My Journey Through 1990s AJPW – Part 6: Laying the First Bricks

Hello everyone and welcome to My Journey Through 1990s AJPW Part 6! This is quite the show, as both matches here played a part in the slow rise of two puroresu legends, with the second match being one of the most important in wrestling history. With such hype as this, lets get started!

Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi

Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi – AJPW Super Power Series 1990 Day 19 – 06/08/1990

            That is how you put someone over in losing! Even in losing, Kobashi came out looking like a million bucks. I adore how this match started, with Kobashi immediately slapping Williams and then there being a slap off in the middle of the ring. Its awesome how this slap match was back and forth, showing Kobashi bringing it to the Gaijin veteran. Then, for the first few minutes, Kobashi totally dominates, again showing him as formidable and a rising commodity. When Williams does get an extended period of control, Kobashi shows fight and gets some brilliantly timed comebacks, receiving massive pops from the audience every time. Some of the moments were rather convincing where they could conceivably give Kobashi a win. Also, Williams threw just about everything at Kobashi in this short match in an effort to put over Kobashi and his toughness. He was selfless here, letting a relative rookie kick out of a good amount of his stuff. A huge flaw here, though, is a boring as shit bearhug which felt like an eternity. Even though Kobashi did as well as he could, fighting back constantly and clubbing Williams’ spine, bearhugs are always a bore and a waste. Otherwise, this match was solid and perfectly accomplished the goal of getting Kobashi over

Rating: ***¼

Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta

Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa – AJPW Super Power Series 1990 Day 19 – 06/08/1990

            This is THE match. This is what put over Misawa, the biggest Japanese star of the 90s. Here is a brilliantly laid out match, with a design perfect for putting over the younger star. Jumbo tended to dictate the pace, but never for too long. Misawa was always able to come back when Jumbo turned the tides in his favor. Early on especially, Misawa just kept being one step ahead of his elder, one upping him at every turn. Even when Jumbo got the majority of the offense mid and late game, Misawa still fought back and it never felt like he was just being acted upon. He was an active player. I also love how early on Misawa slapped Jumbo a couple times, showing some good disrespect and fire. Its just really awesome to see the underdog slapping the old curmudgeon. Also commendable here was Jumbo’s performance, as he laid into Misawa, hitting stiff strikes and big time moves. Selflessly, Jumbo threw just about everything at Misawa and allowed Misawa to kick out. The stiffness and the damage Misawa took really helped put him over. The finishing stretch was especially good, showing Misawa’s determination and resolve while also allowing Jumbo to just kick ass. There were some really well done nearfalls that drew in the crowd greatly. Even the finish was fantastic, as it was decisive enough to make Misawa look like a mega star, but still flukey enough to keep Jumbo strong. The only real issue I have here is the painfully boring mid match portion, which, while smart story wise, lost me and seemed to lose the audience. However, both myself and the audience were drawn in by the end, so the mid match is only a minor annoyance. Overall, this was really awesome. There’s not much else someone can do to make a new top star.

Rating: ****¼

Thank you so much for reading part 6 of My Journey Through 1990s AJPW! I’m very happy you took the time to check this review out. As stated in part one of My Journey Through NJPW’s Golden Age, I have a ton of writing I’m trying to pump out, so stayed tuned for a lot of content from all my series. Other than that, check out new updates and such here, and check out some of my other writings at freeprowrestling.com. 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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2 Comments

    1. Thank you! I watched some of his 80s stuff before diving into the 1990s and he was just unreal. I haven’t seen too much of him, but from what I saw I feel safe in saying he’s an all time great. His knee and lariat always pop me huge

      Like

      Reply

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