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Thread: All Japan Pro Wrestling Discussion

  1. #41
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    It probably also has more replay value than a lot of 'technical masterpieces' for probably an entire generation of WWF fans, so basically millions of people. So I'm not in any saying it was completely worthless or that it shouldn't have been done. Even Meltzer who totally panned it, and even Cornette, who was a die-hard NWA loyalist, who nonetheless acknowledges and respects the WWF's success in the 80's, would doubtlessly tell you that Andre/Hogan was the right main event that year, and was critical to WWF's success. It just wasn't for them a great match, but so what, most promoters, and critics know, that workrate is often not really that important for success.

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    I remember the TBS story. One time Vince was on Larry King during the 80's, and they took calls, and it was all NWA fans asking for Flair. Lol.

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    Since we are in the AJPW thread, here's Andre in his healthier days, with his workboots on:



    A real snugly worked big man match, properly paced, and without any insecure need to show 'we can do flips just like the little guys!' that often plagues modern day so-called 'big men'.
    Last edited by Allystare; 02-09-2018 at 09:37 PM.

  2. #42
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    So good! I remember my dad telling me that he used to go see Andre when Emile would bring him in to AGPW in the 70s. He was in awe of this guy that he reached up to touch and could only get as high as his lower back.

  3. #43
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    Gonna leave the Sting stuff laying where it is!

    On the Hogan/Andre thing, there was a time I hated the match, but I rewatched it recently and honestly thought it was excellent. It's worked so intelligently, it perfectly fits the story and the crowd is absolutely mental for it because they do make pretty much every single bit of it count. That Andre/Hansen match is just awesome too, one of Andre's best ever.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    of course there's the most obvious one, what many think is the best match ever, 6/3/94:]
    Ah yes, I once pissed someone off by saying this not only wasn't the best match ever it wasn't even the best match of 1994.... Fully hooked, and raging.



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  5. #45
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    I have no doubt! I actually agree that it's not even my '94 Match of the Year (that'd be something with Aja Kong, for sure), but be careful whom you say that to!

  6. #46
    I thought it was common knowledge the best match of 1994 was El Hijo del Santo and Octagon vs. Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr. Whoever says otherwise is lying.


  7. #47
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    Hit em with it, Iken!

  8. #48
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  9. #49
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    It's Pegasus vs Sasuke, but whatever, you can't always be right. Failing that, it's Mascara Sagrada vs Black Cat. If I'm being kind I will also accept the answer of Eddie Guerrero, Blue Panther, Psicosis, and La Parka vs El Hijo Del Santo, Jushin Thunder Liger, Octagon, and Tiger Mask III.

    None of those were AJPW, mind you. I actually really, really like Kawada vs Misawa and would certainly consider it to be 'up there'. Personally I might prefer (only slightly) Steve Williams vs Misawa from later on in the year:



    There's also a good Williams/Kobashi match worth checking out - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VokEiUO1IBs (this was the sequel to their five star match in 93, but I think it's better)

  10. #50
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    When I'm not trolling Puro fanboys, I don't think there's anything wrong with the Misawa/Kawada match at all. I wouldn't fault it and if people want to call it the best, that's up to them. It's a bit strikey-strike for my taste is all. I actually 1994 is one of those years where there's pretty epic stuff all over the place if you want to look for it and are open-minded about the flavour your wrestling comes in.



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  11. #51
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    Take or leave his ratings how you want, but I think there's only a handful of years with more Meltzer five star matches in than 94. Possibly 97, seeing as there were two WWF matches that got it as well as a couple of AJPW ones, and 89 given that Flair has the best year of his, or anyone else's, career in ring then.

    2017 blows every other year out of the water for them, mind. I'm not sure if Meltzer's just going soft in old age or something.

  12. #52
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    Flair's 89 run was surpassed by Okada last year. That's the new benchmark. As I find it hard to compare things from different era's how do you guys think Flair's 89 year would have held up in 2018? I have doubts it would have been as well received as it was back then for obvious reasons.

  13. #53
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    Well, I see the real art of wrestling as mattering way more in that period than it is does now, and don't think much of what I've seen lately compares on that score. That they are way better athletes now is beyond question. So Flair's stuff from that year, which way outstrips Okada in how much you can believe in it , would probably suffer by what people are looking for now. But similarly, people wouldn't have thought Okada's year was as good as they do now, had he had it in 1989. And I think you've also got to question how good Okada would be trying to work at Flair's rate in 1989. Sure, Okada works a lot, but most of his matches are tags, and plenty don't go that long, or his own contributions are limited. That's not a criticism, it's actually sensible. But the vast majority of Flair's matches were singles, most ran somewhere between 20 minutes and an hour, and he took a pasting in the majority.

    So apples and oranges, is my answer.



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  14. #54
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    It's interesting to wonder. I'm not sure Flair's work would hold up now if it was 'fresh', so to speak, because it's such a different style and a clear kind of throwback. I love it, though. And equally, just 18 months ago we had seemingly the whole wrestling world lauding The Revival as the greatest modern tag team because they were working a very, very old throwback style which would have thrived in the time of Flair. So perhaps the wrestling world would appreciate it precisely because it would have that throwback feel - but of course you can only do that if Flair in 89 existed in the first place.

