Written By Alfredo Esparza
All Japan Retro #6: Genichiro Tenryu
Genichiro Tenryu & Shohei “Giant” Baba vs. Mario Milano & Mexico Grande
Taped 6/11/1977 at Setagaya Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
Tenryu and Mexico Grande start the match. Clean breaks by both. Tenryu catches him with a side suplex and slams him down on the mat! Fireman’s carry takedown into an armbar by Tenryu on Mexico Grande. He keeps it on pretty tight. Tenryu shoves him into the corner and gives him a hard chop before armdragging him across the ring. He gets him back in an armbar.
Mexico Grande slams Tenryu but Tenryu keeps him in the armbar. He drops an elbow across Mexico Grande’s left arm but goes back to using na armbar. Mexico Grande shoves him into the ropes but Tenryu knocks him down and goes back to the armbar again. Forearms thrown by Mexico Grande but he can’t break free from Tenryu’s grasp. Tenryu tags in Baba.
Clean break by Tenryu allows Mexico Grande to tag in Mario Milano. Baba takes Milano down and grabs hold of his left arm. Milano powers back up and shoves Baba into a corner. He punches Baba a few times. Follows that up with a headbutt and a stomp across Baba’s head. Milano tags in Mexico Grande who stomps on Baba for a bit before tagging Milano back in. Quick tags by both. Milano goes for a wristlock but Baba is able to take him down.
Baba tags in Tenryu. Tenryu hiptosses Milano out of the corner and then body slams him. He follows with a big elbow drop and goes for a pin. Milano kicks out. He slams Tenryu’s head into the top turnbuckle and tags in Mexico Grande. Tenryu fires back with a big hard chop across Mexico Grande’s chest! Milano and Grande are able to keep Tenryu in their corner and beat on him for a bit.
Mexico Grande with a hiptoss takedown on Tenryu. He keeps him in a side headlock. Tenryu tries to break out of the hold but Mexico Grande pulls his hair to keep him from escaping. Tenryu escapes and armdrags Grande and gets him in an armbar again!
Milano and Mexico Grande double-team Tenryu in their corner. Milano comes in and goes on the attack on Tenryu until Tenryu is able to reach over and tag in Baba. Baba comes in with some big chops and kicks at Milano. Chop on top of Milano’s head followed by a big boot at him. Milano is able to get to his corner and tag in Mexico Grande. They double-team Baba in their corner as the referee tries to get them to break.
Baba shoves Mexico Grande over to his corner and tags in Tenryu. Tenryu with some chops at Mexico Grande followed by a double underhook suplex. Baba comes in and kicks Milano out of the ring. Tenryu goes for the pin but Mexico Grande kicks out. Baba and Tenryu jump on his left leg. Tenryu rolls around with Mexico Grande before getting him in the pin. Baba keeps Milano away.
WINNERS: Genichiro Tenryu & Giant Baba
Genichiro Tenryu vs. Umanosuke Ueda in a lumberjack match.
Taped 3/1/1983 at Akita Municipal Gymnasium in Akita, Japan.
Tenryu charges at Ueda as soon as the bell rings and tosses him to the outside. The lumberjacks send him back into the ring. Tenryu with a slam on Ueda. Again Ueda heads to the outside and gets thrown back in. Another slam by Tenryu and Ueda back outside where the lumberjacks roll him back into the ring. Tenryu stomps on Ueda but Ueda counters and chokes Tenryu.
Referee has Ueda break his choke hold on Tenryu a few times. He tosses Tenryu to the outside and he gets thrown back into the ring. Tenryu rolls up Ueda for the pin but Ueda kicks him off and Tenryu lands outside were the lumberjacks roll him back into the ring. Ueda goes back to using a chokehold on Tenryu.
Ueda keeps tossing Tenryu to the outside where the lumberjacks keep tossing him back into the ring. Ueda stomps on Tenryu for a bit and again goes back to using a nerve hold. Tenryu gets back and counters with a Russian legsweep and gets a two count. Piledriver by Tenryu on Ueda! Again he goes for a pin but only gets a two-count. Neckbreaker by Tenryu but Ueda quickly kicks out.
Tenryu punches at Ueda. He follows with a few kicks. Ueda heads to the outside and is quickly caught by the lumberjacks. Ueda gets tied up on the ropes and Tenryu goes to work on him with a barrage of punches! He goes for a brainbuster (vertical suplex) on Ueda but Ueda is able to kick out. Enziguiri by Tenryu sends Ueda to the outside. He’s rolled back into the ring. Ueda tosses Tenryu into the referee.
