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Dark Pegasus Video Review: All Japan Classics #30

May 8, 2006 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: All Japan Classics #30  

More retro stuff that I did a few years ago. I had intended to leave these to repost after I had filled in the gaps (I left off at #18), but our North American recappers far outweigh our puro recappers, so I thought I’d try to balance things out a bit. Besides, poor Mike Campbell can’t be expected to shoulder the whole puro load.

You can find this at Highspots.

All Japan Classics #30

  • Sakarada & Takachio vs. Ben Deleo & Hermann Schaeffer (6/22/79).
    Sakarada may be better known as Kendo Nagasaki. Takachio is the Great Kabuki without the paint. Not really familiar with Deleo but I imagine he was your typical AWA imported journeyman. Schaeffer was a pretty big star in the 50s and 60s. Suffice it to say, he’s a little over the hill here. He looks a lot like Kane right after he took off the mask plus a little around the middle. We are in Minneapolis, MN, btw. Gene Okerlund is doing the ring introductions. Deleo is announced from Mexico but don’t expect any Mascarasesque moves out of him. Takachio rides him down with a headlock then moves to a wristlock. I don’t think the Japanese could have had more than 3 years experience between them at this point and it shows in their movesets. Deleo looks like he could have been a pretty good mat wrestler at one point as he rolls out of the wristlock and gets a single leg pick on Takachio. Schaeffer is huge compared to everyone else. Sakurada shows much more fire than his partner when he gets in. He delivers a series of kicks and gets an armwringer of his own. Deleo comes back with a series of slowed down “martial arts” kicks. Takachio has to resort to an eyerake. Kabuki, say it ain’t so! Schaeffer tosses him around with a BIG bodyslam and a BIG double-arm suplex. Deleo then returns the favor with a poke in the eyes. Sakarada tags in and goes super freak on both guys. It breaks down into a donnybrook where Takachio finally showcases some of his Kabuki stuff. Sakurada finishes off Schaeffer after a pendulum backbreaker. Typical introduce the foreigners stuff here. Sakurada looked crisp, fiery, and like a total asskicker here. Takachio just looked like he could take a beating. **

  • The Destroyer vs. Joe Marcus (6/29/79).
    This is from Toronto, Ont. I’ve never heard of Marcus but he looks like your average JTTS. The Destroyer totally dumbs it down for the North American crowd here and plays old school heel. Most of his shtick here is tricking the ref into looking somewhere and then pulling the hair to get a rise out of the crowd. Destroyer runs through a series of basic head moves. Headlock, headscissor, rear chinlock. Bleh. Marcus gets the advantage at one point but never really seems like he knows what he wants to do so the Destroyer just takes back over for him. The legwork begins for the Destroyer and anyone familiar with him knows what that’s leading to. Marcus tries cleverly to work Destroyer’s leg as a defensive strategy but it doesn’t work. Destroyer gets a Fireman’s Carry Slam (FU to all John Cena fans) and finishes him off with the figure-four leglock. Bleh. *

  • Abdullah the Butcher vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (4/24/79).
    This stems from the finals of that year’s Champion Carnival in which Tsuruta and Abdullah wound up tied but Abdullah squashed Tsuruta to take the league championship. That match is listed as lasting under 3 minutes so I’m pretty sure Tsuruta wasn’t too happy about taking the loss. Maybe when I get around to doing AJ Classics #27 we’ll see because that match is on there. This match, however, surprised me by not sucking gargantuan amounts of buttjerkey. The idea is that Tsuruta wants to work the back but Abdullah keeps going to the throat (their earlier match ended with an elbow to the throat). Tsuruta heads outside for a breather, but of course that never works. They brawl into the scattering crowd. When they return, Abdullah begins to choke Tsuruta mercilessly and ignores the ref’s count. The referee tries to physical break them apart so Abdullah bites his arm. Abdullah then gets this weird look in his eye, totally creeping me out. Jumbo comes back with a weak-looking suplex. Tsuruta then makes my day by dropping ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX…SIX ELBOWS onto the Butcher! Try counting that with a Transylvanian accent for fun. Jumbo whiffs on a Jumping Knee but Abby sells it anyway. Tsuruta follows up with a piledriver and that’s a whole lot of ass in Tsuruta’s face right there. Jumbo covers but Abby winds up with a chokehold out of the whole deal. I suppose that’s decent psychology as Abby’s head is impervious to pain and the counter goes right back to Tsuruta’s throat. Abby lets go and hits the elbow to the throat that finished Jumbo off in the earlier match. ONE, TWO, TH—Nooo! Tsuruta kicks out this time! The Butcher misses a diving headbutt and Jumbo comes off the ropes with a jumping knee! ONE, TWO, THREEEEEE!!!!!! Good enough not to be “bad”, but not good enough to be “good.” **3/4

