Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka v Kensuke Sasaki & Kenzo Suzuki (New Japan, 2/4/00) - FUN
Suzuki has been wrestling for about two years at this point. So you can probably guess how this goes. If your guess was, "Tenryu doesn't beat on Kenzo Suzuki" then you're dead fucking wrong. Because Tenryu beats on Kenzo Suzuki. Match only goes about eight minutes, but it's fun for what we get. Sasaki throws hella nasty chops and he hits Tenryu so hard with a lariat that Tenryu does the awesome "oh Christ, I think I'm having a stroke" sell (he never had the dribble running down his chin this time, though. That was unfortunate). Tenryu also throws hella nasty chops and Suzuki has this "why did I even bother?" look after a few minutes. Tenryu must be to Japanese rookies what Finlay is to American rookies (and probably British rookies, once upon a time). That leads to Suzuki steamrolling Tenryu with a "fuck it, I've had enough of this" spear ala Dustin steamrolling Vader in the Clash of the Champions match from '94. This wasn't as good as that, because the Dustin/Vader spot is one of the best spots ever, but it was in the same vein at least. Koshinaka is actually younger than Tenryu, but every time I see him post-'96 or so I just see him as an old dude of like a hundred and four years old. Maybe it's the hair. Hundred and four year old Koshinaka is exponentially more fun than young 1980s Koshinaka and I don't know how many times I've said that since I started this blog but I'll be fucked if it isn't as true as ever. He jabs Suzuki in the cheek with his hip bone a bunch and, you know, that probably isn't pleasant.
Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara v Koki Kitahara & Shinichi Nakano (SWS, 2/14/92) - SKIPPABLE
I was watching this and trying to think of things in pro-wrestling that'd suck more than being chopped by Tenryu. Kitahara's purple chest suggests the answer is "not much." This was alright, but there wasn't enough Tenryu GOATing it for it to be much more. He gave Koki and Nakano a ton, actually. Kitahara is someone I like a lot as he's a chunky wee fella that'll stiff you with kicks and has a nasty mean streak in him. He stiffs Tenryu with kicks and slaps him really hard across the ear in this, which I dug. Hara actually seemed more pissed off at the world than Tenryu did here, which kind of surprised me. Like, if someone gets chippy and starts slapping Tenryu, usually it's Tenryu that'll go on to maul them. This time it was Hara that pulled a guy out to the floor and started chucking furniture. Koki somehow manages to injure his own leg by doing a wheel kick, and that becomes the focus in the second half of the match. Tenryu just kicking him in the kneecap was a pretty great dickheaded cheapshot. Tenryu doesn't even hang around to get his hand raised after the match. He literally gets up and heads to the back, no celebration, no acknowledgement of anything. Maybe he had GTA V on pause.
Complete & Accurate Tenryu