Retro Wrasslin'

A look back at pro wrestling history.

New Japan WPW Classics #6

Written By Alfredo Esparza

New Japan WPW Classics #6

Antonio Inoki vs. Stan Hansen

Taped 2/2/1977 at City Gymnasium in Kuji, Iwate, Japan

Match is “joined in progress” with Stan Hansen applying a headlock on Antonio Inoki. Inoki tosses Hansen off him but Hansen gets back up and grabs hold of his waist. Inoki lifts Hansen up with a Dragon suplex but Hansen keeps hold of the waistlock. Referee has him break the hold and Hansen quickly drops his knee across Inoki’s back and then across his chest. Antonio Inoki rolls to the outside.

Fans boo Hansen. Hansen grabs hold of Inoki as he enters the ring and gets in a chop. He misses a second as Inoki ducks and then takes Hansen down. Inoki goes for a step-over toe-hold on Hansen. Hansen knocks him off but Inoki quickly kicks Hansen’s left leg. He continues to kick Hansen’s left leg and goes for an Indian deathlock! Hansen refuses to give up. Inoki tells the referee to ask Hansen if he gives up which Hansen replies by telling the ref to wait.

Stan Hansen reaches the ropes to break the deathlock. Inoki stomps on Hansen after breaking the hold. Hansen rolls to the outside. He walks around and gets back in the ring. Inoki stomps on Hansen’s left leg and he rolls back to the outside. Hansen gets back in the ring but Inoki goes with a dropkick at Hansen and he goes over the top rope and back to the floor once again. Hansen back in the ring and he gets Inoki across the ropes and follows with a big forearm across Inoki’s chest. Hansen follows with an elbow and then slams Inoki’s head into the mat. He continues to punish Inoki. Hansen goes for a pin attempt after an elbow but Inoki kicks out.

Hansen whips Inoki into the ropes and goes for the lariat but Inoki ducks it. Inoki gets Hansen up with a backdrop and covers him for the pin! Hansen tosses Inoki off him right after the referee counted three! Inoki celebrates as he wasn’t sure if it was a 3-count. Hansen argues that he kicked out at two. Good match.

WINNER: Antonio Inoki

Tatsumi Fujinami © vs. Ray Mendoza in a 2-out-3 falls match for the WWWF Jr. Heavyweight Title

Taped 8/13/1978 at Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico City

They have a mariachi playing as part of Ray Mendoza’s entrance. They give each a bouquet of flowers during the introductions. They have a lot of people in the ring including a few women who get the male fans in the crowd catcalling them. All the additional people in the ring step out right before the match starts. Gran Hamada joins the commentary team for this match.

They lock-up to start the first fall of the match. Fujinami gets Mendoza in a side headlock. Mendoza takes him down and escapes. Mendoza with another takedown and he tries to put Fujinami’s shoulder’s on the mat but Fujinami reverses. Fujinami back with a headlock on Mendoza but again Mendoza with a takedown and into a side headlock. Fujinami lifts up Mendoza and tries to pin him a few times but Mendoza counters. Fujinami with an armbar but Mendoza reverses it into a takedown into a hammerlock.

Mendoza keeps the pressure on Fujinami as he continues to work on his left arm. Fujinami climbs over Mendoza and then backdrops him. He goes for a pin attempt but Mendoza kicks out. Crowd applauds. Another takedown by Fujinami and he grabs hold of Mendoza’s left leg. They each grab hold of one of the other’s legs in trying to submit the other. Mendoza uses his head to apply more pressure to Fujinami’s leg but Fujinami escapes the old. Fujinami whips Mendoza into the ropes. They go back and forth off the ropes with Fujinami getting Mendoza with a pair of headscissors. Enziguiri delivered by Fujinami at Mendoza once and he goes for a second misses but is able to dropkick Mendoza off him.

Mendoza takes Fujinami down with an armbar. He switches over to Fujinami’s right arm and then grabs hold of both arms. Mendoza whips Fujinami into the ropes and backdrops him. Fujinami counters with a pair of dropkicks. He then covers Mendoza for the pin and wins the first fall!

