The next batch of DVDs in the AJPW Classics series pick up with 1989 but, I'm not quite done with '88.
Here are some more great matches from 30 years ago!
Yatsu & Tiger Mask vs Tenryu & Kawada (01/23/88): This is a highly recommended bout. Good action, stiffness, and a little hardcore excitement makes this one memorable.
Footloose vs Mighty Inoue & Takashi Ishikawa (03/11/88): This bout was everything amazing about late 80s AJPW- weird moves, teases, tricks, and smart work. A great match for sure!
Revolution vs Tiger, Isao Takagi, & Shinichi Nakano (06/09/88): A match full of rope running, strikes, and Tiger Mask II diving. AJPW meets lucha perhaps yet, hard hitting like I hoped for. I highly recommend this match as well.
Isao Takagi & Tiger Mask II vs Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada (07/16/88): Oh wow! What a great match! It starts out like it'll be just OK but, nothing more. But then everyone Brings IT! (Misawa) Mask does an awesome Shiryu somersault tope. Tenryu just potatoes Isao. I've never seen anyone load up like he does here...busting Isao open. Kawada is on point with his kicks and top rope moves. This is all energy and passion. Great match!
Footloose vs Shunji Takano & Shinichi Nakano (07/19/88): Yeah, this deserved the hype it had gotten years ago. Fast & loose 80's AJ style. A very simple Jr. sprint match with many counters/reversals but, nothing flashy or unbelievable. They wrestled to win. Kicks, slaps, clotheslines... wild and fast. Plus there's a rematch! (See last Saturday's post). Great match, a classic indeed.
John Tenta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs Tenryu and Kawada (10/03/1988): Tenryu and Yatsu hating each other, Kawada trying to prove himself, and a person not typically associated with great matches or work rate just fitting into the mix seamlessly like a later Baba, Rusher Kimura, or Great Kabuki. In this case, John Tenta. He was so good here that you'd think he and Yatsu were regular partners. They looked like quite the force here.
This is the type of wrestling that doesn't demand you set aside an hour of your time, doesn't require that you buy into the flash, hype, or gimmicks. It is just there. A simple story with straight forward action. Most importantly, it puts a smile on your face
Plus! A 12/10/88 match between Kawada & Tenryu and Jumbo & Yatsu that is really good and a great set up to the RWTL final with Hansen & Gordy.
Scanning through some upcoming episodes, we do come back to 1988 for some reason! AJPW Classics up, up and away!!!