AJPW Champion Carnival 1980 – 1982 matches review

champion carnival 80

So after looking at all Carnival matches from the 70’s, it’s time to look onto the 80’s, with only 3 years to cover, as after 1982, the tournament would be put on hiatus til 1991, though during that time in between they would still do a tour called ‘The Grand Champion Carnival.’ but not tournament. So lets just jump right into to some 80’s matches.

28/3/1980 – Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Carl Fergie

So first up we just have the finish to the first match of the tournament, It’s literally just Jumbo hitting a few moves and winning the match with a butterfly suplex. It was still enjoyable nonetheless.
Winner: Jumbo(via butterfly suplex) NR – just the finish

28/3/1980 – Terry Funk vs. Ray Candy

Starts with the end of the last match where Baba lost to Mysterious Assassin by count-out. Ray pretty much dominates the majority of the match until Terry makes a come back after a backdrop and eventually wins with a version of the lou Thesz press. Very standard not much to it all.
After the match Abdullah attacks Funk from behind and starts jabbing him with his utensil, Ray helps Abby too until Dick Slater comes down and makes the save.
Winner: Funk(via Lous Thez Press) **

4/4/1980 – Terry Funk vs. Jumbo Tsuruta

Moving on to day 7 now, with the main event of that show and it’s another 30 minute time limit draw involving Jumbo, this one also has the beginning missing cause they went to commercial, but does include the tail end of the previous match between Giant Baba & Abdullah the Butcher which ended in a double count-out and lead to an all out brawl between a lot of the wrestlers in the tournament including Terry Funk and Jumbo. Once they manage to get under control and everyone to the back, they finally carry on with the main event. It’s a solid match up between the two, has a couple lengthy holds to help extend the time, but they do pack in some good action as you’d expect from these two, with both really trying to get the pin at the end, but fail to do so. Solid stuff.
No Winner: Time Limit draw ***1/2

10/4/1980 – Terry Funk vs. Rocky Hata

Onto day 12 with another Funk match, fairly average match not much to it, just a bit of tech and stuff with Funk getting the win with his signature spinning toehold. As soon as it’s over Abdullah attack fun with a chain, beating on him and choking him with it, it’s quite the brutal assault.
Winner: Funk(via spinning toehold) **1/2

18/4/1980 – Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Giant Baba

Match from day 18 and it’s another Jumbo Tsuruta 30 minute time limit draw(Baba’s definitely making him work hard) though they only show second half of the match. Match seemed pretty good overall, took their time throughout most of it, keeping it steady with holds and then really started going for the pinfalls, in the end Jumbo locks in the spinning toe hold but the bells for the time limit.
No Winner: Time limit draw NR – first half not shown.

18/4/1980 – Abdullah the Butcher vs. Terry Funk

So after Abdullah’s assault on Funk on day 12, and some other shit that probably happened in-between, they finally have their Champion Carnival singles match in the main event of day 18. Funk has a plaster above his one eye and before Abdullah even enters the ring, Funk wants to get at him, but is held back by the ref. It’s definitely quite the heated contest, not exactly an all out energetic brawl, but they both get their chance to pick each other apart and lay some physical offense in. Butcher controls the much of the first half after hitting a sneaky low blow with his foot, but Funk makes his come back with a big eye gouge and really lays in the punches before reversing a headlock into a kneecrusher and trying for the spinning toe hold. They both end up on the outside a few times and on the final time they both get counted out, but of course still lay into each other after the bell. Good work from both men, enjoyed it.
No winner: Double count out ***1/2

24/4/1980 – Dick Slater vs. Ray Candy

On to day 23 now with another clipped match, it’s literally around 4 minutes of Dick just laying into Ray with punches and elbow drops, he also throws his head into the corner posts a couple of times busting Ray wide open and ends up getting the pinfall with a jacknife cover. After the match Candy tries to go back after Dick, but he legs it.
Winner: Dick Slater(via Jacknife pin) NR – Clipped

24/4/1980 – Giant Baba vs. Terry Funk

Second Carnival match of day 23 and it;s not bad. They spend the majority of it exchanging lengthy holds, though Funk does take a big spill to the outside after missing a running knee. At the end Funk keeps going for the spinning toe hold and after to getting kicked off a few times, finally locks it in. Abdullah the Butcher is on the outside and is about to get involved but Dick Slater goes to stop him and Abby throws powder in his face, Funk release the submission and chases after Abdullah leading to him getting counted out. Baba’s leg is hurt and is he goes to leave but is attacked by The Sheik before finally making his exit.
Winner: Giant Baba(via countout) **1/2

