Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

1992 Match of the Year

Kenta Kobashi/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi v. Doug Furnas/Dan Kroffat AJPW 5/25/92

PAS: This is a match with four great individual performances from the wrestlers, where the star of the match is the crowd. The match was for the All-Asia titles and was held in Kikuchi's home town and the atmosphere felt more like a NBA Finals Game 7 then any wrestling match I can remember. When Kobashi is teasing his moonsault they reacted like Oracle fans on a pull-up Steph Curry 3. This match had been legendary for the JIP version which was around for ever, when that match started Kikuchi was already being worked over. The added stuff with the uncut version was pretty great, I loved Kroffat's dickish jab, and Kikuchi firing back with big elbow smashes. The beatdown on Kikuchi was really nasty, taking that press slam bump to the floor, and then getting chucked into a table, gross big bumps especially for 1992. Kikuchi really got bent backwards with the boston crabs, and stretches it wasn't a thing where he looked super flexible, more like it was actually going to crack a vertebrae. This match also had some awesome timing on saves, Furnas hits a big frankenstiner on Kobashi and Kikuchi just hurls himself from the top rope with a crazy headbutt right at 2 and 9/10ths. I do think that Kikuchi should have gotten the pin, the moonsault was a huge move and beautifully done, but this felt like Kikuchi's night and he should have been the one standing tall.

ER: I don't think I've ever seen the complete version before this, and I loved the things it added, particularly Kikuchi levelling Kroffat with elbows and pummeling him to the mat. The crowd was so wonderful throughout, I got goosebumps three different times. These people were plugged right into Kobashi and Kikuchi, their victory that important. I thought Kroffat and Furnas put up an excellent heel performance, without overtly acting like heels. They weren't rubbing anything in, they weren't taunting the crowd or K&K, just coldly, violently and precisely snapping off moves. Kroffat's rolling snap suplexes were so vicious that while Kikuchi is an expert salesman I fully buy his "where the hell AM I?" face after Kobashi makes the save. Everything had such thud and machine like efficiency, Furnas muscling up a press slam, brutal doomsday lariats, Kroffat thrust kicking Kobashi in the chin, shoot Kroffat even outchopped Kobashi with some absolutely cutting short quick right chops. The crowd never gives up on K&K and watching/hearing them live and die with every pinfall is exhilarating. The saves were expertly handled, Kikuchi outlasts Kroffat as by the last couple minutes Kroffat looks totally gassed, heavy legged, and here's this little guy who has taken everything they can dish out, mustering enough strength to bury his shoulder in Furnas to prevent the save. Inspiring, classic.


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