Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread
SAITO SUPLEX! SAITO.....OTHER...STUFF. SAITO!
Mr. Saito v. Johnny Rodz (Philly Spectrum, historyofwwe says 5/22/82)
This was pretty awesome whenever Saito was on offense and OK whenever Rodz was on offense. Saito starts by ruthlessly throwing strikes at Rodz and all of them look amazing. He has a totally gorgeous uppercut palm thingy. Not an *uppercut* uppercut. One of those uppercut slaps that Kane uses, except Kane’s don’t look one tenth as good as this. Saito also made the chop from the top (middle? IDR) rope look legit, too. Most guys like him will get to the turnbuckle and when they fall, the chop looks weakass, like it would have been more effective had the just stayed on the ground. Saito’s was badass and impactful. There was also an awesome neck grip thing (I kinda suck with move names) Saito used where Rodz was twitching and squeezing his shoulders together and I totally bought it. Rodz kind of stuck to a headlock on offense, which was cool and weird when he’d grab the hair (as a babyface), but it wasn’t terribly interesting. He kind of has mediocre offense and I was desperate to see Saito back on the slaughtering. Speaking of which there was a great transition where Saito let Rodz run into both of his knees. I thought it was fun when Saito would shake his head to sell it, or wobble on a weak shot from Rodz, and he made that shit look good, but I wanted this to be an absolute Saito mauling. Still, what better way to start Saito Watching than watching a match that he carried?
Mr. Saito/Mr. Sato v. Tiger Conway Jr./Steve Brody (dunno when)
So Sato is the Great Kabuki? This was a fun few minutes with the Japanese mostly dominating. This is about watching Saito and stuff, but based on this I think I gotta watch some Tiger Conway Jr one day. He had this badass rolling headlock thingy and was selling shots awesomely left and right. I get the idea if he was called to play Ricky Morton in a lengthy tag match he’d do a great job of it.
Mr. Saito/King Tonga/Boris Zhukov v. Buck Zumhofe/Tom Zenk/Sunny Rogers (AWA, 1985)
FUCK MY PRICK. Saito and Meng on the same team? This is why I love random youtube watching. Oh, and, yaaaay…………...it’s Tom Zenk. He was pretty goddamn bad here. Right off of the bat he nearly missed selling a headlock take-down, and when he gets tagged by Sunny Rogers (never heard of that guy, btw), he flimsily throws punches and awkwardly runs into shit. All things considered, though, this was a coooool five minutes of Saito and Tonga carrying the load, with great chops and mat headlocks and karate stuff. I think my favourite things about this were: (A) - The way this was totally fucking dominated by the heels. They work over Sunny Rogers to the point where it pretty much becomes FIP, and then he tags Zenk in and Zenk comes in with his clumsy shittiness, and after like three seconds the heels are like ‘nah fuck your hot tag’, and wail on him. It’s like TV writers built something good happening to the in-over-his-head sitcom protagonist only for things to go horribly wrong in a comedic way. Zenk scurries out like ‘Jesus SHIT I’m sorry I even tagged in’. Aaaaand (B) – The sound the mat made. Seriously, made an amazing “thump”, and it sounded so much rougher and more gnarly than other mats. Clearly Saito and Tonga are the greatest tag team of all time, btw.
Mr. Saito v. Keith Eric (NWA-AWA Pro Wrestling USA 10/20/84)
This Keith Eric dude sold Saito’s stuff OK, but a little awkwardly. On a Saito suplex he looks like he either has no idea what move he’s selling, or he tries to turn it into a crossbody and Saito has non of that. On offense he……didn’t…actually get a single move in. No, this was all Saito bomb throwing and stomps for 80 seconds. Poor, poor Keith Eric.
Mr. Saito v. Sgt. Slaughter (AWA, 1985)
YES!!!!!! Slaughter is higher in the pecking order than Keith Eric, so he gets the privileges of avoiding Saito’s chops. Searge is SO high in the pecking order that Saito needs Al-Kaissie to grab Slaughter’s boot just to get some chops in. Man I love Slaughter’s selling. He’s a really tall, fairly thick guy and he wobbles around as well as anybody. He takes a HELL of an over-the-turnbuckle Irish whip bump here, which doesn’t surprise me any more since he’s the best ever at doing that. Saito returns the favour later and sends himself onto the turnbuckle (in that sort of position where someone would get kicked in the midsection while laying flat on the ropes). This had too much Al-Kaissie getting involved, I think. The action between the two guys was really great, but there was too much focus on the Sheik for this to really hit its potential. What we have is AWWWWWWESOME, though. Slaughter selling gratly for Saito’s great offense for even two minutes would be fun to watch. Slaughter eventually coming back and firing this incredible back-body-drop where it looks like it’s taking 99% of his strength to pull it off blew my MIND. The handstand-ish knee drop looked beautiful, too. For the record Searge also does the ‘Hulk Up’ as well as anybody. Saito is just as willing to bump as Slaughter is (even if he isn’t as good at it) and man I wish these two got fifteen minutes.
Mr. Saito/Larry Zbyszko v. The Fabulous Ones (AWA 7/15/84)
Full match isn’t here, as the video starts with Zbyszko getting a front face-lock. Shame too, because based on the first bit of Keirn offense I’m betting his FIP was eve better than what we got. What we got ruled, though. Larry goes to tag Saito in and Keirn hammers away repeatedly, to the point where you think Zbyszko may actually lose him. Zbyszko’s an awesome seller, btw. Heels work over Keirn really entertainingly; best part my have been Saito stoping the hulk up with the neck grip, or just Larry’s desperation to keep one guy in, in general. I looove Saito’s offense so much. By all means it should kind of suck; he has those ‘lift arms up, bring arms down and stomp foot on impact’ judo chops and he neck grip which ca be pretty ass boring in the wrong hands, but he’s so good at it. His chops actually look damaging and never once have I wanted to kill myself during one of his neck grips. The hot tag int his was OK, but not great. The double shoulder bump where Keirn and Zbysko ‘collide’ was a little unconvincing, and while I usually like Shitty Stan Lane Karate, this Shitty Stan Lane Karate felt sorta out of place for whatever reason. Still this pretty much ruled and I want the full match.
Masa Saito v. Chuck Williams (WCW Prime, January 1996)
I am not affected about video quality. ‘Oh this isn’t HD’ ‘Oh the VQ isn’t good’ ‘Oh is there a better quality blah blah BLAH’. Whatever. If I can watch a match I will watch the match regardless of quality. What I am fussy about, however, is a goddamn video jumping and stuttering so I can’t even see the fucking moves being executed. The video was clear enough (by my low-as-dirt standards), but every time the action was getting even remotely quick, there’d be a skip and suddenly I’d go from Saito throwing his arm, to ‘Rockin’ Rebel’ (bibliography – Google) just being on he floor without seeing the contact. If I put the pieces together this was a fun match, but those jumps and shit are infuriating sometimes.