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gordi

Japan Wrestling Association February 1986

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Very fun rumble. I always liked Japanese battle royals for the pinfalls for some reason.


I thought about allowing pinfalls and submissions... but I think I came up with a better way - or, at least, another way - to differentiate the JWA Rumble from the American versions. I wonder if anyone has/will pick up on it?

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Fantastics earned their shot with a strong win. Ron Simmons looked great here and Hara really helped put him over with the Japanese crowd. The Rumble was great! Action packed and full of great brawling. I agree, glad to see Jumbo win it. I think he needed it.

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Very fun rumble. I always liked Japanese battle royals for the pinfalls for some reason.


I thought about allowing pinfalls and submissions... but I think I came up with a better way - or, at least, another way - to differentiate the JWA Rumble from the American versions. I wonder if anyone has/will pick up on it?

 

 

In regards to the teams? I was trying to dissect it more but that's what I was coming up with. I almost thought about running a house show style rumble with teams of 4 ala the old N64 Wrestling Games but also only allowing 4 men in at a time or something to that style. 

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Very fun rumble. I always liked Japanese battle royals for the pinfalls for some reason.


I thought about allowing pinfalls and submissions... but I think I came up with a better way - or, at least, another way - to differentiate the JWA Rumble from the American versions. I wonder if anyone has/will pick up on it?

 

 

In regards to the teams? I was trying to dissect it more but that's what I was coming up with. I almost thought about running a house show style rumble with teams of 4 ala the old N64 Wrestling Games but also only allowing 4 men in at a time or something to that style. 

 

 

Yes, that's it exactly. I'm sure everyone remembers that great moment at the start of the 1989 Royal Rumble where Axe and Smash were #1 and #2 and they just went at it... and in this year's Rumbles the commentators made much hay of how it's "everyone for themselves" 

 

...but my feeling is that it wouldn't work that way in Japan, that wrestlers would be more likely to team up with/fight to save/and even sacrifice themselves for their stable-mates and in particular for the "senior" wrestlers in their groups. so, naturally, Atisanoe, Afi, and Kensuke would team up and Kengo Kimura would fight to save Fujinami, and so on...

 

... and maybe that makes Tsuruta's (possibly accidental) elimination of Baba at the end more of a big deal since it's the only time in the Rumble that someone eliminates a stable-mate and arguably the only time someone eliminates a wrestler who is above them in the hierarchy. 

 

In my experience, it seems reasonable to say that Japanese society and culture are less individualistic and more group-oriented than US culture and I wanted the JWA Rumble to reflect that. I'm pleased that you picked up on that. 

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I really enjoyed the Rumble, certainly lived up to the other great Rumbles we've seen lately.  Big win for the Fantastics! What a showing for Ron Simmons, he's made an impact right out of the gate!

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Tenryu as the survivor of the first half of the Rumble was great.  Nice to see Jumbo have something go his way for a change.  Tag match was a fun opener and Hara vs Simmons would be a minor dream match.

  

Fantastics earned their shot with a strong win. Ron Simmons looked great here and Hara really helped put him over with the Japanese crowd. The Rumble was great! Action packed and full of great brawling. I agree, glad to see Jumbo win it. I think he needed it.


Yeah, poor ole Jumbo can't seem to win a belt in the JWA, but at least he has this.

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Card for the JWA Trios Tournament Finals – Tokyo, February 24, 1986

 

JWA Trios Tournament Finals: Tenryu, Hara, and Kawada vs The Machines

 

JWA Tag Titles Match: Power Rush vs The Fantastics

 

Stan Hansen & Phil Hickerson vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu

 

***BREAK***

 

Giant Baba vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara

 

The British Bullies vs Fujinami, Kimura, & Hashimoto

 

Mil Mascaras, Dos Caras, El Canek, & Gran Hamada vs Anoaro Atisanoe, Siva Afi, Tatsutoshi Goto, and Kensuke

 

Masa Fuchi vs Masa Chono

 

Tiger Mask, Keiji Mutoh, & ”Thunder” Yamada, vs Shiro Koshinaka, Mitsuharu Misawa, & Hiro Hase

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Particularly looking forward to Fuchi vs Chono!!!

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Great write up for the Fantastics match. Loved the Rumble and the way multiple stories were put across. Obviously loved the Ron Simmons vs. Ashura Hara, really put across the heat of the Football vs. Rugby showdown.

