Genichiro Shimada 嶋田 源一郎
120kg (112kg as of 2015)
February 2, 1950 in Katsuyama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan
Giant Baba & Dory Funk, Jr.
November 13, 1976 against Ted DiBiase.
Brainbuster (Vertical Fall)
53 Years Old (Modified Brainbuster)
Northern Lights Bomb (Started using in ’99, a taunt to Sasaki)
Chops (Wrist Grab Chops, Backhand, Overhead)
Back Brain Kick (enzuigiri)
Diving Back Elbow
Octopus Hold (Manjigatame)
Cloverleaf Leg Lock
German Suplex Hold
Spider German Suplex (sets up Diving Back Elbow)
Championships and Titles History
All Japan Pro Wrestling
– Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship [2nd, 26th, and 29th]
– World Tag Team Championship [4th (Ashura Hara), 8th, 10th, 11th (Hansen), 44th (Yoji Anjo)]
– Asia Tag Team Championship [76th (Masanobu Fuchi)]
– PWF Heavyweight Championship
– UN Heavyweight
– NWA International Tag Team Championship [36th & 38th (Tsuruta)]
– PWF World Tag Team Championship [6th (Ashura Hara)]
New Japan Pro Wrestling
– IWGP Heavyweight Championship
– IWGP Tag Team Championship [35th (Shiro Koshinaka)]
– Japan J1 Championship
– WAR World 6 Man Tag [5th (Hamaguchi/Kitahara) & 13th (Araya/U. Dragon)]
– Hustle Super Tag Team [1st (Tadao Yasuda)]
– WAR World 6 Man Tag [18th (Arashi & Ishii)]
WMG Tag [1st (Riki Choshu)]
NWA Middle Atlantic Tag (Mr. Fuji)
NWA World 6 Man Tag (Road Warriors)
Detailed Career History (Written by Charles/BushidoRX)
Genichiro Tenryu was born on February 2, 1950 in Katsuyama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan. He was born into a farming family and was noted as being a bigger child during his days in Junior High School. He was scouted into becoming a sumo wrestler in which he did after speaking to his father about the solicitation that he had received. In 1963 he would be introduced into the Nishonoseki stable and would do his best to balance both academics as well as his new life as a sumo wrestler. Tenryu would spend the next nearly 13 years competing in sumo until he announced that he would be leaving to join All Japan Pro-Wrestling in October of 1976.
Tenryu’s training would begin quickly as he would journey to the USA to joain the Funk Dojo that same month. His debut would be within a short period of time as he debuted on November 13, 1976 in Texas against Ted DiBiase. His ring name would be “Ten Ru”, as the “ryu” was noted as something that which was difficult for foreigners to pronounce correctly. He would make his return back to Japan in December in which he would undergo a ceremony to remove the top knot of his hair, which is customary of sumo wrestlers to do when they retire from it. He would makes his debut in All Japan on June 11, 1977 in Setagaya, Tokyo. He would team with Giant Baba to take on the team of Mario Milano & Mexico Grande. This would mark a rare occasion as the then rookie would claim his very first win on his debut. Giant Baba notably being high on the Tenryu as he achieved a top tier position in sumo at one time.
Tenryu would get noticed in a way as he would begin using the enzuigiri and manjigatame fairly regular in All Japan, something that was not seen as they were staples moves of Antonio Inoki who ran the rival promotion of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Tenryu would receive many title opportunities throughout the years, with his first notable reign being with Mr. Fuji and the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag belts. 1984 would prove to be Tenryu’s year as on February 23rd Tenryu would claim the NWA United National Heavyweight Champion after he defeated Ricky Steamboat for the vacant belt (he would go on to hold the belt for the next couple years). On September 3, 1984 Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta would capture the NWA International Tag belts in a match against Bruiser Brody and Crusher Blackwell. Tenryu would also feud with Riki Choshu, after Choshu left New Japan Pro Wrestling and invaded All Japan.
In late 1986, in what would become a signature name to follow Tenryu through the rest of his career, he would found the group known as “Revolution” along with Samson Fuyuki, Toshiaki Kawada, and Yoshinari Ogawa. The groups intentions on starting a new age in All Japan. This would then follow into one of the biggest series of matches of his career as he and Jumbo Tsuruta would face-off in 7 matches from August 31, 1987 to April 19, 1990.
