Sunday, 7 October 2012

Chaos is a Friend of Tenryu's

Genichiro Tenryu v Yoshiaki Yatsu (SWS, 10/29/91) - EPIC

Well this was fucking awesome, and probably the best match in the short history of SWS. These guys are pretty much a perfect match-up to me personally, because they will hate each other to death and beat the absolute living fuck out of each other. First 8 or so minutes of this are entirely Yatsu, and I have no idea what Tenryu did to deserve such an unholy shitkicking. Yatsu blasts him right in the ear with a wild slap, nukes him with a sick lariat, elbows him in the ear, rains down mounted punches above the eye to cut him open, bulldogs him on the exposed concrete, etc. Just a complete mauling. Then he throws one slap too many and Tenryu decides he's had enough, and Tenryu beating on Yatsu might be even more harrowing than Yatsu beating on Tenryu. He gives him this look of utter contempt and chops him right in the throat (Yatsu clutches at it like it just broke his trachea), and I'm not sure there's anything better in wrestling than Tenryu chopping a fucker in the throat. Whole match is basically one guy taking a run on offence and unloading with as much nasty looking shit as possible, then the other guy taking over and trying to top it with even nastier shit. Tenryu's short punts to the face and eye are just brutal. Yatsu hits these crazy looking enziguris to the side of the head and face that probably concussed Tenryu. Yatsu torpedoes himself off the top rope and headbutts Tenryu in the cheek. Just moment after moment of violence. Tenryu's flurry of slaps before the finish felt like a receipt for every time Yatsu punched him in the face or kicked him in the ribs or stomped on his liver. And by the time Tenryu hits the powerbomb, Yatsu's out before he even hits the ground.

Genichiro Tenryu v Stan Hansen (All Japan, 3/9/88) - GREAT

Definitely my favourite Hansen/Tenryu match so far, and currently just inside my top 20. Starts out with both guys swinging wildly and Tenryu going right for the enziguiri, so Hansen just bowls him out to the floor with a shoulder block and beats him up. He works Tenryu's back from here on out and everything he does looks gloriously hurty. Hansen's kneedrops are the greatest, the way he jabs the knee right into the spine, and from time to time he'll just start punting Tenryu in the kidneys, which also ruled. Really liked the finish here too – Tenryu goes for a fisherman suplex and can't lift Hansen because his back is hurt, so he regroups and tries to hit a German suplex only for that to fail as well. Stan has Tenryu where he wants him and goes for the kill, but he lowers his head and Tenryu seizes the opportunity. He may not be able to lift him up for the big bombs, but he can still perform a small package. Post-match Hansen goes nuts, wrapping the bullrope around his arm and hitting the lariat on Tenryu, tearing up the ringside area, chasing after fans, etc. He goes back to Tenryu and Hara jumps in the way so he just cracks him with a cowbell and punts Higuchi in the liver. Then he leaves. Some guy tries to get an interview out of Tenryu and Tenryu's all "Dude...seriously, just fuck off." I eagerly await the rematch.

Genichiro Tenryu v Stan Hansen (All Japan, 3/27/88) - EPIC

Man, with a better finish this might have been fucking with my top 5. Someone picking their opponent's shoulders up off the mat during a pin attempt is a spot I don't like at the best of times, but when you're Stan Hansen and you've just drilled a guy with a Western Lariat (dead in the middle of the ring, which is pretty much a guaranteed victory) only to pick him up and then get DQ'd twenty seconds later, I tend to throw my hands up. The fact he tries to maim Tenryu afterwards is small salvation, but this was a total fucking slaughterhouse of a match that ended with the most deflating DQ finish on the set for me personally. Luckily what comes before it is as awesome as the finish is crappy. These guys seriously knock lumps out of each other, especially Hansen who is as violent as I've ever seen him. He looks like a rabid animal during the intros, pacing back and forth, itching to take a bite out of anyone that gets close enough. Tenryu charges him at the bell and gets a couple licks in, but Hansen sneaks in a big forearm and levels him with a punch right to the eye, and from that point on Tenryu is fighting an uphill battle. Hansen is just ridiculously vicious, focusing his entire attack on the cut above Tenryu's eye. There's a couple punts that would make the FUTEN boys grimace and there's a great spot where he blocks a powerbomb attempt by dragging Tenryu to the mat and nailing him with one of the nastiest kneedrops you'll see. This is worked more evenly than their last match. That had Hansen controlling the majority of it by working the back with Tenryu fighting back in spurts. Tenryu ramps up the violence this time out (he'd be dead if he didn't) and is willing to give just as good as he gets. Hansen starts punching him dead in the face, so he just grabs Hansen's fist to block it and uncorks with a huge left hand of his own before following up with a monster lariat. He also gears most of the nastiness towards Hansen's ribs, at one point running all the way across the ring and punting him so hard that he ends up flinging himself out the ring. Really, I know what I like in my pro-wrestling and THIS is it. I am super stoked for the next instalment on disc 11.

