It’s my morning off. I was slow getting out of bed. Insomnia really kicks my ass in the morning. So, I thought I would brew up a big pot of French Roast coffee, grind up some delicious buds, and check out some great wrestling matches. After some thought and some consideration for the upcoming NJPW Wrestle Kingdom event. I decided to watch the grand-daddy of Japanese Puroresu, Rikidozan. A wrestler that I was familiar with, but hadn’t watched any matches of.
I don’t have much variety in the way of sativas, and that’s necessary for Wake 'N Baking. But, I do have a delicious Golden Strawberry from Airfield Supply Company that will do the job nicely. This is a very tasty strain that I had discovered last year while enjoying Airfield’s house pre-fills. It’s a full-bodied sweet flavor that just tastes so damn good! It’s also good for keeping you alert while not over-doing it.
So… Let’s get to it.
Rikidozan versus Masahiko Kimura was the main event of a JWA wrestling card from December 22nd, 1954. It pitted sumo-wrestling great, Kimura against the puroresu legend, Rikidozan. It was a fantastic bout that saw both competitors striking the shit out of each other. The moves may have been a bit basic, but that only made the bigger moves seem that much more intense. Check out the soccer kicks from ‘Dozan to Kimura’s head at the end of the match. It’s nutso!
Rikidozan versus Lou Thesz was the main event of a JWA wrestling card, performed on October 13th, 1957 in Osaka, Japan. The bout was a 2 of 3 falls match with the NWA Heavyweight Title on the line. The champion, Lou Thesz had been working a series of matches in Japan showcasing the belt. This series of matches between Lou Thesz and Rikidozan would go down as some of the most important bouts of tall time. These two set the standard in professional wrestling and set the bar years before anyone else would. It’s really interesting to see how much modern wrestling was influenced by matches like this. This particular match is the second of their legendary series. It’s a great match that followed up their five-star blow out. - It’s a pretty slow affair. The challenger, RIkidozan, had been trying his best to wear the champion down. Thesz was ready. And he had a counter for everything the Japanese star could dish out. Both guys gave it everything they had. - The action may have been slow and plodding, but when Thesz or ‘Dozan whipped out a big move, it meant more. These two went to “headlock city” early in the bout and kept it going throughout. However, every once in a while Thesz would hip-toss ‘Dozan or powerbomb him. Then Rikidozan would hit the Gaijin with a snap-mare. Both went back and forth, eventually leading to a double-countout. Ahh… wrestling.
Rikidozan versus Freddie Blassie was a huge main event from a WWA TV-Taping on March 28th, 1962. It hailed from the LA Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. A brutal match, this bout was for the WWA Heavyweight Title. A championship that was being held by the fan-favorite, “Classy” Freddie Blassie. Rikidozan was the big scary foreign heel that brought a hurting to the beloved champion. It was intense. The action was fast paced, brutal, and even spilled into the crowd. Quite a treat for the fans on hand. This proved to be one of my favorites with Blassie and ‘Dozan executing a perfect double-turn. The crowd slowly getting behind this mystery man from Japan.
Rikidozan versus Haystacks Calhoun was the main event of a JWA wrestling event from March 24th, 1963 emanating from the historic Kuramae Kokugikan (Old Sumo Hall) in Tokyo. This match saw Rikidozan as the NWA International Heavyweight Champion, although this was a non-title match-up. Both guys looked good, and it was awesome to see Rikidozan let his newcomer get some good offense in. It was the first time I had seen ‘Dozan work a big man like Calhoun, and it was entertaining to see them work and sell. A hell of a matchup.
Rikidozan versus The Destroyer was the main event of a JWA wrestling event from December 2nd, 1963. This was a big two-of-three falls match for the NWA International Title. Rikidozan was coming into the match as the champion. It was apparently fought in front of “70 Million Viewers” on television. N-TV in Japan had aired the match and reported a 63% viewership, which accounted for those numbers. This was a fantastic bout. I feel like I have just discovered The Destroyer. He’s amazing. His cursing, yelling, and larger-than-life attitude make him so interesting. Then you throw in that horrible mask. It’s a work of art.