AJPW ALL JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING 1995-1997 DVD VHS
Zen Nihon Puroresu Tapes Videos


AJ Korakuen 3 days New Year's Odo BOX Commercial Tape 1/3, 1/15, & 1/28/95 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr 35min. Q=Master. 2 DVDs

    1/3/95

Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen & Mighty Inoue.

New Year's Junior Heavyweight Battle Royal

Stan Hansen & Johnny Smith vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace

Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Masao Inoue

    1/15/95

Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kentaro Shiga vs. Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori & Masao Inoue

Misawa & Satoru Asako vs. Williams & Ace

Kawada & Taue & Honda vs. Hansen & Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat

    1/28/95

Comedy match

Kobashi vs. Izumida

Misawa & Asako vs. Akiyama & Omori

Kawada & Taue vs. Hansen & Johnny Smith


AJ Fierce Fighting: Osaka Picture Scroll Commercial Tape 1/19/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-1hr 45min. Q=Master

Tommy Dreamer vs. Akira Taue

Stan Hansen & Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith

Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta & Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori & Tamon Honda

Triple Crown: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi. 60:00 draw. Great match.


AJ Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue World Tag Team Title Comm Tape 1/24/95 Yamagata-ken Taiikukan
& Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace World Tag Team Title Comm Tape 3/4/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Double Tag Titles: Misawa & Kobashi vs. Kawada & Taue. Great match. Perfect work. Really stiff match with no blown spots. Built really well. Could have used more near falls early to make it look like a regular match because they way they worked this it was so obvious they were going really long. 60:00 draw. ****3/4

Double Tag Titles: Misawa & Kobashi vs. Williams & Ace. Tremendous match. Basically flawless. The one problem was that every spot didn't hit absolutely perfect like in most of the best AJ stuff. This was greatly laid out though, getting the crowd to react in a really pro native fashion then delivering an incredible final 16 minutes. Doc was awesome at building anticipation for him against Misawa. The match built to everyone getting taken out by a big move between the 24-25 minute mark to set up 11 minutes of great near falls back and forth where the outcome is really in question. *****

AJ Toshiaki Kawada vs. Stan Hansen Sankan Heavykyu Senshukan Jiai Commercial Tape 3/4/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-45min. Q=Master

Sankan Heavykyu Senshukan Jiai: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Stan Hansen. This was around the time Hansen started to not have it anymore. On the night he was finally getting the title back, he pretty much laid an egg. The whole match was built around Hansen's western lariat vs. Kawada's powerbomb. It was not nearly as stiff as their brilliant 2/28/93 match, and the psychology disappointed me as well. The biggest problem is the match went way too long for Hansen, who just didn't have it physically. He tried to be athletic doing a dropkick, a shoulder that somewhat resembled a tope, a shoulder off the apron, and an elbow drop off the apron. Aside from some suprising offense like this, the match was rather repetitive. The selling was excellent though with the exception of one spot where Hansen rolled to the floor and was overexaggerating. Hansen was putting over Kawada's head kicks like he was a bobble head doll except in a way they looked killer rather than comical. Many of Kawada's kicks were focused on the lariat arm, with a key spot that really kicked off his attack being Kawada stopping Hansen's western lariat with a kenka kick. Kawada abused the ganmengiri and enzuigiri, which while one of his big moves had little to do with the story, perhaps because they can easily be done to this opposition. The heat was terrible for AJ during this period. The fans weren't even popping when Kawada was trying for his powerbomb even though they'd set the match up so the first to hit their finisher was going to win. When Hansen finally hit his western lariat it was anticlimatic because the spot looked mistimed. It was good that Hansen sold his arm huge since Kawada had done so much damage to it, but I couldn't believe he was able to pin Kawada after all that time. It did put the western lariat over huge, but using an out spot that protects the finisher in my opinion does more to make the person who still couldn't kick out look bad than the finisher look that good. It's probably worth seeing every triple crown match, but this one shouldn't be near the top of your wish list. **3/4

AJPW '95 Champion Carnival Commercial Tapes
-7hr 40min. Q=Master. 4 DVDs

3/21/95 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Stan Hansen vs. Takao Omori

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Doug Furnas

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jun Akiyama 15:20. Given Akiyama's rank, they probably could not have done a better match. Although everyone knew Jun had less than zero chance of winning, they managed to do a super intense match with so much urgency and desperation from bell to bell that Kawada's impending victory was almost irrelevant. To some extent, the match was more about Jun proving he could take the best the big boys had to offer. He dished some out as well, but if you came away from the match with something, it's that he posesses the willpower to compete at the highest level. Akiyama jumped Kawada before the bell, and got a pescado and plancha in. After the initial fireworks, Akiyama genuinely tried to match a pissed off Kawada's stiffness. This was, of course, a losing prospect, but Akiyama got some good shots in early. It's definitely one of Jun's most violent matches. Kawada really let him have it on his initial comeback, punching him in the face, landing a big left high kick, and punting away with soccer ball kicks. Kawada is just dynamite here, but Akiyama really stepped up his impact and fierceness to be credible against the master. ****

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi 25:20. Intense match, but not nearly at the level of Kawada vs. Akiyama. Neither man was willing to back down, and their best sots just made them more determined. They held the big spots off for the final quarter, which was okay, except that they were more or less stalling in between the striking exchanges in the first 3/4 of the contest. As these two were equals and could go back and forth with the outcome truly in doubt, they should have been able to do a better job of sustaining the high level. They made the spots they did finally use have meaning, but it was a bit simplistic. Taue hit two huge moves, the nodowa otoshi off the apron and the powerbomb on the floor, and that was the difference in the match. ***3/4

3/24/95 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Doug Furnas vs. Danny Kroffat

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Jun Akiyama vs. Takao Omori

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Johnny Ace vs. Danny Spivey

Stan Hansen & Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Giant Baba 60:00

3/26/95 Matsumoto Shi Sogo Taiikukan

Jumbo Tsuruta & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Haruka Eigen & Ryukaku Izumida

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Jun Akiyama vs. Doug Furnas 12:26. Uninspired effort from these two, mostly stretching each other early. I was starting to wonder if they were stalling because they were doing a draw, which doesn't bode well when you look at the actual length. It did get pretty good when they picked it up in the final 3 1/2 minutes with Akiyama's northern lights suplexes, but still had no particular drama. **

Stan Hansen & Giant Baba & Takao Omori vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi

4/8/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan

Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Doug Furnas & Danny Kroffat

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Stan Hansen vs. Danny Spivey

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama 12:28. Short match, but Misawa was taking it seriously, allowing Akiyama to mount a spirited challenge. Akiyama didn't push Misawa offensively, but the fans were getting into him surviving Misawa's offense, and making the occasional brief comeback. **3/4

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue 23:51. The best Kawada vs. Taue match, and one of the most brutal matches of Kawada's career! If you are looking for a friendly match between good buddies, look elsewhere, as the two partners wage war as if they were battling over the best looking woman they ever saw. Kawada is putting Taue over for the first time, so he decides if Taue is going to beat him, he's going to have to completely incapacitate him. Kawada unloads with 50% extra force from the outset, but Akira never backs down, in fact matching Kawada blow for blow. As neither man will back down an inch, popping up and coming back harder, faster, and more determined, it always threatens to get out of hand. 15 or so minutes in, you begin to wonder if they forgot the days of Misawa & Kawada vs. Jumbo & Taue are long past, and whether their partnership is going to survive the night. Sanity prevails, sort of, though I'm not sure how Taue's neck survives some of those whiplash enducing enzui lariats. ****1/2

4/6/95 Okayama Budokan

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Kenta Kobashi vs. Takao Omori

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Akira Taue vs. Jun Akiyama

Stan Hansen & Giant Baba & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Johnny Ace & Danny Kroffat & The Eagle

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

4/12/95 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga vs. Johnny Ace & Danny Kroffat & The Lacrosse

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Takao Omori

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Stan Hansen vs. Doug Furnas

'95 Champion Carnival League Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue

AJPW Retro Hour #31 3/1/10 Champion Carnival #5
& AJPW Retro Hour #32 4/4/10 Champion Carnival #6
-2hr. Q=Perfect

4/2/92 Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan, Champion Carnival League Match: Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa

4/17/92 Aichi-ken Taiikukan, Champion Carnival Final: Stan Hansen vs. Mitsuharu Misawa

4/13/95 Miyagi-ken Sports Center, Champion Carnival League Match: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi

4/15/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan, Champion Carnival Final: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue

AJ Super Slow Collection Commercial Tape
& AJ Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue '95 Champion Carnival Final Commercial Tape 4/15/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-1hr 10min. Q=Master

Super slow motion highlights of the Budokan main events from 6/3/94-3/4/95 to the theme song of one of the wrestlers involved. This tape really showcases the brutality that sets All Japan apart. It's a good one to show your friends who say how fake wrestling is based on seeing Hogan punching his own hand 30 times a "match".

'95 Champion Carnival Final: Misawa vs. Taue. Tremendous match! Fairly simple match, but superbly worked with great execution and great psychology. Close to 5 stars, but Taue has some limitations that prevent him from ever reaching that level in singles. Effort certainly isn't one of them, and this match and the 9/10/95 follow up are pretty comparable in brilliance, and likely the two best singles matches of Taue's career against an opponent other than Kawada. ****3/4

AJPW & NOAH Mitsuharu Misawa ~Green Ark~ DVD Box Set
-17hr 35min. Q=Perfect. 12 DVDs

Disk One AJPW:

4/22/83: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Shiro Koshinaka

8/26/84 Tiger Mask II (debut): Tiger Mask vs. La Fiera

6/21/85: Tiger Mask vs. Kuniaki Kobayashi

11/27/85: Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid

3/13/86: Tiger Mask vs. Riki Choshu

6/1/86: Tiger Mask vs. Genichiro Tenryu

3/9/88: Tiger Mask vs. Jumbo Tsuruta

5/14/90: Tiger Mask II & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Yoshikai Yatsu & Samson Fuyuki. Tiger unmasks

6/8/90: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta

Disc Two:

7/24/91: Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Terry Gordy & Steve Williams

9/4/91: Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue

8/22/92: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Stan Hansen

10/21/92: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

3/5/94: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Giant Baba & Stan Hansen

Disc Three:

6/3/94: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

7/28/94: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Steve Williams

4/15/95: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue

12/9/95: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue

10/21/97: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi

Disc Four:

1/26/98: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama

5/1/98: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

10/31/98: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi

5/2/99: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader

8/25/99: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama

Disc Five NOAH:

8/5/00: Mitsuharu Misawa & Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama

12/23/00: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader

1/13/01: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Alexander Otsuka

4/15/01: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

4/7/02: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kodo Fuyuki

1/10/03: Mitsuharu Misawa & Masahiro Chono vs. Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue

1/10/04: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Yuji Nagata & Hiroshi Tanahashi

Disc Six:

7/10/04: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Keiji Mutoh & Taiyo Kea

1/8/05: Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Rikio vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka

7/18/05: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

12/10/06: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Naomichi Marufuji

11/3/07: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. KENTA

5/6/09: Mitsuharu Misawa & Go Shiosaki vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Takeshi Morishima

6/4/09: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa & Masao Inoue vs. Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito & Bobby Fish

AJ Sankan Heavykyu Senshukenjiai Stan Hansen vs. Mitsuharu Misawa Commercial Tape 5/26/95 Hokkaido Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center
-1hr 5min. Q=Master

Sankan Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Stan Hansen vs. Mitsuharu Misawa. Extremely disappointing. Slow, dull, and storyless match that lacked direction and intensity. I'm not sure what they were thinking with this one. Neither seemed in any hurry to get to anything, and although Misawa eventually did his better moves, the match didn't exactly build. Hansen was moving in slow motion, and barely did anything. In the past he'd worked around his lack of offense, but to do that you need to work toward the key spot and make it seem so deadly that this one move will take you out. Here, he just did some kicks to the back. When he did go for his western lariat it was all of a sudden, and Misawa went around his back, taking him over with a headscissors for the pin. Not much reaction to the title change because it was hard to believe the great Hansen lost to this, and moreso because it was shocking that they ended it before making an effort to turn it into anything of note. Misawa had worked the lariat arm some, but not in a focused or interesting way, and certainly not in a way that would qualify as trying to do something with the match. His motif was the facelock, anyway. Hansen gave Misawa a cheapshot after the match then western lariated Akiyama & Asako, which got a far bigger reaction than anything they did during the match. 25:06. **

Kenta Kobashi vs. Johnny Ace. It's hard to believe I'd praise the psychology of Kobashi vs. Ace over Hansen vs. Misawa, but not only did Kobashi at least make the attempt, he actually delivered one of his smarter matches. No head droppings or no sells, just good solid surprisingly patient wrestling for a long period of time. Kobashi & Ace were ranked equally on their respective sides (native/foreigner), so they simply told the story of equality. Ace was very good offensively when he was on a run, but confused at when to stop selling and start firing back during the exchanges. He's not the most convincing seller, but he did his best to deliver an all around match. Mirror spots and parody were in adundance early, and a factor throughout the match. Kobashi was limping around with a ton of tape on his left knee and thigh, and Ace's big run started when he ducked a lariat and dropkicked the worse knee. Kobashi was on offense more, but the more imposing Ace was doing more damage with his offense, and he didn't have a weak spot for Kobashi to exploit. This lead to Ace eventually taking over the match, and being the one that came closer to victory in the later stages. He did his moonsault first for a near fall. Kobashi got to anxious to return the favor, climbing when Ace wasn't that bad off, which cost him because Ace stopped it with a dropkick to the back of the knee. Kobashi finally hit the moonsault just before the time limit, but the damage it inflicts on his knees gave Ace just enough time to kick out. Kobashi was hardly boring here, and certainly delivered most of the quality. It's too bad he didn't choose smarts over excitement more often. 30:00. ***3/4

Fuji TV Crush Gals Fighting Spirits Commercial Tape
& AJ Misawa & Kobashi vs. Kawada & Taue Commercial Tape 6/9/95 Tokyo Budokan Hall
-2hr. Q=1st Gen.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Crush Gals were basically women's wrestling in the 1980's, and this tape fully captures their phenomenon. The tape has highlights of 11 of their favorite matches, along with assorted other features such as some of their concert footage. The tag match is not only *****, but it's the no worse than the 2nd BEST MEN'S TAG MATCH OF ALL-TIME. It's also special because it's the first time Kawada pins Misawa, taking the Double Tag Team Titles in the process.

