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ShittyLittleBoots

[2004-11-13-NJPW-Toukon Festival] Genichiro Tenryu vs Katsuyori Shibata

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Tenryu makes his entrance first. Then out comes Shibata to a pretty weird sounding Deep Purple ripoff theme - Tenryu is wasting no time, as while Shibata is still walking down the ramp, he starts walking towards him, which leads to Shibata running towards him too & they collide for the first time in this match. Tenryu throws Shibata to the crowd. AWESOME. Shibata makes his way back to the ring & starts kicking the crap out of Tenryu. He gets a nice little control segment doing exactly that, and after that it's very 50/50 with the two just destroying each other. There's also a legitimate holy shit spot in there. A goddamn great sprint. ****1/4

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Shibata's theme at that time was actually a cover of "Black Night" by Deep Purple. (side note: if anyone knows where I can find the version Shibata used, let me know) Last time I threw this on I really enjoyed it. Tenryu beating up anyone is fun to watch and 'Shibata gets his ass kicked by legends' is something that'll never get old to me but IIRC he gets more offense in here than in the Kawada match from a week or two before. I don't know that I'd go ****1/4 on it, but it's a really good match.

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In his last match with New Japan, Shibata faces Tenryu, who promptly exits the ring to meet Shibata on the entrance ramp and throws him down into some chairs before returning to the ring. Awesome. This was all kinds of ridiculous in maybe the best way possible? I don’t know. They trade finishers maybe half a dozen times before Tenryu tries to kill him with a rope-hung DDT from the apron to the floor. Holy shit. Shibata comes back pissed and stiff with strikes. He connects with the second PK of the match but Tenryu’s not going out like that. He DDTs Shibata through the slaps and nearly KOs him with a front necklock. Loved the look on Tenryu’s face after Shibata kicks out, followed by a barely coherent Shibata stumbling into a pair of guh! punches for the finish.

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Fucking hell I love this match-up. I wish they wrestled seven hundred times. Their G-1 match from earlier in the year is one of the best five minutes matches ever and this is worked in similar fashion, with Shibata showing all kinds of disrespect and trying to hospitalise his elder while Tenryu throttles him for his temerity. Tenryu as badass Clint Eastwood putting a young jock in his place is really the perfect dynamic. Right at the start Tenryu meets Shibata on the ramp and throws him off the stage into a row of chairs, then a little later Shibata drags him to the same spot and I thought for a second he was going to chuck the old man to his death. They do a back and forth in the ring where Shibata punts Tenryu in the chest, Tenryu responds with a punch and one of those low angle brainbusters, and they basically repeat that sequence three times until Tenryu comes out on top. It was kind of dumb but also awesome in that egregiously stupid sort of way. Tenryu hitting a draping DDT from the top rope to the floor was sheer fucking lunacy and I don't know how he never killed him. Shibata popping up and deciding it's his turn to throw potato shots a couple minutes later was a wee bit rubbish, but he doesn't get much offence in before Tenryu chokes him half to death. I can see someone thinking the finish was a touch flat, but for as annoying as Shibata dropping all selling can be, the way he staggered around like a man ready to be put out his misery was great. And of course Tenryu doesn't need to be told twice.
 

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