JWA Live in Fukuoka: February 4th, 1986
Keiji Mutoh and “Thunder” Yamada vs Kuniaki Kobayashi and Black Tiger
Both teams fought hard to earn the honour of facing the Fantastics on the JWA Rumble show. Mutoh and Yamada used speed, athleticism, and technical wrestling. Kobayashi and Black Tiger countered with hard strikes and blatant cheating. Yamada had a very nice “Face in Peril” segment and the hot tag to Mutoh drew a good pop from the crowd. Unfortunately, Mutoh’s revenge got cut off when Kobayashi poked him in the eyes, setting up a tag to Rocco and a Black Tiger Bomb for the finish.
Dos Caras and Shiro Koshinaka vs Masa Fuchi and Samson Fuyuki
Fuchi and Fuyuki tried to use similar cheating tactics to win their match, but the superior experience and ring savvy of Dos Caras and Koshinaka allowed them to turn the tables. This enraged Masa Fuchi, and in his anger he made a crucial mistake, getting trapped in the Baba Corporation team’s corner. A series of hip attacks from Koshinaka set up a Flying Cross Body from Dos Caras that pinned Fuchi to end the match.
Super Strong Machine vs Anoaro Atisanoe
Atisanoe and Hirata fought a hard-hitting, clean, back and forth battle that saw several momentum changes and a couple of close near-falls. Umanosuke Ueda and Tatsutoshi Goto came out to ringside to tip the odds in Atisanoe’s favour, but an ironic “Malfunction at the Junction” spot gave Super Strong Machine the advantage instead. After Atisanoe crashed into Goto, he fell victim to a Machine DDT as Sumo Machine and Very Tall Machine rushed to ringside to prevent Ueda and Goto from interfering to prevent the pinfall. Atisanoe didn’t look very happy, but he walked to the back with his teammates without incident.
Senpai and Kohei Grudge Match: Choshu and Kensuke vs Fujinami and Chono
The younger wrestlers started out and they went back and forth, but Choshu interfered every time Chono gained the slightest advantage. A few minutes of watching this was enough to set Fujinami off, and he went after Choshu with fury in his eyes. As the ref was struggling to break that up, Masa Fuchi ran down to ringside. Apparently still angry after losing his match, he charged into the ring shoved Kensuke aside, and nailed Chono with a pair of Backdrop Suplexes behind the referee’s back. Fuchi rolled out of the ring and charged off into the crowd. The referee, having managed to separate Fujinami and Choshu turned around just in time to see Kensuke roll Chono up for the pin.
No-DQ Blood Elimination Match: Yoshiaki Yatsu, Cactus Jack, Nord the Barbarian, and Hiro Hase vs Rusher Kimura, Phil Hickerson, Umanosuke Ueda, and Tatsutoshi Goto
The rules of the match are fairly simple: If the ref catches you bleeding, you are out of the match.
Eliminated wrestlers were allowed to remain at ringside. Referee Verne Siebert was inside the ring and was the main official when it came to making calls on elimination. Kyohei Wada was tasked with maintaining order outside the ring.
