1984 · Akira Maeda · Super Tiger · UWF

Akira Maeda vs Super Tiger-UWF 11.9.1984.

UWF1 has such a distinct flair-Battlarts may be the closest comparison, but Battlarts was essentially Yuki Ishikawa and friends wrestling in the basement doing cool stuff which came to mind. It didn’t really present the revolutionary bridge proto shoot-style did nor it did have actual stars and hot crowds. The orange apron mats quickly stood out as did the fact reaching their area was enough for a rope break-actually touching the ropes or extending one of your limbs underneath them wasn’t a necessity. The grappling here wasn’t particularly complex-blocking a double wristlock by using a knee, rolling out of armbars, kicking away your opponent’s arm to get a full armbar etc. are nice detailed work compared to the average “sit in an illogical hold for a while, occassionally yell”, but they’re a far cry from the style’s peak. The takedowns were more interesting than the grappling-the one Tiger set up with a feint kick was especially sweet. Maeda answered with suplexes you see he did hundreds of squats for, the finishing stretch had lots of fun head kicking and Super Tiger’s insistence on using classic prowres offence gave them a clear focus to build around. ***1/2
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