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[1989-06-08-AJPW] Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs Stan Hansen & Toshiaki Kawada

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AJPW World Tag Team Champions Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs Stan Hansen & Toshiaki Kawada - AJPW 6/8/89

Three days after the historic and amazing title match with Tenryu in the Budokan is back defending his Tag Titles against the oddball dream team of Stan Hansen & Toshiaki Kawada. I dont know if they didnt want to have Tenryu in the match because they didnt want him to be on the losing end (presumably, this preamble is being written before I watched the match) of a Jumbo match this soon after his triumphant victory or if Gordy was not available. While strange, Hansen & Kawada sounds like a badass tag team. I got a lot going on tonight, so lets use stream of consciousness to expedite things. 

Hansen comes charging over and gives Jumbo the 'ol double sledge as Jumbo was taking his place on the apron and everybody's dander is up. The junior partners start off. Early Kawada Spin Kick and Fishersman's Suplex. More Kawada kicks and Yastu has to powder. I like how aggressive Kawada is and I love how Yatsu sold that by powdering. Kawada clamps on a front chancery and brings Yastu over to the Big Grizzly. He tosses Yastu to the outside and smashes his face into the post. Jumbo peeling around the corner and saves Yatsu from the beating. Yatsu is at Hansen's mercy however in the ring where Hansen reigns down the bows. He throws him into Kawada's outstretched boot and then applies a tight chinlock. Tag out to Kawada and kneedrop. He wants a side headlock. Yatsu tries the Dangerous Back Drop Driver but Kawada hangs on. Kawada heel kick but Yatsu retaliates with the Dangerous Back Drop Driver. I liked how Yatsu's stay was prolonged in the beginning allowed the match to get a sense of rhythm, and show how vicious Kawada and Hansen are.

Yatsu wisely tags out to Jumbo. JUMBO HIGH KNEE! Jumbo plays to the crowd! Kawada Spinning Heel Kick! Kawada Slingshot Plancha Out of Control wipes out Jumbo. Hansen is right there kicking the fallen Jumbo in the face. Hansen & Kawada are a terrific team, it is a shame they didnt team more often! Nice! Kawada stomps Jumbo back in the ring near the apron. Nice suplex struggle an All Japan staple. Big kneelifts by Jumbo and Jumbo targets the midsection with stomps as Kawada sells it. Hansen attacks Jumbo as the ref gets him off. Wicked running Jumbo kneelift! Meaty and stiff! He raises his hand to the crowd. Love me some Jumbo! He tags into Yatsu who comes off the ropes crashing down on Kawada. Kawada reverses out of a suplex briefly attempts a Dragon Suplex but Yatsu makes the ropes. Kawada gets his Jumping High Kick and catches Yatsu pretty good great transtion to tagging in Hansen. Yatsu gets away from Hansen and tags in Jumbo. It is ON! Jumbo High Knee! Jumbo wins the battle and slaps on an armbar, which I think it is smart because it felt like that the match was about to get away from the Champs. Tags Yatsu back in for a double team chop but Hansen deadweights them on the double supelx. OH SHIT HIGH KNEE/BULLDOG COMBO! HOW HAS NO ONE STOLEN THAT! I think I saw that before, but it was a high speed collision this time! Wow! Kawada saved on the pinfall but I think Hansen was ready to kick out. Yatsu tries the contain strategy with the chinlock but Kawada axe kick breaks that up. Wicked Hansen strikes! Yastu comes firing back! Yatsu tags out. Hansen attacks Jumbo in the ropes. Jumbo wrangles him into a headlock but Hansen shoots him off into the buckles and he targets the back. Jumbo Death Lariat! 2! Jumbo back to the chinlock using the Contain the Grizzly Strategy. Yatsu double axe handle from the top. Hansen free fires off kicks as he is backpedalling and tags in Kawada.

Jumping Spinning Heel Kick gets Kawada two against Yatsu. Yatsu throws Kawada down on the hiptoss attempt. Kawada is still a young lion and Yatsu lets him know it. Yatsu powerslam and into the figure-4 but Hansen saves Kawada. Love how Hansen and Kawada have each other's backs. Jumbo works a standing toehold on Kawada. Hansen WICKED CHOP to break it up! Damn! Scorcher! Big Boot by Jumbo! Yatsu belly to belly suplex and a top rope elbow drop but Hansen breaks up the cover. Yatsu vs Hanse FIREFIGHT! Hanse wins that predictably. Yatsu Powerbomb! Hansen saves with the torpedo lunge. Second power and again Hansen crashes into the cover. Kawada stealing one from Tenryu's playbook throws in a running small package. Kawada reverse crossbody for two against Jumbo...nice hope spots! SPIKE PILERIVER! Yatsu misses a charge on a running reverse elbow into the buckles. Yatsu works the leg and Hansen breaks that up. Jumbo back in and he fires away with elbows. Jumbo turns him over into the Bosto Crab Im surprised he lasted that long before Hansen came in to break it up. Kawada out of control lariat! HANSEN IS IN!

Elbow drop! Bodyslam to Yatsu! Hansen chants I am pretty sure! Hansen is all over Jumbo. Hansen signals for the lariat but Yatsu detains Hansen from the apron. Kawada has Jumbo restrained but Jumbo uses his legs to fight back. Hansen wrangles Jumbo and Kawada missile dropkicks him. Hansen does the Footloose spot! Kawada NAILS the corner lariat! Running Wild & Free! Kawada gets two as Hansen stands guard. Kawada German gets a very close 2 with Hansen detaining Yatsu. Jumbo catches the Spinning heel kick...THROWS KAWADA ON HIS ASS! DANGEROUS BACK DROP DRIVER! Hansen dives on Jumbo but Yatsu is hold him by the wiast. The ref counts three because Jumbo was still covering Kawda! The pinfall was not broken! Everyone in the 21st Century please take notes! Hansen after the bell lunges as Jumbo and torpedoes him into the ropes. 

I really loved Hansen's & Kawada's performances. Jumbo & Yatsu worked great on top with all the bombs & holds, but it was how aggressive Hansen & Kawada worked that made this match. Even though Jumbo & Yatsu controlled time of possession so to speak you never felt like they were dominant because Stan Muthafuckin Hansen was on the other side. Kawada is such a tenacious pitbull in there. Hansen and Kawada gelled immediately I loved their chemistry. I thought this match was more character based then some of the All Japan tags I have seen which seem to be more workrate based. This was a nice blend of Jumbo & Yatsu's workrate and Hansen & Kawada bringing the character and aggression to the match. ****1/4  

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