Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Loss

[2002-07-17-AJPW-Summer Action Series] Genichiro Tenryu vs Satoshi Kojima

Recommended Posts

Genichiro Tenryu vs Satoshi Kojima - 07/17/02


The two trends I have noticed from my limited Kojima watching is to expect one shitty modified Ace Crusher and that the beginning of the match is always better than the end. I will say this match the the goodness lasted well into the match thus making it is his best match yet. After being dissed and dismissed by Tenryu in the February match, Kojima came out with something to prove and right off the bat gives Tenryu a taste of his own medicine: punches and chops in the corner. Tenryu gives him a Fuck You Chop that may have been a little high as Kojima gasps for breath powdering to the outside. The high chop to the throat was Tenryu's ace in the hole throughout the match when the going got rough. It is quite a trump card to have. Tenryu, who is pissed that Kojima is being a little baby about him trying to crush Kojima's larynx, throws a water bottle at him. Got to love, Mr. Puroresu!


Kojima's new strategy is just to kick him in the knee. Tenryu retaliates by kicking him in the head when he tries to go for a toehold following up with a high chop and kappo kick. Tenryu punches him in the face and Kojima goes back to the knee. A dragon leg screw causes Tenryu to powder. Kojima pounces on the knee, but Tenryu just overwhelms him. Tenryu hits a pretty explosive follow up chop into corner with some more punches. Tenryu lariats Kojima out and dives onto Kojima. Judging by this crowd, the chicks dig this lumpy old bastard. Tenryu has been taking Kojima to the woodshed and it seems at this point they are going to make the Fighting Spirit play to get Kojima over here.


Kojima takes out Tenryu's knee with a lariat on the apron. I love that spot! Here comes Kojima: plancha, somersault off the apron, dragon leg screw, figure-4, scorpion deathlock. He goes back to give Tenryu some more of his own medicine with punch/chop combination in the corner. Kojima is feeling it, but his top rope elbow only gets 2. What does Tenryu do to stymie Kojima? Chop to the throat, duh. Tenryu hit him with two sick deadwight Germans, really showed off Tenryu's power. At this point, I actually wrote "Wow 20 minutes in and no Ace Crushers yet!" in my notes. Literally a second later, Kojima floats over on a suplex attempt and hits an Ace Crusher. It was inevitable. He hits his stupid looking neckbreaker and his scoop piledriver. The best part is on the pin, Tenryu's foot looks for the rope and when he realizes he is too far he kicks out. Thats excellent ring awareness in bot a kayfabe and non-kayfabe sense! Tenryu punches Kojima and hits a brainbuster to regain advantage. He hits the Spider German, but misses back elbow. Thus Kojima hits his stupid fuckin middle rope Ace Crusher. What does Tenryu do, everybody? Chop to throat. Kojima has FIGHTING SPIRIT~! He lariats Tenryu with no padding only there is a bandage there.


We hit the home stretch with a chopfest. It is too bad they descended into trite 00s puro hell because they were doing so well. Tenryu hits tow brainbusters for an excellent false finish. Kojima gets his pop for a lariat false finish. Instead of just finishing it there, they dragged it out. Tenryu blocks a lariat hits two brainbusters, but Kojima does a dazed lariat that left me shakin' my head. They do a chopfest were both men sell their fatigue. Tenryu wins with a brainbuster and powerbomb combo to a lesser pop than the false finishes.


The finish issues is the same ones that plague the WWE today with so many false finishes that the crowd does not pop as hot for the actual finish. Plus they just dragged it out way too much at that point. Before that, the match was really good and Kojima gave his best performance yet. He had a chip on his shoulder he was going to prove his mettle to Tenryu and used his moves against him, took out the knee and then threw the bombs. Plus he did take one helluva a beating. Tenryu was his usual steady eddy self making everything awesome around him throwing water bottles in disgust, chops to throat, deadweight Germans. It is a disjointed match, but I am a positive dude. Lets go ***3/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to rank this compared to their match from February. The February match has great selling and a good structure but feels kind of bland, almost small. This one has some awesome sequences and is way more intense but is too boated and suffers for it. I'd probbaly have both around the same level and I doubt that either will really make my final top 100 anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely a more "epic" version of the February match and the crowd response to Kojima was something to behold. Tenryu working so hard at this stage of his career really is a testament to him. Normally I'm never one to say this but if they just finished it 3-4 minutes earlier and done 2-3 nearfalls less I think it would have been alot better. I felt that the got past the point of diminishing returns and ran out of steam a bit. It was still really really great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved this a lot more on rewatch. Yes, this match really suffered from overkill problems, but the first 20 minutes was really incredible work and it just felt absolutely HUGE! I have liked a lot of post-split All Japan matches, but this is one that felt like the biggest. I didn't really care for the first match from a standalone standpoint, but watching it before this match makes this match that much better. Kojima spends most of the first match getting his ass handed to him. Here you can really seen how he has grown. He is doing Tenryu signature chop/punch combo in the corner, winning shoulder tackles and besting him on the mat. I loved his selling of Tenryu's high chop and Tenryu throwing a water bottle at Kojima, saying get back in here, you pussy. Some of the transitions again were a bit lame, but still I liked Tenryu working through the knee attacks at first with his own offense felt like some high-end struggle. But then Lariat to the knee on the apron was too much. Tenryu is not above punching to the midsection or the head. That is the real difference is Tenryu is going to take shortcuts. I thought Tenryu looked offensively crisp and this was definitely his last great singles match. Once it got into punch vs lariat and brainbuster versus Ace Crusher they definitely lost a little steam, but that's where the crowd buoyed the match with their overwhelming support for Kojima. I loved Kojima actually hitting the Lariat on this Fighting Spirit run, but still didn't have enough. Tenryu has to bust out the powerbomb to win. As the decade progressed, it was harder to put on these titanic showdowns, but this felt like Kojima was going to be a huge star. Tenryu did not carry him. Kojima looked great on offense, he was taking it too Tenryu and when selling he was firing up bringing it. I loved Tenryu selling the knee, but at the same time never losing his arrogance. He was still confident he could beat this punk if he could just punch him in the face. I will have this in 30s and I have it #3 on the year. ****1/2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kojima came into this match with a different attitude from their February match. He wasn't  going to be bullied or pushed around anymore. Of course, it didn't take long for Tenryu to remind him who's boss. I swear the band-aid over Kojima's nose was like a red rag to a bull with Tenryu using it as target practice. The Osaka crowd was right behind Kojima, which led to a longer than necessary finishing stretch, but hey, you can't blame Kojima for milking the crowd reaction. Actually, there wasn't a hell of a lot else on this card, so I guess they had to go long. Honestly, I don't expect Tenryu vs. Kojima matches to be great, so I was happy that the match was good. More enjoyable than the dreck we saw in 2001. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×