Hiroshi Wajima vs. Tom Magee (AJPW April 22, 1988)

I love me some awful wrestling, so I’ve decided to watch all the winners of the Observer’s Worst Match of the Year Award. Hell, I’ve seen the bulk of them already, but this one I hadn’t seen before and it’s only like two and a half minutes long so here we go.

Tom Magee was a former bodybuilder turned pro-wrestler who was apparently on track to be the “next big thing” in the WWF, but it was not to be. Perhaps because of the fact that in spite having the right look, he never really learned how to work. Perhaps its because Vince thought he sounded too girly when he spoke. Who knows?

What we do know was that in April of 1988 he went to Japan to wrestle for All Japan Pro Wrestling. In this match from April 22 or maybe April 21 (I’ve seen both dates online) he faced a former sumo wrestler named Hiroshi Wajima in a rather awful encounter.

Magee comes attacks before the bell with some weak looking chops and knees that Wajima doesn’t really sell. Magee tosses him out to the floor and whips him into the guardrail and again Wajima doesn’t sell.

Magee does some flips and poses in the ring, as you do. Wajima climbs back up on the apron and Magee hits some ridiculous looking kicks that, you guessed it, Wajima no-sells. Magee hits a scoop slam and then a surprisingly good looking legdrop that he gets some insane height on and covers, but Wajima kicks out at one.

Magee goes for a belly to belly suplex, but Wajima doesn’t go up for him at all so they just kind of fall in a heap on the mat. This also only gets a one count. Magee then whips Wajima into the corner and unleashes a fury of more weak looking kicks and chops that draws laughter from the crowd before Wajima fires up.

Wajima hits some chops of his own, a hiptoss, a clothesline before slapping on the Boston Crab to pick up the win.

Winner: Hiroshi Wajima

While Tom Magee was clearly not the best wrestler and didn’t seem to understand the psychology of a match, with a different opponent, one who might have sold for some of his offense and made it look less ridiculous for example, this wouldn’t have been as bad as it was. Early in the match when Wajima kind of sold Magee looked competent and when he hit the legdrop he actually looked good, but when Wajima just stood there no-selling stuff it ended up making the entire match shit. [-***]



Invader #3 vs. Manny Fernandez (WWC May 11, 1988)

The story goes that after Bruiser Brody was stabbed to death in Puerto Rico by a wresetler named Invader #1 who ended up going free, many of Brody’s friends were enraged and wanted to do something about it.

Manny Fernandez was one such friend, and wanted to get revenge on Brody’s killer, but Invader #1 was ducking him, and so in a bout against Invader #1′s partner, Invader #3, Manny Fernandez dropped a series of knees off the ropes onto a prone Invader #3′s stomach, causing the stomach cavity to rupture and Invader #3 to spew blood everywhere.  Fernandez apparently hoped that in ruining Invader #3′s guts, Invader #1 would finally stop avoiding Fernandez so he could have his revenge.

In the years that followed there was debate over whether this was an actual shoot with Manny Fenandez going out to intentionally maim Invader #3 to get some measure of revenge for his fallen friend, or it was an angle capitalizing on the murder of Bruiser Brody.  One is forced to admit that either way it’s a pretty good story with a compelling video to accompany it, the only problem is that this bout took place months before Bruiser Brody was stabbed, so it is impossible for this match to have anything to do with it.

Though if you really want an exploitative angle capitalizing on the death of Bruiser Brody there’s always FMW impresario, Atsushi Onita and that time he pretended to get stabbed in Puerto Rico…