Written By Alfredo Esparza
NJPW WPW Classics #13
Antonio Inoki vs. Akram Pahalwan
Taped 12/12/76 at the National Stadium in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Before the match they air a video feature on Antonio Inoki arriving in Pakistan. He’s shown shaking hands with people on the streets. That’s followed by highlights from the press conference for the match against Akram Pahalwan. Highlights of Antonio Inoki training follow. Inoki takes a bump for a kid before giving him a body slam.
They show the fans showing up to National Stadium. You can see fans who didn’t pay for tickets watching from outside on top of a hill where they can see the show. Some highlights of other matches on the card are also shown.
Clean break by both at the start of the match. Pahalwan takes Inoki down to the mat but Inoki gains control and keeps Pahalwan on the mat. Inoki goes for a cross armbreaker. Pahalwan breaks out and they are told to break the hold as they are near the ropes. They have a bad camera angle as it is behind the ring post so when they zoom out, you get the ring post covering up a lot of the action. Camera angle gets switched to another angle but they go back to the bad angle throughout the match.
Pahalwan takes down Inoki again to the delight of the fans who start to cheer loudly. They break and shake hands. Pahalwan takes Inoki down again but they land on the ropes and again have to break. They start up the match as this appears to be wrestled under a round system. Both raise their arms before finally locking up. Inoki locks Pahalwan by the waist and takes him down. He keeps Pahalwan grounded on the mat. He keeps his leg tied to Pahalwan’s and stays on top before trying to switch over into a deathlock position on his leg.
Inoki goes back to being on top of Pahalwan and has him in a chinlock as well. This goes on for a few minutes as Pahalwan can’t escape Inoki’s hold on him. The crowd and folks ringside show some concern for Pahalwan. Referee calls for the bell and Inoki raises his arm in victory to win the 2nd fall.
Bell rings for start of the third fall. They try grabbing each other’s hands. They go to the mat again with Pahalwan taking Inoki down but Inoki quickly reverses it. Inoki gets Pahalwan to quickly submit and he wins the fall and match.
WINNER: Antonio Inoki
Post-match interview with Inoki follows.
They then show more video highlights of Inoki in Pakistan.
Tiger Jeet Singh © vs. Shozo “Strong” Kobayashi in a 2-out-of-3 falls match for the Asia Heavyweight Title
Taped 7/21/1977 at Miyagi Prefectural Sports Center in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
Umanosuke Ueda is taken away to the locker room by a group of wrestlers. Kobayashi asks the referees to check Singh’s boots before the match starts. Singh offers to shake hands with Kobayashi but he slaps his hand away which upsets Singh.
First fall starts with Kobayashi shoving Singh into the corner and getting in a forearm before breaking away. Singh gets Kobayashi on the ropes and breaks cleanly which surprises the fans. Leg takedown by Singh and he holds onto his left leg and foot. Kobayashi counters and reaches the ropes for another clean break and again the fans are surprised.
Test of strength with Kobayashi getting the upper hand. Singh powers back up and takes Kobayashi down and follows with an armlock. Kobayashi picks him up on his shoulders and places Singh on the top rope. He follows with an elbow into his mid-section and a kneedrop. Chinlock on Singh. Kobayashi can’t get Singh in an abdominal stretch and they end up in the corner and again another clean break from Singh.
Arm takedown into an armbar/headscissors combo by Singh. Kobayashi reaches the ropes and again another clean break by Singh. Waistlock takedown by Singh but again they land near the ropes. Side headlock by Kobayashi into a takedown. Singh back up and he gets Kobayashi on the ropes. Clean break by Singh continues.
They lock back up and Kobayashi gets Singh in a front facelock. Singh shoves him into the ropes and breaks away cleanly. Single leg takedown by Singh. Kobayashi reverses and gets Singh in a headscissors. He starts to stomp on Singh in the corner. Strong Kobayashi grabs Singh in a bear hug and lifts him up in the air. Singh wants to punch Kobayashi but nods that he won’t do it and continues in the hold. He’s able to reach the ropes and Kobayashi with some shoulder blocks into his mid-section and gets Singh back again in a bear hug.
Singh almost escapes but Kobayashi picks him up for a backbreaker and then follows with a backdrop. He goes for the pin but Singh kicks out. Some forearms thrown at Singh and Kobayashi picks Singh up over his shoulder. Singh slides off and falls to the floor. Kobayashi follows and slams Singh into the announcers table. He grabs a chair but the referee keeps him from using it and as that is going on, Singh hits Kobayashi with a chair!
