Monday, 31 October 2016

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Most Random...

...Stan Hansen opponent of them all?

After our Mike Miller party the other day I got an itching to check out some more All Japan randomness. Who made the biggest oddball appearance during a Champions Carnival? Who IS Texas Terminator Hoss? Buddy Rose v Buddy Lee Parker in 1991??? What the fuck? I also wanted to watch some Hansen, so here I am killing two birds with one stone.

Stan Hansen, Eric Embry & Scotty the Body v Jumbo Tsuruta, Akira Taue & Mighty Inoue (All Japan, 8/28/90)

How about that for a gaijin team! You just knew straight away that Hansen was gonna rule in this. It's not unusual that you'd see him go for someone before the bell, but this time he wraps the bullrope around Taue's neck as he gets in the ring and swings him around the place, then paces back and forth during the intros shit talking in unintelligible Texan. Him and Taue then proceed to have a mini battle throughout the match. Hansen hits him extra hard (after throttling him early), then Taue takes a cheapshot and Hansen hits him extra EXTRA hard, including whacking him with a chair. Embry looks a lot like Jimmy Garvin at this point, but if he's hitting piledrivers like he is then he can look like whoever the hell he wants. Levy is such a random dude to pop up in an All Japan six-man, but he was a pretty fun douchebag. He took a few big bumps, including one where Taue launched him clear over the barricade into the crowd. I wouldn't say I'm a fan of him or anything, but I find him much more enjoyable in his pre-Raven days than as Raven, who is fucking terrible (though I admit that's mostly because I loathe the character in ECW).

Stan Hansen v Dynamite Kid (All Japan, 3/23/91)

I forgot Dynamite was still working in '91. For the longest time I just assumed he'd packed it in after Survivor Series '88. He looks a bit rough here, with his thinning hair and Mike Miller moustache, like an ex-copper in a BBC drama who spends all his time down the boozer. He didn't work like he was completely broken down physically, though I imagine he would've been close to it. I actually liked him a lot in this. Most of his offence was headbutts and a jawbreaker (so still head-based offence), but I thought it was cool how he'd regularly sell his own head after delivering blows. I liked how Hansen sold for him as well. Gone were the days of Dynamite Kid v Tiger Mask being a money match-up, but the people still remembered and Hansen treated him like he'd been a big deal once upon a time. He never gave him TOO much, never bumped too big, but made it look like those headbutts were taking their toll and that Dynamite was still dangerous. I guess the match was kind of built around Hansen trying to grab Dynamite and beat on him in close quarters, while Dynamite tried to stay out of his reach, looking for openings to pick his shots. There was one bit where Hansen threw him to the floor and went straight out after him, but Dynamite was still fresh and instantly rolled back in. Hansen was unamused and had a kick out at the guardrail. For the follow up later, when Dynamite wasn't in any shape to roll back in, Hansen broke a chair over his back. Hansen remembered. Hansen always remembers. This was about eight minutes tops and I enjoyed it a bunch.

Stan Hansen v Barry Horowitz (All Japan, 5/14/93)

This was pretty much exactly what you want in a two and a half minute Stan Hansen v Barry Horowitz match. Barry rushes him at the bell with a couple dropkicks and there's an "oh man is this guy nuts?" reaction from the crowd, because there is no way Hansen won't make him pay dearly for that. Barry goes up top, Stan grabs him, much bodily harm is inflicted. Hansen mauling ham n eggers is one of my very favourite things in wrestling. There's almost nobody better at it (is there anybody?). He punts Barry in the spine, smashes furniture over him, pulls down the kneepad and hits a kneedrop to the beak, wastes him with the lariat, leaves. Like a force of nature. Arrive, destroy, cease. He passes one woman in the crowd on the way out, and her face while she curls up next to the person beside her as Hansen swings the bullrope above her head says one thing: thank god he's gone. She survived Stan Hansen. Barry Horowitz did not.

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