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[1996-07-21-WAR vs UWFi] Genichiro Tenryu vs Yoji Anjo

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Excellent match! Super stiff and dramatic. Wrestled like it is taking place in a dome even though it's not, which I really love. The match just feels huge because they sell everything so dramatically, and because Anjo specifically has such awesome facial expressions. It clocks in at less than 15 minutes, and while I could have watched these guys much longer, it really feels like the perfect length match for what they were doing. One of my favorites on the set thus far.

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I didn't care too much for Anjo in the match but God damn Tenryu is awesome. He might have the best punches in this history of wrestling. I liked how he went nuts and started doing Sumo slaps. The end was great too.

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I knew this would be fun. If you were auditioning for the roles of grumpy veteran and disrespectful punk you'd cast these two. So the dynamic between them brought guaranteed entertainment. The early exchanges played out how you might expect. Then all of a sudden things start getting way out of hand with cheapshots and fists flying. It looks like they're shooting on each other, and if it's a shoot then Anjoh might win it! That brought unpredictability and drama to the closing stages. Excellent from both men, they couldn't have worked this much better. Stiff, to the point, and they told a good story.

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Oh fuck yes. Japan's grumpiest bastard against its cockiest bastard. In 1990 we had Memphis brawlers working UWFI-style, 6 years later we've got a UWFI guy working like a Memphis heel. Anjo showboats, he cheapshots, he bails, he stalls...he's just awesome. There's a brilliant spot where he's got a standing toehold on Tenryu with his boot on his throat, and when the referee starts counting Anjo breaks...the toehold. Keeps his foot in place the whole time until the ref finally gets tired of his shit. Then he has the nerve to complain about Tenryu using closed fists, only to use the referee as a screen so he can level him with a high kick. Tenryu is just as awesome when he finally has enough and unloads on him, and they work two terrific false finishes when Anjo escapes the power bomb and turns it into a reverse cross armbreaker. But Tenryu withstands both that and the Ground Cross and that means Anjo has fired all of his bullets. Tenryu creams him with a lariat and puts him away with the power bomb, but Anjo still has to be an ungrateful dick afterward. Yeah, it's a huge step down for UWFI to go from feuding with NJPW to feuding with WAR, but I want more of this.

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Just watched this and LOVED it...Tenryu's lariats on Anjo (both of them near the end) were awesome..

 

Anjo is such an asshole, its great to watch and there was a point I though Tenryu might tap out, but not to be..

 

Anjo's dickhead antics and pissed off Tenryu worked great together...I wanted to punch Anjo in the face!

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Awesome slugfest war with Anjo acting too big for his britches but not backing down an inch. Tenryu's strikes are continuously awesome and this is the 2nd awesome slugfest type match he has had so far this year. ****

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There was a lot of novelty value in this -- I mean it's Tenryu vs. Anjoh, think about that for a second -- but what really impressed me was how good the bout was. There was a point during the early Anjoh stalling where I thought, "okay this is pretty good when they're striking, but I'm not sure they have anywhere to go from here," but Tenryu really aced this by making his strikes look about as unpulled as they can be in a pro-wrestling contest. He didn't have any real shooting ability on the mat, so he made up for that by throwing the hardest looking lariats in his career, continuously going for the legal (and sometimes illegal) punch to the eye, and raising his chops up around the throat; though to be fair, UWF-i matwork was mostly about guys lying around in submission holds milking rope breaks, which is what happened here anyway. Those nasty strikes worked in the contest of Tenryu being pissed at Anjoh, but they also put him on a level pegging with Anjoh's killing game, and while Anjoh rolling through the powerbomb attempts was a bit questionable, it was undeniably dramatic. Really enjoyed the flurries of nasty strikes in this and he killer lariats. The crowd was super hot and it was hard to believe this ran less than 12 minutes as engrossing as it was. I'm not sure Tenryu is a good enough singles worker to rate as highly as he does for some people, but this was one of his better single matches of the 90s and an excellent performance from a guy not afraid to mix up his style.

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Genichiro Tenryu vs Yoji Anjoh - WAR 7/21/96

 

With WAR and UWFi both on their last legs, they join forces to put on some pretty spectacular bouts. My favorite gimmick in all of purorseu maybe the cocky shooter asshole. Yoji Anjoh, while not quite to Murakami levels, is an excellent cocky prick in this match. He is taunting. He runs away from Tenryu every time Tenryu gets the advantage. He stalls. He cheats like a muthafucka. He just steps on Tenryu's throat at one point. You know he doesn't have to because his kicks are deadly and his submission holds are just as lethal. What makes this even better is the receipt. Because you know that Tenryu grumpy bastard that he is doesn't have time for this bullshit and when he gets his hands on this little muthafucka he is going to annihilate him. Annihilate him he did. The punches to the side of the head were tremendous. The Fuck You Sumo Slaps were great. The chop to the throat triggered Anjoh's fight or flight and he starts wailing on Tenryu who absorbs the blows and then punches him right in the side of the head. Every lariat was more brutal than the last. They did a great job teasing the powerbomb and then letting Anjoh have two submission nearfalls followed by a HUGE lariat, enziguiri and then powerbomb. Out of the powerbomb, he gets a nasty armbar. We get the rope break and then a MACK TRUCK LARIAT~! Followed by the powerbomb for the win. Loved the efficiency establish Anjoh as a cocky shooter prick that you want to see get his ass kick. Deliver said ass kicking. Have a couple nearfalls for both and then BLAST him to hell and have the good guy go over. That's pro wrestling! ****

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Man this is another match I wish went about five minutes longer, this was heading to MOTYC territory fast. Such a great match from the very beginning. Anjo is such a dick and you want to see Tenryu unleash on him, and when he does boy does it deliver. Just great strikes and a feeling of a nasty fight all throughout. The powerbomb into the arm bar with Tenryu following it up with one of the sickest lariats of all time was a beautiful sequence. This is a match that leaves me wanting way more.

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This was awesome. The blend of styles was done really well and they played into it well. Anjo outsmarting Tenryu when he tried to whip him in the ropes, by baseball sliding under them and pulling a smirky face was a great example of that. You don’t run the ropes in Shoot wrestling (to much success anyway). It’s another example of Anjo being a total shithead and being a total prick, in a likeable way that I loved. There was great drama in the submission holds towards the end, with the crowd totally buying them due to the great transitions into them. Anjo did a great job of getting the most drama out of the submissions as possible. Tenryu being on defence for the whole matc was a bit of a shock but I think he did a great job with it. Selling the vulnerability of being with an unconventional opponent superbly. **** 
 

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