Random Inoki Era 4
Andre The Giant vs Seiji Sakaguchi 3/19/74
Seiji is bigger and strong than a lot of guys Andre would be facing in Japan. It will be interesting to see the difference in this and, say, Andre against Inoki. Seiji is strong and big enough that he's able to out power Andre and get him in holds in the opening minutes. Almost strong enough to get Andre to the mat with a top wrist hold. Strong enough that Andre had to cheap shot his way out of it. Andre then spends the next few minutes doing bows and arrows, straight jackets, and courting holds. Seiji chops the SHIT out of Andre. Breh is rocking Andre with chops. Wow, the courting hold looks brutal. Like Andre is literally about to rip that arm right off. Seiji keeps trying to hip toss out of it, and Andre struggles to block it. Seiji has to switch to a rolling head scissors, which works much better for him. Andre gets in the ropes, but the ref won't force Seiji to break the hold. In fact, the ref kicks Andre's legs. I'm not sure that is appropriate, ref. Seiji misses a knee drop and Andre goes after that leg. It's amazing. Everything Andre does looks like it will break whatever thing he goes after. I don't recall a match of Andre's seeing him straight run away from strikes. Those chops are fucking his world up. Andre's manager pulls Seiji out of the ring and starts attacking him. Andre holds Seiji for the dude. The ring crew got involved and both guys were counted out. Seiji tried to give Andre a tracheotomy or something after the match.
Andre The Giant vs Antonio Inoki NWF Championship 6/1/77
Inoki is smaller and not as strong as Seiji, but he is more technically proficient in both strikes and grappling. Andre is quite a bit bigger here, just 3 years later, than the last match. That technique comes into play early on when Inoki runs up the corner to arm drag Andre, then dropkicked him over the top rope. And then Andre spikes Inoki with the 70s version of the pedigree. Fucking lol at Inoki trying a god damn bow and arrow on Andre. That crazy fuck. Inoki is kicking the shit out of those legs. Andre gets pissed and bails, then tries to come back into the ring by attempting a top rope cross body. Because why not? Inoki's stick and move tactics are working very well from him. As long as Inoki can keep some distance, he's good, but as soon as Andre gets a hold of him, he's fucked. Both fall over the ropes as Inoki attempted a head scissors. Inoki then hits Andre with a chair, which does nothing but piss Andre off. Andre slams Inoki on the announce table, and both have been counted out during the brawling. It took the magical healing tonics to bring Inoki back to life after the match.
Antonio Inoki vs Kantaro Hoshino 12/5/78
This is interesting, because Hoshino is a top ranked junior, and Inoki absolutely dwarfs him. It is a strange role reversal for Inoki. Inoki is almost always the smaller, faster guy. It's interesting seeing Inoki be able to impose his will basically unchallenged. This is not a great match, nor is it even particularly good, but it is interesting to see Inoki being the bigger guy getting pissy at the smaller guy sticking and moving. Inoki wins with a backdrop.
Tatsumi Fujinami vs Tony Rocco WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship 6/15/79
This is held at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in LA, so I have to imagine it will be a bit different than if it happened in Japan. Also expecting some neat ass mat stuff from Rocco. It's weird seeing Fujinami as a junior. He put on a ton of mass over the years. Lots of leap frogs and wrist lock based stuff. As far as I know, Tony Rocco is not related to Mark Rocco, but he did also go by the names of Don Corleone and Baron. He's got a pretty dope gutwrench suplex, though. Fujinami won with a rolling prawn cradle bridging thingy. Title retained.
Tatsumi Fujinami/Kantaro Hoshino vs Steve Keirn/Dynamite Kid 1/18/80
Skinner/Dynamite is a weird ass team. This was also before he got in Fantastics shape, as he was kind of doughy, pale, with a Dutch-boy haircut and a singlet. He and Fujinami start. It's interesting seeing him try to keep up with the much faster juniors. Dynamite/Fujinami is the match up I want to see, and they have some neat ass sequences. Skinner is a piece of shit in this, shoving fans, slamming Fujinami into chairs and on the floor. Dynamite pinned Fujinami with a diving headbutt.
Oh, this is 2/3 falls apparently. The faces come out of the gates hot as fuck. Hoshino fucking drills Skinner in the head with a dropkick. Hoshino gets stuck as FIP for this fall. Dynamite misses the headbutt, and Fujinami follows with a big suplex to win fall 2.
Fujinami hits a crazy dive on Dynamite that goes in to the second or third row. In the ring, Keirn catches Hoshino doing a crossbody and wins with a shoulder breaker.
Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami 12/5/84
The best team in the WWF meets the best (star wise, at least) team in NJPW. About 2 minutes in, Adonis/Dick just beat the shit out of Fujinami on the floor. Just a clubberin'. They're going to work Dragon's arm, and they do so with much cunty gusto. They are ruthless. It's awesome. This is a full on Southern tag in Japan. Very dope. It's almost 14 minutes into the match before Inoki gets the hot tag, throwing knuckle arrows with reckless abandon. Murdoch doing catch holds to avoid the scorpion deathlock. It's nutty. Adonis is so fast. Way too fast for such a weird body type. Dick blasts Fujinami with a chair multiple times in front of the ref. Ref barely even reprimands him. Fujinami settles into the FIP role again. Adonis hits a huge top rope elbow drop. It's a shame people only seem to know him from him dressing like a woman and feuding with Roddy Piper. Dirty Dick gets the chair back into the ring. Fujinami kicks out of a Doomsday Device variant, and the crowd is going insane. This is great. Adonis submits to the octopus hold. Great match.
Dick Murdoch vs Bruiser Brody 11/22/85
After their interaction in a tag match, I was so pleased to find they had a singles match. This actually took place first, so it might explain why they were so hateful with each other in the tag match. Big boots and dropkicks! HUSS HUSS HUSS! Oh shit, Brody chops Dick IN THE FACE. This is not quite as heated as I would have imagined from their tag match, but it is fun. Dick gets busted open on the ring post. Brody brings a table into the ring and ends up getting busted open on it. DOUBLE JUICE! They brawl to the point where ring crew hits the ring and get the shit knocked out of them. Jimmy Snuka arrives to help Brody. Brody and Dick kept brawling out into the crowd to end in a double DQ/count out.
Akira Maeda vs Masa Saito 5/18/87
Oh shit, some dude in a mask (Super Strong Machine?) attacks Maeda before the match, busting him open something fierce. FUCK UWF. NJPW SUPER STRONG. Saito suplex! Blood everywhere. Saito stomping the shit out of the cut. Maeda's entire head is covered in blood. Another Saito suplex. Maeda won't stop fighting. This is so weird, because Maeda is clearly the underdog face with fighting spirit against here, despite being the invading heel. Saito hits a suplex on the floor, which gets Maeda counted out. Fujiwara comes out to make sure no shit happens on the floor. Very short, but very bloody, and very heated.
I would skip Inoki/Hoshino and Fujinami/Rocco, but you should probably watch the other matches. Absolutely watch Inoki/Fujinami vs Adonis/Murdoch and the Andre matches.