New Japan WPW Classics #18

Written By Alfredo Esparza

New Japan WPW Classics #18

Antonio Inoki vs. Great Antonio

Taped 12/8/1977 at Kuramae Kokugikan inTokyo, Japan.

The Great Antonio is led to the ring by a man holding a chain that is wrapped around Antonio’s neck. He heads into the crowd to scare the fans. The wrestlers ringside keep pointing at The Great Antonio to enter the ring but he refuses to do so and heads out into the crowd again. The fans flee from him as he stomps around the stands. Antonio Inoki finally arrives and both finally get into the ring.

Antonio Inoki charges at The Great Antonio. They grab hold of each other’s hand but The Great Antonio tosses Inoki away. The Great Antonio gets Inoki in a side headlock. Referee warns him that it’s a choke hold and has him break the hold. Inoki with a waistlock but it gets broken.

Inoki goes for a dropkick but The Great Antonio doesn’t sell it and just stands there. Inoki punches The Great Antonio in the stomach but again Great Antonio no-sells it and punches himself on the stomach a few times. Inoki goes for a wristlock but Great Antonio reverses it into headlock which Inoki escapes. The Great Antonio considers running the ropes but changes his mind mid-run. Inoki kicks at his leg.

The Great Antonio whips Inoki into the ropes and Inoki charges at him with a shoulder tackle but bounces off Antonio who then plays it up to the crowd. Inoki kicks at The Great Antonio again. Antonio with some forearms across Inoki’s chest. Inoki slaps him. Antonio with more forearms to Inoki’s back. Inoki bounces back up and slaps him. He knocks The Great Antonio to the mat and starts to kick his head. The second with Antonio runs in to stop the match.

The Great Antonio lays on the mat and his face is bleeding. Referee and Great Antonio’s second check on him. Weird match with Great Antonio not doing much and seemingly refusing to work with Inoki and that led to Inoki just beating the crap out of him.

WINNER: Antonio Inoki

Antonio Inoki vs. Jerry Brown

Taped 2/2/1978 at the Nakajima Sports Center in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.

Antonio Inoki hits Jerry Brown with his towel before the bell rings. Both quickly go after each other as soon as teh bell rings. Brown backs away from Inoki and gets kicked. Inoki gets Brown in the corner but Brown reverses and swings at Inoki who moved out of the way. Brown grabs hold of Inoki with a wristlock and pulls his hair to take him down to the mat.

Inoki gets back up on his feet but Brown pulls him down by the trunks. Referee forces a break. Inoki gets Brown on the ropes but breaks cleanly. Side headlock into a waistlock by Inoki but Brown reaches the ropes. Inoki knees him as he breaks away. Brown punches Inoki a coulpe of times. He follows with an elbow and kick. Whips Inoki into the ropes and kicks him again and follows with a kneedrop across Inoki’s head for a near fall.

Brown with a backbreaker on Inoki for another near fall. He slams Inoki’s head into the mat and then gets him in a camel clutch. Inoki gets up and reverses the hold into a leglock on Brown! He switches over to a bow and arrow submission hold on Brown but Brown reaches the ropes to break the hold. Inoki stomps on his back a few times. Brown back up and he tosses Inoki to the outside.

Brown slams Inokis’ head into a chair and then into the ring post. He rolls Inoki back into the ring. Brown drops Inoki neck first into the top rope. He slams him and goes for a pin but Inoki kicks out. Inoki with a leg takedown and he then gets Brown in a bow and arrow submission hold for the win.

WINNER: Antonio Inoki

Seiji Sakaguchi & Strong Kobayashi vs. Baron Karl Von Krupp & Brute Bernard in a Two-Out-of-Three Falls Match for the NWA North American Tag Team Titles

Taped 10/30/1978 at the Okayama Budokan in Okayama, Japan.

First fall starts with Seiji Sakaguchi and Karl Von Krupp. Krupp gets going right away and kicks Sakaguchi. He sends him to the outside but Sakaguchi gets back in the ring and he then does the same to Krupp by sending him to the floor. Brute Bernard keeps making noise in his corner.

Krupp gets back in the ring and quickly tags in Brute Bernard who beats on Sakaguchi with his fist. He tags Krupp back in and Krupp kicks and punches Sakaguchi. Krupp goes for a nerve hold on Sakaguchi. He pulls Sakaguchi by the trunks and takes him into his corner were he punches him and tags in Bernard. Brute Bernard with some big forearms across Sakaguchi’s back. He tags Krupp back in and Krupp kicks Sakaguchi. Krupp stomps on him and then gets him in a reverse chinlock.

Krupp rakes Sakaguchi’s face with his armband. Sakaguchi makes a comeback and knocks Krupp down. Kobayashi grabs him and Sakaguchi gets in some kicks. He tags in Strong Kobayashi who gets in some shoulder blocks on Krupp in the corner. He whips Krupp into the ropes an knocks him down with a forearm. Kobayashi stomps on Krupp but the Baron tags in Brute Bernard. Kobayashi knocks Bernard down with a big forearm to the chest.

