Ditch Decades 10
Funk Brothers vs Billy Robinson/Horst Hoffman AJPW 12/6/77
Never heard of Hoffman. If he's teaming with Robinson, he's probably good. Terry and Hoffman start the match. Dory is quickly in and taking it to the mat. Dory will not let go of a cravat, even through slams, back breakers, and lay out reverse DDTs. Hoffman tags as soon as he gets out of it. Robinson works a head scissors like Dory worked the cravat. Dory gets it into the spinning toe hold. In comes Terry. Big atomic drop. Billy gets all fired up over something. Neck breaker and a tag. The Hoff goes to town on Terry's arm. Dory is back in. Dead lift fall away slam from Hoffman to get out of an arm lock. Robinson comes back in and a back elbow pops him over the top rope. He hits his back on the apron and Dory focuses on that once he gets back in the ring. Terry continues it. You ever think you'd see Terry Funk doing a power bear hug? Both Funks spend the next big chunk of the match with bear hugs and Boston crabs. Robinson finally gets a tag and Terry does a weird Flair Flip. Robinson is back is back in way too early. He slaps Terry and shit is about to get real. Wacky Euro stuff confuses the shit out of Terry. Tags are made. Series of headlock takeovers from The Hoff. This is really dry. I expected a lot more interesting mat work out of these guys. There is just not a lot going on and the body part work is discarded as soon as it is over. Robinson spends close to 10 minutes in bear hugs and Boston crabs, is back in the ring 3 minutes later completely fine and doing wacky Euro stuff. It ends in I guess a time limit draw. It wasn't an hour. Maybe it was a 45 minute time limit. It kind of picked up in the last 3 minutes, but definitely not enough to sit through the aimless and disappointing mat work that happened for the prior 40 minutes. Very, very disappointing coming from what I've seen from the Funks and Robinson in the 70s.
Funk Brothers vs Stan Hansen/Bruiser Brody AJPW 4/20/83
This should be a MUCH different match. I hope Brody brings it like he did against Jumbo and Tenryu. A very young Toshiaki Kawada is one of the ring boys. He would have been 18 or 19 I think. TEXAS ALL OVER THIS MUG. God damn are all these guys so over in Japan. It hasn't even started and this is night and day from the last match. Stan attacks Terry and shit is on. Slams, elbows, stomps. Brody is in. Huge slam. That giant leg drop. 40 seconds in and this is more interesting and heated than the entire 45 minutes of the last match I watched. Terry doesn't go down from a shoulder block. WE FIGHT ON FRIDAY NIGHT, MAGGLE! I love everything about Stan Hansen. He's so out of control, wild, mean, rough, angry, ornery. It's great. Just the way he comes into the ring after a tag is legit as fuck. He's like a creaky wooden roller coaster coming to fuck your world up. Dory is in and hits a bunch of uppercuts. High angle bear hug from Brody. Back drop from Stan. And then a bear hug from Stan. Stan drops an elbow while Dory is in a bow and arrow thing. Almost like a grounded Decapitation Elbow. Dory as FIP is an interesting choice, as he has much less fire and selling ability than Terry. But that same fire helps a lot for a Terry hot tag. The fans are chanting for Dory and their support helps him hit a back drop. He gets cut off before he can make the tag. Big boot from Brody. Right under the jaw. Dropkick. Oh shit, tag to Terry! Punches. Punches everywhere. He goes to town on Brody's leg, which has Brody begging off, clawing for a tag, and being dragged back. Dory comes off the top with a knee drop to Brody's leg. They took off the furry boot! Stan gets drilled with it and falls off the apron. Terry follows him to ram him into a row of chairs. Terry gets back in the to wait for Stan and Brody hits a high knee from behind. Then Stan tags in and stiffs the shit out of Terry. Does Stan even know how to work strikes? Oh no, a spike piledriver to Terry! Dory is done taking shit and lays in as many uppercuts as he can. KING KONG KNEE DROP. Terry saves his brother by intercepting a lariato. He and Stan roll on the mat and fight to the floor, now covered in streamers in the crowd. They're counted out. Well, Terry was counted out, as Brody was the legal man. I've seen Terry vs Stan and it was awesome. I want to see Terry vs Brody. Kind of had my fill of Dory. Terry stands on the second rope and SCREAMS for Brody and Hansen to come back. Then starts headbutting the turnbuckle and in general just flipping out. He wanders off into the crowd, like a man without a home. He comes back and tries to headbutt the ring post. A very young Misawa is also out there. This was even before he was Tiger Mask II. Terry has a connection with the Japanese fans that I've never seen with any American star. They worship him. When he's out in the crowd and touching hands, it's like a cult.
Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue/Masanobu Fuchi vs Mitsuharu Misawa/Toshiaki Kawada/Kenta Kobashi AJPW 4/20/91
That's like the ultimate AJPW tag on the right side. Even if Kenta and Kawada aren't quite as established. Misawa was still a little over a year away from winning the Triple Crown. Jumbo was the champion and would lose it to Stan Hansen, who would then drop it to Misawa. Seems like Misawa beating Jumbo for the title would be the most natural way to get him his first title. Taue immediately knocks Kawada off the apron, and does it again moments later. That is going to come back to haunt him. Within the first 3 minutes, all the roles and rivalries are set. Taue has it in for Kawada. Fuchi can still handle Kobashi on the mat, and Jumbo only cares about Misawa. Kawada is still down from getting knocked off the apron. Misawa's strikes are hard for Jumbo to handle, but he's got his veteran moves and grumpiness in his favor. Fans chant for Fuchi each time he tags in. While he could handle Kenta, he is no match for Misawa. Taue AGAIN knocks Kawada off the apron. He runs into the ring JUST to knock Kawada off. Kenta comes in with a whole lot of fire against Jumbo, showing how far he's risen in the last year. Again, Jumbo's experience and grumpiness proves to be superior. Fuchi does some rad arm work on Kenta. Taue is officially back in and I can't believe he didn't immediately head for Kawada. Kawada comes in and kicks the SHIT out of him and then they break down into a SHOOT in the middle of the ring, with Misawa and Kenta standing guard so Kawada can stomp and punch Taue's dick right in the dirt. It's going to be hot as shit when they square off later in the match. Misawa is not taking any of Taue's shit either and Kawada comes in. Chops and elbows and then Taue goes full sumo and gets a floating DDT before tagging out to Fuchi. I'm ready for him to bring that cuntiness he had in the tag with Kawada against NJ in 2000. Jumbo piledrives Kawada on the floor. Then kicks his face in. Then stands on his face. Jumbo is full heel in this. Tried of these young fucks. Taue also just stomps Kawada's head. Nasty shit. Spike piledriver on the floor. Kawada was the stoic bad ass for so long that you forget he was at his best as the underdog fighting from beneath for the first 5 years of his career. And he's getting wrecked here. That seemed to be the plan from the very start, with Taue targeting him and Jumbo/Fuchi taking advantage of it. Lariato rocks Kawada. Another one sends him over the guard rail. Big K finally gets a heel kick and tags in Kobashi, who flies in with a missile dropkick and then dropkicks Fuchi and Jumbo. Rolling cradle! Misawa comes in with a flying elbow. Jumbo stomps his head, which sends Kenta flying after him. Fuchi is saved from a tiger driver when Taue throws a lariato with some HEAT behind it. Misawa gets a second wind when Jumbo tags in. He fakes a dive, rolls back wards and in the same movement elbows Fuchi's head off while Kobashi does a pescado on Jumbo. Kawada's head kicks piss Jumbo off, so he keeps doing them. Kawada twice gets a Fujiwara arm bar and the fans are excited that Kawada might get a win over Jumbo. But fuck that, Jumbo grabs his leg and straight face palms Kawada to the mat, showing who is still the man. There should be a drinking game over how many times Kawada gets his head stomped on. Jumbo loads up to lariatooo Kenta out of a Boston crab, but Kenta was waiting for it and hit his own, then took Fuchi out for fun. Taue is really getting put in his place. Maybe he shouldn't have had such an attitude at the start of the match. Kawada flips Fuchi the bird, which seems hilariously out of character for him. Kobashi and Misawa seem like they are fighting with the same brain. So in synch with each other. Taue has been getting demolished for a large chunk of time, which is fitting as the youngest and least experienced guy on his team. Fuchi comes in with a cheap dropkick to the back of Kenta's knee. He and Jumbo tear that knee apart for the next few minutes. Jumbo seems really pissy that the fans are cheering for the new generation, even taunting the crowd. Lariatooooooooo. That sounded like it broke Kenta's jaw. I'm not sure, but this might be Kobashi's big break out match. Fans go crazy at every hope spot he gets and have been cheering for him over Jumbo the whole match. Kenta's leg is pretty much dead. They've been just shredding it for close to 10 minutes. But he won't give up. He finally makes a hot tag to Kawada and he knocks the shit out of Fuchi. FUCHI is no joke and puts Misawa and Kobashi down with on slap a piece. Misawa kicks out of a Jumbo powerbomb. Misawa hits what is very close to a tiger driver 91 for 2. Fuchi breaks a pin after a Kenta moonsault. A weird headlock/chockslam thing from Taue. Kawada BLASTS him with a lariat from behind. Misawa pins Taue with a tiger suplex.