AJ '95 Summer Action Series "Seika" Korakuen Battle Selection Commercial Tape 7/2 & 7/21/95
-2hr 20min. Q=Master. 2 DVDs

7/2/95

undercard digest

Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori & Satoru Asako vs. Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Kenta Kobashi & Ryukaku Izumida vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi

Mitsuharu Misawa & Giant Baba & Tamon Honda vs. Stan Hansen & Patriot & Johnny Ace

7/21/95

undercard digest

Asia Tag Senshuken: Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori vs. Yoshinari Ogawa & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Kenta Kobashi & Kentaro Shiga vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi

Sankan Heavykyu Senshuken Next Challenger Decision League: Akira Taue vs. Johnny Ace

Mitsuharu Misawa & Tamon Honda & Satoru Asako vs. Stan Hansen & Patriot & Johnny Smith

AJ Sankan Heavykyu Senshukenjiai Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue Commercial Tape 9/10/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-45min. Q=Master

Triple Crown Heavyweight Title Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue 20:50. Taue is driven to finally get over the hump and become a singles main eventer after years of being the second fiddle on the anti-Misawa team. He went a long way toward proving he could be that guy with his great Champion Carnival Final win over Misawa on 4/15/95, and here he proves he can be a champion even though the belt comes later. Misawa trusts Taue, who has only gotten better and better in the past 5 months, a lot more in this one, so he gives him a lot more leeway, mostly being a bumping machine. The Misawa vs. Taue match may not be as deep as Misawa vs. Kawada or as spectacular as Misawa vs. Kobashi, but their spirited sprints always provide some of Taue's most innovative, risky, and entertaining work. Misawa starts off trying to use his junior heavyweight offense, but is stiffled when Taue avoids a pescado and injures his knee with a dropkick. Taue doesn't attack the knee all that much, instead taking the opportunity to go to his big moves early. The offense is all very over, and there's especially massive heat for Taue's attempt to nodowa Misawa off the apron because they weren't rolling out three or four insane spots per match in these days. Misawa begins to work his way into the match with one big move to Taue's two, then exchanging big moves, prompting double sell spots. Misawa's offense is strong enough that they somewhat get over the idea that either could lose from here on out, but although both sell longer and longer toward the finish, the fact that Misawa pretty much hasn't hit consecutive moves since the opening minutes makes the finish seem somewhat forced. Still, this superb follow up to their Champion Carnival final is no worse than the second best Misawa vs. Taue match. ****1/2

World Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Danny Kroffat vs. Yoshinari Ogawa 13:37


AJ TV 7/4/93
& AJ Pro Wrestling 30 10/25/95
& AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI taped 3/26/98
-1 1/2hr. Q=1st Gen. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

    From AJ TV 7/4/93 taped 7/2

Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 10/25/95 '95 Giant Series taped 10/25 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Triple Crown: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi

    AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! '98 Champion Carnival 3/26/98 Chiba Koen Taiikukan

'98 Champion Carnival League Bout: Stan Hansen vs. Jun Izumida

'98 Champion Carnival League Bout: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jun Akiyama


AJPW Giant Baba Debut 35th Anniversary Commemorative Match Commercial Tape
& NJPW Strong Style 11/9/97 GI Climax Special '97 taped 9/13/97 Maebashi Gunma Arena
-1hr 55. Q=VG

9/30/95 Tokyo Korakuen Hall Part 1: Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori & Tamon Honda

10/25/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan Part 2: Baba & Stan Hansen & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Akira Taue & Takao Omori & Tamon Honda

Black Cat vs. Yutaka Yoshie. This was like taking a time machine back to 1950. We could find better things to do with our 1.21 gigawatts. A bunch of rest holds and a few basic spots. Execution of the high spots wasn't good. -1/2*

Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Kendo Ka Shin. This showed just how badly these two need Liger to carry them (well, in Ka Shin's case his singles with Otani and Koji have actually been better). Match had little direction or focus. They took it easy to some extent, but still worked stiff. A bit sloppy. **

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani. Solid match, but not as spectacular as normal because it wasn't a big show or a regular TV taping. Still, these guys worked harder and certainly a lot better than the vast majority of wrestlers do on regular TV tapings or even big shows. ***1/4

AJ '95 Giant Series Nagoya + Giant Baba Debut 35 Shunen (anniversary) Commercial Tape
-2hr 35min. Q=Master. 2 DVDs

9/29: Party for Baba

9/30 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: ceremony for Baba

    10/15/95 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan

Masao Inoue vs. Maunakea Mossman. Highlights

Johnny Smith & Rob Van Dam vs. Yoshinari Ogawa & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Dory Funk Jr. & Mike Anthony vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Giant Kimala

Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen & Mighty Inoue. Highlights

Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori & Kentaro Shiga vs. Tamon Honda & Satoru Asako & Ryukaku Izumida

Gary Albright & Patriot & Johnny Ace vs. Stan Hansen & Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat

World Tag Titles: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi. Great 60:00 draw.

AJ Sankan Heavykyu Senshukenjiai Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi Commercial Tape 10/25/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-1hr 5min. Q=Master

Sankan Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi. First Misawa vs. Kobashi title match is a nice though slightly disappointing (partly their fault, partly they were overshadowed by the heated semifinal) start to one of the great title series ever.

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Gary Albright. One of Kawada's crowning performances is this masterful job of carrying Albright to what's certainly his best AJ match, and likely the best match of his career.


NJ TV 11/11/95 & AJ TV 11/12/95
-1 1/2hr. Q=Gd

Liger & Kanemoto vs. Sano & Yamamoto, Kroffat & Furnas & Anthony vs. Ace & Patriot & Smith, more!

AJPW World's Strongest Tag Legend =1977-1999= DVD Box
-18hr 5min. Q=Near Perfect. 11 DVDs

DVD #1 1977/1978

Finishes of 1977 league matches: Billy Robinson & Horst Hoffman vs. Mighty Inoue & Akihisa Takachiho, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Rocky Hata, Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Billy Robinson & Horst Hoffman, Rusher Kimura & Great Kusatsu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba, Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik vs. Billy Robinson & Horst Hoffman, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Kintaro Oki & Kim Duk,

12/15/77 World Open Tag Title League Match: Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik finals 14:40

Finishes of 1978 league matches: Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Billy Robinson & Wild Angus, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Nick Bockwinkle & Blackjack Lanza, Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Nick Bockwinkle & Blackjack Lanza, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik

12/15/78 '78 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Terry & Dory Funk Jr. 45:00

DVD #2 1979/1980

Finishes of 1979 league matches: Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik vs. Wahoo McDaniel & Frank Hill, Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik, Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras vs. Terry & Dory Funk Jr., Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras vs. Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik, Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba,

12/13/79 '79 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik vs. Terry & Dory Funk Jr. 17:15

Finishes of 1980 league matches: Ricky Steamboat & Dick Slater vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Tor Kamata, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. The Sheik & Great Mephisto, Billy Robinson & Les Thornton vs. Nick Bockwinkle & Jim Brunzell, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Nick Bockwinkle & Jim Brunzell, Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Tor Kamata, Abdullah The Butcher & Tor Kamata vs. The Sheik & Great Mephisto

12/11/80 '80 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba 43:50

DVD #3 1981/1982/1983

Finishes of 1981 league matches: Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara, Harley Race & Larry Hennig vs. The Sheik & Mark Lewin, Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Tiger Jeet Singh & Umanosuke Ueda,

12/13/81 '81 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka vs. Terry & Dory Funk Jr. 21:41

Finishes of 1982 league matches: Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Umanosuke Ueda & Super Destroyer, Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood, Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Harley Race & Dick Slater, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Harley Race & Dick Slater, Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba vs. Harley Race & Dick Slater,

12/13/82 '82 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Terry & Dory Funk Jr. 12:30

Finishes of 1983 league matches: Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Ron Fuller & Barry Windham, Tiger Jeet Singh & Umanosuke Ueda vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu, Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Goro Tsurumi & The Mongolian, Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr., Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras, Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Ron Fuller & Barry Windham, Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr., Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Tiger Jeet Singh & Umanosuke Ueda

12/12/83 '83 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Jumbo Tsruta & Genichiro Tenryu 17:54

DVD #4 1984/1985

Finishes of 1984 league matches: Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu, Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu

12/8/84 '84 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen 18:42

Finishes of 1985 league matches: Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Rusher Kimura & Ashura Hara, Stan Hansen & Ted DiBiase vs. Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith, Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Nick Bockwinkle & Curt Hennig, Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Harley Race & Jesse Barr, Stan Hansen & Ted DiBiase vs. Harley Race & Jesse Barr, Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Stan Hansen & Ted DiBiase vs. Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race & Jesse Barr vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Stan Hansen & Ted Dibiase vs. Nick Bockwinkle & Curt Hennig, Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith, Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith vs. Harley Race & Jesse Barr, Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu

12/12/85 '85 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Stan Hansen & Ted Dibiase vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu 30:00

DVD #5 1986/1987

Finishes of 1986 league matches: Rick Martel & Tom Zenk vs. Terry & Dory Funk Jr., Giant Baba & Tiger Mask II vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu, Stan Hansen & Ted Dibiase vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Stan Hansen & Ted Dibiase vs. Terry & Dory Funk Jr., Stan Hansen & Ted Dibiase vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu, Terry & Dory Funk Jr. vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu,

12/12/86 '82 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Final: Stan Hansen & Ted Dibiase vs. Jumbo Tsruta & Genichiro Tenryu 8:13

Finishes of 1987 league matches: Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Mark Youngblood & Chris Youngblood, Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. TNT (Savio Vega) & Abdullah The Butcher, Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. Tom Zenk & The Terminator, Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka vs. Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy, Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara, Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Giant Baba & Hiroshi Wajima, Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. TNT & Abdullah The Butcher, Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka vs. Giant Baba & Hiroshi Wajima, Great Kabuki & John Tenta vs. Tom Zenk & The Terminator, TNT & Abdullah The Butcher vs. Giant Baba & Hiroshi Wajima, Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara,

12/11/87 '87 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka 8:46 of 16:51. No finish

DVD #6 1988/1989

Finishes of 1988 league matches: Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Shunji Takano & John Tenta, Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Tiger Jeet Singh, Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada, Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Jerry Blackwell & Phil Hickerson, Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Tiger Jeet Singh

12/16/88 '88 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada 21:02

Finishes of 1989 league matches: Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki, Abdullah The Butcher & Tiger Jeet Singh vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Terry Gordy & Bill Irwin, Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu, Abdullah The Butcher & Tiger Jeet Singh vs. Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu, Abdullah The Butcher & Tiger Jeet Singh vs. Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura vs. Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu, Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Terry Gordy & Bill Irwin, Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki, Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith vs. Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas

