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[1986-07-31-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta vs Stan Hansen


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  • GSR changed the title to [1986-07-31-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta vs Stan Hansen
  • 2 years later...

AWA World Heavyweight Champion Stan Hansen vs NWA International Heavyweight Champion Jumbo Tsuruta - AJPW 7/31/86

Their next match in the series, quick recap in April, Hansen worked the arm, Jumbo lit off some fireworks, Hansen bulldozed Jumbo with a Lariat, but they both tumbled out for a Double Countout finish. 

Since this is again a double championship match, I expect a similar finish. The work in this match is a step above the work in the April match. We get the same intense struggle at the beginning of the match with Jumbo controlling with a side headlock. We see maybe more of a concerted effort targeting of Hansen's Lariat arm by Jumbo even applying a cross-armbreaker before Hansen is able to clasp his hands. From there, Hansen is able to gain control. He starts rattling off Vaderbombs but on the third one he eats knees and this would be important. He flees to the outside. Here, Jumbo hits Lariat to his kidney/ribs/side of Hansen. Hansen sells this like a million bucks. Jumbo gets greedy and Lariats the ringpost when Hansen evades. Now we get glorious dueling body part psychology with Hansen working the arm and Jumbo working the ribs/side of Hansen. This dueling body part psychology is what puts it over the April match for me. I love that Hansen never forgets to sell the ribs as he is the one who has control of Jumbo's arm first so it would be easy for his ribs to be lost in the shuffle. He goes hard charging into the buckles and make sure to take brunt of it on his side. Jumbo for his part is always wailing on this part of the body, coming down hard with body blows, double axehandles, driving the knee and even a stomach claw! Ted DiBiase comes to ringside to exhort Hansen on. Jumbo even remembers at one point to switch arms and hit the Baba Neckbreaker Drop with his left arm. That is commitment.  Big Jumbo bodyslam!  I love the struggle between the two. Everything is earned. Abdominal Stretch with a stomach claw! Great stuff from Jumbo! I love how laser-focused Jumbo is. Hansen kicks his feet off the top rope on a back suplex attempt and now the playing field is more levelled as Jumbo is shaking the cobwebs loose. Jumbo is up first as Hansen was trying to create distance and escape to the outside. Great dropkick by Jumbo. The biggest and best bump of the match was when Jumbo comes flying across the ring on a High Knee and Hansen backdrops him over the top rope. Insane bump by Jumbo! I thought for sure that would be the finish. The finish is anti-climatic and shocking at the same time. Hansen is selling like a million bucks on the outside. Hansen sandbags him on a suplex into the ring, just falling to the side. Then out of nowhere Hansen applies an O'Connor Roll of all things to win the match!?!?!? What the fuck?

Hansen doing an O'Connor Roll is not something I expected. I definitely did not expect the title change. I looked it up; Jumbo had been champion for over THREE YEARS at this point, so a pretty shocking. So how can something this shocking, surprising be anti-climatic. There was no heat in this pinfall. It was too out of nowhere. Jumbo had been dominating him for five continuous minutes. I think the out of nowhere Lariat would have been cooler. Double Countout Tease off the High Knee bump to the floor was smart because I think every smart fan in 1986 was going to bite on that. The sandbag/O'Connor Roll just didnt do much for me. Hansen's midsection selling was really good and Jumbo's offense was smart, stiff. Even with a better finish, I dont think this touches the very similar, but even more compelling Hansen vs Taue '94 classic. The finish keeps it just under great status for me, but the body part work was really, really good in this. ***3/4 

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