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Found 599 results

  1. Every wrestler here fit their role perfectly. The standouts were Baba with decades of skill and experience, Fuchi with smarts and skill and Tenryu, the god of grump. No one is better than Tenryu in showing strength and weakness simultaneously...other than Kawada and Terry Funk IMO. One really felt that the Triple Crown champ was on the ropes when 1000 year old Rusher Kimura was head butting him but, seamlessly, Tenryu would chop Kimura in the fucking throat and change the momentum. Brilliantly, Fuchi would storm in like Jr. Tenryu that he is and get brutal even on the bully champ. Fuyuki and Kawada were perfect lackeys in this match and kept their schtick simple. This benefitted Kawada the most. Here he looked like the Kawada who would bloom fully in late 1991 and 1992. Godbless Dangerous K. This period of wrestling is full of diamonds in the rough and this is a perfect example.
  2. This match rules. Yes, it has lots of awesome action, yes the crowd heat is insane but my biggest takeaway from it was how great the transitions were. It seemed like every time there was even the slightest opening for a counter they'd take advantage of it, I could easily see this as being the greatest "learned psychology" match ever. Stars; all five of them.
  3. What a fun match, the best AJPW tag since the 1988 RWTL final. Furnas & Kroffat are over as can be in Budokan, to the point where Footloose (especially Fuyuki) are getting legit heel heat for breaking up pins and such.
  4. This is an awesome, heated 6 minute eruption where they waffle the shit out of eachother nonstop. Continues from the previous tag - Isao hasn't forgotten, so he goes at Tenryu like crazy. Tenryu, accordingly, treats Takagi like a piece of shit again. Tenryu's selling was utterly brilliant here, as it was between being pained and annoyed by the little punk. Quite possibly the greatest Arashi has looked in a match.
  5. There's a moment in here where Tenryu irish whips Jumbo into the guardrail and Jumbo just goes completely berserk and starts beating the shit out of Tenryu that might be the beginning of Jumbo as an all time great worker for me. Tenryu really brought out the best out of him. The ending is just completely transcendent with some of the best chaotic brawling you'll ever see. As gratifying as a DQ finish can be. Still a level below their 1989 classic but man what a great match. ****1/4-****1/2
  6. This is the perfection of the Bruiser Brody memorial match on 8-29-88. Holy cow is this match some closed fisted, sweat swapping wrestling. People don't talk a lot about Yoshiaki Yatsu or Ashura Hara yet they are total skull crushers. Yatsu is a real top talent and is worthy of a spotlight review because I know he's a tag master! This match is just another fine example that our chubby cheeked friend will smash his elbows into your skull and eat your brain!! Maybe not so much on the second part. So, Ashura Hara is equally vicious especially his Crowbar Lariat. I can't remember where I heard it called that but, shit! Its about as stiff as one. Love it and his jehri curl. Tenryu rocks one as well and everyone loves Tenryu. I am really glad that I have this match because it is a true classic and maybe a forgotten one at that. I never hear it batted around as one of the "all time never forget this date" classic AJPW matches. I think people get confused with the finish. I have no idea why though. This bout becomes a whirlwind of legs, arms and bodies by the finish. And it ends perfectly for me. Go see the Tenryu-Jumbo singles matches, and see this match because it's just as essential as any of those:P Classic Match
  7. Let's talk about AJPW in the Spring of 1986! These are the Samurai Classics so no Riki Choshu but hey there's lots of other great stuff going on. Ted Dibiase/Ron Bass v. Motoshi Okuma/Rocky Hata (04/06/86): Kind of a squash match. Of the Japanese guys, I'm not sure who was who. Respectable start to the show nonetheless. Kuniaki Kobayashi v. Masa Fuchi (04/06/86): Now we're cooking! Kobayashi and Fuchi are just beating the crap outta each other and I loved it. Two of my favorites in their prime. Very good match Tenyru/Takashi Ishikawa v. Ted Dibiase/Ron Bass (04/19/86): Oh man everyone is on fire here. We get the nice introduction to the DiBiase & Ron Bass team and now we see what they can do versus one of the top AJ native teams. This was so basic but