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[1987-12-05 AJPW] Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu

Superstar Sleeze

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Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu - AJPW 12/5/87

Real World Tag League. Tenryu & Hara are the PWF World Tag Team Champions coming into this, but not on the line because of the tournament. Live watch:

Jumbo & Hara start off not much of note. Hara tags out. Jumbo tags out as a sign of disrespect to Tenryu, who gives him a sideways glance. Tenryu bowls him over with a tackle and snapmare into a chinlock. Nice almost escape by Yatsu, but Tenryu is tenacious. Yatsu destabilized him enough to convert into a wristlock and tags out to Jumbo upon standing. Tenryu backs away and tags out to Hara. More mind games. Jumbo grabs a side headlock, Hara shoots him off and Jumbo shouldertackle. Hara comes in with leather and a headbutt. Jumbo wrestles into a wristlock on the mat. Very exaggerated armbar takedown by Jumbo as he maintains wrist control. No sparks yet. I am watching this as it is another chapter in the Jumbo vs Tenryu feud, but it only finished #98 on the AJPW match so I am expecting good not great. Jumbo with a cross armbreaker sold as a resthold. I try to enforce 21st century morality on them but God there is nothing irks me more than an undersold cross-armbreaker. Jumbo/Yatsu double team Hara. Nice brackbreaker by Yatsu. Hara bullies him into Tenryu corner tags out. Double shoulder tackle by Revolution. Meaty chops by Tenryu. Wicked stomp right to the face. Now we are talking. Tenryu drags him to the match with a front chancery. Booooo. Yatsu buries the knee. Dropkick. It was not long. Tenryu is wise to their double team and tags out tot Hara. Jumbo grabs a side headlock, shot off, tackle, goes to run ropes again, Tenryu opens ropes and Jumbo to outside. Jumbo mean mugs Tenryu. Hara bullies Jumbo into corner. Jumbo slaps Tenryu around, TWO BIG TIME HIGH KNEES! Tenryu will NOT go down! Tenryu Enziguiri and Jumbo collapses to outside. Interesting juxtaposition there. First heated exchange of the match. Tenryu cracks Jumbo with a slap! He is showing up the Ace. Jumbo charging Back Elbow and Bulldog out of the corner. Jumbo has been great in 1987. Very fiery since the Tenryu feud. Jumbo Cobra Clutch right in front of Hara. Sends Tenryu into Yatsu's knee. SPIKE PILDERIVER! I love that move! Awesome belly to belly by Yatsu. Does not stay on him and Tenryu tags out. Sloppy or lame transition depending if you are looking at this from a kayfabe lens or not. Hara back suplex on Yatsu, the junior partners together does not have the same heat. Hara tags out. Tenryu whips Hara HARD into Yatsu. Enziguiri. There is good action, but not enough narrative to make it sticky. Just lots of noise. Jumbo vs Tenryu is the only hook. Tenryu literally kicks Yatsu out of the ring who takes the time to regroup. Yatsu looks hurt and is grabbing his back. Lets see if they work it. Lots of Hara blows to the back. Yep it is a thing. Hara stomping and kicking the back. Boston Crab seals that this is definitely a thing.  Tenryu kicking the shit out of Yatsu and then taking a shot at Jumbo on the apron is great. They double team Yatsu, the back suplex by Yatsu lets him get the tag to Jumbo. Too soon in my opinion. Jumbo's zeal for revenge almost costs as he makes a beeline for Tenryu which allows for Hara to attack from behind. Hara looks to have the uppehand until Jumbo TRUCKS him with a Death Lariat. 

Hara tags out after Jumbo does not press his advantage. Tenryu TRUCKS Jumbo with his own Mack Truck Lariat! Enziguiri and Back Suplex by Tenryu for two. Tenyu foolishly tags out to Hara and Jumbo is able to tag out to Yatsu. Yatsu chops and kneelift. Yatsu suplex. Hara kicks Yatsu and tags out to Tenryu after another lackluster exchange. Tenryu grabs Yatsu by the hair and hurls him to the outside. Tenryu throws him hard into the railing. At least that was something different, but it goes nowhere. Bodyslam, Top Rope Reverse Back Elbow misses. Yatsu tags out. Jumbo tries to get the crowd into it. They kinda are. HIGH KNEE INTO THE CORNER! Jumbo is trying his best, I will give him that. Workrate does not equal greatness.  Jumbo hits him with a High Knee on the outside square in the head. Nice shot. Tenryu is busted open! Nice touch. Jumbo is working the cut, nice punch right to the open wound, another one. Jumbo selling his hand. Jumbo rapidly now, Jumbo seeing red. Jumbo shoves off the ref. Tags out to Yatsu. Nice bulldog by Yatsu, Tenryu really laid out for it. Yatsu drives the bloody Tenryu into the mat. Yatsu sends Tenryu into the boot of Jumbo. Abdominal Stretch by Jubo is an odd choice once you have bloodied your opponent. Hara breaks it up. Jumbo/Yatsu double team Tenryu and Yatsu nails wicked piledriver. Jumbo grinding his boot into the cut. It is surprising there was not more staph infections in the 80s. Amazing these cuts were not infected all the time. Hara boots Jumbo in the face on the chinlock. Yatsu continues pummeling Tenryu. The match is getting long in the tooth. Jumbo attacking the cut by scraping his bootlaces across it is, just great. Yatsu with a  terrific bridging German that Hara breaks up. Inside cradle by Tenryu. Tenryu tags out in the most anti-climatic way. Hara Mack Truck Lariat on Jumbo. Hara is a pretty decent hot tag, headbutts abound, bodyslam on the Ace. Tenryu is on his knees woozy. Double High Knee Sandwich by Yatsu and Jumbo. Oklahoma Slam by Yatsu. Hara slugs him with a lariat. Tags out to worse for wear Tenryu. Double team on Yatsu. Yatsu blocks the buldlog with a back suplex. JUMBO DEATH LARIAT! Too close to Tenryu who stomps Jumbo through the ropes. Double Clothesline! Tenryu slugs Jumbo with a left Lariat. Big bridging German by Tenryu saved by Yatsu. Tenryu tags out, meaty lariats by Hara. Jumbo blocks third. Yatsu double axehandle off the top. 30 seconds left. Top rope elbow drop kick out. 15 seconds? Yatsu cover for two. German Suplex lands as time expires.  

Everyone and their mother knew this was going to a time limit draw, it is why I knew to do a stream of consciousness review because I knew it was going to be a lot of action and not much substance. The Jumbo/Tenryu exchanges were a highlight. Jumbo drawing blood and working the cut, but ultimately went nowhere as Tenryu just did a running inside cradle and then casually tagged out. There is a post-match brawl! Jumbo and Tenryu are great. Nobody lands shit, but it was hot and sets 1988 up well. Where was I? Yeah, I think the Tenryu bleeding and then tagging out was a microcosm of the whole match. There were great bits and pieces. They never really either built to them, fleshed them out or built upon them. The moments were very ephemeral and did not connet to each other. It does not matter what year, workrate is not enough for greatness. ***1/4 

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