12/6/89 '89 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu 28:57

DVD #7 1990/1991

Finishes of 1990 league matches: Giant Baba & Andre the Giant vs. Dick Slater & Joel Deaton, Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs. Terry & Dory Funk Jr., Abdullah The Butcher & Giant Kamala vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace, Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue, Giant Baba & Andre the Giant vs. Terry Gordy & Steve Williams, Giant Baba & Andre the Giant vs. Skywalker Nitron & Butch Masters, Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue, Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada, Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada

12/7/90 '90 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Steve Williams & Terry Gordy vs. Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey 29:59

Finishes of 1991 league matches: Steve Williams & Terry Gordy vs. Dory Funk Jr. & Al Perez, Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs. Dynamite Kid & Johnny Smith, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey, Giant Baba & Andre the Giant vs. Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue, Giant Baba & Andre the Giant vs. Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey, Dynamite Kid & Johnny Smith vs. Johnny Ace & Sonny Beach, Abdullah The Butcher & Giant Kamala vs. Giant Baba & Andre the Giant, Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue

12/6/91 '91 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Steve Williams & Terry Gordy vs. Mitsuhara Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada 25:24

DVD #8 1992/1993

Finishes of 1992 league matches: Giant Baba & Kenta Kobashi vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Giant Kamala, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Dan Spivey & Kendall Windham, Akira Taue & Jun Akiyama vs. Dory Funk Jr. & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Joel Deaton & Billy Black, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Giant Baba & Kenta Kobashi vs. Stan Hansen & Johnny Ace, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Akira Taue & Jun Akiyama, Giant Baba & Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada, Giant Baba & Kenta Kobashi vs. Akira Taue & Jun Akiyama, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Terry Gordy & Steve Williams, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Th The Patriot & The Eagle, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Stan Hansen & Johnny Ace, Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs. The Patriot & The Eagle, Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Stan Hansen & Johnny Ace

12/4/92 '92 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Mitsuhara Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue & Jun Akiyama 23:52

Finishes of 1993 league matches: Steve Williams & Big Bubba vs. The Patriot & The Eagle, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Dan Spivey & Johnny Ace, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Giant Baba & Stan Hansen vs. The Patriot & The Eagle, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Steve Williams & Big Bubba, Giant Baba & Stan Hansen vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Giant Baba & Stan Hansen, Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. The Patriot & The Eagle, Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Steve Williams & Big Bubba, Giant Baba & Stan Hansen vs. Steve Williams & Big Bubba

12/3/93 '93 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Mitsuhara Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue 23:34

DVD #9 1994/1995

Finishes of 1994 league matches: Giant Baba & Stan Hansen vs. The Eagle & The Falcon, Mitsuhara Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas, Dan Spivey & Jim Steele vs. Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori, Giant Baba & Stan Hansen vs. Mitsuhara Misawa & Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuhara Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace

12/10/94 '94 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Giant Baba & Stan Hansen vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue 26:30

Finishes of 1995 league matches: Stan Hansen/Gary Albright vs. Dan Kroffat/Doug Furnas, Misawa/Kobashi vs. Rob Van Dam/Johnny Smith, Kawada/Taue vs. Johnny Ace/Patriot

12/9/95 '95 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Final: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue 24:04

DVD #10 1996/1997

Finishes of 1996 league matches: Kobashi/Patriot vs. Hansen/Omori, Kawada/Taue vs. Kamala/Izumida, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Steve Williams/Johnny Ace, Hansen/Omori vs. Sabu/Albright, Kawada/Taue vs. Williams/Ace, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Kobashi/Patriot, Hansen/Omori vs. Kamala/Izumida, Albright/Sabu vs. Kobashi/Patriot, Kawada/Taue vs. Akiyama/Misawa, Hansen/Omori vs. Sabu/Albright, Kawada/Taue vs. Izumida/Kamala, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Williams/Ace,

12/6/96 '96 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Final: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama 31:37

Finishes of 1997 league matches: Izumida/Kamala vs. Hayabusa/Jinsei Shinzaki, Williams/Albright vs. Omori/Honda, Kobashi/Ace vs. Windham/Bradshaw, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Wolf Hawkfield/Johnny Smith, Kawada/Taue vs. Hansen/Duncum Jr., Omori/Honda vs. Hayabusa/Shinzaki, Hansen/Duncum vs. Windham/Bradshaw, Williams/Albright vs. Hawkfield/Smith, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Kamala/Izumida, Williams/Albright vs. Windham/Bradshaw, Kawada/Taue vs. Hayabusa/Shinzaki, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Ace/Kobashi, Kawada/Taue vs. Ace/Kobashi, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Hayabusa/Shinzaki

12/5/97 '97 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Final: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama 30:52

DVD #11 1998/1999

Finishes of 1998 league matches: Kawada/Taue vs. Headhunters, Misawa/Ogawa vs. Vader/Hansen, Johnny Ace/Bart Gunn vs. Takayama/Omori, Kobashi/Akiyama vs. Headhunters, Misawa/Ogawa vs. Ace/Gunn, Akiyama/Kobashi vs. Vader/Hansen, Takayama/Omori vs. Kamala/Albright, Kawada/Taue vs. Ace/Gunn, Kobashi/Akiyama vs. Misawa/Ogawa, Vader/Hansen vs. Ace/Gunn, Misawa/Ogawa vs. Headhunters, Kawada/Taue vs. Kobashi/Akiyama, Misawa/Ogawa vs. Omori/Takayama, Hansen/Vader vs. Headhunters, Ace/Gunn vs. Kobashi/Akiyama

12/5/98 '98 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Final: Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs. Vader & Stan Hansen 19:03

Finishes of 1999 league matches: Kobashi/Akiyama vs. Honda/Masao Inoue, Taue/Hansen vs. Albright/Hawkfield, Misawa/Ogawa vs. Smith/Vader, Misawa/Ogawa vs. Kobashi/Akiyama, Misawa/Ogawa vs. Honda/Inoue, Hansen/Taue vs. Omori/Takayama, Misawa/Ogawa vs. Omori/Takayama, Kobashi/Akiyama vs. Taue/Hansen, Albright/Hawkfield vs. Kobashi/Akiyama, Taue/Hansen vs. Vader/Smith

12/3/99 '99 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Final: Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs. Stan Hansen & Akira Taue 20:15

AJ Chogei Selection 2000 Shinshun Special ~Sekai Saikyo Tag Meishobu~ 1/8/00 Part 1
1hr 40min. Q=TV Master

12/11/77 Tokyo Kuramae Kokugikan: Dory Funk Jr. & Terry Funk vs. Abdullah The Butcher & The Sheik. Dory gave a typically strong performance, but couldn't save the match with such unskilled opposition. Butcher & Sheik bled, but that was all they could do. *1/4

12/13/81 Tokyo Kuramae Kokugikan: Dory Funk Jr. & Terry Funk vs. Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka 21:41. Dory was typically excellent here, and brought the best out of Snuka. Their stuff was quite good, with Snuka utilizing his athleticism including a swandive body press and Dory making him really work to keep his headlock. Brody was on offense most of the time he was in, though he found a way to bleed. Terry was alright, but really pales compared to Dory. He did a plancha, but he did one of his completely ridiculous oversells, a 360 degree spin after Brody kicked him. Funks worked the knee setting up the key spot where they had spinning toe holds, but Brody shot Terry to the floor and whipped him at Hansen, who took him out with the western lariat. Dory continued on his own, persistent on the knee, but Snuka was able to tag while in a subsequent spinning toe hold. Dory attacked after the bell, but Hansen beat him up then Baba & Jumbo jumped in and fought Hansen, who juiced. ****

12/13/83 Tokyo Kuramae Kokugikan: Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Stan Hansen & Bruiser Brody 17:43. Jumbo & Tenryu were good at having action oriented match with the gaijins, making up for their technical deficiencies by keeping things moving and doing a number of good well executed simple spots. Though Hansen & Brody aren't exactly limited and are capable of a deeper match, this is certainly the kind of match they can excel in, especially since their moves are so over. Even though I prefer the other style, it's nice seeing a double dropkick from Hansen and Brody every once in a while. Surprisingly Tenryu carried things for his side, allowing Jumbo to eventually make the hot tag. Once this occurred the match really picked up; great action in the final three minutes. ****

11/30/85 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan: Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu 30:00. One of those matches where it was obvious they were going long. Started slow and the pace never seemed to pick up, continuing to be technical in the boring wear the opponent down with rest holds kind of way. The crowd didn't react that much until Jumbo tagged in at 27:30 and used some finishers. It was a solid match, but what makes Choshu good is fire and intensity and for the most part that was sorely lacking here. ***

AJ Chogei Selection 2000 Shinshun Special ~Sekai Saikyo Tag Meishobu~ 1/8/00 Part 2
1hr 15min. Q=TV Master

11/24/89 Hokkaido Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center: Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen vs. Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura. Well thought out match that told a good story. If Baba & Rusher weren't so disgraceful on offense it might have been a great match, but man their offense is just terrible! As Baba was about to enter the ring Tenryu caught him with a tope, causing the match to begin without ring announcements. Tenryu & Hansen were nasty, and the match was quality as long as they stayed on offense. They beat Rusher up for 8 minutes while Baba was selling on the floor, causing him to juice a gusher. Baba eventually came in and cleaned house, but he has about 2 minutes worth of stamina and Rusher was still on the floor recovering. Soon the tide turned when Hansen chaired Baba in the stomach. ***

12/9/95 Tokyo Nippon Budokan, '95 Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei League Yushoketteisen: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue 27:00. Overshadowed because they had so many great matches in such a short period of time. This may have been the worst, and a half dozen in one year is too much, but these are the two greatest teams ever and 1995 was a peak year for all. Everything that made the other matches great except for crowd heat was present here, the big difference to me is the best stuff came early. Kawada stalled the start to incite Kobashi then when Kobashi finally got him in a headlock Kawada exploded with a backdrop driver, high kick to Misawa, and jumping high kick. Taue worked on Misawa while Kawada and Kobashi were legal, with Kawada assisting every time Kobashi was down. This led to the dynamic duo taking Misawa out with an elevated nodowa otoshi on the floor at 5:00. Kobashi's left arm was injured when Taue pulled him off the apron into the security rail, and they worked it over for several minutes while Misawa was out of it on the floor. When Misawa would make it back to the apron they would knock him off, which elicited some boos. Eventually Misawa got back in the match when Kobashi blocked Kawada's udehishigigyakujujigatame so Taue came in and broke his clasp, turning it into a double. Misawa did enough damage that Kobashi was able to make the hot tag at 13. The first half was tremendous, but they either used up their story points too early or didn't capitalize on them quite enough during the second half. The final half contained most of their top moves, but the fans didn't react as they should. For instance, at one point Kawada turns Kobashi's lariat into an udehishigigyakujujigatame and even though they'd worked over Kobashi's arm for all that time, the fans didn't buy it. It would have helped if Kobashi didn't rope escape so quickly, but Kawada didn't even get too negative a reaction for refusing to release. The tide turned when Misawa blocked Kawada's powerbomb on the floor and took him out with a Tigerdriver. Taue was getting the better of Kobashi in the ring, but finally Misawa's team was able to do some double teaming. *spoilers* Given they were beaten on almost the entire match, it was not very credible that they were able to put Taue away within two minutes. ****1/2

12/5/98 Tokyo Nippon Budokan, '98 Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei League Yushoketteisen: Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs. Vader & Stan Hansen 18:58. They delivered all you could ask for. Vader gives an excellent performance carrying his team and Hansen doesn't screw it up. Obviously the problem with the match, with any match involving a monster team, is it's completely one-sided. Vader & Hansen really don't take any legitimate bumps, but you knew that coming in. The crowd was going nuts anytime Kobashi & Akiyama did anything, which granted wasn't too often but shows the monster gimmick worked. In particular, they were exploding when Vader's knee was injured. The '95 final was way better in every other regard, but this at least felt like a tag final due to the fans. Kobashi & Akiyama gave regular performances, both very good but I would not say either were that impressive. The gaijins stepped it up a lot more than the natives, though obviously they were still the weak link, Vader is the only one that really impressed me in all he did to carry his team. One wicked spot where Akiyama tries to use his northern lights suplex on Vader, but Vader uses his weight to drive Akiyama straight down into the canvas nose first with Vader coming down on top. Finish was improbably but basically all they could do given the result and the limitations of those involved. ***1/2


AJW Athena #3
& AJ TV 3/10/96
-1hr 50min. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen/1st Gen

Highlights of the undercard matches of the 8/23/98 Kawasaki Shi Taiikukan show

    THE BEST OF HEEL WRESTLERS (in theory this is the top 10 female heels)

10. Jumbo Miyamoto

9. Monster Ripper

8. Black Pair (definitely too low, Ikeshita was great back in the day)

7. Eagle Sawai (What a joke!)

6. ZAP (They've accomplished exactly nothing)

5. Dump Matsumoto (should be #1 by a wide margin. Not much of a wrestler, but as a heel, no one could match her aura or get that kind of heel heat)

4. Las Cachoras Orientales (Shimoda & Mita version. I think this is far more respect than Shimoda ever got when she was in their league)

3. Devil Masami (for her days in AJW, which is what they are predominantly basing this on, I can see this, but Super Heel is a DUD like the wrestler she stole the gimmick from)

2. Aja Kong

1. Bull Nakano (Far better than Dump as a worker, as are the others ahead of Dump for that matter, but that shouldn't be the point of a heel list)

FILE A-Women's debuts. 8/16 Junko Yagi (LLPW) & Yuka Nakamura (Neo). 9/15 Mika Harigai (AJW)

LOOKING FOR THE ATHENA-Pirates at AJW training camp. They got "preferential treatment" there.

