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Found 153 results

  1. This kind of match has a sort of inevitability about it. Taue is practically unblooded and Kabuki, broken down as he's becoming, isn't dragging a guy in his second year past two of the three biggest stars in the company. And Tenryu and Hansen themselves are inevitable. They're wrecking balls, they destroy things and you can't stop it. The fun, then, is seeing how the old guy with the nunchucks and his rookie partner meet their demise. Tenryu and Hansen obviously smashed them to bits -- nasty chops, forearms, clubbering, forty yarders to the spine. Taue wouldn't go down without a fight though, and there was a great bit where he caught Tenryu coming off the ropes with a big boot to the chin before following up with a weird chokeslam that dropped him face-first. If wrestling was real then Hansen would have to be one of your top draft picks for a tag partner. He's exactly the kind of guy you'd want at your back in a fight. Any time Tenryu looked to be in even the slightest bit of bother Stan would come in and help. Put Tenryu in a leglock? Hansen is in kicking your face. Indian deathlock? Not on Hansen's watch. Taue and Kabuki got no respite whatsoever. He was also awesome at responding to Kabuki's short uppercuts (which looked GREAT, btw). The more Kabuki threw the more Hansen would sell them, going from almost annoyance at the start to eventually needing to just bowl Kabuki out the ring so he'd stop. Finish was cool as well, with Kabuki taking a wild bump to the floor off the lariat as Taue lay dead for a while after the double powerbomb.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Man the opening sequences made this look like it was going to be one of the greatest matches of all time and it was going really great and then Jumbo botched the Powerbomb. That made it feel really incomplete, in a way I rarely find botched finishes to be, usually I'm just amused at the brutality but here it really felt like a sudden stop that shouldn't have been. Thankfully we got a rematch two months later. This was still very good but more three star-ish than what could've (and did eventually) be.
  8. This match wasn't much, mostly because Terry Gordy's performance was god awful, Memphis TV undercard matches had more intensity than he did in this match. The structure was quite dull too, the foreigners pretty much took the entire match, and it just doesn't make for an interesting experience to see someone get cut off over and over and over again, especially knowing more shitty worked punches await. There were some nice moments of violence when Hansen would get it on, and Hara's comeback punches looked great (unlike his headbutts, which looked terrible, backyard level headbutting your own hand), Tenryu's role was kept to a minimum, he had a couple off stare offs with Hansen's and managed to Lariat him in a throat near the end, but he wasn't the focus off the match. Hansen going on one of his signature rampages at the end and destroying everything in sight is enough for me to call this above average but if you're itching for some 80s All Japan tag action there are better choices out there. **3/4
  9. A match where the interactions between Misawa and Kawada are the least interesting thing to happen! Seriously-it was mostly pretty forgettable workrate stuff, though there was a nice moment where Kawada avoided Misawa's body press and almost took his head off with a spin kick. Kawada looked better than Misawa here-he still has some junior offence I could live without like pulling out a handspring elbow, but he showed good fire trying to hand with Yatsu. Tenryu was just out of this world great here-acting like the world's greatest prick. His slaps, chops and Lariats all looked amazing, but he would also bust out head stomps to break up pins that looked as vicious as what he was doing 5-10 years later, but he still had theathleticism and the explosivenes that make even just him running the ropes a much stronger image. Yatsu trying to match him in violence really made the match, he really upped his striking game and hanged with Tenryu. The match ends in the standard chaotic brawling, which is really good, and is skillfully tied up into the Tenryu-Jumbo angle. Tenryu even Powerbombs Misawa on the ringside table, though as sloppily as you'd expect. ***1/2
  10. A fun match but not an all time classic or anything, really brought down by Jumbo's lackluster performance. Interesting opening with them teasing some bigger moves and stealing each other's signature stuff, the graplling wasn't much but there were some interesting holds, the matchw was really made by them smacking the shit out of each other. I really dislike the way Jumbo sells immediate impact, it feels like something I'd see from a modern indy guy and all I can think of when he does are countless debates about limbwork on DVDVR re: Tanahashi title matches from 2009, I think it's overly expressive for japanese wrestling and don't think it enhances the match in any way. The big bombs were fun but the nearfalls on them weren't very convincing (it was too obvious they were gonna go for rope breaks). On the other hand you get awesome stuff like Tenryu pulling out a surprise Small Package and a huge German Suplex, great, dramatic counters that got great pops. There was some legwork here but Jumbo didn't sell it at all, actually he reacted to it by doing a bunch of enzuigiris which felt totally out of character for him, it was interesting when he did it in the beginning of the match to tease Tenryu but by the time he did a third one I was completely sick of them. Finish was very interesting and dramatic though I do wish they hadn't done the legwork as it felt the finish was more of an end result of accumulated and a coincidence than the legwork finally coming into play. 3+ star-ish.