Kobayashi goes for a pin attempt but Bernard kicks out. Krupp goes over to help Bernard escape the pin attempt and gets a warning from the referee. He does it a second time. Referee forces a break since they are near the ropes. Bernard gets Kobayashi with a clothesline and hits the ropes but Kobayashi catches him with a body slam. Kobyashi gets Bernard with a wristlock and tags in Sakaguchi. They kick Bernard at the same time. Krupp complains to the referee.

Hammerlock by Sakaguchi on Bernard. Krupp wants to get in but instead Kobayashi uses the distraction to enter the match and replace Sakaguchi. Kobayashi keeps the hammerlock on Bernard. He stomps on his arm and tags in Sakaguchi. Sakaguchi goes for a submission hold on Bernard’s left arm. Krupp had enough and charges in and stomps on Sakaguchi’s head. Bernard lays in some forearms and tags in Krupp.

Sakaguchi knocks down Krupp! Krupp goes for a takedown on Sakaguchi and eventually takes him down to the mat. He works on Sakaguchi’s right leg applying pressure on his calf. Kobayashi runs into the ring to help Sakaguchi but the ref gets him out. Brute Bernard runs in and attacks Sakaguchi and gets in a few shots before tagging back out.

Krupp keeps Sakaguchi on the mat while Sakaguchi kicks at him. Sakaguchi lays in a few forearms and punches to finally greak away from Krupp but Krupp takes him back down to the mat. Krupp keeps attacking Sakaguchi and tags in Bernard who lands an elbow across Sakaguchi’s right leg. He continues to attack the right leg and tags in Krupp. Sakaguchi with some forearms to finally escape and Kobayashi waves at him to come over for the tag. Krupp grabs his right leg. More forearms to Krupp’s back and Sakaguchi finally tags in Kobayashi.

Strong Kobayashi gets Krupp in a bear hug and picks him up in the air. Krupp pokes his eye to escape and tags in Brute Bernard. Kobayashi gets him in a bear hug too. Bernard reaches out and grabs Krupp’s hand and gets pulled into his corner. Kobayashi sends Bernard into Krupp and that sends Krupp to the floor with Kobayashi following him.

They get back in the ring and Kobayashi again gets Krupp in a bear hug. Bernard makes the save. Sakaguchi tags in and drops Krupp into a backbreaker. Bernard jumps into the ring but Sakaguchi punches him out of the ring. He gets Krupp in another backbreaker and covers him for the pin but Krupp kicks out. Leglock by Kobayashi. Krupp reaches the ropes.

Brute Bernard back in the ring and Sakaguchi and him exchange forearms. Knee lifts from Sakaguchi followed by a piledriver on Bernard for the pin but Krupp makes the save. Sakaguchi whips Bernard into Kobayashi and tags him in. Backdrop by Kobayashi followed by an inverted bear hug. Krupp makes the save and tosses Kobayashi to the outside. Sakaguchi heads out to help Kobayashi. Bernard follows. All four men brawl on the floor. Bernard his Sakaguchi with a chair. Referee rings for the bell to end the fall. Both teams counted out.

Second fall starts with Krupp and Bernard attacking Sakaguchi and Kobayashi in their corner. They use a bucket to beat on them and even hit the referee with it. Refree disqualifies them in the second fall.

Third fall is quickly announced starting up next. Strong Kobyashi chokes Krupp with a towel. Referee takes it away. Kobayashi slams Krupp head into the top turnbuckle. He tags in Sakaguchi and he gets Krupp in a sleeper hold. Krupp pokes Sakaguchi’s eyes to escape the hold. Bernard tags in and he continues to attack Sakaguchi by catching him with a clothesline and following that up with a couple of fist drops.

Krupp slams Sakaguchi and climbs up the top rope and lands a splash no him for a pin attempt but Sakaguchi places his foot on the bottom rope. Bernard grabs Sakaguchi in the corner and Krupp charges at him but Sakaguchi moves out of the way and Krupp instead knees Bernard to the floor. Sakaguchi whips Krupp into the ropes and catches him with a jumping high knee. Kobayashi comes in and they get Krupp with a double atomic drop. Sakaguchi gets Krupp in a Boston Crab while Kobayashi sends Bernard to the floor and keeps him from helping Krupp. Sakaguchi gets Krupp to submit. Okay match.

WINNERS: Seiji Sakaguchi & Strong Kobayashi

Kobayashi and Sakaguchi get interviewed after their match.

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Perro Aguayo for the WWF Junior Heavyweight Title

Taped 4/5/1979 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

They play the national anthems of Mexico and Japan before the start of the match.

They shake hands before the match and Aguayo refuses to let go so the referee has to pull them apart. Aguayo with a waistlock takedown to start the match. Fujinami reverses it and goes after Aguayo’s arms. He takes Aguayo down with an ankle lock. Aguayo reaches the ropes.

