs Savage does since that would be my US MOTY (and a better match than Hogan vs Warrior was). War Games 1991 would be up there too, but can't think of much else from the States that would be on the list. I do love Slaughter vs Hogan in the Desert Storm match so hopefully that sneaks onto the list.

    For Japan, it's going to be business as usual for the AJPW guys - lots of tags and six man tags. There's no real standout like Jumbo vs Misawa this time out though.

    I expect the number 1 to come from somewhere outside of the US and AJPW.

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    I fully expect Chono vs Muto to crop up in at least the top 10 of this list. Historic background as well as an incredible match. Probably Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto as well. Mr Perfect and Hart/ Warrior vs Savage as well. HopEfully some more lucha as well, really enjoyed most of those matches last time round.


    As for the Iraq war angle. I wasn't born at this time so I can't say then, but looking back I think it was a highly insensitive angle to run and rightfully it backfired on WWE.
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Last time I thought that Warrior vs Hogan had a good shot at being the top US match but never made the list. Will be interesting to see how Warrior vs Savage does since that would be my US MOTY (and a better match than Hogan vs Warrior was). War Games 1991 would be up there too, but can't think of much else from the States that would be on the list. I do love Slaughter vs Hogan in the Desert Storm match so hopefully that sneaks onto the list.
    I'd hope that Steiners vs. Sting/Luger from SuperBrawl makes the list as far as US matches are concerned. I haven't seen it in years but I remember it being pretty much non-stop action from start to finish and a hell of a match. Another one that stands out from the US is Anderson and Zbyszko vs. Dustin Rhodes and a mystery partner from the Clash. Hell of a match and the perfect way to do the mystery partner angle.

    I expect Gordy/Williams vs. Misawa/Kawada from the December show to be very high on the list. Owen Hart and Jushin Liger have a killer match in NJPW which I hope to see make the list as well.


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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    I'd hope that Steiners vs. Sting/Luger from SuperBrawl makes the list as far as US matches are concerned. I haven't seen it in years but I remember it being pretty much non-stop action from start to finish and a hell of a match. Another one that stands out from the US is Anderson and Zbyszko vs. Dustin Rhodes and a mystery partner from the Clash. Hell of a match and the perfect way to do the mystery partner angle.
    Both great matches, especially the Clash of Champions match which will hopefully do well. Steiners vs Sting/Luger is a total spotfest but it's one of my favourite spotfests.

    Bret vs Perfect is a good shout too MC16, though I don't think it stands up against a lot of the Japanese matches. I expect them to pop up in a 1993 list though.

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Both great matches, especially the Clash of Champions match which will hopefully do well. Steiners vs Sting/Luger is a total spotfest but it's one of my favourite spotfests.

    Bret vs Perfect is a good shout too MC16, though I don't think it stands up against a lot of the Japanese matches. I expect them to pop up in a 1993 list though.
    Probably not, but it's a one of the stand out of WWE matches that year. I imagine it'll be in the 30-15 margin. Speaking of Bret Hart matches, it wouldn't surprise me if the Hart Foundation vs Rockers match from the SWS/WWF Tokyo Dome show shows up on here. It was a hell of a match and was very different compared to the other matches those two teams have. Most definitely a gem from this year.
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    I need your clothes, boots and your motorcycle.

    Give it to the Terminator is the smart idea, but I can't wait to see what you give us to watch Zero in year. Liger vs Owen Hart I remember had one of hell of a Match from this year, Blue Panther vs Atlantis on the Lucha Libre side as well of two Matches that come to mind first.

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Quote Originally Posted by Kairi HoHo
    I need your clothes, boots and your motorcycle.

    Give it to the Terminator is the smart idea, but I can't wait to see what you give us to watch Zero in year. Liger vs Owen Hart I remember had one of hell of a Match from this year, Blue Panther vs Atlantis on the Lucha Libre side as well of two Matches that come to mind first.
    The one which Liger won w/ a Top Rope DDT?


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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    I think my recommendation if you're disappointed early on is to stick around until the end. There's some interesting curveballs throughout.

    50. El Hijo del Santo & Black Shadow Jr vs Fuerza Guerrera & Octagon (Monterrey, December 15th)

    So there's a lot of moving parts with this, good & bad. The storyline going into this is real big. The biggest mask vs mask match in Lucha Libre history took place in 1952 with El Santo taking on Black Shadow for over 70 minutes in the match that turned Santo técnico and started the Golden Age of Lucha. Meanwhile, Fuerza & Octagon are in a bitter feud that saw the two at odds for years and helped elevate them to legendary status. So why the heck are these guys teaming together? Enter the Relevos Suicidas match. A tag match where the losing team then face each other in a Mask vs. Mask match.

    The bad of this. The video online is silenced & replaced by an in studio commentary. It's impossible to really treat this match fully with the production as is. To me the action would put this as a top 10 match, but with things how they are, I have to grade it as is as a great match worth a shout, but can only be so good due to circumstances beyond their control.

    The match itself has amazing heat in particular from Shadow Jr. as during the tag portion Shadow was absolutely on fire. I also loved Fuerza standing by watching Shadow destroy his rival Octagon, then it's a great shock moment when Shadow turned and bopped Fuerza on top of it. Then the match ends with Shadow, pissed at the other team, pissed at Santo, pissed at his lot in life, takes out Fuerza with an intentional foul/low blow, losing the match and forcing his shot to avenge the original Black Shadow's mask loss 40 years ago!

    I can only imagine how the singles match could have come across, but what we got still had a ton of drama and was just basic, great wrestling. Santito, the beloved hero worked great flying moves and Shadow wrestled like a fight, bloodying Santito BIG and Santito had an iconic huge dive with his mask stain nearly completely blood red. Fuerza & Octagon stuck around as seconds (Perro Aguayo also was with Octagon & Santito) and Fuerza was a great one helping the rudo Black Shadow Jr. But in the end the finish felt like a huge moment for everyone and a great conclusion to the whole thing. A strange, obscure, but awesome moment in Lucha and wrestling history I couldn't leave off, but also have to grade what I see. And the video prevents it from going any higher.

    Fuerza & Octagon have never had their mask vs mask match since.

    Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW988sNQyZs

    -
    49. "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts - This Tuesday in Texas, December 3rd

    Oh, man. The feud of the year. Jake doing some of his all time best work against Randy Savage, who had previously retired at WMVII. Jake had some bad luck feuding with Warrior who ended up getting fired before Summerslam, then Sid who got injured. So next we saw Jake cut some wonderful promos at Savage knowing he was retired and couldn't get payback. Then one of the angles of the year happened where that maniac Savage let an actual Cobra bite his arm (defanged & devenomed) and the angle was so graphic subsequent viewings were shown with a big red X over the angle. In response Jack Tunney reinstated Savage to get revenge finally.