24/4/1980 – Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Abdullah The butcher

Main event of day 23 now. The match is fairly decent with both guys getting some time to be in control, Jumbo had a more strike based approach, while Abby used his usual antics including throat jabs, choking and throwing Jumbo to the outside. In the end, after to Jumbo manages to kick out of the running elbow drop, Abby goes for another one but Terry Funk is at ringside and trips his legs up, this allows Jumbo to a hit a running kneebutt and get the pinfall. Man Abdullah & Funk really have had quite the feud going throughout.
Winner: Jumbo Tsuruta(via running Knee) **3/4

1/5/1980 – Champion Carnival Final: Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Dick Slater

Onto the 1980 final and it’s a solid one. It’s a back and forth contest that has some tech to begin and a couple hold exchanges with Dick having particular focus on Jumbo’s leg which leads to him towards the end, locking in a spinning toe hold a couple of times, but Jumbo  just keep booting him in the face until it broke up, the repeated boots actually mess with the bandage of Dicks eye and causes him to bleed. The finish comes when Dick smashes into the turnbuckle and Jumbo lands a bridging German suplex to get the 3 count and win the tournament. Good effort from both men.
Winner: Jumbo Tsuruta(via German suplex) ***1/2


27/3/1981 – Bruiser Brody vs. Tiger Toguchi

Onto the 9th Carnival with a match from night 1. It’s just a dominant display by Brody, Toguchi get a few strikes in and that’s pretty much it. At the end Bruiser takes Tiger to the outside, throws his head into the ring post, chokes him with a chain and then finishes him off with a kneedrop before getting back into the ring and winning by count-out.
Winner: Bruiser Brody(via Count-out) Extended Squash

27/3/1981 – Abdullah The Butcher vs. Jack Brisco

Main event of night 1 and it only officially last for just over 2 and half minutes. Basically before Jack can reach the ring, Abdullah runs out and attacks him, Abby gets back in the ring and when Jack gets back up, he gets onto the Apron and Abby hits him off it, eventually Jack manages to get into the ring and the match officially starts. They exchange a bunch of strikes and Abby throws Jack out the ring, Jack grabs the ring bell and hits Abby in the head several times with it causing him to bleed, both of them then end up on the outside and are at each other throats, leading to them both getting counted out. For several minutes then they just go at it on the outside, they try a break them apart a number of times but they keep getting to each other and until they finally manage to get it under control. Not much of a match but there was definitely alot of heat between them and that was the main focus here.
No winner: Double Count-out NR

2/4/1981 – Bruiser Brody vs. Wayne Ferris

So there’s only a few matches left available of the 1981 tournament and all of them involve Bruiser Brody. This one from night 7 is a quick squash that officially only last like 16 seconds. Wayne Ferris is actually the Honky Tonk man which I did not know at all, though he does have long blonde hair here, so he’s pretty unrecognisable. Brody basically attacks Wayne with a chain and bust him open before the bell rings and when the bells does ring, he hits a scoop slam and knee drop and get the 3 count. He then proceeds to continue his attack on Wayne and until other wrestlers come down to make the save.
Winner: Bruiser Brody(via kneedrop) Squash

10/4/1981 – Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah the Butcher

Main event of day 12 and of course it’s just a big brawl. Bruiser attacks Abby with a chain before he gets fully in the ring and attacks him on the outside. Bruiser gets back into the ring and Abby eventually follows suit, so the match officially begins and Brusier continues his assault until Abby manages to get out and use his utensil, jabbing and digging it into Bruiser’s face, they then just go back and forth brawling til they end up on the outside and both get counted out but continue to go at it past the bell until things are finally brought under control.
No Winner: Double Count-out **3/4

17/4/1981 – Bruiser Brody vs. Jumbo Tsuruta

Match from day 19 and it’s much more of an actual match than the previous ones, in fact the majority of this is actual wrestling and it’s actually quite good. An enjoyable back and forth contest between the two. For the finish they both end up on the outside, Bruiser misses a diving knee drop from the apron and Jumbo goes back in the ring and does a plancha, they then continue to go at it on the outside and we get another double count-out.
No Winner: Double Count-out ***1/4

