Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

[1996-05-24-AJPW-Super Power Series] Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi


Loss
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 4 weeks later...

I love the Hogan/Andre-style controversial nearfall at the very beginning of the match. Kawada just completely dominates the early part of this match until Kobashi has enough and snaps. There is some nice attention to detail in the bumping style. In Flair matches, he punches or chops a guy while holding his arm and the guy gets up on his own. In this case, Kobashi pulls Kawada up for each chop himself, which is a nice touch. They both potato each other after tempers flare with some wicked shots, which Kawada sells beautifully. Kobashi's top rope shoulderblock (which is one of my favorite moves anytime anyone does it) is a thing of beauty. Kawada does a takeover into a Fujiwara armbar at one point, which gets almost no pop, which is interesting to me, because it shows the difference in fan education between the two promotions, as it still doesn't get too much of a pop when Kobashi does it as a revenge spot a couple of minutes later. Kawada hits Kobashi so hard in the face with a high knee that he injures his ankle before finally finishing off Kobashi. Another good match between these two, I'm looking forward to the hour draw later on the set.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This match has never received much hype, but it was damn good. I loved Kawada blitzing Kobashi at the bell and the mid-match sequence built around submission attempts. Kawada did a great job selling the right shin as his weak point, and that made the two brutal kicks at the end all the more dramatic. I know there has been some backlash against the idea of All-Japan as the transcendant promotion of this era. But this set allows us to compare promotions in context, and they really did crank out matches every month that would have been strong MOTY contenders for almost every other company. New Japan also had a strong year to this point. I'm not sure anyone else would even be in the conversation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

For the time being I've skipped 94-95 in my Yearbook viewing. So it stood out to me how Kobashi wasn't the worker that he was back in '93. Physically slower and more banged up. The fighting spirit was also slipping from charm to annoyance.

 

There was no obvious theme here apart from two evenly matched main eventers going at it. They went full out for 20m and it wasn't lacking in ambition. It would've been improved by better pacing and more pronounced changes in momentum. Though it wasn't the standard they were aiming for it was still a good match with some excitement. Plus it didn't go on for an hour thank God!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...

A very good followup to the previous night's tag match. I will agree again with Zenjo that it's a little jarring to see Kobashi still acting like a plucky underdog when he theoretically should be above that sort of thing, but the match only suffers slightly--and he *is* very good at doing it. This seems to be a match all about re-establishing Kawada after his bad loss, anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

This really feels like Kawada being pissed at what happened the night before and taking it out on Kobashi. These guys are really starting to craft their feud for the 1990's as their 1998 match is a ***** classic, 97 had the Carnival match, we have this and the hour draw in 96, the hour draw in 95, and their match in October 93. This feels like an unheralded gem stuck in the middle of that series but it is a welcome addition and a great match overall. Kobashi feels well enough established at this point that he can survive that onslaught from Kawada and return the favor which leads to a nice stunning conclusion where Kawada looks to have the match won but he let the tag match slip between his fingers and it is always possible that could happen again. ****

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Watching these two AJPW matches back to back, no question, 90s AJPW is the best wrestling ever. No other style has come close to how AJPW is able to pull off the feel of a legit athletic competition while still operating squarely in the confines of a traditional pro wrestling style. This isn't one of the AJPW classics but man is it a great match. Loved the beginning with Kawada psyching Kobashi out, and hitting him with the boot when he came running in shortly after. I also got the feel from this match of a pissed off Kawada blowing off steam on Kobashi. The dueling submission bit toward the middle of the match was cool, and I liked how Kobashi working the sleeper was a sort of mini-theme in the match. Awesome ending.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • GSR changed the title to [1996-05-24-AJPW-Super Power Series] Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi
  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Hell Yeah, JKWebb!

Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi - AJPW 5/24/96

One of those hidden gems hiding in plain sight, Kawada vs Kobashi is probably my least favorite pairing of the Four Corners because they are most workrate workhorses of the four and they usually indulge each other's worst tendencies. Misawa and Taue force boundaries on people. Misawa has his formula and Taue has limitations and a very specific presence. Kobashi and Kawada can do what ever they want in a wrestling ring and sometimes that can be a hindrance. I am not as high as most on the 1998 match, but I feel like I need to re-watch that. I would say this is most likely their second best match together. 