  • Real World Tag League: Shoehi Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras (12/13/79).
    You may remember from my review of the RWTL 77-79 that the Funks and Abby/the Sheik were meeting a little later in the night. If Baba and Tsuruta win here, they pull into a tie for first place with the Funks. This should be a good match. Thankfully, Mil and Dos have slightly different masks on this time so I can tell them apart. Jumbo starts out with Dos and takes him down into an armbar. Dos backflips out of it. Caras and Tsuruta then take turns on-upping each other on the coolness scale by countering and countering-the-counter around on the mat. Jumbo misses a jumping knee in the corner and Dos gets a Victory Roll for two. Dos busts out the overhand knucklelock into a monkey flip that actually works this time! He follows it up with a Hanging Inverted Surfboard. The roll out of it into the most bizarre test of strength you’ll ever see where they’re actually doing a handstand and fighting with their legs. Good stuff there. Tsuruta wins but really loses because he pulls Dos over on top of him for a nearfall. Jumbo fights out of it and hits a Jumping Knee to send Caras to the floor. Jumbo tries to ram him but Caras sunset flips back in for two. Tsuruta reverses that into an ebigatame rollup for two. They shake hands. Mil tags in now and headscissors Tsuruta down. Jumbo reverses that into a Wishbone Stretch. Mil pops up and hits a pair of Flying Double Chest Chops and a big splash for a nearfall on Jumbo. Baba finally gets in around 6 minutes in and fights with Mascaras over an armbar. Mil crawls through his legs to get out of that one but Baba counters with a roll into a legbar. Jumbo tags in and busts out the GIANT SWING~! Hase would be proud. The Mexican contingent hits a double dropkick on Jumbo. Jumbo responds with a press into a flapjack on Dos Caras and then a press into a gutbuster. Jumbo goes for his Cobra Twist but newly-tagged Mil Mascaras reverses to one of his own and then lays back into a cradle for two. Mil stays on top with a surfboard. The Mexicans take turns hitting Flying Cross Chops on Jumbo and Dos gets a flying crossbody block off the top rope. It only gets two. Dos misses a blind charge and goes face first into the turnbuckle pad. Jumbo dives on top for the three! Good match, but it was too short to let them really cut loose at any point. ***3/4

  • Pacific Wrestling Federation Title: Shoehi Baba vs. Stan Hansen (7/30/85).
    We jump all the way up to 1985 and the end of Baba’s career proper before he became a figurehead. Baba had defeated Stan Hansen for the PWF Title 364 days earlier. This is from Fukuoka, Japan. These two usually have good matches against each other but I’m not liking Baba’s looks in there. We shall see. They criss-cross to start with Baba stopping and hitting a chop that sends the big Texan out of the ring. Hansen returns full of piss and vinegar and they trade blow for blow. Hansen comes out on top and settles things down with a rear chinlock. A series of elbows follows but Baba’s foot is in the ropes. Hansen whips him into the corner and adjusts the armpad in anticipation of the Western Lariat. He charges — but Baba gets the boot up! Hansen falls to the mat and Baba hauls him up only deliver a wakigatabreaker back down to mat. The champion continues working the arm with a cross armlock. Hansen blasts his way out of that but Baba pulls him into a corner and wraps his arm around the ropes stretching it even further. Hmmm. I guess Baba does have his workboots on tonight. Hansen is able to twist him around just enough to drop a knee right into Baba’s calf. A couple of follow-up knees get two but Baba is able to right back to the cross armlock. Hansen again knees his way out of it but Baba whips him into a Neckbreaker Drop! That should do it. ONE, TWO, TH-No? Well, there goes that finisher. Baba hits a Hoganesque legdrop. ONE, TWO, THR–No? Baba charges for another Neckbreaker Drop but Hansen hits the Western Lariat out of nowhere. That’s usually Baba’s M.O. Baba rolls to the outside to protect his title. Hansen follows him out but that proves to be a mistake as Baba wraps his arm around the ringpost and then slams it on the apron. Hansen dupes him into a flying dropkick! They slug it out – Baba on the ring apron and Hansen inside the ropes. Baba misses a swing enabling Hansen to get the Backdrop Suplex for the victory! ***½ Baba successfully passes the reigns here as All Japan would be carried by Hansen, Jumbo Tsuruta, and Genichiro Tenryu for the last half of the decade before the big switchover to the All Japan Bloc in 1990.

