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  1. Wanted to give this another look as a number of folks were touting it as one of All Japan's best from the 80s. Really strong start with some work around holds and an amateur exchange where Kerry looks credible while Jumbo looks confident and ready for the NWA World Champion. Great butterfly suplex following Kerry's struggle to block it. Some nice arm work from Kerry follows but Jumbo counters with a crossbody for a nice near fall. Big fan of how he throws some nice wrinkles into amateur & power offense. Our first tease of the Claw comes with Kerry fighting out of a kneebar. Jumbo blocks it so he grabs the stomach and sells it well when they' standing. Enough of this feeling out -- backbreaker, jumping knees and the backdrop suplex take the first fall. Clean as possible with the challenger going over strong with clear, measured escalation is exactly how this should go. Jumbo strikes in the second open Kerry up! The blood adds quite a bit of drama with Jumbo furiously looking to put him away in 2 straight falls. Really hot start here and fired up Jumbo is a great version of this great wrestler. This falls apart a bit for me as he hits a piledriver for a 2 count, and then they transition to Kerry throwing punches that set up the Claw for the finish. Just out of nowhere. After relentless Jumbo control for so long and the blood loss, I'd expect a more compelling or creative way to put Kerry on top. No real issue with the flash finish off of the Claw, but it was as though they just switched roles on a dime without showing us how that happened. The third fall has the awesome work by Jumbo on Kerry's hand, just brutalizing it with strikes, stomping it, smashing it into the turnbuckle & cable. Jumbo is not waiting for a motorcycle accident in the states a few years later -- he wants Kerry losing a limb tonight. Kerry is just phenomenal here as well, selling the damage and follow up armbreakers for all he's worth. Inconclusive finish as apparently they weren't about to have Jumbo take the loss here even against the NWA Champion. This was a really good match. I loved the start, the blood and the limb work. But they really missed an important beat on the second fall transition, and as great as the hand work was, it really needed a failed Claw or some similar exclamation point to seal its effectiveness but instead it didn't even play into the finish or a key spot down the stretch. ****1/4
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