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Yoshihiro Takayama GHC Championship NOAH 9/23/02
Takyama really exploded right at the end of pre-split AJPW after years of doing nothing. Now he's the champ of Misawa's promotion and one of the most brutal wrestlers in the world. There will be a lot of stupidly hard shots in this. And the elbows flow. MISAWA does a double leg take down, which is not a common thing for him at all. And probably not the best idea since Takayama has actual MMA experience. Tak hits the first big shot with a huge kick to the chest while Misawa is on the ropes. Giant XBOX logo in the center of the ring. He throws some big knees and locks Misawa in his own signature chin lock. They try to kick box. This does not work out for Misawa at all. You throw elbows, bro, stop trying to trade kicks with a guy who kicks really hard. He tries something from the second rope and gets kicked to the floor. Then kicked over the guard rail. Takayama is one of the ugliest wrestlers. Even before Don Frye rearranged his giant fish face. Tak is just throwing huge kicks and trying to get a win via 10 count. Misawa takes it to the mat to try to chance his fortunes. Misawa throws a series of KO knees, which is unusual for him. Wrong boney joint, dude. Misawa is dumped on the ramp and Tak jumps over the top rope to squash him. And then Misawa elbows his jaw off. Followed with a huge elbow suicida. Then a diving elbow off the apron that sends Tak crashing through the guard rail. A giant knee is waiting for Misawa's pot belly when he comes off the top rope. Misawa might have legit knocked a tooth out with an elbow. Something came out of Tak's mouth and it didn't look like spit. Tiger driver. Tak barely gets a shoulder up. Frog splash. Or, DIVIIIIIIING B_-----------ODEEEEEEEE PPPPPPPRESS. Announcer had a hard time spitting that out. Strike battle. Misawa blocks a kick with an elbow to the knee/shin. Running elbow. Tak responds with a head kick. God damn, Takayama just TEES OFF with knees to the face. Huge corner dropkick. Running seated kick almost puts the bloody mouthed Misawa out. Rolling German suplex. Misawa his a double under hook belly to belly, Gangrel style. Emerald Flowsion and a tombstone are both reversed. Tak has the weakest kick out possible to an elbow combo. Misawa mounts and throws some more. Tak throws him off and gets a heel hook. Rope break. Both guys have bloody mouths/noses. Strike battle. KO ELBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Misawa wins. New champion! Amazing to compare the crowd of this GHC title match to KENTA vs Nagata 11 years later. These dudes were throwing BOMBS. Apparently this is the only time in Misawa's career that he injured someone with his elbows. Besides his face, I think Takayama's shoulder/collar bone got fucked up.
Well, the Funks vs Robinson/Hasslehoff wasn't good at all, but everything else was. Funks vs Stan/Brody is pretty much what you'd hope for. The 6 man was excellent and one of the best 6 mans I've ever seen. Such clearly defined roles for everyone, 3 separate heat spots that were all different, the over all story of the generational war, the individual rivalries within the match, Jumbo going full heel by taunting the crowd and having a true air of male valence and malice when he stepped into the ring. It was awesome. Misawa/Takayama was very much a NOAH main event from that time, just without all the head drops. They made up for it by knocking the ever loving shit out of each other with kicks, knees, and elbows. Misawa's left eye was twitching for most of the match after a kick early on. His mouth was bleeding. Takayama's mouth and nose were bleeding.