My Journey Through 1990s AJPW – Part 2: Great Rivals, Humble Beginnings

Hello everyone and welcome to the second leg in My Journey Through 1990s AJPW. This match is quite the interesting one, the first match between the legendary rivals Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa. I don’t want to delay; let’s dive right in.


Tiger Mask II vs. Kenta Kobashi – AJPW Excite Series 1990 Day 10 – 03/06/1990

Just like last match, Tiger Mask is Mitsuharu Misawa

            It’s bizzare to see these two epic rivals face off so young into their careers, especially considering how much better they got over time. For the first two-thirds of this match, apart from one quick paced sequence to start off the match, this was all rest holds. Dear god, Tiger at one point had a painfully long rear chinlock, which killed me. Then, Kobashi worked Tiger’s leg, which was marginally better. It did allow for more dynamic action, like some cool holds or stiff leg kicks, but there were still excessive submissions where very little action or valuable wrestling was occurring. They were just kinda sitting there and not moving. While less painful, it was still horrificly boring. Also, there were some sloppy moments, especially when Tiger tried for a neckbreaker but Kobashi fell too early. Kobashi was still pretty green and it showed. The only really good spot in the first ten minutes was an awesome top rope plancha to the floor from Kobashi. It was honestly one of the best planchas I’ve seen. Otherwise, the first ten minutes about were pretty pointless, and I’m not a guy who hates slow matches. I gave Chono vs. Muta from Starrcade ’92 3* for Christsake. Anyways, when the action finally picked up, it was pretty stellar. They worked crisply for the most part, and hit some really big moves. The action didn’t really have much story, but it was still well executed and a hell of a lot of fun. However, Kobashi’s leg work didn’t come into play at all in this stretch, making the first ten minutes not just mostly pointless, but totally pointless. Regardless, the last third of this match was really, really fun, as these two showed potential they would build upon in future matches. Even though the first part of the match was really boring, the last portion is worth watching and makes this a worthwhile ride to take.

Rating: **½

Master List for AJPW 1990s Matches

So that was the step two of My Journey Through 1990s AJPW! I’m very happy you took the time to check this review out. Watching these two was a really interesting experience, so I’m glad to have done so. These reviews are pretty easy to put out, so I hope to post them pretty frequently, depending on how busy I get. Otherwise, I’m still working at all my other series, so they should be coming out soon (hopefully). Check out new updates and such here, and check out some of my other writings at If you want to contact me, check here. Otherwise, like, comment, share, or do whatever else you want to do. Thank you for reading and see you next time!

-Terrance Smith

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