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[1996-08-30-AJW-Grand Prix] Aja Kong vs Kyoko Inoue


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  • 1 month later...

This is probably a lost classic. Aside from Kudo/Toyota, it's the best Joshi match I've seen in '96, and one of the better matches on the set overall. They pace this like a classic world title match and the selling from both is phenomenal, with lots of staggering, barely hit moves, etc. It's the kinda thing that really puts over the match as a big deal. Some tremendous nearfalls and counters and a very involved crowd. I'm being vague and should review it in depth sometime, but this is awesome.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...

This was the final bout of the Japan Grand Prix, and it was winner take all. They produced one of the better AJW matches from 1996. After a poor 1st half of the year the promotion started to put out some strong matches again in the 2nd half.

 

It was heavyweight Joshi as Kyoko had the firepower to stand up to Kong. The contest was engrossing throughout and built up nicely. The pacing was well done as was the exhaustion selling near the end. It wasn't at the level of their best work as neither was at their peak anymore. Nevertheless a satisfying main event that had a World Title feel. Aja won her 2nd JGP after 1992. It was effectively her 2nd straight title as the WWWA champion didn't used to compete and she held the big red belt through the 93-95 events.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was skeptical heading into this, but they won me over with the stretch run. And it was mercifully short. Loved Aja's tope, and the nearfalls were a great example of how well this sort of style plays to a Japanese audience. I did think Kyoko could have sold the post match a bit better, but that's not much of a complaint. Enjoyable match.

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  • 1 year later...

Great match in front of a finally-hot crowd. This is SO not a joshi-style match at all--it deliberately starts slow and deliberate, and builds into a war of attrition rather than a 100-mph-spotfest, with strong chop-down-the-tree psychology and character work on Kyoko's part. She's SO easy to root for, and the disappointment when she finally goes down is palpable. Probably the best women's match of 1996.

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  • 6 months later...

This was awesome to watch. Kyoko is gaining weight and this is presented in a unique style that is more of a slugfest than a sprint that you are used to seeing with Kyoko. They do a good job of making it believable that Kyoko can hit some insane strikes on Aja and have her reeling. Kyoko really showed some versatility in this match and Aja was the great bully she usually is. A joshi highlight for 1996 for sure. ****1/4

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  • 2 years later...

Man what an incredible home stretch this had. The rest of the match was good, especially Inoue really taking it to Aja in the beginning and Aja's furious comeback. But everything from Aja's tope on was just on another level. This match had a big match feel all throughout but the end really emphasized it. Just big move after big move, not too fast, not too fancy, just felt like the two strongest wrestlers hitting their bombs and both barely surviving. And those kickouts were masterful, you don't see 2.999 style kickouts done that well very often. The crowd really comes unglued at the end too. This was awesome and Aja is clearly the best woman wrestler of the year.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-08-30-AJW-Grand Prix] Aja Kong vs Kyoko Inoue

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