This disk features the wrestling debut of Akira Taue and also Misawa vs. the future "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig! Also, we get a young John "Earthquake" Tenta and Savio Vega soon after their wrestling debuts (both debuted in 1987). Here is the full match list:
Aired Dates: January 2nd and January 9th, 1988
- Buddy Landel and Paul Harris vs. Giant Baba and Akira Taue
- AWA Heavyweight Championship: Curt Hennig vs. Tiger Mask
- Abdullah the Butcher vs. Hiroshi Wajima
- Genichiro Tenryu and Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu
- Battle Royal
- Giant Baba and John Tenta vs. Rusher Kimura and Goro Tsurumi
- Pete Roberts and Paul Harris vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu and Hiroshi Wajima
- Buddy Landel vs. Jumbo Tsuruta
- PWF World Tag Team Championship: Tenryu and Ashura Hara vs. Abdullah the Butcher and TNT
Here we go!
Buddy Landel and Paul Harris vs. Giant Baba and Akira Taue
This is Akira Taue's wrestling debut. Yes, in his debut he teamed with Giant Baba. JIP, as Taue dropkicks Harris. Taue picks up Harris, snapmare, cover but it gets a two count. Elbow to the back of the head by Harris and he tags in Landel. Landel and Taue circle each other, kicks to the stomach by Landel and he body slams Taue to the mat. Elbow drop by Landel and he tags in Harris. Harris kicks Taue in the chest, he picks up Taue, Irish whip, and he delivers a clothesline. Cover by Harris but it gets a two count. Harris picks up Taue and he makes the tag to Landel. Irish whip by Harris and he delivers a back elbow. Landel throws Taue in the corner and delivers a series of chops followed by a knee and a standing dropkick. Landel tags in Harris, Irish whip by Harris and he knees Taue in the stomach. Elbow drop by Harris, cover, but it gets a two count. Back up, tie-up, side headlock by Taue and he tags in Giant Baba. Giant Baba and Harris tie-up, and Giant Baba chops Harris in the chest. Chop to the head by Giant Baba, Taue comes in the ring and clubs Harris in the chest. Irish whip by Giant Baba and he delivers the big boot. Giant Baba tags in Taue, double Irish whip to Harris and Taue nails a Japanese Drop. Cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winners: Giant Baba and Akira Taue
Match Thoughts: I am not sure which was a bigger sign of how highly All Japan thought of Taue: the fact that he teamed with Giant Baba in his debut match or that he picked up the pinfall. This was clipped but from what they showed it was fun to see a young Akira Taue, and at the time he was one of the most quickly pushed wrestlers in All Japan history. Score: N/A
(c) Curt Hennig vs. Tiger Mask
This match is for the AWA Heavyweight Championship. Tie-up to start, Hennig gets Tiger Mask to the mat but he releases him and both men are back up. Tie-up again, side headlock by Tiger Mask, Hennig Irish whips out of it but Tiger Mask shoulderblocks him down. Tiger Mask goes off the ropes but Hennig hits an armdrag. Armbar by Hennig but Tiger Mask trips him up and the two jockey for position with neither getting the advantage. Back up, tie-up, snapmare by Tiger Mask and he applies a reverse chinlock, but Hennig reverses it with a hammerlock. He keeps the hold locked in for several minutes until Tiger Mask finally makes it to the ropes. Back up, tie-up, Hennig gets Tiger Mask in the corner and chops him in the chest. Wristlock by Hennig but Tiger Mask reverses it into a wristlock of his own. Hennig reverses it back to the hammerlock but Tiger Mask gets out of it with a modified snapmare. Tie-up, kicks to the back by Tiger Mask and he applies the camel clutch. Hennig eventually gets out of it and both men return to their feet. Tie-up, waistlock by Hennig but Tiger Mask elbows out of it. Kicks by Tiger Mask but Hennig comes back with punches and a knee lift. Cover but it gets a one count. Armbar by Hennig, Tiger Mask pushes him into the ropes, Irish whip, and he delivers a dropkick. Cover by Tiger Mask but it gets a two count. Tiger Mask grabs Hennig and goes for the crab hold but Hennig makes it to the ropes. Back up, tie-up, and Tiger Mask elbows Hennig in the back. Tiger Mask throws Hennig into the corner, drags him back out and hits a vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Single underhook