All Japan Classics*
* all but the first 2 of these matches took place at the US/Japan Wrestling Summit held in the Tokyo Dome on April 13, 1990
1) Great Kabuki/ Mitsuo Momota/ Giant Baba v. Masa Fuchi/ Haruka Eigen/ ?- 3
It was so weird seeing Momota being able to actually move around, and he looked spry and really good here. Fuchi was team leader on the other side and was taking it to everyone that came in but that hindered his performance, really wasn't giving much back at all. Even Baba sold more than he did. Not a real long match but didn't completely dissatisfy.
2) Tiger Mask II/ Shinichi Nakanov. Miracle Violence Combo- 5
Watching this match makes me think of some of the things I'd hope to do in my life: Climb Mont Blanc, see a live shark in the ocean, titty-fuck Jessica Simpson, and get Oklahoma Stampeded by Doc, now i'll have to mark that off my list. I actually inducted MVC into our, at times, prestigious Hall of Fame group just because they were so damn fun to watch and so brutal.
I actually reviewed this match last year or so off the MVC set and it's just as fun a watch here with Doc & Gordy switching from being brutal monsters to bumping for pleasure to get the good guys over. Nakano showed some fire, but was never given the chance to bring it because of the style of match, think he was not aggressive enough. I love Gordy's surprise facials whenever he gets hit and his intensity more than matches that of Doc. So awesome just watching them run the ropes, not knowing what they have in mind, but it's always a collision.
3) Jake Roberts v. Big Bossman- 5
Bossman was still heel here, both these guys were know for great punches, liked the measured pace they used as well. Jake missing that crucial knee lift was a holy shit moment, love Bossman selling his back like he had an Emperor Scorpion shoved down his slacks. Bossman was working this chinlock at one point that was so loose; i literally could have put a turtle neck sweater on Jake while still in that hold and not touched Bossman's arms. Finish predictable but so was Sandra Bullock's Oscar win, didn't make it any less enjoyable.
4) Tiger Mask II v. Bret Hart- 4
Bret "the Hitman" Hart v. Mitsuharu Misawa- wow could you imagine a purist's dream match getting any better than that fantasy booking? You'd be completely disappointed, just like if you grew up reading Marvel Comics and adoring Wolverine, then saw his solo movie, well maybe not that let down, that was a pretty awful pile of crap, but this wasn't the match you were hoping for. It was basically the first 20 minutes of the Iron Man v. Shawn. All on the ground, lots of armlocks, chinlocks and reversals into the other guy doing it. Got a couple dives, but offensively, this match was about as appetizing as anything made of tofu. As the time expired, they were just running the ropes, as if they were both pedestrians in Manhattan passing each other on 5th Street, I found it as humorous as I did disappointing.
5) Demolition v. Andre the Giant/ Giant Baba- 2
This had to be Andre's last run in the ring, I believe he'd already retired from the ring in WWF so this was probably just a special occasion match. Demoltion, who's theme song rules by the way, were selling more here than they probably had in their previous 3 year run in New York. Baba was booting these guys left and right, bouncing around like rubber balls from the quarter machine in your local delapidated grocery store. Andre figured he'd try and elbow drop but he missed the first time, second connected, the face painted tough guys main offense was swinging their arms down on their opponents back with no particular concern or passion shown.
6) Haku/ Jumbo Tsuruta v. Mr. Perfect/ Rick Martel- 7
This crowd was simply on fire for Jumbo, like they were all getting a free bobblehead after the show.......or perhaps just head. As odd a choice of partner Haku was here, the guy was an awesome worker in the days when he wasn't as big as a Volkswagon. Brawl starts it right off, Jumbo shows who's the man though and just obliterates both guys with jumping forearms. Henning was just a nut here, in any one match you might see a guy take one maybe two crazy bumps, but that was all Henning did, every shot and he was up in the air like a fly ball and crashing to the mat like a meteorite. Love when he and Jumbo traded punches later on. Dropkick school could be taught from this match, it was like dominoes, Henning, Martel, Haku all getting off crisp, beautifully executed dropkicks. Martel brought his tag experience to the match and just cut Haku off like a pissy girlfriend. But when he made that hot tag, all hell broke loose and Jumbo ruled. Awesome finish too.
7) Stan Hansen v. Hulk Hogan- 7
Been wanting to see this for ages. Hulk was business here. Fun, but pointless mat work off the bat, then this turned into a drunken Saturday night after your College football team won the championship. Hogan just paraded Hansen around ringside like a prize pig at a county fair, while bludgeoning him with punches, kicks and chairs. Terribly awry table bump left Hansen bleeding profusely and rubbing his bedhead. On Hansens' turn for offense, he didn't let up because Hulk sold millions of dollars of t shirts and teddy bears to kids across the United States, he treated him like any young dojo boy, just wallop after wallop over the head and mean nasty chair shots as Hogan gigs across the announcer's stack of loose leaf paper with all his notes for the show and his wife's grocery list. Brutal clotheslines highlighted the finishing run like any great puro match Davy Boy Meltz gave 5 stars to in the 00's,so where's the love here? Been noticing how much momentum plays a factor in certain matches and how you can use it to escalate the drama and pace or ignore it and plod along, but they were on the right track here, both men, uglier than a ran over turtle, bloody as a lame Halloween costume your neighbor's wearing and both manlier than Marlon Brando banging 3 chicks while watching Mixed Martial Arts on a 89" Plasma TV while eating a 24 oz. steak. You need to see this more than we need Universal Health Care.