Onward we go! Only one show on this disk, not sure why, but no big deal. Here we have the first match on the set with a young Arashi, and also a singles match with American star Buddy Landel. Here is the full match list:
Aired Date: January 30th, 1988
- Buddy Landel vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu
- Abdullah the Butcher and TNT vs. Giant Baba and Isao Takagi
- Genichiro Tenryu and Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta and Hiroshi Wajima
Buddy Landel vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu
Tie-up to start, Landel pushes Yatsu into the ropes and clubs him in the chest. Yatsu gets Landel into the corner and he slaps Landel, and the two trade blows. Irish whip by Yatsu and he hits a hiptoss. Landel gets back up, tie-up, single leg takedown by Yatsu and he applies a spinning toe hold. Landel rolls to the ropes to break the hold, kicks to the leg by Yatsu and he re-applies the hold. Landel punches out of it and kicks Yatsu in the head and the two trade chops. Snapmare by Landel and he applies a reverse chinlock. Yatsu struggles back up, Landel pushes him into the corner, Irish whip, and Landel kicks Yatsu. Snapmare by Landel and he applies a reverse chinlock, Yatsu struggles back up and hits an enzigieri. Landel recovers and chokes Yatsu against the second rope until the referee gets him back. Landel picks up Yatsu, scoop slam, and he hits an elbow drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Reverse chinlock by Landel but Yatsu gets a foot on the bottom rope. Back up, Yatsu goes for the octopus hold but Landel hiptosses out of it and applies a reverse chinlock. Landel picks up Yatsu and punches him in the face a few times before chopping him against the ropes. Irish whip by Landel but Yatsu ducks a lariat attempt and hits a dropkick. Landel rolls out of the ring and Yatsu joins him, throwing Landel into the guard rail. Punches to the face by Yatsu and he throws Landel into a table at ringside. Back in the ring Yatsu hits a backdrop suplex. Landel tries to fight him off but Yatsu punches him into the corner and hits a piledriver. Cover, but it gets a two count. Yatsu goes off the ropes and hits a knee drop, another cover, but again it gets a two. Yatsu picks up Landel and hits a belly to belly suplex, cover, but Landel gets a shoulder up. Landel fights back with an elbow strike and a standing dropkick, cover, but it gets a two count. Landel picks up Yatsu and rams him into the corner, Irish whip, and Landel hits a back bodydrop for a two count cover. Reverse chinlock by Landel, Yatsu struggles to his feet but Landel hits a vertical suplex. Elbow drop by Landel, but when he goes for a second one Yatsu rolls out of the way. Landel punches Yatsu into the corner, Irish whip, reversed, and Yatsu hits an elbow strike. Running bulldog by Yatsu but it only gets a two count. Irish whip by Yatsu and he hits a powerslam, cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Yoshiaki Yatsu
Match Thoughts: I have decided from watching his matches on this set that at this point in his career Landel was boring. Maybe time had just passed him by, but his offense was slow and plodding even compared to Yatsu, who isn't exactly the pinnacle of excitement. When Yatsu was on offense the match was interesting, but Landel's reverse chinlock obsession dragged down his portions of the match. Not unwatchable since Yatsu was very good in it, but not a match I would put anywhere near a "must see" list. Score: 4.5
Abdullah the Butcher and TNT vs. Giant Baba and Isao Takagi
Takagi and TNT start things off. Tie-up, Takagi gets TNT into the ropes but they break cleanly. Tie-up again, side headlock by Takagi, TNT Irish whips out of it but the two collide with neither man going down. Side headlock again by Takagi but this time he hits a side headlock takedown. TNT gets out of it with a headscissors however and both men are back on their feet. Kick by TNT and he chops Takagi in the head before delivering a headbutt. TNT picks up Takagi and hits a chop, but Takagi chops him back. Tie-up, wristlock by TNT and he kicks Takagi in the ribs. Takagi reverses the wristlock and tags in Baba, who kicks TNT in the ribs. Wristlock by TNT but Baba reverses it and kicks him again. Tie-up, TNT gets Baba against the ropes but Baba applies a side headlock. TNT Irish whips out of it but Baba hits a shoulderblock. Abdullah asks for a tag and TNT makes it, much to the crowd's delight. Tie-up, Baba pushes Abdullah into the corner and chops him in the chest. Abdullah returns with throat thrusts, Irish whip by Abdullah and he shoulderblocks Baba to the mat. Abdullah