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[1990-02-10-NJPW vs AJPW] Genichiro Tenryu & Tiger Mask vs Riki Choshu & George Takano

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Great match, hell of a war between Tenryu & Choshu here & Takano was brining the goods too. Tiger was a little underwhelming, not bad but he mostly wrestled this like it was any other match instead of stepping up & bringing his A game like the other 3. Why was he teaming with Tenryu to begin with instead of one of his regular stable mates? Fuyuki was right thear at ringside & i'd have much rather seen him in the spot.

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Great match! Yes, the Choshu/Tenryu interplay is definitely the highlight, but I thought Misawa and Takano held their own too. They are really the perfect wrestlers for this type of crowd and show. Every Choshu/Tenryu interaction feels like the most important struggle in the world, and Misawa and Takano seem to get that and work the right stuff around it.

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As for why Takano was there...if ever there was an "I'm here to do the job" spot, Takano was it.

 

This has the same heat the previous match had, but the revival of the Tenryu/Choshu war adds a whole new layer to this whereas the previous match was basically an exhibition (even by pro graps standards). Takano wrestles like a guy who's in over his head, in that he has to go balls-to-the-wall just to keep up with the much more decorated opponents, and he does that with gusto, laying in some great kicks to go along with some hard-hitting high flying moves. This goes into a Texas Tornado match with all four guys in the ring for a LONG time trading moves, with Choshu and Tenryu going to war in the ring while Misawa and Takano trade dives to the floor. Eventually Misawa wipes both juniors out on a dive but manages to beat the count back in. Excellent bout--all four guys looked good but Takano put in a performance worthy of getting to save face at the end in avoiding a pinfall.

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I had never seen this and had a blast watching it. It certainly wasn't a deep match, but it fit the setting perfectly, with guys flying all over the ring and Tenryu and Choshu just blasting each other. I thought Misawa was fine, though it's amazing how much more presence he carried just a few months later. It's a shame we never got a full-on AJ vs. NJ program during the '80s or '90s.

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I think I preferred the previous tag match to this one. Tiger Mask just seemed off in the match. It did get really good when Tenryu and Choshu were in there together. They kept their interaction early to brief moments so it built to later in the match when they went at it more. Count out finish wasn't the best but there is a certain amount of protecting in these inter promotional matches.

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Oh man I loved this. Tenryu/Choshu have some of their best interactions against each other up tot his point and both Tiger and Takano did a good job of filling time and being the underneath wrestlers. Everybody was flying and bumping all over the place. Great heated match.

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Wow my opinion of Takano sure has changed.

 

Like most, I was really underwhelmed by the Cobra matches on the NJPW 80s set. Then I had the Takano/Super Strong Machine vs. Saito/Choshu tag from '89 at #5 on my Ballot. Here, while the Tenryu-Choshu exchanges are the draw, Takano steals the show. Stock going up = George Takano as a Heavyweight.

 

I was a little blown away by this as it went on and this is Top 5 of the year for me so far.

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Good match, like most I really enjoyed the Tenryu/Choshu exchanges, but then again, I've pretty much liked everything I've seen out of Tenryu on the set so far.

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This was so good I don't know how I hadn't heard of it before. Hot action along with the interpromotional atmosphere makes a winning combination. You know GenTen vs Rikki is always going to be fun. Mask was decent enough in his role. The big surprise here was how impressive Georgey was, really sharp and strong. I liked how neither team was going down easy but they were still co-operating with each other. Many times in interpromotional matches this turns into no selling instead.

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The crowd was very hot for this one and it turned out to be a very intense match. I didn't seem to enjoy this match as much as the others in this thread as it seemed to me that this match was a bit all over the place with not much direction. Predictable finish for an interpromotional match with neither team coming out the winner.

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Wow, what a stacked card. This would have been an awesome show to attend.

 

So what is the relationship between Tenryu and Choshu at this stage?

