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Kenta Kobashi vs Akira Taue (AJPW Summer Action Series 07/24/96)

AJPW Summer Action Series July 24 1996 Kenta Kobashi Akira Taue Budokan Hall Title Changes 4.5*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:09 AM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 11:14 AM

What a fantastic match! There are so many little intricacies here that I'll have to walk through sometime. I think I enjoyed the struggle and attempted counters between the big bombs just as much as the big offensive flurries. Aside from like 3-4 delayed selling spots, this is pretty close to perfect. The match is very basic for the most part, with less big moves than you might expect. Less is more, as pretty much everything they do gets over huge. I don't want to say Kobashi seems irrelevant in '96, as he has some great matches. But Akiyama has replaced him as the 4th man in those tag matches, so there are less great matches from him in '96 than there are in other years. So maybe the same principle applied to building this match can be applied to Kobashi's entire year as a whole -- each of his great matches stand out in a big way because there are less of them, so they are more memorable.

#3 Zenjo


    Lost in Time

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 05:56 PM

Kobashi's 7 year World Title journey comes to it's nearly inevitable conclusion. The fans were certainly behind him and glad to see his wings take dream. In the early stages it didn't quite feel like a Triple Crown match. Taue was a great wrestler but he wasn't a natural champion figure. However the crowd were so hot by the end that it had an atmosphere worthy of the occasion.


It was an impressive quality bout without being higher level AJ singles. There were a few instances of dodgy Kobashi selling. The structure was comparatively straightforward and it peaked down the stretch. I would've preferred Kenta's first TC win to be over Misawa or Kawada. That would've been a big breakthrough win. It felt like he was taking advantage of a transitional champion here. I'm slightly apprehensive about JDW swooping in with some results to counter this idea. ;)

#4 PeteF3

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 06:22 PM

In previous Yearbooks I remarked that Kobashi-Taue was the one Four Corners singles match-up that, despite some very good showdowns, didn't seem to have that "definitive" match. Well, we've found it. Or I have, at least. The struggles over the chokeslam attempts are terrific and I love how Kobashi manages to transition back to offense when his back is up against the wall--first with a daring legdrop to the floor and then with a tornado DDT. He really seems to overcome long odds--I was *thinking* Kobashi was the champ going into the 1/97 match but I couldn't remember for sure, so I was left in suspense as to whether this was his big title victory and if it was, just how the hell he was going to get there as Taue was pounding the shit out of him. But he does make that comeback and we get our second 6-year build-up paid off in the same show. This could finish in the top 10-15 MOTY list.

#5 soup23

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 08:04 AM

A grand match.  The stuff out of the chokeslam and teases were wonderful.  Kobashi not knowing how to sell seems like rubbish after watching this match. He built well to the nearfalls and the top rope legdrop felt definitive even if it wasn't one of his established finishers.  This is probably the least hyped pairing of the four  corners but between this, the 98 match, and the 2004 one, they have had three great matches that are high profile against each other. This is probably their best and feels like a rewarding moment for Kobashi. **** 1/2

#6 dawho5

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 08:20 PM

Kobashi had a few moments where I thought he went too far on the fighting spirit no-sells.  But the majority of the time he should have been selling he was knocking it out of the park generating sympathy.  One thing I truly loved about this match was how Kobashi focused 99% of his offense on the neck and Taue did the same with Kobashi's back.  The transitions were mostly right on the mark.  Kobashi barely avoiding death three times was great, as was the HUGE reaction when Kobashi kicked out of the Dynamic bomb.  Really, really tight match between these two with mostly the right amount of fighting between the big nearfalls and only a few no-selling spots.

#7 tim

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:01 PM

Kobashi/Taue is the one pairing of the big four in AJPW that doesn't really have a popularly acclaimed match of the 90s. Well, this is their classic. Truly felt like an epic main event title match, action from bell to bell and they really got over the exhaustion. This was worked really evenly throughout almost the entire match, without really a narrative of either guy getting the advantage for an extended period of time or having some aspect of their game or particular strategy that puts them one up on their opponent. But toward the end Kobashi hits these awesome desperation headbutt thrusts to Taue's stomach, follows it up with a tiger suplex and then a moonsault, and for the next couples minutes it's Kobashi's match until the end. Taue attempts one last big kick but it doesn't have the impact it needs, Kobashi responds immediately with a lariat and a top rope leg drop to the back of his head for the win. Cool, unexpected ending move that still totally felt like it deserved to end the match.


I really love how the apron nodawa was teased, and teased hard with Kobashi really struggling out of those attempts, but never paid off. Really got over how devastating the move would have been, and that Kobashi almost surely would have lost if Taue had pulled it off.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: AJPW, Summer Action Series, July 24, 1996, Kenta Kobashi, Akira Taue, Budokan Hall, Title Changes, 4.5*

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