Random Inoki Era 1
The Cobra vs Black Tiger 11/1/1984
The original Black Tiger, Mark Rollerball Rocco. The Cobra is George Takano, who made waves in the US wrestling for WWF in the early 80s, including winning the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship from the Dynamite Kid. Rocco also won the WWF JHW championship about 2 years before Cobra. They would actually have a match at MSG for the WWF. The match starts with some arm bars and a lot of rolling around. There is a weird hip toss spot where it looks like Cobra was trying to land on his feet, but kind of turned it into a cutter/DDT thing on accident. Tiger gets pissed and snap mares Cobra into the ropes and does a pretty painful looking stump puller variation. Cobra turns it into a Samoan drop and does some leg work of his own. He attempts a Scorpion Death Lock, which doesn't work since Tiger trips him. Dope head lock take over. Tiger lariato. He misses a big knee drop. Cobra hits a spin kick and snap suplex. Cobra goes up top and gets tossed off. There are a lot of miscommunications in this, but in the kind of way that makes it look more like a real struggle. Tiger misses a falling elbow from the top. Cobra connects with a missile dropkick, but Tiger is back on offense right after because these dudes are just all over each other the second a move ends. Float over butterfly suplex, followed with a wacky Euro roll up from Tiger. Oh shit, a cradle tombstone. Tenzan would be proud. Cobra bails after that, not realizing that Tigers can fly. I never realized how common kimuras and Americanas are in Japanese wrestling. You'll see them used regularly, almost as much as hammer locks or wrist locks in the US, going all the way back to the 60s. Cobra fights hard for a Sharpshooter. He doesn't get it because Tiger pulls at the mask and knees him in the face. Gourdbuster on the ropes. Cobra misses a top rope cross body. Black Tiger hits almost a frog splash. Another TTD. Lariatooo. Cobra hits his own tombstone. Double hip toss sends both guys over the top rope. Big Cobra spin kick back in the ring. After a series of reversals, Cobra wins with a bridging German suplex. Fun stuff. Kind of weird because they didn't seem like they were working well together, but it worked for the match.
The Great Muta vs Super Strong Machine 8/25/1991
Unsurprisingly, Muta has a rad entrance. And Machine attacks during it. Throwing him into the rails, hitting him with a chair. Lariatooo in the ring. Stalling vertical suplex. Big dropkick. Muta rolls to the floor. This apparently energized him as he comes back in the ring and sprays mist in the air. Now he's trying to rip Machine's mask off. It looks like the mask has been torn a bit. Definitely opened as Muta rams Machine's head into the exposed turnbuckle. Back to the floor we go. Machine done fucked up attacking during Muta's entrance. BUCKET TO THE HEAD!!! And then he pours a bottle of I believe vodka hidden under the ring right into the open wound. Table to the head! Beating the BRAKES off that boy. Power drive elboooooooow. Or is it the flashing elbow. Idk. Whatever. The dope elbow that only Muta can do. He goes up top and is caught. Butterfly superplex. Machine's mask is torn open and he's bleeding. Lariato sends Muta to the apron. Another sends him into the guard rail. Stiff corner lariato. Brainbuster. Muta sprays the mist to block a diving headbutt. The mask is almost completely off. Muta is PISSED. It's off! The mask is off! And the match ends, so I don't know if it was a DQ or if Muta won for getting the mask. Just a wild ass brawl. Muta got pissed and fucked Machine up.
Akitoshi Saito vs Yosihaki Fujiwara 8/3/1993
Saito is the guy who accidentally killed Misawa in the ring with back suplex. He wrestles in a gi in 1993. It starts out shoot style. Fujiwara gets a hold of the gi and uses it to choke the shit out of Saito. Then some headbutts. Saito takes his jacket off, so you know shit is about to get real. He should have taken his belt off, because Fujiwara gets a hold of it and chokes even more shit out of him with it. Saito kicks the shit out of Fujiwara in revenge. A lot of lost shit. SHOOT spin kick. Oh shit, Fujiwara is busted open. And he doesn't give a fuck. Huge headbutt. Another. Now Saito is trying to choke Fujiwara out on the top rope. Then kicks some more shit. Which old man Fujiwara does NOT appreciate one bit. He tries to break Saito's ankle and wins via submission.
Antonio Inoki vs Seiji Sakaguchi 4/26/1974
Man, Inoki was such a pimp. That hair. That chin. Those side burns. Those robes. Shit is HEATED right away. A head scissors submission takes both guys over the ropes. The ref is already shoved away and shit is on. I don't know why these guys hate each other, but they do. It settles down a little bit with Seiji slapping on a chin lock for dear life. I mean, it is an interesting choice to attack the strongest point. But it is also a huge target to hit. Inoki fights out only to get put in a full nelson. He breaks the Masterlock and tries a wacky back kick which was no sold. Back to the full nelson. Inoki breaks it by running into the corner. He quickly runs up top, but Seiji just as quickly gets up to throw his ass off and do an atomic drop. Seiji seems to have Inoki's number. However, Inoki gets it to the mat and is in firm control. Cross arm breaker. Seiji is able to break it and turn it into a modified STF. It stands up. Cravat from Inoki. Seiji turns a body scissors into a high angle Boston crab. Inoki powers out. Muta Lock! I guess it's the Inoki Lock. Then he does an inverted version. Rope break. Stroooong sleeper from Seiji. Inoki is fucked. Rope break. Abdominal stretch after what sure looked like an eye poke from Inoki. Bow and Arrow doesn't work very well. Seiji locks in a reverse double arm bar, while chopping Inoki's neck with his leg. Something happens that makes the ref stand things up, and then he gets a death glare from Inoki. Back suplex from Inoki. Butterfly hold from Inoki. Inoki gets PISSED the ref doesn't force a break when in the ropes. That ref probably got slapped and fired after this match. SPLADDLE! The worst move. Inoki turns it into a figure four. Seiji keeps grabbing the ropes for a break, but the ref won't break it and actually wouldn't let him hold on to the ropes at one point. It was really weird. Maybe there are only a set number of rope breaks you could get? The hold is reversed, but unlike in America, it was still an offensive move from Inoki. The bell rings and I think it was a time limit draw, but I'm not positive.
