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Charles (Loss)

[1980-05-01-AJPW Fukuoka] Jumbo Tsuruta vs Dick Slater

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NWA United National Champion Jumbo Tsuruta vs Dick Slater - AJPW 5/1/80

 

That's a HUGE FUCKING TROPHY Jumbo Tsuruta gets for winning this match and the Champions Carnival.

 

This match would not be out of place at all in 2016 as there is a ton of hot nearfalls and I would go as far as to say there is actually too many and they detract from the match. Unlike today's match, there is enough grappling and selling to setup the highspots and bombs. Slater is at a disadvantage right off the bat because his right eye is bandaged. I loved the pro style grappling here. Everything was logical and quick. Slater gets a drop toehold into a deathlock, but Jumbo counters this into a Boston Crab. It is such an excellent counter. I love Slater fights it every bit of the way so that it actually seems reasonable when he breaks out. I loved how quickly he goes after Jumbo's leg so as not to fall behind to Jumbo. Slater does a great job working the leg. The transition to the bomb throwing is A HUGE BUMP by Slater out to the floor off a back drop. Again, Jumbo first does the logical thing focusing on the back with an ab stretch and bearhug before moving to his bombs like the High Knee and piledriver. Slater ties him up in a pin and rolls him out to the floor. Weirdly, Slater suplexes Jumbo back into the ring, which is a move I associate with babyfaces. There is a great Samoan Drop and it is impressive Slater can get him up. Jumbo does a great job selling the Samoan Drop and the pain he is in. Slater gets a piledriver, but only gets two and from there goes for the Spinning Toehold, which he set up earlier. Jumbo does everything he can to kick him off to the floor and when he gets back in hits a flying knee again only for two. Then Slater fires back and hits flying elbow. It is a very tit for tat, symmetry match to establish eveness. Jumbo wins a suplex struggle (this is a spot that continued well into the 21st century in NOAH) and unloads more suplexes. However, he crashes and burns on a dropkick. The perfect chance for Slater to put the Spinning Toehold on and he does! Jumbo flailing kicks him off brutally. It is this grit and Slater's selling that's carrying the match. Slater's is relentless and Jumbo is blasting him in the face until he starts to bleed! Jumbo tries the back suplex, but Slater kicks off the ropes and Jumbo whacks the back of his head so he cant capitalize. Spinning Toe Hold! Kicks off. Love Slater's perseverance. Slater charges into the corner and a PERFECT German Suplex (look at the bridge) wins the match for Jumbo.

 

This felt like two sportmen giving it their all to win the match. It can be dry at times, but I think the opening work is very compelling. After seeing Jericho so obtusely set up the Boston Crab for years it was cool to see Jumbo find a cool, logical way to progress from one hold to a Boston Crab. I thought Slater was great working the leg. Jumbo is an excellent bomb thrower and I think Slater's reliance on the Spinning Toehold was a perfect way to counter that. He was going to live and die by the Spinning Toehold. The nearfalls were excessive and the transition were a bit capricious at times. I wish there was some more long term selling from Jumbo especially the leg. Overall, it was a very entertaining bout and told the story of Jumbo's suplxes against Slater's Spinning Toe Hold. ****

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That German suplex was a thing of beauty. I liked the match fine during the beginning, and the huge drop to the outside was cool. But, they really grabbed me when Jumbo started laying in those brutal kicks to the head on Slater while he was working the spinning toe hold. Man, they looked stiff. Eventually Slater is busted open. I was feeling every near fall after that. I'd agree with the ****. For me it was the last 5-8 minutes that really got it there.

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