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[1992-08-22-AJPW-Summer Action Series II] Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy

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The story here is that they said Jumbo was out in July with a leg injury, so MVC targets the 'bad leg'. Too bad they couldn't target 'the hepatitis'.

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It was interesting to see Taue put in the position to be the savior for his team multiple times while Jumbo took a beating from Doc and Gordy. I thought this layout did quite a bit to put Taue over as a player, and of course, Jumbo in the role he's in at this point isn't in a position to sell from underneath very often, but when he does, you remember how great he is at it. Gordy gets a pin after a powerbomb, so it looks like this was a card with some major surprise finishes.

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This is a good match. The MVC just destroy the natives. Jumbo's selling and fighting underneath is pretty great. A good match to get the MVC over. I would have preferred a finish that would have played into the leg work, but I'll take the powerbomb.

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Felt like Jumbo was a bystander for a good portion of the match with Taue taking a long beating. Williams and Gordy looked pretty dominant. Jumbo contributes more towards the end of match doing his best to fight off MVC. The finish was pretty surprising with him being taken out by the power bomb and pinned.

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Taue far and away the the best performed in this match, and seemed to get over as a heel even against foreigners. Pretty surprising to see Jumbo take the fall here, even with Taue the standout. Combined with the main event result and this was a pretty big night in All Japan.

 

***3/4

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Ordinarily I'd wonder if this result was some sort of message, or if it would have taken place if not for Jumbo's illness. But they would swerve us in October when Jumbo & Taue went over in the October rematch. He did seem to go down surprisingly easily, though--they're clearly pushing that he's not at 100%, even if it's due to a knee/foot injury rather than hep. Doc and Gordy still aren't that great when on top, but the action when the natives are fighting back is really good. Jumbo's illness is only noticeable via his appearance, not his ringwork.

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Jumbo looked to be in good shape for the shape he was in. Certainly not a hundred percent, but more than good enough to give the MVC the most competitive match I've seen them in yet. Taue looked especially good in his sequences against Doc; I wonder how a singles bout between them would turn out.

 

Doc and Bamm Bamm targeted both natives' legs, but that almost seemed like an afterthought. I actually thought that Jumbo and Taue were more effective targeting Doc's stomach and ribs earlier on, if only because it was one of the few times I've seen the MVC's opponents take control of a match for even a brief while. Taue got to chokeslam Doc twice and look good doing it both times. which is more than most teams facing the MVC get these days. The crowd seemed really pleased to see Jumbo back, although I'm sure they'll feel differently when he's beating up natives again.

 

Just like with the Misawa and Kobashi match, I'm wondering which of the MVC's titles, if any, were on the line. They didn't wear any belts to the ring, and the match had a forty-five minute time limit instead of an hour, so if I had to guess I'd say that neither title was defended.

 

Any special reason why they hid Jumbo's real condition? I'd guess it was a privacy thing, but maybe they wanted to put whoever was supposed to have "injured" him over. Did they mention who was supposed to have done it?

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Loved how this match put Taue over, and his performance in it.  Jumbo was great too, which is absolutely no surprise.  The MVC were pretty good save a few times where they broke the momentum of the match to take a breather.  Seems like an important match in the Akira Taue canon.

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