Sean McCully vs Kazuyki Fujita 10/11/1999
Oh shit. Inoki and his MMA shit. There was about a minute of the contract signing the day before, which did not end in any violence. McCully runs the whole length of the giant ramp, which seems like a bad decision to me. That's a lot of energy being expended. McCully hits a head kick seconds in. Fujia is MUCH bigger. Like probably 2 weight classes bigger. However, McCully is frustrating the shit out of Fujita. Fujia works hard to get a take down, only to get caught in a triangle, which he turns into a huge powerbomb that was no sold. Because this is a SHOOT. Maybe. I kind of have my doubts that it is a full shoot and not just shoot style. The guys won't break in the ropes and shove the ref down twice. Fujita does a SHOOT spinebuster into a a gross leg lock for the win in short order.
Bas Rutten vs Koji Kanemoto 10/26/2002
EL GUAPO!!! Bas' bulge is very distracting. It looks like Rickey Reyes of the Havana Pittbulls is in Bas' corner. Bas tries a KO blow in the first shot, is taken down, and Koji throws knees in side control before slapping on a heel hold. Rope break. Bas misses 3 head kicks in a row. Standing guillotine. Throwing big knees while doing it. One of which is caught into a dragon screw. A big running knee is blocked. Judo take down from Koji. Bas rolls through into an arm bar. Koji turns it into a knee bar. Then Bas does an ankle lock at the same time. Koji rolls into one of his own. Bas breaks it and does an Anaconda choke. Scott Norton is out watching and seems impressed. Koji gets full mount and then works his own Anaconda choke. Bas rolls into a key lock, but can't hold on. There is a rope break and they are stood up. Strike battle! Big take down from Bas. He's in half guard. Full mount. Transitioned into an arm bar, then to a knee bar. Rope break. Back to mount. Palm strikes. Triangle from mount! It's in deep. Not deep enough I guess. Koji gets full mount, does his own slaps, and his own triangle. Powerbombuuuuuuu. Koji rolls out of the ring. Bas kicks him a few times when he gets back to the apron. I think Koji should be disqualified for rolling to the floor. LOL Bas hits a SHOOT double heel clicker. What the hell. What a random ass move. I guess pins are allowed in this. Dropkick to the gut from Bas. More liver shots. Shining Wizarduuuuuuuuu. Too bad it whiffed. Standing 8 count for Koji. Bas tries for one more KO palm strike only for Koji to roll through into an ankle lock for the win. This was fun. Bas should have transitioned full time to pro wrestling.
Steven Regal vs Wild Pegasus 9/23/1995
Sounds dope. Even a decade later these guys put on some great stuff in WWE with each other. Regal gets a tight head lock on, throwing palms to the nose while he can. Benoit gets his own head lock. Tight as fuck. Man, Benoit put on SO much muscle from 1992-1995, and then again from 1998-2000. And then he stayed huge until he died. Top wrist lock sends Regal to the mat. Regal gets Benoit all tied up on the mat. Legs are tied up, one of Regal's feet is on Benoit's triceps, all while trying to break fingers on the other hand. Benoit fights to his feet, but is quickly taken down and put in an inverted Crippler Crossface. He will not leg go of the arm. He's doing a bunch of awesome shit like throwing elbows and palm strikes while holding on to the arm, grinding his laces into Benoit's eyes. It's rad. So mean. Benoit finally gets control on the mat. Regal looks very angry. He's trying to break the arm or at least the hand of Benoit. Regal rolls and rolls and rolls to get out of a wrist lock and then lays Benoit out with a forearm to the face. Back to the mat. He's being a mean asshole for sure. It is lovely. Benoit climbs up Regal, getting himself into the Backlund Lift position, then rolls through into a short arm scissors. Test of strength. Headbutts! Both men roll through and do that lucha spot with it. It happens again, with Regal going over the top rope. Benoit catches Regal with a spring board forearm climbing back in. Regal is sent into the guard rail. Regal then gets the shit chopped out of him before getting posted. Regal's ear is bleeding. Benoit attacks it. Diving headbuttooo. The blood from the ear has trickled all across Regal's face now. Looks gruesome. Benoit hits a super frankensteiner. Butterfly superplex from Regal. Lariatooo. Both guys are repeatedly going for covers, trying to wear the other out. Jumping tombstone! 2 count. Regal rolls to the floor. Benoit follows. He's chopped back in. Benoit comes in the ring with a diving sunset flip, which Regal rolls though into a jackknife pin for the win. Just a great grappling match, much more in line with Inoki/Seiji than anything else on this group of matches.