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[1989-10-11-AJPW] Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs Kenta Kobashi & Joe Malenko


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This may be the most animated I've seen Joe Malenko. Kroffat and Malenko start this thing off, and of course they start getting pretty stiff with the blows. Usually, I've seen Malenko as more mat-based, but here, he's trading blow for blow Kroffat. It feels like a shoot when they crash to the outside. Malenko was even doing the Sting arms up in defense of Vader's punches here defending against Kroffat's kicks. That's something I've always liked when there is a dominating big man facing a smaller competitor. Kroffat gets on top of Malenko and starts pounding his head, but Kobashi has seen enough. He nails Kroffat in the back with the kick breaking it up. Kobashi eats a tombstone pretty early on in the match, which felt pretty out of place. Later in the match, he pretty much doesn't sell a DDT to the floor on the outside either. I guess you can see that he is still a little green, but his athleticism is on display here. Kobashi's offense looked really explosive throughout. This is not a great match, but there are some really fun things in this mixed bag. Joe felt like the glue of this encounter, so a really good performance from him.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1989-10-11-AJPW] Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs Kenta Kobashi & Joe Malenko
  • 3 years later...

All Asia Tag Team Champions Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs Kenta Kobashi & Joe Malenko - AJPW 10/11/89

MORE BABY KOBASHI~! Dude after the tag match with Jumbo against Tenryu & Hansen, I am so pysched for more 1989 Kobashi! I really liked Joe in match against the Fantastics. I have come to really, really like Furnas. I want to mention this. This is not a dig at Bianca Belair, I am a super mark for her and I think she is the best thing to happen to the Women's Division since The Man & Rousey. She had real trouble getting Sasha Banks up for a Military Press Slam. It is not dunk more of a it is really hard to press a human no matter how big they are. In the last Footloos vs Can-Ams match, Furnas fucking pressed Kawada from a standing position with full extension of the arms! It was an INSANE FEAT OF STRENGTH! Dan Kroffat I am apathetic to at this point. He is neither great nor bad. He is in the gray middle. I am hoping he clicks. Excited to see the Can-Ams against a non-Footloose team. It is 1989 All Japan tag team match, I am not even going to try, stream of consciousness here we come:

Joe Malenko to start against Kroffat. Malenko chants it sounds like. Interesting as the Can-Ams have been really over in both their matches against Footloose. Lock up and back into the ropes and Kroffat shoves him back. Joe with a Euro Uppercut and two headbutts early. Kroffat comes in with kicks but Malenko takes him down with a leg screw. Mallenko takes him down when Korffats tries to kick again. Tempers flare as Malenko unleashes some kicks and they tumble to the outside. They fight back into the ring. Kobashi rifles Kroffat with a kick and Joe tags in Kobashi. Nice electricity there from Joe. Kroffat tags in Furnas before Kobashi can race across the ring. Kobashi is wicked over. Joe might just be over by association. Kobashi headlock to start. Kobashi works the headlock well, notice how he grapevines the leg in the standing headlock to prevent the possibility of a back suplex. Nice criss cross sequence as Furnas Military Presses Kobashi with Full Extension over head. Furnas back flips for not reason what is this 2021 Kenny Omega. Kobashi hits a reverse crossbody for two. They do a Tombsone Reversal spot, Sting would be proud. Furnas nails the Tombstone for two. They are going big as they take back to the mat. Beautiful Kobashi transition out of the standing hammerlock with a drop toehold. Kobashi maintains wrist control as he tags into Joe. I was proofreading this and I will say the match peaked with that Kobashi vs Furnas exchange.