Second fall starts with Fujinami grabbing Mendoza in a side headlock. Mendoza reverses it into an armbar takedown. Fujinami escapes the hold and goes back to a side headlock again. Mendoza whips Fujinami into the ropes and goes with a leg takedown into a leglock. Fujinami escapes and runs the ropes but again Mendoza takes him down with another leg takedown. Fujinami escapes. The crowd starts to cheer on Mendoza.

Mendoza goes for a cool looking leglock. A variation of a cristo and nudo on Fujinami but Fujinami escapes. Mendoza goes for it again and the announcers of course call this leglock submission hold the “Mendoza Special”. (I was hoping he’d have a classic wrestling hold name not the easy to go with and add “Special” to name a hold feature!)

Ray Mendoza with a leg takedown and he tries for the Mendoza Special but Fujinami is near the ropes and the referee has Mendoza break the hold. Front facelock by Fujinami on Mendoza but he reverses it into a hammerlock and takes Fujinami down. Mendoza grabs hold of Fujinami’s legs and his left arm. They struggle on the mat. Fujinami finally breaks free and gets Mendoza in a headlock. Mendoza whips him into the ropes. Fujinami catches Mendoza with a dropkick and sends Mendoza to the outside. Fujinami follows with a tope suicida to the outside! Fujinami returns to the ring. Mendoza makes his way back.

Fujinami charges at Mendoza in the corner but Mendoza moves out of the way which sends Fujinami into the turnbuckles. Mendoza covers Fujinami for the pin but Fujinami kicks out at two. Mendoza with a brainbuster! Crowd cheers on Mendoza. He grabs Fujinami again but Fujinami reverses it into a suplex of his own. Fujinami grabs hold of Mendoza’s right arm and gets him in an armbreaker! Mendoza escapes the hold and gets Fujinami in an abdominal stretch. He drops down and goes for a pin on Fujinami but he kicks out. Fujinami covers Mendoza but Mendoza kicks out. Fujinami whips Mendoza into the ropes. Fujinami knocks Mendoza down and turns him over and bridges over Mendoza who’s shoulders are on the mat and covers him for the pin. Good match.

WINNER: Tatsumi Fujinami

Mendoza raises Fujinami’s hand in victory. Fujinami does an interview with the Japanese announcer.

Tiger Jeet Singh vs. Umanosuke Ueda with Antonio Inoki as Special Referee.

Taped 9/19/1978 at Prefectural Athletic Hall in Osaka, Japan

Several wrestlers come out at the same time as Tiger Jeet Singh. They keep both he and Ueda apart before the bell rings. Singh kicks Ueda who swings his shirt at him in retaliation. Wrestlers step into the ring to keep both apart again. Singh kicks and knocks down the ring announcer. Ueda reaches out for Singh while a few people were checking on the ring announcer. They both get pulled apart.

Inoki remains as the referee in the ring with the second referee heading to the outside. Bell rings and Singh attacks Ueda. He stomps on him near the ropes. Follows that up with a choke. Inoki slaps at Singh to break the choke. Singh pulls Ueda’s mouth and refuses to break it until Inoki kicks him. Ueda takes over and starts attacking Singh in the corner and Inoki kicks him off as well. Ueda argues with Inoki. Singh wants Inoki out of the ring.

Big punch thrown by Singh at Ueda. He grabs Ueda in a chinlock. Ueda gets up but Singh uses the top rope to choke Ueda. Inoki gets Singh to break but Singh continues his attack on Ueda. He tosses Ueda to the outside and the brawl around the ring. Singh grabs a table and slams it across Ueda’s back as he tries to enter the ring. Singh gets back in the ring. Ueda in as well and Ueda punches Singh in the mid-section. Ueda now gets Singh in a chinlock.

Singh chops at Ueda but he goes back to grabbing hold of Singh’s neck. Inoki warns Ueda. Singh punches at Ueda. He drops his fist across Ueda’s forehead and goes back to getting Ueda in a chinlock. He switches over to an armbar and holding onto Ueda’s neck. Ueda reaches the ropes. Inoki tries to break the hold from Singh and ends up kicking at him a few times. Ueda reaches into his tights and pulls out a weapon to hit Singh with. He starts using it on Singh while Inoki tries to take it away.

