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Author Topic: OT: Yohe watching tapes
Steve Yohe
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This may be the wrong place to post this, but I plain on adding some history & it is history. I live here, so I'm going to do it. This isn't the historian talking, it's the fan giving opinons about what he likes. I always get away with stuff, so I'm going to run with it:

I've got a bunch of DVDs that I got from Japan. When I first get them I watch what I'm interested in & then something take attention away & they end up lying around, until I'm in the mood. I'm going to go over the matches.

1--Shohei Baba over Johnny Valentine 2/3 falls for the International Title (6-1-72)---I never saw Valentine wrestle live & very little on tape...but from the description give by Dave in the WON, this was the prototype Johnny Valentine match. In the corner before the start, Valentine face looks all beat to hell. It's puffed up & eyes look bad. He looks in shape, but he seems to been taking all kind of damage during this JWA tour. He come out & locks up with Baba in stiff holds. Basic stuff like headlocks that just looks brutal. You know this is his thing, giving and taking sadistic looking punishment. Baba, who is the master of being carried, seems to understand...and plays along with it. Seems to like it. Baba makes a comeback just laying the powerful chops. John's head & body fly back into the corner from the impact. These were not the normal Baba chops, he looked powerful & just laid them in. Valentine's selling was something I had never seem. The look on his face makes it seem like he is getting kill & he is....but he is calling out for more. Later he beat the hell out of Baba with stiff elbows. I had never seen the famous brain busters, but this seemed to be it. He then pinned Baba for the 1st fall. Baba looks like he is going to be spiting up blood. The only other wrestler I could compare Valentine to is Stan Hansen....but I knew Stan wasn't crazy. In the 2nd fall, punishment is passed back & forth between the two...with Valentine getting more in. Ok...looks like real punishment. He beats Baba up on the ropes & the referee DQ's John for not breaking, and he looks surprised. He uses a lot a stuff basic holds that look like they hurt. He just lays in them. If any other wrestler had worked the same way, without the crazy stiffness, it would have stunk...but this Johnny Valentine. Nothing he was doing was illegal. It was all within the rules, he just looked like a crazy mad man doing it. Baba, during the break, was sitting on the apron, all beat up. I was saying to my self: "Get up Baba...you got another 8 minutes of this stuff." But Baba recovers & takes it to John...with a number of powerful chops. It does hurt, and John sells them in everyway but refuses to drop. I was thinking how can he take that, but he is telling Baba: "harder...more"...and then he says "One more"! He goes flying to the mat...stands up...gets hit by a major Baba dropkick...and gets pinned. He lay on the mat all beat to sh*t. It was a short kind of match, with the 3rd fall only 2 minutes, but I thought it was great, & I got to see the great Valentine in a major match. Baba was great too...just doing like he was told beating the hell out on him. To smart fan, he looked strong dealing with such a match. I don't think there could be more that one wrestler working that type of match. Can't see a lot of everyday workers wanting to put up with something like that. And I don't think a lot of promoters would put up with it.

There is the story of Valentine being brought into Los Angeles & having only one TV match … beating the hell out of a jobber … and quitting. The story is that he thought Mike LeBell ran a screwed promotion & Johnny didn't want anything to do with LA. I'm wondering if LeBell & the booker saw Valentine beating up the guy, and decided he was too much trouble to keep around. You know, someone could get hurt.

Anyway it was wonderful seeing Johnny at work.

This ran long & I want to go to the gym & eat. So more later. I got a lot of DVDs & I'm into it...without John Williams to talk to.--Steve Yohe

[ 09-08-2019, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]

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Ken Viewer
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If you post your comments, the readers will come. I look forward to whatever you post, although favor pre-1967 material.


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Steve Yohe
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So I'm back:

2-Terry Funk vs Great Kojika (12-6-71) This was mid-card match. The value of this was that this was young Terry. I thought he looked green and gave too much to Kojika. I saw Kojika in LA, and he was a good Japanese heel. In Japan he was kind of mid-card & putting over Americans. He & Mil Mascaras were always put together & he never won. He had skills. He did seem to have some pull in the locker room.

3--Mil Mascaras & King Krow vs Sakaguchi & Masa Saito 2/3 falls (6-1-72) This was getting close to the time of Baba leaving JWA. They were working on building up Sakaguchi. I was very impressed with him in this match. Wondering why he failed when he was made #1 in JWA was on my mind. It was not because of his in ring work. Mil is on one of his early tours, and he hadn't been given his major Japanese push yet. Sakaguchi throws him around pretty good. Mil looks small, but he had all his moves. By this time he was the biggest star in LA. King Krow looked good & did the jobs. *** Seeing Mil so young is good thing for me.

