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[2006-08-27-AJPW-Summer Series] Kaz Hayashi vs Shuji Kondo


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  • 5 months later...

Youtube link was disabled due to AJPW. Honestly, from a highlight video I saw, it looks like the nearfalls were as overdone and way too much as any NOAH match just for the sake of the crowd reactions. May come back to this and look for full match but it doesn't seem like it would be worth my time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

AJPW Jr. Heavyweight Champion Shuji Kondo vs. Kaz Hayashi - Sumo Hall 8/27/06


The one constant of All Japan from the 70s through now is their disregard for the junior heavyweight division. Even NOAH as a spiritual successor to All Japan cultivated a strong juniors division led by KENTA and Marufuji. Even though Mutoh took over AJPW in the 00s coming from NJPW with a strong junior's division did not seem to change AJPW's stance on juniors wrestling. With that being said the token All Japan match of 2006 is a junior heavyweight encounter between two of Ultimo Dragon's students, Hayashi and Kondo.

Before, I get to the match a very skinny Stan Hansen gets into the ring to do the duties of reading from the scroll before a championship match and it was just such a cool touch to see Hansen again. He was wicked over.


This is one of the prettiest matches I have ever seen. It was like you strip Dragon Gate matches of any comedy and just have them play it totally straight, which makes sense since they are both Dragon's students. I can appreciate beautiful execution and from a technical level this is nearly perfect. Hayashi has the best looking hurricanarana I have ever seen and Kondo is one of the best at taking it. Hayashi really looks likes he is grabbing with his legs and forcing his opponent over. Kondo really throws himself into the bump. Hayashi's middle rope senton was fan-fuckin-tastic. He was going a million miles an hour. On the slow motion replay, he still looked like he was going fast. Kondo is a great powerhouse junior like a smaller version of Sasaki. He was really able to work on Hayashi's knee and some very impressive powerslams and one great spear. Of course if you are a powerhouse in Japan, you best have a nasty lariat and his destroys Kojima's and looks badass. Hayashi is a big fan of Emerald Flowsion, but when that can't secure him a victory he does what every wrestler does he tries the move from the top rope. In a move, I never EVER thought I would see. Kondo hits a Flip DDT. When we were growing up, my younger brother always said his finishing move was going to be the Flip DDT. I don't know if he is going to be crushed or excited that someone finally pulled off that move. A moonsault and lariat polish off Hayashi and Kondo retains the belt.


So now the other shoe drops, this match is great eyecandy, but there is not substance to any move. Kondo moves over Hayashi's knee really effectively. I love when he caught a Hayashi rana attempt and put him in a Boston Crab. What does Hayashi hit as his comeback move a wicked fast back handspring elbow. O BUT HE REMEMBERED TO SELL AFTER THE MOVE! He would do this for his 3 next big spots that required the knee, hit the move and sell the knee, before abandoning it altogether. I am happy he did put some effort in, but c'mon man! Look, I don't think just because someone attacks your knee you have to be crippled, but maybe you could hit your spots at half-speed or at least show you are struggling. The end of the match is a total bombfest with very little selling.

To me this is the perfect match to show fans or up and coming wrestlers look you are not going to get a better executed match, but see how they just rattle off moves and without that framework it is all inconsequential. Hayashi and Kondo are amazing to watch and I am sure if you put them in there with a Liger, 90s Sasuke, 90s Otani that they would have had some phenomenal matches. You pair this execution with a great layout, I am seriously saying five star classic without it you are just left wondering what might have been. ***3/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [2006-08-27-AJPW-Summer Series] Kaz Hayashi vs Shuji Kondo

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