Thursday, July 19, 2012

Antonio Inoki vs. Great Antonio

Since I don't want this to be mistaken for a comics-only blog by any of the 12 people who show up not looking for pictures of Asian actresses, I figured I should add a little variety. This came up with a buddy of mine today, so I thought I'd post it.

Antonio Inoki is a legendary figure in Japanese pro wrestling and a fellow with more than a little interest in legit fighting arts. Great Antonio was neither of those things. He was a "strongman" in the freakshow sense of the word. He was also someone who was a little bit off even by the standards of professional wrestling. Think about that for a minute.

The following match is rather infamous and said to be from 1977. Great Antonio continually clowns Inoki and refuses to work a proper match. Inoki becomes angrier and angrier as things go on, but seems bound and determined to work the match. That is, until Great Antonio decides to start taking liberties by laying in stiff forearms on Inoki's neck and head. That's when Antonio Inoki snaps.

This isn't by any definition a "good" match. But it is a very interesting one.

For the record, I can totally understand what Inoki did. The guy was first trying to make him look bad, then was doing things that could have legitimately injured him. So yes, he had a right to lose his temper. Maybe he went overboard with it (and he looks pretty unhappy with the whole situation at the end), but you can't blame the guy after what happened.

The unsung hero is that manager guy in Great Antonio's corner. I think his impromptu run-in probably snapped Inoki back to reality. Inoki definitely lays off after the interference.

It sounds to me as if this match was ruled a knockout. How often do you see that result?

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