    9/15/98 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Mika Harigai vs. Miyuki Fujii. Highlights of Harigai's debut. Unfortunately she "ran away" from the league before I even saw her wrestle.

Emi Motokawa (IWA) vs. Sachie Nishibori (IWA). Highlights

Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi vs. Miho Wakizawa & Noriko Toyoda. Match was alright, but nothing special. Momoe was not surprisingly the best. Takahashi seems to have improved. Wakizawa was just kind of there and Toyoda was thankfully hidden by the editing. *1/2

STOP THE ZAP: Yumiko Hotta & Manami Toyota & Kumiko Maekawa vs. ZAP I & ZAP T & Takako Inoue. Hotta was mad at Takako for teaming with the evil ZAPs so she beat her up before the match. Hotta juiced early. Work was quite good, although it was too heavy on the gimmick spots. At least the rod spots were very stiff this time since Nakahara wasn't around. This match got everyone into it as Momoe & Takahashi & Wakizawa all interfered on the behalf of Hotta's team. Selling was weak but everyone looked good doing their spots, which I suppose could be said for most good women's matches this year. ***

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 3/10/96 '96 Excite Series taped 3/2 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama. This was the Kawada and Akiyama show. Kawada is the best storyteller in the history of the sport and this was his demo tape of how to elevate a kid big time in a loss. Everyone but Kobashi played their roles to perfection in this match, as Kobashi didn't seem to know how to do his thing without taking focus off point of the match, showing Jun's growth. This match builds excellently as everytime Jun clears a hurdle he always finds another one in front of him. This is far from the spot fests AJ has delivered in 1998, but the match is so much better for it because they get so much out of what they did because they knew how to play it. Akiyama winds up jobbing in the end, but that is not what this match leaves you with. It leaves you with four words, the kid has arrived. ****1/2


AJPW '96 Champion Carnival League Match Big 4 Showdown Commercial Tape 3/31/96 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan
-1hr 20min. Q=Master.
Recommended!

Champion Carnival League bout: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue

Champion Carnival League Bout: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi

League highlights

AJ TV 4/28/96 & 6/16/96
& AJ Samurai 5/9/98
-1hr 20min. Q=Ex
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 4/28 '96 Champion Carnival taped 4/20/96 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Gary Albright & Johnny Ace 19:47. The era of the excellent All Japan 6 mans was over, but for one last time some of them fired up. Kawada gave a major performance organizing the match and keeping it moving in the right direction. He had some fiery support from Akiyama, who wanted Kawada in the worst way even though Kawada kept beating him up. These two produced the best and most motivated wrestling, with Akiyama always looking for a way to get one up on the master. The rest of the match was built around Albright's suplexes, and he was actually a plus as he was spotted effectively, getting out after he delivered his crushing throws. Kobashi was his ordinary good self, but Ace was sloppy, and Misawa had a front row seat. ****

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 6/16 '96 Super Power Series taped 6/7/96 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

World Tag Titles: Steve Williams & Johnny Ace vs. Misawa & Akiyama 22:44 of 30:09. Fantastic performance by Akiyama, going all out from start to finish. The early portion isn't outstanding in any regard, but match becomes awesome in the second half when the others steup up their effort and intensity to match what Akiyama has shown throughout. Although Jun is clearly the standout peformer, Ace is, in many ways, what sets the two amazing Doc & Ace tags apart, as in this match as well as on 3/4/95 against Misawa & Kobashi he wrestles as well as he's capable of. He isn't great here, but incredibly reliable with everything at least looking good, which puts him at least 10 notches above Williams. Williams & Ace keep ganging up on the natives, with the match being built around someone getting taken out by a huge power move, leaving their partner to go alone. Williams is the star in the sense that he's the one who is throwing the killer moves, but he's basically Gary Albright here, a graceless lug who can't control his body or really do anything particularly well beyond using his size and strength for a few major power moves. I know that Williams is going to stand around, but he hurts the early portion with the inconsistency of his offense, particularly by having no impact on the majority of his punches and lariats. Misawa wrestles at a very high level, but pretty much does what's necessary. He comes in when Akiyama is in trouble, with the key spot coming after his first hot tag when Williams saves Ace from Misawa's German suplex, back body drops Akiyama to the floor, and Dr. bombs Misawa to set up a quadruple sell that alerts the audience that everyone is on their last leg. They run with this for the highly dramatic final 10 minutes, with Williams recovering first to gain the advantage on Misawa and taking Akiyama out with his dangerous backdrop. It's not so much that there are a ton of near falls, but rather that they set everything up so someone should get pinned, except there's always something that just prevents it from happening. Misawa & Akiyama are trailing the majority of the match, which usually seems to be 2 on 1, with the duo seemingly truly doomed when Williams & Ace thrash Misawa with their sky high lariat before Akiyama recovers. Misawa escapes to the floor, but Williams lugs Akiyama's carcass back in and Ace has him beat with the Ace crusher, but taunts him instead, allowing Misawa to just save when Ace actually tries to win with his powerbomb. Williams quickly takes Misawa out with a dangerous released German suplex, and the odds just continue to mount against the champions, which garners louder and louder reactions from the crowd everytime they manage to survive, or in fact do anything positive. Finally, Akiyama gets Ace in trouble and Misawa takes Williams out with his Tigerdriver on the floor to set up Akiyama's deserved big win. 1996 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year! ****3/4

AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 5/9/98 '98 Champion Carnival taped 3/26/98 Chiba Koen Taiikukan

'98 Champion Carnival League Bout: Stan Hansen vs. Jun Izumida

'98 Champion Carnival League Bout: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jun Akiyama 18:01. It looked like it was going to be an Akiyama style action packed match when it got off to a fast start with an exploder right off the bat, but Kawada set the tone that everything was going to be sold. Kawada wasn't at his fiercest or most electric, but he was thinking, crafting a very solid match where Akiyama was forced to show some restraint and take the selling seriously. Midway through, Akiyama finally caught a kick and turned it into a Dragon screw, injuring Kawada's knee. Akiyama went right after it, setting up a key spot toward the finish where Kawada had a chance to put Akiyama away with his jumping high kick, but the injury prevented him from even getting off the deck. Some of the intensity and atmosphere was lacking, but it's definitely proof these two could have had an awesome match if they met on a big show. ***3/4

AJ '96 Super Power Series Sapporo Double Title Match Commercial Tape 5/23/96 & 5/24/96 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center
-1hr 25min. Q=Near Perfect

World Tag Title Match: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama

Triple Crown Heavweight Title Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue

Triple Crown Championship Next Challenger Decision Match: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi

AJ TV 7/7/96 taped 6/29 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& AJ TV 7/14 & 7/21/96 taped 7/9 Kanazawa
& 8/4/96 taped 7/24 Tokyo Budokan Hall
-2hr. Q=VG-Ex

Kawada & Kikuchi vs. Albright & Van Dam, Misawa & Akiyama vs. Kawada & Taue ****1/2, Kobashi vs. Taue-Kobashi wins Triple Crown ****1/2, more!

NJ TV 4/27/96 & AJ TV 4/21/96 & NJ TV 7/27/96 & AJ TV 7/14/96
-2hr 40min. Q=Ex

    NJ World Pro Wrestling 4/27/96 SPRING SPECIAL '96 taped 4/5 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Keiji Muto & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Jushin Thunder Liger & Gran Hamada & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani & TAKA Michinoku (Michinoku Pro). ****1/4

Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Osamu Nishimura & Satoshi Kojima

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 4/21/96 '96 Champion Carnival taped 4/20 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

'96 Champion Carnival Final: Akira Taue vs. Steve Williams. Excellent

    NJ World Pro Wrestling 7/27/96 '96 SUMMER STRUGGLE WCW WORLD in SAPPORO taped 7/16 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

WCW World Heavyweight Title: The Giant vs. Kensuke Sasaki

Keiji Muto & Sting vs. Hawk Warrior & Animal Warrior

Tatsumi Fujinami & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Riki Choshu & Shinya Hashimoto

IWGP Tag Titles: Kazuo Yamazaki & Takashi Iizuka vs. Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 7/14/96 '96 Summer Action Series taped 7/9 Ishikawa-ken Kanazawa

World Tag Titles: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada. Misawa & Akiyama win titles in a great match.

AJPW '96 Summer Action Series Commercial Tape
-1hr 5min. Q=Near Perfect

7/9/96 Ishikawa-ken Sangyo Tenjikan, World Tag Title Match: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue

6/29/96 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Kenta Kobashi & Brian Dayette

AJ TV 8/4/96 taped 7/24 Tokyo Budokan Hall
& Champ Forum Shootboxing taped 7/7/96 Tokyo Bay NK Hall
-1 ½hr. Q=VG/Gd

Kawada vs. Albright, Kimo vs. Sakuraba, more!

AJPW '96 Summer Action Series Final Commercial Tape 7/24/96 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-1hr 15min. Q=Near Perfect

Triple Crown Heavyweight Title Match: Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi

Gary Albright vs. Toshiaki Kawada

World Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Masa Fuchi vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

AJPW '96 Summer Action Series II 1996 Korakuen Summer Important Victory Commercial Tape 8/17/96 & 8/18/96 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr 20min. Q=Near Perfect. 1 DVD

8/17/96

Prelim digest

Mitsuharu Misawa & Satoru Asako vs. Masa Fuchi & Danny Kroffat

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Stan Hansen & The Patriot

Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace & Giant Kimala

8/18/96

Prelim digest

Asia Tag Title Match: Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori vs. Masa Fuchi & Danny Kroffat

Kenta Kobashi vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Stan Hansen & The Patriot & Gary Albright vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Giant Baba & Mitsuharu Misawa & Satoru Asako

AJ TV 9/1/96 taped 8/22 Tokuyama
& AJ TV 9/8, 9/15, & part of 9/22/96 (end off show is cut off) taped 9/5 Tokyo Budokan
-1hr 40 min. Q=Ex

Kobashi & Patriot vs. Kroffat & Hansen, Misawa & Akiyama vs. Ace & Williams-Ace & Williams win Double Tag Titles 4 1/4, Kobashi vs. Hansen, more!

AJ '96 Giant Series Giant Baba Debut 36 Shunen Kinen Jiai (36th anniversary memorial match) Commercial Tape 9/29/96 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=Master

Kentaro Shiga vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen

Yoshinari Ogawa & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Dory Funk, Jr. & Satoru Asako

Giant Kimala & Jun Izumida vs. Patriot & Rob Van Dam

Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori & Masao Inoue vs. Stan Hansen & Bobby Duncum, Jr. & Danny Kroffat

Steve Williams & Johnny Ace vs. Gary Albright & Maunakea Mossman

Giant Baba Debut 36th Anniversary: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Giant Baba


All Japan on Samurai! Fighting TV taped 10/18/96 Tokyo Nippon Budokan & 11/16 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr. Q=Gd

Kobashi vs. Kawada-60:00 draw ****3/4, Kikuchi & Ogawa vs. Mossman & Shiga


NJ TV 11/18/96 & 11/25/96 & AJ TV 11/19/96 & 11/26/96
& Universal Handheld 1990
-4 1/2hr. Q=Gd-VG

Asako & Akiyama & Masao Inoue vs. Ogawa & Izumida & Kikuchi, Nakano & Bison Kimura vs. Takahashi & Xochilt Hamada, Asai & Super Astro & Kendo vs. Shu El Guerrero & Negro Casas & Espanto Jr, Sasaki vs. Sting-Sasaki wins US Title, Can Am vs. Hansen & Albright, Kobashi & Misawa vs. Van Dam & Johnny Smith, Kawada & Taue vs. Ace & Patriot, Lizmark & Hamada vs. Aguayo & Feliciano, more!


