- Genichiro Tenryu
height=188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
weight=120 kg (265 lb)
birth_date=Birth date and age|1950|2|2|mf=y
Dory Funk, Jr. Terry Funk
November 13 1976
Genichiro Tenryu (天龍源一郎 "Tenryū Gen'ichirō"), real name Genichiro Shimada (嶋田源一郎 "Shimada Gen'ichirō", born
February 2 1950), is a Japanese professional wrestler. At age 13, he entered sumo wrestling and stayed there for 13 years, after which he turned to Western-style professional wrestling. "Tenryu" was his sumo fighting name or "shikona".
As a sumo wrestler Tenryu was ranked as a
sekitorifor 27 tournaments, 16 of them in the top makuuchidivision. His highest rank was Maegashira 1. He retired from sumo in September 1976 at the early age of 26 after a dispute with the Japan Sumo Associationover his transfer to a newly created training stable.
Scouted by Giant Baba, the
All Japan Pro Wrestlingowner, Tenryu was sent to the Amarillo territory to get trained by Dory Funk, Jr.and Terry Funk, and debuted in Texas in 1976. (His opponent was Ted DiBiase. ) After returning to Japan, he stayed in the undercard until about 1982 when he began to get a slight push in that year's Champion's Carnivaltournament. In 1983, following a brief stint in Jim Crockett Promotions, his push began in earnest when Jumbo Tsurutapursued the NWA International heavyweight title, now the main title in the Triple Crown.
1984 saw Tenryu winning the NWA United National title, now also part of the Triple Crown, as well as the NWA International tag team title with Tsuruta. Their combination was called "Kakuryu" (鶴 = "kaku" = "tsuru" (the "tsuru" in Tsuruta) + 龍 = "ryū" in Tenryū). The team feuded with
Riki Chōshūand Yoshiaki Yatsu, who were the leaders in an "invasion" angle by the Japan Pro Wrestling promotion, an All Japan satellite made up of former New Japan Pro Wrestlingtalent.
In 1987, following the departure of the Japan Pro talent, Kakuryu broke up after losing the tag team titles to the
Road Warriors, which led to Tenryu forming his own stable, "Revolution", with former International Pro Wrestlingwrestlers Ashura Hara and Hiromichi Fuyuki, as well as All Japan rookies Toshiaki Kawadaand Yoshinari Ogawa. Tenryu and Hara feuded with Tsuruta and his new partner Yatsu over the PWF (Pacific Wrestling Federation) tag team titles and later with their replacement, the Double Cup tag team titles (a combination of the PWF and International tag belts). Hara was kicked out of the promotion in late 1988, and Tenryu replaced him with Stan Hansen, with whom he held the Double Cup as well.
1989 was Tenryu's banner year. Tsuruta became the first Triple Crown champion on April 18 of that year, and just two days later Tenryu became his first challenger. The Tsuruta-Tenryu series that ensued set the standard for all Triple Crown matches and feuds to follow. When Tenryu won the belts on June 5, the match was so spectacular it was deemed Match of the Year by major Japanese publications. The same year saw him finally pin his mentor Baba, albeit in a tag match - but still a major success for a Japanese wrestler. Only
Mitsuharu Misawawould follow him to that. In addition, Tenryu was chosen to be one-third of the NWA World 6-Man Tag Team Champions with the Road Warriorsafter the Road Warriors turned heel against their former co-holder of the title, Dusty Rhodes. However, Tenryu's increasing commitments to All Japan meant less time to wrestle in the United States, and this resulted in the six man championship being vacated and temporarily being abandoned until 1991, when it was temporarily resurrected as a World Championship Wrestlingchampionship.
Tenryu's most high-profile North American match was for the World Wrestling Federation in 1991 at
WrestleMania VII, where he teamed with Koji Kitaoto defeat Demolition. He also appeared in both the 1993 Royal Rumble and 1994 Royal Rumble; in the latter he made it to the final five but was eliminated by eventual co-winners Lex Lugerand Bret Hart. An angle had he and The Great Kabuki hired as mercenaries by Yokozuna's manager, Mr. Fuji, to attack Luger and prevent him from winning.
