Leading up to this match Jumbo Tsuruta was fresh off of losing the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship to Terry Gordy. So the last thing Jumbo needed was a loss to Mitsuharu Misawa, a wrestler not only more than 10 years younger than him, but also a good deal smaller.
In this bout Jumbo puts Misawa over while still managing to look strong and convincing. The match had no small part in making the Jumbo/Misawa series of battles, the feud of the year as named by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 1990 (the feud earned the distinction again in 1991).
Jumbo is brutal in the match as you can feel Misawa’s pain when he is tossed into the steel guardrail multiple times. However, what makes Misawa so endearing is his ability to bounce back. Soon enough after an Irish whip Misawa has countered Jumbo’s attempted toss with a dropkick and before you know it Misawa has hit another dropkick off the top rope. Almost as quickly Misawa nails a frogsplash off the top.
Yet, as impressive as Misawa looks with his aerial maneuvers, Jumbo looks just as lethal with his stiffness. Jumbo’s big boots and clotheslines have little, if any give to them.
One part of the match that really gets across how much the fans love Misawa is when Jumbo hits a beautiful looking powerbomb on him. When Misawa kicks out the fans go absolutely nuts! Jumbo compliments him masterfully by playing a foil that does not diminish his support. Jumbo does this by getting great reactions often by doing very little such as lifting up his knees when Misawa attempts a second frog splash. Jumbo later does this even more bluntly when Misawa flies off the ropes to attack him and Jumbo just slugs him!
The ending comes in a thrilling chain of counters. Misawa reverses a suplex from Jumbo then Jumbo reverses a belly-to-back suplex from Misawa and manages to pin him. However, before the three, Misawa flips Jumbo over for the win!
Categories: Wrestling Clips