Aguayo with a leg takedown but Fujinami quickly counters and gets Aguayo in a hammerlock. Perro knocks him down again and gets him in a leglock. Aguayo reverses into a surfboard submission hold that gets a few fans screaming. Fujinami escapes but Aguayo quickly gets him in a front facelock. Fujinami whips him into the ropes and catches him with a monkey flip. Aguayo tries to return the favor but Fujinami cartwheels out of the way and instead catches Aguayo with a pair of headscissors.

Fujinami follows with a dropkick for a near fall. He keeps Aguayo on the mat but Perro reaches the ropes and that forces Fujinami to break. Aguayo grabs hold of Fujinami’s arms and gets them tangled up. He goes for a pin attempt but Fujinami raises his shoulders as Aguayo yells at the referee to count the pin. Aguayo gets Fujinami on the ropes and snapmares him into a surfboard. Fujinami fights out of it but Aguayo grabs hold of him and rolls over into a pin attempt.

Fujinami back up and whips Aguayo into the ropes and backdrops him. He follows with some uppercuts that send Perro to the outside. Fujinami teases a pescado to the floor but Aguayo moves. Perro tries to get back in the ring but Fujinami knocks him off and then goes charging at Aguayo with a tope suicida to the floor! Both men brawl outside the ring.

Aguayo gets back in the ring and grabs Fujinami. Fujinami knocks him away and climbs to the top rope and hits a body press for a near fall on Aguayo. He goes for another pin attempt on Aguayo but Perro kicks out. Dropkick by Fujinami. He misses a second and Aguayo hits a senton for a near fall. Aguayo slams Fujinami and then goes for a middle-rope senton for another near fall.

Perro Aguayo slams Fujinami again and climbs to the top rope and goes for a senton but Fujinami moves out of the way! Fujinami kicks at Aguayo’s back. He catches him with a side suplex. Fujinami follows with a quebradora. He gets Aguayo with a Dragon Suplex and gets the pin! Great finish!

WINNER: Tatsumi Fujinami

Post-match interview with Tatsumi Fujinami.

Osamu Kido vs. Black Cat

Taped 2/10/1993 at Gifu Industrial Hall in Gifu, Japan.

Osamu Kido extends his hand to Black Cat but Black Cat refuses. Kido quickly gets Black Cat on the ropes but is forced to break. They lock-up again and this time Black Cat has Kido on the ropes and breaks away cleanly. Kido with a nifty kick from the mat to escape a wristlock. He gets Black Cat in a wristlock and takes him down to the mat. Black Cat reaches the ropes forcing Kido to break.

Leg takedown by Black Cat into a leglock on Kido. Kido reaches the ropes. Test of strength with Kido getting the advantage. Black Cat escapes and gets Kido in a wristlock. He whips Kido into the ropes and catches him with a clothesline that sends Kido the outside. Black Cat follows Kido to the outside but Kido is quickly back in the ring. Hiptoss by Kido sends Black Cat to the outside. Kido whips Black Cat into the guardrail and then chokes him.

Both get back in the ring. Black Cat punches Kido and knocks him down to the mat. He gets in another cheap shot on Kido. Double thrust chop at Kido. Another chop and a pin attempt but Kido kicks out. Reverse chinlock by Black Cat but referee tells him to stop trying to choke Kido. He kicks at Kido a few times. Whip into the corner followed by a clothesline by Black Cat. He goes for an armbar submission hold on Kido.

Black Cat gets in a few more punches on Kido that send him down to the mat. He kicks Kido out of the ring. Black Cat whips Kido into the guardrail and then slams him into the ring post. Back in the ring and Black Cat continues his attack on Kido. Kido mounts a comeback but Black Cat cuts it short and continues to beat on him. Black Cat goes for a submission hold on him. He kicks Kido in the mid-section. Kido bounces off the ropes and hits Black Cat.

Osamu Kido knocks Black Cat around with some elbows. He whips Black Cat into the ropes and catches him with another elbow. Neckbreaker followed by Kido. He goes for the pin but Black Cat kicks out at two. Kido whips Black Cat again into the ropes but Black Cat catches him with a DDT. He goes for the pin but Kido kicks out.

Backdrop by Kido! He covers Black Cat for the pin but only gets two. Kido whips Black Cat again into the ropes and gets him with a Fujiwara Armbar for the win!

WINNER: Osamu Kido

Show closes airing various highlights from matches throughout the years.

SHOW THOUGHTS: Interesting episode. Best match on the show was the Fujinami vs. Aguayo match and that had a great final few minutes. Highly recommend watching that match. Rest of the matches on the show were okay. The Antonio Inoki vs. The Great Antonio match was weird just because right away you knew something was going to go wrong in that match and it was eventually going to lead to Inoki shooting on an uncooperative Great Antonio to end the match.

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