AJW Throwback: AJW Classics Episode 4 Review

My screenshot doesn’t quite capture the badassery.

After a wee break, it’s time to return to the world of AJW for a Classics episode that pulls all three matches from the same show. It’s the 25th of February 1985, and this thing was stacked.

Itsuki Yamazaki defeated Bull Nakano by disqualification retaining the AJW Championship

Surely I don’t need to introduce Bull Nakano? Like Jushin Liger, that iconic look has slipped into the minds of wrestling fans the world over. In saying that, this is wee Bull. She’s only seventeen and not yet rocking the iconic hair and face paint. However, she’s still striking. The hairstyle she does have is dyed blue and she holds herself with a poise that is older than her years.

Sadly, this isn’t the best exhibition of her in-ring talents. Right from the start, it’s clear Yamazaki is unhappy. Her anger is mainly directed towards Shiro Abe, the heel referee who is in a position to cause her a lot of trouble, particularly as Bull had already aligned herself with Gokuaku Domei.

It’s a feeling that she is proven right on, as it doesn’t take long for Dump Matsumoto and her army of wrestlers at ringside to make themselves known. Significant portions of this match are essentially a beat down, as they swarm the ring and overwhelm the champ. The one on one action we do see, looks promising, hinting that these two could do something great, but there’s not enough of it.

Amazingly, the big bads eventually go a step too far, pushing even Abe to his limit as he’s forced to call for the bell. It’s an interesting twist as Yamazaki’s title is saved by the man she trusted the least. Sadly, it doesn’t do enough to elevate this to a great match, but it is a fun watch. Once again the rabid crowd keep something that could twist into frustrating in the realm of exciting, their screams making it impossible not to rally behind the champ and hope she succeeds.

Verdict: Hey, Bull!

The DQ decision looks slightly strange as Yamazaki actually forfeited the title afterwards (just three days short of holding it for a year) for reasons that I can’t figure out. If anyone knows, please drop a comment below.

Jaguar Yokota and Devil Masami defeated The Dynamite Girls (Jumbo Hori and Yukari Omori)

There is a moment in this match where The Dynamite Girl attempt to whip Devil and Jaguar into each other. It didn’t go to plan as Jaguar leapt into Masami’s arm and was spun around to deliver a kick to Jumbo. They pull it off seamlessly, look really fucking cool and also sum up this wildly fun tag.

For from the second the bell rings, this is go, go, go. They fly at each other, working an exhausting pace as they deliver big spot after big spot. The tanks these women have are incredible, as they slip in and out of the ring on a rotation, always in the perfect position to set-up the next moment.

Sadly, it is slightly clipped, but from what we see, it was a decisive victory for Masami and Yokota. They were, presumably, being set up for a title shot, but, sadly, I don’t think that match made it to the Classics. Let’s all just assume it was awesome.

Verdict: So Much Fun

Gokuaku Domei (Dump Matsumoto and Crane Yu) defeated The Crush Gals (Chigusa Nagoya and Lioness Asuka) in a Two out of Three Falls match to win the WWA Tag Titles

Chigusa was bleeding before the match even started, standing defiantly in her corner, waving the Crush Gals flag above her head during the introductions. The brawl that busted her open isn’t on the tape, but it sets the tone nicely. Crush Gals vs Gokuaku Domei was a huge match, and these women were ready to go to war.

It’s a war we get too, as there is no let up in this. The story is simple, every odd is stacked against the fans’ beloved Crush Gals as Crane and Dump repeatedly drag them to ringside, stabbing them with scissors and leaving them to the mercy of friends. They’re not just on the back foot, but lying on the ground, desperately trying to fend off attacks from all sides.

By the end, with the scores at one apiece, Asuka has also been busted open while Matsumoto is cutting off Nagoya’s hair, fans bursting into tears as she does so. The evil heels don’t stop there, though. Having disqualified the group earlier in the night, Shiro Abe makes his amends, appearing in the ring despite not being the original ref to count the final fall and have evil take the belts.

This is incredible. Solely as a match, it’s a bloody brawl that is probably too reliant on interference and ends in a screwy fashion. However, when you put it in that building, at that time, it takes on a life of its own. The investment from those in attendance is incredible, and if you can watch without being swept along, then you’re made of stone. Gokuaku Domei have one-upped The Crush Gals for now, but you better believe this isn’t the end.

Verdict: Astounding

Overall Show

That must have been one hell of a night of wrestling for those in attendance in 1985. I’ve no idea what else was on the card, but damn, these three were good. AJW was deep in the battle between the babyfaces and Dump’s crew, which leads to a lot of interference, but incredible reactions. It’s a lot of fun to watch, so I’d recommend getting on it.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider contributing to my Ko-fi, even the smallest amount is appreciated.

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