Sorry for anyone who checks in regularly for posts! Got a little overwhelmed with stuff and wrestling wasn't a priority. However I have begun my look into 1985 All Japan as a result. I needed some low stakes stuff to watch and I figured I could chip away at some stuff. That led me to the more substantial stuff and I'm on the project now. Everything Riki Choshu comes from Roy Lucier's '85 AJPW TV. For some reason all of his matches are omitted from the AJPW Samurai Classic tv episodes (although they did do a Choshu specific episode along with Jumbo, Hansen, Baba etc.). So just about everything without Riki comes from AJPW Samurai Classic tv episodes. There's tons of neat looking stuff from the '85 weekly TV and I do plan to include some in order to fills gaps (not enough matches per post or to include a key figure) but I have plenty to watch from the AJPW Classic DVDs and Riki feud matches. Oh and I'm mainly focusing on matches that feature Riki, Jumbo, and Tenryu all in the match. Again I just don't have the time to watch the Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa vs Riki and partner stuff... as much as I wanted to originally. One thing I learned from the GAEA stuff is variety is what's going to keep me going. Where I was at in GAEA at the time was just like the same 4 people having great matches. After a couple weeks, it starts to run together. So I'm limiting myself and not over indulging in Riki vs AJPW. P.S. I promise I will get GAEA 1999 done this year if you're looking forward to that (sorry about that!).
Anyhow, that's enough explanation! Let's look at some wrestling!
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu & Takeshi Ishikawa vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu & Isamu Teranishi (01/06 - 01/12 aired): All excitement 6 man match! Battle lines are drawn! Everyone is really good here...20+ minute match but never a dull moment. Teranishi was impressive and nice to see him again after wrapping my Tiger Mask project up a while back.
Tiger Mask/Magic Dragon vs Kuniaki Kobayashi/Isao Takagi (01/26 - 02/02 aired): Joined in progress. Whoa I wasn't expecting much but this was really on point junior action. One flub on a tilt-a-whirl back breaker but everything else was great shit.
Choshu/Masa Saito/Killer Khan vs Jumbo Tsuruta/Genichiro Tenryu/Takashi Ishikawa (01/26 - 02/02 aired): Man Choshu's team is super badass looking. Perhaps one of the most big muscle bound & mean looking Japanese teams ever? Another 20+ of chaos... this one is even better. Violent, intense stuff - great match! Choshu's team is a force to be reckoned with.
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu (02/01, aired 02/09): Big matchup that totally delivers. Just 4 guys beating the shit out of each other. We get an 80's finish (that I sorta don't understand) but is an angle they are working (and leads to the next match). Great stuff
Jumbo Tsuruta/Genichiro Tenryu vs Riki Choshu/Masa Saito (02/05 - aired 02/16): 16 minutes of awesomeness. This may be one of the shorter ones so far so they made it red hot right from the get go. The Tokyo crowd was vocal as hell...a great example of the Japanese fans not always being "quiet and respectful." That atmosphere really elevated this to something special. Tenryu starts to become the Tenryu fans know and love during this time. No one can get so much out of the Scorpion Death Lock like Choshu. He milks every stage of the hold for all its worth. He makes the part before he turns them over its own move in a way... a leg lock and pinning combination. Then when finally flips you over he's got the full figure four Boston Crab going and just powers it. This is a great match with four legends. This feud is dynamite!
Giant Baba vs Tiger Jeet Singh (02/05) - skipped. It seemed like a longer technical Baba vs Tiger match from my fast forward watching.
British Bulldogs vs Animal Hamaguchi & Kuniaki Kobayashi (02/09) - Fun stuff, lots a cool moves but no rhyme or reason for anything. That's OK as it was neat. Excited to see more of the 'dogs.
Jumbo Tsuruta/Genichiro Tenryu/Takashi Ishikawa vs Riki Choshu/Masanobu Kurisu/Yoshiaki Yatsu (02/28 - aired 03/02): Very good stuff. The tag matches are red hot. This 6 mans are a bit more normal in pace and intensity. I mean it's still these 6 guys bashing each other so there's no complaints. Kurisu vs Tenryu was pretty great as the K man was hitting so hard you could hear the chops like Ric Flair. That fired up Tenryu. The whole thing was extremely enjoyable and another worthy match in this feud. Clean finish and a pretty awesome one (for '85).
Harley Race & Klaus Wallas vs Killer Khan & Mananobu Kurisu (03/09) - Fun stuff. Harley vs Khan is the draw here. Klaus is not bad and would be interested in more of he & Harley.
Tiger Mask II vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (03/09) - I'm not sure they knew where they were going in the beginning but once they slowed down & found a rhythm this got really good. Like Misawa vs Kobayashi as I would play in Fire Pro good. It doesn't touch the awesome TM I vs Kobayashi stuff but super enjoyable. Hope they meet again!
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs Road Warriors (03/09): Pretty competitive match with the match being thrown out as the Warriors are mad they lost the 2nd fall. Watched this on Roy's channel.
Road Warriors vs. Riki Choshu & Killer Khan (03/14 aired 03/23): So there's a commercial for Japanese hair mousse called Xanax Or at least the commercial looked like it was for mousse... maybe the dude just felt like rubbing shit through his hair after popping a few bars? I love these old commercials! Anyways they Gorilla press slamming Riki and Khan. That doesn't seem good for business though. Hansen and Brody wouldn't just toss a top team around just because they could which is a little bummer because the Warriors are capable of excellent matches (I'm thinking Arn & Tully Starrcade '87). Maybe later this year?
This was an amazing start to the project. All Japan feels like a fresh and exciting promotion with Riki & co. and the Bulldogs and yes even the Road Warriors. Hansen and Brody are around but not in big time matches. Brody does eventually end up in NJPW this year. But we get the Hansen & DiBiase team so again we're blessed with a little bit more positive change. It should be fun
Thanks for reading!