  • Dory Funk Jr. & Terry Funk vs. Stan Hansen & Ted Dibiase (8/29/85).
    Hansen and Dibiase were the PWF Tag Team Champions here with Dibiase being selected to replace Bruiser Brody who jumped to New Japan a few weeks earlier. Hansen misses an elbow early on and yells at Terry who’s standing on the apron. Remember, Hansen was “the man” at this point so this is a pretty big match all involved. Terry is over huge with the crowd. They chant his name as he works over Dibiase in the corner. He fares less well against Hansen who mauls him down on the bottom rope. Dibiase returns once Terry is sufficiently neutralized. He locks in a sleeper hold but Terry hulks up and gets out of it. Terry counters a Dibiase headlock to a Backdrop Suplex. The Funks doubleteam Dibiase and Terry gets a piledriver but Hansen makes the save turning the tide towards the heels. They all head to the outside where Hansen adjusts the arm brace in anticipation of the Lariat on Dory. Terry makes the save but gets piledrove on the outside taking him out of the match. Dory counters a Dibiase leapfrog into a Texas Cloverleaf! Hansen tries to get in to make the save but something has a hold of his leg…IT’S TERRY FUNK! He puts up a valiant struggle but that doesn’t last long as Hansen pastes him with the cowbell and tosses him out into the crowd. Hansen sneaks in and hits a vulnerable Dory Jr. with the Western Lariat. He goes back out and gets the bell again and clocks Dory for the DQ. Well that was stupid. Terry starts picking chairs out of the audience and throwing them into the ring. So it’s his fault for the ECW incident! Match was very disappointing considering the amount of talent involved and there’s no reason whatsoever that the champs shouldn’t have went over cleanly then did the beatdown. Dibiase and Hansen would go on to dominate the next few months winning the Real World Tag League before Dibiase had to return to Mid-South for revenge on Captain Redneck. ***

  • AWA/PWF vs. NWA Int’l Heavyweight Titles: Stan Hansen vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (3/29/86).
    Hansen is the AWA champion after beating…someone I’ll go into later. We already saw him defeat Baba earlier in the tape to become PWF Champion. The tapelist implies that Hansen is also the NWA Int’l Champ but the title history pages I use both say Tsuruta still holds that belt so I’m correcting here to a title vs. title match. This, friends, is your top rivalry in All Japan until the big split between Tenryu and Tsuruta. Tsuruta starts out with a back elbow smash so Hansen just tosses him through the ropes and hits one of his own. Hansen locks in a chinlock and won’t let it go. In a nice, subtle little move he puts himself in between Jumbo and the ropes forcing Jumbo to get out the hard way. Tsuruta powers out of it and delivers a reverse armbreaker (where you slam the arm down over your own shoulder). Tsuruta continues that train of thought with a wakigatame (reverse armlock) as Hansen rule #1 kicks in — All good Stan Hansen matches involve his opponent throwing everything they can at his arm in hopes of neutralizing the Western Lariat — Of course it isn’t always successful and that’s why we have the matches. Hansen tosses him headfirst into the turnbuckle to break it up but he takes a wild swing which carries him over the top rope and out to the floor. Jumbo adjusts his armband and hits the Eastern Lariat!! Hansen rightly no-sells that cheeky little move and hits a suplex. Hansen whips him in for a double ax-handle but Tsuruta counters to the THESZ PRESS~! It gets two. A small package also gets two as does a vertical suplex. A Jumping Knee sends Hansen out to the floor but when Jumbo tries one on the outside, he only finds the steel ringpost. Hansen then takes the opportunity to backdrop suplex him into the steel railing sending both of them out into the crowd for a countout. The brawl continues well after the bell. Hansen and Tsuruta want to continue (as does the crowd who is chanting “Let them go!” in English no less). The ref says no dice, so they continue without him until they are separated. This ended just as it was getting good. **3/4

  • American Wrestling Association Heavyweight Title: Rick Martel vs. Stan Hansen (12/29/85).
    This is a little out of order so we go backwards a few months. Martel, you might remember, was the upset kid having beaten Jumbo Tsuruta who, in turn, had spent years going after Bockwinkle. This is from the Meadowlands in New Jersey so we have a very large “smart” contingent even in 1985. Martel comes out swinging but the crowd really isn’t into his plucky babyface routine. He hits a crossbody for two and a dropkick that sends Hansen flying out of the ring. We’re clipped to Martel working the arm until getting whipped into a back elbow. The crowd starts a “boring” chant and Lance Storm is nowhere in sight. Remember, this is 1985. Martel grabs an armbar and totally loses the crowd. Fast-forward to Hansen giving Martel an abdominal stretch. What is this “How to Lose a Crowd in 10 Days?” Martel makes the miracle babyface comeback to heel heat as I’m reminded of Rocky Maivia’s run in 1997. Hansen gets the Boston Crab and (in a move directly ripped for the Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho Raw match) uses his head pressed against the turnbuckle to keep Martel from countering. Martel finally submits and Hansen gets a big “thank God the pretty boy isn’t champ anymore” pop. Well, I always liked pre-Model Martel even if the crowd didn’t. Match was decent except for the crowd, which was about as open to this as the WWE crowd was to Booker T vs. Buff Bagwell in 2001. *3/4
  • The 411: Hmm. Nothing actively bad, but not a whole lot to recommend either. The first two matches were first hour of Prime Time Wrestling, and I'll ignore them. The Abdullah match might be better had I seen the one they were working off earlier. But if it can't stand on it's own, I can hardly recommend it. The Hansen matches varied and are better taken as a tableau of his work rather than evaluated on individual merit. The Baba/Tsuruta vs. Mascaras/Dos match is probably the best of the lot and I recommend you watch this along with the RWTL finals to get a flow going. Unlike the Abdullah match, though, this one does stand on its own. But enough to recommend the whole tape? Nah.

    Thumbs in the middle leaning towards down.

     
    Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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