absolutely wonderful because you don't need big moves and flash to have a great tag match. DiBiase in AJ is the best. He vs Tenryu is money in the bank! Tenyru v. Ashura Hara (04/12/86): Holy cow '86 Tenryu is awesome! The Tenryu/Jumbo vs Yatsu/Choshu match from 01/86 is a classic but now I'm seeing more of him and there's more to the story. He's not quite as well defined as a hard hitting wrestler yet but man does Ashura Hara bring that out in him! It makes sense though as Hara is a tank and I love their tag team during the Revolution era of AJ/Tenryu. This totally exceeded my expectations. I want to call it a classic but I'll pull back a little and just say near classic at ****1/4. Harley Race/Jerry Blackwell v. Tiger Jeet Singh/One Man Gang (03/13/86): Quick bout, Blackwell vs OMG were like 2 sumo but after that it turned into a double DQ. Shohei Baba/Ricky Fuyuki/Takashi Ishikawa v. Rusher Kimura/Ashura Hara/Goro Tsurumi (04/06/86): Really fun 6 man match! Fuyuki and Ishikawa along with Hara kept this really competitive. Goro Tsurumi is an awesome character looking like a manga heel wrestler with afro pirate mustache and skull adorned unitard. Rusher and Baba do their job and yeah this is the stuff that puts a smile on my face. Baba/Ishikawa v. Killer Khan/Masanobu Kurisu (05/10/86): OK, thought I'd like it more with Kurisu & Ishikawa but it didn't do much for me. Tenyru v. Ted Dibiase (UN Title, 04/26/86): Well here is the singles match that I was looking for. And man, it's what I wanted. Great smart arm work by DiBiase. Just a really good give and take in the beginning/middle. This is joined in progress so not sure what the true start is like. Nonetheless, the match goes on pretty long I think. In that time we get solid mid 80's meat and potatoes wrestling from both guys. Its the stuff I could watch for an hour because they have created a world where it looks like their struggle is real and relatable. Not only that but we get two of the best in the world doing it. They are physically and stylistically a great match for each other. A great match for sure! If you're a fan of Tenryu and what they were doing in SWS and WAR, you really want to check out some of these matches. Thanks for reading and stay safe folks!
  8. It's Ishikawa facing the most insignificant first period BattlARTS guy on a random AJPW card in the 2nd match on the card. It can't be more than just a fun little exhibition? And well that's WRONG because these two just do one of the most brutal under 5 minute sprints of the decade. Crowd brawling that looks legit (why is Ishikawa, a quasi shootstyle working Inoki worshipper arguably the best crowd brawler in japanese wrestling history?), some of the stiffest slaps you'll ever see, and then probably the stiffest Enzugiri you'll see ever, insane Maeda/Fujinami blood, stoppage drama... yeah this kicked ass.
  9. Just a great match with a student vs master kind of vibe. Old school NWA style is probably my least favorite style ever but these two and Terry Funk are the three guys who can make it really compelling.
  10. I'm trying to get the ball rolling again for exploring the early 2010's Puro. Let's take a look at 01/02/2012 AJPW!! (Broadcast 01/10/12) KENSO, Kaz Hayashi & Yasufumi Nakanoueno vs Takao Omori, Manabu Soya & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi - This was a very good opening match. The energy level was high. Kikuchi was a fun mystery partner that never out stayed his welcome. Kaz Hiyashi will always Shiryu from the glory days of M-Pro and he's still got it here. Akebono & Ryota Hama vs Yuji Okabayashi & Kazuki Hashimoto - You know what you are signing up for with this match. Says it was 8 minutes but it felt quicker. Hey, that's a compliment! Akebono just doesn't do much for me. Keiji Muto, Abdullah the Butcher & Kikutarou vs Masanobu Fuchi, Kikutaro & BLACK BUSHI - Skipped Masakatsu Funaki, Masayuki Kono & Minoru Tanaka vs Taiyo Kea, Shuji Kondo & Takumi Soya - This another really good 6 man match. Minoru was the bright point to me. Masakatsu turns the shooter skills on for the finish and it is sweet. At about 8 minutes, this was easy viewing. Seiya Sanada, KAI & Hiroshi Yamato vs Dark Ozz, Dark Cuervo & Kenny Omega - The Dark guys are fun but a little sloppy. Yamato was in for a good portion of the match and I got to remember how good he is. Everyone else is their normal selves and brought the goods. This was 15 minutes and ended just in time for this to