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[2000-02-13-GAEA-Big Destruction] Aja Kong vs KAORU

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This is a wild match and I wanted to like it so much more than I did. This felt similar to Honma vs Yamakawa and was definitely better as it didn't suffer from the same listlessness in the middle. KAORU is at her most compelling when Aja Kong is mauling her in this match. I liked some of her reckless offense too but it got repetitive and by the end this match just ended up feeling bloated. It felt much longer than it actually was.

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Wow, I had a totally different take.

 

This was definitely not perfect but really engaging. Once KAORU blocks that first back fist with the table and we go to some hand and arm work, it really grabbed my attention. Kong sold it like she was getting murdered and her arm's all fucked up and bloody by the end. Seeing some actual limb targeting in what seemed like the same type of hardcore match we've all seen a thousand times made this stand out for me.

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I thought this was great, really felt like the best garbage brawl of the decade. The match had structure, every move made sense and counted. KAORU's comeback was very well done, as it was gradual instead of a random transition, she got her comeuppance on Kong and most importantly she found a believable way to control the monster. Kaoru using the table like in Magnum/Tully was awesome and Kong sold great. It wasn't quite Terry Funk selling his arm getting stabbed with a fork but it was great. Match was pretty brutal, everytime Kong hits it's a devastating blow, but did not go into overkill.

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I'm so glad In decided to give this another shot. I remembered the violence and blood but I mustn't have been paying close enough attention because this was way more focused than I gave it credit for. Possibly the best women's match of the decade.

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Kaoru goes right against the monster and hits a stunning barrage of offense in the first minute of this match. Unfortunately for her, she overcompensates and misses a senton through the table. Kong is like a monster that has been battered and has a demeanor of she can’t believe what this bitch just did to her. Kong takes the table pieces and smashes them around, throws the guardrail at Karou’s face and slings her across the chairs in the entranceway. This is a nice contrast to the previous match as the weapons mean more than the dives. Karou is busted open which allows Kong to do the best running across Korakuen spot I have ever seen full force into the wall. Back in the ring, we get the five minute call. I really liked Karou avoiding the spinning backfists, using her speed. She goes for a moonsault but eats boot. This match gives a great contrast in the strategies of both competitors. Aja launches Karou out of the ring and onto the floor. Aja gets cocky and goes for a dive eating a table. Karou realizes this is her chance and she unleashes on Aja with an attack equal to the one Aja gave her earlier. This culminates in her hitting the senton through the table. Back in the ring, Aja goes for the spinning back fist but she punches a table. Aja is now wincing in pain as Karou drives the table in further. This is amazing selling from Aja and really graphic to see the monster scream in such pain. Karou face blooded performing the Fujiwara armbar is a visual that wont soon escape me. Karou hits a moonsault with the table piece onto the arm in a great spot and then immediately locks on an armbar with Aja just barely being able to gain a rope break on. Aja fires off a wickedly fast spinning back fist to gain some time but it hurts the arm even more as she winces in the corner. She goes for the back fist but Karou still has the speed advantage and is able to catch it this time into an armbar attempt again with Aja reaching with all her might for the ropes. Aja again is searching for a move of desperation and finds it with a back drop driver. The monster yells as she rises up from the ashes. Her cockiness is again her downfall as she is caught on the ropes and given a Michinoku Driver for a really close nearfall. A beautiful sequence next where Kaoru charges in right to a spinning back fist. Aja knows this is her moment and is able to hit the back drop slam from the ropes but only for two. Aja is great working out her arm and hand and assessing the damage. Aja tries once more to climb the ropes for a double stomp and it again costs her. Kaoru drives the table into the arm once more for another close two count. However, Kaoru gets too cocky trying to drive the table into the arm and eats a big kick right to the face. This match has such great momentum swings. Aja takes off her gloves, takes the blood from her arm and puts it over her face before delivering the knockout blow spinning back fist to win the match. One of the greatest matches I have ever seen and really reached that visceral level of intensity that strikes you at the core. *****

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Quite the brutal bloodbath. Obviously, Aja was pretty established at this point and Kaoru had been in the mechanic role seemingly forever, but I still think the way this was worked showed a new dimension for both of them. I'm not usually a fan of matches with so many table spots, but this was primarily about the brutality with the tables as garnish instead of being the main course. I loved how Aja bled from her hand and couldn't really use the uraken to full effect, having to fight through the pain to hit it at the end. Kaoru obviously showed a lot here in what I'm assuming was her highest profile singles match to this point. This was a hell of a show, with two strong MOTYCs both wrestled in very different ways that were very distinct from each other. and I think this match did more to get over the top title than any match I've seen so far in any company this year. ****1/2

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This was stellar. KAORU going for the quick start only for Aja to unleash hell on her was a great way to kick off the match. KAORU bleeding all over the place was unexpected but established early on how violent this was going to get. Main thing I loved here though was the limbwork. The brutality and desperation of it really resonated with me. KAORU is essentially stabbing Aja's arm with the jagged side of a broken table and it looks nasty. Aja is writhing in pain and it's one of the only times I can ever remember Aja being that level of vulnerable. At times it almost gets to being uncomfortable to hear those screams of pure agony. To see Aja, someone who had been a star and complete wrecking ball in the joshi scene for more than 10 years at that point, be down so bad, leaves a lasting image in my head. A lot drama, hate, almost uneasy level of violence, excellent work from both of these women.

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This is an awesome match. Very brutal with KAORU getting busted open in the early stages but showing a lot of heart as she attempts to take out the monster that is Aja Kong. KAORU goes after Kong's arm with a broken table and the brutality of this reminds me of the Magnum TA/Tully Blanchard cage match with the broken chair. Just awesome brutality in a near perfect match. Aja Kong is her usual violent self here and hits some brutal backfists. A MOTYC for sure.

