Segunda Caida

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

CLASSIC PHIL and TOMK- Other Japan Matches from DVDVR 165

14. Atsushi Onita vs Masashi Aoyagi 10/6/89 FMW -Tomk

This is the main event of your first FMW show and is awesome. FMW at this point really isn't a garbage fed. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but it's not a garbage fed yet. Opening match is a lucharesu jr vs a guy in a mask who kind of wrestles like Ricky Rice and then there are a couple of matches between US wrestlers vs guys in gis, then a fat US women vs. three joshi girls and then there is this main event. This is worked as rounds style MMA v wrestling match. These basically need to follow a simple formula: one guy controls first round, opponent gets to answer in second round and then all hell breaks loose in third. It's simple formula. We watched a lot of these (in UWF and elsewhere) in putting this set of DVDs together and this is really one of the best.

Part of what makes this match so neat is that you have essentially a split crowd. Normally when people talk about Onita, the talking point is that he's extremely charismatic guy who knows how to milk that charisma. Normally in those conversations, people are referring to Onita's work as babyface. Here he really isn't the babyface. Match starts with Aoyagi getting presented with something like 8 flower bouquets from various women and children. Onita gets one bouquet as he watches the other women file past him. Aoyagi gets whole heap of streamers , while Onita gets one diffident one. And the crowd feels like its mostly made up of Aoyagi supporters, family of students, whatever. If WWF and WCW collapsed in the early nineties I imagine Flair would have spent the last decade working main events against local football coaches (former high school stars now coaching). These would be built around Flair working heel until coach finally gets three point stance and spears Flair. Maybe a more athletic coach would get to string together a shouldertackle, spear and flying tackle. There are large chunks of this match that feel like that fantasy Flair match.

First round is all Onita dominating through cheap shots, while Aoyagi maintains his dignity. Onita attacks before the bell, kicks at students, chokes, hits behind the head, kicks Aoyagi when he's down, etc. Aoyagi does some Dustyish "come on" challenges but really has too much dignity to fight back against the cheap shots and round ends with Onita chucking Aoyagi into his corner post bell.

Second round is all Aoyagi just wasting Onita with kicks and punches, while Onita bails and has to be protected by the ref. Onita gets one string of offense while ref holding Aoyagi back, Onita hits him with (an illegal?) lariat and then dropkicks Aoyagi out of ring, Aoyagi gets back into ring and again wastes Onita working him over like a heavybag. This would be the coach hits his tackles section, Flair would have done the beg off into low blow instead of the ref separating lariat.

Onita and Aoyagi go for the all hell breaks loose third fall. This is worked more give and take then the other rounds. Punches and kicks are exchanged until ref struggles to separate, Onita hits big suplex for Aoyagi to answer with big koppo kick...back and forth. Aoyagi says fuck maintaining my dignity, and spends the third round shrugging off the ref, kicking and punching Onita when he's down, chasing Onita into the crowd when Onita bails, and eventually throwing off the Gi. Aoyagi gets busted open for chasing Onita into the crowd and Onita tries to headbutt Aoyagi out of ring.

Onita lays on the mat between third and fourth round and they run a fourth fall where the towel finally gets thrown in..and you have Aoyagi busted open some more and a giant pull apart where Aoyagi's seconds and Onita's seconds get involved eventually leading Tarzan Goto, dressed in a cabana shirt and white pants looking like a villain from Wiseguy, to come in and slap Onita for disappointing his dojo. Fucking awesome.

15. Kazuo Yamazaki vs Nobuhiko Takada 9/11/85 UWF Phil

When these two were at their best in this set, it really was working young upstart against a strong veteran. Yamazaki working off Fujiwara and Takada working off of Meada and Backlund were really able to show their strengths and allow the veterans to work off of their fire and selling. Putting them against each other though, really creates the lucha problem of matching up two highflyers. They are both young firey underdogs, so you get kind of a mirror match, lots of sound and fury signifying nothing.
The opening matwork time killing section of this was pretty dull as UWF1 time killing matwork tended to be. They do a double spill to the floor, and then the last half of the match is pretty much all action. This really was a juniors match in pacing, and had some of the flaws of that style. Both guys doing lots of fancy stuff, for close near falls, but no real build. The stuff at the beginning doesn't lead to the stuff at the end, and neither guy ever really gets an advantage until the match ends.
However I can see why people liked this match more then I did. To be fair to it, the stuff is pretty great stuff. While both guys tended to be hit and miss with their stiffness on this set, they were bringing it here. The kicks thudded, and both guys did a great job both selling the impact of individual moves, and the cumulative effect of the shots. The first big highkick by Yamazaki was a spectacular shot, and the spectacular shots kept coming. Both guys are also really great at coming up at 9, or milking a submission right up to a rope break. The last half of this did have great individual things about it, it just didn't feel like much of a total match to me.


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