In 1990, Tenryu left All Japan to form SWS. After its collapse in
1992, Tenryu, aided by Masatomo Takei (brother of his wife Makiyo) formed WAR. WAR became his base from where he would take on top wrestlers from other promotions, such as Atsushi Onita, Nobuhiko Takada, The Great Muta, Shinya Hashimoto, and Masahiro Chono, all of whom he defeated. He also traded victories with Tatsumi Fujinamiand Antonio Inoki, thus becoming the only Japanese wrestler to defeat both Inoki and Baba by pinfall.
In 1998, as WAR went into decline, Tenryu began an earnest comeback, this time in New Japan. He first allied with
Shiro Koshinaka, and they won the IWGP tag team belts from Team Wolf, Masa Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan. In December 1999, Tenryu made history as the first native to win the top two distinctions of professional wrestling in Japan (All Japan's Triple Crown and New Japan's IWGP heavyweight title) by beating Muta for the IWGP. (The first man to win both titles was Big Van Vader, an American.)
In 2000, following the near-collapse of All Japan due to the
Pro Wrestling NOAHsplit, Tenryu closed WAR and rejoined All Japan, eager to test his mettle against the remaining ace, his former disciple Kawada. Tenryu beat Kawada in the subsequent tournament for the vacant Triple Crown, winning the belts for a second time. In his second stay in All Japan, he would capture the belts a third time and also the Double Cup with former WAR-UWFI feud rival Yoji Anjo.
In 2003, he joined World Japan for a few matches, but as it declined rapidly, he switched back and forth aimlessly between New Japan and All Japan.
In 2005, he entered NOAH, and began feuds with Misawa,
Kenta Kobashi, and other wrestlers he knew from his first All Japan stint, as well as new faces he's never met in the ring before, such as Jun Akiyama. Tenryu has been also been with the HUSTLE promotion and was apart of the main heel group led by “Generalissimo” Takada. During this time, he teamed with Kawada mainly. But at HUSTLE Aid 2007, Tenryu was defeated by Razor Ramon HGand joined the main face group led by Razor Ramon HG.
*Finishing and signature moves:*
Powerbomb:*"53 Sai" – "53 Years Old" (Snap scoop brainbuster) – Used when Tenryu turned 53 years old in 2003:*"Northern Lights Bomb" (Scoop brainbuster):*"WAR Special" (Seated double chickenwing):*"Guh Punch" ( Jabto the opponent's jaw):*Lariat:*Backhand chop to the base of opponent's throat:*Repeated short-arm backhand chops:*Diving back elbow drop:*Short-arm enzuigiri:*DDT
Tenryu married his fifth wife Kitty Connor on
November 17, 2006. He has five children.
Championships and accomplishments
All Japan Pro Wrestling
AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with Masanobu Fuchi
AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship(3 times)
AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship(5 times) – with Stan Hansen(3), Ashura Hara (1), and Yoji Anjo(1)
NWA International Tag Team Championship(2 times) – with Jumbo Tsuruta
NWA United National Championship(2 times)
PWF World Heavyweight Championship(1 time)
PWF World Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with Ashura Hara
Champion's Carnivalwinner in 2001
World's Strongest Tag Team Leaguewinner in 1984 – with Jumbo Tsuruta
**World's Strongest Tag Team League winner in 1986 – with Jumbo Tsuruta
**World's Strongest Tag Team League winner in 1989 – with Stan Hansen
Fighting World of Japan Pro Wrestling
**WMG Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with
Hustle Super Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with Tadao Yasuda (First)
*Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling |
World Championship Wrestling
NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with Mr. Fuji
NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with the Road Warriors
New Japan Pro Wrestling
IWGP Heavyweight Championship(1 time)
IWGP Tag Team Championship(1 time) – with Shiro Koshinaka
*Wrestle Association "R"
**J-1 Heavyweight Championship (1 time) "'(First and Only)"
WAR World Six-Man Tag Team Championship(2 times) – with Koki Kitahara & Animal Hamaguchi (1) and Nobutaka Araya & Último Dragon(1)
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
**PWI ranked him # 44 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "
PWI Years" in 2003.
**PWI ranked him # 14 of the 100 best tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Jumbo Tsuruta in 2003.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
**5 Star Match (1989) vs. Jumbo Tsuruta on June 5
**Match of the Year (2001) vs.
Keiji Mutohon June 8, Tokyo, Japan
Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame(Class of 1996)
umo Top Division Record
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