I've recently acquired a big chunk of the AJPW Classics broadcast in 1999 & 2000. Generally speaking, I've got a good portion of 1988-early 1990 covered. There are a couple notable matches missing but, I'm more interested in finding hidden gems. I'm looking forward to seeing matches people talked about in the distant past and have since been forgotten or brushed aside for the newer slicker wrestling of today. I'm excited to be able to watch wrestling in a somewhat episodic fashion again too.
Starting out I have a couple episodes from 1987 that I was interested in.
AJPW Classic selection #149:
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano (04/23/87): This was a very good all action bout. There wasn't a strong story or a tremendous amount of drama. That's OK since it was more centered on slapping and chopping the other team. Nakano put forth a lot of effort. He was out ranked but, never appeared out of his depth because he was busting his ass. Surprisingly, Yatsu looked strongest in terms of aggression and dictating the pace. He looked to have Jumbo's number. Watch for the powerbomb too. Fun match.
Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs Yoshiaki Yatsu & Shinichi Nakano (06/09/87): Hara is a beast! but colored me surprised Hara is the one in peril not Nakano. Again, Yatsu really shines in this match. I'd again say he's the best wrestler in there. This was really enjoyable but, over too quick. There was never a dull moment though and features two really great spots. Recommended match
The Road Warriors vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Hiroshi Wajima (06/09/87): This was pretty good when Hawk and Jumbo were in the ring. Wajima if you've never seen him is goofy. That's the case here per usual. Animal does his press slams and such but, is really too massive to be good. The chaotic ending is fun but, comes outta nowhere. It's an OK match. Personally, I hate the Roid Warriors in AJ.
Hiroshi Wajima vs. Animal Warrior (06/11/87): Well, they read my mind and gave me the worst match up of the above match...and perhaps the worst pairing for AJPW '87. I could not see this lasting more than 5 minutes since Wajima is embarrassing and Animal has little ability or personality. I had my fiance time it. Fortunately, it's around 3 minutes. Thank you!
AJPW Classic selection #150:
Giant Baba & John Tenta vs Rusher Kimura & Goro Tsurumi (05/01/87): Goro's afro and mustache is enviable. What an awesome look! Speaking of looks, Tenta is looking really fit & trim here in '87. As always, I'm giving Baba a pass for experience and the effort he puts forth despite his limited capabilities. This is better than the Road Warriors matches by the way. Rusher's overhand chopping Tenta in the throat. The big man looks awesome here...like a champ really. Referee Wada takes the best fucking ref bumps too. This was a fun, fun match. I wish I understood Japanese for Rusher's jokes at the end. Even Baba's laughing!
Jumbo Tsuruta & John Tenta vs The Road Warriors (06/08/87): Ok, this has potential. Switch Wajima for Tenta and we've got something good. And to little surprise Tenta delivered. His stuff vs Hawk was awesome. Oh shit! It's over? That was quick...fun though. Honestly, this is probably the best use for the Warriors in AJ.
Giant Baba vs Tiger Jeet Singh (06/11/87): This is what I want to follow up that short tag match. Great brawling start. Tiger's using a bucket like it's the WWF Raw game from the 90's. Yes! But from there it's more mat wrestling and less blood (if any) than I expected. Started fun but, was just OK.
Jumbo Tsuruta & Tiger Mask vs Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara (06/11/87): This was really a lot of fun if a little disorganized. Perhaps chaotic is a more complementary way to phrase that but, that's what held it back from being a great match. Aw screw it, this was a blast especially with Tiger Mask Misawa flying around. He was revolutionary for '87 AJPW and appeared to have Tenryu beat. This match really helped elevate him. Jumbo was a bit off tonight but, wisdom says that was purposeful. It helped Tiger's star shine brighter. Highly recommended match. I think I may re-watch this.
Another couple shows from '87 for next week. DiBiase and Hansen are featured if I recall. Stoked for those as I dig DiBiase in AJ.