A quick note before we start, the list I’m using for these five-star matches has a Bull Nakano vs Yumiko Hotta cage match on it that happened around this time. However, I can’t find that anywhere. I haven’t even come across any mentions of it outside of that list. I’m assuming it’s a mistake – Bull wrestled Aja Kong in a cage a few months before – but if anyone can clue me in, please do.
There is a slightly complex stipulation for this one. It’s Two out of Three Falls, but it’s actually what WWE would call a Three Stages Of Hell. They start off with a Falls Count Anywhere, then have a Stretcher and finally a Cage. I can’t find if it was a particular section that got five stars or not, so I’m going to watch all three. Also, it’s worth noting that it would be giving these recordings too much credit to say they were terrible quality, which is going to affect the review.
I’m about to do something I have never done in a Meltzer’s Classic. In fact, it might be something I’ve never done before. I going to compare something favourably to a Taichi match. It is my favourite Taichi match, but it’s a Taichi match all the same.
Quick disclaimer, chronologically, I should be covering Tenyru, Kawada and Fuyuki vs Tsuruta, Fuchi and Yatsu. However, I can’t find it anywhere. If anyone knows where I can get a copy of it or even some highlights, let me know. For now, we must move on.
Time to be honest. There is no way I am going to be able to write out a match report for this or even anything close to one. There are twelve women in this and – outside of Nagayo and Asuka – I know nothing about them. They also all wear very similar gear and are constantly switching in and out of the ring. What I’m trying to say, is I don’t have a clue who anyone is. On top of that, I don’t think the full thing is out there. As far as I can tell there’s only a seventeen-minute highlight package online. It’s far from convenient but as Meltzer once described this as the best match he’d ever seen, I don’t think I can miss it out. So I’ll have to do my best with what I have.
You wait months for a Meltzer’s Classic and then two come along at once. We spoil you, we really do. We’re still in Japan, but we move away from Joshi and back to New Japan Pro Wrestling where two all-star teams go head to head for the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. In one corner we have a very young Keiji Mutoh teaming up with Shiro Koshinaka, and in the other, we have Akira Maeda and Nobuhiko Takada. I’ll be honest, outside of Mutoh these wrestlers are unknown to me, so I guess it’s time to see what they’re like.
After a short break, we are back with another dive into Dave Meltzer’s five-star classics. We’re (as we often are) in Japan for this one and it’s our second appearance from all-around badass, Lioness Asuka. In this one, she goes up against her Crush Gals teammate Chigusa Nagoya in a match which takes both of them to the limit.
We’ve already featured Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenryu in Meltzer’s Classics when they faced off against each other in 1989. Today, however, we are going back a few years to 1986 when they were on the same team defending their NWA International Tag Team belts against Riki Choshu and Yoshiaki Yatsu. This is classic All Japan tag-team wrestling and it’s a whole lot of fun.
After the discovery of a whole bunch of 5-star matches that we missed the first time around, Meltzer’s Classics has now dived back into 1985 and to the regular setting of Japan. This is our first women’s match to feature on the list as Jaguar Yokota defends her WWWA Championship against Lioness Asuka. Being honest, I hadn’t heard of either of these women, but a bit of research tells me that they are highly respected in Japan, if not in the West.