    And what of the dance partners they both had? Could Flair have had 89 without Steamboat? Could Okada have had 17 without Omega?

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    2017 blows every other year out of the water for them, mind. I'm not sure if Meltzer's just going soft in old age or something.
    It helps when your two favorite promotions (NJPW and PWG) are planning out their matches with the explicit purposes of getting those five little snowflakes. If that's a bad thing is a matter of opinion, but wrestlers pander directly to Meltzer's tastes more than at any point in history.

  16. #56


    Seriously guys, we're actually going to get our feathers ruffled because PWG and New Japan worked a certain way? Sure they worked for Meltzer; I seem to recall they also worked for pretty much every other person involved in this discussion! Who cares whether he gave it five stars, six stars, thirty stars or two fully grown Star Destroyers? Did you yourself like/love the matches? Yes? Then that's all that matters. Who cares what year or what match was better when we can all sit here and agree that 1989, 1994 and 2017 were all great years, Okada and Ric Flair are both great workers, so on and so forth. We're pretty much arguing over which child should be loved more than the other. Both children rock; love them all equally.


  17. #57
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    Like I said, whether you think it's a bad thing whether playing to Meltzer is a good thing, a bad thing, or a neutral thing. My problem is a fan is that I'm not a huge fan of the style Meltzer seems to love, but because his ratings are highly influential more and more guys are encouraged to work that style. So yeah, I feel like I do have a reason to care, but at the same time I'm not blaming fans or wrestlers or even Meltzer. It's just the way it is.

    And come on Cult, at this level of wrestling nerd-dom, splitting hairs between which who had a better year is just part of the landscape.

  18. #58
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    Compared with some of the stuff we discuss this has the relative importance of global macroeconomics.



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  19. #59
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    its just the way wrestling is evolving. If you don't love the style meltzer loves, i'm sure you can find another style somewhere. I have no use for star ratings, even though i been using them for my raw database as a reference to good matches, I'm more into watching guys i like than caring how many stars a match got.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazyking View Post
    I have no use for star ratings,
    Seconded.

    Anyone got anything to say about All Japan?!



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  21. #61
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    It's kind of a slower period with All Japan now. They started their annual Junior Heavyweight tournament (called Jr. Battle of Glory) which I believe is to establish the next #1 contender for their Junior Heavyweight championship. I'm still unfamiliar with All Japan's roster so I don't know anyone besides Tajiri, who's still kicking ass at the age of 47.

  22. #62
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    Fucking Tajiri, my man!! I actually didn't know he was working All Japan currently. Might have to dig that up.

  23. #63
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    Ultimo Dragon still repping in his fifties, I'd heard.



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  24. #64
    From what I've heard he's actually been very disappointing unfortunately. I know he was paired with Ultimo Dragon at first and those matches weren't exactly well liked. Since then he's been wrestling Atsushi Aoki and Kotaro Suzuki, bouts that have gotten mixed reviews as well. Having not seen the matches myself I'm not sure whether it's a product of age finally catching up with Tajiri or if its that combined with the All Japan Junior Division not exactly being strong. It's basically made up of old guys like Tajiri, Dragon and Aoki, young dudes like Yuma Aoyagi and scattered parts; Suzuki is probably their best guy and even he's not the same guy who as going all out in that excellent NOAH Junior's division a decade ago. That's a place All Japan can definitely improve; their strong with the main event/heavyweight scene but could use a few more juniors to beef that division up.


  25. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    Fucking Tajiri, my man!! I actually didn't know he was working All Japan currently. Might have to dig that up.
    It sounds like he's full-time with them, since almost every time I see results from All Japan shows he's in them. I saw him at the All Japan show I went to a while back and I admit, I marked out like crazy. He can still go, at least the little I saw of him. Nothing like mid-90s but still doesn't show signs of being bogged down significantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Ultimo Dragon still repping in his fifties, I'd heard.
    I read he was doing some freelancing, but it sounds like he's working a few selected dates. Still nothing to scoff at - I hope that when I'm in my fifties I can be half as active as these guys are.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    That's a place All Japan can definitely improve; their strong with the main event/heavyweight scene but could use a few more juniors to beef that division up.
    I have to agree because I had no idea All Japan had a Juniors division until this week.

  26. #66
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    I love peak Ultimo Dragon, but hasn't he kind of sucked for a while? That's just hearsay on my part, haven't seen him wrestle in anything new in quite a long time.

    Tajiri was still looking really good in 2016, but nothing lasts forever, so if he's finally started to decline at least he has one hell of a career to look back on.

  27. #67
    Dragon was still having good matches with Suzuki just a few years ago, but it's Suzuki. And while I hear you on Tajiri mizfan, he was working some pretty good guys during that CWC run; if you can't look good with a guy like Gran Metalik then it's probably not a good sign for you long term. I think it's just the fact that both guys are old and can't do as much as they once did, so they now need some better workers to get the max out of them. And unfortunately All Japan doesn't have that in the Juniors division.


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