September 2, 1985

Osamu Kido . . . makes one of the UWF young guns look almost worthless.

Akira Maeda . . . prevents Super Tiger from making any Super Cubs.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara . . . nearly gets his left leg amputated.


There’s nothing wrong with Kido beating Yamazaki. Yamazaki was still a young gun, and Kido is far from being washed up and past his prime. It’s the manner in which Kido wins that I take issue with. It’s possible that the five minutes that got clipped off featured Yamazaki firmly in control, but, what gets shown is Kido more or less chewing him up and spitting him out. Yamazaki only gets one hold applied, and connects with a couple of kicks, which have minimal effect. Kido thoroughly outwrestles him on the mat, and gets the submission from a Boston crab of all things, Yamazaki isn’t even worthy of a losing to a halfway decent shootstyle hold?


Assuming that Hogan’s figure is correct, and that 99 percent of the time that there are legit issues between wrestlers who are working together, they’ll rise up to a higher level of professionalism to get through the match without incident (Misawa/Kawada, Benoit/Sullivan, Hart/Michaels, and Edge/Hardy are all examples of this), then Mr. Maeda is the other 1 percent. It’s not readily apparent in their work, because UWF style is supposed to be non cooperative. But, when compared to their match in July, it’s easy to see the difference. There’s a lot more force to the strikes, and that’s saying a lot when it comes to Sayama. Maeda is more than willing to stand up and trade shots with Sayama, rather than keep him grounded. The groin shot doesn’t appear to be intentional, it’s not like Maeda took aim and punted him, or hit him multiple times. Maeda threw a knee that hit Sayama low. You could see the same thing, totally unintended, in any MMA match. But, given that UWF bounced Maeda for it, and, what would happen in the next couple of years with Maeda and Andre and Maeda and Chosyu, the notion of this being an accident seems unlikely.


The way that this match plays out makes Kido/Yamazaki look even more odd. Fujiwara gives Takada the opportunity to look good, and, to show that he’s got it in him to beat the grizzled vet (I’m hesitant to use the phrase ‘old man’ since Fujiwara was only a few years older than I am now). Early on, Takada controls Fujiwara with a headlock for a short spell. Fujiwara escapes it with a backdrop suplex, and follows up with a butterfly hold, just to show how easily he could turn the tide.

Takada’s best chance comes when he takes Fujiwara by surprise with a legbar, and then relentlessly pelts at the bad wheel with kicks, hoping to keep him down for the count. Takada doesn’t succeed, but, each time that he drops Fujiwara, Fujiwara stays down longer and longer. Fujiwara realizes that the kid is for real, and, that he needs to come up with something quickly if he hopes to put Takada away. Fujiwara’s first idea is a Boston crab, with Takada easily getting the rope break, seemingly just to thumb their noses at Kido/Yamazaki. Fujiwara secures a legbar, and, only after seeing that there’s no hope of escape or getting another break, does Takada finally give it up. Even with less time to work with, there isn’t any reason why Kido couldn’t have given Yamazaki the same sort of rub that Takada was given here. It’s just another case of the trend that would continue into the second UWF, and then into UWFI, with Yamazaki being in Takada’s shadow.

Conclusion: The main event is the big reason to pick this up. Maeda/Sayama is a somewhat famous match, but, isn’t all that great.