Ditch Decades 2
Terry Funk vs Jumbo Tsuruta NWA Championship 6/11/76
Jim Crockett Jr. was there to do some announcements. He looks so lost and out of place in Japan. Dory trained Jumbo. Terry helped some, so there is a familiarity between these two that is stronger than most gaijin guest matches. The crowd are stomping and chanting something. No idea what it is. It might just be Jumbo's OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH. They lock up and go to the mat, staying in the collar and elbow tie up. Jumbo ends up scooting Terry all the way across the ring while still in the lock up. It's always weird to see Terry as a technical wrestler with functioning knees. He spent more time in his career as the out of control crazy brawler old man than his 20 years as a technical wrestler. He goes in hard on Jumbo's arm. Jumbo is able to get Terry on his shoulders for a fire man carry and puts him on the top rope to break a hold. Terry goes back to the arm. Jumbo works so hard to reverse a standing bow and arrow and finally gets it. Terry finally throws a hard chop to the throat to try to get out of a wrist lock. It doesn't work. He keeps trying, which leads to Jumbo ducking them and doing a back slide for 2. Headbutt! Jumbo will not let go of it for anything. He uses his knowledge of energy transference to wreck Terry's shoulder more. He grounds it and tries to turn it into a pin. Terry gets a few chops and elbows in, but is quickly back on the mat, get his arm wrenched off. Jumbo pulls Terry to the floor and back over the top rope while still holding on to the wrist lock. Terry finally breaks the hold with a big atomic drop. Then he misses an elbow drop and is right back in it. Shoulder blocks! Terry Funk does a leap frog! Butterfly suplex. Jumbo gets a foot on the ropes. Both guys do leap frogs. O'Connor Roll from Jumbo. Sunset flip. Jumbo wins the first fall! Not only did Jumbo just beat the NWA Champion, he completely out wrestled him before doing so.
Fall 2 starts with a slap from Terry. Another, almost an eye poke. Test of strength. Terry throws headbutts and a swinging neck breaker. 2 count. Piledriver. 2 count. It heads to the floor. Terry throws a dropkick. He works the shit out of a headlock back in the ring. Big uppercut from Jumbo. Another sends Terry bouncing over the top rope. Jumbo suplexes him back in. They fight over an abdominal stretch, ending with Terry winning the fall with the rolling abdominal stretch pin.
Jumbo gets the abdominal stretch on at the start of fall 3. Terry hip tosses out over the top rope, with Jumbo crashing hard hip first on the apron. Big gut wrench suplex in the ring. Jumbo does his own, almost a Karelin Lift. An upper cut has Terry face first on the mat. Butterfly suplex from Jumbo. 2 count. Back suplex from Terry. Jumbo rolls through an O'Connor Roll for 2 count. Back breaker. German suplex. Hot shot OUTTA NOWHERE from Funk. This is enough to keep Jumbo down. Funk wins 2-1, title retained. This was wonderful. Terry Funk in the 70s was so fun. And Jumbo was amazing from day one.
Terry Funk vs Stan Hansen 9/11/82
Oh my. Texas REPRESENT. Even though Terry is actually from Indiana. Stan's hat is comically tall. Stan starts throwing fists and Terry falls to the floor. And now Terry is firing back. Down goes Stan! Fans are still throwing streamers as the guys are fighting. To the floor. Back to the ring. Back to the floor. Back to the ring. Fans are 100% on Terry's side. Big slam from Stan. Knee drop to the back of the neck. Another. Back to the floor. Slam. Elbow drop. Terry throws his own slam in the ring. Face rake. Terry tries to rip Stan's nose off. And his ears. And his eyes. Mongolian chops from bottom guard! Back suplex. Texas punch combo. Another streamer flies into the ring. Stan starts throwing his punches as Funk sells like he's having a seizure. Stan kicks Terry in the face to break up the spinning toe hold. Suplexuuu. Terry is knocked back to the floor. He throws a chair. Stan catches it and throws it right back. A most awkward ref bump. A second ref enters the ring and is thrown down, then hit with a lariatooooo. I think it is Black Bart who comes out and holds Terry in place for a lariatoooooo. Stan wins via count out, although I have no idea how this wasn't a double DQ. An in ring riot happens, with Stan beating up the young lions until Baba and Jumbo try to get things under control. Stan leaves just to sneak back in the ring and give Jumbo a low blow. A row of chairs gets thrown in the ring as Stan finally leaves. Fun ass brawl with a LOT of punches to the head, great post match shenanigans.
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa 9/01/90
The Jumbo/Misawa feud is pretty legendary. After Tenryu left All Japan, Baba decided to push Misawa as the next top star. He had been Tiger Mask II for the past few years. He had his partner, Toshiaki Kawada, unmask him after a tag match. Shortly after, he defeated Jumbo in his first Budokan main event. As part of the Jumbo/Tenryu feud and after, many tags and 6 man tags were had between Jumbo and his men, and Misawa and his men. A lot of Jumbo beating the dog shit out of Misawa's friends, and in general, it was a star making feud for not just Misawa, but also Kawada and Kobashi. It was a feud that would go on for 2 years and really started even before Misawa was Misawa.