Singh tries to send Kobayashi into the ring post but ends up getting tossed at it. Kobayashi slams Singh’s head into the ring post a second time. Referee calls for the bell. Singh is bleeding all over now. Kobayashi tosses the chair into the ring. Singh wins the first fall.
They skip the second fall and air the third fall. Singh is bleeding all over the place as he’s trying to get back in the ring and Kobayashi keeps attacking him. Kobayashi tosses him into the corner but Singh kicks him. Singh goes for a choke hold on Kobayashi. Kobayashi kicks out once, but Singh gets him again. He kicks Singh off him. Singh whips Kobayashi into the ropes and again chokes him.
Kobayashi lands a forearm at Singh and then goes for an atomic knee drop. That sends Singh to the outside. He brings Singh back onto the ring apron and then tosses him into the ring post. Kobayashi with a suplex brings Singh back into the ring. Referee refuses to count the pin. Kobayashi starts to remove the padding off the corner. He slams Singh’s head into the metal rod.
Referee tries to stop Kobayashi. He tosses the referee into the other corner and then grabs him and places him on the corner in a tree of woe so he can continue to fight Singh. Singh attacks Kobayashi and gets him with the choke again. Bell rings. Another referee shows up. Singh refuses to break the choke so Seiji Sakaguchi gets in the ring and kicks him off. Singh grabs the mic and calls for someone. Ueda comes back. Singh heads over and continues to argue his point with various people ringside. Sakaguchi grabs the mic and has some words for Singh and Ueda.
WINNER: Tiger Jeet Singh
Wilhelm Ruska vs. Buffalo Allen (Bad News Allen Coage) in a Judo Jacket match
Taped 12/8/1977 at Kuramae Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan
Match is joined in progress with Buffalo Allen on offense taking Ruska into the corner. Referee breaks them up. Ruska walks out of the ring. He gets back in and offers to shake Allen’s hand but instead attacks him. They flip over the top rope and to the floor! Ruska attacks Allen outside the ring. Both men brawl outside. Allen hits Ruska with a couple of headbutts! Referees break them apart.
Allen charges at Ruska as he tries to get back in the ring and gets him with another headbutt. Fans cheer for Buffalo Allen. Ruska is bleeding from his forehead but gets back in the ring. Allen with more headbutts and he starts to stomp on Ruska. Pat Patterson gets on the ring apron and distracts Allen. Ruska grabs Allen with a backdrop and gets him with a cross armbreaker. He quickly switches over to another submission hold that appears to be a variation of a sleeper hold. He knocks Allen out and Ruska gets the win.
WINNER: Wilhelm Ruska
Masahiro Chono vs. Hiroshi Hase
Taped 1/31/1990 at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, Japan
Hiroshi Hase with a single leg takedown into a leglock on Chono to start the match. Chono tries to escape but Hase keeps hold of the leg until Chono kicks him off. Some wristlock reversals by the two. Chono with an armdrag but Hase keeps hold of him and takes him back down to the mat. Chono reverses and goes for crossface on Hase. Hase reaches the ropes. Chono stomps on him as he breaks away.
That fires up Hase but Chono takes him back down with a few hard shots including an elbow across his face. Snapmare into a headlock by Chono. Hase with a side suplex takes Chono down to the mat. He kicks Chono’s back and follows up by picking Chono up and dropping him stomach-first into his knee. Hase then catches Chono with a dropkick. He only gets a two count and grabs hold of Chono with a headlock.
Chono back up and he slams Hase. He stomps on Hase and then whips him into the ropes and gets him with a knee into the mid-section. Chono goes for a Boston Crab. Hase reverses out of it and gets back up with a kick and knee lifts at Chono. He slams Chono and follows with a running stomp at him. Piledriver by Hase and he gets a two-count. Hase gets Chono back into a headlock. Chono struggles to break out of the hold. Hase releases and stomps on him again.
They exchange forearms and elbows but Chono gets the advantage again and gets Hase with a Russian legsweep for a two-count. Hard chop thrown by Chono and he whips Hase into the ropes and picks him up over his shoulders and goes for a Samoan drop for another two-count. Snapmare into a headscissors by Chono. Hase rolls to the ropes and is able to break out of the hold but Chono delivers more stomps at him.
Hase whips Chono into the ropes and catches him with a clothesline for another two-count. He whips Chono again into the ropes and catches him with a spin kick for another two count. Boston Crab by Hase! Chono’s able to reach the ropes and break the hold. Hase continues on offense. Hard chop thrown at Chono. Chono reverses a whip into the ropes and catches Hase with a neckbreaker.
