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[1993-06-17-WAR-1st Anniversary Show] Genichiro Tenryu vs Shinya Hashimoto

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This match is definitely weaker than it's NJPW incarnation that occurs two months later but it's still a blast. The body of the match mainly revolves around limb selling (Tenryu's leg and Hashimoto's shoulder) but there are still plenty of potatoes for the sadists.

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Awesome, hard-fought match, everything I hoped it would be after so many months of teasing a match. I've seen the G-1 match before (but not in years), and from memory, I'd agree that this isn't quite at that level, but this is still something that would be a low-end MOTYC in a normal year. Like Graham Crackers, I loved the legwork, but more than that, I thought this was amazingly paced: a series of builds to great moments, each kind of playing off the last one.

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Given the build up this didn't deliver. Hopefully the rematch will do. A bit sloppy and messy at times. Plenty of leg work from Hash. There was some decent stuff at the end but they hadn't given themselves the base to launch off.

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Bombs away! Maybe not the total asskicking brawl I expected going in. Okay, it picked up as match went on but just wasn’t as strong as I would think with the build up to things. Tenryu finally gets himself a victory for the year.

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The build-up had me hoping for a MOTYC, which I didn't really get, but it was a hell of a war nevertheless. Hash zeroes in on Tenryu's leg and Tenryu does one of his better sells in that regard, before starting a big comeback when he counters a Hash DDT attempt. Huge win for Tenryu to make up for his early exit in the elimination match.

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Loss said "low-end MOTYC in a normal year" and that's about right. 1993 was anything but normal, and there were dozens and dozens of better matches than this. In a weaker year, this would be worth considering for a year-end rundown.

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This wasn't the match I really expected but it was great nonetheless and more about these two aces not wanting to make a cardinal mistake and representing their brand. The opening was tentative but gave way to some nasty strikes. The work on Tenryu's leg was super effective and carried the middle of the match where he would have to overcome the odds. That leads right to the finish were everything was maximized and Tenryu winning at the end being a definitive finish. ****1/4

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I thought this was extremely good for what they set out to achieve. It was a much more minimalist, stripped back style than the wrestling that was in vogue at the time, and the beginning was largely masochistic with both wrestlers challenging each other to hit them as hard as they could. That might not be to everyone's tastes and was a precursor of a lot of the modern forearm exchange spots, but Tenryu and Hashimoto tend to be a lot more violent. The complexion of the match changed when Tenryu became injured. I thought the commentators did a good job of foreshadowing the knee injury and Tenryu sold it pretty well except for the spot where he was struggling to reach the ropes. Not really a natural spot for Japanese wrestlers that. The crowd was super hot for his comeback which made for a fantastic atmosphere and though some of the stagger selling was weak, this was a much better example of how to do a Cena/Owens match well. Hashimoto was even using Tenryu's moves ala Owens. I really liked how Hashimoto bled from Tenryu's tsuppari attack, and even though in isolation Tenryu's big spots are ugly as sin, with that crowd behind him, the knee injury to overcome and the difficulty in keeping that fat man down you couldn't help but root for him.,

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If you'd told me how this would end midway through I wouldn't have believed it. I didn't expect Tenryu to submit, but I thought the finish would play off of his damaged leg somehow. Instead, he battles back from the injury to literally kick Hash's face in, then picks up the big win with the powerbomb. Great job of his selling the injury and making the finish effective at the same time. I never would have thought that Hash would be the one needing help back to the locker room, but they did a good job of making it believable.

 

Normally I don't like a lot of stalling to start a match, but these two weren't stalling. You could feel the hatred and also sense that each one was just waiting to draw the other into a big mistake. Most grudge matches start from the second the participants see each other, but this was a nice change of pace.

 

Tenryu doesn't get a lot of credit for his selling in most matches, but he did a fine job of it here. Hash really seems like his equal, which is the whole point of the match and feud.

 

Can't wait to see the elimination match!

