Please enter into a frame of mind real quick where Tenryu vs. Onita in an “Explosion Bomb Barbed Wire Cage Deathmatch” is your favorite thing to watch during the holidays, because once you enter that frame of thinking we are cooking with peanut oil (is that a phrase outside of the south? Who knows? Who cares?). Perhaps one of the greatest wrestlers of all time in Genichiro Tenryu has come to Onita’s promotion to show him up and beat him at his own game in front of his own people. Tenryu never gets credit for being down to wrestle any kind of match, but that is one thing I love about him, he just does whatever he wants and is a just having a hoot of a time the entire way through.
If you do not know who Atsushi Onita is, first off HOW COULD YOU NOT? I will give you all the benefit of the doubt and explain that he may be the biggest showman of all time, which says that he loved/loves making a big ass production out of every one of his matches and in turn they are usually entertaining. This is my Die Hard of wrestling matches, which is to say it is the best Christmas time tradition and people would argue that it is not a Christmas time tradition but it clearly is.
Anyways, the match itself is some of the most entertaining shit you will ever see in your life. First off, there is this big hype video package for it playing in front of FIFTY-TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE, and they are going ape for it. I am pretty positive I could be convinced that Onita is treated like a king by certain people in Japan, because they just eat out of the palms of his hands the entire time.
Tenryu, though awesome, really threw some bombs Onita’s way, was definitely the second best guy in this match, as Onita just did all sorts of crazy shit. Onita knew what was going to get these fans FIRED UP and he did it all. Hell, the first five minutes of this match is a headlock that people are just going crazy for, I mean my goodness they just wanted something and the headlock gave them what they ordered, which is crazy considering this is one of Onita’s crazy ass stipulation matches with explosions, barbed wire, a cage a FREAKING TENRYU.
Tenryu looks at Onita with the greatest sort of anger near the beginning of the match when Onita nearly knocks Tenryu into the explosive ropes. You have to imagine the reason Tenryu was going to chopping Onita like a damn tree is because of his jealousy towards Onita drawing 52,000 to watch him violently banter with Tenryu for a half hour (that is what I like to believe, because this whole match is just a movie and I can make my own narratives and no one can stop me).
After Tenryu decides to stop going into business for himself, he decides to give the fans what they want to see because he is such a nice guy. However, the problem with this is that Onita is one fiery son of a bitch, and starts taking it to Tenryu and screaming about how Wrestle and Romance is a dumb name for a promotion and he doesn’t draw because he isn’t Jumbo or Hashimoto. Tenryu then decides that the rest of the match is a shoot and goes for a huge lariat only to throw himself into the explosive barbed wire! You damn fool, the villains always hurt themselves, read the script!
Well, Onita is the director and the main star and decides to hell with the script and hits Tenryu with a powerbomb of such devastating beauty I cry every single time, it may be one of the most destructive yet serene things I have ever seen, I can only compare it to a field of flowers blowing up and regenerating in ten seconds, because that’s what this was.
Anyways, after that Tenryu slips Onita $100 for him to throw the match, Onita refuses and gets thrown into more explosions for his blatant disobedience to Tenryu. After Tenryu mauls the poor man and hits him with every lariat ever and a few more powerbombs, Tenryu wins the day and the hearts of all of Onita’s fans.
This match from a production standpoint may be one of the best, though it doesn’t even come close to the saga known as Great Sasuke vs. Atsushi Onita, but those are Independence Day matches. Seriously though (might as well start now), this match is a personal favorite of mine and holds a special place with me because this is actually the first match I ever reviewed for people to read, and here we are again! If you have a few minutes to spare this holiday season or after all the post Santa Claus banter has ended and the family is looking for something to watch, pop this match on your TV and it will compel you the whole way through (Note: please let me know if you force any of your family to watch this match because BLESS). Thank you for reading and remember, Die Hard is a Christmas movie.