Ditch Decades 5
Already changing my rules. There is too much interesting looking stuff from other promotions to just stick with NJ/AJ. Still going to do a match from the 70s/80s/90s/00s, but not sticking with one promotion at a time anymore.
Andre The Giant/Ali Bey/Franz Van Buyten vs Rusher Kimura/Teranishi/Thunder Sugiyama IWE 5/2/72
Now, I have no idea who the guys besides Andre and Rusher are. I'm going to assume Franz and Thunder start the match. I based this on the guys with no boots probably having one name. Andre is knocked off the apron into the front row. Franz is dropkicked over the top. Andre tells him to get his ass back in. He does a wacky Euro arm take down that looked indie as fuck. Andre tries to lead the crowd in cheering for his team and quieting down the cheers for the native team. I'm sure he could just....walk into the crowd and they'd all shut up. Thunder with a walk up short arm scissors. Backlund Lift! Andre is SVELTE. Franz accidentally dropkicks him off the apron. Andre is doing a lot of shit talking. Ali Bey tags in. And now Andre, who looks fucking MASSIVE. This is a young, in shape Andre who isn't hunched over at all. Franz gets a little over excited and starts punching Andre in the gut. Andre's YELL knocks him over. I want to see Andre wreck everyone. 5 on 1 handicap match. So far, this is worked like a Southern Wrasslin tag. Ref missing the face tags, heels making false tags, stooging around. Kind of weird for a little promotion in Japan in the early 70s. Rusher tags in and knocks Andre on his ass TWICE with chops. Andre doing full rolling all the way over his head on his bumps. Ali Bey might be a midget. His head barely comes up to the top rope, and the ring is shorter than the average ring. Andre gets tied up in the ropes. After bumping for a guy who is no more than 5'9". Franz repeatedly gets thrown into the tied up Andre. Andre is going to fuck that guy up after the match. I like Franz. He's got a wacky Euro style and is pretty good at stooging around. Thunder seems pretty quality as well. Andre repeatedly clotheslines poor Thunder on the ropes and Franz comes in with a nasty European uppercut. Rusher is in with his own uppercuts and headbutts and chops. HE'S RUSHING UP! Jumping tombstone from Andre. That was enough to win the first fall.
I support an Andre who bumps by rolling all the way over, stooges around with a random German, just tombstones, and mat work. We got us some triple teaming on a giant, Maggle! And it gets weird. Andre is on his back. One partner is thrown into his guard. Then the other on top of him. And then Teranishi sits on top of all of them. Rusher wrecks Franz and makes him submit to the torture rack. Of note, he was totally tapping out, but the ref didn't realize it. Also , the ref has a whistle instead of a bell.
Final fall. Andre is giving a lot of orders out. More goofiness with Franz getting FRAMED for hitting Andre. Andre kicks him. Then his opponents keep throwing Franz into Andre and Andre throws him back. THEY'RE PLAYING PING PONG, MAGGLE! I LOVE IT! Andre takes a seat in the front row cuz FUCK THE GERMANS. Lol, Andre accidentally breaks the pin after breaking 2 previous pins. There is a lot of comedy in this and it is actually pretty funny. The two really short dudes with no shoes square off. It's not good. Get Andre or Franz back in. Oh man, these interactions with Andre and Franz are great. Andre lets Franz go flying over the top rope so he doesn't get hit again. Holy shit Andre with a European uppercut . His arm is longer than Thunder's whole body. Andre wins the third fall and match with a press slam into a gut buster. This was really fun, especially since I really didn't know anyone besides Andre. But god damn if Andre wasn't fun as hell in this. Bumping around, doing great comedy spots, tombstones, mat work. He was awesome. Franz was really impressive on the mat and with his stuff with Andre. Rusher really wasn't involved, but Thunder was really impressive with his mat stuff as well. It was a weird mix of a Southern Wrasslin tag with comedy and Euro style in Japan.
