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[1982-03-21-AJPW] Ted DiBiase vs Genichiro Tenryu

Phil Schneider

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: DiBiase is a guy who I like as a brawler, but have never really rated as a technical title match guy. This is really the first time I have seen him perform at the level of an NWA champion in an NWA champion style match (this wasn't for a title, but was very much in that style.) We get some solid matwork early, with Ted working a bunch of different variations of a hammerlock, and Tenryu putting on a tight front face lock. Much of the match is contested on the mat, but we get some big stand up sections including DiBiase taking a big spill to the floor and eating a really nice looking Tenryu tope. Tenryu also unloads with some great looking sumo thrusts which send DiBiase to the floor again. I loved the gutwrench and powerslam by DiBiase, and Tenryu really nails an enzigiri and piledriver. Would have liked a finish, but I get why this went to a draw. I agree with Matt that this would have been highly though of if it was around earlier, and while I prefer stuff with a little more flash, this was a hell of a meat and potatoes bout.

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