takedown by Tiger Mask, cover, but again it gets two. Tiger Mask applies a stretch hold but Hennig pushes him back into the corner. Elbows by Hennig, Irish whip, and Hennig hits the fisherman suplex for a two count. Another cover by Hennig but it still gets two. Irish whip by Hennig and he delivers a dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Hennig picks up Tiger Mask and slams him in front of the corner, he goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits an elbow drop for a two count. Hennig goes up to the second turnbuckle again but Tiger Mask recovers and dropkicks him out of the ring. Tiger Mask goes out as well but Hennig Irish whips him into the guard rail. Hennig returns to the ring and grabs Tiger Mask up to the apron, he tries to suplex Tiger Mask back into the ring, but Tiger Mask lands on his feet and dropkicks Hennig back out to the floor. Baseball slide by Tiger Mask under the bottom rope, he then goes off the far ropes and sails out onto Hennig with a plancha suicida. Backdrop suplex by Tiger Mask on the floor, he rolls back into the ring, but Hennig can't make the referee's 10 count! Your winner by countout: Tiger Mask
Match Thoughts: Tiger Mask is, of course, Mitsuharu Misawa during this time period. Not sure what the deal was with the two minute hammerlock, in fact about 90% of the match was long pointless submissions. I realize this is an All Japan staple, but normally after you get through the submissions you have a solid block of entertainment. Here, literally only the final 30 seconds were entertaining and it wasn't worth the long build-up to get there. At the 10 minute mark they were still tie-ing up, which really shouldn't be happening that late in an 11 minute match. Not to mention the silliness of having a "major" title on the line in a match that had real no emotion whatsoever. The execution of the moves was perfect as these are two of the better technical wrestlers of the 1980s, but there was just no focus or direction in the match. I love Hennig and can tolerate Misawa as Tiger Mask, but here they just put on a rather slow and boring match that picked up too late. Score: 4.5
Abdullah the Butcher vs. Hiroshi Wajima
Poor Wajima. Abdullah attacks Wajima as the bell rings, he pushes Wajima into the ropes and chokes him. Abdullah picks up Wajima, Irish whip, and he shoulderblocks him down. Abdullah throws Wajima out of the ring but after a moment Wajima returns. Tie-up, Wajima pushes Abdullah against the ropes and hits a series of chops. Throat thrust by Abdullah, and Wajima falls to the mat. Back up, kick to the stomach by Abdullah and he delivers a back elbow. Wajima gets back to his feet, tie-up, Wajima pushes Abdullah into the corner and hits a series of shoulder tackles. This does nothing to Abdullah, tie-up, Abdullah pushes Wajima into the ropes and gives him a series of throat thrusts. Choke by Abdullah against the ropes, he picks up Wajima and thrusts him in the throat again. Abdullah hits a headbutt and kicks him down in the corner. Choke by Abdullah but after a moment he lets Wajima up. Tie-up, Wajima pushes Abdullah into the corner and elbows him in the chest repeatedly. Abdullah hits one throat thrust however and Wajima goes flying, and he follows that with a kick. Tie-up, Wajima tries to pick up Abdullah, that doesn't work, but he does manage to throw him down to the mat. Abdullah gets back up, tie-up, and Wajima throws Abdullah to the mat again. Wajima goes for a kick but Abdullah blocks it and delivers a throat thrust. Irish whip by Abdullah and he hits a shoulder block. Elbow drop by Abdullah, cover, but Wajima gets a foot on the bottom rope. Another elbow drop by Abdullah, he goes off the far ropes and he delivers a third (all along, Wajima's foot is still on the bottom rope). The referee tries to get Abdullah back so he can wake up Wajima, but Abdullah pushes the referee down and the referee falls out of the ring. Another elbow drop by Abdullah and the referee calls for the bell. Your winner (on paper only): Hiroshi Wajima
Post match: Abdullah continues choking Wajima, some dojo wrestlers try to stop him but he punches them all to the mat. Abdullah hits throat thrusts on all of them until finally Jumbo Tsuruta and Giant Baba come in and the sides split.
