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Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genricho Tenyru 10/20/88 &6/5/89


Tim Cooke
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I haven't seen this since October 2001 when I got the Barnett "K" tape it was on. Back then, I was still new to anything not Junior Heavyheight in Japan. I liked the match, but not enough to keep me from trading it off after a while. The same could be said of their 10/88 match. Watching both again this week, I have new appreciation for both matches and they rapidly move up my Best of the 80's list.

 

The 10/88 match is very long. Around 36 minutes, it is a Jumbo masterpiece as he makes the match a rollercoaster of peaks and valleys, picking it up at the appropriate times and then settling down. It is interesting to see Tenyru as a close challenger as opposed to Jumbo's great work with lesser challengers in Kawada, Kobashi, etc. in the early 90's. Tenyru is always a step away from fully gaining control but once he tries to go all out, it usually fails him. From trying to ground Jumbo with the great AJPW side headlock early on to trying to outstrike him, it just keeps failing.

 

The 6/89 match is Tenyru as the equal. So what does Jumbo do? He beats the crap out of him from the get go (after being surprised by an early german suplex). This makes the crowd boo for almost everything he does the rest of the match, even if he isn't heeling it up. A simple abdominal stretch gets boo'ed and Jumbo being the king he is, does heel it up on that move after the boo's start. The final two powerbombs and overall themes of the match make this an easy must see on not only its own but also in the realm of what Misawa and Kawada would do 5 years later.

 

Tim

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I have some notes on this mach for a review but wanted to watch the matches leading up to it before writing it up. However, you just filled in a major part for me. I couldn't understand how Footloose could be booed so much in thier match earlier in the night yet Tenryu was being cheered when Footloose were his buddies.

 

Even without seeing the first couple of matches, 6-5-89 is easily one of the best matches I have ever seen. Right now, it is def. my favorite match of the 1980s and that is without seeing the lead-in matches! I can only imagine how much better it gets with the backstory. I knew about the powerbomb spot though so that was easier to understand.

 

Also, Tim, I have heard this match needs to be seen to appreciate 6-3-94. Why?

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Multi-layered actually.

 

First, you have Kawada who was Tenyru's protige, in the same role in 1994. You have Misawa in Jumbo's role of "The Man" which he won from Jumbo.

 

Second, for Jumbo and Tenyru, this was their "5th" major match in the late 80's. It was only their 2nd Triple Crown match though. For Misawa and Kawada, it was their 3rd TC match and their 5th major match of the early 1990's.

 

Third, in both matches, the challenger was ready to defeat in the Champion.

 

Fourth, you have the Triple Crown being defended in Bukodan in June.

 

Fifth and most important, Tenyru defeats Jumbo with 2 powerbombs. Against Williams in the 1994 Carnival Final, Kawada needs 3 to put away the #1 Gajin. Let's forget that they fucked up and in the 3/27/93 match, Kawada hit 3 powerbombs. So 3 powerbombs will defeat Misawa on 6/3/94. Kawada hits the first at the 25:00 for the Nearfall of the Decade. The second comes 2 minutes later but Misawa kicks out unlike Jumbo who couldn't against Tenyru. A third will definetly put Misawa out. Kawada never is able to hit a third and accomplish his mission.

 

Tim

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I agree, but if we do this, I want to do it right and that will mean almost going week by week. So we will have to track down a LOT of TV, but I am very willing to go forward. I say we just start in 1990 with Jumbo and Co vs. Misawa and Co and work through 1994 with the focus being on Misawa and Kawada.

 

Tim

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That's cool. I am def. up for the project. I would even suggest a write-up explaining the significance of each match leading to 6-3-94, not unlike the one you did previously when the topic was brought up.

 

Also, we would also need to start looking through these older matches so we can do the proper Tenryu-Jumbo feud comps and the Choshu era and even the 70s if need be. Leave no stone unturned so to speak.

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Choshu era is covered well through Barnett. Jewett is working on the split between Tsuruta and Tenyru in May of 1987. We would need to fill in the gaps between 1988-1990 and 1990-1994.

 

Also include some 70's and early 80's footage as Jumbo/Funk, Jumbo/Harley, Baba/Robinson, Jumbo/Martel, and Jumbo/Von Erich are important.

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Speaking of Jumbo/Von Erich, if you were doing the top five matches AJPW had in the 80s, would that match be part of it? I know it would mine, but I still need to watch the Jumbo/Tenryu matches and more of the Choshu invasion stuff.

