All Japan Classics #5

Written By Alfredo Esparza

All Japan Classics Ep. #5

Jumbo Tsuruta © vs. Mil Mascaras in a 2-out-of-3 falls match for the NWA United National Title

Taped 8/25/1977 at Denen Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.

First fall starts with Mil Mascaras taking Jumbo Tsuruta down with an armbar. He keeps Jumbo in it for a bit as Jumbo tries his best to escape. Tsuruta finally picks up Mil Mascaras over his shoulders and places him onto the turnbuckles.

Mil Mascaras with a leg takedown and he stretches Jumbo’s legs wide before going for a deathlock. Camera zooms into the crowd to show several fans holding signs supporting Jumbo. Tsuruta reaches the ropes to break the hold. They then show fans rooting for Mil Mascaras. Jumbo grabs Mil with a wristlock. He gets Mil in an armbar and keeps him on the mat for a bit before Mil Mascaras quickly escapes.

Side headlock by Jumbo gets reversed into a headscissors by Mil Mascaras. Jumbo does a head stand and lands on top of Mil Mascaras but Mil keeps him in a headscissors. Jumbo escapes and gets Mil Mascaras in a toe hold. Mascaras counters and takes Jumbo down to the mat but Jumbo picks him up over his shoulders again and places him on the turnbuckles. Monkey flip by Mascaras but as he rolls over Jumbo, he gets caught in a body scissors by Tsuruta!

Mil Mascaras picks up Jumbo Tsuruta to break out of the hold and gets him in a bear hug. He drops Jumbo and gets him in a Boston Crab. Mil follows with a surfboard and he picks Jumbo off the mat as he pulls him up by the arms. He goes for a pin attempt on Jumbo by rolling him onto his shoulders while holding his arms. Referee has them break.

Side headlock by Mil Mascaras. Jumbo shoves him into the ropes and Mil takes him down a few times until Jumbo back drops him. He follows with a tiger suplex and covers Mil for the pin but Mil Mascaras kicks out at TWO! Backbreaker by Jumbo. He goes for the pin again but Mil kicks out again at two. Abdominal stretch by Jumbo. Mil escapes but Jumbo quickly attacks him. He drops an elbow on Mil and goes for another pin attempt.

Mil Mascaras whips Jumbo into the ropes and catches him with a pair of topes. He then gets Jumbo in a submission hold that gets him the first fall victory!

Second fall starts with Mil Mascaras getting Jumbo Tsuruta in a headlock that he switches over into a front facelock. Jumbo picks up Mil and drops him with a suplex. He gets a two count out of it. Another suplex by Jumbo and another pin attempt but Mil kicks out at two. Mil Mascaras catches Jumbo with a small package but they each get a near fall trying to roll the other over.

Mil Mascaras tries for a belly-to-belly suplex but instead just drops down with Jumbo. Test of strength with Mil Mascaras getting the early advantage but Jumbo rolls through and gets the advantage. Mil Mascaras knocks Jumbo down and gets him in a reverse chinlock. Looks almost like an STF. Mil switches over to hooking Jumbo’s arms and trying for a submission hold (Mexican stretch).

Jumbo Tsuruta reverses the hold and gets Mil Mascaras in an abdominal stretch. He drops into a pin attempt but Mil escapes and gets Jumbo in a leglock. Jumbo picks Mil Mascaras up in a bear hug but both have each other. Mil Mascaras goes for a body scissors and Jumbo counters it into the giant swing! Jumbo whips Mil into the ropes and catches him with a jumping knee! Airplane spin by Jumbo and he heads to the top rope and hits a dropkick on Mil Mascaras for the 2nd fall victory! All tied-up at 1-1.

Third fall kicks off with Jumbo Tsuruta getting Mil Mascaras with a wristlock. Jumbo with an armbar on Mil Mascaras who spreads Jumbo’s legs apart to knock him down to the mat and escape the armbar. Camel clutch by Mil Mascaras! Jumbo tries to pick Mil Mascaras up on his shoulders to break the hold but ends up sending Mil into the ropes but he does break the hold.

Test of strength and Mil Mascaras is able to get a suplex out of it. He follows with a body slam on Jumbo. Mil whips Jumbo into the ropes and catches him with his tope. He follows that up with a dropkick that sends Jumbo to the outside floor. Mil Mascaras climbs to the top rope and hits a plancha onto Jumbo Tsuruta!

Jumbo Tsuruta gets back in the ring and the referee calls for the bell as Mil Mascaras isn’t able to get back into the ring. A large group of people are ringside. Jumbo wins via countout.

WINNER: Jumbo Tsuruta

Jumbo Tsuruta © vs. Nick Bockwinkel © in an NWA International Heavyweight Title vs. AWA World Heavyweight Title match w/ Special Referee Terry Funk

Taped 2/23/1984 at Kuramae Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

Terry Funk’s referee outfit is pretty awesome as it looks like he should be working at a casino and not officiating a world title match. They shake hands before the match.