Match Thoughts: Classic Abdullah, although it should be noted that he easily had the match won, he just was more concerned about causing carnage then actually getting the win. I could never watch a 10 disk "Best of Abdullah the Butcher" set as his matches are pretty similar, but as a special attraction every now and then he works very well. He only has three moves, but he does them all convincingly and no one could blame Wajima for being rendered unconscious by the end of this bout. This was practically a squash, and a very fun one at that. The post-match helped set up Abdullah's match against Jumbo Tsuruta the following week. Score: 6.5
Genichiro Tenryu and Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu
JIP, as Hara throws Tsuruta into the guard rail outside the ring. Tsuruta rolls back in with Tenryu in the ring waiting for him, scoop slam by Tenryu, cover but it gets a two count. Tenryu tags in Hara, Irish whip by Hara but Tsuruta kicks him and makes the tag to Yatsu. Double Irish whip to Hara and they hit a double chop followed by a double jumping knee. Backdrop suplex by Yatsu, cover, but it gets a two count. Kicks to the back by Yatsu but Hara absorbs the blows and gets back to his feet. Headbutts by Yatsu and he tags in Tenryu. Double Irish whip to Yatsu and they deliver a double clothesline. Irish whip by Tenryu to Yatsu and he hits a jumping knee. He goes for a second one but Yatsu catches him with a belly to belly suplex. Running bulldog by Yatsu, cover, but it gets a two count. Stomps by Yatsu to Tenryu but Tenryu manages to tag in Hara. Lariat by Hara to Yatsu, he picks him up and goes for a suplex but Yatsu lands on his feet and rolls him up. Yatsu tags in Tsuruta, uppercuts by Tsuruta and he applies a cobra twist. Hara manages to get to the ropes, Tsuruta picks him up, Irish whip, but Hara kicks him and tags in Tenryu. Tenryu lariats Tsuruta to the mat, cover, but it gets a two count. Neckbreaker by Tenryu, another cover, but again it gets two. Irish whip by Tenryu but both men lariat each other and they fall to the mat. Tsuruta rolls out of the ring, where Hara throws him into the railing. Hara gets in the ring as Tsuruta rolls in, and he throws Tsuruta back to ringside where Tenryu has a chair. Tenryu hits Tsuruta in the back with a steel chair and then throws him into the guard rail. Tenryu slides Tsuruta back into the ring and kicks him in the back. Tenryu tags in Hara, Irish whip by Hara to the corner but Tsuruta kicks him as he walks in and hits a lariat. Irish whip by Tsuruta and he delivers a second lariat. Tsuruta picks up Hara, Yatsu goes up to the top turnbuckle and they nail a spike piledriver. Irish whip by Hara (who stayed in as the legal man) and he hits a jumping lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. Yatsu pushes Hara into the corner and hits a powerslam, cover, again it gets two. Yatsu applies the octopus hold to Hara but Tenryu breaks it up and punches Tsuruta just for good measure. Tsuruta is tagged in and he lets Hara make the tag to Tenryu.
Enzigieri by Tenryu and he hits a knee drop, cover, but it gets two. Backdrop suplex by Tsuruta and he tags in Yatsu. Yatsu goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits an elbow drop while Tsuruta holds Tenryu towards the mat by his waist. Cover, but it gets a two count. Double armed suplex by Yatsu, cover, but again it gets two. Yatsu picks up Tenryu, Irish whip, and he delivers a dropkick. Another cover, but Tenryu kicks out. Yatsu drags Tenryu up and hits a kneebreaker before applying the Prison Lock. Hara breaks it up after a moment, but Yatsu keeps the hold applied. Another kick by Hara and this time he breaks up the hold. Tenryu picks up Yatsu, Irish whip to the corner and he Irish whips Hara into Yatsu so that he can hit a lariat. Hara picks up Yatsu but Yatsu ducks the lariat attempt and tags in Tsuruta. Jumping knee by Tsuruta and he hits a swinging neckbreaker. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kicks to the chest by Tsuruta but Hara clubs him back and hits a lariat while Tenryu holds Tsuruta from the apron. DDT by Tenryu onto Tsuruta, cover, but it gets a two count. Tenryu picks up Tsuruta, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers an elbow drop. