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Stinko Malenko




Dynamite Kid v. Tiger Mask: NJPW - 1983

Dynamite Kid v. Tiger Mask. Anybody that knows these two know they're guaranteed an GREAT match. They're like Flair/Steamboat, Misawa/Kawada, Gunn/Big Show.Well, maybe not that last one. This match is from 1983-ish, I think. Don't quote me on that.(Hey, wasn't that a column on [slash] a while back?)

This match I got from arguably one of the best tape traders on the net, my buddy, Marking Smart. Yes, even better than me. :) Ryan's good people. I highly suggest you trade with him. NOW! Have I kissed his ass enough? I'm hoping this will knock off a few of the tapes that I owe him for the copy of VPW2 he sent me. :)

Entrances: Dynamite is accompanied to the ring by a virtual unknown. He's a young guy and I think he's someone who worked in Stampede with him a few times. I believe his name is Bret Hart or something like that. Maybe he'll be big one day..

Tiger Mask is accompanied by 4-5 guys in NJPW t-shirts. They do nothing of note. Kinda like Funaki in the WWF. He's just there. (That one was for Edge :))

The bell rings and we're under way! Collar and Elbow tieup and an elbow by Dynamite. They lock up again and Tiger Mask hits a headlock and follows it up with a spining drop toehold (!). I thought that move only existed in the video games. TM is concentrating on the leg right from the start. Psychology? I almost forgot what that was. TM clamps on a Native-American Deathlock and drops down on Dynamite's leg. He tries to fight out of it, but TM tightens the hold. Finally Kid reaches the ropes. Dynamite jumps to his feet and pounds away on TM. Snapmare take over and an elbow drop. Dynamite drapes TM over the top rope and chokes him with it. Dynamite tries to slingshot TM off the ropes, but TM backflips out of it, Dynamite charges, leap frog by TM who nails him with a spinning back kick. Dynamite tries a kick, but TM catches the foot and knocks Dynamite's other foor out from under him. Dynamite gets back up but is met with a backdrop and a DrOpkick by TM.

Both men to their feet now. Dynamite fakes a tieup attempt and takes TM down. Now Dynamite is working on TM's leg. After about 45 seconds, Dynamite releases the hold while holding TM's shoulders to the mat. He tries a pinning combination, but TM bridges up. Dynamite tries to force him back down by jumping on TM's chest, but TM has nothing of it. Nice little sequence here as Dynamite tries to get TM down again from the bridge, TM blocks it with his feet, jumps up, and sunset flips Dynamite for two. Dynamite rolls out and grabs TM's legs but TM tries to take him over with a leg scissors but that is countered with a cartwheel by Dynamite. TM rolls to his feet and we have a standoff. Wow. And this is 1983? The crowd is loving it.

Now TM fakes a tieup and goes back to work on Dynamite's leg. He rises to his feet and stomps away on the left leg of Billington. A pair of spinning leg crushes leads to an ODD variation of the figure four. TM is standing with Dynamite's legs in the figure four position. I guess it'd be called a Standing Figure Four, then. Yes, I figured that out all by myself. Billington slowly grabs TM's leg and breaks the hold. Both men to their feet now and Dynamite picks TM and slams him down HARD. Dynamite follows up with a knee drop to the face and a double arm suplex. Cover and a kickout at two. Dynamite picks TM up and chops him HARD. Ouch. A elbow smash sends TM into the corner, but he comes fighting back with a kick to the gut. TM follows up with a spinning back kick and a flip splash but only gets two. To the chinlock we go. Dynamite fights out and hits an arm wringer. TM does that flippy escape thingy that you see in all the THQ games and gets an arm wringer of his own. That doesn't last long, however, as Dynamite does a couple cartwheels and escapes. He tries a Northern Lights takeover, but TM counters and lands on his feet. Sort of. Dynamite attempts a monkey flip on TM, but he flips out of it again and there's another standoff. Once again, the crowd is eating this up with a spoon. Or chopsticks, if you will.

TM charges at Dynamite with a barrage of kicks that send him to the outsideand the crowd senses something big. TM rushes towards the opposite side of the ring and he's ready to fly! He runs toward the ropes and... fakes a move to the outside. Dynamite and Bret have a little heart to Hart (Ooooh, that's bad) conversation on the outside before Dynamite gets back in the ring. Possibly to discuss how Bret was screwed by Vince. Man, 14 years before and he's already bitching about it. Anyway, Dynamite back in now. He pounds away on TM. A snapmare is followed buy a chinlock Dynamite takes him down to the mat and locks on a head scissors. And in one of the coolest things I've ever seen in a ring, TM manuvers Dynamite into a seated position with TM on his knees with his head still locked in the scissors. TM reaches to his feet, jumps to the left side of Dynamite, over to the right side, and kips up and lands on his feet. Dynamite has this look on his face like "What the hell was that?" Priceless.

They go to tie up but Dynamite opts for a pair of backbreakers instead. He follows that up with a headbutt and a chop. Billington's influence on Benoit is showing strong here. A gutwrench suplex only gets two. Dynamite follows up with a snapmare and a legdrop. And back to the chinlock we go. TM reaches his feet, and while he's still in the hold, manages to kick Dynamite twice in the back and reach the ropes. Dynamite pounds away on TM and then tosses him to the outside while Dynamite collects himself. TM is back in now and it's his turn to pound away on Billington. TM with a scoop and a slam and he runs up the turnbuckle and drops an elbow fron the second rope. Cover and a kick out at two. Now TM locks on a head scissors. Both men reach their feet. TM with an Irish whip and a meets Dynamite half way with a diving shoulder block. TM comes back with a suplex (Japanese announcer: "BrainBUSTAAHHHH") and heads to the top. He misses the elbow! Both men are struggeling to their feet but Dynamite is the first to get up. They trade a series of German Suplex reversals until TM makes the mistake of getting a headlock. It's a mistake because Dynamite catches him and KILLIFIES him with a belly to back suplex right on his head. Ouch, ouch, OUCH. Now Dynamite will try his luck on the top rope. He goes for a splash and misses!! And since Dynamite took most of the splash on his knees, TM gets right up and starts kicking away at them. See, kids? Psychology = GOOD. TM goes right back to work on the knees with a figure four. Dynamite reverses the hold and finally reaches the ropes with help from Bret. Bret then starts to stomp away on the knee of TM which brings on the guys in NJPW shirts that accompanied Tiger Mask to the ring. They try to drag Bre off the apron, but he isn't budging. Meanwhile back in the ring, Dynamite catches TM in a headlock, but he pushes Billington off and he does the job of knocking Bret off the apron. And the TM DrOpkicks Dynamite out of the ring. Now Tiger mask is ready to fly. Cartwheel into a splash to the outside!!! But it takes out Bret instead!! Dynamite picks him up, Tombstone on the muhfuggin floor!!! Tiger Mask is OUT. Dynamite picks him up and Irish whips him into the barracade. Billington rushed in, but gets backdropped into the crowd! And the ref reaches 20!!! It's a crappy double countout!

Final Reflections: This match was VERY revolutionary for it's time. It's rare that a match from the early Eighties holds up at all, but this one accomplishes just that. I'd go as far as saying it's one of the top 10 best matches I''ve ever seen. An absolute ***** match. Rob your sister's piggy bank and get this one.

Stinko Malenko

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