Written By Alfredo Esparza
All Japan Retro #8: The Road Warriors
Genichiro Tenryu & Jumbo Tsuruta © vs. The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) for the NWA International Tag Team Titles
Taped 3/9/1985 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan
“Iron Man” by Black Sabbath starts up and the fans start to cheer loudly. Cameras show The Road Warriors and Paul Ellering leaving the locker room and heading to the ring. Ellering tosses the flowers handed the Road Warriors and points at their opponents. He talks a bit with the referee as well.
Hawk and Jumbo Tsuruta start the match. Hawk gets in a few forearms in on Jumbo who shoves him away. Jumbo gets him in a side headlock and gets in an elbow across his neck. Hawk gets Jumbo into his corner and tags in Animal. Animal with a big slam but misses an elbow drop. Tsuruta gets Animal in a full nelson but he breaks that easily. Animal poses for the fans.
Animal tags in Hawk. Test of strength with Hawk getting the edge over Tsuruta. Jumbo gets up and punches Hawk before tagging in Tenryu. Hawk knees Tenryu and then gorilla press slams him! Follows that up with a fist drop. Hawk whips Tenryu into the ropes and elbows him. Neckbreaker on Tenryu. Hawk tags in Animal. Animal with a series of backbreakers on Tenryu. He stomps on Tenryu. Another tag by The Road Warriors but Tenryu catches Hawk with a kick and some chops.
Tenryu whips Hawk into the ropes and then tags in Jumbo. Double-team forearms at Hawk. Tsuruta whips Hawk into the ropes and gets him in an abdominal stretch. Animal makes the save. Hawk catches Jumbo with a knee lift. Some punches thrown at Jumbo. Hawk whips him into the ropes and kicks Jumbo. Tsuruta fights back with some hard chops and kicks. Hawk tags in Animal. Fans chant loudly.
Animal with a hard forearm across Jumbo’s chest. He misses charging into the corner at Jumbo. Tsuruta tags in Tenryu who goes to work on Animal’s right arm. Animal with an eye gouge followed by a slam. He tags in Hawk who gets Tenryu up with a suplex. Tenryu gets back up and slams Hawk. He tags in Jumbo who lands an elbow off the ropes on Hawk. Tsuruta gets Hawk in a Boston Crab but Animal again makes the save.
Hawk whips Tsuruta but it gets reversed and Jumbo sends Hawk into the corner. Hawk counters with a forearm and tags in Animal. Animal misses a clothesline and gets caught with a jumping high knee by Jumbo. Tenryu and Hawk get involved. Hawk catches Jumbo with a clothesline and covers him for the pin to win the first fall.
Some confusion among those in the ring but the referee gets everyone out of the ring to start the second fall. Jumbo and Hawk start the second fall with Hawk attacking him with forearms, punches and stomps! Tsuruta fights back and tags in Tenryu who slaps at Hawk. He hits Hawk with an elbow and follows with an enziguiri. Backdrop by Tenryu on Hawk gets him a near fall. Front facelock on Hawk. Hawk escapes and whips Tenryu into the ropes. Tenryu ducks and tags in Jumbo. Tsuruta catches Hawk with a jumping high knee followed by a side suplex. Tenryu and Animal get in the ring. Referee gets Animal out of the ring. Tenryu is able to send Tsuruta onto Hawk and he lands on top of him for the 2nd fall pin. The Road Warriors are upset and argue with the referee.
The Road Warriors attack both Tenryu and Tsuruta. Brawl ensues. Referee gets knocked down. He tells the ringside officials to ring the bell. The AJPW ring crew tries to break everyone apart. The Road Warriors continue their attack on Tenryu and Tsuruta. The Road Warriors are disqualified in the third fall. Paul Ellering gets involved as well.
WINNERS: Tenryu & Tsuruta
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Takashi Ishikawa & Tarzan Goto
Taped 5/31/1985 at Sports Park Gymnasium in Oyama, Tochigi, Japan
The Road Warriors immediately attack their opponents and throw them to the outside. Referee warns both of them. Ishikawa gets back in the ring and gets clotheslined a few times by Hawk. That’s followed by some chops. Ishikawa fights back.
