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Nick Bockwinkel (c) vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (AWA Title, Hawaii 2/14)

Jumbo Tsuruta 1979 Nick Bockwinkel

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#1 Jetlag

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 07:32 AM

Yes I know. This goes 45 minutes and we all can't stand that! But bear with me. I love me a good 7 minute Velocity match, but I also love me a 45 minute title match, when it's good, and this is good. I know we live in a fast paced age and people can't sit down and concentrate on a piece of entertainment for 40 minutes anymore. But for me, it's basically like watching an epic movie that's about two men fighting to death. That is the strange fascination of wrestling, forever and always. With the way this is filmed and the slightly weird sound mix, it kind of feels like a movie too. They are wrestling in this bright ring surrounded by folks in colorful 70s clothes, and above them is only darkness. The action in this bout was kept extremely simple, and in a way the audience may have been the third worker in this match carrying the action, as the arena was just trembling with excitement to see Jumbo claim the title. I am not the biggest fan of either guy, and in terms of brilliant moves there wasn't much to see, as they kept the bout nice and simple, but the selling was spot on, and they painted the time in such a way that the match just flew by. Call me oldfashioned, but no amount of neck breaking suplex moves or daring stunts is as endearing to me as seeing a wrestling match that has two guys working a dozen variations on the most basic of holds. Then you watch as the match turns into this intricate struggle, with Bock making a one armed comeback by kicking the dogshit out of Jumbo's kidney as the audience gets nervous, and then Jumbo stepping forward  and FEELING IT and just chopping away at Bock, and this match turns into this really intricate struggle. They were selling the moves in such a way that I felt any well placed blow at the right time could turn the tide, and Jumbo here puts on maybe his greatest performance that I've ever seen as he does this brilliant one legged comeback and then some of the best leg selling ever caught on film that you selling nazis really really got to see. Then there's of course the "travelling champ makes the local yokel look like he could take the title" trope but this wasn't that, this was Jumbo the hopeful japanese superathlete making minced meat of Bock while all the folks in the audience no matter their background will him on. Then add in a bunch of great 70s spots, awesome Cobra Twist, teasing of the Butterfly Suplex, Bock making use of the ring, epic blood, Jumbo having all these great rushes where it looks like he is kicking Bock into a smear, and outrageous finish that decides the match by a whisker, and you have yourself a classic. Beautiful beautiful bout.



#2 JKWebb

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 03:58 PM

Man, I'm glad you posted this today.  When I saw the two names, I had to check it out as soon as possible.  This was fantastic!  A truly great match with amazing performances from both guys.  SELLING - ah, this was a clinic by two of the greatest of all-time.  This should be required viewing for wrestling school.   I echo your thoughts on this one.



#3 paul sosnowski

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 12:02 PM

First fall 21:05 shown of 31:28

 

Second fall 13:56 shown of 17:32

 

Third fall (complete) 4:55

 

Total match time 53:55



#4 WingedEagle

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 03:29 PM

Is this back online?  I had it bookmarked but it was taken down before I got a chance to watch it.



#5 paul sosnowski

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 03:38 PM

https://www.dailymot...a-2-14-79_sport



#6 WingedEagle

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 06:24 PM

Thanks!



#7 fxnj

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:47 AM

I have to admit the length and lack of pimping put me off on watching this for years, but I was a fool. This is basically the match that Jumbo/Funk 1976 gets pimped as being. That is to say this is a tremendous long form world title match that's primarily worked on the mat and features Jumbo being great in the role of the fired up challenger and the champ gives a masterclass in working as a touring champ. As mentioned, this match has a unique feel to it and the camera style and venue do contribute to that, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned the main thing that makes this unique in the fact that it takes place in a boxing ring. There looks to be literally no give in the mat and both guys look apprehensive to taking big bumps on it as result, hence them mostly sticking to the basics. They definitely make the most out of what they're given, though. Both guys display selling that not only makes up for the lack of flashy moves but puts this in the upper echelon of world title matches from the 70's or 80's. Much of the first fall is built around Jumbo working a hammerlock and Bockwinkel is so good at selling it. When it comes to matwork, I've always been in the camp of preferring to watch guys do a good job of working a single hold over doing a ton of different flashy holds, so this was right up my alley. I love how Bockwinkel is constantly squirming around while in the hold, always looking for some counter or trying to get up off the ground while Jumbo just keeps sticking to it. Bock keeps it up even during his great body punching comeback, also showing some desperation as if he realizes he's gotta do something drastic or he's on his way to leaving with a banged up arm and no title in hand. That drastic thing comes when he starts working over Jumbo's leg en route to the finish of the first fall, and the match takes a turn towards epic in the secondnd fall. As mentioned, Jumbo's leg selling on his comeback is incredible and really nice dueling bodypart work story develops as he goes to work on Bock's back. Things get a bit more rough and tumble, but Jumbo adapts just fine showing some great punches and chops to work over Bock. The finish to the 3rd fall is really silly even by 70's standards, but Jumbo comes out looking really strong there's so much good stuff this match is still pretty damn great. I really appreciated how these guys wrestled such a long match while always keeping it focused and never making it seem like they were just filling time. I'd go ****1/2 as the finish does bring it down a tad and I'd have liked for Bock to have gotten in more offense down the stretch, but I might go higher on rewatch as this seems like a match that would get better with repeated viewings for all the details the guys work into their selling. 







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