Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Terry Funk (AJPW 06/11/76)

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BillThompson
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Re: Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Terry Funk (AJPW 06/11/76)

Post by BillThompson » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:06 pm

Has a shot at my list. Funk has always been a favorite, and this is as close to prime Funk as we're ever going to get. He works the match so that he looks strong, but Jumbo looks like a legit top guy. I prefer grumpy Jumbo to athletic Jumbo, but watching him print through sequences and come out on top because of athleticism sure is fun.

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Rah
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Re: Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Terry Funk (AJPW 06/11/76)

Post by Rah » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:53 am

Interesting to see Bill put this down as "having a shot" when he called it one of a few all-time level bouts from the '76 crop a little while back. These guys had two matches together. Both are now on tape. One's possibly my favourite ever match and the other is a fantastic Funk performance with a game Jumbo. This is the all-time one for me. C&P:

As for the match, it's set-up as a teacher vs trainer bout, so you should, already, anticipate great wrestling and counters throughout. I'm fully aware that Dory already wrestled a similar scene with Tsuruta before (considering both Funks trained Jumbo) but I have yet to witness it. Perhaps I shouldn't, as both men work the story so perfectly here. The entire thirty odd minutes is a game of one-upmanship. This is nothing about throwing in your own tried and tested offence in gaining control but being put into a hold only to escape and throw it onto your opponent as a massive "fuck you". The contention for superiority is peppered with brilliance within the first hold as Funk works an armbar in only the manner he knows just for Jumbo to make use of his strength, counter the hold into his own and throw Funk around as if he's a ragdoll without once letting go. Their own safety be damned, too, as they took a nasty spill to the outside simply because neither man would relinquish their hold and secede their illusion of being the alpha male. Perhaps as a precursor to the Kerry Von Erich/Tsuruta title bout from the following decade, both men accept a stalemate not with reluctance and disappointment but with determination and gear-up into a fast-paced exchange that leads Jumbo to attaining the first fall with a leapfrog into sunset flip.

Sustaining the trainer/trainee narrative, Jumbo's win through agility and youthful advantage would see Funk making his comeback through being able to capitalise upon Tsuruta's inexperience. It's because of this, thus, that the fight for control now encapsulated each opponent's requirement to set a designated pace. Despite his agility, the quicker match proved to be Jumbo's undoing as he had to predict Funk's attack while thinking up potential counters and momentum changers on the fly, something that most probably came naturally to the veteran at this point in his career. Despite this, the need to one-up his trainer would prove too much for Tsuruta once he tasted defeat in the second fall. As testament to the work of Jumbo, he was using moves from the middle of the first round (ten plus minutes earlier) in playing up the role. Classy character building, too, in having Jumbo set himself up into the abdominal stretch by Funk as if to say the rolling cradle was such a fluke pin that he'd put himself back into danger purely to prove the vet wrong. As always, however, pride and ego without fail come before a fall. Funk's ability to keep a faster pace in allowing himself to pick up on Jumbo's weak points, as well as Jumbo being too preoccupied in bettering Funk's moves than actually taking ownership of his window-periods thusly played as the climax to their tale. The leapfrog that gained Jumbo the win in the first round, was countered into a throat-first drop onto the rope and a deciding win for Funk in the third. C'est la vie, and life is fucking great.

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Re: Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Terry Funk (AJPW 06/11/76)

Post by BillThompson » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:49 pm

Rah wrote:Interesting to see Bill put this down as "having a shot" when he called it one of a few all-time level bouts from the '76 crop a little while back.
I'm hedging my bets with anything I haven't given the full ***** to. More than likely this match will place, and place high because it is an all time great. But at this stage I'm unsure of how many matches I even have up for consideration, so I'm trying to be a little moderate with stating what will and won't definitely make my list.

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