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#21 BigBadMick

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 01:42 AM

I'd start with the Choshu feud as there are fun & classic tags there as well as some shorter singles, and can then move onto the Tenryu series.  As you get into Misawa you're basically also covering '90s AJ in general and can approach that how you like. 

 

Not to mention the Flair world title match, which is an all timer, but at 45 minutes not where you want to start.

Doesn't the Flair match go an hour?



#22 WingedEagle

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 07:41 AM

It very well might, not sure why I had 45 in my head but its certainly closer to to 60 than 30.



#23 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 08:05 AM

It's a 60-minute draw.



#24 Jmare007

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 08:47 AM

I think the inconsistency of the 80's keeps him away from the top 10 but I'ma find a hard time finding twenty wrestlers better than Jumbo. As Ditch said, between those underwhelming matches there are all-time gems were Jumbo had a big part on making them great. And then you have grumpy Jumbo and everything comes together for him.

#25 soup23

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 09:12 AM

Bit confused by what is being argued by Jumbo being inconsistent in the 80's. I havent seen every Jumbo match like the All Japan committee members but I have seen a ton of his matches that did/didn't make the cut.

 

Jumbo had an all time series vs. Tenryu that may be my pick of feud of the 80's for any promotion

 

He had another great all time tag feud w/ Tenryu vs. Choshu/Yatsu

 

He had the best match of the 80's for Kerry von Erich

 

He had an absolute classic match vs. Flair and it isn't like the 81/82 matches are chopped liver

 

He had great matches with Race (82), Misawa (88), Mil Mascaras (82) and Murdoch (80)

 

Very good series of stuff vs. Martel

 

The only two negatives I could see is his single matches vs. Choshu ( I do like the 1 hour draw but its about ***1/2 instead of the ****+ I was hoping for) and Hansen

 

With Hansen, I do think the 86 match is great and the rest of the series is at least good but again it seems like this is a knock solely on Jumbo. Jumbo and Hansen will probably be compared at points during this process so why does Hansen get a free pass for the series being disappointing.

 

I see Jumbo as a top ten lock for me and adore the guy. I don't think many are rubbing his face through the mud here but I don't want a sense of picking a safe pick, being a wrong one in completing this project.



#26 goodhelmet

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:52 PM

he will be somewhere in my Top 5 for all the reasons soup mentioned. So fucking good and only a disease could slow him down. 



#27 Loss

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 09:14 PM

Do the late 90s comedy matches that opened All Japan cards bring Jumbo down in your eyes?



#28 NintendoLogic

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 09:28 PM

I don't think even Matt D would expect someone to be able to work around hepatitis.



#29 Matt D

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 09:29 PM

If it was like that Dump vs Chigusa match I saw the other night, they'd work towards a spot where the person with Hep would have an open wound and the entire heel stable would try to force the babyface towards it.

 

In related news, I'm going to tackle the two Brisco vs Jumbo matches next.



#30 Loss

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 09:34 PM

The Hep would affect his athleticism, sure, but that's a crutch anyway. :)



#31 Dylan Waco

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 09:41 PM

Needs more stock defensive spots thrown into matches at random to be seen as a truly elite worker



#32 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 09:45 PM

As things stand right now, Jumbo is the only worker who has a real shot at unseating Flair as #1 for me.

Jumbo is someone who has a career that you can really stack up against Flair's. In fact, Jumbo starts earlier as a really meaningful worker than Flair does. He has matches on tape going back to 1972-3. Flair in the 78-9 is hurt a bit by lack of footage, but we can see enough of him on the Cornette Garbage tapes, in St. Louis and elsewhere to get a feel for what Flair was like in 78.

But it's not that controversial to say that between these two Gods of the 80s, Jumbo's 70s is significantly better than Flair's.

I've barely scratched the surface of 70s Jumbo, but he was great in a match tagging with Baba vs. The Funks I reviewed (11/30/79) and equally impressive against Harley Race (6/11/77). I've got both of them rated at ****1/2 / A-.

