Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

DVD #3: Ric Flair vs Jumbo Tsuruta


Loss
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 2 weeks later...

This was the first match I watched off the disk and it's definitely the best Flair/Jumbo match I've seen and maybe a top-10 singles for both guys overall. The hour flew by, even though it was a slowish build by today's standards.

 

Both guys were masters of the mat segments that were integral to passing time in long matches of the '70s and early '80. Just watch carefully during the early moments of this match, when Jumbo worked the neck and Flair the arm. Neither guy ever lay still. The guy on top was always wrenching the hold or working toward a more painful move, and the guy on bottom was always working for a counter or actively selling discomfort.

 

I loved Jumbo's quick counter of an attempted arm drag into an abdominal stretch.

 

The ending sequence of the first fall carried a lot of drama, like the end of a full match rather than the end of a segment. And I loved Flair's demeanor heading into the second fall. Jumbo might have been the stronger guy, the better wrestler and the homecourt favorite. But by god, Flair showed he was not a man to be fucked with when he thought the title was really in jeopardy. I think one of the complaints about Flair in general is that the vicious version, the guy we saw against Ronnie Garvin and a few others, didn't come out enough. But he was in full evidence here. Ric is an underrated puncher. I especially liked the shots under Jumbo's armpit.

 

I don't want to spoil the ending for those that haven't seen it, but the entire finishing run, from Flair juicing to Jumbo's big rally to Flair's relentless application of the figure four, was tremendous. I loved the image of Jumbo, rising from the floor, covered in streamers, to surprise Flair with a missile dropkick from the top. I loved him going after Flair's cut like a pure predator. Both guys sold the fatigue and their will to fight through it beautifully. Both came out looking strong and courageous.

 

Great match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I enjoyed this so much!

 

I don't want to sound like I'm parrotting Childs' post, which mentioned a number of things that I loved about it. I really liked the way it was sort of laid out, with the first fall being a straight up wrestling match, and when Jumbo gets the better of him Flair turns up the heat and the second fall is more of a brawl, with some good wrestling sequences thrown into things, and then Jumbo gets the better of him too, with how much he gets the blood flowing. I especially liked the bit at the end when Jumbo wouldn't quit and Flair let him out of the hold and started dropping knees onto his leg and then put the figure four back on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was by far the best match on the disc and would be a surefire nomination from me if I were on the DVDVR All Japan committee. After the long discussion about the Flair Formula, and it's definitely not in effect here. Incredible action from bell-to-bell, and the hour flew by as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three matches in and this is already one of the best comps of all time. It’s arguably the greatest US wrestler ever against arguably the greatest Puro wrestler of all time, and both at their peak, so you can’t get a better expectation level than that. Happily, this lives up to it, and is exactly the quality you’d expect.

 

Speaking of quality, the VQ here is tremendous, probably the best looking in terms of picture of any 80’s match I’ve seen; if Jumbo didn’t look so young I’d place it at around 91/92. Anyway, this didn’t drag at all, and as an interesting point to the thread in the main section, the blood added tons to it, as it went from a technically great match, to violent and even hateful. You forget what a vicious motherfucker Jumbo really is; Flair is bleeding a gusher and he is just whaling in with wild shots. The peak of the hour if the five minutes after Flair gets bust, with him stumbling and swinging and trying desperately not to lose the fall which would end the match.

 

The ending wasn’t as dramatic as it could have been; Flair locking the figure four to the time limit is a classic in these broadways, but the major drawback here is that he didn’t have a fall to his name, so he was fighting to stay in rather than to beat Jumbo. Once it became obvious Jumbo wasn’t coming back, it lost some excitement. Cool stuff scattered throughout, it’s pointless describing it all, let’s just say it’s a top draw wrestling match, and an absolute classic. Forgot to mention the classic moment of Jumbo rushing back in, covered in streamers, to fly off with a dropkick.

 

I think I’d put it just below their respective matches with Kerry, which is ironic considering the stick he comes in for as a worker. ****1/2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my first viewing I was on the edge of my seat because I though that if it was 1-0 then that would mean Jumbo won the title. Granted I knew he never was NWA champ, but I was sucked in enough that I forgot. Then afterwards I realized 1-0 in 2/3 falls isn't enough. However I think the FANS felt the way I did in the closing minutes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a great match! I'm glad to finally see the full version, because I really think all the matwork in the first half of the match was the best part of the match.

 

Jumbo is flawless here. Flair? Mostly, but there are a few awkward things, like the way he sells certain moves like the atomic drop and enzuigiri, and also his very visibly calling spots several times in the match, which is not something that's usually obvious in a Flair match. Those things considered, he still gives an excellent performance, specifically in putting Jumbo over strong early on and himself at the end. Jumbo's post match sell of the damage of the figure four is pretty awesome, and there are some really dramatic near falls. Flair's cut was also pretty nasty.

 

Jumbo has this great knack for knowing exactly how long is the right amount of time to stay in a hold before changing things up. His rope-reach attempts are all awesome, because he's so good at waiting for the right moment, which in truth, should probably be attributed to Flair also, since Flair was very obviously (way too obviously at times) the one calling this match.

 

Lots of good stuff in the opening matwork from both guys, I especially liked Flair's figure four armbar and Jumbo getting the abdominal stretch into a pinning combination and keeping the hold locked in on the ground. A definite MOTYC for 1983, and a match that if I was ranking the best matches of the 80s would fare very well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my first viewing I was on the edge of my seat because I though that if it was 1-0 then that would mean Jumbo won the title. Granted I knew he never was NWA champ, but I was sucked in enough that I forgot. Then afterwards I realized 1-0 in 2/3 falls isn't enough. However I think the FANS felt the way I did in the closing minutes.

I've seen the "you can win 1-0" stip used in 2 out of three falls, but not with the NWA title.

 

I'm forgetting what belt they wrestled for, but the Inoki vs. Billy Robinson match that was over a belt was 2/3 falls and it was run with the "if you end up 1-0 you win the match" stip, which once I found it out increased the awesomeness of "Robinson is stalling/Inoki getting pissed off with him because he's down a fall" routine tenfold.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my first viewing I was on the edge of my seat because I though that if it was 1-0 then that would mean Jumbo won the title. Granted I knew he never was NWA champ, but I was sucked in enough that I forgot. Then afterwards I realized 1-0 in 2/3 falls isn't enough. However I think the FANS felt the way I did in the closing minutes.

I've seen the "you can win 1-0" stip used in 2 out of three falls, but not with the NWA title.

At Clash 6 it was said that Louisiana commission rules would allow it for the NWA title.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought it was fantastic. Any match where you get not one but THREE Flair Flops, Flair going over the top rope from a CHOP by Jumbo, and figure four spot that seems to go on forever is tops in my book.

 

Seriously, though, we're really watching two masters in their primes who know how to build tension, pick up the pace now and then to get the crowd hot, and who show that they really, really want it. Lots of favorite segments in this one, but I think my top one is when Jumbo seems to botch hurdling over Flair and then turns into a nearfall anyway. Greatness -- no, wait, I am remembering the missle drop kick when Jumbo is covered in streamers. Yes, that is the coolest bit ever.

 

Did I see a very young Kawada in Jumbo's corner at the end? And how sad was it that Flair had no one in his corner after the first fall, when Jumbo had a whole team? Was that just how it was for gaijin, or was it part of the story that he was really and truly alone in this foreign country?

 

 

 

EDIT: I always try to wait until I post my own thoughts before reading everyone else's. Just now going back, I see nearly everyone loved that missile dropkick as much as I did. Sweet. . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...