Genichiro Tenryu, Toshiaki Kawada & Hiromichi Fuyuki v Jumbo Tsuruta, Isao Takagi & Mighty Inoue (All Japan, 1/26/90) - GREAT
So Pete on PWO has unearthed a ton of 80s/early 90s Japanese handheld footage over the last few months, and if this is anything to go by then what a treasure trove he may have stumbled upon. There wasn't a ton of Jumbo v Tenryu in this, which on the surface might sound disappointing, but boy did they make up for it with every other pairing. Mighty and Takagi were an awesome pair of portly underdogs, taking it right to Tenryu whenever they had the chance. Maybe it had something to do with Tenryu shit talking Inoue pre-match, but the wee fella was extra fired up and even came out on top of a few strike exchanges. I loved his fatboy sentons, loved Takagi shoulderblocking Tenryu off the apron, and pretty much every time they stepped to Tenryu it was great. Naturally Tenryu got more and more fed up with it as it went on and started kicking them in the eye and chopping them in the throat. At one point he stomped clean on Inoue's face and I think it might've popped his nose (it was a little difficult to tell from where it was shot). Jumbo wasn't in there for long, but I liked how his first involvement in the match was him instantly trying to rupture Kawada's spleen with kneelifts. He's still the Big Dog at this point in time so I guess it was only fitting that he swung the tide when he saw fit to. It set up a run of Kawada-in-peril and it allowed Inoue to bust out the abdominal claw so that was also pretty great. Things started to get hectic towards the end with potato shots being flung every which way and pinfalls and submissions being broken up in nasty fashion. There was no fifteen minute finishing run, but you could already see them working out the formula for where they'd go with this sort of match in the near future. After the bell Inoue grabs the mic and I guess says something about Tenryu not being such as smart ass now and Tenryu goes total fucking badger shit. I usually associate the big pull apart brawls with WAR Tenryu, but this had tables and chairs and whatever Inoue said I assume he came to regret it.
Complete & Accurate Tenryu