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[1998-08-08-NJPW-G1 Climax] Genichiro Tenryu vs Shinya Hashimoto


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  • 2 months later...

After watching this and the previous match, I think I may have been a little too tough on the first match. Yes, Tenryu-Hashimoto in 1998 is not what it was in 1993-1994, but they are able to do something no one else in wrestling is doing by building a match almost entirely around great looking strikes and making it awfully compelling. It's not as repetitive as the worst of late-era Kobashi, which was my original comparison. This is as much about the selling of strikes as it is the strikes themselves, with Tenryu doing the lost balance thing while sitting on the top turnbuckle being the highlight of that. Neither match is among my favorites of all time or anything, but both are an interesting and fun departure from the norm. I think it's the 8/1 match that seems to be the more beloved one, but I think I liked this one better for their willingness to incorporate more wrestling moves into the strikefests. It wasn't as visceral as the first match, but I liked the slow-moving epic thing they had going, which resonates more in front of such a big crowd. This feels more "whole" than 8/1 even if it wasn't as good, but considering that I think each match has qualities the other doesn't, both are must-see.

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  • 1 month later...

I loved this series because of the strikes. The punches Tenryu gives here is incredible. My dad watched this match with me and was blown away by the variety and brutality. Tenryu winning felt a little odd and my turn your turn but I appreciated the feud they were portraying here. I could watch these two slug it out for days. (****1/4)

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One of my favorite rivalries ever, but I did think this was a step down from the G-1 match. I usually don't care about Tenryu's sloppiness, but it got in the way a little this time, because weak execution undermined both his opening salvo and the finishing spot. On the other hand, his punches in the strike exchanges were fucking fantastic. Hashimoto delivered a fantastic performance all the way around, from those wild overhand chops to some top-notch selling. Yeah, I could watch these guys all day, even when they're a bit off their best.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was a rematch and less famous version of the G1 battle as Tenryu gets his win back. I'd describe the style as a strike and sell fest. Hard hitting no doubt. Tenryu was starting to show his age, being sloppy and repetitive at times. Hash more than made up for any of his opponents shortcomings with a powerful performance. It was arguably pretentious, but they made a sub 15m bout feel like an epic clash of the titans.

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  • 1 year later...

That ending may have been a little more ambitious than these two were able to pull off, but it's not egregiously bad compared to half a dozen Manami Toyota matches or anything. This is pretty much everything you'd want out of Hash vs. Tenryu, with a few neat twists like Tenryu teasing that fall off the turnbuckle. Tenryu gets the upset win to retain some title belt or another. Fairly comparable to the first match, actually, and it may require a rewatch to determine which was better.

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  • 1 year later...

For any other two guys this would be a legendary slugfest in their careers. For these two it's the least talked about match in their rivalry. I will never tire of Tenryu and Hashimoto slugging it out. Tenryu putting him through a table only for Hash to come after him was a cool opening and the rest of this was their typical excellent match built around chops, a DDT, a powerbomb and an elbow drop. Tenryu does a Flair flop and some whacky Terry Funk style selling for good measure. Hashimoto refusing to go down was really great as always and him just teeing off on Tenryu in the corner with kicks near the end was a good way to mix up the DDT/Powerbomb throwing. I didn't have a problem with Tenryus execution as he was selling that he was wobbly half the time, altough I think it should've taken another move to put Hash down. I dig that it looked like Tenryu was gonna lose his own belt only for him to catch Hashimoto charging repeatedly.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1998-08-08-NJPW-G1 Climax] Genichiro Tenryu vs Shinya Hashimoto

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