Tenryu continues his attack on Ueda while the referee is down. Tenryu gets Ueda again with a vertical suplex and follows with a figure-four leglock! Interference from the heels including Tiger Jeet Singh coming out to distract the referee leads to Ueda escaping the hold and attacking Tenryu. Ueda uses a foreign object on Tenryu and beats on him outside the ring. Lumberjacks sends Tenryu back into the ring. Ueda continues his attack with a foreign object.
Referee calls for the bell as Ueda continues to use the weapon on Tenryu. Tenryu is left bloody. All the lumberjacks and several others run out and it becomes a big brawl and pull apart.
WINNER: Tenryu via DQ
Genichiro Tenryu vs. Ricky Steamboat for the vacant United National Heavyweight Title
Taped 2/23/1984 at Kuramae Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan
This is joined in progress and moves forward to Steamboat placing Tenryu on the top turnbuckle. Clean break but Tenryu lands an elbow off the ropes at Steamboat. Tenryu tosses Steamboat over the ropes. He keeps charging at Steamboat near the ropes. Referee warns Tenryu. Tenryu snapmares Steamboat back into the ring. He goes for a piledriver on Steamboat.
Tenryu gets Steamboat in a side headlock. Steamboat tries to reverse the hold and gets Tenryu for a two-count but Tenryu keeps him in the headlock. Steamboat gets back up and tosses Tenryu into the ropes. He backdrops Tenryu and goes for an armbar but Tenryu reverses it into a headscissors. Steamboat does a headstand and briefly breaks out of the hold before Tenryu gets him again with the headscissors. Steamboat struggles to escape.
Steamboat escapes and gets Tenryu in a figure-four leglock! Tenryu tries to fight out of it. Steamboat applies more pressure. Tenryu reverses the figure-four leglock on Steamboat! Steamboat reverses it but they reach the ropes. They roll down to the floor while still being in the figure-four leglock. They get back in the ring.
Tenryu with a hard chop and goes for a side headlock. Steamboat grabs hold of Tenryu and backdrops him. Steamboat follows with some hard chops! He misses a chop at Tenryu and he gets chopped instead and knocked down. Tenryu tries to toss Steamboat into the corner but he blocks it the first time but not the second time. Back and forth with hard chops!
Steamboat with a neckbreaker on Tenryu gets a two count. He snapmares Tenryu and goes for another pin attempt. Tenryu tosses Steamboat into the ropes and Steamboat goes for a sunset flip pin attempt but Tenryu lands on top of him and goes for a pin of his own. Steamboat kicks out and reverses it into a Boston Crab. Tenryu reverses that into another pin attempt. Steamboat follows with a pin attempt of his own.
Steamboat and Tenryu knock each other down off the ropes. Tenryu with a hard chop and a side suplex. He gets a two count on Steamboat. Tenryu tosses Steamboat into the ropes but Steamboat gets him with a small package and a two count. Tenryu with an enziguiri at Steamboat and covers him for the pin but Steamboat gets his foot on the bottom rope.
Brainbuster by Tenryu on Steamboat! He climbs to the top rope and lands an elbowdrop on Steamboat only he doesn’t get him completely as Steamboat was moving out of the way. Steamboat climbs up to the top rope and catches Tenryu with a flying body press for a two-count. Abdominal stretch into a pin attempt by Tenryu gets him the pin on Steamboat!
Post-match interview with Tenryu.
Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. Hiroshi Wajima & Takashi Ishikawa (6/8/87)
Taped 6/8/1987 at Fukuoka, Japan
Wajima stares down Tenryu prior to the start of the match which gets a smirk from Tenryu. Ishikawa tries to calm Wajima down while Tenryu continues to grin at him. Hara and Ishikawa start the match. Ishikawa with a hard knockdown of Hara off the ropes. He grabs hold of Hara’s arm and places him in a headlock. Hara breaks out and gets Ishikawa in a wristlock. Ishikawa throws some hard chops at Hara but he headbutts Ishikawa.