From the 80s, I've got these matches rated at A- or above:

A*
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genichiro Tenryu (6/5/89)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu Yoshiaki Yatsu (1/28/86)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen (12/6/89)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Ric Flair (6/8/83)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu (2/5/87)

A
Jumbo Tsuruta & Kenta Kobashi vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen (7/15/89)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Kerry Von Erich (2/3 Falls) (5/22/84)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genichiro Tenryu (10/28/88)

A-
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu (1/24/87)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Stan Hansen (10/21/86)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu (2/5/86)

And just last night there were four more already from 1990, and I've barely even started on the 90s stuff:

A*
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa (09/01/90)

A
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa (06/08/90)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada(09/30/90)

A-
Jumbo Tsuruta, Kabuki & Masa Fuchi vs Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue(05/26/90)


-------

To me, Jumbo is just a transcendent worker. When he's on form, I can't think of many better offensive wrestlers. He hits every single move with such velocity and impact that it makes the ground shake. Jumbo might not be the biggest guy ever to step into the ring, but he's certainly one of the most physical. He can make a slight size advantage really count in a way that is special.

He is great at selling. He bumps his arse off. He can work the mat. He can trade strikes. He can work hour-long technical broadways. He can work heated sprints. He can brawl. He can be the nice babyface champion who'd shake hands with your mother. He can be a total prick. He has a wonderfully expressive face that registers that unique mixture of disgust and being affronted that only Jumbo can register.

I don't want to count out other candidates just yet, but a lot of them will have the problem of both longevity and volume. But right now, it's looking like a straight fight between Flair and Jumbo.

#33 BillThompson

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 09:46 PM

From a longevity point Hansen has to be right there with those two, maybe even Funk too depending on how one rates his 90s work. I'd say Santo as well, but I know he doesn't factor in for you since he's a Luchador.



#34 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 09:55 PM

I will be watching more Lucha, especially the pimped stuff. I have a feeling you'll be right though. The way I already know without watching another three dozen Lawler matches that he's not going to be breaching the top 10. Not completely counting out Lucha guys, I mean I did love MS-1 vs. Chicana (see here). But it's safe to say that I'm not naturally inclined to being a "Lucha guy".

Hansen has a real shot. Funk's longevity feels like a bit of a cheat to me because he's not working week in, week out like Flair and Jumbo and so it's easier to drop in and make a splash.

In fact, as things stand, Funk and Hansen are probably duking it out for #3. But there's no way I can count out the 90s AJPW guys from being in there either.

No one from the 00s has a shot of my top 10 because my criteria doesn't really allow for it. Too early for them.

#35 Matt D

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 10:00 PM

I keep falling asleep watching various Brisco vs Jumbo matches. It's not their fault. I'm just really exhausted these days and I'm generally watching them on the toddler's floor while she's falling asleep.



#36 Dylan Waco

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 10:05 PM

I was talking about this with my brother last night, but I really don't think the longevity of the peak of Flair is all that unusual.  Jumbo is someone I don't connect with at all as a worker - in fact I'm generally repelled by him to the point where I have no desire to watch him wrestle ever again (something I'm going to have to get over for the purposes of this project).  But I do think Jumbo's peak - or at least his run as a consistently very good worker is considerably longer than Flair's at least based on the evidence we have.

 

To me the more interesting comparison to make at least at this stage is Jumbo and Fujinami.  I came out of the 80's sets thinking that Fujinami was the best Japanese worker of the 80's over Jumbo and I think his 70's work is better too.  And that's despite the fact that I think Jumbo was booked in a much stronger position than Fujinami for the majority of that period.  I will grant that most don't agree with that (at least I don't think they do), but I would ask that you not discount Fujinami as another potential top level pick until you go through his run in the 80s 



#37 TRMD

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 01:05 PM

As things stand right now, Jumbo is the only worker who has a real shot at unseating Flair as #1 for me.

