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Thread: Happy Jon's Periodically Updated Wrestling Review Thread

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    Happy Jon's Periodically Updated Wrestling Review Thread

    For the sake of not making my 4th straight post in the "Review the last wrestling match you watched" thread, I'll just spam this thread whenever I watch a match. I don't actively watch much wrestling anymore even though I really enjoy it, I have a hard time getting around to doing it. Nevertheless, right now I'm trying to catch up on my wrestling history by going through NOAH/AJPW legacy of matches. Maybe down the line I'll do the same for the NJPW legacy of matches and other stuff. These "reviews" will be brief and just general thoughts mostly. Barely reviews actually.

    Here are the posts I made in the other thread:

    JWA Dynamic Series - 5th of March, 1969
    NWA International Heavyweight Title

    Best Two Out of Three Falls
    Giant Baba vs. The Destroyer


    Slowly going through AJPW/NOAH archive of matches. Watched the Rikidozan vs. Kimura clips, holy was the ending of that pretty brutal. Goddamn.

    Watched Giant Baba vs. The Destroyer from 1969 2/3 Falls. I don't think I was paying enough attention and must've missed a fall because I was quite confused by the ending. Seemed like the match ended after Baba submitted to the Figure Four Leg Lock but Baba still won? Idk. Sometimes language barriers can be a bit hard in keeping track of what's going on. It was an alright match and plenty worked. Destroyer's a great heel, the build to the figure four leg lock, the bloodying, the Destroyer's cheating, etc was all nice. Crowd was real into those interminable leg headlock moments early on. Nevertheless, way too long for me but I understand a lot of these early stuff probably won't be my cup of tea. I'm mostly just doing this to watch matches from names I've heard of plenty but don't know much or enough about and I'm a completionist when it comes to watching stuff.


    Going to checkout Baba vs, Destroyer from '72, Destroy vs. Mascaras from '73, and The Funks vs. Jumbo / Baba. I'd do a whole review thread but who knows how long this will last so I'll just post here whenever I get further down the list.

    Post-Edit: Realized after the fact that this ended in a time limit. Just harder for me to figure it out what with the language barrier
    AJPW Giant Series II - 19th of December, 1972
    PWF Heavyweight Title Series
    Best Two Out of Three Falls
    Giant Baba vs. The Destroyer

    Watched Baba vs. The Destroyer from 1972 and it was wayyyyyyyy better, mostly because the ending was cute. For the first fall, The Destroyer is working the headlock on Baba interminably and keeps going under the chin and getting warned by the referee about it. Its pretty neverending and then Baba gets out of it suddenly and lays Destroyer out of nowhere with a neckbreaker and just instant fall right there. I guess the lengthy headlock got Baba forgetting about Destroyer's figure four leg lock so he gets careless and Destroyer counters an atomic drop into it and thats the second fall. Destroyer spends a lot of the third fall working the leg so he can get another submission victory. Baba is still a bit too careless but Destroyer's reliance on the leg work costs him and on one of his attempts to jump on Baba's leg while its suspended on the bottom rope sends him flying out of the ring. Destroyer's never able to get back in the ring and Baba wins on a count out victory. After the match Baba actually gets out of the ring to help the Destroyer up and they shake hands in the ring. Idk, thought it was pretty cutesy that Baba still wanted to show respect to this guy who kept low key cheating (though not to the vicious degree of their '69 match) to try and win. Im not sure if maybe theres more context to it like Destroyer was leaving or something. I mean cutesy in the best way. I genuinely thought it was adorable in a "you tried to cheat but I got you, Destroyer!" "Yeah you got me Baba. Hahaha." Looking forward to the Destroyer vs. Mascaras match next.
    Decided to check out Bob Sapp because of some random browsing.

    AJPW Wrestle-1 - 17th of November, 2002
    Bob Sapp vs. Great Muta

    Bob Sapp vs. The Great Muta: Bob Sapp entrance was 10/10 and I instantly fell in love with him. He's super green though but I feel like if he'd took the time to learn how to work a bit more of a spectacle and if WWF had given him a shot, he could've been big. He's got a lot of personality, and obviously he's got the look. This match didn't do a great job of hiding how super green he was though but it wasn't horrible. Diving Headbutt is a pretty stupid finisher for a guy like Sapp. His personality tendencies remind me quite a bit of Big E which was probably why I came to like him pretty quick. If Shaquille O'Neal was a professional wrestler, I imagine he'd be Bob Sapp.

    NJPW King of Sports - 28th of March, 2003
    IWGP Heavyweight Title
    Bob Sapp vs. Kensuke Sasaki


    Bob Sapp vs. Kensuke Sasaki: This was a much better plotted out match. I think they did a better job of hiding Sapp's flaws and keeping it basic and hard hitting. I have no idea what was happening with the interference early in the match and Sasaki getting bloodied up. I imagine that was to protect him. Also imagine that the title switch has something to do with Inoki's love of MMA fighters. Nevertheless, I actually enjoyed this match a decent bit. I'll probably end up looking into more Sasaki matches. Would've been cool to see him go up against guys like Ishii/Shibata/Goto or the Sekimoto/Okabayashi/Ishikawa's (who knows, maybe he has and I need to locate those matches).