The second referee comes in to assist Inoki with taking the weapon away from Ueda. Ueda gets upset and throws a punch at Inoki but backs away. Singh attacks Ueda and he pulls out a weapon out of his trunks! Inoki and the second referee try to take it away from Singh. Singh whips Ueda into the ropes and kicks him. He slams Ueda into the turnbuckle. He pulls off the turnbuckle to reveal the metal part of the ring cables. Inoki gets in between them.

Ueda tosses Singh to the outside and follows him. He slams a chair on Singh. Singh grabs a chair and attacks Ueda with it. The second referee tries to stop him from using it. Singh gets back in the ring. He attacks Ueda as he tries to enter the ring. More punches thrown by Singh. They fight in the corner and Inoki tries to break them apart but Singh attacks Inoki. He then tells Ueda to join in on attacking Inoki. They both attack Inoki while the second referee and Seiji Sakaguchi try to get Ueda off of Inoki. Singh grabs his sword and attacks Ueda.

Tiger Jeet Singh then goes and attacks Inoki with his sword. He uses the bottom portion of the sword in his attacks so he’s just knocking them down. Tatsumi Fujinami runs in and attacks Tiger Jeet Singh. Inoki gets up and chases after Singh. Ueda attacks Fujinami with a stick. Sakaguchi comes in and helps Fujinami. He takes the kendo stick away from Ueda and hits him across the head with it. The bell rings as the ring gets cleared.

WINNER: Umanosuke Ueda

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Tony Rocco

Taped 10/6/1978 at Niigata City Gymnasium in Niigata, Japan

Quick takedown by Fujinami on Rocco early in the match. He armdrags Rocco a second time. Rocco picks up Fujinami high up in the air and then takes him down with a waistlock. Fujinami reverses it into a hammerlock. Rocco with an elbow at Fujinami to break the hold and he hits the ropes and takes Fujinami down with a shoulder block. Back into the ropes and Rocco charges at Fujinami who backdrops him. Follows that up with an armdrag and into an armbar.

Tony Rocco slams Fujinami but Fujinami keeps the armbar locked in on Rocco. Fireman’s carry takedown by Rocco but Fujinami keeps the armbar on. Rocco takes Fujinami down by the hands and tries to take him down by jumping onto his chest. Fujinami reverses this into a pin attempt but Rocco kicks out. Fujinami goes for a wristlock but Rocco gets him in an abdominal stretch. He falls to the mat and keeps Fujinami’s legs locked in. Rocco keeps going after Fujinami’s legs. He gets a leglock on Fujinami’s left leg.

Fujinami attempts to kick Rocco off his leg but Rocco continues his attack. Rocco kneedrops Fujinami’s left leg. Rocco places Fujinami’s left leg over his shoulders and tries to make Fujinami submit. Fujinami flips him over and had Rocco stuck until Rocck switches over to La Tapatia! Fujinami slips off and reaches the ropes. He falls to the outside as Rocco breaks the hold.

Fujinami gets back in the ring. Rocco gets in a few kicks on Fujinami and again grabs hold of his left leg. He springs across Fujinami’s body and whips the leg. Rocca continues to go after Fujinami’s left leg. Fujinami tries to kick him off but it doesn’t work. They are close to the ropes and forced to break the hold. Fujinami sneaks in a kick at Rocco’s leg when he’s arguing with the referee.

Fujinami tosses Rocco into the corners with Rocco flipping off them. Fujinami kicks Rocco a few times and then catches him with a dropkick. He covers Rocco for the pin but only gets a two count. Side suplex by Rocco on Fujinami! Rocco gets whipped into the ropes but he knocks Fujinami down. He keeps running the ropes and knocks Fujinami down a second time and goes for a third but Fujinami catches him for a slam. Fujinami climbs up to the top rope but Rocco slams him down. Rocco catches Fujinami with a dropkick. He goes for a second but misses. Fujinami dropkicks Rocco and goes for the pin but Rocco kicks out. Rocco gets backdropped by Fujinami. Rocco snapmares Fujinami. He goes for a second one but Fujinami reverses it into a backslide and gets the pin on Rocco! Good match.

They shake hands after the match.

