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KinchStalker

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  1. Necroposting pretty hard here, I'm aware, but I just got new information from the Ichise book. Kawada got this match for winning the Asunaro Cup/Tomorrow League tournament. It was originally pitched as a Triple Crown title shot (the July 15 Observer also states this), but that wouldn't work for Tenryu, brother. (For all the rebellion he inspired, it seems like Tenryu could still fall back on the old hierarchical modes of thinking. I'm remembering how he apparently had some objections to Akio Sato's early-80s reforms, though I can't find out exactly what he was opposed to.)
  2. AJPW and NJPW were cooperating around this time. Baba was back in the president's chair and Sakaguchi was NJPW president by this point, so there were friendly relations in 1990 which were compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall (yeah it seems dramatic, but I've seen this specific comparison in multiple Japanese sources, and hey, it was topical). The story has long been that Baba came in clutch and agreed to let Sakaguchi book some dream matches (in which his talent was protected) when the NJPW Dome show plans with WCW fell through, and I haven't yet seen Japanese accounts that contradict it. (The two had always been friends; in fact, I've read that Sakaguchi going to New Japan instead of All Japan had less to do with Shohei and more to do with Motoko.) If the story in the Jumbo bio about the no-pulling agreement both companies signed in 1985 is true and that paper still had any legal weight, then it stands to reason that these friendly relations were how Baba got Steve Williams (and probably Andre too) and Sakaguchi was able to go on ahead with the WCW guys. Remember, WCW was working with All Japan as late as 1989. There's also that June match where Vader defended the IWGP belt against Hansen, and Fujinami attended the May show where Misawa unmasked. According to the 2019 Hidetoshi Ichise book on the Pillars that I've been transcribing (I finished Chapter 6 but I'm going to bundle this up with 7 when I post again, and that's probably a couple weeks out due to chapter length and personal stuff), Tenryu/TMII vs. Choshu/Takano was originally Tenryu & Kawada vs. Choshu & Kuniaki Kobayashi. As it tells the story though, Choshu switched Kobayashi out for Takano (which Sakaguchi was not happy about), and Tiger Mask II was slotted in just five days before the show (which Kawada felt snubbed over).
  3. The first segment of that match was really fun. At first I was surprised, because the company storyline was still a little ways away from switching into the post-Tenryu These Kids Ought To Respect Jumbo Tour mode. But there is logic to this. The dropkick felt to me like Kobashi, in kayfabe, taking inspiration from Tenryu ambushing Baba in the RWTL match. Kobashi said in an early interview that he aspired to combine Tsuruta's stamina with Tenryu's spirit while still expressing a personal style, and while we tend to think of Kawada as inheriting most of the Tenryu motifs in the All Japan to come, a moment like this feels like Kobashi is the one who's really trying to tap into that particular Tenryu audacity. Maybe that's just part and parcel with his theatrical nature, but it's something that I thought about here. As for the headlock approach, that's something that Kobashi used to neutralize Jumbo in their 1991.05.24 match (though the JIP broadcast cut that context, and I've wondered if Dave would have still gone 4.75 stars had he known about that headlock-heavy first act), and he said in the Jumbo bio that he was inspired by Baba's use of the hold to neutralize Thesz in 1966. It also recalls Tiger Misawa's use of it on Jumbo in the final match of his own Trial Series, which ended up similarly to here. That first beat also works well as a first step to the opening of their August singles match, where Jumbo offers a handshake that Kobashi blows off - another very Tenryu note of him to hit, come to think of it - before Kobashi tries to hit a dropkick from behind. Which Jumbo is all-too-ready for this time.
  4. My wrestling knowledge is pretty limited at the end of the day so for all I know this is a cliched spot in some circles, but I love love love the thing Inoue does where he hits a sunset flip after somebody else on his team has the recipient in clutch for a suplex. I've seen him roll it out tagging with Animal Hamaguchi in the IWE days at least once, and it got a pop from me here.
  5. We do. A JIP of most of it opened the 1/7 TV episode.
  6. Now that you've made a Rusher/Dusty link in my brain, Gordi, I now have no choice but to contemplate who would be the target if Dusty were to cut Kimura-to-Fuchi style promos about trying to get them laid/married. I hope you're proud of yourself.
  7. The Tiger Misawa/Tenryu stuff being good would track. Their one singles match during this era (the 1987 one) gets overshadowed by TM's Jumbo match, and understandably so, but going week-to-week in 87-88 there was definitely something there in tags. Kekkigun (which also had Takagi, funnily enough, as well as baby Taue) ultimately didn't do all that much but the TM/Tenryu matchup was consistently the best thing to come out of their tags against Revolution. Ironically considering the Misawa/Kawada rivalry, TM had more trouble gelling with Footloose.
  8. I think you mean Destroyer/Tenryu here. Looks like Tsuruta was wrestling with Rocky Hata against Brazil and Patera that night.
  9. I was pretty unfair to this match when I tossed off a review as part of my manic quest to add all the 70s-80s AJPW matches on tape to the Cagematch matchguide (which I've been meaning to get back to now that I have a nice stash of new footage - I "finished" 1989 right at the end of last year - but I keep getting tied up in research for posts on my PWO thread). Which is weird because all things considered I'm a pretty big fan of the two Baba/Jumbo vs Oki/Kim Duk 1976 tags. This motivated a rewatch and I'm thankful for that.
  10. Hey, it beats "medullary (as in medulla oblungata) slash", which is the best Kanjitomo could make of it when I was transcribing the Jumbo bio. From the IWE I've seen this has to be Rusher's best match too. I like the 76 Jumbo match and there's some stuff like the Gypsy Joe cage match from the same year that I enjoyed for what it was, but it's not controversial to say that Kimura was the most limited performer ever put in an extended ace run by a major Japanese promotion. (That can happen to you when a.) your booker and failed ace drives Strong Kobayashi away, and b.) all the new major prospects either get injured - Daigo, Tsurumi - or stolen - Ryuma Go, maybe you could count Umanosuke Ueda too if they'd kept that 76 run going - until Ashura Hara comes along, and by that point it's really too late.) And yet, while I found their 1985-88 singles matches to be the apotheosis of old-man graps, it was alongside Baba here that I saw Kimura the best utilized I ever have.
  11. Just curious, any plans to go back and cover the complete Malenko/Inoue (1/25) and the new Inoue/Nakano (2/23) matches on the fourth episode of the new AJPW Classics run?
  12. No title shot, it was just a unique main event for a Korakuen show that wasn't a TV taping.
  13. Seeing him billed under his middle name is only making it harder not to mentally conflate Kenneth Wayne Shamrock with Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
  14. There's a good chance you're already aware, but there's a handful of much earlier AJPW Slater matches that are well worth seeing, from when the company was consciously trying to present him as a Terry proxy. (Sure, that might sound axiomatic considering who we're talking about, but they had him use the Funks' entrance theme at least once: I specifically recall hearing it on the 7/3/81 Baba/Jumbo vs Slater/Robinson tag.) The 1980 Carnival final against Jumbo is the most famous, but there's also a couple worthwhile tags. In my AJPW watching I'd thought that Slater's work from the Choshu period onwards wasn't on par with what he'd done in 78-81. Hansen incorrectly stated in his autobiography that he stopped working All Japan because of a shoot incident during a Choshu tag, but honestly, I can't blame Stan for not remembering his subsequent work. For what it's worth, I just reached this match in my own First 20 Years of AJPW watchalong, and I did think Slater here was much better than he had been in the company in years.
  15. I can find AJPW televised matches easily, but handhelds that weren't on the old Archive or haven't been posted to YouTube elude me. Do you still have this, by chance?
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