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[1989-09-15-AJPW] Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Masa Fuchi vs Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki

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Every wrestler here fit their role perfectly. The standouts were Baba with decades of skill and experience, Fuchi with smarts and skill and Tenryu, the god of grump. No one is better than Tenryu in showing strength and weakness simultaneously...other than Kawada and Terry Funk IMO. One really felt that the Triple Crown champ was on the ropes when 1000 year old Rusher Kimura was head butting him but, seamlessly, Tenryu would chop Kimura in the fucking throat and change the momentum. Brilliantly, Fuchi would storm in like Jr. Tenryu that he is and get brutal even on the bully champ. Fuyuki and Kawada were perfect lackeys in this match and kept their schtick simple. This benefitted Kawada the most. Here he looked like the Kawada who would bloom fully in late 1991 and 1992. Godbless Dangerous K. This period of wrestling is full of diamonds in the rough and this is a perfect example.

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This was Tenryu reminding us that he might've been the best wrestler in the world. He was unbelievable here and all three of his match-ups ruled, as did pretty much every single exchange he had. In some ways his performance drove the direction of the match. In the beginning he was in grump mode, but he wasn't chopping anybody in the throat or doing anything untoward. For about ten minutes that was reflected in the overall tone. Everything ticked along nicely, nothing was blow away amazing but it was perfectly good wrestling. Then the longer it went the more Tenryu's temper flared, and that rubbed off on his partners, and that really opened things up. It established a clear face/heel divide, where in the second half Tenryu and Footloose were the heels and everybody decided Fuyuki was a real bastard and booed his every action. Tenryu was throwing shots at everyone, whomping Fuchi with chairs, threatening to launch a table at Baba, stomping on Fuchi's face, chopping Kimura even further into decrepitude, punting Fuchi in the spleen and kidneys and really Fuchi must've done something to him at some point because he got the living shit beat out of him. Fuchi as face in peril being abused by an irate 40 year old isn't a role you associate with him, in fact you associate Fuchi with being the irate 40 year old abusing everybody else, but man was he exceptional in this. Within the first few minutes he was dribbling blood from his mouth and his extended heat segment midway in was what really propelled this into that upper tier. Kimura can't really do much other than throw headbutts and get chopped exceptionally hard in the chest, but of course he did all that to the best of his abilities. Baba ruled, though. He's the oldest and probably most broken down of the lot but he never wrestled like it. Sure his overhand chops aren't the nastiest overhand chops you'll ever see, and sure his offence can look a bit clunky, but fuck it, the people lived and died with him and everything he did in this was money. The stuff with Tenryu was wonderful. I'm a broken record going on about how Tenryu is a master at showing vulnerability in believable ways, but almost nobody could make Baba's strikes at this point in his career look as believable. That the old man was refusing to accept Tenryu as the new king only pissed Tenryu off more, so he'd routinely cheapshot him while Baba stood on the apron minding his own business. There was an amazing moment where Tenryu tried to almost fake Baba out with a chop, but Baba didn't buy it and stood there completely indifferent to it all. It was like that GIF where Matt Barnes fakes throwing the ball at Kobe's face and Kobe doesn't even blink. Solid opening third, great middle third, shit hot closing third. Awesome match.
 

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I fucked up and created my own thread under the 9/24/89 date I am not even sure where I got. Tenryu & Fuchi ruled so hard in this match! Everyone needs to see Tenryu beat the ever-loving shit out of Fuchi only for Fuchi to take a lickin' but keep on tickin'.

Giant Baba, Rusher Kimura & Masa Fuchi vs Genichiro Tenryu, Toshiaki Kawada, Ricky Fuyuki - AJPW 9/24/89

I have seen both 9/15 and 9/24 as dates. Please choose which ever is most correct. 