Back and forth between Hara and Ishikawa. Hara tags in Tenryu and he quickly slams Ishikawa and keeps him in an armbar. They both run the ropes but Tenryu stops and goes over and chops Wajima! They stare each other down again. Wajima tags in but Tenryu tags out to Hara. Wajima tells Hara to tag Tenryu back in. Hara tells Wajima to tag in Ishikawa. Ishikawa back in the ring gets in a few kicks at Hara. Hara grabs Ishikawa’s leg and throws a hard punch at him. He gets him back in a wristlock and tags in Tenryu who lands an elbow off the ropes. Tenryu with a wristlock on Ishikawa. He keeps Ishikawa’s left arm under his control.
Hara back in the ring continues the attack on Ishikawa. Ishikawa throws some slaps and then goes for a knee lift at Hara. He tags in Wajima, who again asks that Tenryu get in the ring. Hara slaps Wajima and tags in Tenryu who attacks Wajima. Tenryu and Wajima tangle u pon the ropes with everyone trying to break them apart.
Ishikawa gets back in the ring to face Tenryu. He goes for a figure-four leglock on Tenryu! Ishikawa tags in Wajima and now he gets Tenryu! Shoulder block off the ropes followed by a backdrop from Tenryu on Wajima! Hard chops thrown by Tenryu but Wajima fights off the pain. Tenryu knocks him down and gets him in a toe hold. Tenryu breaks the hold cleanly and tags in Hara.
Hard chops by both Hara and Wajima are exchanged. Wajima whips Hara into the corner but Hara catches him with a clothesline. Headbutts from Hara but Wajima catches him with a backdrop. He gets a two-count due to Hara being near the ropes. Tenryu back in and he slaps at Wajima’s face and then catches him with a pair of enziguiris! He gets him with a third enziguiri and covers him for the pin! Wajima recovers and goes for a backdrop on Tenryu!
Wajima whips Tenryu into the ropes and takes him down with a chokeslam. Tenryu kicks out of the pin attempt. They clothesline each other. Tenryu tags in Hara. Hara misses a clothesline but Wajima doesn’t. Wajima with a suplex on Hara and covers him for the pin but Tenryu makes the save. Ishikawa now in and he continues to attack Hara. Dropkick by Ishikawa at Hara who tags in Tenryu. Ishikawa and Wajima with a double shoulder tackle at Tenryu. Scorpion deathlock applied by Ishikawa on Tenryu. Hara makes the save. Wajima charges at Hara. Shoulder tackle by Wajima at Hara.
Referee tries to get Wajima out of the ring. Ishikawa climbs to the top rope. Hara charges at his direction but Ishikawa jumps over him. Tenryu flattens Ishikawa with a lariat and covers him for the pin.
WINNERS: Tenryu & Hara
Genichiro Tenyru & Ashura Hara vs. Shoehi “Giant” Baba & Tiger Mask II (7/30/87)
Taped 7/30/1987 at Civic Sports Center in Higashimurayama, Tokyo, Japan
Tiger Mask and Tenryu start the match. Tenryu quickly knocks Tiger Mask down and charges over to Baba and chops him! Crowd gets loud. Baba tags in. Hard chops thrown by Tenryu and Baba throws some back as well. Baba gets Tenryu near the ropes and again gets a hard chop in and some kicks. Baba tries to kick Tenryu but he holds onto the ropes and then charges at Baba with a clothesline only Baba blocks that. Baba takes Tenryu down with an armbreaker!
Tiger Mask gets back in the ring and gets Tenryu in a wristlock but Tenryu tags in Hara. Hara knocks down Tiger Mask and follows with some headbutts and chops! Tiger Mask escapes a suplex attempt and backdrops Hara. Some kicks thrown at Hara. Hara powers up and gets Tiger Mask with a backdrop. Tenryu tags in and slams Tiger Mask and follows with a top rope elbow. He gets a two-count on Tiger Mask. Headlock by Tenryu on Tiger Mask.
Tenryu rolls Tiger Mask over for a pin attempt and goes back to keeping Tiger Mask on the mat. Hara back in with some hard chops and headbutts. Tiger Mask fights back and hits a headbutt off the middle rope. Baba tags in and gets in a few kicks on Hara. He knocks Hara down. Hara catches Baba with a clothesline off the ropes. He gets a two-count on Baba. Baba takes down Hara and holds him down on the mat. He gets a two count on Hara. Hara and Baba exchange chops!
