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[1988-10-28-AJPW] Genichiro Tenryu vs Jumbo Tsuruta


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There's a moment in here where Tenryu irish whips Jumbo into the guardrail and Jumbo just goes completely berserk and starts beating the shit out of Tenryu that might be the beginning of Jumbo as an all time great worker for me. Tenryu really brought out the best out of him. The ending is just completely transcendent with some of the best chaotic brawling you'll ever see. As gratifying as a DQ finish can be. Still a level below their 1989 classic but man what a great match. ****1/4-****1/2

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  • 8 months later...

Jumbo has really brought the fire to a lot of the tag matches leading into this. When he was tagged in, more specifically when he could get a piece of Tenyru, he was going 100 mph with those running knees or whatever else he wanted to throw at him or Ashura Hara. I feel like Jumbo's intensity level has really made this feud what it is, and like you said, it would seem Tenryu is the one bringing that out of him. That intensity level didn't waiver in this match. We get started with hard-hitting strikes and a great looking dropkick from Jumbo. I loved the abdominal stretch, and how Jumbo looked like he was giving it all he could. Then Tenryu reverses it into the armbar, and you can see how bad he wants this win. I feel like Tenryu does an excellent job in getting little things Jumbo does, as simple as a punch to the face, over big with the crowd through the way he bumps or sells for him. There's a great punch to the face where Tenryu hits the ground, and Jumbo shakes his fist to the crowd assuring them that he is the man. The match itself is pretty back and forth. Tenryu works the same left leg he bashed with a chair at the end of their previous tag encounter. Jumbo does some nice selling with it. It's hard for him to climb to the top to deliver his big knee, and it takes him some time to gather the strength to execute it. Like GOTNW mentioned, the brawling at the end is just fantastic! Really great match here. I'd probably agree with that rating as well, but solid ****1/2 for me. I mean, I wouldn't argue with someone who went a little higher, that ending was just perfect.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1988-10-28-AJPW] Genichiro Tenryu vs Jumbo Tsuruta
  • 3 years later...

NWA International Heavyweight Champion Jumbo Tsuruta vs Genichiro Tenryu - AJPW 10/28/88

For those keeping score at home, Stan Hansen is the current PWF & United National Double Champion. It has been about a year since we have seen these two in singles competition. 6/5/89 overshadows the rest of this series so much I do not know what to expect. Never seen this before. 

First twenty minutes: Jumbo is the one who really brings the heat, excitement, emotion and drives the action forward. Tenryu having more of that reserved personality does more selling, but when he does offense he holds Jumbo in contempt and is such a prick. Jumbo wants the Back Drop Driver early but Tenryu clamps on a headlock. Good headlock work leads to Jumbo getting an unclean Back Drop Driver. This transitions into the Jumbo control segment. Massive dropkick by Jumbo. Great extension. Jumbo throws out the big bombs, belly to belly suplex and piledriver. Tenryu nails an Enziguiri in response to the patented Jumbo high knee. It is Tenryu hiptossing out of an abdominal stretch that begins his advantage. Thick chops and then a legbar which is Tenryu staple in the late 80s that does not carry over into the 90s and I am happy with that fact. Tenryu throws some more chops and Jumbo POPS him with an elbow. Jumbo walked right through that. Jumbo pummels him with fists. Jumbo does not care for his insolence. He beats him up on the outside only to try to bring him in the hardway and collapses. Nice running kneedrop by Tenryu. Tenryu figure-4s the head. Jumbo counters into a Boston Crab very nicely. The Boston Crab is a Jumbo staple and they worked into the match very organically. Jumbo looks great in control. Just a great confidence to him. High Knee & Baseball Slide send Tenryu to the floor. Jumbo bashes his head into the table. Jumbo looks very much in control but again the apron proves to be difficult for Jumbo. He needed to take some lessons from Bock on how to work King of the Mountain. He comes charging in and Tenryu clubs him with a lariat on the apron. Tenryu takes him to the outside and bounces a chair off his back! I love random chairshots in Puroresu. Surprised how lopsided the first twenty minutes have been with Jumbo hitting the big bombs and looking like the Man. At one point he stepped on Tenryu's face and stepped over him. Jumbo was great. Perhaps I shouldnt be too surprised the more I learned about Tenryu the more I realize how much he likes to sell and work underneath. I would say they are NOT on a ***** trajectory but they can definitely achieve classic status still. 

Last 15 minutes: Tenryu squanders his newfound advantage in my opinion besides an Enziguiri not much success is achieved. Jumbo's return to dominance is a bit too easy just a short knee to the ribs. Jumbo is really good at working on top which is a hard position. Jumbo hits another messy Back Drop Driver but they land pretty much entangled in the ropes so the pinfall does not count. Jumbo feeds Tenryu three fancy pinfall covers based on telegraphed back body drops. I dont think I realized how heavy Jumbo relied on the Irish Whip to set things in motion hopefully this is not something I cant unsee.  Tenryu has another opening when he hooks the leg as a Back Drop Driver is being executed which results in Jumbo falling backward awkwardly and ringing his bell. Tenryu moves onto the Figure-4. Similar to the tag matches I just watched between Jumbo & Yatsu vs Tenryu & Hara, Tenryu had caught a High Knee by Jumbo transitioned it into a Single Leg Crab in this match. So the Figure-4 builds off this spot. Tenryu stomps Jumbo in the head after this and then Cowboy Kick! After all the Jumbo stomping on the head and face, it was only fair Tenryu got his licks in. Jumbo Enziguiri! Jumbo Top Rope High Knee. Definitely a late 80s Jumbo thing that I am glad does not carry over into the 90s. Big nearfall kick out. Tenryu catches a kick into a kneebar which now makes more sense after the Single Leg Crab and Figure-4 even if I dont love it as visually as those two moves. Tenryu Enziguiri & Top Rope Reverse Elbow is Tenryu big flourish at the end while Ace Jumbo gets a Powerbomb, Thesz Press and a Baba Lariat for three big nearfalls. You know who the Ace is. Jumbo signals and nails the Death Lariat in the corner. The big fight breaks out as you know this is not going to have a clean finish. Jumbo wails on Tenryu in the corner. Tenryu comes out swinging with wicked sumo slaps. It is a clusterfuck and Tenryu throws a wild short knee that looks to hit Jumbo low. Jumbo sells a ballshot Tenryu pounces in the corner and wails on him and the ref has no choice but to DQ him.

Didnt quite reach classic status for me. It didnt have a strong enough hook. No amazing psychology. It was kinda lopsided which sometimes isnt a problem but it didnt work for me here. The action was great but I would have liked more from a narrative point of view. Jumbo was a great Ace looked great on top and Tenryu sold well and worked well underneath but I didnt think they found that all-time great level plus with the finish it feels more like ****1/4 for me. 

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