1. August 31, 1987 at Budokan [Tenryu wins via ring-out]
2. October 6, 1987 at Budokan [Tenryu wins via foul]
3. October 28, 1988 at Yokohama Gym [Tsuruta wins via foul]
4. April 20, 1989 at Osaka Gym [Tsuruta wins with a Powerbomb pin and defends the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship]
5. June 5, 1989 at Budokan [Tenryu wins with a Powerbomb pin and becomes the 2nd generation Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion]
6. October 11, 1989 at Yokohama Gym [Tenryu wins via counter pin-fall and reclaims the TC belts]
7. April 19, 1990 at Yokohama Gym [Tsuruta with a Backdrop Hold]
Following this match Tenryu would leave All Japan to be a part of a new promotion known as SWS (Super World Sports). This promotion having an early agreement to also be working with the USA based WWF. Though SWS would soon collapse under itself in less than 2 years which would lead Tenryu to form his own group known as WAR (Wrestle and Romance) in July of 1992. This new promotion would find a home by invading NJPW over the next several years. On January 4, 1994 Tenryu would solidify his name in history as he would become the only Japanese born wrestler to ever pin both Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki, following a match against Inoki at the Tokyo Dome. Tenryu would also compete in his first ever death match that year as he faced Atsushi Onita in May of that same year in n No-rope Barbed-wire Electric Current Blast Death Match. Tenryu would become a freelance wrestler in February of 1998, but that would not keep him out of NJPW as he would capture the IWGP Heavyweight belt from Keiji Mutoh on December 10, 1999. He would become thefirst Japanese wrestler to hold both the Triple Crown and IWGP Heavyweight belts in their careers. He would lose the belt a month later to Kensuke Sasaki at the Tokyo Dome.
Though in 2000, following a mass exodus of All Japan wrestlers to form a new promotion in Pro Wrestling NOAH. Tenryu found himself back in All Japan Pro Wrestling as they desperately needed a foundation on which to continue standing. This of course following the death’s of both Giant Baba (1999) and Jumbo Tsuruta (2000), Tenryu was one of the last remaining who once stood at the top of the promotion. October 28, 2000 would see Tenryu once more reclaim the Triple Crown belt after defeating Toshiaki Kawada for the vacant belt. In 2001, Tenryu would win the Champion Carnival, but would lose the TC to Keiji Mutoh that June. Though he would follow up the loss with another win as he would become the new World Tag Champions along with Yoji Anjo that July.
In 2003, Tenryu would help raise WJ Pro-Wrestling. Much like SWS though this promotion would be short lived as due to management issues the promotion Tenryu would leave the promotion before the year was up. On January 4, 2004 he would make his return to NJPW as he took on Manabu Nakanishi in a singles match at the Tokyo Dome. Tenryu would then compete in NJPW throughout the year even getting a shot at the IWGP Tag belts, with Nakanishi as his partner, and competing in the G1 CLIMAX that Summer. He would compete in NOAH in 2005 more notably in a singles match against Yoshinari Ogawa, former attendant of his in All Japan, on July 18th at the Tokyo Dome. He would also compete in DRAGON GATE along with another former attendant of his during the WAR days with Magnum Tokyo. He would also become active in the HUSTLE promotion over the next several years. March 14, 2008 would see Tenryu face off against the First Generation Tiger Mask in Real Japan in their first ever match against one another.
Following HUSTLE coming to a close in 2009, Tenryu would establish his own promotion in “Tenryu Project” in 2010. The promotion would host their first show on April 19, 2010 as Tenryu aimed to lead the promotion under his own control. December of 2011 would mark a major life event in Tenryu’s life as he was diagnosed with suffering from “lumbar spinal canal stenosis” and this would be the first time that Tenryu would be forced to miss time away from actively competing. He would undergo surgery and rehabilitation, not once but twice, as he did everything in his power to get back into the ring. December 29, 2012 would see Tenryu make a return to the ring in Tenryu Project.
On February 9, 2015, Tenryu held a press conference to formally announce that he would be retiring from wrestling in 2015. Tenryu stated the reason being that he needs to support his wife who is dealing with health problems. His retirement event was announced to take place in November as he then embarked on competing as much as possible, Genichiro Tenryu Retirement ~ Revolution FINAL TOUR, leading up to the final show.
Other notes… Tenryu is one of the few wrestlers in Japan to have wrestled every main style imaginable. From the major leagues, UWF (martial arts), Indy, Entertainment based, Lucha Libre, and even Women’s wrestling matches. He more or less has worked all the major promotions in Japan during his time in the ring.
Not only does he hold victories over both Inoki and Baba, but there are many other notable names as well. Fujinami, Choshu, Yatsu, Wajima, Mutoh, Muta, Chono, Hashimoto, Hase, Kensuke Sasaki, Kawada, Y. Ogawa, Takada, Fujiwara, Koji Kitao, Atsushi Onita, Tarzan Goto, Hayabusa, Magum TOKYO, Shinobu Kandori. In addition to Misawa, Kobashi, Taue, Akiyama, Tenzan, Kojima, Nagata, Nakanishi, Nishimura, Shinsuke Nakamura, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata, 1st Tiger Mask, Yamazaki, Minoru Suzuki, Yoshihiro Takayama, Mr. Pogo, K. Nagasaki, HG (HUSTLE), Yin Ling (HUSTLE), Akebono, The Great Sasuke, Jinsei Shinzaki, Antonio KoInoki (comedy wrestling), and Naoya Ogawa (UFO).