WAR Battle Winter on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 3/2/97 taped 2/8 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 1/10/97 '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League Series
taped 11/29/96 Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center
& AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 1/24/97 '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League Series
taped 11/16/96 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 1/31/97 '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League Series
taped 11/30/96 Sendai & 11/28/96 Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center
& AJ TV '96 awards show
-6hr. Q=Gd

 

NJ TV 7/25/98 & 8/1/98 & AJ TV 11/24/96
-2hr. Q=Ex

    World Pro Wrestling 7/25 SUMMER STRUGGLE '98 taped 7/14 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Keiji Muto & NWO Sting. This was Muto's first back match from knee surgery. Even though he clearly wasn't in top form, he tried to carry his team because Sting sucks. Unfortunately, Muto wasn't able to carry this. The match had no heat and no one looked very good. *

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani. The same goodness as always. Heat was a lot better than the Muto match. Unfortunately, only 1/3 aired. ***1/2 range.

Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Tadao Yasuda. Tenryu & Hashimoto blasted each other back and forth with stiff chops to set up the style of their G1 match. This wasn't as stiff as AJ, but Tenryu's chest was welted up from the accumulation of the blows. When Koshinaka came in, Hashimoto blew him away with kicks. Tenryu seemed to burn out in the midst as he began working really slow, and he barely has any athleticism left to begin with. ***

IWGP World Title: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Match was 20 years out of date. Of course, everyone recognizes this when it comes to Fujinami, but some of the same people still praise Flair even though he's just as dated. Anyway, this match didn't work on any level. It was boring as hell with no heat, and mainly a bunch of rest hold submissions, kicks, and punches. A joke of a Japanese world title match. *

    World Pro Wrestling 8/1 SUMMER STRUGGLE '98 taped 7/15 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto. The expected excellence with Liger doing all the thinking and dragging Koji along as best he could. Unfortunately, Koji has a mind of his own that he puts to poor use. He chose not to follow Liger's lead with the selling, especially when it came to selling when he was on offense, and pacing at times, which hurt the match. Still, Koji is such a great worker that it was one of the best matches of the year even with those problems. When healthy, Liger has been the best junior in the world for the entire decade, and he probably isn't capable of a better performance at this point. He isn't going to fly like Aguila, but who cares? He was perfect in the mental aspects and both of these guys rarely miss a spot. Liger's story was so strong, mainly focusing on Koji taking his knee out, that he had a great stand alone piece in the 11:42 of 28:27 that aired, so imagine how good this was unedited. I believe this was the only Jr. match nominated for match of the year in the 1998 Puroresu Awards (Kobashi vs. Misawa 10/31 won). ****3/4

Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Don Frye & Brian Johnston. A bad and boring nothing match with the main focus being Frye simply refusing to square off with Sasaki. Frye and Sasaki had a pull apart after the match to build heat for thier singles match. 1/2*

IWGP Tag Titles: Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka. A good match entirely because of Chono & Koshinaka. Tenryu was old and slow here. He still wasn't bad, but definitely a big step down from Shiro. Hot crowd. ***1/4

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 11/24/96 '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League taped 11/22 Okayama Budokan

*all tag league matches*

Stan Hansen & Takao Omori vs. Gary Albright & Sabu. Bad and boring match. Hansen brought a table into play, but Omori got mad and threw it. Sabu blew the finish, so he had to redo it. 1/2*

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace. A very good match, but only 1/4 aired because they wasted their time with Sabu.

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Kenta Kobashi & Patriot. A great match that was far better when Kobashi was in. Hot crowd. Misawa was great with Kobashi and Jun did a good job of carrying Patriot. Too bad only 1/3 aired. ****1/2 range.


AJ TV 12/1/96 taped 11/29 Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center
& AJ TV 12/8 & 12/15/96 taped 12/6 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
& AJ TV Awards Show
& AJ TV 1/5 & 1/12/97 taped 1/2 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& AJ TV 1/19 & 1/26/97 taped 1/17 Matsumoto
-4 1/2hr. Q=Ex

Kobashi & Patriot vs. Sabu & Albright, Misawa & Akiyama vs. Kawada & Taue-4 1/2, Misawa & Akiyama vs. Kawada & Taue-Kawada & Taue win World's Strongest Tag League *****, Hase vs. Shiga, Misawa & Akiyama & Asako vs. Kobashi & Mossman & Lacrosse, Ace & Williams vs. Kawada & Taue-Kawada & Taue win Double Tag Titles, more!


All Japan '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League Final Commercial Tape 12/6/96 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-40min. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

World's Strongest Tag Team League Final: Misawa & Akiyama vs. Kawada & Taue. The BEST MATCH of 1996 (or 1997 if you use those bizarre voting periods). Tremendous storyline. PROBABLY THE TWO BEST MEN'S TAG MATCH OF ALL-TIME! Read Review.  *****


AJPW '97 Shinshun (New Year's) Giant Series Commercial Tape
-1hr 45min. Q=Master
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

1/17/97 Matsumoto-shi Sogo Taiikukan, World Tag Title Match: Steve Williams & Johnny Ace vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue. Kawada & Taue win double tag titles

1/20/97 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan, Triple Crown Heavyweight Title Match: Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa. Best Misawa/Kobashi match. Misawa wins Triple Crown *****

1/2/97 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Hiroshi Hase vs. Kentaro Shiga. Hase's AJPW debut.

1/20/97: Jun Akiyama vs. Akira Taue. Akiyama's first singles win over Taue


AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 2/7/97, 2/21, 2/14, 2/28, & 3/7/97
-4hr 45min. Q=VG

    2/7/97 '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League

*all league bouts*

Stan Hansen & Takao Omori vs. Giant Kimala & Jun Izumida

Kenta Kobashi & Patriot vs. Gary Albright & Sabu

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue

    2/21/97 '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League

Yoshinari Ogawa & Maunakea Mossman vs. Giant Kimala & Sabu

Stan Hansen & Jumbo Tsuruta & Takao Omori vs. Jun Izumida & Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue

Kenta Kobashi & Patriot & Gary Albright vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith

    2/14/97 '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League taped 12/6 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

'96 World's Strongest Tag Team League Final: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue. *****

    2/28/97 '97 New Year's Giant Series

Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta & Rusher Kimura vs. Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen & Mighty Inoue

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako vs. Kenta Kobashi & Lacrosse & Maunakea Mossman

Battle Royal

    3/7/97 '97 New Year's Giant Series

Hiroshi Hase vs. Kentaro Shiga

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Stan Hansen & Takao Omori vs. Gary Albright & Tamon Honda

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace & Bobby Duncum Jr.


AJ TV 3/2, 3/9, & 3/16/97 taped 3/1 Tokyo Budokan Hall
& AJ TV 3/23 taped 3/22 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr. Q=1st Gen

Misawa vs. Williams, Kobashi & Kanemaru vs. Akiyama & Shiga, more!


AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 3/14/97, 3/21/97, 8/22/97, 8/29/97, 9/19/97, & 9/26/97
-6hr. Q=VG

    3/14/97 '97 New Year's Giant Series taped 1/17 Matsumoto

Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Masao Inoue

Satoru Asako & Kentaro Shiga vs. Rob Van Dam & Sabu

Gary Albright & Maunakea Mossman vs. The Lacrosse & Jun Izumida

Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama & The Eagle vs. Stan Hansen & Takao Omori & Bobby Duncum Jr.

    3/21/97 '97 New Year's Giant Series taped 1/17 Matsumoto

Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momoto vs. Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen & Mighty Inoue

Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Tamon Honda

World Tag Titles: Johnny Ace & Steve Williams vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue. Kawada & Taue win titles

    8/22/97 '97 Summer Action Series taped 6/29 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Masao Inoue vs. Kentaro Shiga

Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Giant Kimala & Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Akira Taue & Tamon Honda

    8/29/97 '97 Summer Action Series taped 7/5 Nanao

Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Giant Kimala & Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen

Mitsuharu Misawa & Satoru Asako vs. Jun Akiyama & Tamon Honda

Steve Williams & Gary Albright & The Lacrosse vs. Stan Hansen & Takao Omori & Johnny Smith

    AJ 9/19/97 '97 Summer Action Series taped 7/5 Nanao

Masao Inoue vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kentaro Shiga vs. Hiroshi Hase & Daisuke Ikeda

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace & Maunakea Mossman

    AJ 9/26/97 taped '97 Summer Action Series 7/25 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Toshiaki Kawada & Tamon Honda vs. The Lacrosse & Yoshihiro Takayama

World Tag Titles: Kenta Kobashi & Johhny Ace vs. Steve Williams & Gary Albright

& AJ TV 3/23/97 taped 3/22 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-hr. Q=1st Gen

list


AJ on Samurai TV 3/28/97, 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 5/2, & 5/9/97
-6hr. Q=Gd-VG

    AJ on Samurai TV 3/28/97 taped 1/20 Osaka Furitsu Gym

Kikuchi & Ogawa vs. Izumida & Kanemaru

Gary Albright & Mossman vs. Duncum Jr. & LaCrosse

Sabu & Rob Van Dam vs. Stan Hansen & Takao Omori. This was decent and the crowd was popping for all Sabu & Van Dam's gimmick spots and double teaming

    AJ on Samurai TV 4/4/97 taped 1/20/97 Osaka Furitsu Gym

Jun Akiyama vs. Taue. Jun's first win over a big 4 member comes with exploder in mere 4:48

Triple Crown: Kobashi vs. Misawa ***** classic. Best singles match of 1997.

    AJ on Samurai TV 4/11/97 taped 2/16 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Shiga vs. Shawn Morgan

Baba & Rusher Kimura & Momota vs. Mightly Inoue & Eigen & Fuchi. 30:00 draw that's beyond painfull to watch.

Kobashi & Masao Inoue vs. Kawada & Kikuchi

    AJ on Samurai TV 4/18/97 taped 2/16 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Ogawa vs. Rex King. A big step down from their last singles meeting

Taue & Kimala II & Izumida vs. Hansen & Honda & Omori

Misawa & Akiyama & Asako vs. Williams & Ace & Mossman. Pretty good match, but these guys are capable of a lot better

    AJ on Samurai TV 5/2/97

Kikuchi & Ogawa vs. Asako & Masao Inoue. Asako was the best by far here and Inoue actually looked pretty good, so this was a pretty good match.

Ace & Mossman vs. Hansen & King

Kobashi & Kanemaru vs. Akiyama & Shiga. Good match with a hot crowd. Interesting to see Kobashi & Akiyama working with the much smaller wrestlers.

Kawada & Taue vs. Albright & Takayama. This was actually a good short match. Really heated. Takayama was really terrible, as usual, and he worked too long.

    AJ on Samurai TV 5/9/97 taped 3/1 Tokyo Nipon Budokan Hall

Mighty Inoue & Eigen vs. Momota & Kimura

Baba & Fuchi & Omori vs. Honda & Kimala II & Izumida

Triple Crown: Misawa vs. Williams. Misawa tried his best, but the drugged out Williams was awful, immobile, and unable to react and/or respond to Misawa. Thus, he took the match down to slightly above average, or in other words horrible for a Misawa TC match. No sequences, storyline, or interesting work.