Tiger Mask vs Steve Wright NJPW 4/1/82
Steve is the father of Das Wunderkind himself. They talked about Alex being a second gen wrestler, and Regal brings him up sometimes, but I'm willing to be that no more than 12 people in the US have seen a Steve Wright match. So here we go. They start out with some really nifty mat stuff. From what I can see so far, the elder Wright is pretty legit. Very snug, very World of Sport. Fans are appreciative of his super convoluted way to get out of a wrist lock. He has a dope cravat as well. Tiger can't get out of it even with a body slam. Wright does some dope leg work, including a nasty put my foot in the back of your knee and rip as hard as I can move. Stretch muffler! Giant dropkick drills Tiger right in the head. Euro uppercut. Huge slams. Dudes and ladies, Steve Wright is rad. Everything he does looks great. Tiger gets sick of being in tight holds and starts LAYING shots in. Butterfly suplex. They have a friendly hand shake in the middle of a leg lock. Tiger hits his own dropkick. Flying chop. Spinning sole butt. Tiger runs out for a dive, but stops and is very disappointed he isn't able to dive. Tiger's uppercuts are loud as FUCK. Octopus Hold from Wright. Romero Special. A lot of wacky Euro reversals and and roll ups. It gets fast and furious until Tiger Mask wins with a fall away slam. This was rad. Steve Wright is legit. This was as good as most Dynamite/TM matches I've seen. Everything Wright did looked so good. So smooth, so snug, so fast.
Shinya Hashimoto/Junji Hirata vs Harlem Heat NJ 3/20/96
Hirata was Super Strong Machine. He umasked about 2 years prior to this. This, of course, was part of the NJ/WCW working relationship. The idea of Booker walking around Japan saying the crazy shit that he says is hilarious to me. Hashimoto and Stevie start the match. Stevie slams Hashi and throws him to the floor. Stevie seems like he would not at all fit in with the NJPW style. Stevie mocks Hashimoto's taunt. Hashi kicks him in the head and shows him how it is done. Tags are made. Book gets laid out with lariats. Double stomps. Book is getting the shit knocked out of him. Frequent tags and ass kickings with each one of them. He finally gets a tag to Stevie. Flying lariatoooo from Stevie. Ax kickuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. Spinarooni! This is pretty aimless. Hashimoto wins after a brainbuster that is the reason why Booker says things like SHUCKY DUCKY QUACK QUACK.
Mitsuharu Misawa/Yoshinari Ogawa vs Shinya Hashimoto/Alexander Otsuka NOAH 1/13/01
Ogawa and Otsuka start out. Otsuka's singlet is SO stupid. SO MUCH GREEN. Misawa was kind of an egomaniac to start his own promotion and make everything green. The ring, the guard rails, some of the lighting. So everything has a green tint. Dude couldn't just have a normal color for everything? He had to make it HIS color? Otsuka really wants Misawa, who is not interested. Won't even look at the punk. Hashimoto tags in and immediately heads towards Misawa, chops the fuck out of Ogawa's face, and throws him into the corner. And he won't tag in. That's weird. Hashi knocks the shit out Ogawa and keeps looking at Misawa. Misawa finally takes the tag after an enzuiguri. Elbows. Chops. Elbows. Chops. Elbows. Chops. Hashi kicks Misawa right in the chin. Then stomps the shit out of him and throws the ref. The young lions jump on the apron. The invaders stare them down and don't give a fuck. Misawa gets PISSED and knocks the fuck out of both guys. There is going to be a god damn riot in this mug. Otsuka comes in with a missile dropkick. Modified camel clutch. Misawa elbows that mother fucker right in his tiny head. Ogawa is in. I think everyone wants to just see Misawa and Hashimoto knock the shit out of each other again. Instead, Hashi beats the piss out of Rat Boy, while staring Misawa down. Ratty fires up on Hashi, a lot of punches and chops, but Hashi doesn't give a fuck. Spinning back chop to the face. Otsuka throws an elbow and taunts Misawa with it. I feel it might come back to haunt him. Giant swing! Otsuka gets the elbow back in the corner, then a German suplex and back drop. Hashi comes in and appears to be trying to break Misawa's collar bone. Misawa pins Otsuka with a tiger driver. God damn this made me want to see Hashimoto vs Misawa. There is another tag with Hashimoto and Misawa on the debut Zero One show, this time with Yuji Nataga and Jun Akiyama also involved. Will definitely be watching that one next time.
You can skip the Harlem Heat match. It was aimless and nothing really happened. Watch the other 3. They're all really fun in completely different ways. Seeing Andre so young and wrestling completely differently than what most people are used to was so cool. He was bumping huge, doing mat work, great comedy stuff. It was a lot of fun. TM/Steve Wright was that weird hybrid of Japan junior style, lucha, kick boxing, and World of Sport stuff. Steve Wright is legit and I'd like to see more of him. Then you had Misawa and Hashimoto looking like they wanted to kill each other. Hashimoto is one of the best at being fired up and pissed off, because all it takes is one look from him to know that someone is about to get fucked up.