Tenryu Project on 9/2/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson
When an event isn’t even listed on cagematch, you know it’s obscure. This is an interesting card as it has a number of people I’ve never heard of, but it also has Arashi, Tenryu, Inoue, and Fuji whom I am naturally quite familiar with. The first match I couldn’t find any listing for so I had to actually *shudder* do research to find out who some of them were. So it’s an odd combination of unknown indy wrestlers and past their prime well-known wrestlers. Only five matches, this is what we have:
- Hide Kubota and Yasu Kubota vs. NOSAWA Rongai and Winger
I have no idea who many of these wrestlers are. This probably won’t be very good but let’s give it a whirl.
Hide Kubota and Yasu Kubota vs. NOSAWA Rongai and Winger
Yasu and Hide both yank on NOSAWA’s legs, Yasu picks up NOSAWA and puts his leg up in the corner. Yasu stomps NOSAWA in the knee and he applies a single leg crab hold. NOSAWA eventually makes it to the ropes, kick to the leg by Yasu but NOSAWA comes back with chops. Yasu tags in Hide, Hide picks up NOSAWA and he hits a kneebreaker. Hide applies a leg submission and then tags in Yasu. Yasu yanks back on NOSAWA’s leg, he picks up NOSAWA and stomps down on his leg. Yasu picks up NOSAWA but NOSAWA hits a superkick. Yasu stops NOSAWA from making the tag and tags Hide back in, and Hide elbows NOSAWA in the leg. Hide tags in Yasu and Yasu kicks NOSAWA in the leg. Irish whip by Yasu but NOSAWA kicks him and hits a back bodydrop. NOSAWA tags in Winger, and Winger punches Yasu into the corner and then punches Hide off the apron. Irish whip by Winger and he hits a dropkick to Yasu. Winger throws Yasu into the corner, Irish whip, reversed, Winger kicks Yasu back and then kicks him again. Kick by Yasu but Winger hits a side Russian leg sweep. Cover, but it gets a two count. Winger goes off the ropes but Yasu hits an atomic drop. Yasu tags in Hide, Hide clubs Winger in the back and drives Winger into the corner. Lariat by Hide and he hits a dropkick. Hide covers Winger, but it gets a two count. Hide picks up Winger and he hits a scoop slam. Hide goes up to the top turnbuckle but Winger recovers and throws Hide off the top turnbuckle onto the mat. NOSAWA comes in the ring, double Irish whip and they hit a double flapjack. Winger applies a camel clutch to Hide while NOSAWA holds back Yasu, but Yasu manages to break it up. Yasu picks up Winger, double Irish whip to the corner and both hit running strikes on Winger. Hide and Yasu hit an assisted leg drop off the second turnbuckle to Winger, cover by Hide but it gets a two count. Hide goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a diving senton. Cover, NOSAWA breaks it up. Hide waits for Winger to get up, he goes off the ropes but Winger blocks the lariat. Inside cradle by Winger and he picks up the three count. Your winners: NOSAWA Rongai and Winger
Match Thoughts: Odd to see a NOSAWA tag match without MAZADA right there with them. This match I guess you could say was fundamentally sound but dull. It was the basic tag formula of isolate one wrestler and beat him down for a while, he makes the hot tag, etc. which is a perfectly fine formula, just not incredibly inventive. The leg work wasn’t terribly interesting, and all of these guys are getting on the ‘old’ side so it didn’t go at a fast pace. That being said it was a nearly 20 minute match that went pretty smoothly and they tagged in and out enough that it never felt like it dragged even though it was slow paced. An acceptable but forgettable opener. Score: 5.0
Arashi and Ryuichi Kawakami vs. Fugo Fugo Yumeji and Dragon JOKER
