I'm going to be looking at the AJPW Classics for 1984. I want to make an effort to put a sizable dent into my DVD collection this year. I was pulled a little off track with the JWP and Muto AJPW last month. And I am planning on going back to Muto's All Japan perhaps in May. Anyhow we're looking at 1984 AJPW right now. It's interesting to me as it features quite a few Americans that weren't necessarily AJPW regulars. A big part of that is the inclusion of AWA talent since this is when Jumbo was AWA champ.
Jumbo & Baba vs Terry Gordy & Michael Hayes (01/20): Haha! Oh man this is a lot of fun. The best part was the tag team power bomb the Freebirds did on Jumbo. The announcers called it a piledriver so I'm not sure if anyone (including Terry) was actually doing a power bomb (at that time). That gives you the idea of how close this was to being a ganso bomb. Gordy had to muscle Jumbo up.
Jumbo & Kabuki vs Terry Gordy & Michael Hayes (01/22): Another real fun match and a good one at that. The familiarity the Freebirds and Kabuki have really helps make this a pretty solid match. Good sequences and spots with Jumbo playing a supportive role. No really... I feel like Jumbo was the active man maybe a few minutes. Cool finish!
Kawada is Samurai clad Kabuki's second. That's awesome!
Nick Bockwinkel vs Jumbo Tsuruta (02/23): Great slow burning title fight. Terry Funk was the ref. He was a little distracting at first but you get used to him. He is actually a pretty conservative ref despite being a bit of a wild man in the ring. Great teases and a great finish! This is the better known of the two February matches.
Terry looking like he just left the wedding from 'Deer Hunter'
Nick Bockwinkel vs Jumbo Tsuruta (02/26): Terry is back as referee. He's not as distracting as before This one was fast paced and featured quite a few moves early on. It slowed down as it continued but that actually makes sense when you look at boxing or MMA - you're tired, hurt and looking for an opening more than going for a big win KO. I think this was great and a wonderful compliment to their previous match.
Funker checking that the hold is legal... After leaving his shift at the casino...
Chavo Guerrero vs Mighty Inoue (02/26): Really my cup of tea in terms of technical wrestling. Just 85% of the match is neat wrestling holds. I think this would be a great match if Mighty Inoue knew what to do for a couple later spots. He killed a rolling cradle (the move Funk & Kobashi do) and on another, Chavo put the knees up on a somersault splash or rolling senton (which not only would block it but should hurt Inoue's back) but he didn't sell it. Chavo sold it himself by kicking out at 1 instead of 2 since its one of the Mighty Inoue's signature moves. But Inoue shouldn't have gone for the cover. However it's 1984, they're unfamiliar and some of that is to be expected. I really like this nonetheless and Chavo was great. I'm pretty happy we have this footage.
Jerry Blackwell & Ken Patera vs Blackjack Mulligan & Jerry Lawler (03/04): The neat thing about the Samurai Classics was that they had footage from the States that would be of interest to Japanese fans and usually involved a home wrestler on the card (Jumbo was wrestling). So here we get some of the first AWA-in-the-U.S. action. This was OK and was a change of pace. It was best with Lawler vs Blackwell but disappointing overall.
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Blackjack Lanza (03/04): Bless Jumbo for irritating the xenophobic idiots while still wrestling a clean technical match. I'm guessing Lanza laid out the match as he's the vet and its his crowd. I think he did a great job of working with Jumbo - letting him get in good technical offense and timing his comebacks so the fans would get all excited for a bunch of punches and a noogie. That's a good job in an good match. I'm being generous though.
Overall this looks to be pretty fun so far. There's a good mix of tags, Junior wrestling and title fights. Anything above with pics I would recommend!
Thanks for reading!