    So this match is so great in my opinion. Jake starts off by cutting an amazing promo and looks like the scariest man who ever lived. I think when you look at the cobra attack and what this turned into it really was way too dark for WWF's fanbase at the time, & I think that played a big role in why the Savage/Roberts house show loop was unsuccessful at first. But anyway, amazing promo. The match is absolutely excellent for what it is. Savage attacks right away but Roberts attacked the arm & Randy sold it awesomely, and my favorite part of all this is every single thing had meaning in the match, there was no wasted time at all and of course with it being such a blood feud Savage wanted to kill Jake so even though we ran through this match & Savage won with the Elbow you knew it wasn't over. Savage went to the ring bell, (callback city) But Jake counters & gives him the DDT. Then gives him another DDT! Then it looks to be Cobra time again as Jake brings out a hidden bag. (Jack Tunney had also banned Jake from ever bringing a snake to the ring again) Liz comes out to beg Jake to stop...no effect. Another DDT for Savage, then Jake slaps Liz!!! Tunney actually runs out for the save and in perhaps one of greatest swerves in wrestling history, Jake smiles at the camera and reveals there was no snake in the bag in the first place. Afterwards Jake cuts another freaking incredible promo where he says slapping Liz felt so good he should have had to pay for it, then tells Savage Jake will make her what he desires. Also of note Jake basically acts like he's done nothing wrong, and he's just crazy enough to believe him. Savage somehow gets even crazier over what happened and you thought for sure if Savage were to get his hands on Jake he'd kill him for real if he didn't have a heart attack first.

    So yeah, as an overall package this might be my #1. The feud was incredible, the work was perfect in the match itself. Sadly I just can't bring myself to put a 6 minute traditional match higher than the back end. However, like Bull/Toyota from last year I kinda want to put it like 25 spots higher anyway but I'm gonna be fair. Must watch though overall.

    Available: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ek2ql

    -


    48. Super Generation Army (Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada) vs. Miracle Violence Connection (Steve Williams & Terry Gordy) - AJPW Real World Tag League, December 6th

    It doesn't take long to get to one of Fuji's favorites as we see the MVC take on the SGA's top team in a match to determine who wins the Real World Tag League. Now the MVC are an interesting team. And I've seen every one of these two teams' matches in 1991 and a lot of their matches with a lot of other teams this year. I have a confession to make and I'll tell you right now that there's a later match on this list with them. But when I first got into wrestling on a deeper level, I heard a ton about Williams & Bam Bam & how legendary they were. Obviously I was familiar with Doc through JR loving him & Bam Bam a bit through old Memphis tapes and a match or two on WCW tapes. But I was so excited to see the full go at the team in their natural environment in AJPW. So when watching them in 1991 throughout...I was so so disappointed.

    I think the problem right away was unfortunately that my expectations of them was to be this epic team of bomb throwers with tons of great power stuff. What we got from them throughout this year, was the two sticking to the mat and working a bunch of headlocks & toeholds that weren't compelling or typically useful to any larger story. And as you'll see in this list and I'm sure future years when RINGS starts up, I love technical wrestling and matwork as much as anybody. My problem is because they were a bit... unskilled at it & everyone else on the roster was working such an exciting style, it often killed the crowds and wasn't particularly enthralling even to me. (Just look at these two teams in July or pretty much all their matches before)

    And then the switch gets flipped halfway through this match when Doc looks for a Shoulder Tackle & Kawada blasts him in the face with a kick that wakes everyone up, and they repeat a spot from an earlier boring match where Misawa gets taken out on the outside, but instead of killing time and just doing holds that went nowhere, there's great focus from MVC on Kawada's knee and added so much to Kawada's eventual comeback. (Although there was still some sense of aimlessness particularly from Doc who I'm not high on in '90-'91 in general) Kawada finally has enough of this 2-on-1 and bops Doc with a huge jumping kick to set up a Kawada/Bam Bam showdown. That works great and Misawa's return went even better and the crowd loved the finishing stretch, even though in the end MVC get the RWTL win for a second year in a row, putting down Kawada for good. Kawada himself was phenomenal here, putting on a show as a FIP & bringing the pain when necessary. I didn't love love this but I thought it was a for sure great match and the start of MVC really upping their game as a team in Japan. The best was yet to come for both of these teams.

    Available: http://theditch.biz/chron.html or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bziHxZCdKos

    -

    47. Jushin Liger vs Owen Hart - NJPW Explosion Tour Top of the Super Juniors, Aprill 28th

    The Top of the Super Juniors was the predecessor to the BOSJ which just wrapped up this year. Liger was the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion but vacated it at the start of the tournament. Liger had wrestled Owen a number of times before by this point as Liger & under his real name (as well as teamed with at times). The match starts off with some really fun matwork between the two, with Owen showing his pure wrestling skill, and I thought this was a great example of technical wrestling done right, both guys worked hard and it felt like there was meaning to each bit. Owen takes over and hits a number of delightful suplex variations while also periodically working over Liger's arm with some submission work. Liger starts to pop off and get Owen back as well, and everything built up to the finish which as the smart guys on WC that read my threads know already, saw Liger executing a picture perfect Top Rope DDT for the win and a trip to the final.

    Smartly worked match and I thought it really felt "full" so to speak. There was great selling, good technical wrestling, good pacing, big moves and a great finish where they didn't go too crazy for too long. A high quality juniors match from both, and '91 was a big year for Owen. Between him in NJPW & working as The Blue Blazer in México it set the stage well and shaped him well as an overall talent in the ring.

    Available: http://theditch.us/090s.html or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNSmeEhCcPw

    -

    46. Octagon vs. Fuerza Guerrera - CMLL February 1st

    A match incorrectly listed as taking place in November due to a rebroadcasting, as I mentioned in match 50, these dudes were in the middle of a big time feud and it shows. Again to me the audience participation really elevates these Lucha matches as we saw multiple women in the crowd pissed about something or another. First at the ref for doing a rather poor job, then at Fuerza in a highly entertaining scene which also allows Octagon to jump him. Fuerza added a great mix of comedy throughout a very violent match, from tying Octagon's headstrings to the rope to take a few free shots to bringing back his "I can't do high flying moves" gimmick to comedic effect and nearly posing his way to a near submission in Octagon's Cavernaria, Fuerza led the match in his style, blood feud be damned. Octagon's pretty bad overall but I thought he had a lot of energy & it's good to know he tried hard. Both men escalate things in fall 3 & a lot of blood gets shed, with Octagon at one point nearly killing himself on a dive even Flip Gordon would think is wild on Fuerza. They build drama well and for a guy I pretty much hate Octagon had at least one good singles match. Fuerza definitely carried it though.

    Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8kgE_JPuQ0
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    El Hijo del Santo & Black Shadow Jr vs Fuerza Guerrera & Octagon (December 15th):
    Very, very intense towards the end. I liked how Black Shadow Jr intentionally got himself Dq’d so he could take revenge of El Hijo del Santo, it’s some very good storytelling and something you don’t really see. Everything looked really vicious, El Hijo Del Santo being bloodied up to the point her most of his mask is red. Awesome visual. One more point, I thought this when I watched the Barr/Guerrero vs Santo/Octagon match and I did here as well, Octagon really looks like The Great Sasuke. I can only assume that Sasuke was a fan of Octagon.

    “Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts (This Tuesday in Texas, December 3rd):
    What can I say? The angle was terrific. Great way to turn Jake heel and get some heat, brings Savage back. And it’s a smart way to use the snake as a weapon. The match was pretty good, Jake working on the injured/poisoned arm. The finish was a bit clunky with Jake falling down after a corner bump but not a big problem. Heenan was gold in this segment.

    Super Generation Army (Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada) vs. Miracle Violence Connection (Steve Williams & Terry Gordy) - (AJPW Real World Tag League, December 6th):
    Pretty good match. Thought it had a decent start which was pretty enjoyable. The crowd loved Misawa and was chanting for him before he did anything to warrant it. Admittedly there was a lull in the middle section where they are working over Kawada’s leg but it soon turned into a bomb fest which is also great. Awesome closing stretch.

    Jushin Liger vs Owen Hart - (NJPW Explosion Tour Top of the Super Juniors, April 28th):
    Loved Owen’s red and white attire. Used to seeing him in a dark purplish/black or blue. Good match, they had nice chemistry together. Some fun exchanges of matwork and some nice technical wrestling by both. Liked Owen working on the arm of Liger, but it was no sold by Liger which is a shame. That top rope DDT is a great move, really dangerous to take though.

    Octagon vs. Fuerza Guerrera - (CMLL February 1st):
    I liked this match, pretty good but I have to say, it did drag for me. It kinda ruined some of the enjoyment for me but still good
    Spoiler:


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  11. #11
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    El Hijo del Santo & Black Shadow Jr vs Fuerza Guerrera & Octagon
    - This Match rocked when it got to the Mask vs Mask on the line with Shadow and Santo for sure. Shadow did everything he could to beat Sandow, beating up the Referee, busting open Santo which made me a little upset in my stomach and still wasn't enough to beat the spirit of Santo in the Match. I love how Fuerza almost like the Emperor in Star Wars, looking on like yes..yes my Apprentice kill him..kill him! Question Zero was Shadow still a top Man after having to take off his Mask or what? We all know the history that when a Luchador loses his or her Mask it's like death for them and I never heard of this guy before and I wonder if he went into the Shadow realm after all of this?

    "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Jake "The Snake" Roberts
    -One of WWE's hottest feuds over the long history of the company and damn guys it gets me riled everytime I see Roberts and Savage together. Can you blame Savage for taking it to that next level wanting to hurt Roberts, after the suffering he did towards Liz and Savage? It all started with Roberts giving them a special gift at their Wedding Party, and Liz hadn't been the same since and Savage was on a mission to end Roberts this night. Savage won the battle, but Roberts kept winning the war versus the Macho Man and so great when Jake is telling Liz to beg for mercy for him to stop beating him to death, and thus beat him further. I find it funny Hebner of all guys telling Roberts to get out, people in the back should of came way before all of that, and Liz getting slapped which if that was my Wife I would of attacked Roberts in the Showers! Another funny thing I remember from this people cheering Savage to ram the Ring Bell across the Throat of Roberts, which years prior people wanting to legit fight Savage after doing the same thing to Steamboat leading to their WM 3 Match. I still remember Bruno attacking Savage in the back after what he did to Steamboat that night and it's crazy how now Savage is the victim.

    Super Generation Army vs Miracle Violence Connection
    [Awesome to got this Match from ClassicsPuro83, I watched two Joshi Matches from his Channel that I talked about in the Real Women of Genius Thread if anyone is interested]
    -After what they showed us what lead to this Match in the Tag League I think I might need to watch the full Matches for sure. Zero just by watching clipped versions of the Matches, would you say the 91 Tag League was one of the best if not the best in your opinion? You know as I watch this Match I'm thinking this might be a little too slow for some people. I try to get people to watch Documentaries on Youtube and people's attention spans are so slow at times I'm not sure if people would love this Match right off the bat. FUCK ALL THAT PEOPLE..this Match is well paced. The beatdown Kawada took with Misawa on the outside out like a light, had me telling Misawa to get up..GET UP!

    Kawada was a fucking Champ staying in the fight during all of this, you gotta give to him for taking all that damage. Misawa had the save of the Match after that Double Suplex Kawada took, but with Misawa getting that second wind it wasn't enough handle Dr.Death and Bam Bam that night. I'm going to watch Hart vs Liger for the second time in my life and Octagon vs. Fuerza Guerrera after 205 Live. I'm going to be very gitty again watching Liger vs Hart, I was a huge Owen Hart mark growing up and I'll debate you to death that Owen Hart>Bret Hart any day of the week.

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  12. #12
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Quote Originally Posted by MC
    One more point, I thought this when I watched the Barr/Guerrero vs Santo/Octagon match and I did here as well, Octagon really looks like The Great Sasuke. I can only assume that Sasuke was a fan of Octagon.
    Sasuke worked under his real name before his Méxican excursion. Octagon wasn't my favorite wrestler but he had such a cool look, and Sasuke took it back to Japan with him obviously to great success as well. Both were pretty crazy but Sasuke was less of a dick and just more weird if it's worth anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by HoHo
    Zero just by watching clipped versions of the Matches, would you say the 91 Tag League was one of the best if not the best in your opinion?
    That's an interesting thought in terms of best, but I have to say just based on what I've seen, '91 isn't a strong contender. Just like I said, I'm really not a huge MVC fan to this point and thought they got better later so this tournament being based around them wasn't going to light my world on fire. My pick would be '96, which features one of the greatest matches of all time and fun teams like Kobashi/Patriot helping rounding out the undertags.

    Quote Originally Posted by HoHo
    I was a huge Owen Hart mark growing up and I'll debate you to death that Owen Hart>Bret Hart any day of the week.
    Owen Hart was a great wrestler and an inspiration to me personally as his style and our sizes matched up quite well. Bret was great in his own way and I won't disparage him, and I actually like that he's probably one of the only old wrestlers that actually speaks his mind, but I think Owen was a more complete package in terms of charisma and promo and more versatile in-ring. Bret, for someone who criticized Flair, to me is definitely of his lineage in terms of having a set number of spots and using them constantly. Perhaps more advanced even but still. But Owen was great. If he had more opportunities I think he would be considered one of the greatest ever by more people. I think people will be surprised how highly I rate some of his and Bret's biggest matches come the middle of the 90s.

