The version that I saw is joined in progress after the entrances.
This is perhaps the best Ishikawa match that I've seen. Great knee work and Haku sells it like it's legit. That's what happens when you get scoop slammed on a guard rail where your knee is the only thing that makes contact. You sell it because it hurts!
But really the beauty of this match is how they beat the shit out of each other. Straight kicks to the face, headbutts that you can hear, smacks to the ear, and Ishikawa's best lariats. I mean he's got to blast him because it is Haku and he is a Tongan terminator.
I watched this on a whim and I am so glad that I did. Both guys really put it all out there for a short match, no title and no fanfare. Plus, its got a few nice 'oh shit!' surprises. This is pro wrestling for pro wrestling's sake. If you like Tenryu, WAR, 90s Indy puro, check out this little gem.
Every wrestler here fit their role perfectly. The standouts were Baba with decades of skill and experience, Fuchi with smarts and skill and Tenryu, the god of grump. No one is better than Tenryu in showing strength and weakness simultaneously...other than Kawada and Terry Funk IMO. One really felt that the Triple Crown champ was on the ropes when 1000 year old Rusher Kimura was head butting him but, seamlessly, Tenryu would chop Kimura in the fucking throat and change the momentum. Brilliantly, Fuchi would storm in like Jr. Tenryu that he is and get brutal even on the bully champ. Fuyuki and Kawada were perfect lackeys in this match and kept their schtick simple. This benefitted Kawada the most. Here he looked like the Kawada who would bloom fully in late 1991 and 1992. Godbless Dangerous K. This period of wrestling is full of diamonds in the rough and this is a perfect example.
This is the perfection of the Bruiser Brody memorial match on 8-29-88. Holy cow is this match some closed fisted, sweat swapping wrestling. People don't talk a lot about Yoshiaki Yatsu or Ashura Hara yet they are total skull crushers. Yatsu is a real top talent and is worthy of a spotlight review because I know he's a tag master! This match is just another fine example that our chubby cheeked friend will smash his elbows into your skull and eat your brain!! Maybe not so much on the second part. So, Ashura Hara is equally vicious especially his Crowbar Lariat. I can't remember where I heard it called that but, shit! Its about as stiff as one. Love it and his jehri curl. Tenryu rocks one as well and everyone loves Tenryu. I am really glad that I have this match because it is a true classic and maybe a forgotten one at that. I never hear it batted around as one of the "all time never forget this date" classic AJPW matches. I think people get confused with the finish. I have no idea why though. This bout becomes a whirlwind of legs, arms and bodies by the finish. And it ends perfectly for me. Go see the Tenryu-Jumbo singles matches, and see this match because it's just as essential as any of those:P Classic Match
I believe this was the second show of UWF 2nd stage and so they did this match as a bit of strong style in it's stiffest format. For example, they picked one another up, there was a snap mare and a large number of rope breaks instead of escapes. So with that said, it's totally understandable that they opted to do this. They had to ease people back into the U-style and not discredit everything they did in '86, '87, and the first half of '88. That's wild when you think about it. There was a three year gap and three years in wrestling is a long time...basically a seachange from 1985 to 1988. Ok so we take this more as a NJPW match. If that's the case then this is awesome! The submissions aren't as believable until later but the kicks are vicious. Even the submissions were very dramatic because you never knew the one Takada was going going to tap to & Maeda was eating kicks. Really cool brutal stuff. The stiffness didn't take this over to the level of violence that was shown in 7/24/89 & that was beautifully teased in the Yamazaki/Fujiwara match. Not quite the same type of match though so it's hard to reconcile where this fits in the shoot-style paradigm. A classic for a strong style match but not up to credibility standards for UWF or shoot style...got to rate it more as straight pro-wrestling.