Tuesday, 22 August 2017

On the First Night of His Drinking He was Looking for His Keys, Tenryu was Half Blind and Stinking and Bloody at the Knees

Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen v Jubo Tsuruta & Isao Takagi (All Japan, 7/1/89) - FUN

This had its moments, but it was pretty disjointed and you wouldn't struggle to find twenty better Jumbo v Tenryu tags from '89 alone. It might've peaked in the first minute. Tenryu is above mingling with lowly Takagi and wants Jumbo in there. Jumbo looks to the crowd like "who does this guy think he is?" Takagi is determined to stand his ground even after Tenryu chucks him into the corner and demands Jumbo, who is all but ready to oblige. When we do get Jumbo/Tenryu they run an extended parity/learned psychology sequence that has all the hallmarks of classic All Japan build. Those sequences can be suuuuuuper lame and corny when most people do them, but these guys were the originators and nobody did it better than the All Japan lot. It's also interesting to see just how much guys like Misawa and Kawada took from their predecessors. They mastered the formula but it wasn't until the All Japan 80s set that I realised how much groundwork Jumbo and Tenryu laid. I've said it before, but Tenryu working this style so well only to leave All Japan and work a much more stripped back style with equal effectiveness really speaks to how good he was. And this was definitely at its best when those two were lighting each other up. Hansen was even more belligerent than usual here and it might've been to the match's detriment. His unruliness is one of my favourite things about him, but he wasn't interested in giving even Jumbo anything so you can imagine how much of his largesse extended to Takagi. Tenryu/Takagi is a real fun match up when they get going and Takagi was sure game to step to his superiors.

Genichiro Tenryu, Koki Kitahara & Animal Hamaguchi v Hiromichi Fuyuki, Jado & Gedo (WAR, 6/30/94) - FUN

This is the final of WAR's one-night six man tag title tournament, and I don't know if Fuyuki did something particularly dastardly earlier in the show but the crowd do not like him one bit. He comes in to break up a submission attempt and straight away he's met with a chorus of boos. At one point he took a cheapshot at Tenryu and Tenryu did not appreciate it at all and maybe tried to murder him. No sympathy was afforded him. Tenryu wasn't hugely involved, but there were a few awesome moments of grumpiness, the best being where he chopped Jado in the throat with an absolute fucker of a knife edge. I don't really know what happened at the finish. Kendo Nagasaki showed up and let off a fire extinguisher and somehow it led to Fuyuki and Kitahara being the only two left in the ring. Kitahara was actually fun showing vulnerability and getting worked over, even if you want him kicking people in the eye and kidneys.

Complete & Accurate Tenryu

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