Quebrada Pro Wrestling, Puroresu, & Mixed Martial Arts Reviews by Mike Lorefice

U.W.F. Kakutogi Road Koshikisen (League Match) II
Commercial Tape 1/20/85 & 2/18/85 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Last Mask Match: Super Tiger vs. Nobuhiko Takada 13:07. As you’d expect, pitting the two showiest shooters in the league produced a far flashier match than normal. That said, they delivered a solid psychological contest, playing off the obvious as Tiger’s shoulder was all taped up. Takada was able to mount a legitimate shoulder attack because he catered his own strength, his kicks, to Tiger’s fragile area then tried to finish with his patented cross armbar. Tiger kept fighting the armbar, but finally Takada overwhelmed him with kicks for the major upset. ***1/2

Akira Maeda vs. Osamu Kido 25:46. Kido is one of those wrestlers who more or less every Japanese fan respected, but I’m not sure how many of them truly enjoyed his matches because he never seemed to need a reason to be too conservative and dull. They did a very slow match, mainly keeping things on the mat with one grasping an appendage or attempting to wrench it into a submission. The problem with some of the early UWF shows both in the 1st and 2nd run is there weren’t enough guys on the roster, so they’d have matches that were way too long to try to give the fans their money’s worth time wise. The last few minutes were good, but 15 minutes would have been more than ample for these two. Kido finally caught Maeda in a chickenwing armlock for the 2nd huge upset of the night. **

2/18/85: Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Akira Maeda 19:10 of 22:12. Even in his final days, Maeda was certainly never someone you’d describe as a boring fighter, but one thing that kept him from being a standout is his activity level varied greatly from opponent to opponent. Generally, Maeda would be more than willing to go for it when in with an opponent who wanted to work, but let’s just say he’d concede that a lot of matches weren’t going to be making anyone’s match of the year ballot before he even stepped into the ring. Maeda’s activity level was minimal against Kido, but tonight he appeared poised to make an effort against the always game Yamazaki. Even in his youth, Yamazaki was an excellent manueverer. For me, the primary reason he was the best of the UWF-I wrestlers (Tamura exceeds him in the end, but most of his standout work was in RINGS) lies in his ability to credibly, effectively, and slickly manuever himself or even his opponent in and out of holds. The level of counterholds and the difficulty and credibility of the transitions are just far greater and more realistic in a Yamazaki match than that of his peers. Yamazaki was obviously still developing here, and much of this match was controlled by star Maeda. It got off to a good start, and seemed well on it’s way to being the high end match you’d assume these two would deliver, but Yamazaki simply wasn’t booked to be a legitimate threat to Maeda. At some point after Maeda had been in control for minute after minute, Yamazaki just disappeared. I kept waiting for Yamazaki to finally mount his comeback, but once Maeda seized control he didn’t allow Yamazaki to do, well, anything. Except for the fact he lasted over 20 minutes, Yamazaki wound up coming off as a jobber. **1/2

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* Puroresu Review Copyright 2009 Quebrada *