  2. #2
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    Re: Happy Jon's Periodically Updated Wrestling Review Thread

    AJPW Giant Series 1973 - 9th of October, 1973
    United States Heavyweight Title
    Best Two Out of Three Falls
    Mil Mascaras vs. The Destroyer

    Since The Destroyer's last singles match against Giant Baba, he's basically a face in AJPW and has teamed a ton with Baba. This is Mil Mascaras' 3rd match in AJPW and the first time I've ever seen the legend. Had some fun looking up a bit of his history on wikipedia. This match is pretty good and my favorite of the ones I've watched so far. Mil Mascaras seems to outclass The Destroyer for most of this match and keeps being condescending with pats on the head/back whenever the Destroyer manages to find a way out of the predicaments Mascaras gets him in. Seems like without Destroyer's traditional heel tactics, he's got a harder time remaining in control. The first fall ends somewhat suddenly when they ramp up the aggressiveness and Mascaras hits two running forearms/splashes to put Destroyer on the backfoot.

    On the second fall, Destroyer gets a bit more tired of Mascaras' shit and takes some cheap shots when they get tied up in the ropes. This equally pisses off Mascaras who dishes some equally harsh strikes. The Destroyer is a bit more proactive in locking in the figure four leg lock for the second fall and Mascaras is always desperate to get out of it until the moment Destroyer finally gets it in. Mascaras tries desperately to get out of it but never manages to. Still, he survives a lot longer than Baba tends to in this predicament so he remains tough. Second fall to Destroyer.

    For the third fall, the Destroyer is even more aggressive and subverting to his unsportsman like tactics. It's not overtly heel but it's not quite the face-level stuff we're used to. He really wants to get the figure four leg lock on again but Mascaras is way more cautious this time and increasingly desperate not to get stuck in that situation again. Mascaras gets a bit more high risk for the third fall and it ultimately comes to bite him in the ass when Destroyer uses his momentum against him and sends him flying out of the ring. Mascaras tries to make it back in the ring but just about misses the count to give Destroyer the win but stays plenty strong in his first AJPW defeat.

    This match is perfectly booked for a rematch where Mascaras wins or The Destroyer establishes his dominance. After the match, Destroyer raises Mascaras hands and shakes it but Mascaras sort of complains about how fast the count was. I agree the count was pretty fast.

    This was a real enjoyable match. Mascaras has quite a bit of swagger and I enjoyed face Destroyer having to slightly cheapen out to get the win and barely at that.

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    Re: Happy Jon's Periodically Updated Wrestling Review Thread

    AJPW Giant Series 1973 - 9th of October, 1973
    NWA International Tag Team Titles
    Best Two Out of Three Falls
    Giant Baba & Tomomi Tsuruta vs. The Funks (Dory Funk Jr & Terry Funk)

    First time getting to see Jumbo Tsuruta wrestle and I don't believe I've actually watched a Funks match before. The viewing I had of this was clipped so I think I only got to see almost 2/3 of it. Somewhat grateful because I felt the match dragged quite a bit. I know The Funks (Terry in particular) were deliberately selling for Tsuruta, but it made it to the point that I never really felt like they had a chance of winning. Baba was almost always in control in the ring and while Tsuruta played the face in peril quite a bit, the intent of making him look good meant he also had just as much time taking it to them so it made for a very uneven match. Obviously, Tsuruta comes across like a pretty big star and the crowd was super into him despite being early in his career. Terry's selling was Sometimes it was a bit too much. Fine match, but also my least favorite so far. I can tell I'll be into Jumbo though. Oh yeah, this match ends in a time limit draw. 60 minutes is really long for a match. I think 30-40 minutes is my sweet spot for the longest a match should really be going.

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    Re: Happy Jon's Periodically Updated Wrestling Review Thread

    AJPW New Year NWA Champion Series - 27th of January, 1974
    NWA World Heavyweight Title
    Best Two Out of Three Falls
    Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk Jr.

    First time getting to watch a Jack Brisco match. For forty minutes, Jack & Dory mostly exchange really long stretches of headlocks and arm bars that don't seem to go anywhere. The crowd applauds the occasional moments when Jack & Dory get out of holds in mildly clever ways but don't seem to really favor one or the other. When Jack turns the heat up after the 40th minute, you know there's about to be a pin at any moment now (at least, this is the lesson I've quickly learned watching these lengthy AJPW matches). And sure enough, there is. Dory Funk Jr is able to get the first fall after hitting a Double Underhook Suplex around the 43rd minute. This should drill some more excitement into this match because Jack knows that with 17 minutes left, he's got to get a pin or risking losing his gold.

    The crowd start to favor Dory Funk Jr after the first fall. Firstly, Jack gets a bit more aggressive with cheap strikes while they're tied up in the rope and running away outside when he feels like Dory's got the best of him. Whenever Dory is able to get some momentum or escapes from a Jack hold, the crowd are all in. Dory probably should've been more tactical and tried to stretch out the match as long as possible but he stays aggressive and it allows Jack to eventually lock in a figure four lock, somewhat playing off the Indian death lock from earlier in the match. Jack does grab the rope slightly when Dory is trying to twist around out of it, but the referee doesn't notice and I'm not sure if commentary mentions it or not. In any case, Jack is able to tie it up with 7 minutes to go at 1-1.

    Jack should totally waste time for the third fall but he doesn't and Dory is somewhat aggressive in going for the win. I don't think they do enough to play up the approaching time limit but they're clearly exhausted after tiring each other out with headlocks and what not for 50 minutes. With the clock winding down, Dory goes for twisting toeholds that seem pretty mindless to me since there wasn't much leg work done on his part as opposed to the piledrivers, suplexes, and splashes on the back of Brisco's neck that he's done across the match. Seems silly to go for twisting toeholds when you know the clock is ticking. A desperate attempt at another Double Underhook Suplex or Piledriver would've made much more sense.

    This match would've been much more entertaining if the first 30 minutes of dull holds had been removed. I know it's a different style and what not but that doesn't really change my end thoughts on it.

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