My Journey Through 1990s AJPW – Part 1: The Beginning

Hello everyone and welcome to my return to 1990s AJPW! I have decided to change the format of this review series a bit in comparison to the prologue. Each post will only have one or at most two matches being reviewed, and instead of the long form reviews I did in the Prologue, I will just be doing normal reviews. Also, the prologue is done and is unlisted. I might journey through 1980s All Japan at some point, but not now. Anyway, on to the review!

jumbo-tsruta-tiger-mask-vs-genichiro-tenryu-samson-fuyuki

Jumbo Tsuruta & Tiger Mask vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Samson Fuyuki – AJPW New Year Giant Series 1990 Day 10 – 01/14/1990

Just for clarity’s sake, Tiger Mask is Mitsuharu Misawa.

            This wasn’t the strongest way to start this series off, but it definitely was important. The story here was pretty simple, Tiger and Fuyuki were young boys and Tenryu and Jumbo were main eventers. Therefore, the veterans here would always have the advantage over the young boys. It was interesting to see, as Fuyuki and Tiger got very little offense in on Jumbo and Tenryu respectively. That made the ponts when they did get offense, like when Fuyuki starts slapping the hell out of Jumbo or when Tiger gets a stretch of offense on Tenryu, more effective. Also, relationships here other than that play a huge role too. Jumbo and Tenryu are legendary rivals, so any of their brief interactions were vicious and full of stiffness and hatred. In contrast, Tiger and Fuyuki really have no bad blood, so their sequences are purely competitive and fairly fast paced. Another plot string here was Tenryu initiating the hatred really, especially by ripping at Tiger Mask’s mask, causing Fuyuki to follow him. The match was rather sportmanly up to that point, but after that it was off to the races. The action here was really well done also, with everything executed well and no notable botches to speak of. The real flaws here are, firstly, the working of Fuyuki’s leg, which is a downer. It starts off with a really good spot, where he tries to escape Tiger in the ring, but Jumbo hits a legbreaker on the guard rail, showing Fuyuki can’t get a breather. Even the work of the leg is really well done and compelling by both Tiger and Jumbo. However, the leg is entirely forgotten about for the entire middle of the match up until the finish. There was no selling, no working it over, nothing. That made the leg work feel rather pointless. However, the finish was really clever, so I will give them that. Also, Jumbo and Tenryu weren’t putting in their all, as this is only a tag match, so this does feel like a rather minor match. However, seeing a rookie Misawa, the man who this series is pretty much focused around, is entertaining. Otherwise, this is really good, but nothing worth hunting down, especially considering the later matches in this series.

Rating: ***½

Master List for AJPW 1990s Matches

So that was the beginning of My Journey Through 1990s AJPW! I’m very happy you took the time to check this review out. This was a really fun review for me, so I’m glad to put it out. I have revamped the master list of 1990s AJPW, so if you are curious of the matches I’m reviewing, they’re in the sidebar. Otherwise, I’m still working at all my other series, so they should be coming out at some point. Check out new updates and such here, and check out some of my other writings at freeprowrestling.com. If you want to contact me, check here. Otherwise, like, comment, share, or do whatever else you want to do. Thank you for reading and see you next time!

-Terrance Smith

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