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[2015-11-15-Tenryu Project] Genichiro Tenryu vs Kazuchika Okada


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Tenryu's retirement match and also one of the most surreal pro wrestling matches I have ever watched. Tenryu is just completely broken down here, in the last few years he could barely walk but here he can't even do that and categorizing what he does here as "walking" doesn't really seem right. Still I totally get why this would win the Tokyo Sports Match Of The Year. I've seen people call this match sad and I'd agree with that. I don't think that makes it a bad match though. Wrestling is about emotion and symbolism, not execution. Tenryu can't do anything except stiff the shit out Okada for real, and to his credit Okada daring Tenryu to shoot punch him in the face some more is about as close as I can get to liking him. A lot of Okada's offence doesn't look good, and Tenryu didn't have the strength to Powerbomb him properly but I don't think it really took away from the match. If anything that Tenryu was so broken down added to the match really. You'd have him making all these gigantic faces indicating he's hurtin a lot and you're not even sure if he's selling or just expressing that he's 65. Eventually Okada sticks to just doing the one move he has that looks good (the Dropkick) and it becomes even better. The post-match was heavy. Tenryu's first words about his final being something roughly like "shit I lost" was so great and so Tenryu. Man. I can't remember if I cried or not while watching the post-match. That Tenryu would have something this special against Okada in 2015 is unreal. Compare this to Taue's retirement match and you'll get the best explanation of the gap between them. This match will have a special place in my heart for sure.

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  • 1 year later...

Well, this was sad indeed. I did get a kick out of Tenryu's disdainful glare and him punking Okada. Still, Tenryu is such an immobile geriatric here he was struggling with things such as walking or clubbing his opponents back. Face punches and dropkicks were spectacular, altough Okada's idea of a comeback consists of "bounce into the ropes and do a move in return". For a guy who is hyped as a charismatic superstar, Okada is kind of dull. His european uppercuts were really weak, and he really should've done a better job selling getting dumped on his neck. Well yeah, it almost feels redundant to critique a match like this. Tenryu hit his spots and the crowd was moved. Skip this and instead watch Hansen and Terry Funk coming out after the match.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2015-11-15-Tenryu Project] Genichiro Tenryu vs Kazuchika Okada

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