4-Sakaguchi & Michiaki defeating Dork Funk Jr & Dick Murdoch 2-3 falls to win the vacant Asian Tag Title. (12-12-71)...This is a major match. ****1/3
All four guys are in their prime and look great. Junor was NWA champ at the time. Murdoch was young & he had the talent to be a HOF'er...and I heve voted for him. A lot of tape guys object to the idea that Murdoch was major in Japan...but that idea might go back to this match. He is the perfect pro...wrestling the classic style...and knows his role in the match. The title was vacant because of Inoki leaving JWA, and it was important to get Sakaguchi over because he had to be moved up into Inoki's position. There had to be heat in the office with Baba too. JWA was falling apart. This also was the best I've ever seen Yoshimura. He wasn't just pulling people over. I always say there is a big difference in Dory Funk as champ and his post championship career. This backs up that idea. He is good in this...does a bunch of bridging stuff, that improved on his normally lame toe hold. Everything looked stuff. I thought it
was a super match. Sakaguchi was a huge guy, and moves are well done. He pins Murdoch in the 3rd using a strange suplexs where he lifts Dick over his head in a real test of strength. I really liked this match. One thing I noticed is that in the long promo following the match...Yoshimura doses most of the talking...and no one in wrestling history could take the mike out of the hands of Baba or Inoki...when Sakaguchi did talk it was short and awkward. Maybe Sakaguchi was being pushed before he was ready.

5--Seji Sakaguchi vs The Sheik 2/3 falls (9-6-72) This was the title change of the UN Title. After a standard Sheik match, followed by Sakaguchi lifting him up for a slam, only to get poked in the eye with a pencil (or whatever Shiek was using). Seji sells it like crazy. Crying & crap. The referee stops the match & give the UN title to Sheik. Sakaguchi running around was really bad & made him look weak and non-heroic. Maybe this was the problem with Sakaguchi….he couldn't act & work angles like old pros. Just an idea. Probably the thing wrong with JWA .. was JWA.

Sakaguchi was so injured that he beat Shiek clean for the title a couple of days later.

6-Dory Funk Jr & Mike Paidousis vs Sakaguchi & Hoshino (12-6-71)

7--Shohei Baba vs The Sheik 2/3 falls (9-12-69) to defend the International Title in Los Angeles. A Sheik blood bath. Maybe interesting...maybe not.

It's a great thing for these old JWA tapes to be now being put out to the fans.---Steve Yohe

[ 09-11-2019, 01:49 AM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]

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I know you're still old school Steve but does anyone else know if any of these are on YouTube? I am pretty sure I've seen the 9-6-72 match on there or maybe the rematch. I'd be really interested to see a young Masa Saito.

"Although Candide himself recognizes that it is absurd to do so, he dwells on the condition of man." - Voltaire

Check out my new podcast at www.rasslerevue.com

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First Row Al
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I don't know about what happened in Japan, but in Los Angeles at the Olympic The Great Kojika defeated Mil Mascaras to win the Americas' Title on the last card in December 1969 in a fence match. Obviously he was an interim champion as they had to get the title to Rocky Johnson so Kojika defeated Mascaras and then Johnson defeated Kojika in January 1970.

The other couple of times in the fall of 1969 Mascaras defeated Kojika in title matches but only after Kojika was disqualified either for outside interference or other rule breaking acts.

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Steve Ogilvie
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I'm enjoying these Steve.

"Mr 100%"

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Steve Yohe
Member # 302

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JWA was smart & knew about the history between Kojika & Mil in LA.....and used it in Japan for a long time. There is a bunch of those matches. I think they felt Kojika was the right size for Mil, who was like 5'9" and a little over 200 pounds. Later they learned that Mil could work with big guys. In the above Mil was forced into selling for Sakaguchi, who was huge & a judo guy. He gets thrown around. It's before they realize what they had in Mil, and he was going to be booked like all the other Americans. Mil takes his bumps, and never lets it hurt the match.

People mis-read Mil & his non-selling. This sounds strange to many, but you need to "take your holds" from him. His style was wrestling, and with him, and a few others like Thesz, it's like a contest with in a "work". You do that, he will counter you, and it turns into a good wrestling match. He comes up with counters, without thinking about it. That's why he was so great with Beyer, both were masters at this. They pull a move on him, he'll pull one on you. They figure it out as they go. In a pure sense, it's pro wrestling the way it should be. Instantaneous & flowing.

But with Mil, if you can't wrestle, you got a problem...and he will take the whole match from you. With Beyer, he'll work something out to fit what you can do & get a good match. You can always just pull on his mask.

In the Mil/Destroyer series, all the matches were set up to be different. They planed it that way. And I'm not just talking about the finish. The pacing & how much wrestling they were going to do, how much mask pulling they were going to do. It was complicated by the fact that both were major faces in Japan.. I asked Dick about that, and he agreed to all of it. (I don't think they ever wanted to go so far as to force a mask vs mask match.) When the two got together at the CAC dinner, they loved each other, and were proud of what they did together. A lot of fans, who watched the match & liked it, but just took it for granted....just another night at the match. But Dick and Mil knew what they did.---Steve Yohe

[ 09-13-2019, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]

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