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On Jumbo vs Kerry-

 

Not sure where it would fit. Right now my top 20 in no order would include:

 

Jumbo v Tenyru 10/20/88

Jumbo v Tenyru 6/5/89

MX v Fantastics 3/27/88

Lawler v Dundee 6/83 Loser Leaves Town

Takada v Yamazaki 12/5/84

Takada v Yamazaki 8/13/88

Devil v Chigusa 8/22/85

Jumbo/Tenyru v Choshu/Yatsu 1/28/86

Backlund v Muraco 9/23/81

Backlund v Dusty 5/27/80

Maeda/Fujinami/Kimura v Choshu/Yatsu/Hamaguchi 12/8/83

Tenyru v Yatsu 3/13/86

Jumbo v Tiger Mask Misawa 3/9/88

Can Am Express v Footloose 6/5/89

Magnum TA v Nikita Koloff 8/16/86 (which on Ginnetty's DVD is in PERFECT FUCKING QUALITY)

Ted DiBiase v Jim Duggan 1984 Loser Leaves, etc match

Freebirds v Von Erichs 7-4-83

Los Brazos v Los Fantasticos 1984

Kerry Von Erich v Terry Gordy 5/7/84 (probably will fall out but I like this a ton)

Jumbo v Kerry 5/22/84

 

I have a feeling that Dundee/Lawler from 12/85 Loser Leaves vs. Dundee's wife Hair match which I should finally have today will enter the top 20. Lawler v Idol could probably make the list as well. I know there is a lack of Flair but I want to see more of his territory work before inserting any of his matches.

 

Choshu's Army-

 

Wait until you get the DVD's from me. And here is what I suggest. Watch them in order all the way through. Volumes 1-3 won't blow your mind but they aren't meant to. It is the change of pace and style that those 3 DVD's cover. I would suggest watching the "K" tape with the 1984 tag leagues from both promotions first. You will see Murdoch/Adonis vs. Inoki/Fujinami outworking Tsuruta/Tenyru v Hanson/Brody. When Choshu comes in, he brings the faster NJ pace and with a guy like Jumbo, he is so talented that he works it better than any of the NJ guys could.

 

Vol 1 climaxes with Choshu/Tenyru in singles action. Not a great match but not bad. Volumes 2-3 see the heat continue to increase. With Vol 4, even the DQ endings to matches will have you wanting more until you reach 1/28/86 and the peak. I have a GD copy of Yatsu v Tenyru from 3/13/86 that isn't on Vol-4 that is extremely good as well.

 

Tim

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I just realized there are no Flair matches listed there.

 

:)

 

EDIT -- I see that you mentioned that. There's a lot of 80s talk on various boards lately, so I'm hoping it's something that can be extensively covered and pimped, in all areas. Too much of the footage from that decade is stuff that's either been talked about as being great when it's not, was great in the time period but isn't now, hasn't been talked about at all, or is surrounded in urban legend but doesn't exist on video (i.e. Last Battle of Atlanta/Luger v Steamboat in Philly).

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To clear out the matches to see where Tim stands on All Japan matches...

 

Jumbo v Tenyru 10/20/88

 

Jumbo v Tenyru 6/5/89

---I don;t know how any match in the 80s could top this... seriously.

 

Jumbo/Tenyru v Choshu/Yatsu 1/28/86

---I'll have to rewatch this after watching the Choshu set.

 

Tenyru v Yatsu 3/13/86

 

Jumbo v Tiger Mask Misawa 3/9/88

---How much does this match add to the 1990 matches or is it just a throwaway match that would have meaning later on and after the fact?

 

Can Am Express v Footloose 6/5/89

---One of my favorite tag matches ever. At first, I was bothered because it doesn't fall into your typical FIP match. Then I watched it wide awake and they were doing stuff that other teams hadn't even touched the surface of. The match also never lets up, action from beginning to end. Could be my favorite tag match of the 80s as well. Damn, to have been in that building on 6/5/89.

 

Jumbo v Kerry 5/22/84

---I have never been happy with the claw as a finisher. Even when I was young I never thought it was credible. This match came close to almost changing my mind.

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Right. I'm not a huge fan of the claw myself, but counting it out of a match completely is similar to those who hate Taue's nodowa because they don't think it looks credible. The claw is put over so strong in this match and sold so well that it works. I wish Windham could have found a way to make it work better when he turned heel in '88, because I really feel like his work suffered a little bit during that time period because all of his matches were built around the clawhold.

 

This thread is all over the place and I love it. We need to start doing a wrestling version of "Comments That Don't Deserve A Thread".

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Jumbo v TM Misawa from 1988 is the Misawa version of Jumbo/Kobashi 5/24/91. Misawa holds on to a headlock for dear life, does all of his TM flying, and in the end can't fend off Jumbo.

 

As a note, the Cam Am match is available complete of AJ Classics, though I never tracked it down. Is that the copy you have Will?

 

And Jumbo made the claw so very credible.

 

And I HATED Windham using it in 1988 during his heel run.

 

Tim

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I think the main difference between the claw and the nodowa is the fact that Taue actually does look like he is damaging the opponent. Also, since the claw is a submission move, I think there are too many ways for it to be countered. As for dismissing it completely, I guess I have only dismissed it because I haven't seen any matches where it looked like it was the killer they made it out to be. We have Jumbo to thank for that.

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As a note, the Cam Am match is available complete of AJ Classics, though I never tracked it down.  Is that the copy you have Will?

 

 

Yes, I got it from Lynch and it is in VG quality but not great quality. I was actually hoping someone had a better version but Dan Ginnetty explained to me that most people get their copies of AJ Classics from Lynch and Lynch has a 1st gen not a master.
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