The British Bulldogs vs. The Malenko Brothers
January 28th 1989 - AJPW New Years Giant '89
I hadn't heard of this match before. I am fully aware of The Bulldogs and Dean Malenko. However, I hadn't ever seen Joe wrestle before. This was quite the treat. As part of AJPW's New Years Giant events, this match came on the final night of the 1990 series. It was a classic. There are a lot of holds. If you are not a fan of the slower and more methodical pace, this might not be for you.
Dean Malenko is perfection. He is the best ring strategist. It's always good to see him. Dynamite is on point here. His vicious snap suplex right out of the gate shows his fight and fury. He really resembles Benoit in this match. I kept seeing the Rabid Wolverine flashing in and out here and there. Bulldog appeared to be in his early prime. He showcased his brute strength in numerous spots. Great work. I have no complaints about Joe Malenko, he was a main part of this match. Really athletic and agile. His submission work is really on par with his brothers. Just look at Joe working over The British Bulldog's leg.
That jumping tombstone is amazing! I can't get over how good Dynamite is here. And just when I think that it can't get any better, look at this sequence between Dean and Davey Boy Smith! Just perfection. Even this tumble-to-the-outside spot is great considering how dangerously small the ringside area is. I am a sucker for those really risky spots.
Then the crescendo as the match builds to the ending. Some fantastic suplex spots and reversals. Joe Malenko and Dynamite Kid duking it out. Dynamite bleeding from the nose. The intensity and fury. There's that word again. The emotion. This was at a time that The Dynamite Kid would have to get himself into a really bad place to even make it to the ring. It was a shame. He was such a talent.
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This match went about 24 minutes and was full of action from the get. It had a slower pace but it kept the action solid. Both teams showed their best. Even with Dynamite on his way out, The Bulldogs shined and showed why they were in the upper echelon of Tag Teams. This was a phenomenal showing of how a formulaic Tag match should play out.