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[1992-07-14-WAR] Genichiro Tenryu & Masao Orihara vs Great Kabuki & Koki Kitahara

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Do yourself a favour and make it a priority to watch this match asap. Literally one of the most awesome brutal spectacles I've ever seen. It starts out with Tenryu chopping Kabuki in the throat in the middle of an exchange, leaving him suffocating on his back, which sets the tone nicely. The early Orihara sections were pretty fun, as every couple minutes he would try something stupid and get punished swiftly. Kabuki & Kitahara end up putting a massive assbeating on him. Kitahara looks like such a killer in this match, just walloping everyone with kicks left and right and dealing them kicks to the eye and the skull, and Kabuki looks great aswell, dishing out extra mean punches and kicks. It also helps that you can really whip Orihara around, he would eat a neckbreaker and his head would just bounce off the mat. Oriharas initial comeback was pretty much perfect as he ditches his junior offense and just tees off with reckless kicks. Later he would hit these great looking dives. His springboard crossbody is an example of a perfectly timed highspot. Tenryu wasn't in the match a ton but he would occasionally walk in and remind you who he his. Earlier Kabuki had blindsided him so, after he Orihara hit a dive and left Kabuki prone outside Tenryu would casually stroll over and clock him with a chair. It's these kind of moments that help make this sort of match so much more intense. Tenryu going mad with the pre-PRIDE soccer kicks, not letting off and leaving Kitahara bloodied is why he's Top 5 all time. Note how he would also put over his opponents, with Kitahara almost KO'ing him and Kabuki pretty much beating him silly with the punches and super kicks. What a fucking match, I wouldn't be shocked if this ends up in my All Time Top 10 as far as tags go.

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Genichiro Tenryu & Orihara vs Great Kabuki & Kitahara - WAR 7/14/92

 

I just watched my friends unleash an 11-1 drubbing in Rocket League and I don't think that was as bad as how Kabuki & Kitahara massacred him. Tenryu and Kabuki have a great exchange early each leaving the other gasping for breathe after thrusts to the throat. Once I saw how young & skinny Orihara was I knew exactly what this match was going to be like. This is one of my favorite genres of puroresu: Ace & young lion vs two dick heels. Kitahara tries to kick Orihars's head off and then Kabuki comes in and just stiffs the fuck out of him. Kabuki' powerbomb draws Tenryu on the save. Orihara makes a comeback with kicks to the head. Tenryu gets hot tag but it is attacked at the pass. The heels do a number of Tenryu but he makes a comeback and I'm surprised tags Orihara back in. Orihara hits a moonsault from the top to the floor! His big spot! Tenryu whacks somebody with a chair. Tenryu was really into bootlace kicks. He was just stiffing the hell out of the opposing team and he busts up Kitahara's nose. This is brutal. ORIHARA GETS GANSO BOMBED! Tenryu tries to save with kicks but I feel like he just gives up and realizes it is a lost cause. Kabuki hits a bunch of powebombs to win. Brutal, stiff asskicking and a welcomed addition to a great genre of tag wrestling. ***3/4

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Well, start as you mean to go on, I guess. This was the main event of the WAR debut show and if you had any questions as to how things would be done in this particular Tenryu fed then they were answered pretty quickly. What a spectacular festival of violence this was. It almost felt like the best possible version of your classic WAR formula threaded through a dramatic double heat segment AWA tag. It had the extended beatdowns and the hope spots and cut-offs. It had the hot tags and even hotter finish. Only here the extended beatdowns were attempted homicides and the hope spots and cut-offs a hundred times more vicious. Here the hot tags led to someone's orbital bone getting demolished and the even hotter finish had someone getting dropped on their neck.

The match starts with Tenryu and Kabuki pairing off, a couple guys who've worked together for years settling into this new home they've come to share. So Tenryu just chops him dead in the trachea inside twelve seconds. Just a totally inordinate and unnecessary response to what had been a simple shoulderblock. Kabuki is left rolling around clawing at his throat and I half expected the ref' to give him an emergency tracheotomy. And basically we're off to the races from that moment on. Orihara was tremendous in this and it felt like a true star-making performance. He gets absolutely smashed to bits. Him and Kitahara is a match-up that fucking ruled in SWS because Kitahara would just beat the brakes off him, but nothing like this. At one point Orihara did a kip-up and backflipped out of a top wrist lock and Kitahara obviously hated it because he made his life a total misery thereafter. There was one part where it looked like he was going to hit a piledriver, but then he muscled him up a bit further and hit a fucking Ganso Bomb! Kabuki never could backflip very well so he made the kid's life a misery too. I don't think I've ever seen Kabuki work stiffer than this. Everything he did was the most potatoey version of it possible, from his neckbreaker to his uppercuts under the chin, then he'd tag in Kitahara and Orihara would be kicked full force in the ear and neck. And what really made it was the way Orihara kept trying to fight back. He'd always try to throw punches or struggle to create some distance, although it usually only ended with him getting walloped even harder. It made everything feel uncooperative, like he did not want to be set upon like this and that he wasn't just there to take a beating and tag out, which at times almost made it an uneasy watch. The first hot tag was pretty much perfect as he fought back by kicking lumps out of Kitahara in return, then Tenryu came in taking heads off and from there everything went up another few notches.

The back half of this had something wild or awesome or outright barbaric - sometimes all three at once - happening every few seconds. Orihara's second heat segment sees him get the shit kicked out of him even worse than before but he fights back by crushing Kabuki with two dives. Tenryu breaks a chair over Kabuki's back so later Kabuki superkicks him in the throat. The partner saves are just stupid brutal even for WAR as Kitahara ends up with his eyebrow split in half. All of the Tenryu/Kitahara sections towards the end were incredible and Tenryu trying to punt his spleen through the uprights was fucking unbelievable. It honest to god might've been the most hellish beating he's ever delivered to someone. I mean think of the SCOPE of that! Just amazing front to back. The WAR Main Event Tag is an acquired taste, but this was a classic of the genre and might be the best WAR match of them all.
 

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