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Found 121 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  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. 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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