Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dynamite Kid vs Tiger Mask

History is one of the most important subjects you can learn while you're in school. There's that saying about being doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past unless you learn from them. Professional wrestling in the late 70s and into the 80s became the sport of the big men. People clamored to see the giants. The behemoths. The Hulks. Hogan, specifically. In the American wrestling scene, the era of the "body guy" was in full effect. 

That trend wasn't going on elsewhere around the world, as two smaller wrestlers began a feud in Japan that changed the face of professional wrestling forever. A smaller British wrestler named Tom Billington became known as The Dynamite Kid. He began a feud in 1981 with Satoru Sayama, who put a cloak over his head and became Tiger Mask.

Today, you watch their first match (embedded above) and go, "That's cool." In 1981 a match this fast-paced, this high-flying was mind-blowing. This wasn't common. The reason it is common today is because the current generation of wrestlers fell in love with this style and incorporated it into their personas.

They had seven matches together, spaced out over two years. Word got to a young Vince McMahon about how amazing these two stars were and he brought them into Madison Square Garden and introduced their style to an American audience in 1982.

Dynamite Kid became a big star in Canada after those matches. He was topping cards as a star wrestling matches against a young rookie named Bret Hart. Dynamite eventually brought his cousin, Davey Boy Smith, into the mix and they worked their way in the WWE as a tag team called The British Bulldogs. When Dynamite left WWE in the late 80s, Davey Boy kept the nickname for himself.

Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask have now influenced two generations of wrestling stars. Stars of the 90s grew up marveling at those matches as kids. And today's 20-something stars making their marks in today's wrestling world have rediscovered these classics.

And you should, too. If you like today's wrestling - WWE, Ring of Honor, TNA, etc... And you like some of the top wrestlers out there right now - Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, etc... You have the match above and subsequent matches that followed to thank for everything.

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