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[1982-08-01-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta vs Harley Race

Superstar Sleeze

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NWA United National Champion Jumbo Tsuruta vs Harley Race - AJPW 8/1/82


It is like Harley thought to himself what if an entire match was a finish run. Then you realize when there is no build there is no heat. As this is one of the quietest crowds until the actual finish run. This is a bump & run match through and through. Within the two minutes, there are nine bumps! NINE! Harely seems to think a babyface shine is I will take 2 bumps for every one bump my opponent has to take. My biggest problem was the lack of urgency on Harley's part. The bumps and the moves were great! There was just no urgency or effort to set them up. I am giving Jumbo serious credit for keeping this together. He was the one stopping this from becoming a spot fest. He set up all his moves with hard strikes and showed firey emotion. He did not just hit a suplex or a high knee. He would beat the shit out of Harley and then earn it. Harley would just sort of shake it off, hit a strike and then his highspot. Once he busted open Jumbo (this came after a Jumbo high knee with no big transition, it just happened), this match did pick up and was thanks to Jumbo. Jumbo sold his ass off and looked like a man possessed when he was making his comeback. Listen to that dead crowd come alive as Jumbo rejuvenated them. This is a Jumbo you rarely get to see and he looked awesome as a bleeding, pissed off brawler. I will give Harley some credit he did work the cut. Jumbo busts Harley open, but he cant even bleed as much as Jumbo. Jumbo totally outworking Harley. In the middle of his comeback, Harley just throws out a random backbreaker. What the fuck, Harley?!??!!? Watch the match, there is no setup. It is just Im going to hit a backbreaker now. A modern wrestler would be crucified for that. Jumbo hits a great lariat! They play off the Flair 82 finish with a German both men's shoulders down, but that's not the finish. Harley wins the match with a back suplex, yep that sums up this whole match.


I am kinda embarrassed I voted for Harley in the Greatest Wrestler Ever poll and forgot to vote for Baba. My criticism of Jumbo is that he does seem to follow rather than lead in the early 80s and let his opponent dictate the match. He should have done more to reign in Harley's tendencies. Watch the match for Jumbo's selling and comeback. So disappointing he lost. :( Still an above average match thanks to Jumbo and I will say there was plenty of drama down the stretch. ***

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  • 7 months later...

Jumbo is the glue, and Harley has a hard time selling for him. There's one point where he puts Jumbo up for a piledriver and holds it for a solid 20 seconds and poses to each side of the crowd like he's Hogan doing the ear thing. It came across pretty arrogant to me. I feel like Harley did a lot of things in the match that you might hear as a gripe for Brody. It really is a bummer Harley took the win after being so dominating. The crowd was hyped for Jumbo and it only makes sense he would win after firing back, but Harley didn't make much sense here anyway. I can agree with *** just because of Jumbo.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1982-08-01-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta vs Harley Race

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