    Next update incoming in a couple of hours, just wanted to put this out there. Thanks for watching and the comments.
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    45. Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman - WCW Saturday Night, April 13th

    CHOP CHOP CHOP-oooh El Gigante...

    I love the story told here with Pillman looking like one bad mutha throughout this match, with Flair doing a genuinely awesome job putting him over by being a dirty bastard throughout with all of his typical Flair tricks. Including a completely random but hilarious hip thrust at someone in the crowd. It was setting up to be one of the better American matches of the year and for the best Flair's looked in 1991, unfortunately things go South with the ridiculous finish. To me Flair should have taken the fall after great matches in back to back years, but even Arn interfering for a cheap Flair win would have been better than this, & set up Arn/Pillman which they were gonna do anyway. Still, super stiff & really hot match between the two with a believable grudge. As good as their 1990 match.

    Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-EHNnoT-Co

    -

    44. Toshiyo Yamada vs. Yumiko Hotta - We Are Running Through Korakuen Hall ~Sign of Brave Women, May 26th

    The battle between arguably AJW's most underrated wrestler vs. arguably it's hardest hitting (and Bull was still around). It's a rematch of a match one month prior that Hotta dominated and deservingly so, Hotta was further up the totem pole than Yamada at this point as you can tell by K-Hall showering Hotta with the streamers. I felt as if they were leaning into a bit more of a shoot style tribute with the matwork, which Yamada wasn't especially great at, but when it gets to the striking game, Yamada absolutely brings it. This was violent & the kicks thrown by both were almost disturbing to see between the two women. I like the way the match built with the matwork leading into Yamada firing up to even the odds despite the fact that Hotta bloodied her nose early on, And when it seemed like Yamada was facing trouble and Hotta was going to initiate total destruction, we got a surprise winner! Big win to help Yamada rise up even more before her breakout year. This feud really helped elevate Yamada and Hotta deserves a big part of that credit, in both singles & later on tags. Strong effort here.

    Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfHqj7TdoTY & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtYiI8pb5hQ

    -

    43. Bret Hart vs. "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig (Intercontinental Title) -
    WWF SummerSlam, August 26th


    A legendary match between two very popular in-ring performers, how's it hold up to the cold, jaded, green eyes of a man who loves Puerto Rican women and hates Finn Balor in 2018? It turns out, I didn't think it was the greatest of all time, but still. There's a lot to like here and especially from Perfect. Like Toyota, watching all these matches, Perfect is a wrestler who my opinion has grown on in this time period, and this match in particular I feel like requires context. Mr. Perfect's back was severely injured going into this, with him likely in agonizing pain, and it shows. Just look at the finish. While really well done and smoothly executed, the submission had to get called quickly to save Perfect's back from the legit pain he was in. Also of note was how Perfect was quite gracious here, not just in the win, but in letting Bret kick out of the Perfect-Plex. Bret fired up after that spot, which got a great pop from the MSG crowd. I think what held the final stages back from really being at that elite level was that they went to a well of nearfalls, but Earl Hebner just wasn't able to project a believable count, and it knocked this out of top 25 contention for me. Still, the win came across as a huge deal with Bret winning his first singles title in WWF, and Hennig giving a courageous and overall excellent performance. Well worth checking out.

    Available: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ya2c / http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6kt17 or Check SS '91 on the Network

    -

    42. Kiyoshi Tamura vs Masahito Kakihara - UWFI Moving On May 10th

    After UWF Reborn split, the 3 bigwigs went and formed their own companies. RINGS & Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi were founded by Akira Maeda & Yoshiaki Fujiwara respectively & focused largely on mat-wrestling, UWF-i was run by super carny Nobuhiko Takada & intertwined itself more closely with his pro style roots, decreeing UWF-i as "REAL" pro wrestling, at one point calling out AJPW & NJPW's world champions as fake. But that's a story for another day with Takada, just know Takada founded and was a goof, but more on him in the awards section in the worst match category.

    What you can't take away from him is his ability to pick talent & with much of UWF Reborn's roster following Takada, there's no better example of that than UWF-i's very first match in its history, featuring one of the future greatest workers & biggest draws in Japanese wrestling. To me the story of this was two rookies trying to not just make a name for themselves, but get an entire company off the ground in one fell swoop. They seem pretty fired up, especially Kakihara, and that helped make up the pure skill difference with Tamura, who looked like one of the best going with less than 10 matches under his belt. Tamura's knees worked wonders and he mixed in great legwork too that built perfectly to the finish, also at one point he busts out a Judo-style Samoan Drop, similar to Ronda, But the early stages is Tamura dissecting his opponent & Kakihara bringing the fire & even if a bit wild for the youngster, I thought made a nifty contrast. In the end you have to give it up to these two due to the circumstances, the effort, & particularly the skill of Tamura, with a game K-Hall crowd.

    Available: http://theditch.us/090s.html

    -

    41. Toshiaki Kawada vs Akira Taue - All Japan Pro Wrestling Champion Carnival, April 18th

    (NOTE: Am spoiling the list a bit, but a future match on the list, but earlier in real life match between these two occured on January 15th, it may be more fair to watch that match first for chronological purposes)

    The first of three matches from AJPW's tremendous April 18th show on my list, after the match in January you could make the case that this rivalry was well on the way to stacking up to the A feud in this faction warfare, maybe not in importance but in match quality. Taue at this point started shining stronger on his own, but you have to give it to Kawada who even at this point was bringing something out of Taue that nobody else did. They didn't go full hyper intense blood feud or anything, definitely less hate than January but they did it more through the little things like Kawada scraping his boot on Taue's face. Of course it's Kawada so even without hitting fifth gear he busts Taue open as soon as Taue starts to break out strikes. I also loved the dueling limbwork, Kawada attacking the arm of Taue to fight the Chokeslam and Taue going after the knee that Jumbo targeted in the Jumbo/Kawada singles match. There was great action, great psychology, & two hungry wrestlers. The only thing that knocks this down a tad is the unnecessary use of a ref bump & the unclean finish in general. We saw enough of dumb stuff like that in the 80s & still in US wrestling, no need for it in AJPW. That said it did make Taue's finish look devastating, although that damage may have been for real with Kawada's crazy bump. The stretcher job made it seem like a big deal. I would have loved for this to have led to Misawa introducing a new member to the SGA for a little bit. Only Furnas & Kroffat would have fit timeline wise for the group's gimmick & sadly they weren't an option being foreigners, so not surprising Kawada wouldn't be taking time off. Great match.

