Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Saturday, November 19, 2016

All Time MOTY List HEAD to HEAD Honda/Inoue v. Hash/Yasuda V. Kawada/Araya v. Fuchi/Tenryu

Genichiro Tenryu/Masa Fuchi v. Toshiaki Kawada/Nobutaka Araya AJPW 6/30/01

Phil and Childs talked about this match on Digging in the Crates

ER: Neat tag that was right smack dab in the days of me diving headlong into my love of Japanese wrestling. I first saw it a few years before and by 2001 I was in love and following every fed. In the NOAH exodus I was loving the return of Tenryu and the rise of Fuchi, back from opening match purgatory. And it's kind of weird, as Araya and Tenryu are the WAR guys, Kawada and Fuchi are the AJ guys, so you'd expect the teams to line up that way. But they opt for the maybe more intriguing old guys vs. younger guys, and it's all about Tenryu and Fuchi breaking down Araya. Kawada seemed a little off in the match, compared to his standards, so it really hinged on Araya's performance as a bullied youngster, and he totally pulled it off. The whole thing is a fairly genial tag match for the first few minutes, with everyone facing off and lightly pushing each other around and tagging out. The same thing is happening with Tenryu and Araya, when with no warning Tenryu literally just punches Araya in the eye. Just right in the eye. Araya goes down and immediately is bleeding out of the eyebrow. And from there we get Tenryu and Fuchi attempting (and often succeeding) to pick on him. All the great moments are when Araya would be getting chopped and punched and would just muscle through it, really forcing you to get behind him. Tenryu was such a surly badass and I flipped whenever Araya would go chest to chest with him, or fire back, or run him over with a shoulderblock.  Kawada does a decent job trying to keep the wolves away and Fuchi seems like a guy trying to avoid Kawada, and we get some great moments of Kawada and Tenryu lacing into each other. Those Tenryu chops never looked finer, and he ate some kicks to the nose and sold an early Kawada enziguiri great (I think Tenryu sold shots to the back of the head and piledrivers better than anybody), and later hit his own enziguiri. Tenryu's old man enziguiri was always a favorite of mine, as the person on the receiving end always looked like someone getting a sack of concrete dropped onto their neck and shoulders. Araya don't let his bum eye get him down and the build to him and Fuchi each going for broke is fun, with Fuchi hitting an awesome back suplex to reverse an Araya moonsault, before eventually succumbing to that moonsault. This was just as simple and satisfying now as it was when I saw it 15 years ago.

PAS: On paper it looks like Araya is the weak link in this match, but this was a performance that should have made him a superstar. Tenryu is such a mean fucker, he brings his buddy over from WAR and decides for shits and giggles to split his eye open. Tenryu and Fuchi are the two best guys in wrestling history to be on the opposite side of a leaking eyebrow. We get some great Kawada v. Tenryu sections but that was an appetizer to the Araya show. I loved him fighting through pain and going toe to toe with Tenryu and Fuchi and the final moonsault to win was a great moment.

Honda/Inoue v. Hash/Yasuda Review

VERDICT:

ER: Real fun tag, but it didn't have quite the hate and intensity of that NOAH/Z-1 tag, so I think that one still reigns supreme.

PAS: It's pretty close, I really enjoyed this match, but it needed a bit more Kawada intensity, outside of a couple of exchanges with Tenryu he kind of sat this out. I am going with the Z1 tag too.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Discotortoise said...

So does the Hash/Otsuka-Misawa/Ogawa tag end up here in the third of this sort of series that dominated 2001 puro?

4:38 PM  
Blogger EricR said...

It's on the docket for sure. We've gotten a few requests for that one to challenge, and Phil/myself are somewhat into the participants.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Discotortoise said...

Yeah, they're pretty good wrestlers.

2:42 PM  

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