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[1996-03-31-AJPW-Championship Carnival] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi


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  • 3 weeks later...

Their usual great match. I'm not sure how this compares to their other singles matches, but that will be an interesting comparison to make as more yearbooks are released. I do prefer Misawa/Kawada to Misawa/Kobashi as a feud, and the best matches are better. But I do feel like there are some things Misawa/Kobashi as a rivalry has that the Kawada feud doesn't, for better or worse, and I have no idea how to properly verbalize that at the moment.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, Loss, Misawa and Kobashi could both "go" unlike any other two heavyweights ever. Kawada had a much greater moveset than you'd otherwise think from being around these two (Taue, too, for that matter), but yeah.

 

For what it's worth in relation to their other matches, I don't think their main arc begins until the 1/97 classic, really, and this is more "Misawa by numbers". Which is not a bad thing. But it was a special show (one assumes from having this and Kawada vs. Taue) and so they have a much bigger match than they had at the Carnival in 1995, and a much better match than they'd had at Budokan the previous October. Misawa does all he can to sell the crowd on Kobashi maybe getting the upset, and then works his trademark elongated transition at the end.

 

People who don't like Misawa vs. Kobashi for their "overkill" and what-have-you have tended to've looked down on this, from some things I've read. But I want them to "go". No other two heavyweights in the world could've worked this match. Which is not to say it's a spot-fest, at all, but the "action" is a big part of it. It still has great structure/"story"/they know their roles backwards and upside-down etc...

 

It's probably my singles MOTY, and either-way as good a candidate as any.

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  • 3 years later...

I would guess that this is the best Misawa-Kobashi singles match to date, though I'd have to go back and check my old reviews first. Kobashi lets it all hang out and has Misawa on the ropes, but Misawa's still too much for him at this point. I was dreading another time limit draw at one point, but they did book a finish, so good for them. I liked this better than the draw, as the story of Kobashi taking Misawa to the limit was stronger. This isn't as good as Kobashi vs. Hansen but it has that same dynamic of it being a matter of when, not if, Kobashi finally beats him.

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  • 1 month later...

I am one of the few that really like 10/95 so I am not sure if that or this match is the best Misawa vs. Kobashi match to date but after some good but ho hum stuff early in the decade, from this point forward, they pretty much have a great match every time they faced each other. This was worked as tag partners that respected each other but Kobashi was getting brave and drifting further away rapidly wanting to branch out. The mirror spots were done well. This provides a nice contrast to the 3/93 Misawa vs. Kawada Carnival match. ****

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  • 1 year later...

#285

 

I like this match. It's not as epic as their 1/97 match, obviously, and it's a bit too lenient with the back and forth action, but they work really hard to bring Kobashi up to Misawa's level. I don't think they could have had the 1/97 match without having a match like this along the way. Since there's been a lot of Jumbo on the list thus far, I noticed a contrast between how guys were elevated against the two aces, Tsuruta and Misawa. With Jumbo, Misawa & Co. had to overcome his size advantage on a constant basis as he had so much more power and strength than them. Whereas Misawa's rivals had to outgun and outmaneuver him. All Japan under Misawa became much more move focused. That's odd to say in a promotion that also valued selling, psychology and build, but it really is the ultimate video game wrestling. You could stick a life meter on either side of the screen and watch it tick down as they hit their shit. Is it any wonder we were all into this at the same time we were playing Tekken?

 

Another thing this match did was reacquaint me with what a beautiful seller Misawa was. His early 90s stuff had me wondering whether I was wrong to think that Misawa was one of the all-time great sellers, but it's clear to me now that he didn't become a sublime seller until his all-round ability peaked in 1994. Sure he has certain quirks that are picked up in close-up, but he sells a stretch run like nobody else. This wasn't for all the marbles, but it was a five setter in a Grand Slam, 9th innings of a World Series game, triple over-time in a playoff game... you get the idea.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-300-251/

 

#285

 

Great spot where Misawa is brutalizing Kobashi with chops and forearms, and Kobashi steps back with a glare... PISSED. They were really going at each other here. Kobashi's neck chops are sick, and they have some great counters thrown in throughout. Misawa's selling down the stretch is phenomenal and Kobashi is oozing charisma through great facial expressions. This was great. ****1/4

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  • 8 months later...