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Tenryu tags in Hara, and they hit double lariats on Tsuruta, one from the front and one from the back. They Irish whip Tsuruta into the corner but Tsuruta hits Tenryu with a lariat and ducks out of Hara's charge. Hara manages to hit a lariat anyway, cover, but Yatsu breaks it up. Hara tags in Tenryu, and Tenryu hits Tsuruta with a powerbomb. Cover, but Yatsu breaks it up. Tenryu picks up Tsuruta and goes for another one, but Tsuruta lands on top of him for a two count. Tenryu tags in Hara, Hara picks up Tsuruta and he delivers a powerbomb. Cover, but Tsuruta kicks out. Irish whip by Hara but Tsuruta ducks the lariat and drops Hara onto the top rope. Yatsu comes in and slaps Hara, he then goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Tsuruta has recovered, he picks up Hara and nails a backdrop suplex. Tsuruta picks up Hara instead of pinning him and goes for a second, but Tenryu runs in and hits a shoulderblock onto Tsuruta. The ring clears as they roll out of the ring to recover, Tenryu gets back in as Tsuruta gets on the apron and Tenryu hits a jumping knee, sending Tsuruta back to ringside. Tenryu goes outside the ring to beat up Yatsu, Tsuruta gets back in the ring but Tenryu can't get Hara back into the ring in time and Hara is counted out. Your winners: Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu
Match Thoughts: Get used to this... Giant Baba did not like having pinfall victories in big matches too often. Sadly, since most wrestling fans want a real clear winner, it somewhat leaves us with a bad taste in our mouths when we watch a fun entertaining match end with a lame count out. And count outs can be done well, but here it wasn't, as Tenryu takes time to knock Tsuruta to the floor but can't get Hara back into the ring, even though Hara is hanging onto the apron for the last few counts. The rest of the match was very entertaining, as all four of these wrestlers were very familiar with each other and knew just the right things to do to get the crowd into it. Tsuruta is Tsuruta and Tenryu is Tenryu, but what a lot of people don't know is that Yatsu and Hara were both very solid tag team partners that added to the match instead of taking away from the more epic struggle between the two main eventers. A lot of big moves were hit and most were remembered, and while there were a few non-tag tags, All Japan tended to be more loose with that in general. Overall it was a good match, I just hate seeing matches end with poorly down countouts, showing that while it was the planned ending they didn't take a lot of time to plan how to get there. Score: 6.5
Battle Royal on January 2nd
I will be honest, I.... don't know who all these people are. So I will skip to the end. The final six are Yoshiaki Yatsu, Great Kabuki, Goro Tsurumi, John Tenta, Rusher Kimura, and Isao Takagi. Kabuki and Kimura trade chops, takedown by Kabuki but everyone holds Kimura and Kabuki down to count them out for the three count. They exit, Irish whip by Takagi onto Tenta but Tenta kicks him back and delivers a dropkick. Big splash by Tenta, cover, and he picks up the three count. Takagi is out. Small package by Yatsu onto Tsurumi, Tenta comes over to help hold Tsurumi down and they get the three count. Tsurumi is eliminated. Tenta then flips them over and holds down Yatsu, getting the three count! Your winner: John Tenta
Match Thoughts: All Japan Battle Royals are more lighthearted then many in the States, as generally the big stars don't win and eliminations happen very quickly. Stars such as Giant Baba, Abdullah the Butcher, and others were all in the match also but were some of the first eliminated (by being pinned by 10 wrestlers at once), which goes to show you that it isn't too serious of an affair. Nice to see the recently debuted John Tenta pick up the win, though. Score: N/A
Giant Baba and John Tenta vs. Rusher Kimura and Goro Tsurumi
JIP, with Kimura in the ring with Baba. Kimura tags in Tsurumi, who chops Baba in the head. Baba hits a side Russian leg sweep, cover, but Kimura breaks it up. Tsurumi punches Baba in the face with a loaded first and chops him against the ropes. Irish whip by Baba and he delivers the big boot, allowing him time to tag in Tenta. Irish whip by Tenta and he hits a powerslam. Cover, but Kimura breaks it up. Tenta picks up Tsurumi, Irish whip from the corner but Tsurumi moves when Tenta charges in. Scoop slam by Tsurumi but Tenta gets back up and applies a bear hug. Club to the back by Tenta and he applies the Canadian Backbreaker. Kimura breaks it up but Baba comes in and throws him out of the ring. Belly to belly suplex by Tenta to Tsurumi, cover, and he gets the three count. Your winners: Giant Baba and John Tenta
Match Thoughts: Very clipped, but a good showcase for young Tenta as he manhandled Tsurumi. It was interesting, as between winning the Battle Royal and getting the pin here it is apparent that Giant Baba saw a lot in Tenta. So did Vince McMahon. Shame it wasn't the full match, but they showed what they needed to show to accomplish their goal. Score: N/A
Pete Roberts and Paul Harris vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu and Hiroshi Wajima
