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Yohe's Old Japan Tape Watching Thread
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Steve Yohe



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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:28 am    Post subject: Yohe's Old Japan Tape Watching Thread Reply with quote

The Detroyer's Worst Year 1978

Tonight I met Koji Miyamoto at a hotel near the airport. He was on a business trip to California and we wanted to meet for a few minutes, because it may be my last chance to see him. Koji, for those who don’t know, was like a son to Lou Thesz and Japan’s greatest historian. We talked for over an hour and I had a great time. Koji is a great guy and very smart.

He gave me a gift. It was three VCR tapes of The Destroyer. It seems to be all his TV matches from 1978. I’m pretty sure I’m the only American with those matches. That’s the good part. The bad is the fact that 1978 was The Destroyers worst year…at least physically. Also a lot of what I’ve watch on the first VCR is garbage wrestling with Mark Lewis & Curtis Iaukea.

#1026—THE DESTROYER TAPE #2

1) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Mark Lewin & Jonny Rodz (1-11-78)
Starts in progress and is terrible. Lewis takes the second rope apart and most of the match is everyone taking tours choking each other. Lewin has a super body & looks like the I saw in LA as WWA champion, but he forgot how to work. He looks more like a swimmer that a juice up wrestler. Very thin waist. Not like he looked in Texas & world class tapes. Moved pretty well. Just wants to do garbage wrestling. Dick looks terrible. Can’t move at all. Very painful to watch. Junk. Iaukea is fooling around at ringside. Baba pins Rodz.

2) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Curtis Iaukea & Bull Ramos with Lewin hanging around. (2-5-78) This is more of the same. I saw Iaukea in LA around 1964, and he looked good. Big splash. He let without working a major match at The Olympic & I always wanted to see more. After VCR, I’ve never seen him do anything but garbage match and he’s always terrible, like in this match. He sucks. Dick still looking terrible but can still nip up to his feet. Baba & Dick get counted out. Terrible.

3) The Destroyer vs Black Terror (Tank Patton) (3-11-78) Dick trys hard & looks a little better. I saw Patton in Texas & he was OK for a big guy. Not a good match. Maybe 11/2 stars. Patton trys some wrestling at one point & almost pins Dick with a cool move. Dick wins on a countout. Seems this was a carnival tournament match.

4) Shohei Baba vs Frank Morrell (3-?-78)—Morrell looks like a George the Amimal type but moves a little better. Bad match. Baba pins him. Tournament match.

5) Don Leo Jonathan vs Abdullah The Butcher (3-?-78) Terrible. I’m not as hard on Don Leo as John but he looks really washed up. It’s the worst I’ve ever seem Jonathan. Abie is himself. Jonathan misses a flying body press & Abie pins him after a elbow. 1 star

6) The Destroyer vs Abdullah The Butcher (3-14-78) Worst match these two have ever had. No blood even. It’s a match they were force to do because of the tournament and they didn’t want to beat either one. Dick gets in to a fight with Iaukea & forgets to return to the ring. Abie wins on a countout. No blood & no heat. 1 ½ stars I think Dick was hurting too much to carry Abie.

7) The Destroyer vs Don Leo Jonathan (3-28-78) Dick trys to set up some flying moves for him, but they look bad. Don Leo does attempt some moves I’ve never seen, but he can’t jump high enough to drop kick Dick in the head. Does the Mutoh kick to the chest. Dick still isn’t himself but he’s better that Jonathan. 1 ¾ stars. Dick pins him as he forgets to kick out. Dick is moving better & I think they were trying to have a good match, but what they were trying was too much for Don Leo.

8) The Destroyer & Jumbo Tsuruta vs Kintaro Oki & Kim Duc (4-7-78) Not good. Thought Oki looked good for Oki. Duc is OK. The heels get DQ’ed for low blows. A lucha finish. 1 ¾ stars. Looked more professional.

9) The Destroyer vs Gino Hernandez (4-21-78) OK match. I think Gino was trying to prove something against Dick, who is still not himself but getting better. 2 ¼ stars. Good match to give to a Gino lover. He would have been a good horseman with Tulli.

10) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Dick Murdoch & Kim Duc (4-27-78) Not good and a terrible finish. A throw away match. Dick gets DQ’ed for loading up the mask.

11) The Destroyer & Jumbo Tsuruta & Shohei Baba vs Pat O’Connor & Dick Murdoch & Nelson Royal 2/3 falls (5-4-78) This was a good match. O’Connor is in good shape & you can see why he was the best worker of the 1950’s. He should have been a great NWA champion. Seems the storyline is two past great worker getting a chance to go against each other. Dick looks good again. Moves a lot better maybe because everyone could work. First fall saw Dick pin O’Connor with a small package and O’Connor piledrove Dick into the mat to win the second. Jumbo pin Royal for win. Nelson does some good wrestling & he & Dick seem to be taking holds from each other. Jumbo & Murdoch do some cool spots. I would say an enjoyable three star match. I could show this to John & James & not get boo’ed.

I’ll talk about the other two tapes after I watch them. If I have time. At some point I hope I can find Barnett or someone to transfer to DVD & make a bunch. Destroyer matches are hard to come by….even bad ones. I feel very lucky to have them and have a friend like Koji.----Steve Yohe
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Tigerman73



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: The Detroyer's Worst Year 1978 Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
Tonight I met Koji Miyamoto at a hotel near the airport. He was on a business trip to California and we wanted to meet for a few minutes, because it may be my last chance to see him. Koji, for those who don’t know, was like a son to Lou Thesz and Japan’s greatest historian. We talked for over an hour and I had a great time. Koji is a great guy and very smart.

.----Steve Yohe


I don't know Koji and excuse my ignorance for asking this but is there something wrong with him?
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: The Detroyer's Worst Year 1978 Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
I’ll talk about the other two tapes after I watch them. If I have time. At some point I hope I can find Barnett or someone to transfer to DVD & make a bunch. Destroyer matches are hard to come by….even bad ones. I feel very lucky to have them and have a friend like Koji.----Steve Yohe


It's about time that we get together a Destroyer set with Will/Goodhelmet like the ones he's done on Hansen, Vader, Santo, Backlund, etc.

I don't know if Koji likes Backlund or one of the other wrestlers than Will has done a set of. But perhaps we could send Koji the one he's most likely to enjoy, and explain to Koji that we'd like to do one on Dick... and infact sent a copy of the Destroyer Set to Dick when it's done. Perhaps Koji has some other matches of Dick's from earlier that can be added, similar to him shaking out this 1978 batch.

John
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing wrong with Koji. He is manager of a division of the port of Yokohama. He was in California with his boss doing meetings with Long Beach Harbor and one in North Calif.

He made this tape thinking I just was interested in The Destroyer. I told him him I liked all of Japanese wrestling, you know Jumbo & Baba. He said good...next time he'd wouldn't have to spend hours making tapes. Just send whole shows.

Some came from a tape trader...others from a collection he keeps at his mother's house. Japanese have trouble finding space to store things. I think he also had to make tapes from tapes from some old system...like beta or something.

He was very supprise to know I liked Volk Han.

I haven't looked at the next two tapes but it has the US title loss to Mil Mascaras & some tags against Billy Robinson. A singles match with Dick Murdoch & one with Don Denucci.

Koji writes the Obits on American wrestlers for the Japanese magazines and he told me there was only 11 or 12 Americans left alive who will get the big write ups in Japan. He had a book with the names written in it.

Yohe
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Destroyer match where he pins Mil Mascaras was never shown on Japanese TV, so we'll never find that one.--Yohe
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

#1027—THE DESTROYER TAPE #3

1) The Destroyer vs Dick Murdoch (5-6-78)—It’s the last 10 or so of a 30 minute draw. Dick had injured Murdoch’s leg by the time it’s on. Seemed like a good match. Mostly wrestling. Murdoch shows a lot of skill & I was impressed. Both Dicks shake hands the crowd was happy. They showed some clips at the beginning of show & it looked good.

