This was from All Japan. Puerto Rican legend to be Carlos Colon is seen at age 33. A 39 year old Mil Mascaras performs in his prime. A clash of styles ensues as these two big names work through an often times awkward match.
This was from All Japan. Kenta Kobashi is seen at age 22, with under 2 years in as a pro. Johnny Ace is seen at age 27, just three years into his career. This marks John's first tour with the Baba organization, in time he would become a regular. Watch how Laurinaitis delivers the Ace Crusher years before the move hit the American scene!
Looking back, Ace developed into a very solid worker during his prime run in AJPW. In fact an argument could be made that he was much more technical than his more famous brother (Road Warrior Animal). An athletic big man who connected with the crowd despite a language barrier, he deserves credit for innovating the Ace Cutter, a forerunner to moves later popularized in the US as high end finishers (ie. Diamond Cutter, Stone Cold Stunner, RKO). It's unfortunate that his largest exposure in the US market was tied to a very green point in his career.
This was from the Universal Wrestling Federation. The Blade Runners Rock (later known as the Ultimate Warrior) and Sting are both seen with just over 6 months of experience. Ted DiBiase and Steve Williams were staples for Bill Watts. An interesting look back at two men who would go on to become huge names in the industry, viewed at a very formative stage. Shoulder to shoulder, few could make Dr. Death look as small as Rock did!
This was from All Japan. Long time star Killer Karl Kox is seen at age 43. A 23 year old Dick Slater is seen with just over 2 years experience. Slater was an AAU Olympic wrestling prospect who segued into the business through Eddie Graham's Florida promotion. As this viewing indicates, he had a strong base at an early stage. The international dream team of Baba & Beyer are seen in their respective primes. A fun viewing all around.
This was from World Class Championship Wrestling based out of Texas. NWA World Champion Ric Flair is seen at age 34. In later years Ric would be criticized for working the same routine regardless of his opponents strengths, but the formula served to produce a standard 'good' match with just about anyone on the circuit. David Von Erich is seen at age 25 with six years under his belt. At the time it was rumored that the NWA Board of Directors had approved DVE for a near turn run as NWA World Champion. Fact or fiction, David would unfortunately pass away several weeks later while on tour in Japan. RIP
This was from World Championship Wrestling at Clash of the Champions 32. Brian Pillman is seen working his unpredictable loose cannon gimmick at age 33. A 28 year old Eddie Guerrero is seen early in his run with WCW, the difference in muscle mass from his later peak is stark. This was notable for Pillman causing commentator Bobby Heenan to flip out at ringside by aggravating his legit neck injury. I would have loved to have seen these two given time to work a match to its full potential.
This was from the UK based Joint Promotions on the World of Sport. The format was 6 timed rounds, one fall to a finish. Vic Faulkner was a second generation star who is best remembered as part of a team with his brother Bert. Here he is seen at age 33. Johnny Saint is seen at age 36 with an astounding 18 years of ring time already behind him. A good glimpse of both in a very well worked sport style match. High end mat work, clean and technical!
Serious students of UK wrestling history often cite The Faulkners as among the great tag teams of the WOS era. While sparse, surviving footage of their matches is well worth tracking down.
This was from New Japan. A 25 year old Keiji Muto is seen with just under 3 years as a pro. Here he teams with the legendary Antonio Inoki at age 44. Complexity is thrown into the mix as they take on Inoki's heated rival Riki Choshu and his former protege Tatsumi Fujinami. A super hot crowd at the Sumo Hall adds to the experience amid the Takeshi Puroresu Gundan era.
This was from an event in Texas. NWA World Champion Lou Thesz is seen at age 36, with 20 years of ring time behind him. A 45 year old Bill Longson is seen as a 21 year veteran. Fans of the vintage era often cite BL as the father of the piledriver. A fairly lengthy and worthwhile viewing.
Wild Bill Longson was a top level international draw who was inducted into both the Wrestling Observer and Professional Wrestling Hall of Fames. While sparse footage survives of his work, he's definitely a name to consider when discussing the greats of the past.
This was from New Japan, a specialty match that took place on a deserted island, the famed Ganryujima Island Death Match! Antonio Inoki takes on arch rival Masa Saito. In context, this was a 2 hour television special designed to renact the vibe of the legendary Samurai sword duel between Musashi/Sasaki in the same location. The goal of this match was to incapacitate the opponent, board a rescue boat and safely return to civilization. Serious stuff for the time frame. Linked above is the close out. Extended highlights begin here. A famous match in NJPW history.