Armbar by Yumeji to Kawakami, Arashi goes in the ring and kicks Yumeji in the head. This helps Kawakami gets a foot on the ropes, Yumeji clubs Kawakami in the arm and he tags in JOKER. Double Irish whip to Kawakami and they hit a double chop. JOKER elbow drops Kawakami and JOKER applies a reverse chinlock to Kawakami. JOKER applies an armbar but Kawakami gets a foot on the ropes. JOKER picks up Kawakami and tags in Yumeji. Elbow to the arm by Yumeji and he headbutts Kawakami. Kawakami and Yumeji trade chops, Kawakami goes for a suplex but Yumeji blocks it. Headbutt to the arm by Yumeji, he goes off the ropes but Kawakami catches him with a back bodydrop. Kawakami manages to tag in Arashi, Arashi chops Yumeji in the head, Irish whip, and Arashi hits a lariat. DDT by Arashi but Yumeji isn’t affected, they get back up and Arashi chops Yumeji in the head. Scoop slam by Arashi, he goes off the ropes and kicks Yumeji in the back of the head. Arashi applies a crossface but JOKER runs in the ring and dropkicks Arashi. Kawakami tags in JOKER, JOKER goes off the ropes and hits a heel kick but Arashi doesn’t go down. Dropkick by JOKER, he goes out to the apron and hits a swandive dropkick. JOKER goes out to the apron again and hits a swandive body press, JOKER goes off the ropes again but Arashi levels him with a lariat. JOKER goes off the ropes but Arashi trips JOKER, cover, but it gets a two count. Arashi picks up JOKER and plants him with a powerbomb, cover, and he gets the three count. Your winners: Arashi and Ryuichi Kawakami
Match Thoughts: I know that Yumeji is a veteran too, but it takes balls to no-sell a DDT from Arashi. I can imagine if a young wrestler did that his head would have been caved in. Arashi was never a small dude but he has more of a gut now, not that it really mattered as he was just the veteran muscle in this match. The younger guys did the bulk of the work here with the vets coming in to throw headbutts and elbows, the arm work on Kawakami was actually really good as they did mix up how they were attacking it. Headbutts to the arm are always fun, I dunno how effective it is but I’d rather see that then lots of armbars. A solid structure, clean from start to finish, and not long enough to get boring. So overall I’d say it was a successful match even if it was a bit slow. Score: 6.5
Genichiro Tenryu and Kazuki Hashimoto vs. TARU and Kengo
Kengo picks up Hashimoto and throws him into the corner before tagging in TARU. TARU picks up Hashimoto, snapmare, and TARU kicks Hashimoto in the back. Punches by TARU, he goes off the ropes and TARU hits a lariat. Hashimoto doesn’t go down, TARU goes off the ropes again but Hashimoto hits a jumping lariat. Hashimoto tags in Tenryu, Tenryu punches TARU in the face and chops him into the corner. Irish whip by Tenryu and he chops TARU again. Tenryu picks up TARU and he hits a vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a one count. Tenryu and TARU both slowly get up but TARU hits a low blow. TARU tags in Kengo, and Kengo kicks Tenryu in the chest. Kneedrop to the groin by Kengo, and he hits a series of mounted elbows. Cover by Kengo, but it gets a two count. Kengo picks up Tenryu and goes for a suplex, but Tenryu blocks it. Tenryu applies an armbar but TARU breaks it up. Tenryu hits a DDT on Kengo and he tags in Hashimoto. Hashimoto picks up Kengo, Irish whip to the corner and Hashimoto hits a jumping kick. Vertical suplex by Hashimoto, cover, but it gets a two count. Hashimoto picks up Kengo and hits a few elbows, he goes off the ropes but is tripped from the floor. Dropkick by Kengo and he hits a backdrop suplex. Kengo goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving doublestomp. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kengo goes up to the top turnbuckle but Hashimoto gets his knees up when he goes for the diving body press. PK by Hashimoto, cover, but TARU breaks it up. Tenryu comes in the ring but so does YASSHI, Tenryu takes care of him and he chops Kengo in the chest. Hashimoto elbows Kengo and they trade shots, Hashimoto throws Kengo to Tenryu and Tenryu hits a lariat. Hashimoto kicks Kengo in the side of the head, he picks him up and hits a brainbuster. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Genichiro Tenryu and Kazuki Hashimoto
Match Thoughts: I am assuming that Tenryu wrestles now just for fun, he can’t be making any money doing this. Anyway since the Voodoo Murderers are an indy act at this point it was nice to see them again, they haven’t really changed. Like the last match the young guys did the bulk of the work but Tenryu and TARU still got their shots in. There wasn’t much of a structure as the Voodoo Murderers were cheating too much but it is fun to see real heels every now and then. A solid match, Tenryu didn’t do a lot but he’s old, he did enough that if you got this event just to see him you shouldn’t go home disappointed. Score: 6.0