2) The Destroyer & Jumbo Tsuruta vs Billy Robenson & Erwin (or Arwin) Smith (5-26-78) Erwin Smith (Koji spelled it Arwin) was a young guy getting expeniance in Japan. Powerfull looking with good talent. Explosive. Billy is over with the crowd…They love him even before the match started. 2/3 falls Dick moving pretty good after 5 months. Does the stop where he had Smith in a head lock & runs up the ropes in the corner, and pins the kid. In the second fall, he does the same move but Billy kicks out….Dick trys it again…runs up the ropes but on the way down Billy blocks it and puts Dick into his backbreaker for the pin. Very cool. Jumbo pins Smith in the third fall. Billy doesn’t try any showly stuff with Dick, I guess out of respect. Good match. I would say 3 stars. Worth watching

3) The Destroyer & Jumbo Tsuruta vs Billy Robinson & Mario Milano (6-1-78)—I don’t remember much about this match. Milano never does anything & I really could do without him. Erwin was better. But Billy works most of the match, but spends most of the time selling. 2 ½ stars. Jumbo or Dick pins Milano. I was upset about this time because the Lakers started the season sucking & living off what they did last year. The are not ready to start the season. The guys on TBS were saying the Lakers were going to be 20-1 starting the season. Well they lost the one tonight & had nothing. Sorry. Dick Beyer could play forward better that Ron Artest.

4) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Mario Milano & Erwin Smith (6-10-78)—Milano sucks & I don’t remember much. Smith is OK but I kept wondering what Billy was doing that night.

5) The Destroyer vs Mil Mascaras 2/3 falls (US Title change)(8-18-78)—The first two falls of this are really really in bad shape. Like 10 generation. Very bad. I could hardly make out what was going on but if you tryed hard you can figure it out. I’ve been told it's a bad match. It didn’t seem that way to me. It’s all mat wrestling with no rest hold. Inventive stuff. Maybe slow. Can’t tell. It looked great to me. I’ve never seen any pro wrestling match that had so much pure mat wrestling. Dick wins the first fall with what looked like a power bomb. All year & he used it... in 4 of these matches….the power bomb or something very much like it. He starts like a piledriver & then turns it into a power bomb..except he protects the guy & doesn’t really slam him into the mat like whe're used to….to some smart ass fan of today it would look sick. But that’s how he wins the first fall clean in like 12 mins. Mil comes back to win the second fall in like 8 mins with the flying headbut thing. Other that the finishs, they do none of there normal spots.

Then the picture clears up & it looks OK. (All these match look like 4th generation stuff or old Metzer tapes.) The third fall looks fine. More mat wrestling. Really no heat between the two. But its not kissly hugly stuff either, just wrestling. Dick puts Mil in his airplane spin but falls into the ropes & goes to the floor. Mil doesn’t even think about a tope, just waits to see if Dick can get back before getting counted out. Dick does. Dick beels Mil into the corner & Mil jumps up & flys back on to Dick in a dive from the second rope. Dick kicks out and then nips up & kicks Mil in the head & then gives him a 4 star body slam. After two good looking hand stand knee drops, Dick goes up for a “bombs away” from the top rope….but Mil moves and Dick lands on his knee, hurting it. Mil jumps up to the top rope & does his flying splash….pinning Dick clean.

I don’t know but it had the elements of a 4 star match. But it was all mat wrestling & I’m sure there are people who would call it a bomb of a match. Dick looked back in shape but he’s lost things to old age he would never get back. So? The return match where Dick beat Mil 2/3 falls was never film or shown on TV. This 2/3 fall loss by The Destroyer was only the second of his career. In LA, he would have had to unmask.

6) The Destroyer & Jumbo Tsuruta vs Moose Morowski & Randy Tyler (8-31-78)—Moose & Tyler looked like jobbers and they got treated as such. I should say that Jumbo looks good in all these matches…as always. Moose was a friend who Dick set up with a tour with Baba. Tyler took some good bumps but needed to work on his body. Jumbo won the first fall & Dick the second. Nothing too wrong with it 2 1/4 stars.