waits for Baba to get up, tie-up, Baba gets Abdullah against the ropes, Irish whip, and Baba hits a boot to the chest. Chops by Baba and he hits a second boot, finally knocking Abdullah off his feet. Abdullah rolls to the outside to re-group but returns after a moment, chops by Abdullah and he hits an elbow. Elbow drop by Abdullah to Baba, cover, but it gets a two count. Abdullah tags in TNT, tie-up, TNT gets Baba into the ropes and chops him in the head. Baba chops him back however and tags in Takagi. Iris whip by Takagi and he delivers a dropkick. Cover by Takagi but it gets a two count. Takagi punches TNT into the corner, Irish whip, and Takagi hits a shoulderblock followed by a piledriver. Cover, but TNT kicks out. TNT comes back with a quick chop however and makes the tag to Abdullah. Irish whip by TNT onto Takagi and Abdullah hits a shoulderblock. Abdullah picks up Takagi and applies a side headlock while stabbing Takagi in the head with a fork. The referee finally notices and tells him to stop, so Abdullah throws Takagi out of the ring and stabs him some more. Baba throws Takagi back in the ring as Abdullah gets back in as well and he stabs Takagi in the forehead with the fork again. Abdullah picks up Takagi and TNT comes in as well so they can give Takagi a double headbutt. Baba tries to help but the referee gets him back as Abdullah headbutts Takagi against the ropes. Baba comes in again and kicks Abdullah, TNT comes in to stop him but Baba knocks him out of the ring. Baba goes out after TNT while in the ring Abdullah headbutts Takagi while he stands on the second turnbuckle. Irish whip by Abdullah and he hits a back elbow. Scoop slam by Abdullah and he nails a running elbow drop. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Abdullah the Butcher and TNT
Post match: Abdullah and Baba battle around the ring until finally things clear out.
Match Thoughts: In case you haven't been reading the other reviews, TNT is better known today as Savio Vega, and Isao Takagi is better known as Arashi. A fine match, I was actually surprised how much action Baba and Abdullah had, I had assumed that they would let the rookies do the bulk of the work and just come in for a few spots. Abdullah forking someone is always fun and the match took a logical path to its conclusion. Takagi seemed quite capable as a rookie and took his beating like a man, although TNT is still failing to impress even though Abdullah is bringing him along slower. Score: 6.0
Genichiro Tenryu and Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta and Hiroshi Wajima
Tenryu and Hara attack Jumbo and Wajima to start the match as they take it to the floor. Jumbo gets the better of Tenryu on one side while Hara and Wajima get back into their corners, making Tenryu and Jumbo the legal men. They get back into the ring and Jumbo kicks Tenryu while he is on the mat. Jumbo picks up Tenryu, Irish whip, and he delivers a jumping knee. More stomps by Jumbo but Tenryu comes back with a chop and the two trade blows. Jumbo headbutts Tenryu and hits a series of punches, Irish whip, but Tenryu avoids the elbow and hits a lariat. Jumbo is up first (Tenryu is bleeding for reasons unknown) and he tags in Wajima, and Wajima hits a lariat in the corner. Headbutts by Wajima and he he hits him with some more, getting him against the ropes. Tenryu fires back with a big chop which gives him time to tag in Hara, Irish whip by Hara and he hits a lariat before throwing Wajima out of the ring. Hara hits Wajima with the ring bell and then a steel chair before rolling him back into the ring. Irish whip by Hara and he hits a back bodydrop. Hara tags in Tenryu, who kicks Wajima repeatedly in the chest. Slap by Tenryu and he rams Wajima in the corner. He tags in Hara, Irish whip by Tenryu to the corner and Hara hits a lariat. Stomps by Hara onto Wajima, Irish whip, and he hits a chop to the chest. Hara picks up Wajima and tags in Tenryu, Tenryu goes up to the top turnbuckle and they hit a spike piledriver. Tenryu connects with a running kick to the back, he picks up Wajima and chops him in the chest. Wajima returns fire, Irish whip by Wajima and he hits a shoulderblock. Tenryu comes back with a lariat however, sending Wajima to the mat. Tenryu tags in Hara, chop by Hara and he hits a series of headbutts. Side headlock by Hara but Wajima hits a backdrop suplex to get out of it and tags in Jumbo. Irish whip by Jumbo onto Hara and he hits a jumping knee. He then goes after Tenryu, knocking him to the mat. Back to Hara, Irish whip, but Hara delivers a lariat. Irish whip by Hara but Jumbo ducks the elbow and hits a second jumping knee.