AJPW '97 Excite Series Final Commercial Tape 3/1/97 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-1 1/2hr. Q=Master

World Tag Title Match: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Gary Albright & Yoshihiro Takayama

Triple Crown Heavyweight Title Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Steve Williams

Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga vs. Kenta Kobashi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

AJPW Hayabusa Phoenix Legend DVD Box
-5hr 45min. Q=Perfect. 4 DVDs

4/2/97 Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium: Maunakea Mossman & Kentaro Shiga vs. Hayabusa & The Tornado

4/19/97 Nippon Budokan: Yoshinari Ogawa & Kentaro Shiga vs. Hayabusa & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

6/6/97 Nippon Budokan: Jun Akiyama & Hayabusa vs. Takao Omori & Kentaro Shiga

9/6/97 Nippon Budokan: Kenta Kobashi & Kentaro Shiga vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki

10/11/97 Fukuoka Kokusai Center: Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga vs. Hayabusa & Maunakea Mossman

11/15/97 Korakuen Hall, 97 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Giant Kimara & Jun Izumida vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki

11/23/97 Miyagi Prefecture Sports Center, 97 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki

11/27/97 Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center, 97 World's Strongest Tag Decision League Match: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki

5/1/98 Tokyo Dome: Giant Baba & Hayabusa & Kentaro Shiga vs. Giant Kimala & Jinsei Shinzaki & Jun Izumida

1/16/99 Korakuen Hall, Asia Tag Title Match: Tamon Honda & Jun Izumida vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki

2/13/99 Tokyo Korakuen Hall, Asia Tag Title Match: Tamon Honda & Jun Izumida vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki. Digest

5/2/99 Tokyo Dome: Yoshinari Ogawa & Maunakea Mossman & Masahito Kakihara vs. Hayabusa & The Great Sasuke & Tiger Mask

6/4/99 Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center, Asia Tag Title Match: Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki vs. Takao Omori and Yoshihiro Takayama

AJ TV 4/6/97 taped 3/30 Nagayo Aichi-ken Taiikukan
& AJ TV 4/13/97 taped 4/2 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-1hr. Q=Ex

Hayabusa & Tornado vs. Mossman & Shiga,

Champion Carnival League Match: Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama 10:19 of 20:13. 1997 wasn't exactly an exciting time for young wrestlers rising the ranks in AJPW, but you were really beginning to feel that Akiyama was ready to take the next step and start posting singles matches in the ballpark of his great tag matches. Akiyama came in with a mere 2 points to Kobashi's 10, but had the fans smelling upset nonetheless. What aired was basically a lengthy finishing segment, on par with the final portion of their 4/11/98 Carnival match, except the crowd was going nuts for every move in this one. They pretty much stuck to their strength, and just exchanged hot moves. The efforts were great and the work was top notch. ****1/4 range


AJ '97 Champion Carnival Special Highlight Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Triangular Carny Final match 1: Misawa vs. Kobashi-30:00 draw ****1/4

Triangular Carny Final match 2: Misawa vs. Kawada-Kawada's 1st singles pin on Misawa but the match is onesided and extremely disappointing

Triangular Carny Final match 3: Kawada vs. Kobashi-Kawada wins Champion Carnival '97 ****1/2

Hayabusa & Kanemaru vs. Ogawa & Shiga


AJ TV 4/27 & 5/4 & 5/11//97 taped 4/19 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
& AJ TV 5/18/97 taped 5/18 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& AJW TV 5/25/97 taped 5/11 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan
& NJ TV 5/24 taped 5/3 Osaka Dome
-4hr 15min. Q=1st Gen

Kobashi vs. Kawada-Kawada wins Champion Carnival ****1/2, Ogawa & Shiga vs. Hayabusa & Kanemaru, Williams & LaCrosse vs. Misawa & Akiyama, Jungle Jack vs. Takako & Hotta, Toyota & Yamada vs. Watanabe & Maekawa, Kyoko vs. Ito-60:00 draw ****1/4, Kanemoto & Otani & Togo & Teoh & Hanzo vs Sasuke & Delfin & Samurai & Honaga & Hamada ****, more!


AJ TV 5/25/97 taped 5/18 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& AJ TV 6/1/97 taped 5/27 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center
& AJ TV 6/8 & 6/15/97 taped 6/6 Tokyo Budokan Hall
& NJ TV 6/7 taped 5/25 Tattori
& NJ TV 6/21/97 taped 6/5 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-4hr. Q=1st Gen

Shiga & Ogawa vs. Sabu & Van Dam, Kobashi & Ace vs. Kawada & Taue-Kobashi & Ace win world tag titles ****1/4, Misawa vs. Kawada *****, Samurai vs. Jericho, Kanemoto vs. Naniwa ****1/4, Muto vs. Hashimoto

All Japan '97 Super Power Series Commercial Tape
-1hr 50min. Q=Master
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Triple Crown: Misawa vs. Kawada 6/6/97 Tokyo Budokan Hall *****

World Tag Team Titles: Kawada & Taue vs. Kobashi & Ace 5/27 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center-Kobashi & Ace win Double tag titles ****1/4

Ikeda & Kanemaru vs. Asako & Slinger 6/6 Budokan


AJ on Samurai TV 7/11/97 & 7/25/97
-2hr. Q=Gd

    7/11/97 '97Super Power Series taped 5/31 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Daisuke Ikeda vs. Satoru Asako & Yoshinobu Kanemaru. **3/4

Rob Van Dam vs. Sabu. ***

Toshiaki Kawada vs. The Patriot. **3/4

Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Kentaro Shiga vs. Steve Williams & The Lacrosse & Richard Slinger. ***

    7/25/97 '97 Super Power Series taped 6/6 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Yoshinari Ogawa & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Rob Van Dam & Sabu. **

Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen & Masao Inoue. -*3/4

Akira Taue & Tamon Honda vs. Giant Kimala & Bobby Duncum Jr. *1/4

Steve Williams & Gary Albright & The Lacrosse vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace & The Patriot. *1/2


AJ TV 7/6/97 '97 Summer Action Series taped 6/29 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& AJ TV 7/13/97 & 7/20/97 '97 Summer Action Series taped 7/5 Nanao
& AJ TV 7/27/97 '97 Summer Action Series taped 7/25 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
& AJW TV 8/10/97 taped 8/9 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& NJ TV 8/9/97 Bash at the Beach Special taped 7/13 Daytona Beach Ocean Center & 7/14 Orlando
& NJ TV 8/16/97 The Four Heaven In Nagoya Dome taped 8/10 Nagoya Dome
-5hr 35min. Q=1st Gen


    AJ TV 7/6/97

Kawada & Omori vs. Hansen & Smith. Slow paced and boring with few sequences and no interesting spots. *

Kobashi & Ace & Mossman vs. Williams & Albright & Lacrosse. Good heated sprint. Kobashi does a great job here, especially in carrying Gary. ***

    AJ TV 7/13/97

Hase & Ikeda vs. Kikuchi & Shiga. Match was decent, but it looks better on paper than it really was. Slow paced with no heat. **

Kawada & Taue & Ogawa vs. Kobashi & Ace & Mossman. Solid and stiff work, but nothing out of the ordinary. **3/4

    AJ TV 7/20/97

Misawa & Asako vs. Akiyama & Honda. Honda was really out of his league. No heat and it seemed like the workers were going through the motions. **1/4

Hansen & Smith & Omori vs. Williams & Albright & Lacrosse. Smith was the only good thing about ths match. *3/4

    AJ TV 7/27/97

Triple Crown: Misawa vs. Taue. *Reviewed in Quebrada #26* Great 20 minute sprint. Strong heat and great work. Misawa does the counter of the year, backflipping in midair to escape Taue's dreaded nodowa otoshi off the apron! ****1/2

    AJW TV 8/10/97

7/13/97 Korakuen Hall: Toyota vs. Yamada. Highlights of Yamada's last bout as a member of AJW.

ASARI vs. Shiina. ASARI's first match back after reinjuring her broken hip. Started out slow, but turned into a good match. **3/4

Japan Grand Prix '97 League Bout: Watanabe vs. Maekawa. Much better than I expected, as this is the first time I'm impressed by Maekawa. Watanabe does a good job of carrying Maekawa and Maekawa doesn't screw up her spots today. ***1/4

Japan Grand Prix '97 League Bout: Toyota vs. Ito. This was a great match that may have been the best women's match of 1997. Fast-paced with lots of creative spots. Tons of high spots and near falls. ****1/2

Las Cachorras Orientales (Shimoda & Mita) vs. Aja & Kyoko. Tremendous brawl. Maybe the best garbage style match I have ever seen because there was really good wrestling to go along with all the gimmick spots and there wasn't all the typical flaws of garbage matches. It's incredible that Shimoda & Mita could be this good at this style so soon after they turned heel. ****1/2

    NJ TV 8/10/97

7/13: Muta & Chono vs. Steiner Brothers. About a very good match worth of stars below what these guys did in the early 1990's together with Hase in Chono's place. *

7/13: Giant & Luger vs. Hogan & Rodman. Yawn.

7/14: Muta & Chono vs. Public Enemy. Faster paced than the Steiners match, but just as bad. *

    NJ TV 8/16/97

Fujinami vs. Choshu. Nostalgia match that didn't bring back any good memories. Dull match that lacked action and, not surprisingly, broke no new ground. *

Muta vs. Ogawa. Pointless booking and a bad and boring match. 1/2*

IWGP Title: Hashimoto vs. Tenzan. Really stiff, but slow-paced and not that exciting. It lacked heat because no one would give a healthy Tenzan a chance of winning the title, much less an injured one. **3/4

AJ '97 Summer Action Series Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master

7/25 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Sekai Tag Senshukenjiai: Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace vs. Steve Williams & Gary Albright

Sankan Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue. Great 20 minute sprint. Strong heat and great work. Misawa does the counter of the year, backflipping in midair to escape Taue's dreaded nodowa otoshi off the apron! ****1/2

Full match list coming soon

AJ on FIGHTING TV Samurai 8/8/97 & 8/15/97
-2hr.  Q=VG

    8/8/97 '97 Super Power Series taped 6/6 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Takao Omori & Kentaro Shiga vs. Jun Akiyama & Hayabusa. ***

Triple Crown: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada. *****

    8/15/97 '97 Summer Action Series taped 6/29 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Satoru Asako. ***

Daisuke Ikeda & Takeshi Ono (Battlarts) vs. Yoshinari Ogawa & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. ***

Toshiaki Kawada & Takao Omori vs. Stan Hansen & Johnny Smith. *1/2

Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace & Maunakea Mossman vs. Steve Williams & Gary Albright & The Lacrosse. **3/4


All Japan '97 Summer Action Series 2
Commercial Tape 8/26 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center & 9/6 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-2hr. Q=Ex

9/6 Triple Crown: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama. Great work, but there was no heat. Jun challenged Misawa with his moves, but he lacked intensity. I wasn't thrilled with the booking because there was never anything that made you think Jun could win the title, but, on the other hand, Jun isn't Misawa's peer so just competing with him and pushing him is a step forward. This was Jun's first shot at the Triple Crown and it was a damn good match that showed their potential for a classic together. ****.

8/26 Double Tag Team Titles: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Steve Williams & Gary Albright. A short sprint with a bunch of high spots. It was exciting, but lacked just about everything that AJ usually delivers. Doc & Gary took the tag titles when Gary Dragon suplexed Misawa in a mere 8:42. ***1/4

8/26: Hiroshi Hase vs. Kenta Kobashi-This match needs to be seen in unedited form to truly appreciate it. Traditional bout that was a cross between mid 1980's NJ juniors (UWF era) and vintage Ric Flair. The best technical bout in AJ since 1/20 Misawa/Kobashi. Hase still has it in him as he carried Kobashi here. The match was really long for him to be working, and the pace was slow, but the way the match was laid out the length was a plus, IMO. This match wasn't about high spots at all, but it was a great example of how to utilize the key spots to maximize their importance. This match did what few matches seem to do these days, it unfolded. You had the simple storyline of Hase working Kenta's bad leg/knee, but you also saw them work up to the big spots so the match would peak with that spot, but then it wouldn't be the finish and they'd move to working toward another finisher. What this match was about was two men combining skill, technique, and stiffness to try to beat each other, but not having much luck because they were equals. By going this long in this close a match, the winner and the loser were elevated, so even though the length was kind of a stupid idea on the surface, it worked. The build was excellent and the psychology was as good as you'll get from these two. The match didn't have the aura of a dream match, but the crowd reacted to every key spot. ****1/4

9/6: Hayabusa & Shinzaki vs. Kobashi & Kentaro Shiga-This was much more of a match than I expected with Hayabusa & Shinzaki actually trying to work something solid. The problem was that they really don't know how to work the body of the match, so their non high spot offense basically consists of rest holds. Kobashi was mainly kicking ass, having a ball pulverizing Hayabusa with chops. Shiga was disappointing here. ***1/4

9/6: Hase vs. Tatsuo Nakano-This had heat and it was stiff. It was predominantly shoot style, but they worked in some pro spots without them looking out of place. Solid, but unspectacular.

