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Spotlight: All Japan Pro Wrestling 1985 - August & September

G. Badger


Sorry for the delay! I'll get to that in a minute. It's nothing dramatic. So here we are in August & September of 1985 All Japan Pro Wrestling! The Funker...the late great Terry Funk is here. Lots of Stan Hansen and yeah this one is pretty star studded. Let's begin!

Riki Choshu/Killer Khan vs Genichiro Tenryu/Jumbo Tsuruta (08/02 aired 08/03): A great match without a doubt! Things started out with Jumbo and Riki having a technical fight. Once Khan started slapping people in the face, the tone changed. This is one of more stiff hitting matches I've seen  from mid 80's Tenryu. I'm pretty sure he punched Khan in the face on a tag team double punch. They do something different every match and they don't need a ton of signature moves. Everything feels like a fight. This is probably the frontrunner for my feud of the year.

Terry Funk v. Stan Hansen (08/23/85): Oh man, this was wild from the get-go! They were just beating each other up inside and out. Terry took some wild ass bumps. One would have been right at home in mid 2000's NOAH. Also to say this was stiff would be an understatement. We get an 80's finish but is probably my favorite type and Dory ends up coming out and hitting people with his cowboy boot (while wearing a shirt and tie). Great stuff! If you've never seen either guy, this is a excellent match as an introduction. If you're missing some Terry Funk, go watch this one. 

Dory and Terry Funk v. Stan Hansen & Ted DiBiase (08/29/85): Really good match...I'm not sure if I'd call it great as it didn't seem to have much of a story or flow to it. My guess is that the encounter was meaningful enough. All 4 guys were really exciting and man Stan Hansen is so quick! But I'll level with you. I haven't gotten a good night's sleep for a couple days so this match may be better than I reckon. So if you're interested than you should check it out, don't just take my word for it with this review.



Stan Hansen/Ted DiBiase vs Jumbo Tsuruta/Genichiro Tenryu (08/31 aired 09/07): Aw man! They cut the finish out! This was a classic match or damn near and they ended the program :-( Talk about an 80's finish... The real same is this match was the last one to watch for this post and is kinda the reason I am late posting it. Like I said what was shown (assuming 90%) was near classic but I probably would have skipped this knowing the end wasn't shown. All that said, DiBiase was fan-fucking-tastic with Jumbo & Tenryu. I'm pumped to see more of him with Hansen.

Tiger Mask vs Marty Jannetty (09/05 aired 09/14): Joined in progress. This is a bit of fun. Low stakes but well executed... reminds me of a WCW TV match. Just wanted to watch it because it happened. I mean Marty Jannetty vs Mitsuharu Misawa right? Gotta check it out :)

Jumbo Tsuruta/Tenyru v. Yoshiaki Yatsu/Killer Khan (09/14/85): Man, Yatsu is a really exciting wrestler. He's like that in the 01/28/86 match. I remember him being more of a tough guy when he & Jumbo team in the late 80's. He really brings some different stuff here doing both a double under hook suplex and belly to belly suplex. He's also off the top rope a couple times. I think I'm learning to appreciate him even more than I did before. So all that aside this is a very good to great tag match. It's everything I was hoping it would be - fiery, stiff, good pace, simple yet smart wrestling. 



Jumbo Tsuruta v. Harley Race (Int'l Title, 09/19/85): Really good match. A bit more deliberate in pace than the Choshu/Jumbo stuff but still very hard hitting. Harley was letting Jumbo just blast him with chops (double handed chops later) as well as "no-sell" a couple beefy lariats. In my mind, Harley knew he wasn't as mobile as he used to be or quick like the younger guys but he was tougher. That's the story here. Both wrestlers bled and the last couple minutes are great. In the context of 1985, I'd say this was very good but if I was watching AJPW from a couple years earlier, I might call it great. Still very happy to watch Jumbo & Harley square off. Very entertaining stuff!

For all of you folks that read my stuff on a regular basis - Thank you very much! I hope it gives you something fun to read. I hope it gets you excited or interested in wrestling that you may have missed, overlooked, or never thought of. I also hope it is a nice little pocket of the "old internet" :)


Recommended Comments

On 10/24/2023 at 10:41 AM, TheDuke said:

Thank you you for writing these match reviews. And for sharing them here.

Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoy 'em :)


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