With the incredible matches that regularly come out of the Japan, the may be surprised to hear that a 65-year-old Genichiro Tenryu‘s last match was picked as the best bout in 2015.
At least according to Tokyo Sports, the final ever match of Genichiro Tenryu was the match of the year, evoking more emotion than any other match could dream off that year.
The match was against one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, crossing generations and providing fans – both old and new – to an incredible moment that will last long in the memory.
Genichiro Tenryu’s Last Match
Genichiro Tenryu’s Last Match was against Kazuchika Okada, at an event titled “Tenryu Project Genichiro Tenryu Retirement ~ Revolution FINAL”.
The event was put on to celebrate the career of the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and is something that happens regularly in Japan.
The most recent example of this is Keiji Mutoh, who wrestled his final match at “Keiji Muto Grand Final Pro-Wrestling “Last” Love”. In the US, Ric Flair did something similar, with an event simply titled “Ric Flair’s Last Match“.
Tenryu wrestled NJPW ace Kazuchika Okada in his retirement match in 2015, Okada was at the peak of his powers at this point, and could pull a five-star match out of anybody on the planet (except for Chris Jericho, apparently).
However, even Okada couldn’t save this match for being an utter disaster. Tenryu was 65 at this point, and about two decades past his prime.
The match was slow, plodding and put Okada at some serious risk. Tenryu struggled to safely perform a number of moves, something which could have seriously injured The Rainmaker.
The most egregious example was when he dropped Kazuchika Okada on his neck after failing to lift him up for a powerbomb.
Thankfully, Okada ended the match with a Rainmaker in a 17-minute match, that felt like a match twice its length.
The match was bad. Dave Metlzer, who is a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, said, “For all you guys who didn’t see Tenryu vs. Okada, be glad.”.
The match was voted by Tokyo Sports as the “Match of the Year” in Japan, something which was not really based on any actual rating of the match.
Instead, it was clear that the bout was given the award to honor the career of the legendary Genichiro Tenryu. It did not deserve it, especially given the fact that 2015 also had the amazing Kota Ibushi vs Shinsuke Nakamura match from Wrestle Kingdom 9.
What did you think about Genichiro Tenryu vs Kazuchika Okada, in his last match ever? Tell us your thoughts of the match in the comments section below.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.