AJ '97 Fan Appreciation Night Commercial Tape 9/15/97 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr 15min. Q=Master

25th Anniversary party 9/26/97

97 Fan Day

Charity auction

Yoshinari Ogawa & Mitsuo Momota vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Masao Inoue. Highlights

Takao Omori & Kentaro Shiga vs. Tamon Honda & Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Highlights

Maunakea Mossman vs. Satoru Asako. Good exciting match. Asako had a really strong performance her to carry this to a very good match that was most likely the best of Mossman's career up to this point. Mossman does a ton of spots as always, but his execution isn't top notch and he looks too big for his style. ***1/2

Giant Baba & Haruka Eigen & Don Arakawa vs. Rusher Kimura & Masa Fuchi & Jun Izumida. Arakawa sets new standards for awful "comedy." Unbearably awful. -***

Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada & Hiroshi Hase vs. Akira Taue & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama 60:00. Hase does a 30-rep giant swing to Taue. Jun KO's Kawada with his own suichoku rakka shiki brainbuster, and Kawada does some of the best selling of his career to put it over. Hase didn't really seem to fit in, and he was in too much with Taue. Final 10 minutes were excellent with everyone going all out, but overall it should have been a lot better and much more intense. ****


NJ TV 10/4 & 10/11/97 & AJ TV 9/28 & 10/5 & 10/12 & 10/19/97
-3hr 10min. Q=1st Gen

    World Pro Wrestling 10/4 G1 Climax Special taped 9/17 Osaka Maishima Arena

El Samurai vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa. Work was good, but neither could carry. ***1/4

Jushin Thunder Liger & Kendo Ka Shin vs. Shinjiro Otani & Koji Kanemoto. Excellent work. ****

Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki & Junji Hirata vs. Masa Chono & Buff Bagwell & NWO Sting. Sprint. **1/4

Tag Tournament Round 2: The Great Muta & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Akira Nogami. Nogami looked good. Fine technically, but no heat and rather dull. *3/4

Tag Tournament Round 2: Shinya Hashimoto & Tadao Yasuda vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima. Stiff, but kind of dull. **1/4

    World Pro Wrestling 10/11 G1 Climax Special

9/18 Tokuyama

Riki Choshu & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Nogami & Michiyoshi Ohara. Choshu was incredibly over, but the match was bad and boring. 1/4*

G1 Climax Special Tag Tournament Semifinal: Junji Hirata & Osamu Kido vs. Muta & Tenzan. 1/4*

    9/20 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan

G1 Climax Special Tag Tournament Final: Muta & Tenzan vs. Sasaki & Yamazaki. After Tenzan accidentally hit Muta, Muta blew mist in Tenzan's face and walked out on him. Chono ran in and hit Muta to tease a split. **1/2

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 9/28 '97 Giant Series taped 9/27 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Kenta Kobashi vs. Takao Omoro. Omori hung in pretty well, but they still couldn't get heat. **1/4

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Maunakea Mossman vs. Steve Williams & Gary Albright & The Lacrosse. Williams worked on Misawa's knee, which he would pick up on in their title match later in the tour. **

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 10/5 '97 Giant Series taped 9/27 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith. Average match with no heat. *1/2

Toshiaki Kawada & Masao Inoue vs. Stan Hansen & Bobby Duncum Jr. Duncum was awful and Hansen can barely move. Kawada was good, but he barely worked. *

9/15 Korakuen: Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada & Hiroshi Hase vs. Akira Taue & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama. Clip of their 60:00 draw from fan night.

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 10/12 '97 Giant Series taped 10/11 Fukuoka Kokusai Center

Triple Crown: Misawa vs. Williams. Reviewed in Quebrada #40. ***

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 10/19 '97 Giant Series taped 10/11 Fukuoka Kokusai Center

Akiyama & Shiga vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki. Good work. Everyone looked good, but no heat and pacing was too even. ***

World Tag Titles: Kobashi & Ace vs. Kawada & Taue. Closing minutes were hot, but overall it should have been better. ***


AJ 1997 TV #13 AJ Hour 10/3/97 & 10/10/97
-2hr. Q=VG

    AJ 10/3/97 '97 Summer Action Series taped 7/25/97 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Jinsei Shinzaki (Michinoku Pro) & Johnny Smith vs. Jun Akiyama & Hiroshi Hase

Triple Crown: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue

    AJ 10/10/97 '97 Summer Action Series II taped 8/22/97 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Takao Omori vs. Masao Inoue

Hiroshi Hase & Kentaro Shiga vs. Daisuke Ikeda (Battlarts) & Tatsuo Nakano (free)

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith


NJ TV 10/18/97 & AJ TV 10/19/97
-1hr 10min. Q=1st Gen

    World Pro Wrestling 10/18 G1 Climax Special taped 9/23 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Don Frye. Surprisingly good. Intense and credible enough. Fujita eventually got fed up with Frye's heel tactics and resorted to them himself. Not a great technical match, but it worked because the fans were really into it. **1/2

Naoya Ogawa vs. Brian Johnston. Johnston made his pro debut, and Ogawa can't even work himself much less carry anyone else. This went twice as long as it should have. Finish looked incredible and Frye and Ogawa had a pull apart to build to their matchup, but other than that...1/4*

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Zane Frazier. Bad wannabe RINGS match. Frazier was horrible. 1/4*

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 10/19 '97 Giant Series taped 10/11 Fukuoka Kokusai Center

Akiyama & Shiga vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki. Good work. Everyone looked good, but no heat and the pacing was too even. ***

Kobashi & Ace vs. Kawada & Taue. Closing minutes were hot, but overall it should have been better. ***

NJ TV 10/25/97 & AJ TV 10/26/97
-1hr 20min. Q=TV Master

    NJ World Pro Wrestling 10/25 nWo TYPHOON TOUR taped 10/19 Kobe World Kinen Hall

Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura & Akira Nogami vs. Hiro Saito & Tatsu Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara. Highlights. Goto & Ohara destroy HI flag after the match.

Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. NWO Sting & Michael Wallstreet & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Highlights.

Shinjiro Otani vs. Jushin Thunder Liger. Liger once again carries Otani to a great match. ****1/4

IWGP Tag Titles: Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Keiji Muto & Masa Chono. Good solid match. Not a lot of high spots, but good build and psychology. Muto & Chono win tag titles. ***1/4

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 10/26 '97 Giant Series taped 10/21 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Triple Crown: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi. Reviewed in Quebrada #40. *****


AJ '97 Giant Series Commercial Tape Volume 1
10/21 Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall & 10/11 Fukuoka Kokusai Center
-1hr 45min. Q=Master
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

10/21/97 Triple Crown Heavyweight Title Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi 32:55. This was named Match Of The Year by Tokyo Sports and by AJ. Tremendous match that was between the 2nd-4th best match of 1997! This match really shows the greatness and diversity of these two, as it had everything. All the elements that make the top AJ matches great, combined with the best high spots you'll see in a heavyweight match. Kobashi uses everything he can think of, including a dangerous released ½ nelson German suplex on the floor to debilitate Misawa's neck. Not as good as their 1/20 epic, but still a MUST SEE ***** match.

10/21/97: Stan Hansen & Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Giant Kimala & Tamon Honda & Masa Fuchi 12:57. Notable because it's a special match for the 25th Anniversary show with the legends Hansen & Baba & Tsuruta teaming up. Not as bad as the regular comedy match, but still the typical slow-motion boredom. -*1/2

10/11/97 Triple Crown Heavyweight Title Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Steve Williams. A good match, but well below the standard of the Triple Crown because Williams doesn't have it anymore and doesn't seem to care. Misawa works really hard, as always, but the match is only worth what he puts into it and what he can get out of the washed up Doc. Williams strategy is to take out Misawa's knee, but the only thing he does that can get any heat is attempt his dangerous backdrop. This needed to be shorter. ***


AJPW 25th Anniversary Commemorative '97 Giant Series Final Commercial Tape Vol. 2
10/21/97 Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall & 10/11/97 Fukuoka Kokusai Center
-1hr 45min. Q=1st Gen

10/21/97

Akira Taue vs. Johnny Ace 16:54. Big performance by Taue carrying Ace to one of his best singles matches. It wasn't going to be graceful and there wasn't even much of a story, it was just highly motivated heavyweights throwing bombs, but for the Taue Budokan action match you felt it seriously overachieved and was probably as good as one could possibly ask him to do with Ace. They fought hard from the outset, keeping a high pace for their size, and relying on cycling through the big moves to see them through. Taue hit a DDT on the floor early, and generally had Ace on the defensive throughout the body of the match, but Ace always at least managed to avoid taking the big nodowa otoshi. Ace finally came back turning the nodowa into a DDT, but they smartly made this a double knockdown spot as Ace still took impact as well. Taue did his best to avoid the Ace crusher, but eventually had to settle for escaping to the floor to buy himself enough time to avoid being pinned. Ace had his big run and the key spot saw Ace turn the nodowa otoshi into the Ace crusher, but Taue managed to survive. They kind of went home quickly after this with Taue ducking a rolling lariat and finally hitting a clean nodowa, following it with a second one when Ace's strikes couldn't hold him off, and avenging his 10/11/97 tag loss with a dynamic bomb pin. Overall, it was the right length though, and certainly it being on the shorter side allowed it to be much more exciting. ***3/4

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 18:22. Kawada did his best to relive the glory of his match two years earlier with new shooter Gary Albright, who was in fellow UWF-I alumni Takayama's corner. Although Takayama isn't as over or as effective as Gary, the match showed some serious progress in believability, and was probably the most realistic match All Japan had ever presented. Kawada did his best to stay within the shoot realm and make sure Takayama was always in his comfort zone. It was a very thoughtful performance where Kawada was getting trounced because he quite simply lacked answers. Takayama would control the center of the ring and use his long legs to rock Kawada with a kick. Either Kawada was knocked to the floor and forced to lick his wounds, fell to the canvas allowing Takayama to try to finish with an armbar, or stayed up and Takayama got inside and nailed him with knee lifts or shotei's before Kawada could do anything. Kawada kept looking for a takedown, but just couldn't find any opportunity to get inside Takayama's kicks. The match was really in how Kawada played it. It had such a different feel because he couldn't just be bold and blindly rush in. He wasn't scared, but he was forced to be tentative, to try to stay outside and find his opening, but it just wasn't coming, and he was as perplexed as patient. The match was a bit repetitive, but shoots can be that way, especially when the story is that one man has a clear advantage the other can't simply avoid. Kawada finally caught Takayama's kick, but Takayama easily avoided his pro style lariat. Next time Kawada tripped Takayama up, but Takayama was up before Kawada could get on top of him. The match was super effective and believable up to this point. It wasn't as credible during Kawada's flurry of offense to win the match, though they didn't do anything out of UWF-I bounds, it's just that the real problem was they had to find a way to have Kawada beat a guy they did a perfect job of showing he should lose to. Not that Takayama deserves to beat Kawada, this was a one man show if there ever was one, but Kawada is the one guy in All Japan who can do Takayama's style well enough to show Takayama as an imposing figure that belongs near the top of the card. Takayama is only okay, but Kawada's super smart performance combined with the uniqueness of the match in All Japan rings make it memorable. ***3/4

10/11/97

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace 24:16. Slow building match that delivered in the second half after a somewhat lackluster start. Ace had a few segments early, but they essentially worked around him, using him as the hot tag guy so he could just do his big moves. Ace was effective in this limited role, but you felt like if Kobashi was going to work so much they should have went all out and made it the excellent match they are capable of, and if not, why not just live with Ace? It did make sense for Kobashi to be the one to get trapped in the ring because he had a heavily taped thigh that Kawada couldn't resist abusing. Prior to this, the Kobashi vs. Taue stuff had been pretty tepid, but the intensity increased considerably after Taue followed Kawada's lead and abused the thigh. Ace theoretically did his best to bail his partner out, but would tag Kobashi back in 2 minutes later. They really didn't bother doing much to set up the 10/21/97 Taue vs. Ace match beyond having Ace pin him. Overall, a disappointing match, but too much talent here for it to not still be very worthwhile. ***1/2

Hayabusa & Maunakea Mossman vs. Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga 18:12. They did a good job of getting Hayabusa over, setting him up as a rival to Akiyama and positioning him to be competitive in the tag league (though he ultimately tied for last). Hayabusa showed many of his hot moves here, while the other guys held back some. Not that they would show him up anyway, but it allowed him to be the life of the match. Akiyama was certainly motivated, but he was showing his intensity and making his disdain for his opposition that he was beating down apparent rather than being spotty and showing off. Akiyama put a beating on Mossman, allowing Hayabusa to annoy him by trying to help his partner, and ultimately make the hot tags. Shiga took well and threw in a nice move every now and then. Hayabusa slipped off the top trying a swandive move early, but otherwise gave an impressive big league performance. The match wasn't extraordinary, but was certainly entertaining and well wrestled. ***


Jd' on GAORA 11/8/97 & AJ TV 11/9/97
-1hr 25min. Q=1st Gen

    Jd' SHAKE VIORENTLY '97 taped 9/5 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukan

Sachie Abe vs. Kazuko Fujiwara. Clip

Miyuki Sogabe vs. Megumi Yabushita. Clip

Yuko Kosugi vs. Sumie Sakai. Clip

Esther Moreno & Alda Moreno vs. The Goddess Chikako Shiratori & Yuki Lee. Not as bad as expected, but certainly not good. *1/4

Jado vs. Gedo. These two didn't work hard at all. They basically did as little as they could to have a decent match. *3/4

Jaguar Yokota & Cooga vs. Lioness Asuka & The Bloody. Reviewed in Quebrada #39. ***

    AJ '97 Giant Series taped 10/21 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Steve Williams & Gary Albright & The Lacrosse vs. Johnny Smith & Bobby Duncum Jr. & Rex King. **

Akira Taue vs. Johnny Ace. Both men worked really hard. They weren't graceful, but they were effective. They worked pretty stiff and they used their spots well, throwing in all their special spots like Taue's tope and Ace's moonsault. Timing was really good, and Ace was pulling his big spots out of nowhere to counter Taue's nodowa otoshi. ***3/4

NJ TV 11/15/97 & AJ TV 11/16/97
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen

    World Pro Wrestling 11/15 nWo Typhoon taped 10/31 Hiroshima Sun Plaza

Junior 3 vs. 3 Elimination: Ka Shin & Liger & Samurai vs. Kanemoto & Takaiwa & Otani. ****1/2

Shinya Hashimoto & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Keiji Muto & NWO Sting. Muto, Yamazaki, & Hashimoto all looked very good here. Only 1/3 aired, but it looked good to very good.