Tarzan Goto tags in but he’s quickly taken down by both Road Warriors. Animal gorilla press slams him down and follows with an elbow. Animal tags in Hawk and picks up Goto. Hawk climbs up to the ropes and clotheslines Goto for the pin. Quick match.
WINNERS: The Road Warriors
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Killer Khan & Masanobu Kurisu (6/2/85)
Taped 6/2/1985 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
The Road Warriors rush into the ring and attack their opponents! Hawk gorilla-press slams Kurisu while Animal sends Killer Khan to the outside. Animal with a big elbow at Kurisu followed by a sick-looking lariat! Hawk tags in and he whips Kurisu into the ropes and powerslams him. Animal back in and he whips Kurisu into the ropes and catches him in a backbreaker. He stomps on Kurisu.
Animal slams Kurisu but misses an elbow. Kurisu tags in Killer Khan and he double-chops Animal and follows with a legsweep! Khan is able to match Animal but tags in Kurisu after Animal missed an elbow. Animal quickly beats on Kurisu and tags in Hawk who clotheslines Kurisu. Animal follows with a clothesline of his own on Kurisu! Animal covers him for the pin and gets the win as Khan tries to make the save.
WINNERS: The Road Warriors
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Killer Khan & Yoshiaki Yatsu
Taped 6/4/1985 at Osaka Jo Hall in Osaka, Japan
The Road Warriors charge the ring and attak Khan and Yatsu. Paul Ellering sends Yatsu back into the ring and Animal gorilla-press slams Yatsu! Big knee-lift by Animal on Yatsu. Yatsu tries to fight back but gets slammed by Animal. Hawk tags in and catches Yatsu with an elbow followed by a fist-drop. The Road Warriors double-team Yatsu with a clothesline!
Killer Khan makes the save for Yatsu but The Road Warriors are relentless in their attack. Hawk slams Yatsu and slams him. Hawk climbs up to the middle rope and misses a splash on Yatsu. Killer Khan gets tagged in and he catches Hawk with some chops. Khan tags in Yatsu who climbs up to the ropes. Hawk elbows Khan and then grabs hold of Yatsu and tosses him off the top rope onto the mat!
Hawk gets a whip reversed by Yatsu into the corner but he bounces off the ropes and lands a clothesline on Yatsu. Yatsu ends up on the outside of the ring and Animal grabs hold of him and piledrives him onto the floor! The Road Warriors pose a bit and Yatsu ends up being counted out.
WINNERS: The Road Warriors
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Shoehi “Giant” Baba & Motoshi Okuma (5/31/86)
Taped 5/31/1986 at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan
The Road Warriors charge into the ring and quickly toss Baba and Okuma to the outside. Ellering is carrying a trophy with him. Hawk and Okuma start the match and takes him down with a shoulder tackle. The Road Warriors beat on Okuma in their corner. Animal follows that up with a powerslam and elbow drop. Hawk tags back in and lands a punch on Okuma.
Okuma briefly escapes and tags in Baba. Baba chops away at Hawk and knocks him down with a big kick. Hawk gets back up and slams Baba! He follows that up with a fist drop but then misses a splash off the ropes. Hawk chops away at Baba and tags in Animal who elbows Baba. Baba tags in Okuma. Okuma gets in a few shots on Animal but Hawk tags back in and beats on Okuma. He whips him into the ropes and clothesline Okuma. Hawk kicks at Okuma.
Animal comes back in. Hawk picks up Okuma for a suplex but hands him over to Animal who’s seated on the top rope. Animal grabs Okuma and slams him down off the ropes for the pin.
WINNERS: The Road Warriors
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr. (10/20/86)
Taped 10/20/1986 at Okazaki, Aichi, Japan
The Funks head to the outside as The Road Warriors charge the ring. Hawk and Terry Funk start the match. Terry throws a few shots at Animal direction so Animal gets in the ring until the referee gets him out. Hawk grabs Terry Funk and lifts him up in the air and gorilla-press slams him. Animal tags in and gets Terry in a headlock. Animal whips Terry into the ropes and Funk lands on the top turnbuckle. Animal punches and forearm smashes him. Funk falls to the outside.
