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Found 119 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. I felt like watching some stuff from the 80's after watching 80's wrestling commercials on YouTube. I've got tons of stuff so I went through and cherry picked a disc from my AJPW collection. Only one match actually is an AJ match which is nice since that smattering of wrestling was what I wanted. Jack and Jerry Brisco vs Bob Orton Jr/Jimmy Valiant (06/12/83 in Savannah, GA): This was a high energy tag match but there wasn't a lot to it. That and three of the guys had red trunks on! It was very good stuff but not much than I can recall. Orton does a great back breaker. Jumbo Tsuruta vs Brad Rheingans (08/30/83): This was a fantastic technical match that AJPW isn't always known for at this time. This is more like what I've seen in NJ at this time. It makes sense since both are former Greco-Roman Olympians. There were plenty of reversals and escapes and I don't recall one rope break. This is really my favorite type of stuff to watch. Great match Harley Race vs Kevin Von Erich (NWA Title on 06/17/83 in Dallas, TX): This was a great title match. I've only seen Kerry Von Erich so it was nice to finally see Kevin. This is especially true after watching the Von Erich Dark Side episode a few weeks ago and as the only living brother, I guess I feel for him. So he's a true babyface in this case if that makes any sense. He's up against Harley Race which I think is a good match up since Harley has a more deliberate orthodox style that transfers well regardless of his opponent. Kevin is more like a Ricky Steamboat heavy weight and his awesome dropkicks look devastating against the champ. Mixed with his body scissors hold (something we don't ever see anymore) and the Iron Claw, he's got Race reeling. Eventually Harley gets Kevin to the floor where he crashes into TV equipment (I think) and hurts his shoulder. There's blood in the water for the shark. The champion is a great white in his attack - ax handle smashes and viscous knee drops are the best. The ref wants to stop the fight but Kevin refuses. He still has his big weapons and won't be told to quit...not even when big brother David comes out. What a great match to introduce the Von Erich clan and a great bout overall.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. I liked this better than their other match on this disc (04/19/1986), but it never really kicks into the next gear. Odd that these two never had a great match against each other.
  9. 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.
  10. Yes I know. This goes 45 minutes and we all can't stand that! But bear with me. I love me a good 7 minute Velocity match, but I also love me a 45 minute title match, when it's good, and this is good. I know we live in a fast paced age and people can't sit down and concentrate on a piece of entertainment for 40 minutes anymore. But for me, it's basically like watching an epic movie that's about two men fighting to death. That is the strange fascination of wrestling, forever and always. With the way this is filmed and the slightly weird sound mix, it kind of feels like a movie too. They are wrestling in this bright ring surrounded by folks in colorful 70s clothes, and above them is only darkness. The action in this bout was kept extremely simple, and in a way the audience may have been the third worker in this match carrying the action, as the arena was just trembling with excitement to see Jumbo claim the title. I am not the biggest fan of either guy, and in terms of brilliant moves there wasn't much to see, as they kept the bout nice and simple, but the selling was spot on, and they painted the time in such a way that the match just flew by. Call me oldfashioned, but no amount of neck breaking suplex moves or daring stunts is as endearing to me as seeing a wrestling match that has two guys working a dozen variations on the most basic of holds. Then you watch as the match turns into this intricate struggle, with Bock making a one armed comeback by kicking the dogshit out of Jumbo's kidney as the audience gets nervous, and then Jumbo stepping forward and FEELING IT and just chopping away at Bock, and this match turns into this really intricate struggle. They were selling the moves in such a way that I felt any well placed blow at the right time could turn the tide, and Jumbo here puts on maybe his greatest performance that I've ever seen as he does this brilliant one legged comeback and then some of the best leg selling ever caught on film that you selling nazis really really got to see. Then there's of course the "travelling champ makes the local yokel look like he could take the title" trope but this wasn't that, this was Jumbo the hopeful japanese superathlete making minced meat of Bock while all the folks in the audience no matter their background will him on. Then add in a bunch of great 70s spots, awesome Cobra Twist, teasing of the Butterfly Suplex, Bock making use of the ring, epic blood, Jumbo having all these great rushes where it looks like he is kicking Bock into a smear, and outrageous finish that decides the match by a whisker, and you have yourself a classic. Beautiful beautiful bout.
  11. 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
  12. AWA World Heavyweight Champion Jumbo Tsuruta vs Rick Martel - AWA 5/13/84 Than God for the Japanese without them we would have such little footage. This is an AWA World Title defense taped for Japanese TV because Jumbo is the World Champion even though Jumbo will be dropping the belt in this bout. Basically, Jumbo was utilized like a gaijin would be in All Japan as a transitional champion to bridge between two major stars. Conventional American booking wisdom would have Martel take the title from the longstanding heel champion, Nick Bockwinkel,. but I liked the wrinkle of using Jumbo. I think it adds a little spice to the Bock/Martel series that Martel never beat Bock for the title and thus has to prove himself over the course of a series of matches. Of course, it helps Jumbo & All Japan shed the choker label in their home country where Flair and Bock kept coming in and escaping with the title. As expected this wrestled mostly as a straight face vs face championship match with subtle heel actions from Jumbo Tsuruta to make sure the pro-Martel crowd is really hot for his coronation. The story in the match seemed to be dueling limb work, but I will admit this match was a bit all over the place. It was very entertaining from action standpoint because there was always something going on, but it did feel like a hodgepodge of spots rather than a clear narrative. We started with Martel working the arm out of the initial chain wrestling and Jumbo in turn working the leg with Jumbo getting the best of it early with spinning toe holds and his trademark Boston Crab. Martel is clearly the better seller so the match tends to be better when Jumbo is on offense and Jumbo is a great offensive wrestler so that helps too. There is some nice storytelling early like Martel using movement (leapfrog, dropkick) to create opportunities, but with his bum wheel he can't follow up and Jumbo is afforded the time to regroup on the outside. Martel is able to get a drop toehold and transitions back to the arm. We get out first high spot with Martel hitting a reverse crossbody for two. At this point, they depart from the original limb work behind. I don't think you necessarily have to stay on the same body part, but it felt pretty random and it did not play into finish so it just rendered it all moot. Martel misses an elbow and then Jumbo starts working on Martel's arm. I like the spot when a wrestler rolls up on an armstretcher and we see that from Martel. Jumbo hits a kneecrusher out of a side headlock and wicked high knee. Now they go all New Japan Juniors on us and go into bomb throwing. European uppercuts by Jumbo sets up his piledriver, which only gets two and now we get his abdominal stretch (I know it is a standard Jumbo spot, but it reeked of getting your shit in). Martel switches the ab stretch and works the back to set up for his dive, but he eats knees. They collide in the middle of the ring to reset the match. Jumbo dropkicks Martel into the ref and hits a Back Drop Driver, but no ref to get his highway robbery finish to protect him for the Japanese TV audience. Jumbo is ripshit. He is emotionally compromised when he goes for the Thesz Press, which ends with a hotshot and cross body for Martel to win the championship. I feel like I was harsher than I should have been on that match, which I did enjoy. I thought the finish stretch was really excellent in a vacuum. The Jumbo falling prey to the hotshot is classic and Martel gets a really pure babyface win. I liked the dueling psychology early and don't understand why they deviated it in the middle only to go the bomb throwing route later. Both have better matches on their resume, but this is a fine Martel championship victory. ***3/4
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