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JKWebb

[1985-10-19-AJPW] Rick Martel vs Riki Choshu

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Everytime I watch Rick Martel in the 80s he gains more traction in my all-time favorites list. I'd say he's already in my top 15 for sure. The guy is just the ultimate babyface in the ring. I might have seen this match when I went through the AWA 80s, but I don't remember seeing it prior to tonight if I have. Choshu goes to work on the left arm early on. Martel is wincing in pain, gets a nice fiery hope spot, then back to the left arm when Choshu cuts him off. Choshu early on, per usual from what I've seen, shifts focus to the Scorpion Deathlock. I don't like how out of nowhere this seems and dominating this is in some of his matches I've seen. The last three or four Choshu matches I've seen, all around this time, are just him going for the Scorpion Deathlock. It's kind of how Brock Lesnar went through that timeframe of nothing but suplex city. They end up trading some suplexes and Choshu apparently gets a close call win with one. It's hard to say, because to me it looked like Martel kicked out, but the ref signals for the Choshu victory. They show the replay of a nice lariat that Martel sold like a champ. This obviously was not a title match, or I'm wrong about the ending. Not sure what to think of this one.

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Man I loved this too. 100% agree on Martel - his selling of the deathlock was so damn good here. I wish Choshu had given him some more offense, but I can't complain too much about a 15 minute match. And how over was Choshu in 1985? Crowd just ate up everything he did.

 

RE: the finish, it was a 15:00 draw.

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Thanks for saying this was a 15 minute draw because I honestly was going to say that was the worst finish in history. It looked like they just stopped wrestling.

 

AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel vs Riki Choshu - AJPW 10/19/85

 

OUI! OUI! RICKY MARTEL! Comes out to Lets Hear It For The Boy! *****

 

I can never get enough of Ricky Martel. He wrestles with such an enthusiasm that is just infectious. I loved how Choshu had him in a hammerlock, but he couldn't grab a snapmare so he went for a drop toehold to get out. He also did a great job setting up Choshu's offense by missing big bombs (charge in the corner, reverse crossbody and his slingshot splash). Basically anytime Martel tried to up the tempo he would miss and Choshu would gobble him. Choshu is a great stoic badass with that insane asskicker charisma. He is not good at holds. One of the worst cross armbreakers I have ever seen. Martel saves it when he gets a bodyslam he is still selling the arm. I just don't want to see Choshu working holds. Martel tries to slow it down by grabbing a leg. But when he goes for a reverse crossbody, he crashes and burns. Choshu works some deep Scorpion Deathlock. I love he sets it up and really works to put it on and then turned it over. Feels huge. I didn't like him giving up on it. Martel makes his big comeback with a gutwrench suplex. He starts wrestling Choshu game of power. Martel hits his setup backbreaker, BUT eats knees on the Slingshot Splash. Choshu BLITZES him with a Monster Lariat. Martel rolls out. Choshu smashes his head into the post. He suplexes him back in. Choshu only gets two. I will say Choshu is really over like really over. Choshu goes for the Scoprion Deathlock again. I like this better than the Sharpshooter in terms of how big Choshu makes it feel, but Bret was better at protecting the finish. Martel keeps tapping out which is funny. Choshu just gives up. Martel hits a backdrop driver!!! Then Martel energetically hits a top rope crossbody. Choshu hits a back drop driver for two. Then they just stop wrestling.

 

I was ready to rip them for the worst finish of all time, but someone tells me this was a 15 minute time limit. What World Championship match has a 15 minute time limit? What a ripoff? The beginning was kinda pedestrian. Once Choshu started hitting his big spots, the match picked up. The missed Slingshot Splash/Lariat was a great combo. I thought Martel was too spry in his late match comeback and that selling was blown off. Overall it was a fun match, but weird (Choshu working holds, Martel the power wrestler and a terrible draw finish). ***1/2

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