Genichiro Tenryu v Stan Hansen (All Japan, 7/27/88) - GREAT

I prefer their 3/27 match by a little, but this was still fucking great and currently sitting in my top 15. Tenryu's a guy that has taken the blade to his head a few times already, but it’s always produced a mere trickle of blood that's wound up being hidden by his fringe. Hansen jumps him in the aisle here and Tenryu BLEEDS like a faucet, and not even Cousin Itt's fringe could hide this. From that point on the story of the match is basically Tenryu fighting an uphill battle against this freight train of violence. Hansen just paints a bulls-eye on the cut like you'd expect, at one point throwing a couple back elbows that looked brutal as all get out, and Tenryu is great at eating all of this and stumbling around like he's half dead. Hansen eventually goes for the kill, but Tenryu manages to catch him in the ribs with a knee as he's charging in for the lariat, and that opens a window of opportunity. I don't know if Tenryu going after Hansen's ribs was supposed to play off their last match, but it was some cool continuity regardless. Tenryu goes for the elbow off the top to cap off a run of offence, but Hansen moves and just bowls him out to the floor with these nasty shoulderblocks before blasting him with a chair. Still, Tenryu keeps plugging away until Hansen manages to hit the lariat, and Tenryu takes a great bump by flying halfway up the aisle for the count out. Both guys were aces here and this rocked something fierce.

Genichiro Tenryu v Hiroshi Tanahashi (New Japan, 8/15/04) - GREAT

Oh Jesus, Tenryu is totally spectacular in this. Tanahashi's all shredded and has pretty boy hair and Tenryu tries to rearrange his facial features. Only goes about 7 minutes, but it's basically an extended squash for the most part. Tanahashi starts elbowing him in the face at the beginning and Tenryu seems almost amused, then amusement turns to contempt and he punches him directly in the face. A bunch of times. From this moment on Tenryu is a million shades of awesome. He really just abuses Tanahashi, and he's enjoying every second of it. He gives him a few Wanderlei Silva punts to the head, some vicious chops, a nasty rope-assisted DDT (kinda like the one Randy Orton does only from the top rope instead of the middle), a brainbuster on the ring apron, etc. Tremendous moment where Tenryu tells the ref' to put the ten count on Tanahashi, so naturally he starts counting, and Tenryu's got this amazing facial expression where you just know he wants to lay some more nasty shit on Tanahashi. The ref' wants him back so Tenryu's all "Alright, alright, I'll stay back." As soon as the ref' turns away the menace returns to his face and he goes and drops an elbow just because he wants to. Then he tells the ref' to count again and as Tanahashi starts to stir Tenryu absolutely nukes him with a kick full on dead in the face. He does the fake wiping sweat from the brow thing afterwards and words really don't do justice to how much I loved it. Tanahashi misses a dropkick at one point and Tenryu's "Look at this yahoo trying a dropkick and shit" expression had me stepping out of the room for a second. Finish is sort of unusual (not sure why Tanahashi hit the ropes before it), but I had a gigantic grin on my face the entire match and Tenryu is the motherfucking greatest. 2 million stars.

Complete & Accurate Tenryu

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