GENTARO and Kabuki vs. Ryuichi Kawakami and Masao Inoue
Kawakami tags in Inoue, and Inoue rakes GENTARO in the eyes. Irish whip by Inoue and he hits a lariat in the corner. Multiple lariats by Inoue in the corner and he hits a cobra clutch leg sweep. Inoue waits for GENTARO to get up and he hits a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Inoue picks up GENTARO and tries to get him on his shoulders, but GENTARO blocks it and applies a sleeper. GENTARO gets a bodyscissors on with the sleeper, GENTARO releases the hold and covers Inoue but it gets a two count. GENTARO tags in Kabuki, double Irish whip to Inoue and they hit a double chop. Kabuki picks up Inoue, and Kabuki kicks Inoue in the chest. More kicks by Kabuki, he picks up Inoue and hits a snapmare. Kick to the back by Kabuki, he goes off the ropes and dropkicks Inoue. Kabuki clutches Inoue’s throat, he picks him up and sends Inoue to the mat by his throat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kabuki picks up Inoue, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, and Kabuki delivers a superkick. Inoue comes back with a lariat and he tags in Kawakami. Kawakami elbows Kabuki into the corner, chops by Kawakami, Irish whip, and Kawakami hits a running elbow. Inoue comes in the ring, Inoue picks up Kabuki and they throw Kabuki into the corner. Lariat by Inoue and Kawakami hits a jumping elbow. Double vertical suplex to Kabuki and Kawakami applies a single leg crab hold. Kabuki makes it to the ropes to force a break, back up Kawakami hits a hard elbow, cover, but it gets a two count. Kawakami goes off the ropes and hits another hard elbow, cover, but GENTARO breaks it up. Inoue throws GENTARO out of the ring, Kawakami picks up Kabuki but Kabuki gets away, waistlock by Kabuki but Kawakami reverses it. Inoue goes for a lariat on Kabuki but Kabuki ducks, and Inoue lariats Kawakami on accident. Kabuki rolls up Kawakami, but it gets a two count. GENTARO grabs Kawakami and he hits a backdrop suplex. Kabuki waits for Kawakami to get up, he goes off the ropes and delivers a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kabuki goes off the ropes and hits another lariat, cover, and Kabuki picks up the three count. Your winners: GENTARO and Kabuki
Match Thoughts: It should be noted this is not the Great Kabuki, but likely Kabuki Kid. And poor Kawakami, his arm is still hurt from the last match but here he is again in another match, him and Dragon JOKER in the next match both had double duty. Anyway this was fine, all the matches on this card are shockingly similar. All are tag matches about the same length with a mixture of veterans and younger wrestlers. Like the others this had a wrestler targeted, in this case more Kawakami again, only difference is that in this match the targeted wrestler did end up getting pinned. None of these wrestlers are great but all were solid enough, and it’s really nice to see GENTARO wrestling again and looking really healthy. So just for that I won’t give it too low of a mark but there wasn’t much to it. Score: 5.5
Kuga and Dragon JOKER vs. Ricky Fuji and Classic Kid
Classic Kid tags in Fuji, and Fuji applies a wristlock. Fuji twists Dragon JOKER’s arm in the top rope and elbows it, Dragon JOKER elbows him back but Fuji rakes Dragon JOKER in the eyes. Fuji hits a scoop slam on Dragon JOKER and hits a kneedrop. Cover by Fuji but it gets a two count. Fuji picks up Dragon JOKER and tags in Classic Kid. Dragon JOKER elbows Classic Kid and Classic Kid elbows him back and they trade shots. Kick to the head by Classic Kid, cover, but it gets a two count. Classic Kid picks up Dragon JOKER and he hits a scoop slam. Elbow drop by Classic Kid, cover, but it gets two. Classic Kid picks up Dragon JOKER and he tags in Fuji. Fuji grabs Dragon JOKER and hits a delayed vertical suplex, cover, but it gets a two. Fuji picks up Dragon JOKER, he gets him onto his shoulders but Dragon JOKER slides off his back, Fuji goes off the ropes but Dragon JOKER hits a spinning heel kick. Dragon JOKER tags in Kuga, Kuga spits water into both Fuji and Classic Kid’s faces, he then hits a hiptoss on Fuji