AJPW TV (9.14.85) review
September 14, 1985 (taped on September 5, 1985)
We’re in Iwate, Japan at the Prefectural Gymnasium. Around 4,000 in attendance. This is my second venture into trying to watch AJPW’s TVs from 1985. A few people who were on this show but didn’t make it onto air. Miguel Perez Jr (aka the guy with the hairy back in Los Boriquas), WCW jobber Tim Horner and once again young Toshiaki Kawada. Still pre-excursion to Stampede at this point and not winning very often. But don’t get too downhearted because there is someone on this show you might not be expecting!
Tiger Mask II vs. Marty Jannetty
Yes, the very same Marty Jannetty! He’s not yet set foot in the AWA and is still six months away from teaming with Shawn Michaels for the first time as the Midnight Rockers. 1985 is a time when you could make legitimate comparisons between Misawa and Jannetty. Misawa was inexperienced and wasn’t the best of strikers. He was still flimsy and lightweight. Jannetty was a talent before the drink and drugs ruined him. Like Misawa, he’s inexperienced and his stuff lacks realism. Especially the strikes. The main issue is that they don’t trust each other, so the match is slow and overly cautious. The finish is Misawa slipping behind Jannetty and the German suplex pins him clean. A disappointing effort from both guys. They never quite clicked.
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Rusher Kimura & Tor Komata
Rusher is a 20 year pro at this point. I’ve seen him wrestle loads. He was a regular undercard guy for NOAH! Tor Komata’s real first name is “McRonald”.
This is a wild brawl with Kimura & Komata as heels, although Kimura gets cheered quite a bit. Jumbo needs to win here to rehab himself after tapping out to Stan Hansen a week ago. The heels, naturally, work over Jumbo’s arm. Komata is a weak link here. He’s not mobile, nor game for even trying. Kimura is happy to bump around for comebacks but while the mind is willing the flesh is weak. How did he keep wrestling for nearly 20 more years? At least Komata had the decency to retire after this match. I understand Tenryu better now though. He had to sell for these old relics. When he got on top he wasn’t selling for anybody.
Komata gets picked off and Jumbo finishes him with the Backdrop Driver. This dragged at 13 minutes. Kimura was probably more fun to watch in 2001.
Tiger Jeet Singh & Killer Brooks vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu
Having the invading Choshu battle gaijin heels seems a strange choice.
Tigers runs his usual shtick of chasing the natives around with his sword. In a five minute match, the heels work heat on both Choshu and Yatsu. At least Brooks works hard. Singh stands around, occasionally cheating. Yatsu makes Brooks tap with the Funk Spinning Toehold while Choshu lariats Singh out of the ring. This was ok, considering, but not worth watching.
I am keen to give this 80s project a proper go, which means sometimes you’ll sit through a bad AJPW show because not everything was a banger. But at least I’ll get more context for when something good comes along. Misawa is still some way off being special and the companies top guys don’t have anyone good to work with. Which is probably why they ended up having Jumbo vs. Tenryu on top. The Triple Crown is still four years away!