Revolution in full force! Tenryu & Footloose Six-Man Tag! I have not seen Giant Baba in forever! I have only seen clips of Rusher Kimura, who would have been 48 years old at the time. Fuchi has been great in all the random ass singles matches he has had. So I am looking forward to this one. Stream of consciousness because I can never keep up with 1989 All Japan tags.

TENRYU VS BABA~! You can really tell how big Baba is because he dwarfs Tenryu who is a big dude. Tenryu lays in some chops on Baba. Tenryu holds onto the ropes to avoid the Baba big boot only for Fuchi to come out of now here with an awesome dropkick. BIG POP! That felt like a great Southern tag spot. Baba literally kicks Tenryu out of the ring. Tenryu is left to lick his wounds crouching down ringside. Tenryu dropkicks Bab into the ropes. Baba shrugs it of. Baba overhand chop and Tenryu chops. It is on! Baba head to knee crusher! Baba directing traffic sends Fuchi in. Fuchi with overhand chops. Tenryu comes with slap and Enziguiri. Wicked Tenryu chop sends Fuchi flying back and wondering what day it is. Tenryu stomp on the head. Tenryu has such a brutal stomp to the head. Fuyuki tagged in. Fuyuki slaps on the chinlock to Fuchi. I think Fuchi is bleeding from the bottom lip, I expect him to be the workhorse for his team. Nice drop toehold and we see Rusher Kimura for the first time. He works a stepover toehold on Fuyuki. Fuyuki tags in Kawada and throws Kimura into their corner. Kawada kicks in the corner and then figure-4s he head. Kimura bring Kawada to his corner and tags in Baba.. Lock-up. Kawada headlock on Baba looks ridiculous. Baba armbar takedown on Kawada. Baba punt kicks to Kawada and tags in Fuchi. Fuchi definitely bleeding from bottom lip. Kawada spinning heel kick sends him to he outside. Kawada out of control over the top plancha looked cool! Double shouldertackle by Tenryu and Kawada. Tenryu with a wicked bodyslam and what a stomp to the head! Tenryu is pissed! Fuchi hits a traditional back suplex on Fuyuki and Kimura tagged in and comes in with headbutts on Fuyuki. Kimura runs him over with a clothesline. Kawada double stomp breaks up the pin. Kimura goes for a single crab on Fuyuki. Fuyuki crawls on his belly to makes the ropes. Kimura chops the shit out of him. Tenryu tags in. He RIPS INTO KIMURA! He is kicking the old man hard in the head. WHAT A SLASHING CHOP! Tenryu corner Lariat! Kimura grabs Tenryu by the hair and just gives him hell with the headbutts. Baba in and he starts chopping Tenryu. BABA WIPES TENRYU OUT WITH A BIG BOOT! Two covers but neither gives him three. Neckbreaker by Baba. Tenryu tags out to Kawada. Kawada comes charging in as he normally does. Kawada tries for the Spinning heel kick but eats the Bab big boot and Fuyuki comes to check on him as Kawada writhes in pain. Great selling there by Kawada, really puts Baba over. Baba wrestles Kawada to the ground by his corner. Baba tags in Kimura. Kimura double wristlock takedown on Kawada. Kimura works the armbar on Kawada and wrings it out to dry. Kawada kick to the head and tags in Fuyuki. Fuyuki tries to slap his way out of trouble but Kimura just no-sells them and one headbutt fells Fuyuki. Kimura tags out to Fuchi. Fuchi dropkick. Fuyuki is able to bring Fuchi over with a suplex and it is Fuchi's worst nightmare Tenryu is back in.

