Looking Back NJPW WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

The Review Stands Alone: Andre The Giant vs. Stan Hansen (NJPW 9/23/81)

Andre the Giant vs. Stan Hansen*****

Recently, I listed out all of my “Desert Island” matches, meaning if I only had a select few matches to watch for the rest of my life, what would they be? Well, this match made the short list of only fifty-three, and would probably be in my Top 5 if I were ranking them. This match has still young Stan Hansen (compared to the majority of footage we have) going at it with Andre, and it really is a spectacle that needs to be seen to be believed.

This match is definitely not a wrestling match, as these guys just lay it in to each other the entire time. The real interesting dynamic of the match is the fact that Stan Hansen is working as the small guy when he is 300 pounds, which is just a hoot when you sit down and really think about it. Listen, if there is one thing in wrestling that is truly underrated, it HAS to be Stan Hansen’s standing elbow drops, because my god they have to be some of the best ever, he just tips over like the little teapot and BOOM destroyed sternum.

It’s crazy to watch this match and see how the ring moves at the near 750 pounds in the ring and this is 1980s New Japan, the ring was not ready for that shit. The match gets restarted at one point due to the two acting like real pricks, so naturally they are even bigger pricks to each other once the match gets underway again. Andre is just a sight to behold, before his body just completely fell apart the dude was great, and he is taking shots and bumps like no seven foot guy ever should, it is ridiculous.

The conclusion of the match sees a double disqualification that forces all the young lions to get in the ring and get their asses handed to them by some real shooters. They then go into the crowd and nearly cause a riot which is really all I can ask for in my wrestling in the grand scheme of things. Watching and reviewing this match just makes me have the biggest grin on my face, as it is just so much FUN. Overall, I consider this match not only to be a personal favorite, but a classic as well, and with the whole package coming in at under 20 minutes you have no excuse to not watch it at some point.

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