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[1988-03-11-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta & The Great Kabuki & Takashi Ishikawa vs Ashura Hara & Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki


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Two years before the beginning of the Jumbo/Misawa feud, this is the first high-end All Japan six-man. It should come as no surprise that a match with Kawada and three guys who would end up in WAR would have plenty of hate and violence, although most of it comes from Jumbo's team. Kabuki provides the match's highlight when he unloads on Fuyuki with a punch combination that would leave Bill Dundee green with envy. Overall, though, Jumbo is the star of the show, as he plays the ace role to perfection. He shows enough vulnerability against his lower-ranked opponents to make them look credible, but he's always a chop or a big boot away from reasserting dominance and showing that he's The Man. Jumbo shooting an icy glare at Hara after bodyslamming Fuyuki is such a badass spot. This really is the predecessor to the Jumbo/Misawa and NJPW/WAR multi-mans.

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1988-03-11-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta & The Great Kabuki & Takashi Ishikawa vs Ashura Hara & Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki
  • 2 years later...

Jumbo Tsuruta, The Great Kabuki & Takashi Ishikawa vs Ashura Hara, Toshiaki Kawada & Ricky Fuyuki - AJPW 3/11/88

They beat the ever-loving shit out of poor Ricky Fuyuki. I always presumed that Tenryu & Revolution were the heels and Jumbo's Army were the babyfaces, mostly due to the senior hierarchy. Perhaps, it was more like they let the fans decide who they wanted to root for and each team was just presented as a team. Any thoughts? The reason I bring it up is because the Jumbo team came across very heelish to me. 

Matches like this are so important to watch because they show the evolution of certain wrestlers in this case, Jumbo Tsuruta. I will have to check my notes but this Jumbo is completely different from 1987 Jumbo. This is the first signs of Grumpy, "Get Off My Lawn" Jumbo as he just THRASHES poor Ricky Fuyuki. Fuyuki really does not nothing to deserve it. Jumbo was throwing closed fists in the corner during the first heat segment on Fuyuki and I was gobsmacked. You barely ever see punches in Puroresu and when you do it set up as a big deal. Jumbo was just ripping into him. The first heat segment was all about trying to take Fuyuki's arm off and beat him with it. Fuyuki tagged out to Hara, who let me tell you after watching this match is no Tenryu. He was totally outgunned in this match and he just left poor Fuyuki to fend for himself. In that first tag to Hara, Hara comes in and really tries to get something going. Jumbo sticks him arm out. Hara runs straight into it. Let me tell you something in the war between Jumbo's arm and Hara, Hara lost bad. Hara manages to wrestle Jumbo over to his corner. Footloose double teams Jumbo. You gotta love Kawada's Out of Control Lariat. Fuyuki doubles up. Jumbo sees RED! He takes Fuyuki down to the mat and PUMMELS HIM! The second heat segment on Fuyuki was worse than the first. It was a mugging. I think Kabuki's gimmick sticks out like a sore thumb in strait-laced All Japan and would fit better in New Japan where there is a definite freak show vibe, BUT I do remember from watching definitely one maybe two Kabuki matches from this time period, that his strikes are AWESOME! Kabuki comes in and PULVERIZES Fuyuki with some of the best punch combinations you will ever see. Those lefts were insane. He kicked Fuyuki out of the ring. Ishikawa slammed him with a chair. I was waiting for it and we get the JUMBO DEATH BODYSLAM! Jumbo always had a great bodyslam, best ever really, but HE THREW FUYUKI DOWN WITH AUTHORITY! They did a bunch of back submissions and finally Hara acts like a leader and breaks them. Kawada actually tried first and Ishikawa STRUCK HIS ASS DOWN! Fuyuki got a reverse crossbody, but went for the pin instead of the tag and Kabuki damn near kicked his head off. Kawada is the one who got the tag and had himself a great little hot tag stretch against Ishikawa. He nailed a nice German. You could already tell what Kawada lacked in size he more than made up for in his intensity and energy. He was way better than the bigger Hara. Hara hits a legdrop on Ishikawa and nonchalantly tags in Fuyuki which allows Ishikawa to tag in Jumbo, cmon Hara! Fuyuki comes in all piss & vinegar firing off slaps and Jumbo POPS him with an elbow. Jumbo hates this pissant. I dont know why but he does. TWO WRECKING BALL HIGH KNEES! The second one wrecked the kid's shit. THEN A JUMPING PILEDRIVER THAT WOULD MAKE BOB BACKLUND JEALOUS! This was insane!  Fuyuki avoids a second bodyslam, O'Connor Roll, Lariat takes Jumbo down, KAWADA MISSILE DROPKICK ON JUMBO! 1-2-NO! Jumbo has to tag out. That was a great payoff to Jumbo being a prick the whole match. Kabuki is in. Melee ensues. Kawada Missile Dropkick Fuyuki and Kabuki pounces on Kawada to win! 

Jumbo vs Fuyuki was fucking awesome! Grumpy Jumbo ruled so hard! This instantly made me to want gorge myself on 90-92 All Japan. Jumbo & His team beating the piss out of Fuyuki was great. Kawada doing his best was great. Hara was kinda useless. I loved the progression of the match. I love that after Jumbo just owning these dudes he ended getting knocked out with a missile dropkick. Awesome match! ****1/4 

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