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[1986-10-21-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta vs Stan Hansen


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You're right, this is a great match. Loved the first part, as Hansen viciously goes after Jumbo's shoulder/arm - a mirror of how Jumbo went after Hansen in their previous two matches. And then it turns into a goddamn double juice brawl!


Another thing about AJ in the 80s - the count out teases are great. An easy way to get a nearfall-ish pop from the crowd without overdoing big moves. As much as I like the concept of all clean finishes, it's a good way to mix things up.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1986-10-21-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta vs Stan Hansen
  • 2 years later...

NWA International Heavyweight Champion Stan Hansen vs Jumbo Tsuruta - AJPW 10/18/86

Stan Hansen has been since stripped of the AWA Championship in a infamous story. He is defending the International Heavyweight Championship against Jumbo , which was traditionally Jumbo's title. This is considered the greatest of their matches of a rivalry similar to Hansen/Misawa that generally people are lukewarm on. Joe Higuchi's all orange outfit with a white accents was ******, eat you heart out, Omega. 

As I was watching this match, I was like what is the big deal? Yes, it is great and I would say it a cut above the other two from 1986, but I didnt see it as a major leap up. Patience is a virtue and if you wait, you will be rewarded with a terrific double juice brawl! I did like how chippy this started out. Some great slashing chops from both men. I really liked how Jumbo fought through the onslaught to earn his offense. He ends up eating the railing. Hansen starts in on the left shoulder. At first it is nerve holds and such, you are not too sure this will become a focal point or if he is just wasting time, it does become the object of his attack. There's a nice moment when he was going to send Jumbo into the buckles but if he would hit the wrong shoulder so reverses course so that when Jumbo takes the bump it is on the correct shoulder. What could look like a flub to the untrained eye, was a brilliant moment of psychology. Hansen really grinds on the arm. Offensively, there are two Hansen's: Bull In The China Shop Hansen and Grind It Out Hansen. I greatly prefer the former. I was gobsmacked at this point that this match fared so well. I was like yes this might be the best grinder Hansen has looked at targetting one body part and Jumbo is not going to make a Top Ten Seller list is doing a great job selling, this is still more like in **** territory than anything else. Then the high knee happens...

Jumbo nails the High Knee as a hope spot. In the follow-up, Hansen drops down and Jumbo goes sailing over the top rope. WESTERN LARIAT! JUMBO BLADES! HOLY SHIT! In one moment, I go from this is great to this is fucking great! I love when a heel has held control, loses control for a brief moment and his reaction is to just hit the biggest possible bomb and then on top of that JUMBO BLADED! Ok, I think I can fuck with this. Hansen attacks the cut and Jumbo''s selling is the best he has ever done! The way he was stumbling around ringside. Hansen DROPKICK! Exposed kneelift to the cut! Bloodstain on the thigh! Fuck yeah! If it is right armed Lariat is it Eastern Lariat? Eastern Lariat gets two. Hansen is pressing his advantage. It is the full court press.  Big jumping elbow drop from Hansen just kicking Jumbo in the cut as he is down. This is killer. Football shouldertackle sends Jumbo careening out of the ring. I like the change of pace. He was not getting the job done inside the ring. Lets brawl! He sends Jumbo into hard metal objects and JUMBO REVERSES HANSEN INTO THE RINGPOST! HANSEN BLADES! I love that they used the outside as a means for Jumbo take over. He was in such a deep hole that this was the only plausible way for him to regain control. Big, meaty snapmare to bring Hansen back in over the top rope. Jumbo is FEROCOIUS on offense! Attacking the cut! Great clenched fist in the ring to pump up the crowd! Jumbo HIGH KNEE! 1-2-NO! Crowd has been rocking since the blood started to flow. Jumbo goes nuts attacking the cut, Hansen lunges at Jumbo out of desperation but eats the buckles and goes tumbling to outside. Again, it is the outside where the match changes hands. Jumbo HIGH KNEE TO RINGPOST! Great double countout tease! I thought Higuchi called for the bell, but no the match continues. Jumbo suplexes Hansen back in on a bad knee. Jumbo misses the Bombs Away Knee! Holy shit! Hansen wicked short elbow to the knee. Hansen grinding the leg. Jumbo HAMMER FISTS TO THE CUT to get Hansen off the leg. I love it! Single Leg Crab by Hansen! I love the shifting gears. WESTERN LARIAT~! He does NOT cover! Protects the finish. He also hit it differently, he kinda hugged Jumbo on follow through. All to protect the move. Hansen takes the Bret Bump as he is reeling backwards, Jumbo scoops him up into a Small Package to win the match and regain his Championship. Hansen ever the sore loser attacks Jumbo after the bell, but he is vanquished and all is right in Japan again. 

JIP to the high knee, I could see people calling this *****. I think lets take the average and call it ****1/2. I really enjoyed the bloody brawling. Uptempo, gritty, lots of struggle and lots of earning the offense, great selling and loved the transitions. Definitely check this out, but be patient! 


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