Blair Lucas’ Match of The Day (Friday, November 9th, 2012)

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Being a wrestling fan since 1994, I have seen some amazing wrestling matches. Growing up, I’ve learned to appreciate more than just WWE, digging into WCW, ECW, ROH and international wrestling promotions.

Every day, I will share a match that I think are worth watching over and over again. These are elite matches of the highest order. These are matches worthy of being called Blair Lucas’ Match of The Day.

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Japanese wrestling, or “Puroresu” is a form of wrestling that I’m still scratching the surface of. It’s no nonsense, stiff style really appeals to my wrestling tastes, and knowing how loved and respected as an art form it is in Japan still to this day makes it all the more intriguing.

One man that is revered and respected not only in Japan but USA as well as a total wrestling legend is The Great Muta, more famously known perhaps as the man who innovated the use of “Asian Mist” in wrestling.

Muta worked in WCW and NWA while also being under contract for New Japan Pro Wrestling. In 1996, he went one on one with another Japanese wrestler who was very well known to WCW fans, Jushin “Thunder” Liger, who underwent brain tumour surgery only 4 months before this.

Right away, after the introductions are over, Muta puts his fingers up to his throat. The crowd knows what’s up. He then spits the green mist out and everyone goes nuts. Muta uses some heel tactics early on like refusing to grapple with Liger and leaving the ring. He then proceeds to pretend to attack the audience which legitimately scares the crap out of them.

One thing about Japanese crowds is when the wrestlers are performing, they stay completely silent, out of respect and then once a break comes, then they applaud. This seems very strange to Western fans, as crowd silence to us means disinterest.

The psychology here is very basic, classic and simple. Muta, the heel, dictates the pace by beating down on Liger until Liger makes a comeback. Usually this kind of basic heel/face stuff annoys me, but the face is, the grappling is so damn good it doesn’t matter. There’s even a shock ending where Muta actually removes Liger’s mask revealing Liger wearing Muta face paint. Muta goes to get a chair but when he sees Liger’s face, he stops in shock to which Liger answers by spitting green mist in his face. Classic.

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