Terry Funk gets back in the ring. Animal slams him. He follows that up with a bearhug on Terry Funk. Hawk climbs up the ropes and lands a forearm across Terry’s back. Ellering screams some encouragement to Animal. Terry with a leg takedown and he tries for a spinning toe hold but Animal kicks him off and tags in Hawk. Terry tags in Dory Funk Jr.
Dory gets Hawk in a side headlock and then follows with an elbow across Hawk’s head. Some uppercuts thrown at Hawk. The Funks with a double-team elbow on Hawk. Terry gets Hawk with a piledriver but Hawk quickly gets back up to the surprise of Terry Funk. Hawk rubs his head to show Funk that the piledriver had no effect on him. Hawk piledrives Terry Funk who gets up quickly but shows that he did feel it. Terry tags in Dory.
Dory Funk Jr. gets Hawk in an armbar. Switches over to a wristlock but Hawk reverses it and takes Dory down. Animal tags back in and gets Dory in a side headlock. Dory backdrops Animal. Uppercuts from Dory at Animal. Animal knocks Dory down with a clothesline. Dory tags in Terry and he gets some chops and punches in on Animal. Animal whips Terry into the ropes and powerslams him. Hawk back in with a punch at Terry. He whips Terry into the ropes and knocks him down with a shoulder tackle. Hawk whips Terry into the ropes again but both get knocked down.
Hawk with a side salto suplex on Terry. Terry goes for an inside cradle pin attempt on Hawk when he tries to go for a slam. Neckbreaker from Terry Funk. Terry goes for another piledriver but Hawk flips him over the top rope. The Road Warriors kick and punch at Terry until Animal suplexes him back into the ring. Terry kicks out of a near fall. Dory comes in and goes with more uppercuts at Animal. Dory gets Animal with a suplex and goes for a pin but Animal tosses him off at two!
Shoulder tackle by Animal on Dory before he tags in Hawk. Double elbow from The Road Warriors at Dory. Hawk slams Dory and climbs up to the middle rope. He misses an elbow off the ropes. Dory tags in Terry and he slams Hawk. Terry climbs to the top rope and goes for a splash but Hawk raises his knees up. Hawk with a spinebuster on Terry Funk off the ropes. He follows with a bearhug and places Terry on the top rope. Animal charges at Terry and clotheslines him, leaving Terry sill on the ropes due to Hawk holding him. Dory then charges in and knees Hawk and sends him over the top rope. Both Terry and Hawk fall to the floor.
Dory and Animal continue in the match in the ring. Animal picks up Dory in a bearhug and Hawk goes for the clothesline off the ropes (Doomsday Device) at Dory. Terry gets in the ring and all four men brawl. Hawk tosses Terry to the outside. Animal does the same to Dory. The Road Warriors head to the outside and all four men brawl. Bell rings as the referee counts both teams out.
WINNERS: Double Count Out
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Shoehi “Giant” Baba & Genichiro Tenryu (10/21/86)
Taped 10/21/1986 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan
The Road Warriors attack Tenryu and Baba before the bell rings and send them to the outside of the ring. Animal and Tenryu start the match. Animal kicks and whips Tenryu into the ropes and catches him with a dropkick. He tags in Hawk who pounds on Tenryu and knocks him down with a shoulder block. Hawk whips Tenryu again into the ropes but Tenryu kicks him and tags Baba.
The fans cheer for Giant Baba as he goes up against Hawk. Hawk gets in a few forearms across Baba’s chest. Baba fights back with a chop across the head of Hawk. Baba gets Hawk in a waistlock but Hawk breaks out easily and slams Baba! Animal follows with a stomp and elbow on the fallen Baba. Front facelock by Animal. He switches that over to a bear hug. Baba breaks out by chopping Animal at the top of the head. Baba tags in Tenryu and chops away at Animal.
