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AJPW You Might Have Missed: Kawada 1995 Champion Carnival

G. Badger



Toshiaki Kawada vs Jun Akiyama Champ Carnival (03/21/95): This seemed like that match people were talking about when they were discussing Kobashi vs. Jumbo back in '91. Just an excellent match that really made Jun look like the future star and it made Kawada look tough yet beatable. Really cool match with Kawada getting really stiff at times. ****1/4


Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada Champ Carnival: Talk about a grisly wrestling match. Hit the guy in the shoulder- fine, hit the guy in the chest-good, hit the guy in the fucking neck-even better, break his face- alright then! This is not the pretty AJ match that we usually get from these two but by God they bring it in this match. Any & everything counts and no one is going without a fight. It waivers a little bit toward the end but then you realize Shit! this isn't the end. This is the end! It gets nasty where Kawada's Stretch Plum is messing up every part of Misawa that's hurtin' and they keep going! A great carnival match. ****1/2 but in sections it could be more...


Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue Champ Carnival (04/08/95): You know I thought the beginning of this match was really very good but somewhere the intensity from Taue got lost and it was really apparent he was having a hard time keeping up with Kawada. On paper the moves and exchanges sound good but seeing it is another matter. You could predict when he was going to put a boot up to counter a run and you could see the apron chokeslam coming. Now I don't know maybe this is the first time he did it but the announcers didn't seemed too thrilled by it. Like, "Oh there he chokeslamed Kawada off the apron...so anyways..." Kawada was masterful throughout and if you will led Taue through a very good match much like people claim Ric Flair did all of the time. However, I don't think he's the best opponent (Kawada) for Taue since Kawada is all about stiffness & you've got to try and keep up with that if the match is going to be believable and dramatic. Maybe since I knew the finish it ruined things eh...I'm starting to get that impression from stuff I watch. Re-Watch: This was better on the re-watch but it did drag in bits like the stretch plum attempts...I just fast forwarded past them & other time killers. With that done this thing really picked up to 4 1/2 star level stuff. Taue was a bit lethargic in his movement but I don't know if he always is or not. It was still pretty good since Kawada was so stiff and Taue's power moves are some of the most impactful. It's hard to rate this match but it is really good stuff.


Toshiaki Kawada vs Takao Omori Champ Carnival (04/12/95): A very fun match that was just perfect for what it supposed to be. Omori is a very credible mid-carder and his elbow drops are brutal. If you're in the mood for a quick enjoyable AJPW match this is a good place to go.



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