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[2001-01-28-AJPW] Genichiro Tenryu & Hiroshi Hase vs Toshiaki Kawada & Kensuke Sasaki

Sean Liska

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  • GSR changed the title to [2001-01-28-AJPW] Genichiro Tenryu & Hiroshi Hase vs Toshiaki Kawada & Kensuke Sasaki
  • 9 months later...

This had the potential to be something special but it was surprisingly flat. The work was arguably better than that Hashimoto vs. Misawa tag but there wasn't a fraction of the heat and no-one could seem to get anything going. A strangely subdued performance from Tenryu and Kawada in particular. Missed chance to prove that All Japan still had the goods in a main event bout. 

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  • 1 year later...

Hase and Sasaki had the more substantial exchanges in this, and I kinda loved them going at each other. The slap exchange was great. Although I’m not sure if Hase was supposed to get knocked down the first time, it worked as Sasaki is the badass and Hase is at the end of his career. Tenryu had some good Ternyu-isms where he’d  throw a stiff punch to Kawada or Sasaki and that was awesome. Just a simple match that lacked a bit of heat but it didn't hurt the match too much. ***1/2

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A match on paper that looks like it could be a MOTYC if given the right circumstances but given what happened on this show before it, to no surprise for me it falls squarely in the disappointing but very good bucket. The finish is the most predictable and least interesting choice of Kawada pinning Hase after a powerbomb. The crowd heat was disappointing and this had to be alarming to AJPW given the crowd reaction they got on 5/2/99 just 20 months earlier. Hase and Sasaki have the most electric exchanges here which feels all wrong. Speaking of feeling all wrong, Sasaki and Kawada teaming feels really off and they don’t even tease any animosity against each other. Overall, a bad showing for AJPW and they feel probably less relevant than they have in many years following this disappointing show. ***3/4 (7.5)

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