The Boss Man is a beast.
I’m going to start doing a gimmick where I give my thoughts both before and after I watch the matches.
Before the match: Looks like Rudo Reels put this out during WWE’s “Big Johnny” period. Remember when Mr. Laurinaitis was all over RAW as the heel authority figure who acted oblivious to the fact that everyone hated him? And remember how he had such a stoic, emotionless look on his face that one time CM Punk got him up for the GTS? Turns out he was actually a pretty solid wrestler when he worked in Japan in the 90’s. He was actually one of my favorite wrestlers for a while because I liked his name, I liked that he innovated the move I knew as the diamond cutter, and I liked the fact that he had the same birthday as me. I was easy to please.
Meanwhile, we’ve got Stan Hansen, a big crazy Texan who clobbers people; the Big Boss Man, still wearing his blue police shirt; and pre-West Texas Rednecks Kendall Windham, whom I’ve rarely seen outside of WCW Saturday Night. Looks like a decent match that will probably have a lot of slow points, but they’ll hopefully build to a logical climax. It’s all a bunch of white dudes, though, so we’ll see if the Japanese fans can be bothered to care.
The match: The first and second halves of the match are like two alternate universe versions of the same story. In the first half, Boss Man and Windham are the heels, Ace is the face in peril, and Hansen is the hot tag waiting to happen. Boss Man is the tough guy of his team, knocking Hansen loopy with his right hand early on. Long, lanky Windham can’t get anything going on Hansen, but he has better luck with Ace. Boss Man whoops up on Ace with all his trademarks, including the Boss Man Slam. It looks for sure like they’re building to Hansen finally tagging in and running wild. When he does make the tag, however, he doesn’t clean house. Instead, the next half of the match begins.
The second half has Ace and Hansen working over Boss Man’s arm, sometimes viciously, making it seem like the face/heel dynamic has done a 180. They go to the outside a few times, but never over the rails. Hansen stretches Boss Man’s arm over rails and ring ropes, but it doesn’t really play into the finish. Instead, Ace and Boss Man fight on the outside, leaving poor Kendall alone with the Lariat. Stan looks like he’s going for his trademark move at one point, only to throw a dropkick, something I don’t recall seeing before, but I could just not be paying attention. That’s just semantics, though, because not long after, Windham feels the force of the Western Lariat and takes the expected fall.
After the match: It’s not an All Japan classic, but it’s serviceable. It’s odd to include on a Best of Johnny Ace DVD because he doesn’t do a whole lot to set himself apart. It would fit better on a Best of Big Boss Man disc regardless of the fact that his team lost. He’s really the standout here. But I wouldn’t recommend paying for this match. It’s fine, but it’s nothing to write home about.
Follow me on the social medias!
Tumblr: Hook the Leg, Man
Twitter (non-wrestling): @Dedwyre
Tumblr (Life in China): Expatriate Act
Letterboxd: Reed Benson
Goodreads: Reed Benson