Jumbo is someone who has a career that you can really stack up against Flair's. In fact, Jumbo starts earlier as a really meaningful worker than Flair does. He has matches on tape going back to 1972-3. Flair in the 78-9 is hurt a bit by lack of footage, but we can see enough of him on the Cornette Garbage tapes, in St. Louis and elsewhere to get a feel for what Flair was like in 78.

But it's not that controversial to say that between these two Gods of the 80s, Jumbo's 70s is significantly better than Flair's.

I've barely scratched the surface of 70s Jumbo, but he was great in a match tagging with Baba vs. The Funks I reviewed (11/30/79) and equally impressive against Harley Race (6/11/77). I've got both of them rated at ****1/2 / A-.

From the 80s, I've got these matches rated at A- or above:

A*
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genichiro Tenryu (6/5/89)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu Yoshiaki Yatsu (1/28/86)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen (12/6/89)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Ric Flair (6/8/83)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu (2/5/87)

A
Jumbo Tsuruta & Kenta Kobashi vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen (7/15/89)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Kerry Von Erich (2/3 Falls) (5/22/84)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genichiro Tenryu (10/28/88)

A-
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu (1/24/87)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Stan Hansen (10/21/86)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu (2/5/86)

And just last night there were four more already from 1990, and I've barely even started on the 90s stuff:

A*
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa (09/01/90)

A
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa (06/08/90)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada(09/30/90)

A-
Jumbo Tsuruta, Kabuki & Masa Fuchi vs Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue(05/26/90)


-------

To me, Jumbo is just a transcendent worker. When he's on form, I can't think of many better offensive wrestlers. He hits every single move with such velocity and impact that it makes the ground shake. Jumbo might not be the biggest guy ever to step into the ring, but he's certainly one of the most physical. He can make a slight size advantage really count in a way that is special.

He is great at selling. He bumps his arse off. He can work the mat. He can trade strikes. He can work hour-long technical broadways. He can work heated sprints. He can brawl. He can be the nice babyface champion who'd shake hands with your mother. He can be a total prick. He has a wonderfully expressive face that registers that unique mixture of disgust and being affronted that only Jumbo can register.

I don't want to count out other candidates just yet, but a lot of them will have the problem of both longevity and volume. But right now, it's looking like a straight fight between Flair and Jumbo.

 

Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genichiro Tenryu (6/5/89)

 

I just watched this match and it was seriously fantastic stuff.

 

I'm gonna love watching all of this older Japan wrestling if they are going to continue to absolutely beat the shit out of each other for the whole match.

 



#38 dawho5

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:02 PM

That was one of the matches that spawned 90s AJPW style.  I don't have my notes handy, but it may be THE match that did just that.  They had a few at least good singles matches in that period.  My guess is that is the one though.



#39 NintendoLogic

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:06 PM

I can certainly see the argument that Fujinami was better in the 80s than Jumbo. I wouldn't necessarily agree with it, but I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand either. Without thinking about it too hard, I'm inclined to say that Fujinami had a better first half of the decade while Jumbo had a better second half.



#40 DylanZero

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 01:37 AM

Serious contender for #1 here. Think there's a case to be made he had the match of the decade in the 70's, 80's, AND 90's. (Not saying it's definitive or even that I necessarily agree, but it's there and those matches are all so amazing and different either way it's a great mark on his box).

 

For 70's Jumbo, I recommend his two 1977 matches with Billy Robinson (Which also would count in Robinson's favor in his thread), which are two of my favorite "old-school" matches ever. And it also goes to show how excellent both of their wrestling minds were that they were able to change their second match up as much as they did since it was 1 week later. Also had some tags against Pat O'Connor and friends I'm looking forward to viewing earlier in the decade as well.

 

When I first saw Jumbo I thought "Man, how overrated is this guy?" but after seeing more and more of newer guys that wore on me and more and more Jumbo he's really broken through the last year or so. He's a credit to the business for sure.






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