    Available: http://theditch.biz/chron.html or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orjwY_ZlxRA
    Punishing evil from her lonely throne! The Imperious Queen of Executions~





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  14. #14
    TAKE THE DREAM~

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman - (WCW Saturday Night, April 13th):
    I haven’t seen much of Brian Pillman’s very early matches so this was interesting to see. Flair coming out to different music was a bit jarring to say the last. The match, I liked. Had a good story of the top guy going against the the young up-star but instead on dominating, it’s back and forth. It put over Pillman big. Especially him winning out of chops, splitting Flair open as well. Finish was what it was, it was fine, protected both and furthered an existing feud (I assume). All good.

    Toshiyo Yamada vs. Yumiko Hotta - (We Are Running Through Korakuen Hall ~Sign of Brave Women, May 26th):
    Fuck me, those kicks were hard. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love kicks. Anyone who has a great kick, I love them and their matches and this match is no exception. Stiff as hell with Yamada nailling Hotta in the face without protection numerous times. It’s a very good match with loads of different forms of wrestling, starting out with some ground game in the beginning, introducing them strikes along the way. Nice finish with the surprise win. Overall really good match.

    Bret Hart vs. "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig - (WWF SummerSlam, August 26th):
    Really enjoyable match. Amazed that Perfect was able to go through this match, they did a great job at getting the crowd to cheer for Bret for his eventual title win. Very good match.

    Kiyoshi Tamura vs Masahito Kakihara - (UWFI Moving On May 10th):
    Oh Yeah, now this was pretty awesome. Loved the quick striking and submissions. Tamura was pretty great in this match I thought. Both in offence and defence. Just his movement to try and block the strikes was very appealing to me. I thought they incorporated the early leg work with the ending just perfectly. I’m not going to sell Kakihara short, he was very good. There were a few moments where he missed a wild kick that was clearly meant to land but they quickly recovered so it’s not a problem. Showed a lot of fire in the match. Another great match for this list.

    Toshiaki Kawada vs Akira Taue - All Japan Pro Wrestling Champion Carnival, April 18th:
    Now that’s a finish I wasn’t expecting. The match had some decent storytelling with Kawada attacking the arm of Taue to trying to stop Taue from delivering his powermoves as well as the chokeslam and Taue working on the leg of Kawada to trying to stop the kicks. All decent enough selling, nothing spectacular. I liked it when Kawada went straight in on Taue’s cut early on. And the aforementioned finish. I liked this for many reasons. One, they put over how dangerous the mats was and put it over as something that’ll take out anyone. And two, Taue knowing straight away that he won after that, getting back in the ring and “relaxing” on the ring mat. Really good match, the crowd was a little subdued but they chanted for both wrestlers at times in the match. Very good match between Kawada and Taue.

    Great stuff so far. Looking forward to seeing what else in next.
    Spoiler:


    Milano Forever!

  15. #15
    Prince Of Joshi
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerohamed Salah View Post
    Sasuke worked under his real name before his Méxican excursion. Octagon wasn't my favorite wrestler but he had such a cool look, and Sasuke took it back to Japan with him obviously to great success as well. Both were pretty crazy but Sasuke was less of a dick and just more weird if it's worth anything.



    That's an interesting thought in terms of best, but I have to say just based on what I've seen, '91 isn't a strong contender. Just like I said, I'm really not a huge MVC fan to this point and thought they got better later so this tournament being based around them wasn't going to light my world on fire. My pick would be '96, which features one of the greatest matches of all time and fun teams like Kobashi/Patriot helping rounding out the undertags.



    Owen Hart was a great wrestler and an inspiration to me personally as his style and our sizes matched up quite well. Bret was great in his own way and I won't disparage him, and I actually like that he's probably one of the only old wrestlers that actually speaks his mind, but I think Owen was a more complete package in terms of charisma and promo and more versatile in-ring. Bret, for someone who criticized Flair, to me is definitely of his lineage in terms of having a set number of spots and using them constantly. Perhaps more advanced even but still. But Owen was great. If he had more opportunities I think he would be considered one of the greatest ever by more people. I think people will be surprised how highly I rate some of his and Bret's biggest matches come the middle of the 90s.

    Next update incoming in a couple of hours, just wanted to put this out there. Thanks for watching and the comments.
    Yeah I had the same feeling watching Owen for the years and I loved how he was smart enough to know times were changing so I have to change up as well. I never liked when he went back the Blue Blazer gimmick, but even his Tag Matches with Jarrett was always entertaining to watch. Wrestling is missing a great person, and a great Wrestler who's mind was so smart for the business that he could of done wonders for so many young talent out there in the industry.

    Owen Hart vs Jushin Liger
    -Another hard fought battle and win for Liger, he'll take it the hard way and never the easy way it's his ninja way. I remember listening to the Owen Hart DVD, WWE produced years ago and I think Bret was saying how he told Owen to get outta WWE, and go to Mexico and Japan because he knew WWE would be knocking on his door to come back. Bret was right because with is tour of Wrestling outside of WWE, WWE had him come back and from there he killed it in WWE. That DDT is always scary to watch from the top, no way we get that Move today in WWE it's so risk a Move to do even when you have two Veterans involved in the situation.

    Octagon vs. Fuerza Guerrera
    -Wait..pause who was that guy that hit Octagon in the knee giving us that delayed reaction Zero? I thought for a moment there, the guy did Witch Craft on Octagon helping Guerrera get the early momentum as if he needed it though. Clearly Dibiase had Fuerza as a fellow Million Dollar Corporation Member, because he must of paid off the Referee after what I saw from him in this Match. You know truth me told what 5 or 6 years ago my Dad and I were nearly killed in a Car Accident by a nearly 90 year old lady who was drunk on Alcohol and Medicine, and this guy's sight is just as bad damn he was making mistakes left and right. I can't blame someone's Mother coming to the Ring, the dude was acting like a fool and she called him out on it. Imagine if a Mom did that today, she would of gotten kicked out of the Arena with the quickness.

    Ric Flair vs. Brian Pillman
    -Ride it baby..Flair did you just say that I heard you say that to that lady in the Crowd lolz. Another enjoyable Flair gem making a young star look like a World Title Contender. Man I love Flair he always does the smartest things to get fans into a Match when he's the heel in the Match. He'll cheat, scream at the crowd, he'll do whatever it takes and it is done so perfectly in his Matches. I've seen hundreds of Flair Matches I can legit Map out what he's going to do at that very moment and Flair did it all in his bag of tricks. Pillman should feel honored to have Arn cheat with Flair to beat him, it shows that Flair couldn't beat him one on one that night. El Gigante ruined it all, no El Gigante this is the Concession Stand it's on the other side of the building!

