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[1992-01-26-AJPW-New Year's Giant Series] Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi


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  • 4 weeks later...

I remember watching this a few years ago and thinking it was a good match, but nothing more. It definitely stuck with me more this time. I'm not sure if it's because I saw some more surrounding footage or not, but some of the things that bugged me in the past, like Jumbo being fine with being punched and knocked off the apron, didn't this time, I guess because that's not really a normal reaction in these matches and it's more apparent when I see other stuff. Also, I have a greater appreciation for Kobashi and Kikuchi's position on the card vis-a-vis Jumbo and Taue. This was intended to be a match where the main event team was facing the midcard/upper midcard team and they made a surprisingly good showing. Probably not a MOTYC, but not too far below that, and there were quite a few great moments. I always like Jumbo and Kikuchi as a pairing because it's the most exaggerated representation of the Misawa/Jumbo feud.

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I watched this a while ago and dug the hell out of it. I love Jumbo/Kikuchi exchanges and there are a few corkers in this. Jumbo hits him with an atomic drop at one point that looked really fucking nasty, thumps him with a bunch a brutal looking kneelifts and generally abuses him. I remember being disappointed that the Kikuchi in peril segment got cut short, though, and didn't think the match reached the level it hit during that section afterwards.

 

I actually had no idea this made the top 20 of the 90s vote. I probably liked it more than anybody else that's commented on it, but even I couldn't see myself putting it top 20.

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  • 11 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I was blown away when I first saw this match seven or eight years ago. I still think it's pretty great, but not in the upper echelon of All Japan in the '90's. What sticks out for me is how giving Jumbo and Taue are to their much lower ranked opponents, Jumbo goes soaring off the apron when they both take shots at him, and Taue was very giving to Kikuchi in the early moments.

 

I think Kikuchi's tag to Kobashi was a mistake, it seemed like a spot where he'd be oh so close and then barely miss it. But he made it and Kobashi had to come in and it seemed awkward. I loved the spot where Jumbo cut off Kikuchi going up top, so Kobashi ran to intercept him and first stopped to incapacitate Taue before halting Jumbo.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This was hugely fun. At times Taue and Kobashi were on the receiving end, but you just knew the Kikuchi in peril segment was coming. I love watching him get beat up! He tries his hardest but is always fighting an uphill battle against bigger and better opponants. What was particularly good here was how Jumbo added a little stiffness and emphasis to each move. The little man survived quite a pounding before the inevitable. Overall it was more even and competitive than expected. They always kept things moving and the crowd were lapping it up. No it's not a top 20 AJ 90's match, I've got it as #7 from the company this year.

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

Really fantastic match, maybe even better than the 6-man before it. Kobashi and Kikuchi are full of spunk and get a lot of offense, even if there's basically no chance for them to win. Kikuchi is about the gutsiest bastard ever at the end of this--his kickout of Jumbo's powerbomb was huge. I think Jumbo/Kawada is a pretty easy Match of the Month but this is going to be in a real dogfight for #2. This is the third consecutive Yearbook with a super-hot month of January.

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  • 2 years later...

A tremendous bout, maybe the best of its kind I've seen from All-Japan. It had one mission from the start: to show that Kenta and Kikuchi weren't simply punching bags for Jumbo and friends anymore. It succeeded brilliantly, as Taue is in severe danger of losing the match for the first ten minutes and again at the end just before the finish.

 

I loved the teamwork between both teams; sometimes it gets lost in bouts like this where so many of the participants also have individual issues. If some of the tags had been a bit hotter, it would have been a perfect Southern-style tag. The doubleteams from Kenta and Kikuchi were first-rate.

 

Of course, Kikuchi had to play punching bag at some point, and he's great at it as usual, but he never stopped fighting back, trying to take the offensive and turn things his team's way. In that respect, he's an even better plucky babyface than Ricky Morton, who could take a beating like no one else but seldom if ever fought back while doing it.

 

The sheer number of nearfalls Kenta and Kikuchi got amazed me, as did the fact that it took Kenta being knocked out of the match and leaving Kikuchi two-on-one to set up the winning fall. Even at that, it took two Jumbo Drivers for Jumbo to put Kikuchi away.

 

Now that no member of Misawa's side of the feud can justifiably be considered a weak link on a regular basis, it's going to be interesting to see how things play out as the year progresses.

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  • 2 years later...

I just want to point out that I am too sexy for this match. That aside, this is really a showcase for Kikuchi and Kobashi to prove they can hang with the big 2 on the other side. They do really well with it and the opening minutes were great. I agree that it looked like a mistake when Kikuchi tagged so quickly (relatively, he had to be hurting) on the first heat. It still ended up being a great match with Taue being in way more trouble than you expect when you see the teams.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1992-01-26-AJPW-New Year's Giant Series] Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

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