This is the rematch. Jumbo has become very grumpy. At this point, he was nearly 20 years into his career where he had been the ace of All Japan for at least 12 of those years, but I think you could argue even longer than that. Now, the young generation is nipping at his heels, with Misawa leading the charge. He's getting older, but still supremely skilled and is not at all ready to give up his spot to this little green shit. Both men attempt and block elbow strikes early on. Jumbo gets one. Misawa blocks the high knee, but not the kitchen sink. Big forearm to the gut. Another. Another. Again and again. Misawa fires back with a spring board back headbutt. Body slam. Huge senton. Kitchen sink countered with a school up. Jumbo is not pleased. Standing bow and arrow. Misawa reverses. Jumbo reverses. Misawa gets out with a rolling mule kick. This look of disdain on Jumbo's face is great. Jumbo throws Misawa to the floor, who gets back as Jumbo comes out. Big elbow rocks Jumbo. Series of knees and elbows to the side of the head. Jumbo kicks Misawa right in the neck for that shit. Might have been in the ear. Jumping kneeeeeeee. Abdominal stretch. Grounded rolling SPLADDLE. Jumbo throws some measured elbows and uppercuts. Neck breaker. Misawa fires back with elbows. Triangle head scissors. Jumbo rolls over and breaks it. Misawa throws a lot of kicks. Gamenguris. Jumbo throws back stiff elbow, and then a running forearm to the throat. Piledriver. 2 count. Butterfly suplex. Cross body from Misawa. Spinning kick. Misawa tries for the springboard headbutt again, but Jumbo catches him and drives him into the mat. Lou Thesz Press!!! 2 count. Misawa rolls through a back suplex. Jumbo rolls through into a pin for 2. Knee to the faaaaaaace. Jumbo gets extra pissed at some elbows and slaps the PISS out of Misawa for it, then throws him on the ground and slaps him some more. It goes to the floor and Misawa gets thrown into all the guard rails in the country, slammed with a chair. Misawa makes it back to the ring only to get thrown right back out. 3 elbows sends Jumbo down. Top rope elbow strikeuuuuuu. Baseball slide sends Jumbo to the floor. Huge running pescado. Top rope elbow strikeeeeeeeuuuuuuuu. 2 count. Misawa beats Jumbo to the mat with elbows in the corner, then stomps him until the ref pulls him off. Misawa throws elbows. Jumbo throws headbutts. Dropkickuuuuuu. Powerslam. Foot on the ropes. Powerbomb is reversed with a rana. German suplexuuuuuu. 2.9 OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH *stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp*. Tiger Driver is blocked. Misawa crashes and burns on a victory roll attempt. Jumbo immediately goes for a pin. High knee. Misawa kind of sort of blocks a second one. He goes up top once again. This time he's caught. Superplex. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Back. Drop. DRIVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. 2.9! This announcer is giving Jim Ross a run for his money in the "super excited holy shit this is amazing" department. He might be crying. Jumbo is LEGIT SHOOK that Misawa kicked out. Elbow to the eye. Lariatoooo from Jumbo. Back drop hold. Jumbo wins. What a great match. Even if you aren't at all aware of the back story. It's the age old story of the old vet and the young gun, with the young gun trying to replace the old vet, and the old vet doing whatever he can to keep his spot. And it took everything Jumbo had to put Misawa away. Had it gone on even 5 more minutes, it's just as likely Misawa would have won. It's just so well done. Most likely the greatest cross generational feud in any promotion.
Vader vs Jun Akiyama Triple Crown Championship 1/23/00
After Vader's very disappointing WWF run, he went back to Japan, but this time for All Japan. As the bell rings, the first thing that happens is Akiyama putting Vader on his ass with a forearm to the face. Then he beats Vader down in the corner. Jun dodges a lariato. Vader dodges a low dropkick. German suplexuuuu! Akiyama is taking it Vader. Another German suplex. Another big forearm puts Vader down. Vader rolls to the floor. jun follows with a high knee from the apron. Vader takes it into the crowd and uses the announce table. Jun turns it around and rams Vader into the table a few times. Vader Attack! Chokeslam over the guard rail and onto the Japanese table. Powerbomb on the floor. Moral of the story: Don't piss Vader off. The ref won't let Vader use a chair. But a table is fine? Get your priorities straight, Ref Dude. Back in the ring, Vader knocks the shit out of Akiyama. Vader Bomb. Another. 2 count. Misawa is watching from what appears to be a hidden cave in the arena. Short arm lariato. Another. Huge back suplex. Rope break. Fujiwara arm bar. From Vader. Sounds horrible. Vader Attack. CRUSHING splash. Jun gets his knees up on the third Vader Bomb. Dropkick to the gut. Jun doesn't get up fast enough, so Vader just drops an elbow drop on him. Back suplex! Running jumping forearm. Exploder doesn't work. A dragon screw does. Missile dropkick to the knee. Another Vader Attack stops the flurry. Vader Bomb is countered with a powerbomb. 2 count. Top rope high knee. Explodaaaaaa. 2 count. Super high knee in the corner. Explodaaaaa. 2 count. Jun comes off the top right into a powerslam. Powerbombuuuu. 2 count. Huge chokeslam. Vader pulls the pin too far and Jun is able to roll it into an arm bar. Rope break. Giant tossing release German suplex. Jun somehow kicks out. Chokeslam. Vader wins. Title retained.
All four of these were fun, but I'd really recommend both Jumbo matches. They're both excellent. Funk/Hansen is a 10 minute wild brawl that is exactly what you'd expect from those two. Vader/Jun was interesting, as Jun was knocking the shit out of him and got put over huge. Vader was still capable of some high quality stuff in 2000, but not as often and only with the best of opponents. Vader in All Japan in 1993 would have been BONKERS.