Antonio Inoki vs Lord Steven Regal
Five Seasons Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
(reviewed 05/19/2019) This is one of those matches that seems insane today so I can’t even imagine what it was like back then. Probably even weirder than, considering that Regal wasn’t the well-respected figure he is today, especially among the Observer lemmings. This isn’t exactly great, in no small part due to how the program is way more interested on Hulk Hogan returning to the building after being attacked earlier in the show, but it delivers on what you want from this matchup. Lots of mean striking, lots of rolling around on the mat, lots of grittiness, etc. In his book Regal says he accidentally winded Inoki early on and the match never recovered but I’m not seeing a ton of that. Mostly it’s Inoki’s usual match against a big foreigner. Regal’s size and willingness to play dirty gives him the advantage for a while but as soon as Inoki’s able to take his back he squirms his way into a tight sleeper and that’s it.