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[1983-07-13-AJPW] Nick Bockwinkel vs Jumbo Tsuruta

paul sosnowski

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This match is from Chitose, Hokkaido Sports Center. There is something different about Jumbo....ohmygosh...he's wearing the legendary black jacket and black trunks. He looks mean and...surly. What happened to the happy-go-lucky babyface of years past? He's only 32, but he looks so angry! Nick Bockwinkel comes to the ring wearing bright yellow trunks and the majestic AWA World Title Belt. This is a one fall match, and it is COMPLETE!!! They shake hands before the bell.


They circle around a bit, lock up, Bockwinkel gets behind, Jumbo quickly reverses it, neither man gets control, so they are back to their feet. Bockwinkel gets a standing full nelson, Jumbo reverses it. Bock slips out. They lock up again, Bockwinkel takes Jumbo down to the mat with a hammerlock. He grinds down on it and won't let Jumbo get up. Jumbo makes it back to his feet, and Nick aggressively slaps him down again, holding tight onto the arm. Bockwinkel is really cranking on it now, and hooks a half nelson on the mat. Jumbo stands up again and finally gets to the ropes. My god, Bock tears down on his left arm again and locks him on the mat. He is using his legs now, to somehow put an indian deathlock on his arm! He is relentless. Jumbo tries to roll him over and gets a one count. Jumbo makes it to the ropes again, Nick fiercely pounces on him. Jumbo stands up, Bock uses the hair this time to take him down again. Jumbo gets brief control, but Nick answers with a knee to the gut, he takes him down again and stretches the arm out. Jumbo finally rakes Nick's face with his boot and gets free. He hammers some fists to Nick's back, whips him to the ropes for the high flying knee. But his arm is still in pain, and he can only hold Nick down for a one count. Jumbo drops three elbows on Nick's back and hits a russian leg sweep for another one count. Bockwinkel takes Jumbo into the corner and nails him in the abdomen with three big elbow thrusts. He whips Jumbo into the ropes, but Jumbo gets a one count with a sunset flip. Jumbo strikes Nick's back with a double axe, then hits an enzuigiri for a two count. He hammers Nick's back some more, then Jumbo comes off the ropes with a Thesz Press for two. The frustration is building.


Jumbo tries for a back suplex, but Nick counters with an elbow to the face and hits a high backdrop suplex of his own, followed by a piledriver for a two count. Bock tries to piledrive him again but Jumbo drops him to the mat. Jumbo punches and stomps on Nick's back. Bockwinkel bodyslams Jumbo and climbs to the second rope, but misses a knee drop. Jumbo starts working the leg, spinning toehold into a figure four leglock. Bockwinkel makes it to the ropes and rolls to the outside. He slowly gets back in, Jumbo stomps his leg some more. Bockwinkel throws Jumbo outside and rams his head into the post. Bock limps around and follows him to the floor, goes for a piledriver and gets met with a backdrop. Bockwinkel tries to get back in the ring, but Jumbo viciously stomps him into the mat. Jumbo whips him to the ropes for another high flying knee, then hits an over the knee backbreaker for a one count, Nick's foot is on the rope. Bockwinkel hits three punches to the abdomen, followed by an uppercut and slams Jumbo's head into the mat. Bock hits two elbows to the chest, and then four punches to the face, before Jumbo goes down for two. Bockwinkel rolls him up for two, then a backslide for two more. He lands some haymakers, and Jumbo is staggering. Bockwinkel elbows him in the face, rams his head into the turnbuckle and hits a few hard knees to the midsection. Now Bockwinkel is frustrated, he hits a backbreaker on his knee, drops a knee to Jumbo's chest. Jumbo starts getting back up, exchanging slaps and punches and hits a big dropkick. Jumbo piledrives Bockwinkel, but Nick's foot is in the ropes again. Jumbo hits some elbows in the corner, but Bockwinkel rakes his eyes. Jumbo hits the backbreaker on the knee, and flattens the Champion with some more big stomps to the back. Jumbo hooks a boston crab for the submission, but Bock gets to the ropes again. Jumbo hits a brainbuster suplex for a two count. Another enzuigiri sends Bockwinkel down, Jumbo whips him to the ropes and tries for the abdominal stretch. Bockwinkel escapes and stumbles into the referee, who is knocked to the outside. Jumbo hits a backdrop suplex, but there is no ref. Bockwinkel pushes Jumbo into the ropes, but he moves and Nick elbows the recovering referee in the face!!! Jumbo slaps Bock down to the mat and hooks on the figure four leglock. Bockwinkel is flailing around and screaming in agony. The referee gets back in the ring, checks on both men and calls for the bell. Jumbo jumps up and raises his arms in victory....but the referee tells the announcer that he has disqualified Nick Bockwinkel. 29:24 Jumbo is so confused, and so am I. The other wrestlers carry Bockwinkel out of the ring, limping to the back.


This felt like a real Championship struggle for an important World title. I really enjoyed this match, but geezus...a Dusty finish in Japan in 1983???

Four and 1/4 ****. Hated the finish



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  • GSR changed the title to [1983-07-13-AJPW] Nick Bockwinkel vs Jumbo Tsuruta
  • 3 years later...

It was 30 minutes or so and was very much a match from 1983 in a technical style. This is quality stuff. Jumbo's jumping knee never looked better and Bock's pile driver was deadly. This is their first encounter that I have in my dvds. So I'm hoping that things get better and better. I would say this is ***3/4. 

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