Joe drops into a legbar as Kroffat Cowboy Kicks him to break it up. Joe is targeting the leg. Beautiful bridging toehold! Furnas kicks out and tags in Kroffat. Kroffat spits at Kobashi! Heat seeker! Joe starts swinging wildly. Hiptoss and a dropkick sends Kroffat to the outside. Joe tags out. Last combination, Kobashi vs Kroffat. Kobashi chants again as Kroffat mocks them. Greco Roman Knucklelock test of strength. Kroffat elbow & chop. Complicated criss cross that ends with them dropkicking each other is such a harbinger of what is come in the 90s and beyond. Kroffat side mounts into a double wristlock. Kroffat Cattle Multilation! I have never seen someon do it before Danielson! That was cool. Joe breaks it up and Kroffat tags in Furnas. Furnas dropsault. Is this Danielson & London as a tag team circa 2002? Furnas chops in the corner but he takes the Bret Bump and Kobashi drops the leg. Kobashi bashes Furnas' head into Joes knee and tags him in. Furnas wins a shoulder tackle battle to the surprise of no one. Complicated hiptoss sequence that Furnas wins with a lariat and then front chancery. Pretty good match so far. Definitely calmed down compared to other matches i have watched recently. No strong sense of escalation. Furnas vs Kobashi has been the best part thus far. 

Nifty bridge out by Joe from the headsicssors and tags in Kobassi. Kobashi applies the Boston Crab. Furnas powers out and tags in Kroffat. Double shoulder tackle by the Can-Ams. Kroffat grounds Kobashi with a chicknwing. Spining Heel Kick by Kroffat a very en vogue move in ths time period. Kroffat misses hard on the spear into the corner wicked bump. This being 1989 All Japan Tag Team wrestling, I bet it goes nowhere (it didnt go anywhere) Joe Malenko tagged in. Kroffat is keeping his injured side from Joe but Joe takes him down a single arm knucklelock into a wicked top wristlock, knee on face. They do standard knucklelock spots. Kroffat grabs a full nelson. Kobashi crossbody on Kroffat. Malenko gets a Boston Crab on Korffat. Furnas breaks it up. Kobashi tags in and dropkick to Furnas. The crowd comes alive for Kobashi. BIG TIME TOP ROPE CROSSBODY TO FLOOR! Kroffat right there and DDTs Kobashi on the floor. Smart. Kobashi floatovers on the suplex attempt. Northern Light Suplex by Kobashi. Joe tagged in. Fisherman Suplex by Joe for two. Joe applies the Butterfly Lock which was my finish as a kid growing up against my brother. WIcked painful hold he will tell you. Furnas powers out of a hold and slams Joe to the mat. Furnas with a snap belly to belly suplex. Kobashi tagged in. Spinning Heel Hart Attack by Can-Ams for two. I am waiting for the big finish run to kick in. Kroffat Lariat on Kobashi, nice Chris Adams style superkick, Oklahoma Rol gets two. Kobashi Lariat, but it is NOT Burning yet. ROLLING KAPPOU KICK BY KOBASHI! Mark out city! Missile dropkick by Kobashi! Kobashi is picking business up all on his own. Furnas breaks up the pinfall. Tiger Driver by Kroffat for two! Crowd starting come alive as they are lobbing bombs! Furnas powerslam off a Kroffat dropdown. Furnas top rope Leg Drop! Joe saves. Kroffat Superfly Splash but Kobashi kicks out on his own. Single Leg Crab by Kroffat. Joe hot tag! Joe shows some fire but a snap belly to belly snuffs out that flame. Argentine Backbreaker by Furnas. Joe dropkicks Furnas into a Kobashi German suplex but Kobashi is not legal. Joe sunset flip. Furnas Bear Hug on Joe and tags in Kroffat. Super front suplex but kick out. Malenko chants! Kroffat misses the reverse crossboy. Malenko Northern Lights for two as Kobashi detains Furnas. Joe Frankensteiner and Fujiwara armbar. Furnas breaks it up and Kobashi attacks Furnas. Joe jumps up for a Frankensteiner again but Furnas dropkicks Joe and Kroffat kinda powerbombs him but it more like a reverse victory roll for the win. I liked the finish. 

Definitely not as good as any of the other matches I have seen either of these guys in. The thing with the All Japan style is the tagging is very, very frequent so it is hard to build momentum or rhythm.  There are plenty of examples of great versions of this style but requires the individual work to be really high. All four of these guys have had better performances. Lots of stuff happened, but there was no real hook and it didnt really crescendo too well. I love Kobashi and I thought he was the best of the four, but this was just good. *** I am shocked this finished 42nd! Crazy to me!

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