 

****3/4

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I'm not sure you can say Kaoru wrestled a "smart" match here, but it was obvious that she didn't stand a chance if she wrestled Aja in a straight up bout. That's not to say that she introduced any radical new style here. I'm pretty sure she had already been working a ECW inspired hardcore style to differentiate her from two thirds of the Joshi universe, but by taking the fight to Aja in a garbage brawl she showed plenty of nerve. I'm not the biggest fan of Aja Kong, but I do respect her. I thought her selling in this match was excellent. Joshi screaming is often compared to the shrieking in women's tennis, but if you arm hurt as much as Aja's did in this bout you'd probably scream too. The thing I liked most about the garbage elements of this was that they used a piece of square wood instead of a table. It looked like far more of a weapon than the typical table prop. Garbage brawls aren't usually my cup of tea, but I thought this was a great one and the Joshi match of the year so far. Aja's selling was so good that it may have been a top 10 Aja Kong match for me. Definitely advantage GAEA in the AJW vs. GAEA comparison.

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I wouldn’t be surprised if KAORU suffered a concussion due to this match; Aja absolutely rattled her with vicious unprotected shots minutes into it. Not that I particularly enjoyed witnessing it, though, as Kong running full speed, with KAORU in tow, across the arena only to use the momentum in slamming KAORU’s head into the wall was sickening. KAORU isn’t without her bloodlust, either, though. She ensures she makes small tweaks in her revenge spots to add extra damage (for instance, she stomps on the wood that cracked her open to create splinters that would rip into Kong’s head when she swung it at her face). She not only starts grating the board against Kong’s arm but also ensures the corner of the board pushes deeply into Kong’s hand and plays against Kong’s strong punches. Both KAORU’s face and Kong’s sliced arm sell the violence of the match, but the monster Kong screaming in agonizing pain just tips it that much more.

 

This may be quite simple in its structure (going from Kong control to KAORU and back to Kong) but it made each transition logical. KAORU losing her upper-hand thanks to a missed board attack, and slicing her hand on the splinters, was a great little touch and one I can wholly buy in allowing Kong to brute-strength her way back to a win.

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I loved every second of this. Always been a big fan of KAORU. 2/13/00 GAEA show was amazing with these two great matches. Well, the tag being MOTY only lasted until the next match on the same show. Just outstanding.

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You know a match is gonna be really good when the first move is a senton through a Japanese table. This was outsanding in every way. The perfect mix of brawling, brutality and smart wrestling. Loved KAORU's ducking of Aja's backfist in the first part of the match and using Aja's own offense against her. Aja was like Dusty Rhodes here even blading her arm. The finishing run was awesome too. Great match. One of the best i've seen from 2000 so far.

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I'm with Chad and Loss on this, it's an all time classic and I really loved it. **** 3/4 for now, but I may re-visit that to go higher.

 

Early on KAORU just trying to survive was great, but we all knew once Kong gained control it was all over and the death came. 7 minutes in I was shocked looking at how much remained, because I couldn't imagine.

 

Then KAORU did some avoidness techniques and destroyed Kong's arm. The rest was KAORU trying to survive, while Kong trying to kill while wounded. Fuck it's great.

 

Reminded me a lot of Hansen vs Kobashi or Hansen vs Kawada from 93.

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Just incredible pro wrestling. The opening brawl was full of so many fantastic moments that really sold and escalated the violence, that it's hard to track them all. Kaoru's initial flurry with the awesome dives and table spot that lead to Kong running the full length of the bleachers, just to slam Kaoru's head directly into the wall was a super violent, exciting 5 or so minutes. The limb work was fantastic; great selling from Kong who, still went for the kill shot, even though she knew it would hurt her and she sold that level of risk vs reward perfectly. Kaoru is giving her everything she's got, she HAD to go for the uraken. Kaoru was selling each shot brilliantly, getting caught off guard with a total look of shellshock as she just tried to survive. Absolutely brilliant performances from both, the timing of the momentum shifts was inch perfect, the story of the toll being taken on both women was portrayed beautifully and the embrace at the end was rightfully earned. Easily my MOTY so far.

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I am somewhere in the middle on this one. It was awesome but it didn't click as an All Time great to me. The work on the arm and the broken table was great. KAORU coming in strong trying to establish herself before Kong destroys her.

 

****1/4

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Loved KAORU coming out super strong, and then LOVED the transition to Kong control being KAORU just plummeting througha table into the floor. It looked like she fell through the floor. Later, she took another crazy bump from inside the ring to the outside. Love the dive counter with the table, too. KAORU feels like she'll completely sacrifice herself to prove she can hang with her opponent. She reminds me of Darby Allin in that way. I also really like how the shard of table is used as a primary plot device throughout the entirety of the match after being naturally created in the beginning. Overall, this was great with pretty high drama.

 

****1/2

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After the KAORU's quick opening rush sees her eat shit and crash through a table to the outside, Aja wants to make her pay by introducing KAORU's skull to a shard of a table that her body had just broken. KAORU's performance as a resourceful underdog made me a fan of her. After her attempt to moonsault Kong fails, she quickly recovers by hitting Kong's arm with a shattered bit of the table. Kong sells this like a wounded lion and KAORU has her opening. With all the plunder used here, it might come to surprise you that the most brutal parts of this match feature Kong's strikes. They are nasty! This was an insane garbage brawl which left me wondering what kind of brutality they would inflict on each other next. ★★★★★

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