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This was pretty epic for such a minimalist match. The main thing that these guys do is STARES. And these guys are the masters of staring. You get all kinds of awesome moments thanks to their facial expressions. The pacing and build is of the charts too and thus the crowd is on fire for the finish. The story of Hashimoto coming in, taking out Tenryu's leg and then just drilling him repeatedly in his own ring made for a really compelling match as you were wondering how Tenryu could come back. I don't want to glorify overly stiff moves but Tenryu bloodying Hash's nose was good way to remind you he is still Tenryu even when in trouble. The bomb throwing, and subsequently Tenryu pushing ahead to overcome Hashimoto was really great too. Great match.

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Shinya Hashimoto vs Genichiro Tenryu - WAR 6/17/93

I really need to watch the NJPW vs WAR build to this match. This is the feud that makes Shinya Hashimoto into The Man. Chono may have won the first two G-1 Climaxes and Muta may have been the first one to win the IWGP Championship, but neither was tapped to be the Leader of New Japan to face off against the invading Genichiro Tenryu. Tenryu defeated Choshu at 1/4 Dome show, but lost to Choshu at the April Sumo Hall show. The New Japan vs. WAR feud continued with a greater emphasis placed on Shinya Hashimoto in his quest to defeat Tenryu.

 

I liked the beginning. Hashimoto was raring to go, but Tenryu is tentative. In a lot of ways, this was Tenryu first major contest against a star of the 90s. He had matches with Misawa, Kawada and Kobashi but he left before any of them were pushed. In the New Japan feud, he was faced against his old rival, Choshu. After leading that Revolution against Jumbo, the tables have been turned and it now Hashimoto who is the upstart and Tenryu is the establishment. He has become an elder statesman and now he has to weather that storm of rage that he knows all too well that causes a man to throw off the chains and topple the establishment. There is a great lock up in the corner where you see Hashimoto give Tenryu the death stare. Hashimoto throws a barrage of kneelifts up against the ropes and Tenryu has to powder. Hashimoto is pissed and throws a wild overhand chop. Hashimoto finally gets a hold of Tenryu starts to blast him. Tenryu goes to the eyes and just rips into Hashimoto. That chop to the throat was just nasty. Reverse top rope elbow. Tenryu wants the win early. Tenryu headbutts Hashimoto in the midst of headbutts, Hashimoto kicks Tenryu's leg and LEG SWEEP! Hashimoto does a great job working holds on the legs and using strikes against the legs. Hashimoto has the best standing elbow drop this side of Lex Luger. Tenryu did a great job selling all the leg work. Tenryu has two hope spots built around Sumo Slaps which of course draw blood from Hashimoto's nose. I love how Hashimoto used the weakened leg to set up his big bomb offense: DDT, powerbomb and rainbow heel kick. He goes for the death sentence the jumping DDT but Tenryu shoves him off. Enziguiri from Tenryu! I love how all of Tenryus offense has been targeting the head during his comeback. Powerbomb 1-2-NO! Tenryu is in shock. Hashimoto hits his own enziguiri; I like how Hashimoto has used the powerbomb and enziguiri in this match. Tenryu hits a couple really bad enziguiris, but thats Tenryu for you. The finish sequence is absolutely amazing. Tenryu tries with all his might to get Hashimoto up for his second powerbomb, but cant do it. Kawada kicks by Tenryu and then two BADASS CHOPS! Hashimoto kicks him in the head with a roundhouse kick and Tenryu responds with a KAPPO KICK! That popped me! POWERBOMB! 1-2-3!

One of those matches where Hashimoto gained as much in a loss as he would have with a victory. Helluva effort him. Totally in the zone once the bell rang, great job working the leg and hell he had Tenryu where he wanted him after the finish sequence and was one move away from winning. Tenryu showed his veteran poise giving a totally selfless performance selling so well for Hashimoto and giving so much of the match to him. Then coming back with the perfect amount of vulnerability and credibility. You come away feeling that is not a matter of if but when Hashimoto will upend Tenryu and take his place among legends of puroresu and the Ace of New Japan Pro Wrestling. ****1/2

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