Mike’s MOTW 3/22/13
Here are the matches I picked for your viewing enjoyment on Episode 16. I have been on a serious NJPW kick lately (thanks to Bret Hart’s book that I am currently in the middle of) and so I went down a bit of a rabbit hole last week on youtube looking up all these classic match-ups from the 80s/90s. Black Tiger (at the time played by Eddie Guerrero, but both before and after him, played by various other non-Japanese wrestlers) vs arguably the greatest Jr. Heavyweight in Japan’s history – Jyushin Liger. They had a long running feud with multiple matches. The one featured here is the 2nd time they fought for the IWGP Jr. Title. Eddie’s work outside of WWE (Japan, Mexico, ECW, and early WCW) is my favorite part of his career, as much as I do love and respect his later years on the grand stage in WWE. Eddie was one of the greats and going back to this old stuff always serves to remind me of that. I mention on the show how I was ORIGINALLY going to pick a Bret Hart match from NJPW since that’s what got me started down this path in the first place, so I have also included links to the Tiger Mask I vs Bret Hart NJPW match from 1982. Worth it just to see Bret before the ‘Hitman’ gimmick/character is fully formed, and seeing all the little traces of what would later become all his trademark stuff. Great stuff. NJPW history is littered with tons of classic moments/matches, so if you’re not that familiar with Japanese wrestling (or PuroResu) you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy.