2/10/90: Kido/Kimura vs Jumbo/Yatsu: I have no idea how this show came to be. @KinchStalker, do you know the quick rundown? It was a Dome show promoted by NJPW but it has three AJPW vs NJPW matches plus the Saito vs Larry Z match that I might hit just for the hell of it because everyone loves that one. Kido was a sub for Fujinami who was out with an injury, I think, and I sure liked him in there, maybe more than I would have liked Fujinami in that spot. The real story here was that NJPW contingent was happy to fight dirty, ambushing at the start, double teaming throughout. The crowd was for them, but also revered Jumbo and liked Yatsu fine, so they didn't really care. They'd keep the advantage through tags quite a bit and then get it back with blatant double-teaming or interfering. Yatsu, being Yatsu, showed a ton of hubris, first trying to lock in a Scorpion Deathlock on Kido, which is not something he usually did, only to get yanked around on it, and then later, going after both guys at once when he probably didn't have to. I'm not sure all of Kido/Kimura's offense was all that compelling at times, but not to the point I minded it. The finish was absolutely great as they built to a Jumbo Lariat and right when you think he's going to get it, Kido snaps him into a wakigatame and the crowd goes insane. Jumbo finally had to hit his ultimate cut off with the stun gun before Yatsu fought his way back in to cover the ring for a Thesz press and the inevitable win. Really fun stuff.
2/10/90: Oops. I forgot this was the match where Vader's eye fell out. That sure took me by surprise. It was shaping up to be an all time and it hangs in there as something that was good and dramatic and just remarkable in how Vader could continue. They went at it after that. Vader took a huge chunk of the rest of the match, which I imagine was Hansen protecting him to some degree, but Vader taking the match still means hitting Vader attacks into Hansen hanging on the rail and clubbering off the top. Plus the big transition was him crashing into the post. When Hansen took back over, he mainly attacked the OTHER side of Vader's head, but come on. Obviously, this was a tough one to watch. Hansen got the spiritual win with the lariat, but it just knocked Vader backwards and they finally had the double count out. I can't even imagine losing your eye like that and still going another fifteen with frigging Hansen. I think they have a match again later in the year, so we'll see how they compare.
2/21/90: Barry Windham vs Akira Taue: There's a Holy Demon Army vs New Blackjacks match from 97 I want to watch now, but not enought to see if it made tape. Anyway, I think Roy's got his tv show dates wrong because I watched this on what he called the 2/19 TV and that's just not how time works. Anyway this was just a couple of minutes and a finish and it would have been better in 92 or 93. Fans really dug the superplex though.
2/21/90: Hansen vs Kobashi: Cagematch says this was 4:08 and it feels like one and a half times that as Kobashi gives it his all and has Hansen reeling a bit. Brave battle from young Kenta, but while he's containing the monster, he's not really able to damage him too much and it's all inevitable. Hansen stomps him dismissively after the pin for his impudence.
I've still got the Tenryu/Tiger Mask vs Choshu/George Takano from the 2/10 show and an Inoue/Kabuki vs Tenryu/Kawada match (that I don't think I've already seen) and Williams/Gordy vs Jumbo/Takano from that TV show.
I feel like Williams was in NJPW in 90 too so I have no idea how that works.