IWGP World Heavyweight Title: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Masa Chono. Very heated. Chono instilled the psychology and both sold long to put the moves over. These guys just aren't very good workers though. Great heat. Somewhat boring though. ***

    AJ Pro Wrestling 3011/16 '97 World's Strongest Tag Team League taped 11/15 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Misawa & Akiyama vs. Johnny Smith & Wolf Hawkfield. Smith & Wolf dominated the match in order to get heat, and that combined with the fact that they took the heavy favorites so deep was enough for it to work. Smith worked most of the portion that aired and he was very good as always. ***1/2

Kawada & Taue vs. Hansen & Bobby Duncum Jr. Slow paced and boring. Waste of tv time. *1/4


NJ TV 11/22/97 & AJW TV 11/22/97 & AJ TV 11/23/97
-2hr. Q=1st Gen

    World Pro Wrestling 11/22 FINAL POWER HALL in Fukuoka Dome taped 11/1 Fukuoka Dome

Don Frye vs. Kazuo Yamazaki. Good back and forth match. **1/2

Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima & Tadao Yasuda vs. Scott Norton & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Michiyoshi Ohara. Norton's knee went out so they went home early, which just put us out of our misery. 3/4*

Tiger King (Sayama) & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa. Tiger King was way out classed to the point he was hurting the match and embarrassing himself. Everyone else was very good though. Lots of great spots with execution below normal due to Tiger. ***1/2

J Crown: Shinjiro Otani vs. Wild Pegasus (Benoit). ****

    AJW TV 11/22 WRESTLE MARINEPIAD '97 taped 10/18 Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan

Once Upon A Time: Chigusa vs. Dump Hair vs. Hair 1

2/3 Falls WWWA Tag Title: Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita vs. Kumiko Maekawa & Momoe Nakanishi. Reviewed in Quebrada #43. ****1/4

HOT EYES-clips of Nishibori vs. Toyoda vs. Wakizawa triangle match and Takahashi vs. Chihiro Nakano

WWWA World Singles Title: Yumiko Hotta vs. Kaoru Ito. No heat. The pro style work was great, but the shoot style stuff showed a lack of understanding of the genre. Less than half the match aired, but it appeared to be very good.

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 11/23 '97 World's Strongest Tag Team League taped 11/23 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center

League Bout: Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace 23:06 of 29:50. Slow building match that was elevated by a surprisingly receptive and vocal crowd that was reacting to all the big moves and near falls. It was nearly a great match despite not really knowing exactly what it was, it wasn't one of their new style workrate junior style headdropping matches, nor did it have much in the way of old style psychology or story. It was just an extremely well worked match that was still and had excellent heavyweight offense and bumps and super timing. One thing that helped elevate the match is Ace gave one of his most effective performances of the period. He's not the worker the others are, but he knew when to interject and use his big moves. For instance, stopping Misawa's elbow suicida to Kobashi by coming in and decapitating him with a lariat. Akiyama was fine, but this wasn't one of his standout performances. Misawa was motivated though and helped to make up for it, pretty much carrying his team for once. Kobashi was obviously an improvement over Ace, but as with Akiyama, it wasn't one of his gonzo crazy performances, just a standard big tag match performance, though thankfully his standard is quite high. ****1/4


NJ TV 11/29/97 & AJ TV 11/30/97
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen

    World Pro Wrestling 11/29 SG Tag League VII taped 11/22 Nagaoka

League Bout: Satoshi Kojima & Tadao Yasuda vs. NWO Sting & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Too much Sting & Yasuda. Those two didn't look good and Tenzan & Kojima didn't work enough to save it. *1/4

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai & Kendo Ka Shin vs. Shinjiro Otani & Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa. Typical match with great work and great spots back and forth. Focus was Ka Shin pushing Kanemoto. ****

Kensuke Sasaki & Shinya Hashimoto & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Hiro Saito & Tatsu Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara. Snooze. *

League Bout: Keiji Muto & Masa Chono vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura. Very average. Goto & Ohara laid Muto & Chono out after the match. **

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 11/30 '97 World's Strongest Tag Team League taped 11/27 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Kawada & Taue vs. Kobashi & Ace. Less than 1/3 of a 30:00 draw aired. Looked very good.

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki 15:10 of 21:34. A few years earlier the notion of such a match being taken seriously in AJ rings would have been laughed off, but at this point Misawa and Akiyama just wanted to do flashy junior style offense oriented matches, so they were closer to ideal opponents. Hayabusa & Jinsei were allowed to compete, pulling all their flashy acrobatics no matter how contrived. Their high spots were actually worked into the match well, though. The main problem is Hayabusa & Shinzaki had absolutely nothing to use early on, as they can't strike with Misawa or really be credible doing any of the usual lead up. They pretty much skipped over that part though, and did tons of great spots, albeit without a lot of substance. It was a very exciting match with a rabid crowd that bought into Hayabusa's team having a chance, and was psyched when Hayabusa had a credible near fall on Akiyama with his phoenix splash. The build, selling, and psychology could have been a whole lot better, but in this new style of All Japan, this was a superior tag match. ****


AJW TV 12/6/97 & AJ TV 12/7/97
-2hr. Q=1st Gen

    AJW TV 12/6/97 taped 11/21 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Dangerous Queen Returns: Akira Hokuto (Free) vs. Miho Wakizawa. Wakizawa's move set is basically too basic for Akira to sell for her. Short squash. *

Handicap Match: Kayo Noumi & Noriko Toyoda vs. Nana Nakahara. Nakahara & Toyoda's debut match. Highlights

Miyuki Fujii vs. Sachie Nishibori (IWA Japan). Rookie style match though being from IWA Nishibori does more spots than the AJW rookies are allowed to do. *

Dick Togo & MEN'S Teioh & Shoichi Funaki (Kaientai DX, Michinoko Pro) vs. Great Sasuke & Gran Hamada & Super Delfin (Sekigun, Michinoku Pro). Good match, but not as good as you would expect, mainly due to being shorter than normal and on another promotions show. ***1/4

Tag League The Best '97 League Bout: Manami Toyota & Emi Motokawa (IWA Japan) vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Nanae Takahashi. Good work and a lot of comedy. Toyota & Momoe work well together even though Momoe doesn't have credibility against Toyota. Some blown spots. ***

Tag League The Best '97 League Bout: Takako Inoue & Kumiko Maekawa vs. Yumiko Hotta & Kaoru Ito. Stiff match. A lot of spots, but no real storyline. Maekawa was better than Takako due to the style this was worked in. Hotta & Ito both have strong showings. ***1/2

    AJ TV 12/7/97 '97 World's Strongest Tag Team League Final taped 12/5 Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall

Taue & Kawada vs Misawa & Akiyama. Reviewed in Quebrada #40. Kawada & Taue win Tag League for 2nd straight year. ****3/4


AJ on Samurai TV 12/12/97 '97 Giant Series taped 10/11 Fukuoka Kokusai Center
-1hr. Q=VG

Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura & Giant Baba vs. Jun Izumida & Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen. Even worse than the typical awful comedy match. Almost every spot looked terrible. This was slow even in double speed. -***1/2

Hayabusa & Maunakea Mossman vs. Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga. Focus here was clearly Hayabusa vs. Jun. Shiga & Mossman looked decent. Match was solid, but generally unspectacular. Hayabusa pretty much stole the show with his high spots. Jun pretty much took the day off, which was sad. **

Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue. Kawada & Taue launched an all-out attack on Kobashi's bad knee. Kobashi was stuck in the ring for almost the entire match, which was a blessing. Slow building match where everything they did was really well done, but a lot of it wasn't all that entertaining. Paced like it was going 35+, and it could have been a great match if it did go that long and they had a longer hot portion that was greatly affected by Kobashi's bad knee. ***3/4


AJ TV 12/21/97 & UFC Japan TV Special 12/21/97
-1hr 40min. Q=1st Gen

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 12/21/97 '97 World's Strongest Tag Team League taped 12/5 Tokyo Nippon Budokan &11/23 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center

Williams & Albright & Windham vs Hansen & Duncum Jr. & Omori (12/5). Highlights.

League Bout: Williams & Albright vs Windham & Bradshaw (11/23). Highlights.

League Bout: Taue & Kawada vs Hayabusa & Shinzaki (11/23). Hayabusa & Shinzaki can work, but the reason this is an excellent match is that Taue, and especially Kawada, are able to work their opponents spots into the match in a logical way. Kawada and Taue carried the match, making their opponents spots mean something and build the match. ****1/2

    UFC Japan 12/21/97 taped 12/21 Yokohama Arena

Heavyweight Semifinal: Tank Abbott vs. Yoji Anjoh

Heavyweight Final: Sakuraba vs. Conan

Middleweight Title: Frank Shamrock vs. Kevin Jackson

Viktor Belfort vs. Joe Charles

Heavyweight Title: Maurice Smith vs. Randy Couture. Couture wins title.


AJ on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 12/26/97 taped 10/21 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-1hr. Q=VG
 
 

All Japan '97 World's Strongest Tag Team League Special Highlight Commercial Tape
-1hr 35min. Q=Master. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Contains the entire 30:52 Misawa & Akiyama vs. Kawada & Taue tag league final from 12/5/97. This match was the requisite year end classic/match of the year candidate. BEST TAG MATCH OF 1997! It wasn't as good as the 1996 final because the storyline and heat weren't as good and it was more spot intensive, but the 1996 final is no worse than the 2nd best men's tag match ever, so that's not a knock. The tape also contains the finishing sequences from the tag league matches that occured on the nights the cameras were rolling. So it has 11/15 Korakuen Hall (Misawa/Akiyama vs. Wolf/Smith), 11/16 Korakuen Hall, 11/23 Sendai Miyagi Sports Center (Hayabusa/Shinzaki vs. Kawada/Taue, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Kobashi/Ace), 11/27 Sapporo Nakajima (Kobashi/Ace vs. Kawada/Taue, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Hayabusa/Shinzaki), & 11/28 Sapporo Nakajima (Kobashi/Ace vs. Williams/Albright, Misawa/Akiyama vs. Kawada/Taue). The highlights range from :45 seconds to 4 minutes (the best matches get more time), so you are actually seeing something.

All Japan Pro Wrestling Special 12/28/97 1997 Year in Review
-1hr. Q=1st Gen

The top five AJ matches of 1997 according to this show were:

1. 10/21 TC: Misawa vs. Kobashi

2. 12/5 Tag Final: Kawada & Taue vs. Misawa & Akiyama

3. 8/26 Hase vs. Kobashi

4. 11/27 Tag League Bout: Misawa & Akiyama vs. Hayabusa & Shinzaki

5. 3/1 World Tag Titles: Kawada & Taue vs Takayama & Albright

The list isn't terrible until you realize they left off Misawa vs. Kobashi 1/20/97, which is merely the best heavyweight singles match since Misawa vs. Kawada 6/3/94...

AJW Wrestle Marinepiad '95 Commercial Tape 11/18/95 Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan Tape 2
& AJ Gekito (fierce battle) '97 Sousyuu (overall year)
-2hr. Q=Ex

WWWA Ranking Match: Yumiko Hotta (#2) vs. Kyoko Inoue (#6). Best match on the show. Very solid and built well. Proper pacing and selling.

Reyna Jabuki (Hokuto) & Blizzard Yuki (Sakie) vs. Manami Toyota & Black Blizzard (Ito). Mainly spots. Very good match, but disappointing given the talent. Sakie blows her most glamourous flying spot of the match, and gets injured landing really badly on it.

The AJ tape has highlights of all the World Tag Title and Triple Crown matches from 1997. I'd rather just see the whole matches, but this does a good job of highlighting the most important AJ matches of the year.

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