Tenryu throws a hard chop at Animal. They follow with double-team elbows at Animal. Tenryu follows that up with an elbow at Animal. Animal strikes back and powerslams Tenryu followed with a tag for Hawk. Hawk gets in a few headbutts on Tenryu and a dropkick. Hawk whips Tenryu into the ropes but Tenryu knocks him down with a lariat!
Hawk gets back up and picks up Tenryu and gets him with a shoulder buster. He climbs up the ropes and misses a splash. Tenryu with an enziguiri sends Hawk into Animal but Animal tosses Hawk at Tenryu for a splash. Hawk gets a two-count on Tenryu. Tenryu gets back up and tags in Baba. Baba goes for a leg sweep on Hawk! Baba gets a 2-count on Hawk. Hawk drags Baba into his corner and Animal gets in a few kicks on Baba. They double-team Baba but Baba counters with a kick at Animal. He chops Hawk and is about to charge at Animal but Ellering trips him up. Tenryu runs after Ellering and tries to get Hawk off the top rope but Ellering goes after Tenryu. Hawk with a shoulder block on Baba. The Road Warriors stomp on Baba. Referee calls for the bell. The Road Warriors beat on Tenryu who tries to stop them from attacking Baba. They get Tenryu with a clothesline before leaving the ring.
WINNERS: Genichiro Tenryu & Giant Baba via DQ.
Road Warrior Animal (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Higo “Animal” Hamaguchi & Shinichi Nakano in a handicap match (11/1/86)
Taped 11/1/1986 at Nanao, Ishikawa, Japan
Nakano starts off against Animal and is quickly taken down with a dropkick by Animal. Animal gorilla-press slams Nakano. He follows up with a knee lift. Nakano is whipped into the ropes and is met by a shoulder block by Animal. Animal misses an elbow and Nakano quickly tags in Hamaguchi. Hamaguchi takes Animal off his feet with a dropkick. He gets in a running elbow drop on him.
Nakano joins Hamaguchi and they double dropkick Animal. They go for a second attempt but Animal catches them with a clothesline. He sends Hamaguchi to the outside and powerslams Nakano for the pin.
WINNER: Road Warrior Animal
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey) (w/ Jim Cornette)
Taped 12/29/1986 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California
Jim Cornette introduces The Midnight Express. Hawk and Bobby Eaton start the match. Hugs and high-fives in the Midnight Express corner. Hawk threatens Cornette who gets held back by Eaton. Hawk and Eaton exchange some shots at each other until Eaton lays in a punch on Hawk and backs away. Referee gives him a warning. Eaton gets in another punch on Hawk. Eaton goes for another punch but Hawk blocks him and picks him up for a slam. He follows with an elbow. Hawk catches Eaton with a shoulder block off the ropes and tags in Animal. Eaton tags in Condrey.
Dennis Condrey gets whipped into the ropes and knocked down by Animal. Animal catches Condrey with an elbow across the head. Condrey gets knocked down again by a dropkick and he heads to the outside of the ring. Condrey decides to leave but Cornette and Eaton convince him to return. Eaton gets in the ring. He and Condrey get knocked down trying to test Animal’s strength.
Hawk tags in and goes up against Condrey. Condrey with a knee and some elbows at Hawk. He gets Hawk in a piledriver but Hawk gets up and headbutts him. Condrey gets back in the ring and Hawk again gets him with a knee into the mid-section. He whips Condrey into the ropes and powerslams him. Hawk climbs up to the top rope and misses a shoulder tackle. He goes to the outside and Eaton attacks him. Condrey uses the racket on Hawk.
Hawk gets back in the ring and Condrey quickly attacks him. He slams Hawk and tags in Eaton. Eaton chokes Hawk on the ropes. Cornette gets in a cheap shot as well. The Midnight Express with some double-teaming on Hawk. Condrey now in and he whips Hawk into the ropes but it gets reversed and Hawk kicks Condrey. Condrey quickly recovers and the Midnight Express continue to control the match.