Nick Bockwinkel with a flying body attack as the bell rings for a quick pin attempt on Jumbo who kicks out. Crowd is cheering loudly. Clean breaks from both as they get near the ropes. Some good counter wrestling early on. They lock-up and Bockwinkel with a hip toss takedown. He gets a pin attempt on Jumbo who kicks out. Bockwinkel with an armbar.

Big knee to the mid-section and Bockwinkel keeps the armbar on Jumbo. Bockwinkel gets Jumbo’s left arm in a hammerlock and applies pressure as he tells Funk to ask Jumbo if he gives up. They both get back up with Bockwinkel still holding Jumbo’s arm. Tsuruta catches Bockwinkel with an elbow to the face but can’t break out of the hold. Bockwinkel knocks Jumbo down and applies more pressure on the left arm.

Jumbo gets back up and catches Bockwinkel with an enziguiri. He whips Bockwinkel into the ropes and catches him with a jumping knee. Funk keeps them apart as Bockwinkel heads to the corner. Terry Funk yells at them to “Wrestle”! Bockwinkel back with a hammerlock on Jumbo. Tsuruta reverses it into an attempted double under hook suplex but Bockwinkel fights him off. Jumbo switches over to a piledriver! He goes for a pin but Bockwinkel kicks out.

Another piledriver by Jumbo Tsuruta. He goes for another pin but Bockwinkel kicks out again. Jumbo whips Bockwinkel into the ropes and goes for a Thesz Press for another two-count. He tries to get Bockwinkel’s shoulders on the mat but Bockwinkel fights him off. Funk forces them to break as they get under the ropes and again yells at them to “wrestle”.

Terry Funk tries to break them up but they both fall out of the ring. Bockwinkel with some forearms at Jumbo. Funk heads to the outside to break them up. Bockwinkel heads to the ring. Jumbo follows. More forearms thrown by Bockwinkel at Jumbo. Snapmare followed by a kneedrop by Bockwinkel gets him a two-count. Bockwinkel slams Jumbo and gets a two-count on him. He goes for a second slam but Jumbo gets him with a small package for a near fall.

Jumbo whips Bockwinkel into the ropes and they both end up bumping into each other and falling down to the mat. Funk starts a count on them. Jumbo gets back up and applies an abdominal stretch on Bockwinkel. Bockwinkel escapes and drops Jumbo onto the mat. Another count by Funk. Some hard hits from Bockwinkel followed by him slamming Jumbo’s head into the top turnbuckle a few times.

Bockwinkel with some knees to Jumbo’s mid-section. He goes for a slam but Jumbo falls on top of him for a two-count. Jumbo fires up and punches Bockwinkel a few times. He slams Bockwinkel’s head into the top turnbuckle a few times. Tsuruta stomps on Bockwinkel. Funk warns him but Jumbo keeps stomping on him. Jumbo whips Bockwinkel into the corner but Bockwinkel catches him with a knee. He goes for a pin but then switches over to working on Jumbo’s left arm.

Crowd starts to chant for Jumbo who gets back up and catches Bockwinkel with a Russian leg sweep. Bockwinkel shoulder blocks Jumbo and punches him a few times. Knee lift from Bockwinkel. He whips Jumbo into the corner but Jumbo moves out of the way of a charging Bockwinkel. Forearms across Bockwinkel’s back. Jumbo stomps on Bockwinkel. Double under hook suplex by Jumbo gets him another two-count!

Jumbo goes for a side suplex and again Bockwinkel kicks out of a pin attempt. He goes for a Boston Crab on Bockwinkel. Funk asks Bockwinkel if he wants to quit but Bockwinkel reaches the ropes. More stomps by Jumbo. Backbreaker by Jumbo and he goes for a pin but Bockwinkel reaches the bottom rope with his foot. Jumbo continues with a relentless attack but misses a dropkick at Bockwinkel. Bockwinkel goes for a piledriver on Jumbo but only gets a two-count!

Bockwinkel whips Jumbo into the ropes and backdrops him and again another two-count. He goes for another piledriver and again a two-count. Bockwinkel shoves Jumbo and that sends Jumbo into Funk and they both fall to the outside! Fans start to chant loudly for Jumbo. Funk has trouble getting back up. Bockwinkel slams Jumbo as he gets back in the ring and the other referee replaces him. Bockwinkel with some near falls on Jumbo. He tosses Jumbo to the outside again.

Jumbo Tsuruta gets brought back into the ring by Bockwinkel only he escapes his grasp. Jumbo then grabs Bockwinkel in a German suplex and gets the pin! Jumbo wins the AWA World Heavyweight title!

WINNER: Jumbo Tsuruta

While Jumbo Tsuruta is celebrating and being interviewed you can see Nick Bockwinkel complaining about the loss.

SHOW THOUGHTS: Excellent episode but you really can’t go wrong when watching most All Japan Classics shows. Thought both matches were great. Mil Mascaras has been around for so long and there are so many stories told about him that many forget how great he was in the 1970s especially when watching him in All Japan Pro Wrestling. Bockwinkel vs. Jumbo was a great moment in wrestling with Jumbo winning the AWA World Heavyweight title.


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