Aja Kong & Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori & Eagle Sawai
In spite of Big Bird’s presence, this appeared to be an extremely promising match because you had the two smartest wrestlers in AJW against Kandori, who had a ton of heat on her and had just proven she could go for the ride. Hokuto & Kandori wanted to go at it before the bell, but Aja & Eagle mainly held them back. Aja & Kandori got mad at each other during this portion, and while they were arguing the bell rang and Eagle elbowed a distracted Aja.
Unfortunately, believability was out the window immediately, with Aja & Eagle exchanging body attacks. Surprisingly, they did a fast paced, back and forth match with a lot of running around. Aja & Hokuto can do this style very well, though obviously they are much better when they put more thought into their matches. Kandori & Eagle aren’t very athletic and normally work a fairly lethargic style. They were not up to the task.
Eagle was carried well enough, but she didn’t have a role (other than taking Kandori’s bumps) and wasn’t able to add anything to the match, so the quality and heat decreased while she was in. Kandori mainly used submissions, which ran contrary to the speed, even though again it was just applying the submission with no lead in and leaving it on until there was a save.
Outside of a few double team highlights such as Eagle jumping off the apron to spike Kandori’s powerbomb of Hokuto on the floor, the best parts were mainly what was retained or carried over from the 4/2/93 Hokuto vs. Kandori masterpiece. Hatred and intensity were certainly present. Hokuto’s cut was quickly reopened, but one silly aspect is Kandori didn’t go after the arm until late in the match. In fact, Hokuto attacked Kandori’s arm first trying to get revenge. This was good stuff, especially how Hokuto let Kandori get half way up after a rope escape then reapplied the wakigatame. Once Kandori countered this, she attempted to further injure the shoulder, but Aja was able to save a few times. When Kandori turned Hokuto’s Dragon suplex into a version of the wakigatame, Hokuto was not so lucky. Eagle had cut Aja off, and was holding her off outside. Hokuto refused to submit, so her shoulder was “seriously injured”. The ref made Kandori release and no one seemed exactly sure what was going on, but I guess the doctor said Hokuto couldn’t continue so the ref then stopped it.
Too much heat was shifted from Hokuto to Aja. She was pissed that Kandori injured her partner, and had a pull apart with Kandori after screaming at her. Maybe the idea was for her to defend against Kandori, but since that didn’t happen the only result was the next Hokuto vs. Kandori had less steam. This match is probably excellent taken on its own, but within the context of the Hokuto vs. Kandori series it negates more than it adds. 20:43. ***3/4