WINNER: Tatsumi Fujinami

Antonio Inoki/Riki Choshu/Seiji Sakaguchi vs. Killer Karl Krupp/Brute Bernard/Executioner in a 2-out-of-3 falls match

Taped 10/6/1978 at Niigata City Gymnasium in Niigata, Japan

Killer Karl Krupp attacks Sakaguchi during the introductions which leads to everyone brawling before the bell rings. They all head to the outside. The Executioner attacks Choshu. Referee tries to restore some order. Krupp and Sakaguchi start the match. Hard chops thrown by Sakaguchi. Krupp quickly heads to the outside.

Krupp gets back in the ring and gets Sakaguchi in his corner and tags in Brute Bernard. Bernard with a few fist drops on Sakaguchi. He tags in The Executioner who continues the attack on Sakaguchi. Quick tags by the heels on Sakaguchi. Sakaguchi fights back and gets Bernard with a knee lift.

Choshu’s tagged in and he slams Bernard and gets him in a headlock. Heels try to get Choshu off Bernard but are unable to do so. Choshu tags in Inoki. Krupp comes in to help Bernard before the referee takes him out of the ring. Bernard gets Inoki into his corner and they double-team Inoki. Krupp with some knees and kicks at Inoki. He gets Inoki in a nerve hold. Choshu runs in and kicks at Krupp. The Executioner comes in and continues to keep Inoki down.

Inoki knocks The Executioner down and gets him in a leglock. Sakaguchi comes in and continues to keep The Executioner in the leglock. He tags in Choshu who keeps him in the hold and stomps on him as he enters. Brute Bernard grabs a weapon from his trunks but can’t use it. Krupp and Sakaguchi back in the ring. Sakaguchi gets Krupp in a leglock. Inoki comes in and continues to keep Krupp in the hold. Krupp crawls over to his corner and tags in Bernard who pulls the weapon out of his trunks again. He hits Inoki with it a few times. Some chops on Inoki. Bernard kicks Inoki out of the ring. Krupp tosses Inoki into the ringpost.

Brute Bernard hits Inoki with a chair. All six men brawl outside the ring. Krupp hits the referee as he tries to regain control of the match. All six men continue to brawl as the bell rings. That is the end of the 1st fall.

Second fall starts with Inoki and Krupp. Krupp kicks Inoki and takes him to his corner where all three heels attack Inoki. The Executioner now in and he tries to keep Inoki from reaching his corner but Inoki does so. Choshu and Sakaguchi help Inoki. Choshu tagged in and he whips Executioner into the ropes and backdrops him. He follows with a slam. The Executioner rakes Choshu’s eyes and tags in Bernard. Killer Karl Krupp grabs a heavy bag and slams it into Choshu head. Inoki tries to stop him and gets hit with the bag as well.

Killer Karl Krupp in the match slams Choshu and tags in Bernard who gets Choshu in a camel clutch. Bernard gets Choshu to submit. Inoki and Sakaguchi get Bernard to break the hold.

Third fall quickly starts with Choshu going up against Brute Bernard. The heels again continue their attack on Choshu. Bernard with a forearm across Choshu. He gets him in a camel clutch again but Inoki and Sakaguchi make the save. Inoki and The Executioner go at it with Inoki tossing the Executioner to the outside. Krupp helps the Executioner out. Bernard gets back in the ring and gets in a few forearms on Inoki. Quick tags by the heels against Inoki. Krupp stomps on Inoki. The Executioner continues his attack on Inoki. Bernard back in and he whips Inoki into the ropes. Inoki catches Bernard with a dropkick. Goes for a second. He tags in Sakaguchi. They place Bernard in a tree of woe in the corner. He slips off.

Sakaguchi slams Bernard and covers him for the pin. He goes for an abdominal stretch but Krupp with the save. Sakaguchi knocks down The Executioner. He slams him and Inoki jumps off the top rope with a kneedrop. Sakaguchi whips The Executioner into the ropes and catches him with a high knee. Sakaguchi gets The Executioner in the Boston Crab and gets him to submit.

WINNERS: Inoki, Choshu & Sakaguchi

SHOW THOUGHTS: Thought this was an okay show. The two Fujinami matches and the Hansen vs. Inoki match are worth watching. The Singh vs. Ueda match was mostly a brawl but it didn’t really come off as exciting outside of whenever they would attack Inoki. The post-match was probably better than the match itself. The six-man tag to close the show was okay but felt a bit slow at times.

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