November 29, 1989


Yoji Anjo . . . makes up for Nakano and Miyato having a watchable match (no, really!) by nearly putting the Tokyo Dome to sleep.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara . . . still proves to be the toughest and craftiest old buzzard in the business!

Nobuhiko Takada . . . proves why his reputation for not always making his opponents look good is very well-deserved.



Seven months after these two put on, quite possibly, the worst match in the history of the company, they meet again. Actually, this is almost watchable due to the fact that it doesn’t go very long, and they both show some impressive intensity. They swing wildly at each other, and they both seem to be OK with the idea of taking three shots if it means that they can get in one of their own. It also helps that Nakano’s selling gets the crowd behind him. Every time Miyato takes away a point, it looks more and more hopeless for Nakano, and the crowd responds by rallying behind him, especially after Miyato’s backdrop suplex and then the kick to the gut which causes the ref to call Nakano down even though he’s still on his feet. Miyato gets Nakano down to his last point and locks in a half crab, and Nakano has to fight his way out of the hold since another rope break would lose the match for him. After getting out of the hold, Nakano goes on an offensive tear by playing off what Miyato does and getting in simple and effective counters and transitions. Miyato starts by throwing kicks and after a couple of failed attempts, Nakano catches one and takes him down with a Capture suplex and then locks in a crossface chickenwing. Miyato gets out of the hold and Nakano seamlessly switches gears and takes him over with a vertical suplex. Miyato gets up and tries attacking with palm strikes, and Nakano responds with headbutts and traps a stunned Miyato into a sleeper and forces him to submit. Despite their rather checkered history (both individually and when working together), this still seems like it could be an interesting match because of what they’d both been doing since their last match. The results weren’t pretty, which isn’t exactly a shocker, but this is still a decent outing from a pairing that usually struggles to get even that far.


Kickboxer vs. Wrestler: YOJI ANJO vs. CHANGPUEK KIASONGRIT

This is laid out almost exactly the way the mixed match in January between Yamazaki and Trevor Clarke was, only without the satisfying conclusion. The kickboxer throws strikes, and connects quite a few times, but he doesn’t seem to do much damage. He also makes sure to stay near the ropes so that any time Anjo tries to wrap him up in something, he can grab the ropes and force the ref to break them up. Rinse and repeat for the entirety of all five rounds. They get a bit more chippy at the beginning of the fourth and fifth rounds, but the match still plays out the exact same way. Unless Maeda was genuinely worried about somebody that he sees as a future prospect, namely Funaki, getting shown up by losing here, I’m at a loss for why anyone would think that this style of match would be a good fit for Anjo. Hell, this is probably the only time in the history of UWF that booking Bart Vale would have been a good idea.


Kickboxer vs. Wrestler: MINORU SUZUKI vs. MAURICE SMITH

If nothing else, this at least attempts to be an actual match, rather than a fifteen-minute stall tactic. Suzuki wants to take him down, but Smith is able to use his strikes (mostly kicks) in order to keep Suzuki at bay. And when Suzuki does shoot in, Smith shows some nice takedown defense in order to keep from getting tied up. Suzuki’s main problem is that he gets noticeably winded after the second round, to the point that he’s called down while he’s still on his feet, and when he’s able to catch a kick and try to take Smith down, they tumble over the top rope, and it looks a lot rougher on Suzuki than it does Smith. There’s one point where Suzuki finally does get Smith on the mat, but it looks more like Smith has him trapped in a front neck lock, than Suzuki having Smith where he wants him. Smith waits for his shot and unloads a jab that drops Suzuki and renders him unable to answer the count.


Kickboxer vs. Wrestler: YOSHIAKI FUJIWARA vs. DICK LEON VRIJ

This is easily the best of the mixed matches up to this point, not only because it’s the shortest, but because both men come away from this looking good. Vrij unloads on The Fuj with several kicks to the legs and midsection, and Fujiwara, the tough old bastard that he is, sucks them up and tries to take Vrij to the mat. After the first round, Fujiwara sees exactly what he needs to do to win. Vrij may be a powerful kicker, but he’s lacking in speed and that’s something that can easily be exploited. It’s only a matter of time until Fujiwara catches a kick and takes Vrij down and submits him with a standing Achilles lock.



While this isn’t as exciting as the previous match, it winds up being a better technical match. Dolman is able to use his size to his advantage rather well. He’s able to absorb Yamazaki’s kicks better than most of his opponents, and when Yamazaki shoots in, he’s able to counter him and keep Yamazaki stationary on the ground. Yamazaki manages to give him a scare during the second round when he surprises him with a Gi choke, but they’re close enough to the ropes that Dolman is able to get a break. They also use the rope breaks a lot better than the opener, with both of them only using them when it seems like the only option, rather than going for them at the first instant of something happening. Dolman works through what Yamazaki gives him and takes advantage at the first opportunity he gets to lock in a juji-gatame for a submission. This winds up being another case where both men come out looking good. Dolman rebounds from his loss to Maeda in May, and Yamazaki shows that, despite eventually losing, he’s able to hold his own in a situation where’s out of his element and his comfort zone.



Although this turns out to be a fine match from a technical standpoint, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the way the match plays out almost feels backwards. Takada is pitted against an Olympic wrestler, and inside of three minutes he’s managed to cause Duane to burn both of his rope breaks and he also takes off a point with a high kick. Within ten minutes Takada takes off all but one of Duane’s remaining points, while he only gives up his two rope breaks, and one of those is to a single leg crab of all things. Takada using his striking to his advantage is fine, he’s proven to be a capable striker, and he’s certainly one of the better mat workers in the company, but there’s no way that he should dominate the mat exchanges the way he does. Duane tries to take Takada to the mat, but every time it’s Takada who wiggles free or pulls off a surprise counter and sends Duane scurrying to the ropes. Even the finish sees Duane hit a big German suplex and try to wrap up Takada on the mat, only for Takada to work his way into a juji-gatame, and once Duane realizes he’s trapped, he’s forced to tap out. The idea of Takada going over is fine. But, doing so in this manner seems like an odd use of someone with Duane’s credentials, especially when there were more believable ways to get there. It seemed like Duane was too willing to defer to Takada, with them being on his turf, and Takada was all too happy to take the ego boost. Fujiwara beat Vrij in less than half the length of this and Vrij still came out looking like someone who could come back later and win matches.



UWF is 2-2-1 with the legit fighters, so it’s up to Maeda to give the Home Team the win. Just in case there were any lingering doubts about whether or not this is worked. Although at least Maeda was willing to let Wilhelm look good first, despite this being rather short. Wilhelm does a few nifty things, like countering Maeda’s attempt at a throw and winding up in top position, and he’s able to work his way to a juji-gatame and almost does it for a second time until Maeda is saved by the bell. Wilhelm even does a pretty good job of taking Maeda’s kicks, even though he’s a judo practitioner and wouldn’t be used to being attacked with strikes. The finish would almost look like a fluke if Maeda hadn’t telegraphed it a bit by going back to the leg kicks. He hits a few kicks and shoots in and surprises Wilhelm with a takedown that lets him get a cross kneelock, and Wilhelm even provides a little showmanship by really selling the pain that the hold is causing before he submits.


Conclusion: The only real marks against this show are the Anjo and Suzuki mixed matches, the rest is watchable at worst, with some surprisingly fun performances from the legit guys.