23/4/1981 – Champion Carnival final: Bruiser Brody vs. Giant Baba

And now we jump straight to the ’81 final and it’s a pretty average match really. Bruiser attacks Baba during his entrance, wraps his chain around Baba’s neck and takes him into the ring, he stays in control, until Baba get him into a corner and continually slap his chest, he then hits his signature big boot and Bruiser rolls to the outside and walks around a bit to regroup, he gets back into the ring and takes back control for the rest of the match until Baba tries to mount another come back, Bruiser puts a stop to it and then at the end sends Baba into the ropes but on the rebound Baba manages to pounce on Bruiser with a Lou Thesz press which gets the 3 count and wins him the tournament. Match really was nothing special.
Winner: Giant Baba(via Lou Thesz press) **3/4


30/3/1982 – Giant Baba vs. Mongolian Stomper

We now come to the 10th and final Champion Carnival of the 80’s and once more only a handful of matches are available with this first one being from day 11. This is just a short 5 minute affair, with Stomper attacking Baba during his entrance and choking, so at the start of the match he has the control, Baba eventually makes a come back and smashing Stompers head against two ring-posts on the outside, busting Stomper wide open. They go back in the ring exchange some strikes and quickly end up on the outside again, Bruiser Brody gets involved and starts attacking Baba and the ref throws the match out. Just a simple brawl not much to it.
No Contest: **1/4

9/4/1982 – Billy Robinson vs. Mongolian Stomper

On day 20 and only the last couple minutes of this match are show. Bascially show Stomper doe an eye rake and hit a chop to Billy’s throat, he goes for a second one and Bill blocks it and does a series of uppercuts before hitting two of his signature backbreakers. Stomper manages to kick him away and then boots billy through the ropes, in doing so Billy gets his legs caught and is stuck hanging from the apron, so Stomper grabs a chair and starts smashing assaulting Bill’s legs with it, leading him to be disqualified.
Winner: Billy Robinson(via DQ) NR – Finish only

9/4/1982 – Genichiro Tenryu vs. Mighty Inoue

Another match from day 20 which is just the last couple minutes and fairplay its a good couple minutes of action with Inoue getting in most of the offence until Tenryu catches him with an enzugiri and spikes him with a piledriver for the 3 count.
winner: Tenryu(via piledriver) NR – finish only

9/4/1982 – Ted Dibiase vs. Bruiser Brody

Here’s an actual full match from day 20 and it’s alright, Brody pretty much dominates throughout with Dibiase struggling to make a come back until a King Kong kneedrop finishes him off. Pretty average match really.
Winner: Bruiser Brody(via King Kong kneedrop) **1/2

16/4/1982 – Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Genichiro Tenryu

Onto the Final day and there appears there was a few Carnival matches held as it all came down to gaining the most points. This one is apparently the first match Tsuruta and Tenryu ever had a against each other and it’s a 30 minute time limit draw, although unfortunately it’s clipped so we don’t get to see all of it, seemed like a good match though, very back and forth and had quite a few lengthy submission holds. What they show was quite enjoyable.
No winner: 30 minute time limit draw NR – clipped.

16/4/1982 – Giant Baba vs. Bruiser Brody

so this was the main event and basically the final to decide the winner. Match isn’t bad but nothing special, each guy has a bit of time in control and Bruiser gets busted open after getting slammed into the ring post. At the end they both end up on the outside and Bruiser leans a table against the ring post, throws Baba’s head into it, uses a chair and then has an altercation with one of the outside officials which gets him disqualified, giving Baba a 1 point lead and winner of the tournament overall. Think I enjoyed this one a little less than their finals match last year, it was alright though.
Winner: Giant Baba(via DQ) **1/2

-So that’s it for the Champion Carnival matches of the 80’s, alot of Bruiser Brody and Terry Funk and a couple good contests, but most of it really was nothing special or ended up being clipped in some way. There was also alot of pre-match and post-match brawl going on(which also happened alot in the 70’s) and I find that quite interesting, it was certainly a good way to make feuds and create heat between people, so that the matches in tournament were elevated, so there’d be a bigger interest in them. It certainly worked for most part.
Anyway next time we move onto Carnival matches of the 90’s and there are sure to be some corkers there. I very much look forward to it.






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