Bobby Eaton tags in and he continues to beat on Hawk. He goes for a pin but Hawk tosses him off. Condrey returns and is caught by an elbow from Hawk. Animal tags in and he shoulder tackles Condrey. Powerslam from Animal. Eaton makes the save. Hawk gets involved. Referee grabs Hawk. Condrey grabs hold of Animal and Eaton hits him with Cornette’s tennis racket. Referee calls for the DQ on the Midnight Express.
The Midnight Express continue their attack after the match ends but The Road Warriors are able to take away the tennis racket and beat them with it. They leave Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey bloody.
WINNERS: The Road Warriors via DQ.
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Hiroshi Wajima for the NWA International Tag Team Titles
Taped 6/9/1987 at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan
Jumbo Tsuruta and Hawk start the match. Crowd is cheering loudly as the two lock-up. Hawk lays in a forearm and follows with a shoulder tackle. He misses an elbow and Jumbo catches him with a lariat. Hawk gets back up and powerslams Jumbo. He misses an elbow drop. Tsuruta with a body slam on Hawk. Hawk charges at Jumbo and goes over the top rope. Jumbo catches him with a lariat on the floor.
They both return to the ring and Tsuruta tags in Wajima who hiptosses Hawk. They get in a sumo stance and charge at each other. Both get knocked down but Wajima gets up and places Hawk in a leglock. Hawk tries to reverse it. Wajima tags in Tsuruta. Jumbo continues to attack Hawk’s left leg. Hawk shows off his strength by doing push-ups and then reverses the leglock.
Animal gets tagged in. Animal whips Jumbo into the ropes and hits him with an elbow. He gorilla-press slams Jumbo! He whips Tsuruta into the ropes again and misses a clothesline. They both bump into each other and fall to the mat. Tsuruta gets up and tags in Wajima who comes in chopping Animal. Animal sends Wajima into the ropes and shoulder tackles him. He follows with a bear hug on Wajima.
The fans cheer for Wajima to break out of the bear hug. He hiptosses Animal and tags in Jumbo. Double chops from Wajima and Tsuruta. Front facelock by Jumbo on Animal. Animal powers out and elbows Jumbo. He takes Jumbo down and grabs his left leg. Tsuruta kicks him off but Animal knocks him down again and tags in Hawk. Hawk with a side suplex on Jumbo. Hawk lifts Jumbo over his shoulder and tags Animal who lands an elbow off the ropes on him.
Animal whips Jumbo into the ropes but Jumbo gets him with a sunset flip for a two-count. Animal quickly back up on his feet and tags in Hawk. Hawk blocks a sunset flip attempt by Tsuruta and gets him in a chinlock. He slams Jumbo and follows with a top rope splash but Tsuruta moves and tags in Wajima. Wajima with some chops on Hawk followed by a clothesline. He shoulder tackles Hawk down and then gets him in the abdominal stretch. Animal makes the save with a clothesline on Wajima.
Wajima tags in Jumbo. Hawk tags in Animal. Jumbo catches Animal with a jumping high knee and a lariat. Hawk makes the save. All four men get in the ring and then head to the outside of the ring. They throw each other into the ring posts. The Road Warriors piledrive Tsuruta on the floor. The Road Warriors win via count out.
WINNERS: The Road Warriors via count out.
Road Warrior Animal (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Hiroshi Wajima
Taped 6/10/1987 in Omiya, Saitama, Japan
Animal shoves Wajima into the corner but Wajima moves out of the way of a forearm. They both get into a sumo stance and charge at each other. They knock each other down. Animal whips Wajima into the ropes and gets him in a bear hug.
Animal slams Wajima. He whips him into the ropes and catches him again with another dropkick. Shoulder tackle off the ropes by Animal. He whips him into the ropes again and misses a clothesline. Wajima catches him with a clothesline. They both head to the outside of the ring and brawl. Animal hits Wajima with a chair and then piledrives him on the floor.
Animal stomps on Wajima. Both men are counted out. Animal continues to attack Wajima after the match. He also tosses some of the other wrestlers ringside.
WINNER: Double count out.
