The Best of Japanese Wrestling – Before 1980

Is wrestling terrible these days? I don’t know. The only wrestling I watch is RAW on Fast Forward until I see The Shield jump out of the crowd. About a year ago I made a post here on the Pulse that was somewhat controversial. It was nowhere near “Blair Douglas visits the Facts of Life house and starts yellin’ at Blair Warner for usurping his name” controversial, but, it does rate. The post in question was a ranked list of the best matches from WWE in 2011.

It wasn’t liked. Because Mark Henry was ALL OVER that joint. And, Mark Henry is the equivalent of a Westboro Baptist Church protest around these parts.

That same forum that came up with that WWE list from last year? Well, they delved deep into the archives now.

How deep? You know how on every submarine movie ever they have a scene where they’re under water, but, then they straight up need to dive DEEPER? To avoid like torpedos and shit? That’s what the Forums gang did.

They want back BEFORE the 1980s to look at Japanese wrestling. I’ll admit that I’ve never seen a Japanese wrestling match that took place before the 1980s. At least, I don’t think I have. But, I’m sure there’s got to be some of you out there that have, and if so, hopefully this list will interest you. And, if not,well, I certainly plan on trying to check out some of these matches, so, hopefully ya’ll will too.

Or, at least give the forum a proper look. It’s been a great place for some really solid wrestling discussion.

Here now, the Best of Japanese Pro Wrestling – Before 1980.

Top 20

  1. Giant Baba -vs- The Destroyer (JPWA; 1969-03-05) // Points: 915 // Ballots: 7
  2. Jumbo Tsuruta -vs- Billy Robinson (AJPW; 1977-03-05) // Points: 815 // Ballots: 7
  3. Giant Baba -vs- Billy Robinson (AJPW; 1976-07-24) // Points: 810 // Ballots: 7
  4. Jumbo Tsuruta -vs- Terry Funk (AJPW; 1976-06-11) // Points: 805 // Ballots: 7
  5. Antonio Inoki -vs- Billy Robinson (NJPW; 1975-12-11) // Points: 795 // Ballots: 7
  6. Gou Ry?ma -vs- Fujinami Tatsumi (NJPW; 1979-10-02) // Points: 725 // Ballots: 7
  7. Mil Máscaras -vs- The Destroyer (AJPW; 1974-07-25) // Points: 720 // Ballots: 7
  8. Billy Robinson -vs- Verne Gagne (IWE; 1974-11-20) // Points: 695 // Ballots: 6
  9. Jumbo Tsuruta -vs- Billy Robinson (AJPW; 1977-03-11) // Points: 670 // Ballots: 6
  10. The Funks -vs- Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik (AJPW; 1979-07-15) // Points: 670 // Ballots: 6
  11. Jumbo Tsuruta -vs- Rusher Kimura (AJPW & IWE; 1976-03-28) // Points: 455 // Ballots: 6
  12. Jumbo Tsuruta -vs- Jack Brisco (AJPW; 1976-08-28) // Points: 455 // Ballots: 5
  13. Gou Ry?ma -vs- Fujinami Tatsumi (NJPW; 1978-11-30) // Points: 415 // Ballots: 5
  14. The Funks -vs- Billy Robinson & Horst Hoffman (AJPW; 1977-12-06) // Points: 390 // Ballots: 4
  15. The Funks -vs- Nick Bockwinkel & Blackjack Lanza (AJPW; 1978-12-05) // Points: 340 // Ballots: 4
  16. Giant Baba -vs- Bruno Sammartino (JPWA; 1967-03-07) // Points: 325 // Ballots: 3
  17. Antonio Inoki -vs- Jack Brisco (JPWA; 1971-08-05) // Points: 305 // Ballots: 3
  18. Dory Funk Jr. -vs- Horst Hoffmann (AJPW; 1975-12-15) // Points: 275 // Ballots: 3
  19. Dick Murdoch -vs- Karl Kox (AJPW; 1976-12-09) // Points: 235 // Ballots: 3
  • Gou Ry?ma -vs- Fujinami Tatsumi (NJPW; 1978-07-27) // Points: 200 // Ballots: 2

Fun Facts!
Ballot Consensus Factorâ„¢ – 43% (higher -> more consensus)
47 of the 73 matches nominated found a place on at least 1 ballot
Jumbo Tsuruta -vs- Billy Robinson (AJPW; 1977-03-05) at #3 was the most common placement (placed at #3 by 3 folks!)
1950s – 1 match on list
1960s – 6 matches on list
1970s – 66 matches on list

Questions you should answer if you’re familiar with the era?

Q) Any placings take you by surprise (in a positive or negative way)?

Q) Overall, do you think the list does a good job representing and covering the quality of the era? What do you think of #1?

Q) What are your overall impressions of early puroresu now that the project is complete? How does that stack up against your pre-project expectations? Anything change significantly for you?

And, thanks to the gang that took place in putting this list together. It’s always neat to list stuff, and especially so when you’re dealing with an era that produced some quality, but, doesn’t get too much attention.

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