Sunday, 10 November 2019

UWF 09/02/1990 - WITH '90 2ND (21/31)

UWF With '90 2nd
Prefectural Gymnasium, Osaka
9th February 1990
att. 7000

I woke this morning to find that in the comments beneath one of my very old posts was actual useful information rather than a link to a penis enlargement pills site. I quote the most pertinent part of Varun's reply, as it helps solve an age-old query that this blog set into the world.
Yes, his real name is McDuff/MacDuff Roesch. 'McDuff'/'MacDuff' is his middle name. His full legal name is Kenneth McDuff Roesch. He operates a construction firm in Florida, and he is the father of Mack Roesch, an obstacle runner and a former contestant on American Ninja Warrior.
Further research shows a tenuous link to wrestling, as Roesch Jr. has appeared on 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge. But isn't this great! It energises one enough to perhaps write a further entry into the annals of shoot-style greatness....

a local consulting the annals of shoot-style greatness

Friday, 19 April 2019

UWF 16/01/1990 - WITH '90 1ST (20/31)

UWF With '90 1st
Nippon Budokan, Tokyo
16th January, 1990
att. 14130

Wintertime in Japan brings spectral sights to UWF: a fighting fortress on a hill blanketed in powdery snow as ducks bob for food, soundtracked by an airy Hiroshi Yoshimura-esque motif.

New year Budokan
It is beautiful and a potent reminder of how shoot-style caught the wave of a particular aesthetic moment as much as it existed in the brief space between the old (pro-wrestling) and the new (mixed style fighting). These moments of stillness and gravity are things that contemporary wrestling seems to miss in its rushed presentation, if I can have this one opportunity to grouse.

Monday, 1 April 2019

UWF 24/07/1989 - FIGHTING SQUARE HAKATA (13/31)

UWF Fighting Square Hakata
Hakata Star Lanes, Fukuoka
24th July, 1989
att. 4000

Clutching a dozen or so random bootleg selections purchased from the wrestling VHS shop in the Colliseum on Church St. in Manchester (now: Light Aparthotel), I opted to watch the one that I hadn't heard anything about. It was this show that I am about to review the first hour of - I know it exists in full because on that rainy day at the turn of the century I sat through the whole thing, rapt. 

Proust watching Ronda Rousey armbar people

Seeing Fighting Square Hakata in approximately 2001 wouldn't change my life and seeing it now doesn't have some kind of Proustian effect, but it did offer a taste of something I've subtly hoped for in wrestling ever since: not shoot-style as such but a glimpse of the real, unmediated as possible, slicing through the artifice. 

Sunday, 31 March 2019

UWF 14/06/1989 - FIGHTING SQUARE NAGOYA (12/31)

UWF Fighting Square Nagoya
Aichi Prefectural Gym, Nagoya
14th June, 1990
att. 8000

In (the real) Jorge Luis Borges' 1940 short story 'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius', the discovery of one volume of a 1902 Encyclopedia Britannica leads the fictive Borges and his friend Adolfo Bioy Casares to learn about the land of Uqbar, presumed in the region of Iraq, and its unique culture.
One of the schools of Tlön goes so far as to negate time: it reasons that the present is indefinite, that the future has no reality other than as a present memory. Another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified an mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process. Another, that the history of the universe - and in it our lives and the most tenuous detail of our lives - is the scripture produced by a subordinate god in order to communicate with a demon.
From the few concrete details and allusions to philosophical viewpoints (its people were extreme subjective idealists who held that the only contents of the world were one's mind) contained within this fragment, the entire world and people of Uqbar are reconstructed in absentia.