The match does not feel like a standard King's Road match; there are a lot of cool wrinkles to this. Kawada being the prick he is walks away nonchalantly from the initial lock up to get an extra hamstring stretch in. When Kobashi charges, he smokes him with a boot and Jumping High Kick. That Jumping High Kick is Kawada's Roaring Elbow. They sell it as an early KO blow. Kawada actually gets three but Kobashi gets his foot on the ropes. So many cool touches: the casual walk away, a KO blow in the first 2 minutes and a nearfall with heat. Kobashi really milks it. 

Kawada does good work as Kobashi sells having his bell rung. Kawada really wants the Powerbomb but cant get it. Kobashi starts to fire up but Kawada goes head-hunting eventually Kobashi levels him with a desperation lunge Lariat All Japan style. Kobashi does usual stuff but cant get him up for a Powerbomb either and then all of sudden KOBASHI SNAPS~! This interesting wrinkle #2. Kobashi CRACKS Kawada with two wicked closed fists that is very uncharacteristic of him. I dont know if this was a receipt for the shenanigans at the beginning of the match but Kobashi is PISSED~! Legdrop over railing and then he angrily exposes the concrete to hit a DDT. Kobashi gets the first Powerbomb but no pin. Great segment. 

Interesting wrinkle #3 they take it to the mat. Kawada busts out the cross armbreaker as a sudden counter to save himself after the Powerbomb made it look like it would curtains for him. Kobashi sells the arm well and Kawada kicks it. Kobashi exacts his own revenge with a cross-armbreaker which Kawada sells well. I will say the best gift Shoot-Style gave us was that New Japan and All Japan wrestlers & fans take the cross armbreaker way more seriously. Always great to have another tool in the arsenal. The Dragon Suplex has become the new big bomb of All Japan in 1995-96 as a new finisher. Kobashi had to try it several times and when he did get it only still 2. I liked how hard Kobashi had to work for it. Kobashi's effort level was great, he was just so crisp and urgent trying to get the win. Kawada was mixing selling and hope well. All that's left is for Kobashi to go moonsault but Kawada knows that would be the end of the road and rolls out of the way. Kobashi settles for the sleeper. 

Great transition to the finish. Kawada teases the Dangerous Back Drop Driver out of the sleeper, which forces Kobashi to defend against this and then Kawada can transition out of the sleeper. Kawada blocks the Kobashi punch and CLUBS Kobashi with his own. Great touch there. Kawada KOPPOU KICK~! I love that as a sudden move to gain the advantage. Kawada runs through his shit...German...mack truck Lariat...finally the Powerbomb, Kobashi made him earn those moves. I love how Kobashi blocks the Jumping High Kick twice down the stretch. It was the KO blow that almost won him the match earlier and now Kawada wants it again. I love the symmetry. Kobashi even blocks the second Koppou Kick. The counterwrestling and threads are so good. The only thing I didnt like was Kobashi was trying to add a new bomb. Basically it was a horse collar in football. Ripping Kawada down by the neck in a sleeper, but because thats not really safe, it came off as just a back bump/slam. It was not that cool. On the other hand, the finish was wicked cool...Kawada SMOKES him with 2 Jumping High Kicks and Kobashi sells it like he has been Knocked The Fuck Out! No surprise kick out. He is just dead. Fucking Excellent. 

I read some complaints that Kobashi was still acting like plucky underdog Kobashi. I disagree I didnt see any crying faces because of nearfalls. He was just pissed that Kawada was being fucking sneaky at the beginning and he almost No.1 Contendership on a gamesmanship Jumping High Kick. Kobashi being passionate is the best. Great match out of Kawada too who sold well and made Kobashi earn it. I love how all the highspots they set up in the beginning where paid off in the end. The match began with a Jumping High Kick almost KOing Kobashi and at the end of the match Kawada KO'd Kobashi clean. Deserves to be ranked among the best of 90s All Japan. ****1/2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...