 

Starts exactly as I'd expect at a million miles an hour. Very cool fireman carry takeover by Choshu.

 

Pace doesn't let up. Takano with a bunch of kicks and a suplex. Tiger Mask in. Very high flying crossbody.

 

Choshu comes in now with the Scorpion. Another wonder of entymology.

 

Takano seems pretty pumped. I didn't like how long it took him to do the double-arm suplex, felt like forever in the set up. Why was Tiger Mask just standing there waiting for it too?

 

Choshu vs. Tenryu is where this match is at though. Fucking hell! I'm pretty much marking out on my sofa for this.

 

Tenryu being actually affronted by Takano's offense is awesome. He gives him a look as if to say "how dare you!"

 

Takano is a bit spotty for my tastes.

 

Spike piledriver! Wonder how much cushioning the ears give Tiger Mask on that.

 

I honestly think Tiger Mask and Takano detract a little bit from the awesomeness of this, Tiger Mask especially.

 

Tokyo Dome seems like it's going to explode when Choshu gets the Scorpion on Tenryu and that's it.

 

The Choshu / Tenryu intereactions were out of this world immense.

 

This was very good.

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This was a lot more engaging than the previous interpromotional tag, and the Tenryu/Choshu spots were tremendous. That said, there was a bit too much four-way action for my taste, which added to the chaos in a bad way. Liked Takano's last-ditch dive to get back in the ring which didn't quite make it. Also, a spike piledriver getting barely a one-count? I thought I read where a piledriver isn't as big a deal in Japan as it used to be here, but that's going a bit too far in my eyes, almost more like Mask refusing to sell than anything else.

 

Looking forward to the two singles matches from the card.

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So how about George Takano huh? What's very cool about this match is on the surface, this is just a big bomber of an exhibition with guys trading big shots. And it is, but then you realize that Takano is in there with some of the best in the world and he's outmatched. So he goes for everything possible. And arguably, it costs his team the match. He goes for a spinning heel kick in the corner, misses and hurts himself as he goes to the outside, then get's chopped down to hell by Tenryu. I'm reaching a bit, but still, that's what made the match for me.

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Tenryu vs. Choshu is ridiculous kinds of incredible. I want this to be a feud now. Right fucking now. Anyway, action-packed match built around that, blast to watch.

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Choshu and Misawa start off, the crowd is hot, then Misawa tags Tenryu and the crowd reaches absolutely molten levels and all four guys manage to keep the crowd that hot for the remainder of this 20 minute match. Everyone puts their work in this match, but Tenryu and Choshu are the stars of the show here. Riki Choshu is Japan's answer to Jerry Lawler. Doesn't do that many moves, he just knows when to use them. Just impeccable timing and psychology. He has Misawa in the Scorpion Deathlock and the way he doesn't take his eyes off Tenryu is brilliant. Tenryu always looks like he legits hates his opponents and that's why he's so fantastic.

 

It can be a bit hard to follow at times due to the chaotic nature, but I guess that's why this is such a great brawl. You don't get these kind of matches and atmosphere in wrestling matches nowadays.

 

★★★¼

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George Takano was really hitting his stride at this point; had Megane Super not come calling a couple months later, one has to wonder how he'd have fit into the NJPW upper mid-main event scene in the early 90s, and how much of an anchor his brother would have been had he stayed also.

Not much to add that hasn't been said already but it really is a wild, entertaining match with awesome heat despite being quite short. The fans had not forgotten about 1986, that's for sure. Also, I'll always pop for that bemused face Tenryu makes after someone clearly "beneath" him gets a good shot in.

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Fun match that unfortunately breaks down and becomes disorientating by the end. Takano withstanding a barrage from Tenyru before decking him with a single strike and looking surprised at himself is the highlight of the match.

It sounds crazy but Tenryu is my favourite discovery going through this footage. I never really 'got' him before but I'm growing to love the stiff, mean, moody bastard. Man, he's electrifying every time he tags in. 

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