Segunda Caida

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

Monday, October 12, 2009

UWF 5/28/90

Masakatsu Funaki vs. Yoji Anjo

PAS: Weird match, after about ten minutes they moved into this super hot brawling near fall section, and both Tom and I were talking about how great the match was. Then they seemed to slow down, and meander a bit. The actual finish was pretty hot too, but this went about five minutes too long. Some very cool stuff here, as Anjo is great when he gets pissed off, and Funaki has really fast hands and feet the combination of those things can be pretty exciting.

TKG: Surprised by how even this felt at times. About eight minutes in, both guys do superslick escapes from chokes, where Anjo almost cartwheels out of essentially a cravate followed by Funaki more or less forward rolling out of one of Anjo’s choke attempts. Funaki was getting the better of the early parts of this and Anjo is pretty great as guy regrouping, and when he does get his stuff in it really less like desperate fighting from below and more like “Oh shit he’s found the hole he can exploit”.

Akira Maeda vs. Minoru Suzuki

TKG: So you are always worried with Maeda v a guy beneath him matches, as Maeda is a guy who is quite capable of working really indifferently and sabotaging a match. Instead this was a blast. Suzuki starts off really relentlessly going after Maeda, working lots of fast attempts to grab one thing after another, and slapping Maeda a bunch. Maeda gets Suzuki in a corner and just unloads with knees and starts to assert himself big time. There is an awesome section where Maeda is mounted on Suzuki and punching him in the ribs to get Suzuki to let down guard. Suzuki gets a really hot nearfall and then goes for a dropkick and a flying knee and a judo throw only to have the judo throw reversed into a choke.

PAS: Maeda’s indifference almost worked better for this match. He seemed contemptuous of Suzuki in the beginning, so when Suzuki started to breach his defenses it was a big deal. Suzuki is so good as a dick currently that is shocking to see what a good underdog babyface he can be. I also never realized how little Suzuki is, he looks like Rey v. Randy Orton. The first match went too long, but this was the perfect length. It really feels like shootstyle should only go 10-15 minutes.

Nobuhiko Takada vs. Tatsuo Nakano

TKG: Damn Takada has gotten fat. He’s listed as going into this at 220 lbs to Nakano’s 208. But I think they’re working his weight down, as he looks like he has 30 lbs on Nakano. He’s a foot taller and an Ikea entertainment center heavier than his opponent, the heavier hitter and he guy with better leverage on the round. The only thing that keeps this competitive is that Takada is working kind of pussyish. He works the whole first half of the match as guy who doesn’t want to exert himself too much and really wants to avoid eating strikes. Nakano is a guy who is willing to throw and willing to eat some in order to give. Nakano just pounds on Takada with headbuts, knees, headbutts to the back of the head, and punches and Takada works as guy who just doesn’t want to be any part of a standing match. At one point Takada does a full on Zbysco roll out of the ring stall which I’ve never seen before in UWF. There is an awesome segment where Takada finally reluctantly concedes that he has to stand and exchange: he hits this nasty flurry and then walks away without even checking to see if Nakano actually went down. Nakano doesn’t go down and just rushes Takada from behind.

PAS: Nakano may be the best non Fujiwara guy in the promotion at this point. He has such nasty brawling offense and great intensity with everything he does. I really don’t know what is going on with Takada here, like Tom mentioned he doesn’t seem to want to work a Nakano style match at all, his hesitancy worked well with the match at points, but I really didn’t like the finish. Takada, eats a flurry in the corner, but does kind of a lazy takedown and slowly moves around and puts on a facelock. Really deflating the crowd and the match.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Johnny Barrett

PAS: Super enjoyable match. Fujiwara almost feels like a master Jazz trumpeter who is just riffing. He tries out a bunch of neat little concepts in this match, but it feels very experimental. He had multiple very cool ankle locks, one where Barrett was in the mount, and Fujiwara locked his ankle with his feet, and another when Barrett had his back and he countered by twisting Baretts foot. They also did a bunch of spots taking advantage of Baretts size, with Fuiwara climbing all over him like a kid on a jungle gym. Barrett is really great in this match too, there are multiple moments where Fujiwara is dancing around enjoying himself, where Barrett responds with a nasty forearm or a knee, he is in a fight and doesn’t want to be treated contemptuously.

TKG: Barrett was smoother on the mat then I remember him and even his standing knees to the head felt organic. I kind of wish Zero 1 brought him in when Matt Gaffari was doing his superheavyweight schtick. I mean there wasn’t this kind of matwork in WAR but he feels like a guy who would have had neat matches in WAR as well. The real problem with him in this match (and the flaw that kept this from being an epic showdown) is that at no point did I feel like he had anything that was going to end the match. All of his matwork, strikes, punishing moves…even his chokes and submissions felt like stuff being used to wear Fujiwara down to build to a pinfall finish and not a sub finish.

Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Shigeo Miyato

TKG: I have no idea why this is the main event. When does the bullet train stop running, did they need to book a main where the crowd would go to concession stand one last time before show end? The crowd seems to stay in their seats. This is almost a Clash type show filled with guys wrestling folks on a level below them where the end isn’t in doubt, and well Miyato has always been the lowest of ranked guys. But the basic kickboxing parts of this were worked totally even and were really fun. Miyato absolutely nails Yamazaki in the gut and Yamazaki sells it way past the down, going for the ropes on a weak sub since his wind is still out of him and then going down a second time (almost taking a knee) from the initial kick.

PAS: This was really kind of a career performance for Miyato. He normally doesn’t have the charisma of Anjoh or Nakano but the match was put together in a way to make him really over with the crowd. I don’t have any idea why this was the main event, but it kind of felt like a main event. Credit has to go to Yamazaki, as he did a great job putting over Miyato as a dangerous guy. He isn’t a guy who I thought had this in him, so I was pleasantly surprised



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