    Toshiyo Yamada vs. Yumiko Hotta
    -HOLY..I didn't know these two faced each other in 91. I swear I thought Hotta KO'd Yamada when she was sitting down during the Match, like damn Hotta this is a Wrestling match not a Street Fight girl easy up

    Bret Hart vs Mr.Perfect
    -Easily my top 5 IC Title Matches of all time with two Hall of Famers and it's crazy because I think I remember hearing Perfect was injured going into this Match and did the great deed of putting Bret over, because if he would drop the Title to anyone, he wanted to drop it Bret and Vince of course would say yeah, because Bret by 91 was on the cuff of being a Superstar after years before being a Tag Team Wrestler in the minds of most fans. I could this Match all day, because so damn great in my opinion. You have Perfect keeping it his pace keeping Bret from bring out that will he showed in the early parts of the Match, and even the Commentary during this Match is lovely. I heard the rumor that your Parents left home as he's talking to Piper hehe.

    When Heenan said no one has ever kicked out the Perfect Plex before this Match was that true, I bet it was considering how much Vince loved the character Perfect no way would be try to kill off his Finisher unless it was a reason to put Bret over and show how much different he was versus Perfect's previous opponents. It's sucks that we didn't get a sooner rematch because we didn't see these two face each other again till the 93 King of the Ring because Hart vs Perfect would of been a golden feud for the WWE if it kept on going after Summerslam. Those last two Matches I'll watch them after I break my back from work tomorrow.

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  16. #16
    [Knockin' on Heaven's Door]
    Postman Dave's Avatar

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Sasuke worked under his real name before his Méxican excursion. Octagon wasn't my favorite wrestler but he had such a cool look, and Sasuke took it back to Japan with him obviously to great success as well.
    Huh, had always wondered about this, cheers sensei

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Thanks all for reading!

    Quote Originally Posted by MC
    Flair coming out to different music was a bit jarring to say the last
    I believe this was around the time that idiot Herd was trying to get Flair to change gimmicks to a Roman Gladiator character named Spartacus. Obviously Ric smartly didn't go through with it but this music was meant for the new character and they just used it anyway. ...I hate WCW.

    To the list~


    40. La Fiera vs Jerry Estrada (Chain Match) - Monterrey, January 23rd

    A spectacle of blood & violence, we see a brawl that feels right out of Memphis or Portland or really any territory but the Lucha touch put this over the top. Things start off with Fiera coming out with spiked gloves and swinging wildly, then strangling his opponent. Great. For a chain match this had a ton of nifty and unique spots, such as a sweet Tope Suicida where they're both chained, one of the all time great double over the top suplex spots I've ever seen. My God. It's mostly about the fight though, and although it's not for everyone, the hate & violence was justified, outside of Estrada delivering a shoot headbutt to the ref for trying to stop the beating to Fiera. The finish is unbelievably awful & so stupid I won't even try to explain it, but it's indie Lucha in 1991, not that surprising. Still, a spectacle worth checking out.

    Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd0l_98Ps1w

    -


    39. Riki Choshu vs Shinya Hashimoto - NJPW G1 Climax, August 9th

    We enter the world of handhelds & the world of G1s as for some reason this was not aired. All told, the first G1 is fully available so it might be fun to give some of these matches a watch leading into the 2018 version. This is a really simple & great sprint elevated in the context of one of the most unselfish displays of booking in G1 history. But at the time and following Gedo booking tropes, nobody would have guessed Choshu going 0-3, especially considering even with a loss Hashimoto would then have a tiebreaker match over Chono which would be unthinkable at the time. Shock made a point early on about AJPW being "business as usual" & it was so true. Meanwhile in NJPW it was one of Choshu's best years in terms of booking, elevating a ton of people and creating a great atmosphere where any match result had a chance. Look no further than this match. And the layout is perfect with a desperate Choshu rushing him at the start & going right away to the Sasori-Gatame, but it wouldn't get it done to the youngster Hashimoto, and one brilliant transition from Hashimoto and an epic beating was on. There was no coming back or back and forth here, Hashimoto destroyed one of the top stars of the 80s and had Choshu's friend Saito begging for a ref stoppage, and throwing in the towel. But in an act of Old Yeller not going quietly to get put down Choshu grabs the towel & throws it right back. Of course that leads to Hashimoto promptly kicking him in the head in a legit mark out moment that Bull Nakano would have to deem awesome. But it was time to end this, & Hashimoto stays alive & Choshu helped make three people with his decisions AND his performances. The Three Musketeers were born in '91 due to him, and maybe one day I'll revisit the 80s because Choshu would be all over it. He changed wrestling & in this match was phenomenal. I won't say this was better than Bull/Toyota, but definitely among the greatest sub 10 minute matches in NJPW history.

    Available: theditch.us/090s.html

    -


    38. Jushin Liger vs Brian Pillman - WCW at The Meadowlands, December 27th

    FanCam city as Pillman finishes off a strong year and of course Liger had a strong year in NJPW despite largely being booked against Honaga, who was basically Kanemaru 1992. These two had a match in NJPW earlier in the year but this was where it was at in 1991. Liger had just made it into WCW and their introduction of him was to refer to him as a Kung Fu King & mention how he was a huge supporter of the Pearl Harbor attacks. Thankfully Liger was able to overcome WCW's blatant redneck ignorance with his high work effort. Even in this match Liger seemed to win over some of your typical "USA!" chanters by the end. I'm sure we'll talk about SuperBrawl in 1992 but I personally thought this had a lot more intensity to it than then, and they kept their years ahead of their time style they were known for with a mix of high flying, swankiness, & the intensity I mentioned, such as a great spot where Pillman opens the ropes for Liger to get in & Liger gets super pissed & beats him up. It was great. The latter part of the match is more along the lines of a modern match for the wrong reasons with selling & the meaning behind the moves taking a rather large backseat holding this back from being a true top end contender. Still, a great match & one worth checking out from WCW's random venture into The Meadowlands.

    Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzyfNLJ7spM

    -


    37. Jungle Jack (Aja Kong & Bison Kimura) vs. Gokumon-to (Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue) (Hair vs Hair) - AJW Shogeki! Waisha Kamikiri Tag The Soul Of Shout ~Kawasaki Jikkon~, January 11th

    A match about the spectacle and the emotion than the execution, particularly from a green as grass Kyoko, who basically blew a lot of her spots here both in a literal & kayfabe sense trying to impress her mentor and it coming around in the end. Lots of moving pieces again with Gokumon-to hanging out on the outside. Loads of weapons, and of course the continuation of one of the most heated rivalries in wrestling at this point, the stakes felt incredibly real. And when Kong & Bull were in the ring together this was absolutely spectacular. Bison does good work but Kyoko was a struggle whenever she tried to do stuff. In a way though it kind of added to the desperate feel of this match, I also liked the teamwork between mentor & student at the end to set up a two on one finish against Bison which was very smart. So when the inevitable came & Bison fell to her cruel opponents we saw an amazing visual & some pretty great acting from Bison in particular, who had a tremendous display of emotion at the loss, the sadness over dropping the fall for her best friend & costing both of them their hair. Aja stoically takes the cutting, not crying but instead looking like she can't wait to get revenge and unleash total destruction on Bull who scores yet another win over her. Can she ever beat the juggernaut that is Bull Nakano?

    Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7ziUqqjpj8

    -


    36. Sting vs Cactus Jack (Submit or Surrender) - WCW Power Hour, November 23rd

    Two of each other's best opponents take it too this WCW style match. This actually aired out of order, which is hilariously acknowledged by commentary (Sting in reality had lost the title at a Clash the week prior & also suffered a knee injury but that wasn't in play here), thanks to WCW's continued incompetence we saw a match a week later than we should have. AND JR mentions Tony is calling the same match for Worldwide to replay! AND JR starts talking about the Clash during the match and how Sting lost the title! But I digress. They start off with a great snapshot of their own characters in their entrances. Cactus throwing around a trash can & Sting hanging out with a kid fan & showing him the title. It's amazing how much better these two look compared to earlier in the year, Sting was lost, but here really looks like that dude here. And Jack was terrible in 1990, but here he really was coming into his own with great strikes & Foley-esque emotional psychology before it was en vogue of dropping Sting right in front of the kid from earlier & grabbing a mic to try to get Sting to quit which had a great moment with Sting yelling "Not a chaaaaaaaance!". Cactus was great & the finish was absolutely brutal with Sting in the ring, Cactus accidentally knocking himself with the chair then climbing on the apron to be met with a beautiful jumping high kick from Sting, to which Jack flies off the apron and bounces his head off concrete, either legit knocking himself out or (I think it was a sell based on how he moved his arm from under the rail) a freaking tremendous sell job, as Sting gets the Scorpion Deathlock on the outside for the win. Great match and a great return to form for the Stinger & a turning point from Foley.

    Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vomw5kBXVXY
    Last edited by Zero; 06-15-2018 at 10:23 AM.
    Punishing evil from her lonely throne! The Imperious Queen of Executions~





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  18. #18
    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Okay now to a clipped match and a match to my knowledge unavailable online but I watched it 3 times I liked it so much so it's on the list anyway~

    35. Jumbo Tsuruta vs Kenta Kobashi - AJPW TV May 24th

    Warning here as we get into a clipped match but I felt almost obligated to put this on because what we got was some of the best 10 minutes of wrestling of the year to the point I couldn't leave it off. The heat was off the charts, and it's really a match made in Heaven with Kobashi as the perfect underdog. Jumbo was as always, phenomenal and continues to be the standard bearer of AJPW even though now Kobashi is coming into his own. AJPW's still Jumbo's house but Misawa's walking up the steps to the bedroom, Kawada's on the doorstep, & Kobashi just pulled into the driveway with this match as he has an incredible moment where he steals the Backdrop, and even in a loss the crowd goes insane chanting Kobashi's name. Trust Dylan. I know it's only the last 10, but you want to watch this. And also if you don't, Dave Meltzer called it a top 5 match for AJPW this year and AJPW historian John Williams voted it #19 on an AJPW match of the 90s poll.

    Available: http://theditch.biz/chron.html

    -


    34. Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW World Tag Titles) - AJPW Champion Carnival Final, April 18th

    This is what I want to see from these boys! And from arguably the show of the year! All 4 brought it but one man decided he wanted to drag this to being one of the most fun matches of the year, and it starts off mega awesome right away with Dr. Death absolutely blasting some guy in the crowd with a punch for I can't imagine what reason but if it happened today someone's getting sued. MVC start off beating the hell out of Hansen and bloodying him up, and trying to force the weak link in Spivey in. Callback to my own 1990 thread but despite Hansen being known as one of the heaviest hitters he's actually one of the best at working from under like he did here. And especially in this match, I loved how whenever MVC started to get into any kind of lame restholds I'm used to, his reaction was basically; "Boring match? HANSEN WILL NOT ALLOW IT!" and fought off. Eventually though Doc singles out Spivey and we see a really cool dynamic. Because Doc's trying to put Spivey away but Hansen keeps trying to rush the ring to save him & Bam Bam's just doing his best to just keep Hansen at bay on the outside long enough for Doc to win. There's great camerawork here and it all leads to Hansen making a blind tag to unleash bedlam, but the ref didn't see it! THEN when in All Japan Pro Wrestling mind you, a second referee runs out to campaign for Hansen's tag. I won't spoil what happens next, but rest assured, it's an all time Hansen moment and legit one of my favorite of the year. Why hasn't this finish been stolen how they did it here? I LOVED how they pulled it off, and the crowd went insane. This is how shenanigans should be incorporated into wrestling, not how companies do it nowadays. This protected both teams while being realistic, satisfying & nobody looked like a total idiot. It's so simple. On top of that, he's had better overall matches for sure but in terms of his own singular performance, this might be Hansen's greatest of all time. He looked like the best wrestler in the world for sure here, Everyone should watch this. It was an absolute clinic on tag wrestling and everyone, Spivey included did their parts, but nobody can touch Hansen. I loved this a ton.

    Available: *Okay I couldn't find it online so I'll go ahead and spoil it, although it's way less impressive sounding than if you see it. Sorry. Basically...

    ...

    There's confusion over who's legal with the second ref until they point at Hansen. And it's almost performance art the second the lightbulb hits and he immediately destroys Doc with the Lariat and it sets up the win. Was awesome. I love Hansen.

    -


    33. The Scorpion vs. Cutie Suzuki (Mask vs. Hair) - JWP, October 19th

    NOTE: Again, there's another match between the two from August that will appear later on. Well worth checking out and adds to this one.

    All time Dylan favorite Cutie Suzuki makes her debut on the countdown, and she's one of the all time "model/pretty girl who actually gets good at wrestling" success stories. This feud was a breakout for her, after her near instant popularity and starring roles in two movies a year prior (Including The Ninja Dragon which the titular character is voiced by the same guy as Seto Kaiba somehow in the dub, it's a hoot) & a year later would have her own Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game Cutie Suzuki no Ringside Angel which is a cult classic! The Scorpion has sadly mostly been lost to time & after this her career under her real name Reiko Hoshino didn't exactly blow up. But the girl could work and we saw it in these two matches. She was awesome in every fashion, especially technically, and in this match she fires the first shot & early on Cutie impresses on a technical level by being able to keep up with Scorpion with some nifty counterwork in particular the Half Crab which is a great callback, and is able to turn things around with a big Powerbomb to transition & rock Scorpion, and things go well with the middle of the match where Cutie, despite her namesake delivers some good strikes (She's no Hotta but she got it done), and when Scorpion has an unexpected burst it sets up the finishing run, which features another direct callback to the excellent August match when Scorpion sets up 2 dives, and we see a twist from the first time, and we see Cutie bust out a bunch of sweet suplexes, Scorpion has a phenomenal Lucha style run and the counters were increasingly frantic. I thought this match was awesome! But the finish was satisfying and a damn good and underappreciated feud comes to a close. And the JWP/UWA Women's Titles are unified! Definitely watch these two in 1991 and a welcome site to see original JWP a little bit.

