Segunda Caida

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

Friday, February 19, 2021

New Footage Friday/Fujiwara Family UWF 4/23/85

PAS: A whole new UWF 1 handheld got unearthed, lots of British guys worked the early tours, but not much of the footage is available. Finlay and Rudge in UWF is still the holy grail, but it's cool to see guys like Singh and Martin as well.

Ray Steele vs. Osamu Kido

MD: I'm fairly high on Steele generally but I like him most in matches with contrast, him vs a scoundrel. Here, despite doing a fairly solid visual John Saxon impression, the actual work was sort of lacking that. It came off dry and exhibition like, with fair struggle but no real fire. When they built to something, like the Scorpion Deathlock, it ended up really not mattering. The finish of Steele grabbing a late headlock and getting suplexed felt pretty lazy for the setting too, even if they twisted it slightly with the submission after the suplex.

Caswell Martin vs. Nobuhiko Takada

MD: I had seen the Steele vs Kido match before this one and I was sort of wondering if it'd just been a while since I'd seen UWF undercard footage and things were just more laconic than I was remembering. No, no they were not. This was top notch. Right from the get go, it had a different sort of aggression, even with Martin's first press into the ropes. Martin really stood out here. There was the sense that Takada had him on holds, on strikes, maybe even on leverage and trickiness, but Martin came off like a true powerhouse with a ton of throws, including this great spin out deadlift gutwrench. My favorite Takada moment here was him slapping Martin in the face on a reset and then drawing him in to stand up striking through it which wasn't at all to Martin's advantage. Just a dynamic match all around. This felt like a real find.

PAS: This was really excellent, Martin fit this style perfectly and I am not a Takada guy, but he was great too. Martin had some killer throws, just popped his hips deadlifted and threw. I also thought he had some fun nifty tricks from the bottom, including grabbing and turning the arm. I liked Takada targeting Martin's gut with spin kicks and whip kicks which really looked like they sucked. He had some nice throws as well, and had his moments on the mat, and never really sat in kneebar which can be the downfall of Takada, in fact his one kneebar attempt had Martin working hard to twist out and counter and was a highpoint of the match. Real gem of a match.

Super Tiger vs. Masami Soronaka

MD: In my head, this was about Sayama being incredibly dangerous and explosive and Soronaka mainly trying to contain him as Sayama worked from underneath. The work mostly bore that out. Sayama just came at you in so many differnet ways. He had the kicks, the lethal headlock suplex, a nasty headlock takeover that took Soronaka's face off, a lightning cross arm breaker, and the northern lights style throw that set up the finish. From underneath, he struggled a bit but could still all but flip out of things. Soronaka put up a pretty solid effort and might have come out close to even on points, but it was just a matter of time before Sayama took him down.

PAS: This was structurally very similar to the all timer Tiger vs. Fujiwara series, with the wily mat wrestler attempting to subdue and ground the explosive striker. Soronaka is very much not Yoshiaki Fujiwara, and I mostly ended up resenting him stifling Sayama and all that he can do.When Sayama gets him in the corner and finally unloads it was very cool, and Soronaka had a trick or two, but I needed a bit more pop.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Akira Maeda vs. Omar Atlas/Tiger Dalibar Singh - FUN

MD: Interesting dynamics here. There was a solid Atlas/Maeda exchange to start, smooth but competitive. Singh was clunkier but his stuff had impact. Fujiwara seemed fairly content to feed for him. On the other hand, he leaned on Atlas a little more. For instance, when Atlas didn't quite hit him hard enough in the corner, he turned it around and smacked him on the face. This faded off towards the finish with Fujiwara and Maeda firmly in charge, with crabs and countless great Fujiwara headbutts, which is as good a final image as any if you're going to have a tape abruptly end.

PAS: Definitely a bummer that this gets cut off, because I would have liked to see where it was heading. I as usual am going to focus on Fujiwara and what he brought to the match. I really loved his section with Atlas, he really dominated the standing grappling, locking in the double underhooks and not really letting him go anywhere, shifting and countering any attempts to escape. When Singh gets the hot tag he really puts over those uppercuts and the big suplex, something which meant more considering how tough Fujiwara looked before. It did feel like it was building to something, which we didn't get, but what we got was pretty neat.

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