The Road Warriors (Animal & Hawk) (w/ “Precious” Paul Ellering) vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu for the NWA International Tag Team Titles
Taped 10/30/1987 at Park Gymnasium in Chiba, Japan
The Road Warriors charge into the ring but don’t attack Tsuruta or Yatsu. Animal and Yatsu start the match. Animal shoves Yatsu into the corner and misses a forearm. Animal catches Yatsu with an elbow and whips him into the ropes but Yatsu catches him with a powerslam. They get back up and Animal ends up getting Yatsu up in goes for a spinebuster.
Hawk tags in and he beats on Yatsu. Yatsu counters and goes for a piledriver on Hawk but Hawk is quickly back up on his feet. Yatsu tags in Tsuruta. Jumbo gets Hawk in a full nelson but Hawk breaks free. Tsuruta with a waistlock on Hawk and again he breaks the hold. Test of strength with Hawk gaining the upper hand. Jumbo powers up but Hawk catches him with a dropkick. Tsuruta catches Hawk with a jumping knee a few times and tags in Yatsu. They both hit Hawk with jumping knees.
Jumbo Tsuruta gets Hawk in an abdominal stretch but Hawk flips him over his back and quickly tags in Animal. Animal gorilla-press slams Tsuruta. He whips him into the corner and catches him with a clothesline. He goes for another whip into the corner but Jumbo kicks him and follows with a lariat! Jumbo tags in Yatsu and they whip Animal into the ropes and chop him down. Yatsu follows with a shoulder tackle and Animal heads to the outside.
Animal gets back in the ring and Yatsu gets him in a waistlock that Animal breaks out of easily. He knocks Yatsu down and tags in Hawk who whips him into the ropes and shoulder tackles him. Hawk follows with a fist drop. He head butts Yatsu, who falls into his corner and tags in Jumbo. Tsuruta gets Hawk in a leglock but Hawk reaches the botttom rope to break the hold. Test of strength again and Animal hits Jumbo with his shoulder to get the advantage. He follows with a bear hug on Tsuruta.
Yoshiaki Yatsu runs in and kicks Hawk to help Jumbo break out of the bear hug. Jumbo slams Hawk into the top turnbuckle and then gets him in a sleeperhold. Jumbo picks up Hawk for a piledriver and Yatsu climbs up to the top rope so they can spike piledrive him! Yatsu goes for a leglock but the referee doesn’t allow it. Hawk gets up and beats on Yatsu. He tags in Animal who gets Yatsu with a powerslam.
Jumbo gets in the ring and he lays in a few chops on Animal. He misses a charging shoulder tackle at Animal in the corner and Animal sends him to the outside. Hawk beats on Jumbo outside the ring with a chair. He sends Jumbo back into the ring. Animal gets Jumbo in a camel clutch but Jumbo shoves him off. The Road Warriors keep Tsuruta in their corner. Hawk gets in and applies a shoulder breaker on Jumbo. He follows that up with a legdrop. Hawk gets Jumbo in a surfboard that Jumbo tries to reverse but Hawk reaches over and tags in Animal.
Animal slams Tsuruta. He climbs up the ropes and misses a diving elbow. Jumbo tags in Yatsu who dropkicks Animal. Yatsu catches Animal with a backdrop driver but Animal kicks out of a pin attempt. He follows with a powerslam on Animal. Hawk makes the save. Animal picks up Yatsu in his shoulders and Hawk flies off the top rope with the Doomsday Device! Tsuruta runs in and makes the save. Animal tosses Jumbo to the outside.
Yatsu catches Hawk with an enziguiri. Tsuruta jumps off the top rope and hits a jumping knee on Hawk followed by Yatsu with a back suplex. The Road Warriors toss Jumbo and Yatsu to the outside. They all brawl. Both teams are counted out.
WINNERS: Double Count Out
SHOW THOUGHTS: There were three matches on this that I really enjoyed with The Road Warriors going against Tsuruta & Tenryu, The Funks and Tsuruta & Yatsu. Those three matches were worth watching. The rest of the matches were pretty short and it might be easier to watch just three Road Warriors matches and not as many as there were on this All Japan Retro episode.