We review the first shootstyle match ever rated five stars by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. And it wasn't even the best match on the card!
At 47, he didn't look like much. Every movement was stiff, his body performing like an old man's, labored and awkward. His hairline was even slightly receding, as if to confirm this decline was no illusion. His wrestling moveset was the final straw, a remnant of the previous decade. Without context he appeared to be … Continue reading UWF: Purple Haze Days (9/11/1984)
They say man was formed in the image of his creator. So too, the wrestlers of the UWF. Their deity, Kamisama, was neither loving, nor forgiving. He was gruff, brutal and unsparing, a submission master who demanded discipline and daring from all who would train under his tutelage. His name was Karl Gotch and he was … Continue reading UWF: The Super Tiger (9/7 +9/11/1984)
Satoru Sayama wasn't the first wrestler to wear a mask and commit acts of flagrant derring do in a wrestling ring. By the late 1970's, that was de rigueur in the world of Mexican lucha libre and slowly making its way around the globe. Although not completely unique, there was something special about Sayama, who … Continue reading UWF: Tiger Mask Cometh (July, 1984)
Yoshiaki Fujiwara made his UWF debut against his protege Akira Maeda as the shootstyle revolution continued in Sumo Hall.
Jonathan Snowden explains why shootstyle still matters and what we are all doing here.
A brief history of the UWF excerpted from Jonathan Snowden’s book Shooters: The Toughest Men in Professional Wrestling.
The first UWF show was highlighted by a...brutal lucha libre bout? The gang explores the unexpected origin story of the revolutionary UWF.
The first Pancrase show dropped like an atom bomb on Tokyo's hardcore wrestling scene. Every other shoot style group, after years of calling out their traditional wrestling rivals and masquerading as the real deal, was suddenly exposed as little more than a collection of charlatans. Funaki, Suzuki and the rest were tired of waiting their … Continue reading Pancrase 2: Yes, We Are Hybrid Wrestlers 2 (10/14/93)
Who can run the fastest? Who can jump the highest? Who can hold another man down or make him quit? These are the questions that plague any group of people and must be answered on the field of play—athletics at its most primal and pure. It's what makes wrestling one of the world's oldest sports, … Continue reading Pancrase 1: Yes, We Are Hybrid Wrestlers (9/21/1993)