7) The Destroyer vs Isac Rosario (10-25-78) Last three mins of a 13 min match. I wish John would chart all of Beyers moves because he does everything. As a heel in LA he was nothing like the Destroyer you see in Japan in 1978. He had a ton of heel moves he would do to hide his dirty ways from the referee. He was total heel & everyone hated him like Blassie.

Steve Yohe
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 8/18/78 Destroyer-Mil match looks like an interesting one to try to track down in better shape. Match times are: 10:55, 5:25, 7:10.

Since 1978 was the time frame we see a fair amount of stuff showing up, it *may* be out there in better shape. Dan just pulled in a fair amount of New Japan stuff from 1978 as part of 27 disk set he just released. Wonder if that source had any All Japan?


John
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Kevin Tyler



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of The Destroyer and the US title... Would anyone have a record of his title defenses in Japan? Also if Abby or Mil had any defenses (I believe Abby had one against Jumbo during his short reign). Much appreciated.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve could give some details, but I believe Dick was simply billed as the US Champ with them pointing back to a win over Pedro Morales in Hawaii several years earlier. The match with Sugiyama would be his first "defense" in Japan.

12/14/72 The Destroyer 2-1 Thunder Sugiyama (11:36, 3:19, 5:09) - Okayama
04/23/73 The Destroyer 1-1 King Curtis Iaukea (10:03, 4:42, 2:54 DCOR) - Nagoya
04/24/73 The Destroyer drew Mark Lewin (60:00 tl) - Osaka
10/09/73 The Destroyer 2-1 Mil Mascaras (12:25, 11:36, 4:20 COR) - Toyonaka
05/13/74 The Destroyer 1-0 Abdullah the Butcher (12:07 DQ) - Hachioji, Tokyo
07/25/74 The Destroyer 2-1 Mil Mascaras (16:03, 4:52, 7:25 UTC) - Tokyo
08/09/74 The Destroyer 2-1 The Tornado (11:17, 7:58, 9:03) - Tokyo
10/10/74 The Destroyer 2-1 Abdullah The Butcher (2:33, 4:35, 5:49) - Expo '70 Carnival Forum, Osaka
12/06/74 The Destroyer 2-1 Chris Markoff (12:33, 7:38, 2:33) - Niigata
01/22/75 The Destroyer 1-1 Cyclone Negro (11:50, 5:32, 5:51 DCOR) - Naha
01/29/75 The Destroyer 2-1 Cyclone Negro (4:05, 5:13, 3:13) - Tokyo
05/27/75 The Destroyer 2-1 Black Devil (12:23, 2:19, 3:34) - Hiroshima
07/09/75 The Destroyer 2-1 The Spirit (9:14, 7:41, 3:16 COR) - Osaka
07/25/75 The Destroyer 2-1 The Spirit (9:38, 3:12, 7:50) - Tokyo
08/19/75 The Destroyer 2-1 Black Devil (9:46, 5:46, 1:57) - Sapporo

10/12/75 Abdullah The Butcher beat The Destroyer (15:54) - Expo '70 Carnival Forum, Osaka
10/30/75 Abdullah The Butcher 2-1 Jumbo Tsuruta (3:49, 5:06, 3:47 COR) - Sumo Hall, Tokyo

12/03/75 The Destroyer 2-1 Abdullah The Butcher (5:58, 5:23, 2:50) - Kiryu City Gym
01/03/76 The Destroyer 1-1 Mil Mascaras (12:49, 6:43, 4:30 DCOR) - Tokyo
02/21/76 The Destroyer 2-1 Blue Shark (6:22, 6:35, 4:44) - Tokyo
08/28/76 The Destroyer 2-1 Super Destroyer (17:35, 2:50, 8:02) - Tokyo
10/10/76 The Destroyer 0-0 Abdullah The Butcher (11:15 No Contest) - Expo '70 Carnival Forum, Osaka
- Title Held Up