Hara attempts to whip Baba into the ropes but he gets a reversal and Baba knocks him down. Hara is near his corner and tags in Tenryu. Double-team clothesline on Baba. Tenryu gets a two-count on Baba. Headscissors by Tenryu on Baba. Giant Baba breaks free. Both men tag their partners. Tiger Mask with some hard elbows thrown at Hara. He whips Hara into the ropes and catches him with a dropkick. Side suplex by Tiger Mask gets him a two-count.
Tiger Mask climbs up to the top rope and delivers a dropkick at Hara. He only gets a two-count. He tags in Baba who gets Hara in a front facelock. Hara gets Baba on the ropes and delivers more hard chops and headbutts. Tenryu tags in and they get a double enziguiri on Baba! Tenryu with more hard chops and a backdrop on Baba. He only gets another two-count. Double kneedrop by Tenryu gets him another two-count. Hara back in and he headbutts Baba. Baba tags in Tiger Mask who throws some hard kicks at Hara including a spin kick.
Hara tags in Tenryu who knocks Tiger Mask down. He gets Tiger Mask with a DDT. Follows that up with a piledriver. He tags in Hara who catches Tiger Mask with a clothesline. Lots of near falls on Tiger Mask. Another hard chop by Tenryu. He goes for a suplex, but Tiger Mask escapes and tries to roll-up Tenryu for a pin but Tenryu escapes. Tiger Mask reverses a powerbomb attempt with a huracanrana for another near fall. Diving senton off the top rope by Tiger Mask at Tenryu. German Suplex by Tiger Mask gets him another two-count on Tenryu.
Tiger Mask tags in Baba who gets Tenryu with a knee lift. He whips Tenryu into the ropes and lands a big boot across his chest. Baba tags in Tiger Mask who dives off the top rope with a body press. Another spin kick by Tiger Mask at Tenryu. Piledriver by Tiger Mask on Tenryu and a spin kick at Hara. He does a running baseball slide kick at Hara on the outside. Hara and Tiger Mask brawl outside the ring. Tenryu joins them. Tenryu suplexes Tiger Mask onto the ringside table.
Tenryu tosses Tiger Mask back into the ring and lands an elbow across his chest. Boston Crab by Tenryu on Tiger Mask. Baba makes the save with a chop and kick at Tenryu. Hara runs in with a clothesline. Tenryu follows with a lariat at Baba. Double-team suplex on Baba! He rolls to the outside. Double-team Boston Crab on Tiger Mask. Jumbo Tsuruta and Hiroshi Wajima run into the ring and attack Tenryu and Hara! They clean house but Yoshiaki Yatsu runs out and everyone in the ring continues to brawl as the bell rings.
WINNERS: Giant Baba & Tiger Mask
Genichiro Tenryu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta © for the Triple Crown Title
Taped 6/5/1989 at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.
Both men are asked a question prior to entering the ring. Both give short answers.
Jumbo extends his hand out for a handshake but Tenryu refuses. Stan Hansen shows up ringside as the match is about to start. He sits ringside. Tsuruta with some big knee lifts at Tenryu. He misses a knee lift and Tenryu catches him with a backdrop for a two-count! Jumbo gets back up dazed. They lock-up again and Jumbo gets Tenryu in a side headlock.
Tenryu shoves Jumbo into the ropes and follows with some hard chops. Jumbo counters with some forearms and a bulldog. He goes for a quick pin attempt but Tenryu kicks out. Jumbo gets Tenryu in a cobra clutch. He takes him down on the mat applying more pressure. Jumbo whips Tenryu into the ropes and misses a clothesline. Tenryu blocks a high knee attack but Jumbo catches him with a big boot to the chest!
Tenryu with some hard chops but Jumbo counters with another big kick off the ropes. Elbow drop by Jumbo gets him a 2-count on Tenryu. Jumbo goes for the cobra clutch again. Crowd cheering loudly for Tenryu. More kicks from Jumbo! Double ax-handle by Jumbo at Tenryu’s back. Jumbo rolls Tenryu to the outside and tosses him into the guardrail. He takes him back into the ring and Tenryu quickly back up on his feet charges at Jumbo with a lariat that sends him to the outside!
