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[1999-07-04-AJPW-Summer Action Series] Kenta Kobashi & Kentaro Shiga vs Yoshihiro Takayama & Takao Omori

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Kobashi is wearing a nose guard and Takayama immediately starts kicking him in the face. This starts as a wild brawl and they really do a number on Kobashi in the fracas. Kobashi’s selling is great, and No Fear keep going for the nose guard to try to rip it off, gouging his face every time he tries to string together any offense. When young Kentaro Shiga - who is in way over his head - attempts to rescue his tag team partner, Takayama not only takes him out, but starts drilling him with a chair. They continue working Kobashi’s nose over for a few minutes and this is just a slaughter. Shiga gets his first bit of offense in during the last couple of minutes of this which clears the way for Kobashi to make his own save. Shiga tags himself in and shines for about two minutes and you can guess what happens next. Really excellent 10-minute match.

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AJPW's done higher ranked guy with lower ranked guy many times but here Shiga is almost useless which is a fun dynamic. His run of offense when he gets tagged in is cool but he very shortly gets shut down and dispatched easily. Cool to see a very good AJPW tag not worked like an important epic.

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So when did Takayama actually get good? This wasn't awful or anything but he was easily the 4th best person in this match. Weird to see Kobashi in a match with none of the other 3 pillars or the foreigners.

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This packed a lot of punch for a 9 minute match. You had No Fear continue their track up the top and hammer Kobashi and the nose. Shiga took a beating but got some good comebacks with the missile dropkick. No Fear eventually is able to put him away and look impressive. ***1/2

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On the previous tour Takayama had scored a pin over Akira Taue, to give Team No Fear a shocking upset win over the Holy Demon Army. Their roll continues here as they just brutalize Kobashi--the out-of-the-box-for-AJPW booking continues. First we get a Choshu-esque upset for Takayama, and now we get a 9-minute sportz-entertainment-styled match with the oddball but successful decision to have Kobashi work FIP. He has an out, with his nose guard, but comes off as overmatched. Particularly since No Fear aren't concerning themselves with conforming to the usual sporting AJPW style. Shiga is put into the unlikely role of team savior and that doesn't end well. Fun match precisely because it's more of an NJPW-style tag than AJPW.

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