10/28/76 The Destroyer 1-0 Abdullah The Butcher (10:57 DQ) - Tokyo Sumo Hall
03/11/77 The Destroyer 1-1 Mil Mascaras (2:04, 3:36, 5:46 DCOR) - Tokyo
10/31/77 The Destroyer 2-1 Bobo Brazil (10:02, 3:52, 1:55 COR) - Matsumoto

08/18/78 Mil Mascaras 2-1 The Destroyer (10:55, 5:25, 7:10) - Tokyo

09/11/78 The Destroyer 2-1 Mil Mascaras (12:41, 6:10, 3:55) - Morioka
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jdw
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Yohe! Get in here and do write-ups of the matches on the *other* tapes you've gotten from Koji. You were up through Tape 2. You have more than that, and a few more on the way.

John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve:

This was the list that you sent me of the other tapes you got from Koji:

# 1025—THE DESTROYER TAPE #1

1) The Destroyer & Texas Red (Red Bastien) vs Billy Robinson & Horst Hoffman (12-10-77)
-- Starts about 8 mins in….Good match with everyone looking good.
2) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Bobo Brazil & Ken Patera (10-3-77)
3) Jumbo Tsurura vs Wahoo Mc Daniel 2/3 falls
4) The Destroyer & Tenryu vs Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Youngblood (10-5-77)

#1028—THE DESTROYER TAPE #4

1) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Bobo Brazil & Tor Kamata (11-3-78)
2) The Destroyer & Jumbo Tsuruta vs Tor Kamata & Dick Blood (11-7-78)
3) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Bruiser Brody & Curtis Iaukea (1-5-79)
4) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Baron Von Rashike & Curtis Iaukea (1-20-79)
5) The Destroyer vs Don DeNucci (1-26-79)

#1029—THE DESTROYER TAPE-#5

1) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Gene Kiniski & Mike Sharpe JR (4-10-79)
2) The Destroyer & Shohei Baba vs Dick Murdoch & Mad Dog Martin (5-7-79)
3) The Destroyer vs Billy Francis (3-31-79)
4) The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons vs Shohei Baba & Ishikawa (5-25-79)
5) The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons vs Billy Robinson & Mark Tender (5-31-79)
6) The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Rocky Hata (6-5-79)
7) Shohei Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta vs The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons (6-12-79)

Thoughts on the matches?

We watched the Jumbo-Wahoo and I talked about that one. The last match on Tape 5 was for the NWA Int'l Title and Dick's last title match before losing leaving Japan (the Baba singles match was a couple of days later). You said on the phone it was good. Those two match looks like just about all the Dick-Jumbo matches that are available (now) where the two are opposite of each other. How do they work together with each other? One would love to see them in one of their Carnival matches back in 1975-77, or if another singles match made TV.


John


Last edited by jdw on Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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khawk20



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any info on Mad Dog Martin? That's a new name to me.
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clawmaster



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khawk20 wrote:
Any info on Mad Dog Martin? That's a new name to me.


My guess would be one of Rick Martel's brothers. Michel or Pierre.
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khawk20



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clawmaster wrote:
khawk20 wrote:
Any info on Mad Dog Martin? That's a new name to me.


My guess would be one of Rick Martel's brothers. Michel or Pierre.


Good call, claw. That makes total sense.
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matt farmer



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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jdw wrote:
The 8/18/78 Destroyer-Mil match looks like an interesting one to try to track down in better shape. Match times are: 10:55, 5:25, 7:10.

Since 1978 was the time frame we see a fair amount of stuff showing up, it *may* be out there in better shape. Dan just pulled in a fair amount of New Japan stuff from 1978 as part of 27 disk set he just released. Wonder if that source had any All Japan?


John


Wasn't this match released as part of the All Japan Classics that came out a few years ago on the Samurai Network? I got a ton of those shows and there were a good three or four Mil/Destroyer matches on them.
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