  11. This is the one. Tenryu is fucking with Mutoh from the get-go by doing a 52 years old Shining Wizard. Mutoh is butthurt about it, so he manages to hit the same spot outside, pushing the old geezer against the steel barricade, injury his left arm in the process. From there, it's focus on that arm, the kneecap dropkicks' only purpose being to keep Tenryu down, and eventually hit some SW too. There are also callbacks to the moonsault spot, which Mutoh insists on trying despite Tenryu always getting a way out. Good stuff here. And of course, a bunch of punches to the face, stiff chops, Mutoh doing this ridiculous backflip kick... This is everything you'd want from these two and then some as they really play off the first match without the kinda useless overlong legwork sequences, and with better selling too. Maybe not quite MOTYC level, but great match anyway.
  12. Man, it has been awhile since I've covered some straight up Japanese wrestling. That's a sin or something for a wrestling blog with "puro" in the title. I guess I've been covering the "plus more" stuff for a couple months. Anyhow, let's get in our time machines and go back to late 1989 All Japan Pro Wrestling for some good stuff. British Bulldogs & Kenta Kobashi vs Furnas, Kroffat & Masa Fuchi (11/19) - You'd better believe this is in Korakeun Hall! Dynamite is still physically able to go. Kroffat is doing kicks & kip-ups. Davey and Doug Furnas get in a strong man battle. Fuchi is still tough and mean. Kobashi is great right outta the gate. This match has got all of the 'wow!' moments along with some blood. Watch for that exploding guardrail too! Impressive finish on top of all that - Great match! Terry Gordy & Bill Irwin vs Stan Hansen & Tenryu (11/19): So, I've dropped us in the '89 Real World Tag League for better or worse. I say worse because there's usually some good stories running here but, if I try to do that I'm just going to be intimidated to watch this stuff. Like "Ok I have to plan to watch this DVD on this date then, watch these two this week, what if I take a break?" I digress...this match is the perfect reason to just drop right in. Four bruisers chopping and elbowing each other like they mean it. You can't beat it! This was fast paced as you can get for these dudes and there's not a thing to hate on. Very good match that's scratching a greatness to me. British Bulldogs vs Jumbo & Yoshiaki Yatsu (11/25): Tag League match. Yatsu has headgear and that was of course a target for the Brits. It was good but, had a little too much stomping & headbutts to be awesome. Still, its neat to see all 4 in the ring. Abdullah the Butcher & Tiger Jeet Singh vs Hansen & Tenryu (11/25): Tag League match. Ah yes, I love these matches. Maybe its because my dad is a Abby fan or that I came into my fandom watching ECW but, this was very good stuff. Fighting in the crowd, bleeding, yeah I mean this was very enjoyable to me. Plus we get a pinfall win! British Bulldogs & Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada, Samson Fuyuki & Yoshinari Ogawa (12/04): Perhaps the first match I've seen of Ogawa wrestling for Revolution. Catch us if you can! I think that was their slogan Anyhow, this was a great 13-14 minute match much like the Can-Am & Fuchi one. Dynamite puts together a half dozen moves tags out to let Davey do the heavy lifting (literally) and Kobashi takes Tom's role in bumping & diving off stuff. I've seen better Footloose matches (Kawada & Fuyuki) but, they are still great here. This was a blast! This was a super easy AJPW Classics DVD to watch. Nothing was a classic but, it was really enjoyable to see the same few guys wrestle. Plus there was a variety of styles. A brawl, a slobber knocker, two 6 man work-rate matches, and a solid story tag bout made this never boring. Now, there were 2 Nasty Boys RWTL matches but, I skipped those. I saw little bits but, eh I only have so much time & energy. If you love Knobbs & Skaggs then you've got to look forward to seeing. I want to finish off 2020 with a few more puro matches or shows before my year end stuff. So, hopefully I can get that in as well as written up. Work has been CRAZY! So, we'll see about that. I do have a couple DVDs in mind so I'm hoping I can get those in along with another FIP show or two. Thanks for reading everyone! Be safe!