    Available: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmepdm

    -


    32. The Rockers vs Orient Express - WWF Royal Rumble, January 19th

    There was a lot of hoopla going into the '91 Rumble, with Desert Storm just starting two days prior, nevermind Sarge's angle, they started the show with the national anthem and the red, white, & blue was all over the place. What better start to play off patriotism rhetoric than a match putting Americans vs. foreigners!? Well, kind of. Pat Tanaka & Mr. Fuji are both from Hawaii. Sato actually was from Japan but he had left and was freshly replaced by the debuting Kato, who was a masked Paul Diamond, reuniting the CWA/AWA team known as Badd Company as The Orient Express lived on. Funnily enough, Diamond actually was the only one not American, he was from Croatia. These two teams had probably wrestled a ton of times in AWA and the chemistry showed. BC never looked as good as here though, especially as OX since they were usually relegated to throwing salt into eyes & working nerveholds as stereotypical Japan wrestlers. In WWF in general this kind of match just didn't happen. I loved the freshness of the moves used. Yes there was some minor Fuji interference when he bops Shawn with the cane to great boos but I loved the teamwork seen here from both teams but especially The Rockers. I mentioned it in my Rockers/PoP 1990 review but The Rockers were experts at the little things and the ins and outs of tag team wrestling that has become a lost art of sorts. The finish to this was great and super well done with Janetty getting a surprise pin. One of the better tag team match openers in WWF history, and we saw that Orient Express could work wonders, The Rockers rocked the house again. I think you can put this up to any of the tag matches of the 80s in WWF and this style beats it. Also Rockers Shawn continues to be the best Shawn.

    Available: The Network or https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2dy4kq

    -

    31. Hulk Hogan vs Sgt Slaughter (WWF Title) (Desert Storm Match) - WWF at Madison Square Garden, June 3rd

    Here we go, the most offensive angle of the year ends with...well actually it didn't end, they still have the Match Made in Hell at SummerSlam (and it truly was). But it continues on. Sarge had come back last year and due to the issues between the Kuwait & Iraq governments (Virtually universally agreed that what Iraq did was way wrong and even Saddam Hussein apologized later on) Vince's bright idea was to have Slaughter align with Saddam. He brought in General Adnan Al-Kaissie and later Iron Sheik as Colonel Mustafa to be his backup to face Hogan who naturally defended America's honor. What followed was an exploitative feud where Hogan cut promos shouting some stuff even the Warrior would think is nuts including:

    - Slaughter was protected by US freedoms & would drown all the Hulkamaniacs in oil & blow them up with scud missiles.

    - Claiming God himself, and every dead soldier was a Hulkamaniac and that he would win the title and take it to Heaven to defend against every one of the children who died in the Middle East.

    - Hogan comparing Slaughter burning a Hulkamania shirt to burning an American flag (like Vince wanted but Slaughter wouldn't do it)

    - Showed a fake picture of Sgt Slaughter standing with Saddam Hussein.

    - Brutus Beefcake teased Slaughter using Agent Orange on the Hulkamaniacs.

    - Even before this match warned kids in the crowd to look under their chairs for landmines & their popcorn for napalm.

    - Hogan actually showed a clip of Suburban Commando to fans on Prime Time once.

    So with all this horrible stuff it's safe to say all this totally sucked. Their WM match was good but some terrible botches from Adnan hurt it. This show had the terrible Jim Neidhart on commentary. But somehow they were able to overcome it to have one of the best WWF hardcore matches to this point. They have a ton of war themed stuff in the match with Gorilla even saying Hogan used tear gas at one point (or the sands of Venice Beach if you believe Hogan's promo). Hogan beat the hell out of Sarge, to the delight of the fans in attendance. Slaughter has an absolutely awesome performance selling and continued to live up to his rep as one of the hardest working men in wrestling. There was tons of plunder & violence & Slaughter bled huge here, the likes of which were rarely seen in WWF in '91. But I loved that Slaughter was able to get in a couple of comebacks anyway after this and the match benefitted from Hogan's babyface comeback being more traditional rather than a cliched Hulk-Up. Slaughter had some great selling here including winding up for a steel chair shot but being too out of it to fully take Hogan out, in a spot over 25 years before Kenny Omega would think of doing similar things, along with a similar spot from Sarge from the top rope. Hogan looked at his best here & I think this is arguably his best US match. At one point Hogan busts out a fireball and throws it at Slaughter like he's The King himself! (A callback to possibly the only good angle in this whole mess when Sarge hit Hogan with a fireball in Hogan's locker room in March) Anyway, Camo Hogan ends up completing the match long story of Hogan using Slaughter's tricks against him when he locks on the Camel Clutch leading to Adnan throwing in the towel and ending the match in a great, as well as highly satisfying ending. I loved too that there was no ref at all to really get over how out of control things were. Great stuff all around and in many ways it's mind boggling why this wasn't the SummerSlam main event over that dumb handicap match instead of in front of this crappy MSG crowd. It seemingly would have been better in every way and this match could be viewed as something legendary in WWF lore. Regardless, a great spectacle & performance from both men for one night.

    Available: Check Your Network
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  19. #19

    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerohamed Salah View Post
    Great stuff all around and in many ways it's mind boggling why this wasn't the SummerSlam main event over that dumb handicap match instead of in front of this crappy MSG crowd. It seemingly would have been better in every way and this match could be viewed as something legendary in WWF lore. Regardless, a great spectacle & performance from both men for one night.

    Available: Check Your Network
    Quality wise, it would have been a great Summerslam main event. It's a shockingly great match and a true hidden gem for 1991. However, it did make sense for the WWE not to go for the match for Summerslam. The match didn't draw. WM 7 was already a massive disappointment. On the house show circuit, they weren't drawing good either to the point where the B touring group headlined with Taker vs Warrior was outdrawing the A touring group of Slaughter vs Hogan. With things spiraling out of control for the WWE, I imagine McMahon thought his safest bet to salvage Summerslam was putting Warrior and Hogan together. In theory, it makes sense, but as things turn out, that didn't exactly work out. In hindsight, I don't know why they didn't try beefing up the heel side. A handicap match with Hogan/Warrior vs Slaughter/Taker/Roberts may have drawn better.

  20. #20
    The Only 2x WC HOF
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1991

    I love the Desert Storm match, probably my second favourite Hogan match after the Warrior Wrestlemania VI match. Slaughter is such a fun wrestler to watch, particularly his selling.

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