Genichiro Tenryu v Yoji Anjoh (WAR, 7/21/96) - GREAT
This ruled, obviously. It's a lot like the '97 match (which I'd already seen), but even better. It follows the same pattern of Anjoh being a shitweasel and Tenryu being a ticking timebomb. Anjoh is in full on douchebag mode early on, throwing shots and winding Tenryu up then bailing to the floor and making those faces Anjoh will make. The more he does this the more Tenryu will progressively up the violence, from regular chopping to a wild lariat to throat chopping. Then he goes off and murders Anjoh. There's one bit where Anjoh has the mount so Tenryu rabbit punches him in the nose and starts pulling at bits of his face. Every punch Tenryu throws seems to be stiffer and nastier than the one before it. The one where he gets Anjoh in the corner and cracks him in the cheekbone was particularly hideous. It was like, you know Anjoh is a shithead, but does he really deserve that? Finish is also similar to the '97 match where Anjoh kicks out of the powerbomb into an armbar, and people are genuinely believing that Tenryu might go down here. The last lariat Tenryu throws probably loosened Anjoh's bowels. Anjoh takes a cheapshot post-match and unashamedly walks away celebrating like he just won the thing. Then Tenryu grabs a mic and challenges Takada and holy smokes that is gonna fucking rule.
Complete & Accurate Tenryu
Complete & Accurate Anjoh