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[1996-10-06-AJW-Ultra Whirlwind] Manami Toyota vs Aja Kong


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  • 1 month later...

Toyota looks like a wrestler who failed wrestling school within the first few minutes, missing every single spot she tries. Kong just stands there like a bump on a log instead of trying to make it look like part of an interaction though, so there's that too. And to think, I just liked Toyota in that 2/3 falls match, and now she's back to blowing spots and screaming. She's too inconsistent to be hyped to be as great as she is. Kong does have the best counter to a bridge from a test of strength of all time, though. This is mostly a Kong showcase, with Toyota along for the ride. The match is wrestled more in her style. Lots of weapons-based brawling, stiff shots, and slapfests, which isn't really Toyota's strong suit. To her credit, she does put a lot of effort into it. Toyota applying the octopus and Kong walking to the ropes looks great. I just realized a lot of the screaming isn't coming from Toyota, but Kaoru Ito at ringside. I take back all the good things I said about her before. :P At one point when Kong is climbing the ropes, Toyota knocks her down, and looks like she's about to attempt a huracanrana, but slips on the ropes and thinks better of it and just dropkicks her instead. She does a somersault plancha onto Kong at ringside, who's laying on a table, then ricochets off of Kong and hits the floor neck first, which I would swear killed her if she didn't get right back up. Sometimes, I wish Toyota would just slow down and do what she knows will work well, but who knows, maybe that's part of her appeal with those who like her -- the constant effort with occasional failings, showing vulnerability, blah blah blah. It looks like they put some thought into the finish, as Kong trash talks Toyota then goes for a big move of some sort, and Toyota quickly counters into an Ocean Cyclone for the win. I usually like this match up, but this feels less like Kong vs Toyota, and more like two indy wrestlers trying to do Kong vs Toyota.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really liked this. A lot. No, it wasn't the crisp technical bout you'd hope for, but the slips etc just made it that much more exciting for me. Kong's stuff is so believably brutal...the headbutts to the back of Toyota's head, the slaps, even the basic splash off the top looks incredibly violent.

 

I may be a little forgiving, but I thoroughly enjoyed this from top to bottom

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 years later...

That was bloody awful with no redeeming features! Toyota flat out sucked and Aja delivered a poor performance as well. Better best forgotten.

 

This show was all about the terrific Takako Inoue vs Mariko Yoshida bout. Yoshida was the best performer in '96 AJW by some distance and Takako also found her top form here. They always had strong chemistry going back several years. It was a travesty that Yoshida never held one of the big titles in AJW.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 months later...

This felt like AJW as booked by the WWF. Lots and lots and LOTS of playing to the crowd by Aja, and then we delve into finisher-trading and countering like a modern-day WWE main event. Aja gradually grinding Manami into dust with holds in the beginning was really good, but the blown spots and awkward set-ups from Aja as noted above take this down in a big way. Even the finish is way more WWF-like than AJW. That's not in and of itself bad, but a lot of this isn't even *good* WWF main event-style work. It's striking how far AJW has fallen in '96.

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  • 2 years later...

I dug this a good bit. If you are someone praising something like KUSHIDA vs Hiromu from the Tokyo Dome in 2017, that match had just as much slop as this. Toyota is pretty reckless but the theme of the match was her proving her toughness to Aja and Aja underestimating her so Toyota acting like a spastic child that blows some stuff to prove they are tougher than they think they are actually works. Some of the spots on the neck were just incredibly brutal like the aforementioned table spot. The finale was really well done with AJa going for her spinning back fist and getting trapped for a brutal capture back suplex for the pin. Aja looks like she had her foot on the rope too as an out. ***3/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-10-06-AJW-Ultra Whirlwind] Manami Toyota vs Aja Kong

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