Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Fear Not For the Future, Weep Not for Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Antonio Inoki v. Dick Murdoch/Masked Superstar NJ 11/24/86- FUN

This was from the 1986 tag league. It is a fine little match which really has some excellent Fujiwara v. Murdoch exchanges. Both guys are such expressive wrestlers, that it is a treat to watch them work simple stuff. There is about 2 minutes of really nice brawling, Fujiwara backs Murdoch into a corner and unloads with one of his super fast combos, leading Murdoch to do a big spit take and a great bite a lemon face. Murdoch fires back with a couple of headlock punches right to Fujiwara's nose, which leads Fujiwara to grimace and adjust his nose to see if it is broken. Really simple stuff elevated to greatness by amazing performers. Match itself isn't much, Inoki had a tendency to take some punishment in a match, just to shrug it off and pin the guy. It isn't even like he Hulks up, he just decides he has had enough and perfunctorily finishes someone, he does that here and it hurts the match.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Johnny Barrett PWFG 3/4/91-GREAT

Barrett is an early 90's Florida indy worker who was an early DDP tag partner and feuded with the Nasty Boys. Somehow he ended up in UWF2 working as a Greco guy. All of his earliest UWF matches are filled with 3 Stooges style selling and dropkicks, so of course I loved them. Fujiwara of course is fucking Yoshiaki Fujiwara. This was as great as I was hoping it would be, although for different reasons. By 1991 Barrett had gotten the hang of working the style and is actually a really great shootstyle monster, kind of like Gary Albright with takedowns instead of suplexes.

Fujiwara really puts him over great here, as they exchange big shots, including Fujiwara's awesome shootstyle headbutt, which is completely different from his pro-style headbutt . His Pro-style headbutt has him grab the hair and really rare back, the kind of showy headbutt that plays to the back row. The shootstyle headbutt is more like a ram, he bends his knees and drives the top of his head right into either the jaw or the temple of his opponent. It is so different from his pro-style headbutt, that it always looks reckless and potatoey. It really looked like he broke Barrett's jaw. The finish was awesome, Barrett is on top, and tries to maneuver for a cross armbreaker, he slips while trying to apply it, and Fujiwara pounces, grabbing his ankle and sinking in a deep ankle lock for the tap. It actual looked like Barrett blew the spot and Fujiwara just went with, although it might have been intentional. Fujiwara is an amazing defensive wrestler, and this was just a brilliant reaction spot.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Shinya Hashimoto v. Daisuke Ikeda/Takashu Sugiara Zero-One 9/15/01-FUN
Slightly disappointing, as on paper I was totally amped to see Daisuke Ikeda match up with both Fujiwara and Hash. There was a nice exchange or two, but this match was focused on Sugiara. They basic story was pretty cool, Sugiara is this beast of an athlete who is still pretty green at pro wrestling. So he has his moments of explosiveness and domination, but he goes to the well a little too often and leaves himself open to counters from the two Maestros. There is this great spot where he hits a big takedown on Hashimoto and ground and pounds him. When they get back to their feet he tries again and Hash drills him with a nasty kick, which I though may have dislocated his shoulder. Fujiwara is able to catch him sleeping a couple of times too, countering a mount with a kneebar, and a front face lock with a Fujiwara armbar. Definitely some cool shit, but it was very frustrating watching Daisuke Ikeda hang out on the ring apron while Sugiara is in the ring.


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