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G. Badger

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Let's take a look at more of 1984 AJPW. We've got a really good batch!

Jim Brunzell & Greg Gagne vs Dory Funk Jr. & Kerry von Erich (04/24, aired 04/28): These next two are Roy Lucier's 1984 AJPW TV episodes and not the Retro Classics that were broadcast in the late 90's. These technically should be with Part #2 but I'm putting these here. I'll try to work new ones in chronologically as I go on. A big reason for expanding beyond just my DVD set was I noticed that there were a couple omissions that I was missing out on. A big omission was Tenryu footage. But there's a bunch of neat tags like this one as well. Cool fact, 3 second generation wrestlers all sons of promoters. All that said, this was a great tag match! Excellent control wrestling from the Highflyers on Dory. Kerry was a great bit of energy for his team (wish we got more of Kerry and Dory Jr.). There's some exciting spots here and excellent wrestling as well. Probably the best tag match that I've seen so far in '84. Not sure why this didn't make the Classics.

Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu (04/24, aired 04/28): Another where this should have made the late 90's Classics TV (and on my DVD set). Glad we got the original TV broadcast though. This is a great match! Two teams of titans tussling. It is as big and exciting as it gets so far in 1984. 80's finish? Sorta...but it's a excellent one and am excited to see them match up again...which is the point of these type of endings, I suppose.

Jumbo Tsuruta vs Jim Brunzell (04/26): Another really good match! This one was just about a great one to be honest. I really enjoyed the pacing, the use of holds to structure the match as well as the simple but effective spots used. Probably better than their AWA match just because its wrestled at a puroresu pace. Definitely hope more Jim Brunzell shows up.

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Dory Funk Jr. vs Stan Hansen (04/26): A great match that felt authentic. It was a match where the little things were done right - stiffness, going for pins, wrenching holds, taking openings when they present themselves. 80's finish keeps this from being a near classic but that finish seems to press one of the big storylines of 1984 (or that's how it seems). 

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Jumbo Tsuruta vs Rick Martel (05/13): Back in the U.S. AWA. Very good to great match with Martel escaping many of Jumbo's early holds. Not something we see. Here we get a good sense that Rick Martel has the technical edge on Tsuruta while the champ has a size & strength advantage. Martel locks Jumbo in a fierce headlock. I get the impression that he needed to keep the bigger man under control. Eventually the champ gives Rick a knee breaker but the challenger holds on. We get a clean finish with a little bit of an asterisk to keep everyone looking strong. By the way Jumbo hits an awesome jumping knee where it looks like he really blasted Martel (think he actually got high enough and hit Rick in the face with his hip). No pictures on this one as the ring wasn't too well lit but I totally recommend this!

Giant Baba vs Stan Hansen (07/31): I thought about skipping this but so glad that I didn't. This was a great match and excellent follow up to their 03/24 battle. Some real nice allusions to that one. This was fast paced and intense. They understand Baba basically shouldn't run the ropes so they stick to trading blows and attacking while the opponent is on the mat. As a result, like the 04/26 Dory match, it feels authentic. Hansen is just hammering away on Baba. Baba may not be much to look at but he's one tough S.O.B. Great match, awesome post match as well. 

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Tiger Mask II vs La Fiera (08/26): Well that was every bit as exciting as I remembered. This is actually pretty similar to modern wrestling and I think anyone who is curious should check it out! I'm not going to give it a score because the historical value overshadows anything I could say. If you're reading my reviews for recommendations, then yes! go see this. If you're interested in my take for entertainment then, I thought this was a lot of fun. It certainly blows everything else out of the water in terms of spots, sequences, dare-devilry etc. An excellent introduction to the new Tiger Mask. More La Fiera please!

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This was a great bit of wrestling as they have all been. This was the best though. You may have noticed I skipped Jumbo vs Kerry from 05/22. I'm going to cover that as well as a couple Ric Flair matches (Kerry vs Ric for instance) in the final installment. Those are well known matches and I don't want those to steal the thunder from the unsung great matches. 

Stay safe! Thanks for reading!

 

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