Ditch Decades 4
Jack Brisco vs Jumbo Tsuruta UN Championship 8/28/76
The only Jack stuff I've seen was at the end of his career. This is after his time as NWA Champion, but he was still in his early 30s and presumably in his prime. Jumbo scores with a couple of hold timey head scissor take downs and keeps Jack on the mat. Jack reverses it into a modified STF and does not give a clean break on the ropes. Bear hug. Jumbo fights out and hits a back breaker, but can't connect with the butterfly suplex. Jack seems...meaner than I imagined. Not giving clean breaks, choking, cheap shots while in holds. Another back breaker from Jumbo. He's working that back and Jack's hair makes him look like an old man with a back problem. Jack fights from the apron and nearly wins with a sun set flip. Jumbo goes right back to the back work. After 2 dropkicks and a brutal belly to belly suplex, Jumbo convincingly pins the former NWA champion a little over 11 minutes into the first fall.
Jumbo continues the back work in the second fall, getting Jack in between the ropes and repeatedly kicking him. Jack struggles and ends up up side down, tied up in the ropes by his stomach. I've seen guys get their arms, heads, and legs tied in the ropes, but I've never seen a guy get his stomach tied. Jack uses a distraction from the ref to get an ankle pick and won't let up. Jumbo gets to the ropes and Jack just shakes his head no and won't let go. And the ref goes with it. After using the ring post, Jack locks in a figure four that evens the match up around 6 minutes into the second fall.
There is a great shot of the UN Championship in between falls. I still need to know what the magical potions are that get poured on injured limbs in Japan. It can't be just water. They wrapped Jumbo's knee in a towel and then poured the tonic onto his knee. That'd be a weird thing to do with water. Jack attacks the knee as soon as the fall starts, using the apron and then slamming Jumbo into a table. He also uses the ropes. Just mean stuff. He can't get the figure four on. Jumping high knee! Jumbo can't make a cover. Mid ring collision. Butterfly suplex. Jack almost landed on his feet. Jumbo is slow to cover. Back suplex from Jack. Jumbo counters the figure four with a small package to win the fall and the match. Title retained. Really good stuff. I like what I saw of Jack and will probably watch some more from him. Smartly built match with Jumbo working the back for the entire first fall, then Jack working the knee for the 2nd and 3rd, with both guys having trouble near the end of the match due to their respective injuries.
Stan Hansen/Bruiser Brody vs Jumbo Tsuruta/Genichiro Tenryu 12/12/83
Everything about Jumbo is different from the last match. His size, his demeanor, his confidence, his hair. Stan and Tenryu start the match. Tenryu looks small next to the Americans. Stan hits a huge throwing body slam and tags Brody in. He immediately kicks Tenryu in the face and one arm slams him. If Daniel Bryan ever comes back, he needs to do his hair and beard like Brody. Big booooot to Jumbo. There probably aren't two guys in the world I want to be on the other side of the ring from less than Brody and Hansen. Let the Road Warriors or Steiners squash me any day. The crowd chants along with Brody. Jumbo tries to break the lariatooooo arm. Pretty good point of attack, but if you take out Stan's legs, he can't throw lariatos or do much of anything else. Tenryu continues to work on the arm. Jumbo is just fucking that arm up. Stan is shockingly fast for a guy his size who doesn't seem very agile. Tenryu tries to back suplex Brody. You can see Brody say FUCK THAT I'M NOT TAKING THAT SHIT. Then he hits a big drop kick and bigger leg drop. Time to take advantage of Tenryu, since he's the smaller guy and less experienced. Jumbo jumping kneeeeee to Brody. Brody will bump around for strikes, but he seems to just flat out refuse to take any kind of suplex or slam. I like how the crowd mimics whatever weird sounds Brody makes. Double dropkick from the gaijins. It's weird seeing Tenryu not as an old grumpy chopping dick head. He uses some of his sumo back ground on Brody. Brody then hits a dope tossing suplex/modified jackhammer. Why have I never seen this Brody before? Every match I've seen from him in any territory in the US has him completely half assing everything. He's pretty rad in this. Stan hits a jumping knee on Tenryu, right in front of Jumbo. What the fuck, flying cross body from Brody. He's been the most impressive guy in this match to me. Stan hits a huge jumping splash, which I don't recall being a very common move for him. Jumbo gets a hot tag and is a drop kicking fool. Lou Thesz Press!!! Vertical suplex to Brody. Enzuiguri to Stan. Motherfucker can't be stopped. Except by Brody coming off the top rope. Tenryu hits a DOPE elbow from the top. Stereo back drops! The ref completely misses the pin on Stan. Tenryu ducks the lariatoooo only to run into a low bridge from Brody. Jumbo is also thrown to the floor. WESTERN LARIATOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Yo this was fun as FUCK.
