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Stan Hansen vs Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW Excite Series 02/28/93)

AJPW Excite Series February 28 1993 Budokan Hall Stan Hansen Toshiaki Kawada 4.5*

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#21 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 09:15 AM

Just a crazy destruction. I loved every second of this. The lariat where Hansen falls to the outside after, because he couldn't stop his momentum was the greatest move in the history of wrestling.


Fucking co-signed.


I decided to chuck this on after reading the hype around it recently, and Holy Shitballs. I've been struggling to sit through wrestling matches lately, and I was going to have this on while I practiced my chords, but then Hansen starting mauling Kawada from the get go and I was glued to the screen for the next however long this match went. I don't even know, it felt like five minutes. What a motherfucking war. War, war, war. Hard shot after hard shot. I was in love by the time Kawada rammed him into the ringpost, and when Hansen hit THAT MOTHERFUCKING LARIAT I realised that this is now my favourite match from the entire 90s so far.


I'm with Parv, I don't care what comes after this in the timeline, or before it, this match is amazing.

#22 drew wardlaw

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 03:35 PM

So this is my favorite match of all time and the first Stan Hansen Japan match I saw and one of the first puro matches I saw. There's a moment earlier in the match when Hansen is kicking Kawada on the ground and I'll never forget the moment I realized he wasn't stomping when he kicked. That was a revelation and changed the whole match for me. Really disorienting and brilliant.

I play a lot of music and whenever I play at a place with video capabilities I always make the sound man project this match during our set.

#23 Microstatistics

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 04:40 PM

I am probably the only one on the planet who is not high on this match. I've seen it about 3-4 times to see what others see in this match but haven't been able to yet. It's still a good match with good selling, some cool moments and a great final few minutes. But I found the majority of the match to be kind of aimless and disjointed. In my opinion the best brawls ever, even the wildest ones, still maintain some sort of structure or progression. Here I thought everything was jumbled together and so I had trouble getting into it. *** 1/4

#24 garretta

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 03:10 PM

This is the kind of match that shortens careers. Hansen didn't win it; he survived it.


I've seen very few matches that were this much of a fight. Each man had the other knocked silly numerous times, but when they'd go for covers would somehow find the strength (or maybe the orneriness) to kick out. Each man absorbed stiff shot after stiff shot and fought back, usually to knock his opponent for a loop.


I don't usually single out camerawork, but whoever shot this match went above and beyond the call. He captured closeups of almost every major blow, really showing the fans the struggle that these two were going through and making each move seem more impactful than it was, which was a feat when you stop to consider the kind of bombs these two were throwing at each other.


I looked at the March match list and saw that Kawada's challenging Misawa, so I thought this was the match that was used to set that up, with Kawada going over. This made the ending a surprise, but not a disappointment. This was so good that the result didn't matter, and I don't say that too often. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the fallout of this bout, whatever it is.

#25 Jetlag

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 06:29 AM

I think this is the 3rd or 4th time I've rewatched this classic. May be the baddest slugfest ever. Any basic move like a stomp or kneedrop here felt like a potential KO and the fighting over basic holds and moves was awesome. Hansen gave this masterful performance of an aging behemoth who was slowly running out of energy but could still crush his opponent. Kawada's bumping was really great as he would just get drilled into the mat whenever Hansen smashed him. God damn Hansen's shoulderblocks were amazing. I guess some of Kawada's comebacks were a little easy, but what do you want. It's 24 minutes of some of the baddest pro wrestling on film. A Top 5 AJPW match.

#26 JKWebb

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 10:23 AM



I love this match. It was great to come back to it today. Hansen is a wrecking ball and a selling machine in this thing. One of the things I love, actually happens twice. Kawada kicks the knee of Hansen, and he doesn't have enough strength for anything but to just jump at Kawada with a shoulder block. It looks awesome (both times). Amazing brawl. I think in part what puts it over as such a classic match, is exactly what Jetlag said... really everything here looks like it could be a potential KO. It's so intense and brutal. *****

#27 superkix

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 11:34 AM

So much to love about this match -- stuff like Kawada selling Hansen’s haymakers like death, or the way Hansen kicks Kawada like he’s kicking at a clod of cow shit. I love how Hansen throws his weight into offense, like that big back elbow out of the corner or the awesome diving shoulderblock through the ropes. They take turns controlling portions of the match and at one point, Hansen looks a little lost and then really looks lost (as in loss of consciousness) when Kawada's got him trapped in the Stretch Plum. Kawada destroys him in the corner with kicks and chops at him before Hansen just grabs him by the head and slams him down with zero shits given.  After Hansen’s big ole release powerbomb, he signals for the lariat and the crowd is eating it up. Kawada cuts him off but Hansen hits one of the greatest lariats of all time, the momentum of it carrying him clear out of the ring!  They're both sluggish and glazed over, and Hansen almost collapses into that final enzui-lariat with enough power to defeat Kawada. Great psychology, brutal shitkicking strikes, and a super hot crowd during the final minutes of the match. One of the best brawls of all time. 

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: AJPW, Excite Series, February 28, 1993, Budokan Hall, Stan Hansen, Toshiaki Kawada, 4.5*

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