Tenryu wicked chop and even harder chair shot! Tenryu is tearing into poor Fuchi! No Wonder Fuchi was such a prick. Tenryu treated him like shit in this match. He didnt know any other world than to be a bully! Tenryu grabs another chair and slams it across Fuchi's back. Tenryu grabs a table to defend himself from an incoming Giant Baba. Tenryu Enziguiri to Fuchi injured back. Cowboy Kick! Amazing verbal selling from Fuchi.  Tenryu SLAPS Baba on the apron! Wow the audacity! Tags in Kawada. Kawada crossbody block gets two. Fuchi ia a tough muthafucker. Kawada double legs poor Fuchi was trying to escape and ends up in a Texas Cloverleaf. Kimura headbutts to save Fuchi. Fuyuki beats the shit out of Kimure for breaking up the hold. Kawada Senton. Tenryu tags in. I feel so bad for Fuchi! KAWADA FOOTLOOSE KAPPOU KICK! Tenryu SLICES FUCHI IN HALF WITH THAT CHOP! Holy shit! Vertical suplex but Kimura breaks it up. Here comes Fuyuki. Fuyuki drops the leg across Fuchi's nuts. Tough night at the office for Fuchi! I hope he packed a lunch. The hot tag to Baba will be sureal! Kawada Full Nelson but settles for waistlock and German Suplex as Kimura saves. Tenryu tags in. Mercy Killing! Mercy Killing! Tenryu Enziguiri. Fuchi sunset flip and tag to Baba!

Crow goes crazy! Baba chops him back to his corner. Baba beats the shit out of Fuyuki. Tags in Kimura who applies a Butterfly Suplex to Fuyuki. Fuyuki back suplex. Kawada kicks to Kimura. Out of control Kawada Lariat on Kimura. Fuyuki wants the powerbomb on Kimura that aint happening brutha. Tenryu tags in and he steamrolls Kimura in the ropes. Enziguiri on Kimura. Reverse Top Rope Elbow and Fuchi saves. Fuchi's revenge! Fuchi slaps the shit out of Tenryu and he fights through the first kneelift but not second and third. Mack Truck Lariat gets two! Leave Fuchi alone! Fuchi rolls through a Fuyuki crossbody block but another roll through leaves Fuyuki on top for two. Fuyuki Fisherman suplex for two. Kawada throws awesome kicks and the Spinning Heel Kick. Fuchi Crucifix pin for two. Kawada clobbers him with a Spinning Heel kick. Oh My God! Tenryu has tagged back in! Tenryu Chop! Kimura saves Fuchi. Kawada misses the knee drop. Baba Russian Legsseep on Teryu! Fuchi gets a two count! I would have lost my shit if he got three. That was an amazing nearfall! 

Kimura bulldog! Tenryu kicks out! Tenryu chops vs Kimura headbutt, Tenryu wins with Enziguiri. Kawada top rope and missile dropkick. Baba tags in big pop! Kawada spinning heel kick but Baba no sells. Footloose tries the double suplex but Baba suplexes both of them! Great Southern Style spot that got over huge there. Kawada kicks out. Tenryu running Lariat on Baba, Fuchi dropkick on Tenryu! You GET HIM FUCHI! Kawada gets a two count on Baba! Kawada eats shit on corner charges. Baba Neckbreaker Drop for two because Fuyuki breaks it up. Fuchi Thesz Press for two. Tenryu vs Fuchi!!! As Tenryu comes in Fuchi kicks him right in the mouth. Tenryu sells this so well. Tenryu Trucks him! Kimura saves! Footloose guards as Tenryu polishes Fuchi off with a Powerbomb! 

Holy Shit! The Tenryu vs Fuchi parts were ***** easy. It is hard to find really meaningful heat segments in late 80s All Japan tag team matches but the constant thread of Tenryu brutalizing Fuchi and especially the sustained one in the middle was terrific and what has been missing. I wish the Baba hot tag went longer and really built to something special, not necessarily the finish but something bigger than a Kimura Buttefly Suplex. That Baba Russian Legsweep and Fuchi cover had me going apeshit! Loved that Tenryu and Fuchi ended the match too. In the 80s there is no guarantee of that, but that was a great climax and satisfying end since those two were by far the MVPs of the match. I want to see a Tenryu vs Fuchi singles match now. Wow! ****1/2

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