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[1996-10-11-WAR-Osaka Crush Night] Genichiro Tenryu vs Great Muta

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Keiji Muto is a wrestler. The Great Muta is a wrestler too, but is also a brawler with tons of schtick and charisma. And he does a lot of stalling between spurts of great action. The heat is through the roof. I remember how cool Muta was when he sprays green mist, then red mist, then does all these super athletic moves, then breaks a bottle at ringside, then comes after Tenryu with a sharp object, then beats up people at ringside who try to talk some sense into him, then piledrives a bloodied Tenryu on a ringside table, breaking the leg of it then attacking Tenryu with the leg. Then he goes all Jerry Lawler and plays hide the foreign object from the referee. Following that up with little touches like Tenryu kissing his fist before delivering a punch makes me think they sought to have a Memphis-style brawl. Wild chairshots and table spots follow, with Muta even doing his handspring elbow into a corner with Tenryu in front of a table. Muta sprays mist in Tenryu's eyes after he can't kick out of a powerbomb. My only complaint is that the Tenryu win didn't seem convincing because Muta took so much of the match. They work the match like Muta is a semi-invincible monster, with Tenryu trying as many desperation wrestling moves as possible and nothing having too much impact. Muto isn't bad, but I wish he could be Muta all the time. That said, having him only do this gimmick on occasion probably added a lot to its aura.

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Awesome match in term of pure fun and aura. I always loved The Great Muta gimmick, I guess I have terrible taste in wrestling. But yeah, it worked so well because it was only in small dose.

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This match was way more fun than it had any right to be. It actually reminded me a lot of Cena/Lesnar. Both matches are chaotic bloody brawls, and Brock and Muta are both out-of-control seemingly unstoppable monsters.

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I wouldn't want Muto to be like this all the time, but in occasional doses against the right opponent it works perfectly. Muta even gets to show the value of an American learning excursion, with his interactions with the referee when it comes to his foreign object usage. Tenryu really makes this with his incredible punches and comeback.

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Muta does some good stalling to build some heat, and then that heats builds into a fireball explosion of offense onto Tenryu. Muta's offense looks very stiff and crisp. We get a sharp object, some blood, and a table spot. Muta continues to pick Tenryu apart at ringside. Tenryu is a bloody mess, and looks very fatigued. I guess they play on that when Muta no sells some hope spots from Tenryu. Tenryu finally gets his attention with some stiff chops and a lariat. LOVE the punches Tenryu starts throwing out. Muta gets Tenryu with the mist dodging a chairshot. Which in turn, he delivers to Tenryu. It looks like Muta is painting a shirt with Tenryu's blood! This was tons of fun - ****

 

#450 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-450-401/

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A match that is visual eye candy throughout the duration. From Muta giving a Kubuki esque performance of mystique and evil to the bloody and grizzled Tenryu not giving it up, all of this felt epic and well earned for the 17 minutes it occurred. Much like the Onita death matches, it was a spectacle but also hit on an emotional chord you didn't expect and doesn't leave the viewer's mind quickly. The mist was utilized really well here and I loved Tenryu fighting through to win with a big powerbomb. ****1/4

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Genichiro Tenryu vs Great Muta - WAR 10/11/96

 

One of my all-time favorite matches, which I watched originally over ten years ago (I cant believe that!), and it does not disappoint in rewatch (probably the first time I have watched it in 5 years). There is something about Great Muta in his full regalia that is just so captivating. There have been many imitations but they all pale in comparison to the original. Tenryu in his stately kimono stands in stark contrast to the demonic Muta. Tenryu throwing the ceremonial bouquet of flowers is a great opening salve of hostility. The action is fast & furious. When Muta is on. the chaos & violence he generates is engrossing. He is able to combine Wildman actions with Hellish overtones into a very intoxicating concoction. It is both sad that Great Muta vs Undertaker was never seriously considered because that would have been a great WrestleMania Spectacle and that there is a real dearth of great Wildman characters in pro wrestling today. Tenryu stands in direct opposition as a stoic, Japanese badass that stands for authority with his brutal hard strikes. Muta breaks a glass bottle against the ring post and drive it deep into Tenryu's head drawing blood. Muta is such a glorious heel here jabbing the wound with his fingers and any hard metal object he can find. He piledrives him into a table. He takes every heel shortcut imaginable. I loved Tenryu trying to chop Muta down, but like the Creature from the Black Lagoon he arises again and again to chop Tenryu down. Eventually, Tenryu rallies with big chops and fists. Just by the virtue of how good the heat segment was you just pumped to see Tenryu overcome and kick some ass. TENRYU SNAPS~! Throwing chairs and a table into the ring. He goes to take Muta's head off with a chair and MIST~! Great cutoff and great use of the table with the back handspring elbow and moonsault. I love Muta throwing the table on his head then beating up a WAR dude and taking his write shirt to write something in Tenryu's blood. That's awesome. Backbreaker, which is the traditional lead in to the moonsault but Tenryu powerbombs him off the top! Kickout, he goes for number two and MIST~! I FORGOT ABOUT THAT! MARK OUT CITY! Tenryu is really covered in green and really sells it. Tenryu blocks the mist by COVERING MUTA'S MOUTH! I forgot about that too! MARK OUT CITY~! Tenryu hits a combination lariat and puts Muta down with a third powerbomb.

 

Amazing combination of Clash of Titans and violent brawl. Everything felt HUGE~! From the entrance attire to their characters to the spots in the match, everything felt enormous. My minor complaint is the first powerbomb was a bit out of nowhere (would have liked Muta to miss that moonsault) and thought a more violent climax like a powerbomb on a chair or table would have been more fitting. Thought the heat segment by Muta is one of the all-time greatest and the work around the Mist was amazing. Just a match that built and built with two amazing characters ready to have your mind blown by this rating...****3/4 Whats crazy is that five years later they have a polar opposite match and I say that's *****. Great chemistry.

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Oh man! Now this match is a classic, for real. I can't remember hearing anyone talk about it before either. This whole thing is insane and perfect. It has a huge big match feel, both guys at at their best working a big match style, it feels legitimately chaotic, both guys play their roles perfectly and the action is incredible. Tenryu's two big come backs are so, so awesome. Love his first comeback when he spits on his fist and then rocks Muta with punches. Tenryu blocking Muta's mist spray and following up with two lariats is legit one of the coolest spots I've ever seen. This match is non-stop great action and builds to a particularly tense finishing run. So, so good.

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