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JWA Trios Tournament Finals – Tokyo, February 24, 1986

 

Tiger Mask, Mutoh, & “Thunder” Yamada, vs Koshinaka, Misawa, & Hase

Just a fast-paced opener to give out young boys some shine and heat up the crowd. You can probably guess who pinned whom just by reading the names (Tiger Mask pinned the rookie, Hase, with a Diving Cross-Body).

 

Masa Fuchi vs Masa Chono

A little bit of a grudge has been developing between these two men and the match played out that way, with more than a touch of hatred and violence. Chono more than held his own, but Fuchi fought like mad to keep from being caught in the STF, and eventually he gained the upper hand. An Enzuigiri kick put Chono down, and Fuchi’s STF put him away.

 

Mil Mascaras, Dos Caras, El Canek, & Gran Hamada vs Anoaro Atisanoe, Siva Afi, Kuniaki Kobayashi, & Black Tiger

As usual when Mil Mascaras comes to Tokyo, this was twelve minutes of his teammates mostly bumping and selling followed by four minutes of Mascaras dominating after the hot tag. Gran Hamada and Black Tiger had a nice little highflying showcase, and El Canek trading power moves with Atisanoe was entertaining. Mascaras’ Standing Indian Deathlock / Double Underhook combo made for an interesting submission finish.

 

The British Bullies vs Fujinami, Kimura, & Hashimoto

Hashimoto got a nice little showcase in this one, trading nasty strikes with Taylor and Adams. Kimura got to play Face in Peril, as the British grapplers trapped him in their corner and stretched his limbs in various creative ways. Fujinami got the hot tag and a long shine segment, and after some additional shenanigans he earned the victory with a Dragon Backbreaker into a Cobra Twist on Marty Jones.

 

Giant Baba vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara

There were a few minutes of slick mat-work followed by a long-ish Headscissors spot, followed by several more minutes of less slick and more painful-looking mat-work, and then another Headscissors spot. It was remarkable how many ways that Baba could apply the Headscissors, and how many variations of the Headscissors escape Fujiwara has in his arsenal. Also, it was cool to see how Baba used his significant size advantage to counter Fujiwara’s superior ground game. Eventually, Fujiwara lost his temper and blasted the Giant with some vicious Head-butts. Both men tumbled out of the ring where they brawled into the crowd. Fujiwara just barely managed to beat the 20-count, and got back into the ring just in time to earn the narrow upset victory.

 

***BREAK***

 

Stan Hansen & Phil Hickerson vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu

 

6xMy3Ml.jpg

 

This was more of an exhibition of gymnastics and athleticism than a fight, but with these four guys involved what do you expect? Lots and lots of springboard, twisting, flipping variations of innovative high-end aerial offense, and little else. Sure, there wasn’t much story-telling and none of the wrestlers had a clearly defined role, and some of the work was loose and unconvincing, but… whoops, the “exact opposite” button on my keyboard apparently got stuck. Well, too late to change it now.

Anyway, Hansen almost took Yatsu’s head off with a Lariat after 20 minutes of back-and-forth clubbering, but Jumbo managed to break up the pin just in time. Tags were made and Jumbo faced off with a tired-looking Hickerson. In an impressive display of power, Tsuruta hit the big man with a series of Suplexes, including a Waist Lock, a Gut Wrench, and a Release German. Yatsu held off Hansen while Jumbo crushed Hickerson with a Bridging Belly-to-Back Suplex for the win.

 

JWA Tag Titles Match: Power Rush vs The Fantastics

 

6Meqc2Z.jpg

 

The Fantastics were at a pretty clear size disadvantage in this one, but rather than using hit-and-run tactics or trying to dazzle Power Rush with speed and quickness, they went straight at the champs from the opening bell. That earned them a lot of points with the Tokyo crowd, who appreciated the intestinal fortitude displayed by Fulton and Rogers. Unfortunately, though, that tactical decision likely cost The Fantastics the match. Riki Choshu and Rusher Kimura were caught by surprise early in the match and Bobby and Tommy got a nice long shine segment, but eventually Power Rush came roaring back with Elbows, European Uppercuts, and Head-butts. The champs isolated Rogers and stomped him mercilessly in their corner. He eventually escaped and made the hot tag, but Fulton’s come-back was cut off after just a couple of minutes, when he got crushed by a Rusher Lariat. A quick tag and one Riki Lariat later and Power Rush had made another hard-earned but successful title defense.