followed by a monkey flip onto Classic Kid. Kuga dumps Classic Kid out of the ring, he grabs Fuji and goes for a Tiger Driver but Fuji gets out of it. Bulldog off the side ropes by Kuga and he tags in Dragon JOKER. Dragon JOKER picks up Fuji and hits a series of elbows followed by a DDT. Cover, but it gets a two count. Dragon JOKER goes off the ropes, kick by Fuji and he hits a rolling fireman’s carry slam. Fuji tags in Classic Kid, Classic Kid goes off the ropes and hits an elbow smash. Classic Kid picks up Dragon JOKER and hits a vertical suplex, cover, but it gets a two count. Classic Kid picks up Dragon JOKER and hits a backdrop suplex, cover, but again it gets two. Fuji comes in, double Irish whip to Dragon JOKER to the corner and both hit jumping elbows. Fuji drops Dragon JOKER with a butterfly suplex, and Classic Kid comes off the top with a diving headbutt. Cover, but Kuga breaks it up. Fuji and Classic Kid try to throw Kuga and Dragon JOKER into each other, it is reversed, but Fuji and Classic Kid swing around each other before hitting elbows onto their opponents. They grab Dragon JOKER and hit a double vertical suplex, stomps by Classic Kid and Fuji, they both go off the ropes but Fuji grabs Fuji from the floor. Classic Kid picks up Dragon JOKER and hits a death valley driver, cover, but it gets a two count. Classic Kid goes off the ropes but Kuga hits him with a chair from the floor. Back up, strike combination by Dragon JOKER and he hits a Falcon Arrow. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kick to the back of the head by Dragon JOKER, he goes off the ropes and nails a swinging leg kick. Cover by Dragon JOKER and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Kuga and Dragon JOKER
Match Thoughts: Even though the structure fell apart a bit it was still a decent match. The arm work here was less exciting than in the past matches (and less interesting), but the bigger issue is that it was just cast aside. Once Dragon JOKER is tagged back in, there is no more arm work and he didn’t sell it, so that was just wasted time. My favorite part of this match is that Dragon JOKER was playing fair with clean breaks, while his partner is spitting water at people and using chairs. Dragon JOKER clearly didn’t mind the cheating but he wasn’t actively participating, I’m always amused when two partners work together but use such different styles. This one had a bit more high flying as the wrestlers were younger which set it apart a bit, I just wish the arm work hadn’t been first dull and then quickly forgotten. Score: 6.0
Best Match: Arashi and Ryuichi Kawakami vs. Fugo Fugo Yumeji and Dragon JOKER. A lot of these matches were really similar, but this one set itself apart a bit. The arm work on Kawakami was really good and I enjoyed the interactions between Arashi and Yumeji. They let the younger wrestlers control things with the older wrestlers coming in for fun spots every now and then. Nothing that will set the world on fire but a really solid match.
MVP: Dragon JOKER. I wanted to pick one of the wrestlers that pulled double duty since they left the bigger impression, and Dragon JOKER was just a more exciting and memorable wrestler. Sadly I could find no information on him, not even on some Japanese sites I go to so I have no idea his backstory, but he is obviously trained as over two matches (which he was the main wrestler on his team) he didn’t have any noticeable mistakes. I may never see him again, but for this one card I was impressed.
Overall: I have to compliment the event as there weren’t really any bad matches. One of the reasons for this is the matches all had a veteran wrestler (or two, or three) that helped control the match. They may be older but they haven’t forgotten how to structure a match and it led to less miscommunications. On the other hand, almost every match was structured the same and very few deviated from that, so unless the work was particular good (such as in the Arashi match) they all kinda blended together by the end. If the event had a standout match or something I could give it an honest recommendation, as it is it certainly isn’t bad but for a five match card it didn’t do enough to put it over the hump.
review completed 10/14/14