leave me happy. It was almost like a FMW 6 man in that regard...it got close to going off the rails but never did. Suwama vs Daisuke Sekimoto - I think I've reviewed this earlier in the blog. This is one of the matches that inspired me to check out 2010's stuff. It was and hopefully is still up on Daily Motion. I've seen it 3-4 times and man is this still classic stuff to me! Right under 20 minutes, it eschews the "longer is better" mantra and keeps this compact yet tells a compelling story. That plus they beat the crap outta each other. I've seen more Sekimoto and SUWAMA since I first saw this and I can say it doesn't fall into any ruts or cliches. They tease or payoff and then move on rather than milk for time or over do it. It is the only singles match on the card and they really make that mean something. New Year Battle Royal - I watched this on fast forward until the last few guys. Its every guy on the show except SUWAMA and Sekimoto doing a battle royale. I don't like this after such a bad ass battle but, its tradition. Anyhow this is an easy breezy 2 hours of wrestling. IVP has it for a steal and the singles match is probably still on D.M. so if you're curious, what are you waiting for?
  11. I am biased and try to stay away from the WWF/E as much as I can. Other than a handful of periods in time, it is not for me. So a few years back I was watching the SWS promotion and they had a working relationship with the WWF and some of those mixed matches were pretty good depending on who was in them. After watching the Grizzly Smith Dark Side of the Ring I decided to see what Jake the Snake matches I had. Not many...but I found one from my AJ Classics and I thought 'what the heck! Let's see how these WWF vs Japan matches are!' Jake Roberts vs. Big Bossman - I wanted to like this but skip it. It was Bossman beating up Jake at a snails pace and sneering at the crowd. Jake was good but this wasn't really his forte. Bret Hart vs. Tiger Mask - Full match, a lot of the reviews in the Match Discussion Archives are about a clipped version. This is a good match. I'll be frank Bret can be a boring wrestler without a good story or an opponent who he knows well. So we're 0 for 2 here. Misawa was an upper midcard guy here and wrestled like one. The problem aren't those things though. The issue is that they had them wrestle a longer match. 15-20 minutes...Bret's the guy to do it but again he didn't know Misawa & Misawa isn't supposed to be showing up Hart. 'Cause I'm going to be honest, Misawa in later 1990 had IT because Baba took off his restraints of the mask/character/position in the company...this wasn't that Mitsuharu though. Shoehi Baba / Andre the Giant vs. Demolition - This was fun but only because it was short. Demolition do nothing for me. Jumbo Tsuruta / King Haku vs. Curt Henning / Rick Martel - All right! This is a match up that I never knew I needed to see...but it did not disappoint! All guys are great workers and speak English and probably shared some locker rooms over the years so we were getting great moves and fun sequences. Not only that but some drama too! This was a very good match...scratching on the door of greatness. Randy Savage vs Genichiro Tenryu - Randy with Sherri Martel (who was as much a part of the match as the guys) vs Mr. Puroresu. And in the Dome, Tenryu lives up to that. Like New Mr. Puro Kobashi, Tenryu just embodies the style and sport. So it was a treat to have him face a lunatic like Savage...who I think is an embodiment of American style with the fashion, promos, but the in ring excitement to back it up. Like the above tag bout, this was really good stuff...the fans were loving this! Hulk Hogan vs Stan Hansen - Have no doubts, this is a great match. I avoid Hogan matches but, this is not something to miss especially if you enjoy Stan Hansen. If you have never seen Hansen then this may be your best entry point. At thirteen minutes, we get distilled Lariat - Unsinkable Battle Ship Hansen vs Hulk -I'm in Japan where they still think I'm a badass- Hogan and they live up to it all in my view. I did a big write up and took screen shots to send my dad...it was that great. I mean not to spoil it but give you a taste, we get double blood! Those last three matches are worth checking out for sure. They aren't in that order on the full show or even on the AJ Classics but this is how I would have booked it. Thanks for reading! Keep safe!
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