Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Project 33" - Match #47 - Breaks vs. Street

Jim Breaks vs. Adrian Street
February, 1972



Part 2  Part 3  Part 4

So, this match was totally up my alley.  This match was six rounds of pure technical wrestling.  It reminded me in many ways of UWFI from the 1990s on Japan, in that it was so full of stiff mat wrestling that it looked far more realistic than the US style. 

One of the reasons that I enjoy watching IWRG and other lucha so often is that they usually start out the matches with a lot of matwork and exchanging holds, followed by throws and/or highflying action.  This World of Sport stuff is followed by more submissions, which reminds me of UWFI, or even some of the RINGS or other pseudo-MMA type promotions from Japan.  You could easily take this match and show it to an average joe and say it was a different type of MMA league, and they would probably believe it was a shoot. 

Here is why this would not work on its own in the US today.  Unless you like the exchange of holds, this stuff is somewhat boring.  One of the things that appeals about MMA is that when the guys are not trading holds quickly back and forth on the mat, they are standing up and slugging it out.  In fact, most UFC crowds would probably boo and shit all over a match like this, because no one was bleeding, and the pace was not fast enough.  Your average wrestling fan is just gonna think that this is boring, and are gonna want moves off the ropes, or suplexes, or what have you - it is not high-impact enough for the typical US wrestling fan. 

Keep in mind, this is from 1972; I'm sure if WOS continued on to modern times that things would be a little different there now.  I mean, back in the 1970s fans in the US used to be able to watch Jack Brisco wrestle Dory Funk Jr. to sixty minute draws filled with headlocks and arm bars, similar to this.  So, that is kinda how you have to look at things.  If WOS survived to modern times, I'm sure it wouldn't be cartoonish like the WWE or TNA, but it would probably more along the lines of New Japan or NOAH - or even hold on to that distinctive style like lucha libre has in Mexico.

But alas, it didn't survive. 

This was also the first time I really saw Adrian Street work, and he was damned impressive.  I am mostly familiar with his outlandish promos, but now I am more curious about his ring work... 

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