Roberts and Wajima start things off. Tie-up, and Wajima pushes Roberts back into the corner. Tie-up again, and again Wajima pushes Roberts back. Tie-up, armbar by Wajima and he takes Roberts to the mat. Wajima keeps the armbar applied, he hits an armdrag but continues holding onto the arm. Wajima tags in Yatsu, Yatsu and Roberts circle each other, and Yatsu applies a wristlock. Roberts eventually reverses it but Yatsu reverses it right back. Roberts rolls out of it, cover, but it gets a one count. Yatsu bridges up when Roberts tries to pin him down and gets back to his feet, wristlock by Yatsu and he tags in Wajima. Wristlock by Wajima and he applies a hammerlock. Roberts eventually makes it back to his feet, wristlock by Wajima but Roberts takes him down and begins twisting on his ankle. Roberts yanks on Wajima's leg and applies a knee lock but Wajima gets back to his feet and tags in Yatsu. Chop to the chest by Yatsu but Roberts returns fire and hits a snapmare. Roberts finally tags in Harris, who elbows Yatsu in the back. Irish whip by Harris and he hits a knee. Harris rolls up Yatsu but can't get a two count, he goes for a snapmare but Yatsu gets out of it and delivers a dropkick. Yatsu tags in Wajima, who punches Harris to the mat. Vertical suplex by Wajima, cover, but Roberts breaks it up. Wajima picks up Harris, Irish whip, and he delivers a back elbow. Headscissors by Wajima, but Harris makes it to the ropes. Wajima tags in Yatsu, double Irish whip and they hit a double clothesline. Cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Yatsu and he hits a jumping lariat, cover, but Roberts breaks it up. Roberts throws Yatsu out of the ring and throws him into the ring post. Roberts gets back in the ring as the legal man and waits for Yatsu, but when Yatsu gets on the apron he knocks him back down to the floor. Roberts goes back outside the ring but Wajima comes over to help. Harris comes over as well but Yatsu throws him into the guard rail. Back in the ring Roberts uppercuts Yatsu but Yatsu delivers a backdrop suplex. Yatsu picks up Roberts, Irish whip, and he applies the bear hug. Wajima then comes in the ring and hits a lariat followed by a Yatsu belly to belly suplex, cover, but Harris breaks it up. Yatsu tags in Wajima, double Irish whip and they hit a double chop to the chest. Scoop slam by Wajima and he applies a crab hold, but again Harris breaks it up. Snapmare by Roberts and he hits a series of knee drops. Roberts tags in Harris, Irish whip by Harris and he delivers a back elbow to Wajima. Harris tags Roberts back in, double Irish whip and they hit a double elbow strike. Harris picks up Wajima and hits a body slam but Wajima avoids the leg drop. Wajima tags in Yatsu, Irish whip by Yatsu and he hits a powerslam followed by a bulldog. Yatsu goes for the Prison Lock but Roberts breaks it up. Yatsu tags in Wajima, Wajima picks up Harris and chops him into the corner. Irish whip by Wajima and he hits a shoulder block. He picks up Harris again and hits a side Russian leg sweep, cover, but Roberts breaks it up. Yatsu comes in and dropkicks Roberts out of the ring, Irish whip by Wajima to Harris and he nails a lariat. Cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winners: Yoshiaki Yatsu and Hiroshi Wajima
Match Thoughts: A decent match, I had never seen Roberts or Harris before today but they seem like capable wrestlers if nothing else. Started slow but picked up, and the action was pretty crisp. This match lacked the top tier wrestler to really ignite the match with excitement or meaning but as a mid-card match (which I am assuming it was) it was perfectly acceptable. Nothing that will set your world on fire, but fundamentally sound. Score: 6.0
Buddy Landel vs. Jumbo Tsuruta
Tie-up to start, Jumbo pushes Landel into the corner but he gives a clean break. Tie-up, side headlock by Jumbo and he hits a side headlock takedown. Jumbo keeps the hold applied on the mat, Landel gets back up and Irish whips out of it but Jumbo shoulderblocks him down. Jumbo goes off the ropes, Landel goes for a leapfrog but he lands on Jumbo. Uppercuts by Jumbo, Irish whip, and he nails a back elbow. Knee by Landel and he chops Jumbo into the corner, snapmare, and he applies a reverse chinlock. Jumbo gets out of it with a knee to the stomach and elbows Landel in the back of the head. Backbreaker by Jumbo, cover, but Landel gets a foot on the bottom rope. Tie-up, wristlock by Landel but Jumbo reverses it into one of his own. Jumbo yanks on Landel's arm and applies a stretch hold, Irish whip by Jumbo but Landel kicks him in the head and stomach. Landel applies a front chancery but Jumbo gets out of it and throws Landel out of the ring. Jumbo joins him outside and throws Landel into the guard rail. Jumbo then slides Landel back in, Irish whip, and he nails a jumping knee. Cover but Landel kicks out at one. Clubs to the back by Landel and he slams Jumbo into the turnbuckle. Elbows and punches by Landel, Irish whip from the corner, reversed, and Jumbo hits a hiptoss. Dropkick by Jumbo and he delivers the backdrop suplex, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Jumbo Tsuruta
Match Thoughts: A bit of a disappointment as they weren't too crisp and one of the transitions was terrible. The failed leapfrog was kinda sad, and Landel kicking out at one and jumping right on offense like nothing happened after a Jumbo jumping knee just didn't make any sense. If these two things were done in a 20 minute match, then the rest could be good enough to forget a few mistakes. But in a five minute match there just isn't enough to overcome blatant mistakes. Score: 4.0
(c) Genichiro Tenryu and Ashura Hara vs. Abdullah the Butcher and TNT
This match is for the PWF World Tag Team Championship. Hara and TNT start things off. Tie-up, side headlock by Hara, TNT Irish whips out of it but the two men collide with no result. Tie-up, side headlock by Hara, TNT again Irish whips out of it but this time Hara connects with a dropkick. TNT rolls out of the ring but returns after a moment, side headlock by Hara and he tags in Tenryu. Tenryu and TNT circle each other, tie-up, and TNT tags in Abdullah. Abdullah and Tenryu tie-up, Abdullah pushes Tenryu into the ropes and they jockey for position, and Tenryu gets Abdullah into the corner before giving a clean break. Tie-up again, Tenryu gets Abdullah into the ropes but Abdullah blocks a Tenryu chop. Tenryu tags in Hara, tie-up, and Abdullah pushes Hara back. Chop by Hara but Abdullah thrust him in the throat and delivers a headbutt. Abdullah throws Hara out of the ring where TNT joins him and throws Hara into the railing. Stomps by TNT and he slides Hara back into the ring. Abdullah tags in TNT, double Irish whip and TNT nails the superkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Throat thrust by TNT, Irish whip, and he delivers a lariat. Cover, but again it gets two. Stomps by TNT but Hara fires back with a lariat and tags in Tenryu. Double Irish whip to TNT and they deliver a double lariat. Tenryu picks up TNT and slams him to the mat, cover, but it gets a two count. Tenryu applies a reverse chinlock but TNT gets out of it and tags in Abdullah. Irish whip by TNT and Abdullah hits a shoulderblock. Abdullah picks up Tenryu, Irish whip, and he hits a throat thrust. Abdullah gets up onto the first rope and hits an elbow drop, cover, but Tenryu gets a foot on the bottom rope. Abdullah picks up Tenryu and tags in TNT, TNT goes to the second turnbuckle and hits a double ax handle. Irish whip by TNT and he kicks Tenryu in the back of the head. TNT picks up Tenryu and connects with a back kick. TNT pushes Tenryu against the ropes and applies an arm submission hold. After a moment TNT releases the hold and tags in Abdullah. Scoop slam by TNT onto Tenryu and Abdullah chokes Tenryu. Hara comes in and hits a lariat onto Abdullah, but Abdullah quickly starts choking Tenryu again. It must be a legal choke, as the referee isn't stopping Abdullah. Or he is just scared of Abdullah. Hara comes in the ring and breaks it up again, and Abdullah tags in TNT. TNT applies the same choke-like hold but Tenryu gets a foot on the ropes. TNT pulls Tenryu back out and re-applies the hold (I still think it looks like a choke) before releasing it and stomping Tenryu in the head. Tenryu comes back with a quick lariat however and makes the tag to Hara. Irish whip by Hara and he hits a lariat onto TNT. Irish whip by Hara and he hits a double chop to the chest. Cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Hara, reversed, and TNT kicks Hara in the head. TNT tags in Abdullah, scoop slam by TNT and Abdullah applies the choke-like hold to Hara. And here... the show ends.
Match Thoughts: This match is continued on the next show (since it was a title match I guess they split it to be evil), so I will post my thoughts on the match once I have seen the full thing! So far so good though. Score: TBD
Best Match: It will be Genichiro Tenryu and Ashura Hara vs. Abdullah the Butcher and TNT once I finish it, it has shaped up very well and will no doubt be my favorite match on the disk.
Worst Match: Buddy Landel vs. Jumbo Tsuruta, short and with at least two negatives (one related to a botch and one related to a poor transition) the match not only was below average but also disappointing considering that most Tsuruta matches are entertaining.
Most Notable: Three young wrestlers who would go on to have very solid careers are featured on this disk: a debuting Akira Taue, Savio Vega right after debuting as TNT, and John Tenta within six months of his professional wrestling debut.
Back to 1988 All Japan Year in Review