Great match. It's all action and they, especially Kobashi, bring the high end offense. Kobashi gets a long run in control where he lands some big shots on Misawa and seems to be getting closer and closer to victory, but Misawa makes a comeback, lands some bombs and puts him away. I liked the ending -- top rope neck breaker drop, an out of left field big move.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-03-31-AJPW-Championship Carnival] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi
  • 1 year later...

Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi - AJPW 3/31/96

Is there a better way to start your day than throwing on Misawa vs Kobashi?

Brief booking update, since Misawa has won the Triple Crown last year from Hansen, he has had successful defenses against Kawada, Taue, Kobashi and Albright (usually that would be Doc's spot). Smart money would be that Misawa would lose his next defense because he ran through every challenger besides Doc. I know Doc had substance issues around this time, but I am surprised that Misawa never got his win back from 1994. I looked it up it looks like Misawa did have a successful defense in 1997 against Doc in a match no one talk about, I will have to check that out. Kobashi's first title shot was at the October Anniversary Show and this would be the year he would graduate from being Misawa's partner and Akiyama would replace him. Is this the year when Patriot would be his tag partner? I need to check that out. :)

Pretty much their fall out of bed match. They do some symmetrical workrate for the first five minutes to show they are both consummate sportsmen in contrast to Taue and Kawada. Kobashi goes for a Lariat and it is turned into a German, the first big bomb of the match and Kobashi rolls out...bad move...Misawa is a heat-seeking missile and ELBOW SUICIDA! Kobashi launches a ground to air missile dropkick as Misawa tries for a diving elbow from the top rope, one of the better versions of that spot. Kobashi runs through his usual beginning of the match offense as Misawa peppers in hope spots. It picks up again when Misawa slides down the back on the suplex. They do a lot of All Japan delayed selling, pop-up selling. You get hit with a move and then you lunge knock over your opponent with a last ditch gasp. Through 1995, I didnt see too much of this, but I know it eventually becomes commonplace. I did like Misawa furiously elbow the shit out of Kobashi and Kobashi hulking up with knees. This sequence ends with Konashi THROWING MISAWA DOWN WITH A POWERBOMB! WOW! They are not holding anything back. Kobashi is too spent to follow up and Misawa rolls out to the sanctuary of outside. 

Kobashi beat the ever loving shit out of Misawa. It was not just the head-drop suplexes (Dragon, Tiger Driver, and Human Capture Suplex) but it was the Chops to the head and neck. They were wicked. I dont know how Kobashi did not break his hand on the Skull of Misawa with some of those Spinning Back Chops. Misawa peppered in the hope spots and tried to avoid the Moonsault but Kobashi was tenacious. Kobashi was so overzealous he uncharacteristically missed his moonsault. He overshot and was a little left. After the Moonsault, you knew it was time for the patented Misawa comeback because Kobashi had shot his wad. They do a great job tussling for control. Misawa hits two MONSTER Elbows that Kobashi sells like he is out on his feet and Misawa comes and gobbles him up with a Tiger Suplex. The Elbow/Tiger Suplex barrage continues. Even though Kobashi kicks out of the Tiger Driver, you know the end is nigh. They go with the Misawa/Baba '94 finish with a top rope sitout clothesline. I hate the flying clothesline as a move,  it never looks good and the worst at it was Kane, but I think this version would actually be much better. 

It is Misawa vs Kobashi so of course it is fucking great but it is just them running through their Greatest Hits but what a Greatest Hits they have! ****

 

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