He picks up Hara and applies the cobra twist, but Hara gets to the ropes and dumps Jumbo out of the ring. Tenryu joins Jumbo on the outside and hits him repeatedly with a chair before he manages to roll back in the ring. Hara greets him, vertical suplex by Hara and he tags in Tenryu. Tenryu hits an enzigieri onto Jumbo, cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Tenryu and he delivers a lariat, cover, but again Jumbo kicks out. Tenryu throws Jumbo out of the ring where Hara is waiting, and Hara throws him into the guard rail before rolling him back in the ring. Tenryu picks up Jumbo and hits a piledriver, cover, but Wajima breaks it up. German suplex hold by Tenryu, but Jumbo gets a shoulder up. Tenryu tags in Hara, Irish whip by Hara and he hits a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip again by Hara but Jumbo ducks the lariat and hits one of his own. This gives him time to tag in Wajima, Irish whip by Wajima and he hits a shoulderblock. Irish whip again by Wajima and he hits the Golden Arm Bomber. Another Irish whip by Wajima and he goes for the Wajima Special, but Hara blocks it. Hara tags in Tenryu and both men hit Wajima with a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tenryu picks up Wajima and holds him so that Hara can hit a lariat. Hara picks up Wajima, Irish whip, and Hara hits another lariat. Tenryu is tagged in, Irish whip, Wajima ducks a lariat, Wajima blocks a Wajima lariat, but Wajima hits a backdrop suplex. Wajima chokes Tenryu against the mat and hits a headbutt followed by a kneedrop. He picks up Tenryu and hits a side Russian leg sweep, cover, but Hara breaks it up. Tenryu is up first and hits Wajima with an enzigieri and he punches Jumbo on the apron. Tenryu hits a powerbomb, cover, but Jumbo breaks it up. Tenryu picks up Wajima and applies the octopus hold, but Jumbo breaks it up with a jumping knee. Irish whip by Jumbo onto Tenryu but Tenryu avoids the jumping knee and hits a lariat, sending Jumbo out of the ring. Jumbo and Tenryu battle outside the ring while Hara comes in the ring and headbutts Wajima. Hara throws Wajima out of the ring while Jumbo and Tenryu have a chair battle. They all stay out too long and the bell rings, causing a Double Countout.
Match Thoughts: It is a good thing that Hara throws such an awesome lariat since he uses them so much. People that complain about Kensuke Sasaki or Riki Choshu need to go back and watch some Hara, as it wasn't just a Choshu-ism thing. Some of these matches are starting to blend in a little bit as we are only seeing the main events and thus the same wrestlers, but at least these "same wrestlers" includes Tenryu and Jumbo so I can't complain too loudly. The emotion was definitely there as Jumbo and Tenryu clearly hate each other, and the action never slowed which was good since in a hateful mat I don't want to see five minute crab holds. The count out ending was a little more understanding here as the sides were more interested in beating each other up and it wasn't a title match. Overall a very good match and easily the best on this TV show. Score: 7.0
Best Match: Genichiro Tenryu and Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta and Hiroshi Wajima, a hate-filled match that was hard hitting and to the point.
Worst Match: Buddy Landel vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu, it wasn't terrible but it was clearly not as good as the other two matches.
Most Notable: Our first real look at Arashi when he was a rookie in All Japan.
Back to All Japan 1988 Year in Review