Being as I am, or rather; was, a wrestling fan, I figured it was about time I tried to do a post about some of the better matches I’ve seen.
While I’m honestly not all that well versed in Japanese wrestling history, few could argue that these 2 men were some of the most gifted performers in professional wrestling history.
Cousin of Davey Boy Smith AKA The British Bulldog, Dynamite Kid is often cited as being one of the best technical wrestlers of all time.
Equally at home on the mat as he was atop the turnbuckle, Dynamite Kid was instrumental in creating a fanbase for Cruiserweight and high-flying wrestling.
Tiger Mask bore a skill set that was largely similar, and equally varied, however as is the case with most Japanese wrestlers; his repertoire of signature moves made great use of kicks, chops, and other martial arts inspired strikes.
Aside from their actual wrestling though, the major distinction between the 2 was the fact that Tiger Mask had the added attraction of being a masked wrestler.
Taking his name and persona from Ikki Kajiwara’s manga and anime character of the same name, the original Tiger Mask was portrayed by Satoru Sayama, who actually debuted and won against the heavily favored Dynamite Kid.
While there’s no doubt that NJPW (New Japan Pro-Wrestling) intended to use Tiger Mask’s shocking victory over Dynamite Kid as a means to position him as one of their flagship talents, the fact remains that Satoru Sayama was asked to wear a tiger mask, and be taken seriously.
Based on that knowledge, my guess is that Sayama went out of his way to bust his ass training for his role as Tiger Mask for fear of being humiliated.
While I was around to see him wrestle live, based on what few matches I’ve seen of his, Tiger Mask and his successor Tiger Mask IV stand as some of my favorite wrestlers of all time.
The match I posted above comes from August 5th, 1982; making it one of the middle matches in the Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask feud.
While I haven’t been fortunate to have seen all of the matches between these 2 great men, this was the one that stood out to me the most.
Featuring some incredible backbreakers and picture perfect reversals, the match is an awe-inspiring spectacle of physicality from start to finish.
The only downside of watching matches like this, is that it makes it hard to go back to watching other less spectacular matches, let alone slower and clumsier stuff from the Heavyweights.
Anyway, that’s all I feel I need to say about this one.
Hope you had as much fun as I did watching the match!