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Kenta Kobashi 8/31/90
This was in the build up to Jumbo/Misawa 2, which I have already covered. Kobashi was Misawa's right hand man at the time and Jumbo is looking to send a message through him. Kenta slaps his hand away and immediately tries a dropkick, only to miss and get flattened with a lariat. High knee. OOOOOOOHHHH! Kenta was largely untested in big matches, as he had spent the first year of his career losing every match and was a second in command in Misawa's group. That doesn't stop him from showing a whole lot of fire and taking it right to the much, much more experienced Jumbo. Including a stiff wheel kick to the jaw. He keeps Jumbo on the mat quite a while with headlocks. God DAMN Jumbo hits a stiff lariatooooo. Then a stiff piledriver. Fans are chanting for Kobashi. I think I see a young Jun Akiyama in the crowd. Jumbo is not holding back at all with any of his strikes. He's trying to hit Kobashi so hard that Misawa pisses blood. Pescado from Kenta. Huge diving cross body from the top to the floor with the best possible camera angle. Jumbo appears to have hurt his knee. Texas Cloverleaf from Kenta. Then a weird figure four/sharpshooter hybrid. I guess it is just a figure four, but a weird set up for it. In between subs, Kenta slaps Jumbo in the face a few times. Then gets kicked in the back of the head for it. Butteryfly suplex. Big boot. Another stiff as fuck lariato. Moonsault pressuuuuuuuuu! 2 count. Kenta blocks the butterfly suplex. He throws a lot of koppo kicks. German suplex. 2 count. Fans really want to see Kenta upset Jumbo, which would be even more of an upset than when Misawa beat him. But Jumbo isn't going to lose to two young guns. Flying high knee from the top. 2 count. Jumbo was shocked at that. MOre shocked when Kenta kicked out of a powerbomb. He throws a flurry of very Misawa like elbows before winning with a back drop suplex. Very impressive outing from Kobashi, who was only 2 years into his career. Jumbo gave him a ton. Almost as much as he would with Misawa, but I don't think the result was ever in doubt. If Jumbo has to work that hard to put Misawa's second down, how hard is it going to be to put Misawa himself down?
Genichiro Tenryu vs Keiji Mutoh Triple Crown Championship 6/8/01
More of the weird Japanese wrestling politics here. Tenryu was a huge star for All Japan in the 80s, then quit for form his own companies. Muta was a or THE top star for New Japan in the 90s. Then everyone besides Fuchi and Kawada left All Japan to form NOAH. So AJ brought back Tenryu after years of animosity and Muta jumped ship and here we are.
Muta hits a low dropkick as the bell rings. And another. And then a Shining Wizard variant. He goes for the moonsault very early, but Tenryu sees it coming. Muta had fairly recently developed his Puroresu LOVE persona and had started using the Shining Wizard. He was on the start of a career renaissance, as was Tenryu at the time. Power drive elbow. Tenryu is thinking "What the fuck was that shit?". I could see it on his face. That is his reaction to everything, though. He back drops out of a headlock. Tenryu counters the hand spring elbow with a boot to the head. Enzuiguri. Powerbombuu. 2 count. And now Tenryu starts being the grumpy asshole we all know and love. Muta cuts that off quick with a koppo kick that sends Tenryu to the floor. Pescado. Tenryu gets up and gets dropkicked in the knee while on the apron. Apron brainbustaaaaaaaa from Tenryu! The base of Muta's neck landed on the apron. Tenryu comes out with a suicide dive. Tenryu gets back on the apron and is dragon screwed off. Low dropkick from the apron. Missile dropkick to the knee. All over that grumpy knee. 80% of Mutoh's offense: Low dropkicks from every angle. Off the top. Off the apron. Trying to do it in a double stomp way. Doing it with Tenryu in the ropes. On the ropes. Everywhere. Tenryu throws one of his own and now both of these old dudes with bad knees have even worse knees. Tenryu locks on a figure four. Texas CLOVA! Spider German suplex. Back elbow drop. 2 count. Frankenstiener OUTTA NOWHERE. Tenryu blocks the shining wizard. Brainbustaaaaaaaaaa. Old man Tenryu with a SUPER FRANKENSTEINER. The fuck is going on here? Muta knees out of another brainbuster. Pele kick! Shining Wizard! 2.9 OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH *STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP* Another one. 2.9!!! Mutoh wins with the moonsault. New champion.
Good ass collection of matches right here. I recommend all of them. If you're only going to watch one, watch the tag match. It was fun as fuck. Brody was awesome. It was nice seeing the evolution of Jumbo from spry youngster as the newly minted ace of a company, to super confident best in the world type ace veteran, to grumpy vet who still has it trying to hold on to his spot. Jumbo is one of the best wrestlers ever. No doubt. Top ten all time.