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AJ 70's and 80's

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AJ 70's and 80's

Postby Magister369 » 2002/10/02 Wed 8:47 am

I have been watching some tapes of AJ in the 70's and 80's I have noticed that the formula seemed to be Geijin vs Japanese
for their major fued/storylines IE; Hansen vs Jumbo or a variety
of tour guests like Harley Race to challenge Giant Baba. when did
AJ move into doing Japanese vs Japanese IE; Misawa vs Kawada
for their main storylines?
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Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2002/10/02 Wed 9:01 am

It didn't happen all at once.

Until mid-80s, All Japan was one of main members of NWA. Its style was very similar to a typical NWA territory.

In mid-80s, Choshu and many other wrestlers left New Japan to start their own promotion "Japan Pro-Wrestling". Soon after the promotion was founded, it made a working agreement with All Japan. While the gaijin bignames such as the Funk Brothers, Hansen, Brody, etc. were still popular, Japanese vs. Japanese feud between All Japan and Japan Pro was really hot.

In late 80s, Choshu and some Japan Pro guys returned to New Japan. This was around the time the feud between Tsuruta and Tenryu started. About the same time, Akira Maeda started the 2nd UWF, a shoot-style promotion. Many believe that UWF caused New Japan and All Japan to have more clean finishes.

In '90, Tenryu and many others left All Japan to join newly created SWS. This caused the smaller guys like Misawa and Kawada to get push all the way to the top.

So, I would say these are the main reasons:
- change in the US wrestling politics (WWF national invasion, "demise" of NWA, etc.)
- working agreement with Choshu's Japan Pro
- Tsuruta vs. Tenryu
- popularity of the 2nd UWF
- departure by Tenryu & others for SWS
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