Best All Japan Pro Wrestling & New Japan Puroresu Matches of 1990
Singles - The Usual Suspects
08/06 Jumbo vs Misawa
01/09 Jumbo vs Misawa
I like the second one better because I support grumpy Jumbo.:)
14/09 Great Muta vs Hase
I didn't realize it was Muta's first match ever in NJ and Hase's first with the yellow and blue tights that showed he was a heavyweight now. There was some damn good wrestling apart from the blood.
31/08 Jumbo vs Kobashi
Jumbo disciplines Kobashi at Korakuen Hall one day before his second match with Misawa. It's just great stuff.
19/08 Vader vs Choshu (IWGP)
24/05 Choshu vs Mutoh
01/11 Choshu vs Hashimoto (IWGP)
I'm quite fond of these big Choshu matches. Often very basic, but also very efficient, and Choshu just had *it* in term of charisma and intensity. Attacking Vader's injured (by Hansen) eye with punches may not be spectacular, but it's as effective as anything as far as storytelling goes. His matches with Hash are stiff and epic too. A different kind of epic than AJ's matches, of course, but I love them nonetheless.
02/06 Hashimoto vs Mutoh
Damn good too, though it strikes me that Muto could be sloppy even in his prime, especially compared to Chono.
05/06 Jumbo vs Gordy (TC)
19/04 Jumbo vs Tenryu (TC)
Not great, but still very good stuff.
01/11 Mutoh & Chono vs Hase & Sasaki (IWGP Tag)
Best tag match of the year to me, a must see.
19/04 Williams & Gordy vs Hansen & Spivey (PWF Tag)
Best AJ tag match of the year, and I guess one if not the best gaijin vs gaijin matches ever in Japan. Just incredible.
28/05 Chono & Mutoh vs Koshinaka & Hase (IWGP Tag)
26/12 Hase & Sasaki vs Strong Machine & Hiro Saito (IWGP Tag)
13/12 Hase & Sasaki vs Koshinaka & Iizuka (IWGP Tag)
NJ really delivered the goods with these tag matches. The Blood Outlaws one is the lesser one, but the other two are excellent and super heated.
21/11 Misawa & Kawada vs Kobashi & Ace (RWTL)
01/12 Jumbo & Taue vs Misawa & Kawada (RWTL)
The best two matches from the Tag League, which was a lot better than in 89. Taue and Ace aren't very good, but the workers around make up for them. Plus, the second match is the perfect conclusion to this year of Jumbo & Co. vs Misawa & Co., and it's my favourite native tag match from AJ
01/06 Jumbo & Kabuki vs Misawa & Kobashi
27/10 Jumbo & Inoue vs Misawa & Kawada
Some excellent stuff here, especially the Inoue match.
31/03 Can-Am vs Joe Malenko & Kobashi (All Asia)
01/09 Fantastics vs Joe Malenko & Kikuchi
Great junior flavored action. The All Asia scene was less interesting because the Can-Am left very soon and the titles were vacated, but these two matches are superb. Kikuchi is just insane.
Six Man, the royal AJ category:
26/05 Misawa & Taue & Kobashi vs Jumbo & Kabuki & Fuchi
The match that launched Misawa vs Jumbo. Legendary and awesome all around.
18/08 Jumbo & Fuchi & Taue vs Misawa & Kawada & Kikuchi
First match with Taue taking his place alongside Jumbo. Yet another awesome match.
19/10 Jumbo & Taue & Fuchi vs Misawa & Kawada & Kobashi
Even better than the other two, and also taking place in super hot Korakuen Hall, this match is the definitive Jumbo & Co. vs Misawa & Co. match, at least in '90 (but I doubt I will find any better). Welcome to old bastard city when Fuchi and Jumbo work on Kobashi's broken nose. But this is only one part of this awesome match.
I think these three six man are my three favourite matches of the year, period.
Then you have different combinations of the same feud :
12/07 Jumbo & Kabuki & Inoue vs Misawa & Kawada & Kobashi
17/07 Jumbo & Fuchi & Kabuki vs Misawa & Kobashi & Taue
21/08 Jumbo & Inoue & Fuchi vs Misawa & Kobashi & Kikuchi
Also some Tenryu & Revolution vs Jumbo and the Old Bastards. Tenryu is really really stiff during this feud, much more than in early 89.
02/01 Tenryu & Footloose vs Jumbo & Kabuki & Takagi
11/01 Jumbo & Kabuki & Tiger Mask vs Tenryu & Footloose
25/01 Tenryu & Footloose vs Jumbo & Kabuki & Inoue
24/02 Jumbo & Kabuki & Inoue vs Tenryu & Footloose
24/03 Tenryu & Footloose vs Kabuki & Inoue & Nakano
Plus add a great gaijin vs gaijin match :
12/07 Williams & Gordy & Ace vs Hansen & Spivey & Deaton
It was a pretty weak year for the juniors though. My favourite is obviously
31/01 Liger vs Sano (IWGP Jr)
but beyond that there aren't a whole lot of great stuff.
05/05 Liger vs Koshinaka
This one is great. Shiro is not really a junior anymore, but they still pretend he is and they fight as equals. Korakuen Hall is hot (as always during those days) and finally these two great workers have the match they deserve together.
19/03 Liger vs Pegasus (IWGP Jr)
19/08 Liger vs Pegasus (IWGP Jr)
01/11 Liger vs Pegasus (IWGP Jr.)
Great stuff, but it left me a little flat. To be perfectly honest, the Choshu main events of the same shows excited and interested me a lot more than these. Highspots.....
??/02 Liger vs Owen Hart
This one I really loved, and Owen is as good as he could be back then. I wonder when exactly did he blow out his knee.
10/02 Sano & Pegasus vs Liger & Nogami
Excellent match at the Dome, and possibly the debut of Pegasus. It's too damn bad Sano left for SWS, because he was such a great foe for Liger. His absence left a real void, at least in my eyes.