From December 9th, 1984, Ric Flair defends his NWA World Heavyweight Championship against All Japan star Genichiro Tenryu in a 2 out of 3 falls match. And yes, I keep posting AJPW matches. No, it’s not on purpose, it just seems to be the case that matches that are catching my interest lately are from All Japan. There’s a few more G1 Climax 24 matches I intend to watch, though, so I’m sure New Japan will get some more representation on the blog as well.
Flair in Japan is always a little weird to me, whether it be All or New Japan. I’m not sure his style really meshes with the Japanese style, as Flair matches are usually built around convincing the audience that Flair’s opponent is going to beat him, then snatching that hope away when Flair cheats to win. In Japan, Flair is mostly just a guy whose offence isn’t all that impressive, and who gets his ass kicked… but then he wins or there’s a fuck finish to protect his title. It’s strange to watch.
This match DID surprise me with Flair busting out an actually effective Figure Four. Then again, in ’84 it probably hadn’t ascended to its later status of “worst protected finisher of all time.”
I don’t have a lot to say about Tenryu in the context of this match. He’s the same Tenryu as always, but younger, so he’s a little quicker.