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[2001-01-13-NOAH-First Navigation] Jun Akiyama & Vader vs Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue

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I liked this match quite a bit. Once Vader gets tagged in, the Vader vs. Kobashi stuff is really fun. Any time Taue and Akiyama were in the ring together it worked great. The finishing sequence was really well worked. I can see this somewhere on the lower half of my ballot. The finish is all kinds of brutal. Blown Vadersault that ends up being a vicious looking diving headbutt.

 

Edit: Vader tosses the ref all the way across the ring when he gets annoyed with him during the match. Great stuff there. Still not sure this doesn't belong in my top 40 but it'll get a rewatch. Too much Kobashi nonsense to be higher, but it may yet make it higher than 40.

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Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue vs Jun Akiyama & Vader - NOAH 1/13/01

 

Vader is DA MAN~! If NOAH could milk Vader for a couple more years even if just hidden in tags, he would have been a huge boon to NOAH. My biggest criticism of NOAH is the lack of gaijin talent. Stan Hansen and Dr. Death were so critical to the All Japan Golden Years. I know 2001 Vader is not 1994 Dr. Death especially evident in the couple mishaps and the extremely blown finish. However, holy shit did he look great as the monstrous heel who just mauls Kobashi. I also thought this was one of the most Southern style tag matches in Japan with great double heat.

Kobashi and Taue have an absolutely great shine segment. Vader and Akiyama look to double team Kobashi at the outset, but Kobashi and Taue have other plans in mind. Kobashi destroys Vader with back fists and Taue hits NODOWA~! on Akiyama on ramp. Kobashi continues the beat down on Akiyama. Akiyama high knee and tags in Vader. Vader is fantastic. After all the flippy shit in the 2007 juniors, this is just mama's home cooking as Vader is just blasting Kobashi in the face. In a weird moment, Vader takes Kobashi out into the crowd and puts him in a chinlock. Alright then, snuggle time in the crowd it is. Back in the ring, Vader gets nearfalls off a bitchin lariat (this is one of those lariats JBL would have an orgasm for) and a Vaderbomb. Taue saves and this gives time for Kobashi to tag out. Taue hits the Mother of All NODOWA~! on Vader. Jesus, the elevation he gets on Vader of all people makes up for Vader's shitty finish. Akiyama hits an Exploder on Taue and now Taue is in peril. Vader and Akiyama kick his ass on the outside with Akiyama hitting a piledriver. Taue hits a nasty big boot on Vader. This match is stiff as all hell. Vader chucks Kobashi across the ring on two Germans. Vader hits a massive powerbomb only for two triggering "Ko-Bash-I". Vader hits a Vaderbomb and then nearly kills himself on a Vadersault attempt, which Akiyama covers and then he actually does it and almost kills Kobashi. All I could think was when Vader nearly fell to off the top rope was if I was Kobashi I would be shitting my pants because he you have no idea where the hell Vader would land. I would have called audible and switched the finish, just for my livelihood. That is why Kobashi is Kobashi. He has Balls of Steel!

 

Incredibly fun match marred by a blown finish. It was entertaining from the excellent Kobashi/Taue shine to the double heat through the finish run with Vader throwing people around. Vader looked like a monster in this match, but I would imagine the finish killed any chance of him getting further chances up the card or perhaps he just didn't have it in him. This match epitomizes what I like in my wrestling. ****

 

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My biggest criticism of NOAH is the lack of gaijin talent.

Not to be that guy, but Noah didn't lack gaijin talent. They lacked monster gaijin talents like Hansen and Vader. They always had smaller gaijins like Marvin, Morgan, Modest, Williams, Bison, Vader, Slinger, Scorpio, etc. around.

 

Incredibly fun match marred by a blown finish. It was entertaining from the excellent Kobashi/Taue shine to the double heat through the finish run with Vader throwing people around. Vader looked like a monster in this match, but I would imagine the finish killed any chance of him getting further chances up the card or perhaps he just didn't have it in him.

I agree with this entirely. Really dug Vader throwing people around (including the ref). That blown finish though was really bad. I remember him teasing the Vadersault in the previous singles match with Misawa and then just dropping to the second rope and doing the Vader Bomb. I think he should have finished with that here instead of going for the Vadersault again which he still managed to pull off, but also headbutting Kobashi in the process of doing so.

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This was a decent cookie-cutter match. If you ignore the fact that all four men have been in some of the greatest matches ever and concentrate on some fun meathead stuff, you can't go wrong. Would have been a fun match to watch live. 

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My review got ate up here but I thought this was a really fun slugfest type match. It wasn't always smooth but when Kobashi and Vader went after each other, they really went after each other.  The finish in particular with him tripping and then demolishing Kobashi's face with the moonsault was particularly gnarly. ***3/4 (7.6) 

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They play up Kobashi being able to largely get the better of Akiyama but unable to stave off Vader here.  Really nice run of escalating stuff on Kobashi toward the end of the match.  Taue is relatively quiet here.  Vader kills Kobashi with a crazy moonsault for a big win.

***1/2

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Not a bad match but I didn't think this did anyone any favors. Too much Kobashi melodrama for a match focused on Vader, Akiyama let himself get eaten up too much early on with no real payoff, and Vader looked a step off most of the time he wasn't chucking dudes around. Taue's workman performance was probably the strongest of the match but that was hardly the point. I actually didn't mind the finish, it felt inevitable that it'd be ugly, at least Akiyama finally got to effectively play the General role he seemed slotted in for his team.

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