Chono climbs to the top rope and catches Hase with a shoulder block. He gets a two-count on Hase. He whips Hase into the ropes but Hase surprises him with a clothesline and another near fall. Both men get back up and Hase goes for a uranage on Chono! He gets another near pin on Chono. Crowd starts to make a little more noise. Hard chop from Hase and he misses a dropkick as Chono holds onto the ropes. Chono with an enziguiri at Hase followed by a backdrop. Chono goes for an STF and gets Hase to submit!
WINNER: Masahiro Chono
Riki Choshu & George Takano vs. Super Strong Machine & Tatsutoshi Gotoh
Taped 1/31/1990 at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, Japan
Animal Hamaguchi shows up and grabs the mic. He’s very well dressed.
George Takano and Riki Choshu get in the ring and quickly attack Super Strong Machine and Tatsutoshi Gotoh. Takano with a top rope headbutt on Super Strong Machine and follows that up with more stomping on him. He rips at the Machine’s mask and finally removes it. Fans cheer loudly.
Bell sounds to start the match. Gotoh gets in the ring and Choshu grabs him and stomps on him. He kicks at Gotoh. Super Strong Machine is shown struggling to get back to his corner. Chinlock by Choshu but he breaks it to kick him and tag Takano back in. Choshu runs over and kicks Super Strong Machine off the ring apron. Takano continues to stomp on Gotoh. Gotoh fights back!
Takano knocks Gotoh back down and tosses him into his corner. Gotoh knocks Takano down as Takano wants Super Strong Machine in the match. Gotoh holds Takano while Machine comes in and punches him. Takano fires up and knocks Super Strong Machine back down and goes after his mask again. Whip reversal by Machine and he catches Takano with an elbow to the face. He tosses Takano to the outside and Gotoh sends Takano into the guard rail. Riki Choshu charges after Super Strong Machine and attacks him.
Takano tries to get back in the ring but Gotoh kicks him off a few times. He grabs him by the hair and takes Takano to his corner where they double-team attack him. Super Strong Machine back in the match. Gotoh whips Takano into the corner and they each follow with clotheslines. Suplex by Super Strong Machine. Choshu breaks up a pin attempt. He gets Machine up with a suplex. Takano lands a headbutt on Machine’s side. Choshu tags in and he kicks at Super Strong Machine.
Super Strong Machine and Riki Choshu exchange kicks. Goto tags back in and he kicks Choshu a few times. Headbutt by Gotoh knocks Choshu down to his knee. Choshu fights back and stomps on Gotoh. He goes for the Scorpion Deathlock! Animal Hamaguchi is shown ringside. Super Strong Machine makes the save and Takano attacks Machine as well.
Double suplex by Choshu and Takano on Gotoh. Takano tosses Gotoh at Super Strong Machine. Super Strong Machine with some knees at Takano and a dropkick. He follows with a German Suplex on Takano. He gets Takano in the corner and headbutts him a few times. Gotoh climbs the ropes and they get Takano with a spike piledriver.
Gotoh continues to stomp on Takano. He whips him into the ropes and catches him with a running headbutt. Choshu makes the save for Takano. Takano follows with some kicks at Goto. He whips Gotoh ino the ropes and Choshu gets Gotoh with an elbow. The two exchange chops and Choshu gets Gotoh with a backdrop. Suplex by Choshu followed by a lariat on Gotoh. Super Strong Machine makes the save. Takano attacks him again.
Takano accidentally catches Choshu with a spin kick. Gotoh gets Takano with a German Suplex. Super Strong Machine lands a top rope headbutt on Takano. Gotoh with a clothesline knocks Takano down. Choshu tosses Gotoh to the outside. Gotoh grabs Choshu by the legs and doesn’t let him escape. Super Strong Machine gets George Takano with a cradle for the pin.
Takano and Super Strong Machine continue to fight. Riki Choshu tosses Animal Hamaguchi to the outside.
WINNERS: Super Strong Machine & Tatsutoshi Goto
SHOW THOUGHTS: Good episode. The Hase vs. Chono match was the best match on the show. First match with Inoki had a bad camera angle for much of it but it was clearly meant to just be something that was shown as a segment about him wrestling in Pakistan and not with the intention of it being a complete match airing on TV. The Wilhelm Ruska vs. Buffalo Allen match was fun considering how short it was. I enjoyed the Singh vs. Kobayashi match with each working it the other way early on as Singh tried to work the match clean while Kobayashi was trying to get revenge so he was the aggressor early on. Tag match to close out the episode had some good heat and really enjoyed the Choshu and Takano match.