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Superstar Sleeze

[1985-01-10-AJPW] Genichiro Tenryu & Mighty Inoue & Takahashi Ishikawa vs Riki Choshu & Animal Hamaguchi & Isamu Teranishi

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Genichiro Tenryu, Mighty Inoue, Takahashi Ishikawa vs Riki Chosu, Animal Hamaguchi, Isawmu Teranishi - AJPW 1/10/85

 

Fast & Furious! It doesn't matter if it is 1985 or 1995, All Japan six-man tags are wrestled at a clip few can ever keep up with. This is the opening salvo in Choshu's legendary invasion of All Japan that forever changed the course of puroresu history. I have seen some of the follow up Tenryu/Choshu singles and really liked them. I wanted to go back and watch this before I delved any deeper into this legendary rivalry.

 

If you are like me, Inoue is in red, Ishikawa is in purple, Animal is in the singlet and Teranishi is in white.

 

They cut an amazing pace with some many missed moves and attacks. Everybody is trying to win. Of course, the entire match is built around Tenryu/Choshu. I thought there was great symmetry in this match. From the opening trading of Fireman's Carry to how they trade bombs at the end, they presented as equals. Tenryu is one who gets the upperhand early working over Choshu's lariat arm. Choshu hits a backdrop driver on Ishikawa and tags out. Then it is Tenryu who get worked over by Choshu, but Tenry his a side Russian Legsweep to tag out. Tenryu breaks up a Hamaguchi single leg crab. Then Choshu breaks up Ishikawa's Scorpion Deathlock (a nice little FU to Choshu) with a monster lariat. Then Choshu and Tenryu just trade bombs. Tenryu hits a piledriver so Choshu hits a spike piledriver. Choshu gets the Scorpion Deathlock so Tenryu gets the Texas Cloverleaf. There is a great lariat by Choshu towards the end that forces Tenryu to tag out. They end up triple teaming Ishikawa I think and then bowl the ref over to trigger the DQ. There is a small brawl before a standoff between Choshu's Army and the All Japan Natives.

 

A little too fast paced to the detriment of the match because a lot of the match does not stick with you. It made Tenryu vs Choshu feel like the biggest thing in the world and a true Clash of Titans. Mission accomplished. ***3/4

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Another really fun multi man tag in the Choshu and Tenryu feud. Compared to the other matches in this rivalry, this somewhat lacked the heat and intensity the other matches carried, but it did give us more interactions between Choshu and Tenryu, although they're smart enough to tone it down and save their best for when they get to dance as singles. Ishikawa putting Teranishi in the sasorigatame and pointing over at Choshu was great. Another wild finish that leads to more chaos and awesome brawling.

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Slightly more elegan build in this match, starting fun with the lower ranked guys good basic stuff, working armlocks and dropping elbows, before an intense Tenryu/Choshu  lockup occurs. The wrestling here is solid as rock, but there's no real direction because you are watching this waiting for only one thing and that is one of the guys losing his cool and stepping in to slap the shit out of somebody. You get that and you also get plenty of fun work from IWE crew. Some well timed spots. Ishikawa throws some awesome slaps like a sumo shit and once again does that thing where he provokes Choshu. This is when Tenryu was trying to get the Cloverleaf over as a counter to the Scorpion Deathlock. No one really bought it but it makes for a fun dynamic in their rivalry. Choshu does a little more wrestling here than usual, but he is a noticeably more intense presence, kicking the hell out of whoever is in the ring before working a snug headlock, and always aiming to hit that Backdrop. Full Choshu point.

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