  13. I'm trying to get back into my AJPW DVDs from the 80's as well as a slew of other stuff I want to watch. So instead of making big long projects that are so daunting that I don't want to do them, I have a very elaborate (not) system of flipping coins and rolling dice to get my butt in gear. Here's the end of 1985 and January 1986 of AJPW: British Bulldogs vs Jumbo & Tenryu (12/07/85): This was a good match where both teams got alot of offense in. Davey Boy press slamming Tenryu was the highlight for sure! 80's finish though... Mil Mascaras vs Tiger Mask II (01/02/86): A technical bout in contrast to the above tag match. Things picked up though and other than one miscommunication this was a good fight. Tiger Mask Misawa gets a hand shake at the end of the match so, although this is an 80's finish there's a sign a respect to end the match. Jumbo & Kodo Fuyuki vs Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda (01/86): Yes, this was shown in full! Tons of irish whipping and rope running. You better believe this was a high energy tag match for '85. Everyone brought something different to the table so everyone stood out. Plus we get a winner! Very good match. Windham vs Jumbo is a perfect fit in my eyes..wonder if that happened? Hansen vs Ashura Hara (01/86): Super heated slugfest with Hara taking it right to the Texan. It was quick violent good stuff! Russians vs Jumbo & Tenryu (01/02/86): I'm not going to spend time looking up who the "Russians" were since this was the worst bout of the DVD. It was just lame punch, stomp, bearhug type fare from them. Mil Mascaras vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (01/28/86): If you read my NJPW '88 reviews, you know that I'm a Kobayashi fan. I've taken a break on the Tiger Mask I review but, I'm really looking forward to Kobayashi vs Tiger. But here in 1985, he's in AJPW facing Mil. Both guys are technical wrestlers so this starts out really nice but, it turns into a brawl soon enough. Awesome tope and planchas punctuate the go-for-broke feel. It goes to a DQ but, would love to see a re-match with a clear winner. Good stuff. Hansen & Ted DiBiase vs Harley Race & Jesse Barr (11/30/85): Nice power moves from Barr...never seen him before. Hansen like you would hope was like a wild animal. Barr took a flip bump on the Lariat and landed on his noggin! Very good match in my book...no build up or story-just frenzy! Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr. vs Jumbo & Tenryu (12/12/85): Before watching this I knew that it was either going to be a shorty or it was going long. And this went long but, dang was it a action packed long match. Jumbo's doing leapfrogs, Baba brings out his big guns, Dory's hitting lifter like no one can and Tenryu eventually channels the grouch inside. You had better believe count outs and double DQs are a real thing in the mid 80's so, keep that in mind when the action spills to the floor. This was a great match! Man, this was a lot of fun to watch and it really seems like the best way for me to watch stuff that I'm 'not in the mood for.' I've been down a ROH rabbit hole however, this was a nice break.
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