September 7, 1989


Kiyoshi Tamura . . . reminds everyone why Miyato is generally considered the weakest worker on the whole UWF roster.

Johnny Barrett . . . may not set the world on fire with his wrestling skills, but, he does one of the biggest Flair flops of all time.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara . . . puts on another stellar performance in a rematch with Funaki.



Compared with their match from the prior month, this looks like night and day. If one only watched the last minute or so, then it’d look like Miyato easily dispatches Tamura. He hits a head kick to knock Tamura for a loop, and takes him over with a belly to belly before tapping him out with a chickenwing armlock. But, before the head kick, this is all Tamura. He’s much more aggressive this time around. He blocks Miyato’s strikes and connects with several of his own, and he also manages to outwrestle Miyato, including a flying juji-gatame that forces Miyato to use a rope break. It’s only after Miyato manages to deflect a dropkick that he gets the opening for the head kick, which allows him to finish off Tamura. Miyato may have won the match, but he was clearly outclassed by Tamura, and, it appears that Tamura is ready for some stiffer competition.



Suzuki, showing the attitude that would make him famous, forgoes Yamazaki’s handshake in favor of a slap to the face. And, just like Tamura, he shows a willingness (along with remarkable success) to be aggressive while taking the fight to Yamazaki. Early on, Yamazaki tries to wrench on Suzuki’s ankle, but Suzuki is able to withstand the hold and force Yamazaki to break it, and then follow up with a single leg crab that makes Yamazaki burn a rope break. Suzuki also manages to block and counter several of Yamazaki’s kicks, which allow him to take down Yamazaki and try to submit him. Suzuki once again shows a willingness to get nasty by letting go of the single leg crab hold after the rope break, and then doing a big stomp to the back of Yamazaki’s head, resulting in his nose getting busted open. But, for the second match in a row, a dropkick leads to the aggressor’s undoing. Suzuki tries for the dropkick and misses, and Yamazaki pounces with a German suplex before finally connecting with a kick that turns Suzuki’s lights out.


While Yamazaki wins, and he made it look relatively easy when push came to shove, this is a case where the end result isn’t the main takeaway from the match as a whole. Yes, Suzuki lost in the end, but, the attitude, aggressiveness, and competency that he showed as a wrestler was fully on display here. It’s yet another case where someone who had been working relatively low on the card looks like he’s ready to start moving up.



Even though this winds up being a good match, it’s nowhere near the level of the previous match. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Takada’s match with Miyato from July. Takada doesn’t mind letting Anjo look good, but, he also doesn’t let things get to the point that the crowd thinks that Anjo will be able to pull off the upset. Anjo scores his only down after a series of mounted punches on Takada, and then getting up and hitting a kick to the back. But, Takada is up by the count of three. Takada could have easily stayed down until seven, or he could have gotten up more slowly, to give the idea that Anjo’s strike flurry took more of a toll on him. The finish is the same thing. Anjo does a counter to Takada’s backdrop suplex and winds up in a top position, but, Takada quickly rolls out and counters with a sleeper hold that forces Anjo to tap out. Anjo’s energy and aggression throughout the match are more than enough to make this a fun experience, but, it’s not much more than that.



Johnny goes into the match knowing that he doesn’t want to trade strikes with Maeda, and that his best chance to win is going to be on the mat. He does a respectable job of sticking with his game plan, trying take Maeda down with suplexes and throws and then trying for a submission. Johnny even shows a little bit of showmanship when he eats a spin kick from Maeda and almost does a Flair flop. But, what Johnny forgets that Maeda is also a good wrestler, and Maeda has no trouble at all in countering or escaping Johnny’s holds. It also doesn’t help that Johnny does nothing to use his size to his advantage and that he preferred pro-style suplexes to try to wear down Maeda. To his credit, Maeda gives him a few spots to shine, such as Johnny countering the juji-gatame into an ankle lock, and also catching one of Maeda’s kicks and taking him over him a Dragon screw. Aside from those few instances, Maeda doesn’t do much else to make his opponent look good. Hell, the finish is Maeda giving the big guy a bodyslam and then submitting him with a crossface chickenwing. Maeda couldn’t even clean his clock with a kick so that we can see him take another exaggerated bump. Although, if Johnny wasn’t worried about making himself look good, it’s hard to fault Maeda too much for it.



After the booking atrocity that was their match from May, these two deserved another go-around. It doesn’t hit the same level as the matches Fujiwara had with Yamazaki and Maeda from July and August, both of which were longer and much more complex, but, this is still a solid outing and another good performance from The Fuj. As far as structure goes, it’s similar to the matches between Fujiwara and Kido from the original UWF, in that the work is very methodical and deliberate, and even extended mat sequences don’t feel like rest holds or that Fujiwara and Funaki are simply eating up time by laying on the mat.


Much like his fellow young guns had done, Funaki tries to come out swinging and show that he wants to take the fight directly to the veteran. Fujiwara just sits back and lets him do his thing. Funaki throws a ton of kicks, slaps, and palm strikes, some of which make contact with their target. But, none of them are able to take Fujiwara off his feet or get him called down. In fact, the only time he has any real success from his strikes is rather late into the match, when he unloads on Fujiwara and is able to knock him down, but, presumably, Fujiwara already being in the corner means that he’s not called as down and no points are taken away. But other than that one instance, all that Funaki really accomplishes in the grand scheme of things is tiring himself out. To his credit, Funaki shows a little bit of preparedness when Fujiwara grabs both of his wrists, and Funaki sees that he’s trying for the headbutt, and is able to block it. Ironically, when Fujiwara scoops up a leg and prepares to take Funaki down, Funaki tries using headbutts of his own in order to free himself.


Funaki’s best chance to win the match is when they’re both on their feet, and once Fujiwara takes things to the mat, any chance of him pulling off the upset disappears. With Fujiwara leading the way, the matwork is as smooth and fluid as it’s ever been. They move seamlessly from sequence to sequence, with the counters and transitions looking perfectly natural and smooth. Fujiwara once again takes advantage of the rules, by rolling into the ropes as Funaki is trying to get a hold locked in. Fujiwara isn’t docked a point since Funaki didn’t have a submission hold applied. The finish comes out of nowhere, which speaks to Fujiwara’s prowess on the mat, but it would have been nice to see a little more showmanship before they ended things. If this was Fujiwara submitting a prelim guy like Tamura or one of the faux shooters like Dolman or Barrett then it’d make more sense. But, Funaki has too much UWF credibility to be outdone in such a manner. Both men seem to be working for a heel hold, when Fujiwara evidently put enough pressure on that Funaki has to tap. Again, it’s more than credible for Fujiwara to win that way, but it would have been nice to see something to suggest that Fujiwara was about to finish Funaki off.


Conclusion: This is another rock solid show from the Newborn UWF, with good action and stellar work from top to bottom.