Random Inoki Era 3
Antonio Inoki vs Billy Robinson NWF World Heavyweight Championship 12/11/75
Look at Lou Thesz with his comb over and wide collared brown suit. There is around 9 minutes of pageantry before any action starts. I will never understand not wearing knee pads as a pro wrestler. Especially dudes that do a lot of mat wrestling and knee drops. Robinson goes for his butterfly suplex early on. Inoki blocks it. Robinson hits a gut wrench suplex, though. I can't imagine how much trim Inoki picked up in the 70s. What a handsome as fuck man. That chin. Those robes. That hair. That fighting spirit. Inoki works a cravat like a fiend. Robinson has no wasted movements. Everything he does is for a reason. Like when he slaps that giant chin after Inoki throws an errant elbow. Robinson does a belly to belly that sends both men over the top and to the floor. It doesn't end in a double count out and the fall continues. Look at Robinson working MMA holds in 1975. This pudgy Englishman. Man, I love 70s puro. Especially when it involves gaijin. So many hour long 2/3 falls matches that are so great. I get why people in 2015 wouldn't like it, but fuck them. Robinson hits his dope back breaker. Inoki kicks out. Spladle! Fuck that move. If you've ever at a brother or cousin do it to you, you know it is terrible. Inoki tries a spinning head scissors and Robinson just doesn't go for it. It turns into a grounded head scissors, though. This is one of those matches where one hold gets worked for 5-6 minutes at a time. If you aren't into that, don't watch this. You should know this is that kind of match well before you get to this point in the text. Dropkicks are traded. They have a handshake after the exchange. Wait. Was that the first INDIE RESPEK spot? Maybe this isn't 2/3 falls. I'm not sure. I assumed it was since most title matches in the 70s were, but this is 35 minutes in without a fall. Robinson gets the first fall with a back slide OUTTA NOWHERE about 40 minutes in. I guess it is 2/3 falls after all.
Early on into the 2nd fall, a back elbow sends Robinson flying over the top rope. This starts a flurry of offense for Inoki. Robinson hits the butterfly suplex, but Inoki was in the ropes. German suplex from Robinson. Not enough to put Inoki away. Inoki gets pissed and slaps the shit out of Billy. Butterfly suplex doesn't get the second fall for Billy. He's getting frustrated. Octopus hold gets the second fall for Inoki.
The third fall ends in a double DQ I think seconds after it starts. So I suppose the match ends in a draw. It wasn't as good as Robinson/Jumbo from around the same time, but I still love this kind of shit.
Tatsumi Fujinami vs Chavo Guerrero WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship 9/9/80
Vince McMahon himself is the ring announcer for this. I believe this is at Shea Stadium. That ring looks massive. And purple. Fujinami hits a suicide dive on the grass just for fun. Chavo Classic then feints his own dive. Then he slows it down with some dope arm work. Also dope is that his boots are Adidas. Fujinami wins with a roll up OUTTA NOWHERE. Title retained. Not really anything to speak of, but Vince in the role of Fink and the baseball stadium at least makes it curious.
Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Karl Gotch 1/1/82
Old ass Gotch. Inoki is around wearing what looks like a NJPW track jacket made out of a trash bag. One of the announcers is wearing a puffy pirate shirt. A lot of wrestlers are out for intros, including Bob Backlund and Dynamite Kid, plus all the home grown guys. And they're throwing...garlic? Maybe flowers. Whatever it is, they're throwing it into the crowd for some reason. Really short and basically just an exhibition to allow the old man to show he can still do some of his spots. German suplex for the Gotch win.
Bam Bam Big Yellow vs Salman Hashimikov 4/24/89
This is going to be super short. All I'm hoping for is a dope Russian belly to belly. Soviet/American tensions thaw in Japan. OR DO THEY?! Considering Bam Bam did a dropkick instead of a handshake, I'd say the Cold War will last another 30 years. The Russian keeps trying to take Bammer down, but is unable to do so. Instead of trying suplexes, a drop toe hold works. Holy shit this dude catches Bam Bam in mid air, WALKS AROUND with him, then dumps him with a suplex. And that was enough to beat him. Huge upset. That was dope. So stronk. A lot of fun for what was a 3 minute match at most.
Road Warriors vs Keiji Mutoh/Masahiro Chono 7/22/90
I believe LOD had actually already made their WWF debuts by the time of this match. Animal and Mutoh start the match. Mutoh is flattened with a power slam. Press slam to the floor. Tags are made. Hawk's traps are insane. He does a press slam of his own. With reps. I feel like this is the peak of Hawk's HOLY FUCK THIS DUDE WILL KILL YOU look. And LOD do a double dropkick like they're the RNR Express. After getting worked over for a bit, Chono makes the hot tag to Mutoh. LOD hit a modified Doomsday Device on him, but Chono breaks the pin. Things are breaking down in the Impact Zone. Moonsault. Hawk breaks the pin with a chair. And then whacks everyone around with it. Doomsday Device on one of the young boys.
Keiji Mutoh/Shinya Hashimoto/Kensuke Sasaki/Manabu Nakanishi/Steven Regal vs Masahiro Chono/Buff Bagwell/Hiroyoshi Tenzan/nWo Sting/Scott Norton 3/20/97
WCW/NJ vs NWO! God damn, imagine Hashimoto LIGHTING into Buff. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Chono and Nak begin the match. Chono wants Hashimoto, though. He gets him. Hash no sells a Yakuza kick. Chono no sells a loud as fuck kick to the chest. Buff is tagged in! Buff vs Hashimoto! Oh bullshit, Mutoh gets tagged in before Hash can kick the shit out of Buff. Nak and Tenzan square off. This ring is super loud. As is Tenzan. There are a lot of TMFs in here. Then Buff and nWo Sting. Regal and Norton square off and even the crowd in Japan knows they're about to see a TMF battle. Regal quickly tags out after a hard shoulder block. I guess Norton won that battle. Curiously, Chono lets Mutoh out of the nWo corner and gives him a clean break, but then does a low blow seconds later. Mutoh hits the moonsault on Chono, but doesn't pin him, so Kensuke blasts him with a lariato for it. Tenzan pins him after a diving headbutt. Well. That was weird. Maybe Mutoh is going to come back in an nWo shirt. City of Angels Sting hits a stiff as fucking diving lariato to eliminate Nak. Sasaki is out to a Blockbuster. As TMF as Regal and Hashimoto are, they're out numbered 5-2. And now Hash gets to kick the shit out of Buff. He also kicks the shit out of Tenzan. Regal gets a surprise roll up and eliminates Tenzan. Hash goes on a rampage and knocks the fuck out of everyone. I am 100% into a Regal/Hashimoto team. So is this crowd. Regal eliminates nWo Sting! He's sadly eliminated after a Yakuza kick, neck breaker, powerbomb rush combo. There is a commotion in the crowd. IT'S THE GREAT MUTA! Hash does his damnedest to fight a 3 on 1 battle. Muta finally gets in the ring and mists Chono to a huge pop. But then he mists Hashimoto. SWERVE SQUARED! Norton eliminates Hashimoto with a powerbomb. This was a ton of fun, especially once it got down to Hash/Regal wrecking shop.