Tenryu hits a dive off the ring apron at Jumbo! Both men lay on the floor for a bit before Tenryu tosses Jumbo back into the ring. Hard chop from Tenryu and he takes down Jumbo by the leg. Ankle lock by Tenryu on Jumbo. Tenryu punches at Jumbo’s left leg. He tries to pin him a few times. Tenryu gets in a few forearms at Jumbo. He charges at him and drops a fist on Jumbo’s head. More kicks and chops from Tenryu. Jumbo counters with a belly-to-belly suplex! He gets another two-count on Tenryu.
Jumbo goes back to a cobra clutch on Tenryu. Stan Hansen is still watching ringside. Tenryu reaches the ropes for a break. Jumbo whips Tenryu into the ropes and hits with a high knee strike! He only gets a one-count on Tenryu. More forearms thrown by Jumbo at Tenryu. Elbows too. Jumbo calls for his finisher. Tenryu blocks it and backdrops Jumbo!
Jumbo gets back up and knocks Tenryu down with more forearms. He kicks at Tenryu. Abdominal stretch by Jumbo on Tenryu. Tenryu escapes. Hard chops thrown by Tenryu. He headbutts Jumbo out of the ring. Jumbo gets back in the ring and Tenryu kicks him. He follows with a lariat and only gets a two-count. More chops thrown. Back and forth action now. Jumbo knocks down Tenryu.
Elbowdrop by Jumbo on Tenryu and a quick two-count. Backdrop attempt by Jumbo gets blocked by Tenryu. He whips Tenryu into the corner and lands a high knee strike at him. Backdrop by Jumbo on Tenryu! Both men get knocked down. Jumbo whips Tenryu into the ropes and gets him with a lariat. Tenryu reaches the ropes to break the pin attempt!
Jumbo whips Tenryu into the ropes and again gets him with a clothesline. He only gets a two-count on Tenryu! Bulldog by Jumbo gets him another two-count on Tenryu. He slams Tenryu. Jumbo climbs to the middle rope and goes with a kneedrop at Tenryu. Another near fall sees Tenryu reaching the ropes. Jumbo goes up a second time and lands another knee on Tenryu. He goes for a third one and catches Tenryu again! He covers Tenryu for the pin but he reaches the ropes with his foot.
Crowd gets louder. Jumbo goes for a Thesz Press on Tenryu for the pin but he kicks out again! Another knee strike by Jumbo. Jumbo goes for another backdrop. Tenryu tries to block it but Jumbo pulls it off. Jumbo pins Tenryu again but he kicks out! Jumbo whips Tenry into the ropes and goes another Thesz Press but he catches him in the air and drops him onto the top rope! Tenryu goes for the pin but Jumbo kicks out!
Double axhandle by Jumbo at Tenryu’s back. He whips Tenryu into the ropes and dropkicks him. He goes for another pin and again Tenryu kicks out. Jumbo climbs to the top rope and gets Tenryu with a jumping knee that sends Tenryu into the corner. Jumbo goes for another knee but Tenryu moves out of the way. Tenryu hits Jumbo with an enziguiri. Tenryu small packages Jumbo for a pin but Jumbo kicks out! Tenryu rolls down his knee pad. He goes for a powerbomb but Jumbo reverses and lands on top of him for another near fall!
Jumbo climbs up to the top rope. Tenryu charges at him. Jumbo jumps off to escape Tenryu. He catches Tenryu with the lariat. Jumbo goes for a suplex but Tenryu blocks it and both fall to the mat. Tenryu slams Jumbo and climbs up to the top rope and misses his elbow drop! Jumbo tries to pin Tenryu again but he kicks out.
Tenryu takes Jumbo down with a lariat! Enziguiri by Tenryu on Jumbo. He goes for the powerbomb and covers Jumbo! Jumbo kicks out at two! Crowd goes wild! Tenryu goes for another powerbomb on Jumbo and this time gets the pin right as Jumbo is about to kick out! Great!
WINNER: Jumbo Tsuruta
Stan Hansen comes in and congratulates Tenryu. Jumbo leaves the ring quickly as Tenryu is handed the title belts and giant trophy. He does the post-match winner’s interview.
SHOW THOUGHTS: You can’t go wrong with an episode of All Japan Classics. Odds are most of the matches are going to be anywhere between good and excellent. This episode covering Tenryu was good. The last match was excellent. I wished the Steamboat match would have aired complete. I wasn’t a big fan of the match against Ueda but it was still okay. The tag matches were good. However, this was more about that last match against Jumbo. Again that was excellent. Definitely watch that one.