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[1982-02-04-AJPW] Nick Bockwinkel vs Jumbo Tsuruta

paul sosnowski

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Nick comes to the ring in a fabulous white tracksuit, with the words "Bockwinkel World Heavyweight Champion" emblazoned on the back. This is a one fall match. These two know each other well.


We start the match with a very aggressive lockup, they struggle a bit, and Nick throws Jumbo off. They lock up again,and Nick gets the advantage once more. A third time and Nick scoops Jumbo and slams him to the mat, but wait...Jumbo fires up and comes back and slams Nick twice. Nick does a go-behind and Jumbo reverses it twice. Jumbo grabs a hammerlock and forces Nick to the mat. Back to their feet, Nick grabs Jumbo's hair and whips him to the ropes, but Jumbo gets a shoulderblock. Nick hits a high hiptoss, but Jumbo grabs the arm again, and gets a Steamboat-style fast armdrag. Bockwinkel gets to his feet, but Jumbo turns it into a double arm wringer. Bock struggles for several minutes, and eventually backs Jumbo into the ropes. Instead of a clean break, Nick punches Jumbo hard and fast in the gut. Nick wins a test of strength and brings Jumbo to his knees, but Jumbo gets up, kicks Bockwinkel and hooks on an abdominal stretch. The crowd chants "TSURUTA!!" Bockwinkel writhes in pain, but drops down to the mat and escapes the hold. They lock up again, but Bockwinkel immediately backs Jumbo into the ropes and nails him with 3 hard elbows to the abdomen. Jumbo falls to the outside, Nick grabs his head and slams it on the apron. Nick picks up Jumbo and suplexes him back in the ring for a 2 count. Bockwinkel grabs a side headlock and brings Jumbo to his knees again. He whips him into the corner and locks him in a sleeper. The referee checks Jumbo's arm, but Jumbo breaks the hold with four elbow smashes to Nick's stomach. Jumbo whips Bockwinkel to the ropes and the crowd knows what's coming...Jumbo hits the high flying knee and gets a two count!!! Jumbo picks him up for a perfect double underhook suplex and gets a one. Jumbo is in total control, hits 3 uppercuts and Nick falls on his back. Jumbo turns him over into a boston crab. Bockwinkel is screaming "NO" to the referee, but makes it clear he is in a lot of pain. Nick starts to power up, Jumbo releases the hold and stomps his back five times!!! Bockwinkel crumbles to the mat and Jumbo now hooks on the camel clutch. Bockwinkel makes it to the ropes for a break. They exchange blows and punches, but Jumbo keeps hammering Nick's back. He picks him up and drops him on his knee for a backbreaker and another two count. Bockwinkel fires up and starts nailing Jumbo with elbows and punches to the gut. He carries Jumbo around and slams his head into three turnbuckles. He tries to slam Jumbo, but his back gives out!!! Jumbo is relentless now, hits some knees and whips Bockwinkel into the corner back first, hammering fists and hooks another abdominal stretch. Bockwinkel gets free and tries to run the ropes, but Jumbo catches him in an airplane spin. Bockwinkel grabs the top rope and both men tumble over it. Jumbo picks him up again on the floor and carries him around the outside of the ring in an airplane spin before slamming him down. But both men are counted out at 18:44.


They get back in the ring and slug it out a bit, until Nick decides he has had enough. He grabs his title belt and Jumbo reluctantly shakes his hand.


This was a great match. I loved every second of it. Four and 1/4 ****




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  • GSR changed the title to [1982-02-04-AJPW] Nick Bockwinkel vs Jumbo Tsuruta
  • 8 months later...

For two of my all time favs, this is usually not a pairing that really excites me. However, this was a very good match and a nice contrast from the wildness of Baba vs Hansen right before it. The holds were worked with aggression especially the abdominal stretch where both guys are really low to the mat and torqueing their bodies. I also thought the hammerlock work by Bock was simple but effective and brutal looking. The schmooz finish was predictable for this time period but while it enhances the atmosphere for Baba vs Hansen, it felt real forced here and would have left the entire show that was very good with a bad taste left in my mouth. ***3/4 

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