Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Great Sasuke, Shiryu & Masao Orihara v Takashi Ishikawa, Masanobu Kurisu & Koji Ishinriki (WAR, 6/30/94)
What a wild wee maniac bastard Masa Kurisu is. This is a show built around a six-man tag title tournament, so in that sense I guess it's fairly important. But it's a house show. It's not taped and it never would've seen the light of day if not for someone filming the whole thing (bless that soul, whoever he/she is). So a house show of some consequence...but still a house show. Kurisu has no reason to be the way he is on a house show. Right away he's potatoing guys, clonking them with headbutts, kicking them in the eye, chopping their throats. Orihara has shaved train tracks into his hair and looks like a crackhead and Kurisu cannot understand why people are cheering him. It is mystifying to him and eventually he decides it's enough for the crowd to also earn his ire and so he spends a goodly amount of time thereafter shouting at them and giving them the finger. He hates Shiryu's elaborate mask so he rips a chair off the ground and hammers him with it, like really destroys him with this chair shot. Later on he jabs the edge of it into Orihara's neck and then runs the length of the entrance ramp to smack him again. He even "winds up" before it, which, you know, awesome. It was a truly glorious performance from a reprehensible little man. And this match fucking ruled, even beyond the Kurisu parts. It might not be quite as random as the most random of six-man tag pairings to ever grace a WAR card, but it's hard to imagine it taking place anywhere else. It was the essence of WAR, basically. I don't know who Ishinriki is but he's wearing a Jason Voorhees mask and bright lilac trunks, which is a pretty tremendous juxtaposition and just goes to show that the pro wrestling really can create wonderful art. Ishikawa sort of takes a backseat in the handing out of potatoes, but there was one bit where he literally punted Orihara up and down the ramp. The M-Pro guys were super over as well. Everybody popped big for their signature spots and were rocking for the stereo dives, and somehow the juniors trio even managed to hit a triple springboard dropkick in which all six feet connected with their target. Usually somebody messes up the timing of a spot like that and you end up with one of them dropkicking thin air, but they hit it right on the money here. Ishinriki probably kicked out of and popped up from too much stuff at the end, but it at least made things dramatic and the finish was really cool. I just loved all of this, warts and all. And Kurisu. He's everything that's great about WAR in one middle-aged, bellicose nutshell.