 

JWA Trios Tournament Finals: Tenryu, Hara, & Kawada vs The Machines

 

hQ2db6C.jpg

 

There was some debate about whether the Tag Title Match or the Trios Tournament Finals Match should be the Main Event of this show. There was even some discussion of putting Stan Hansen in the Main Event slot, but the magazines have reported that Hansen and Brody recently lost clean to The Road Warriors in America, and that has done some serious damage to their invincible aura over here.

The main concern we had was that, since The Machines are members of the Tenryu’s Gang stable, this match might not be dramatic enough to cap off a big tour-ending show. And, while the match was worked in a fairly sportsmanlike and mostly respectful manner, the boys managed to create some drama by having The Machines work from underneath for almost the entire 25 minutes. Sumo Machine, in particular, bumped and sold like crazy to earn his team some sympathy heat. There was a decent pop when Super Strong Machine finally got the hot tag, a slightly bigger pop when they hit a triple-team version of the Machine DDT on Hara, and a few people even got to their feet as Sumo Machine and Very Tall Machine fought to prevent Tenryu and Kawada from breaking up the pin.

 

The ceremony where The Machines were awarded the JWA Trios Title belts was quite good. In a true show of class Tenryu, Hara, and Kawada were first in line to offer congratulations.

 

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LOL at the description for the Hansen tag.  Damn him for all of those unnecessary flips and twists.  Hash vs the Bullies would have been fun.  I have this feeling that Baba vs Fujiwara would have been an absolutely fascinating match.

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Well, the Fantastics gave Power Rush they had but to no avail. They still represented Lutte Internationale very well.

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I enjoy how you give an explanation of the type of action there is in each match.  When I was a kid watching 1980's style Southern Wrestling, I just focused on the feuds, the brawls and the run-ins.  Did the promoter in Japan give as much thought as you do to giving so many different style matches on each card?

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LOL that Hansen match description was hilarious. Fantastics put up a fight and seemed to have earned some respect from the fans. Fujiwara gets a pretty big win over Baba. I liked the Fuchi/Chono match. I think this could develop into a nice rivalry. I love your writing style and a bit of what's going on behind the scenes such as your explanation of Brody and Hansen and Mil Mascaras. Your description of the main event was well done and so realistic.  

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LOL at the description for the Hansen tag.  Damn him for all of those unnecessary flips and twists.  Hash vs the Bullies would have been fun.  I have this feeling that Baba vs Fujiwara would have been an absolutely fascinating match.

 

Baba vs Fujiwara is a dream match for me. As far as I can tell (i.e. according to CageMatch) they only ever faced off once. It was a mid-card (probably comedy-style) match during the World Tag League in November 1996.  (Don Arakawa, Tamon Honda & Yoshiaki Fujiwara defeat Giant Baba, Masanobu Fuchi & Masao Inoue). Young Baba could really go on the mat. I'm betting that Fujiwara could have brought some good stuff out of him in '86.

 

Glad to see my Bullies have some impact. Big upset for Fujiwara . Loved the Hansen tag and the main event.

 

Hopefully we can bring one or more of them back somewhere down the line, maybe for a singles match with Fujiwara or a title shot against Fujinami. 

 

Well, the Fantastics gave Power Rush they had but to no avail. They still represented Lutte Internationale very well.

 

Much like the British Bullies, they got over with our fans and can come back to fight here any time. 

 

I enjoy how you give an explanation of the type of action there is in each match.  When I was a kid watching 1980's style Southern Wrestling, I just focused on the feuds, the brawls and the run-ins.  Did the promoter in Japan give as much thought as you do to giving so many different style matches on each card?

 

To be honest, the biggest influence on my booking style with the JWA is Osaka Pro Wrestling from 2011-2014 when they were my local indie promotion. I loved the variety of styles of matches that O-Pro put on, show after show. JWA doesn't have the same emphasis on comedy, and JWA is more prone to longer harder-hitting matches, but the way I try to have a mix of brawling, hoss battles, entertaining matches, story-telling matches, technical wrestling, high-flying, semi-shoot style... that is inspired by the way Osaka Pro booked their shows when I was going to see them regularly, and b how much I enjoyed that. 

 

LOL that Hansen match description was hilarious. Fantastics put up a fight and seemed to have earned some respect from the fans. Fujiwara gets a pretty big win over Baba. I liked the Fuchi/Chono match. I think this could develop into a nice rivalry. I love your writing style and a bit of what's going on behind the scenes such as your explanation of Brody and Hansen and Mil Mascaras. Your description of the main event was well done and so realistic.  

 

I'm glad you and dawho got a kick out of the Hansen match write-up  :lol:

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Love the pairing of Hansen/Hickerson. Great to see the Machines come out on top!

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