The first elimination came quickly, as Hiro Hase got caught in the Choshu’s Army corner and Umanosuke Ueda carved up his forehead with a foreign object. Eliminated, but still at ringside, Hase grabbed a spike from under the ring and used it to bloody the first member of the opposing team to be tossed outside. That turned out to be Tatsutoshi Goto. Ueda then went after Yatsu and there was a long struggle while Yatsu defended himself from the foreign object attack. A brawl erupted, and Big John Nord managed to grab the object out of Ueda’s hands. Nord went after Rusher Kimura and managed to open a small cut, but Phil Hickerson wiped the blood away with a towel before the ref could see it. Things spilled out of the ring, with Yatsu and Hase going after Ueda while Goto and Kimura went after Nord. Inside the ring, Cactus Jack and Phil Hickerson went toe to toe, exchanging hard punches to the head. Cactus busted Hickerson open, but the quick-thinking Tennessean wiped the blood from his own forehead onto Foley’s face, and Verne Siebert called both men eliminated. Nord and Ueda both fell victim to the double team attacks outside and also got eliminated. That left Rusher Kimura and Yoshiaki Yatsu as the last men standing. Yatsu threw a nasty elbow at Rusher’s forehead, and his cut from earlier in the match opened right up. However, Kimura “accidentally” ran into referee Verne Siebert and knocked him out of the ring. As soon as Kyoei Wada came into the ring to check on things, Kimura rolled outside. Once again, Hickerson tried to wipe the blood away with a towel. Nord the Barbarian put a stop to that by hurling his body into both men, knocking them over. Cactus Jack then climbed up on the ring apron and ran off at full speed, dropping a huge elbow on Rusher. Finally, Hase picked Kimura up and threw him back into the ring. Wada saw the blood, and eliminated Kimura. There was a stare-down in the ring after the match, but Siebert and Kyohei somehow managed to maintain order.
Special AWA Challenge match: Chris Adams, Dave Taylor, and Marty Jones vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Nobuhiko Takada, and Masakatsu Funaki
In contrast to the wild brawling of the previous match, this was a battle of two highly technical styles: The British Catch Wrestling style exemplified by Adams, Taylor, and particularly Jones (who was trained by Billy Robinson, and who was in turn William Regal’s trainer), and the Japanese UWF style, exemplified by the JWA team. Fujiwara trained under the legendary Karl Gotch, and Takada and Funaki were both trained by Fujiwara.
The bout started out cleanly, but after a while it became apparent that the Japanese team had a clear advantage in the striking department, and the British Bullies started to cut corners in an attempt to re-gain the momentum. This set off the notoriously grumpy Fujiwara, who absolutely clobbered Adams and Taylor with vicious head-butts, busting both men open the hard way and knocking them dizzy. He then allowed Taylor to get back to his corner, and tagged his protégé Funaki into the ring to face Marty Jones. The much younger Funaki gained an early advantage and earned a close near-fall with a Roundhouse Kick, and almost forced the English fighter to tap out to an Ankle Lock, but Jones fought back bravely and eventually caught Funaki in a Cross-Face Chicken Wing. Fujiwara made no move to break up the hold, and indicated with his eyes that Takada shouldn’t interfere either. Adams and Taylor also stayed in their corners, recovering.
Funaki managed to escape, but Jones stayed on top of him and managed to hit a Belly-to-Belly Piledriver. Once again, Funaki’s partners made no move to break up the pin, and this time it cost them the match. Fujiwara, however, didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he seemed rather pleased that Funaki had fought well against a tough veteran like Marty Jones.
JWA Trio Tournament Semi-Finals Re-match: Baba, Jumbo, and Misawa vs Tenryu, Hara, and Kawada
So, the film revealed that Jumbo had, in fact, illegally pulled on Tenryu’s tights to secure the pin in their match on January 24th. As a result, the JWA Board of Governors decided that there should be a re-match, with the winner facing off against The Machines to determine the Tournament winner and new JWA Trios Champions on February 24th.
All of the wrestlers were pretty poker-faced as this one started out. Nobody seemed particularly angry or embarrassed. Jumbo, however, was clearly pushing as the match went on, apparently eager to make up for his faux pas by winning the match by himself. Of course, that led to some mistakes and Jumbo ate a couple of near-falls before finally gaining control with a huge Lariat on Hara around the 20-minute mark. Jumbo then tagged in Misawa and instructed him to hold Hara up for a double-team move. Tsuruta ran full speed into the ropes and came flying at Hara with an attempted Knee Pat. However, Hara moved at the last second, throwing Misawa into the path of danger. Tsuruta’s knee hit Misawa right on the chin, knocking him flat. Hara quickly tossed Jumbo out of the ring and covered Misawa for the one…two…THREE!!
After the match, Tsuruta was inconsolable.