Sunday, May 12, 2013

AJPW 1/17/2000 - Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi

AJPW 1/17/2000 - Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi

I've been in the mood to watch old AJPW, so I thought I would check this one out. This is the final Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada match. A lot of people, including myself, hoped they would main event a NOAH Tokyo Dome show together to give us one final match but that never happened.

The finish
Kenta Kobashi beat Toshiaki Kawada with a lariat in 18:15. This was a good match but not their best work. AJPW by this time had just evolved too much into a big moves promotion which made all the matches suffer. Kawada was taking powerbombs 7 minutes into this and Kobashi was taking nasty head dropping backdrops early as well. They did sell but I thought they just threw too much out there. Kenta Kobashi had great facials in this match, as did Kawada. I think that is something that is mostly lost to current wrestling minus Dean Ambrose. It's not just the facials either, as its the way both of them made them. They made them where it would be visible to most of the crowd, thereby maximizing the usage of them and making sure the crowd could see it and react. I wish more wrestlers would do this as you make a headlock look dangerous if sold properly. Back to the match, the backdrops were clearly the highlights here. Kobashi took two really nasty ones right onto his face. I also really enjoyed Kawada using some of his signature moves while Kobashi was on the ropes/apron as it was a different usage of some of his moves and was creative. Rating:***1/2

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