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[1994-11-20-AJW-Big Egg Universe] Manami Toyota vs Aja Kong

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Toyota does come ever so close to missing some of those moves where she uses the top rope to spring off. Kong does one of those silly long ramp running moves. A Japanese table actually breaks! Helps to have Kong going through it I suppose. Brainbuster by Kong to win. Good match but when your saving yourself for a tournament there will be some drop off.

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This is not the best match I've seen these two have, but I really have to give them credit for knowing their audience and working a match that would play well in a Dome setting. Things like Toyota's table dive and Kong's running shoulderblock on the ramp are not spots I usually care for all that much, but they fit here, and Toyota and Kong are out to wrestle big. Usually, Kong/Toyota has Toyota keeping the pace up with Kong trying to slow it down, and that's part of the match's story. In this case, they're both working a quick pace and dropping bombs. Great match in a different way from their other matches. In some ways, I'd even call this the type of "touring" match that guys like Rey and Psicosis would perfect around this time, even though in this case, Kong and Toyota were working their home promotion. This is one where they just gave their audience exactly what they wanted.

 

On a side note, Toyota is still not my favorite Joshi wrestler, but I understand her more than I did in 1996. I'm looking forward to giving all of her Big Red title defenses in '96 another look with a fresh set of eyes.

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This might seem counterintuitive, but I think Toyota is like Riki Choshu in that she's at her best in singles matches when they're kept relatively short, albeit for different reasons. Choshu simply doesn't have enough in his arsenal to keep a match interesting beyond a certain point. Toyota has the opposite problem-she has too much stuff and wants to do it all in every match. Going shorter forces her to pick her spots.

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This is a really good spotfest and Toyota's selling early on is quite good. They really did work the crowd in a dome setting very well. There was a ton of stiffness and nastiness in this as well but that's expected in an Aja match.

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This match didn't reach the emotional peak of some of the top end joshi this year but execution wise, this was fabulous and really does play out like the type of match Meltzer would love. This had great spots but also had better than average selling for a "drop bombs" type match. Ending run was dramatic and Toyota and Kong both played their roles so well.

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Terrific match! I absolutely hated the draw these two had in '91 (I think it was) but this had none of the problems that polluted that match. The pace was nice, with the bigger Aja controlling Toyota with holds and Toyota having to take big risks to keep her head above water. A few people have called this a spotfest and a touring-match...I do get the touring-match aspect of this but I thought the psychology was very strong, especially by Toyota's standards. Both seemed to have each other's trademark moves scouted and Toyota busted out some new offense not because she Had to Get Her Shit In but because it was probably the only chance she had. Also some terrific near-falls here that were inventive but not overdone. Kong seemingly knocks Toyota out with the uraken but just to make sure, busts out a Falcon Arrow to put her away. I suspect the reasonable length and the pace were due to Aja having to come back for more later on, but it made for a stronger match.

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A touring match? Please point me in the direction of the AJW fan-cams with anything comparable to this.

 

It was worked very well for a Dome setting. Compact pacing and a simple to follow structure and psychology. The story was told perfectly. Manami was a superstar, Aja was the champ. Both initially went for the quick win as this was a one night tournament. Toyota only used her high end and most damaging offence. Fighting like she was against a 'regular' opponent wasn't going to get it done. The execution was outstanding throughout, all the moves looking crisp and damaging. Manami so nearly got the upset before just falling short. The result felt like it could tip either way. Everything was just right and worked out exactly as they would've planned. A top 10 match for 1994. To qualify as a true classic it would need more of an emotional pull.

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Just a great big joshi movesfest with both women playing their respective roles to perfection. Aja can dish out a good beating and Toyota is great at selling said beating. I'm always impressed how Toyota launches herself to the top rope from an Irish whip and make it look so effortless. This isn't either women's best match, but I'd said it's a great way to get accustomed to the joshi style if you are not sure where to start.

★★

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