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Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Vader & Stan Hansen (AJPW Real World Tag League 12/05/98)

AJPW Real World Tag League December 5 1998 Budokan Hall Kenta Kobashi Jun Akiyama Vader Stan Hansen

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#1 Loss

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 11:49 AM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 11:29 AM

Well, that was a tremendous tag match. It's a notch or two below the best tag league finals, but this built a finish so great, with Kobashi pulling off the miracle. I loved all the focus on Vader's striking and how they managed to further Vader-Kobashi as an issue while still giving Kobashi and Akiyama the victory. This wasn't a headdropping special at all, it was guys slugging it out and a big underdog narrative. I'm surprised to see Hansen in something so good so late.

#3 soup23

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 09:09 AM

This match kind of blew me away. How much of the 98 RWTL is available because with these two teams, Taue/Kawada and Misawa/Ogawa, that is a good core base. I thought the way that Vader and Hansen were just complete bullies was amazing. They really built to this grand finish. My favorite spot was right before the finish when Akiyama tries to get into the ring to make a save and Hansen just casually kicks him right in the face. Vader and Hansen were using great potato shots that were a nice mixture from the forearms, chops and elbow smashes. The finish was grand with Burning getting off that one sequence they need and Kobashi's lariat being presented as ultimate death again. Fantastic end to 1998 AJPW. (****1/2)

#4 tim

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 11:46 AM

Incredible match.  The opening work is off the charts with Vader and Hansen as killers and Kobashi and Akiyama getting in some brief flurriers of offense, sometimes against both at once, before being shut down.  The suplex teases are really well done too.  Any of the runs of offense Kobashi or Akiyama get on the heels is just amazing, especially a comeback where they go after Vader's legs but is shut down and, awesomely, ends with Vader limping into a big splash onto Kobashi.  The control stuff by Vader and Hansen somewhat lags in comparison, but just in comparison -- work work is still great.  The finish is really one of the coolest ones I've ever seen, Akiyama had been out of the match for some time and after sustaining huge damage it looked like Kobashi was facing the kill shot, but Akiyama comes off the top to elbow Hansen in the back of the head as Hansen is preparing for the lariat and Kobashi fires off a big lariat of his own.  The camera angle was great too: you could see Akiyama setting up for the elbow but Kobashi capitalizing with the lariat still came as a surprise.  Definite MOTYC.

#5 Zenjo


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Posted 14 November 2014 - 03:51 PM

The gaijins were such a monsterous team and I was surprised by how good Hansen still looked at this late stage in his career. They unloaded all sorts of devastating offence, with the excited crowd marking out. It was fun to watch but the ending was a real rating killer for me. It went full length and one team was utterly dominant. It was so one sided it was almost a very extended squash. They Kobashi won it with literally one move, which didn't even connect properly. They really needed to go shorter to make this format work as the finish felt ludicrous.

#6 soup23

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 05:56 PM

They Kobashi won it with literally one move, which didn't even connect properly. They really needed to go shorter to make this format work as the finish felt ludicrous.


I disagree with this as the Lariat had been presented as pretty much death the entire year so I thought it was well protected and an appropriate finish. I also thought at 19 minutes this was the correct length and a big reduction from the time limits in most of the big tag matches from the decade.

#7 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 08:22 AM

Burning vs Vader & Stan Hansen
Big monster gaijin is exactly what has been missing from AJPW since about 1995. Vader is looked awesome here. By 2001, I thought he was showing his age, but he definitely had no trouble keeping up with the All Japan boys. Hansen has lost a step, but he brought the sadism when it is called on. Vader & Hansen felt like two big bulldozers and we were transported back in time where Kobashi was that plucky underdog babyface.
Everything in this match felt so urgent. Kobashi & Akiyama recognized they were up against an unstoppable force. They had to press any advantage given to them lest they be swallowed up whole by these two Great White Sharks. Vader initiated a test of strength against Kobashi you dont see that too often. Kobashi throws some vicious chops and Vader does not even flinch. Vader throws one haymaker and sends Kobashi flying. Kobashi tries to fight fire with fire but Vader is just Too. Much. Man. Vader & Hansen double team. Their double shoulder block looked so good. Kobashi comes charging and hits Vader from behind. I like how chippy this is. Kobashi tags out. Akiyama tries his best but ends up in the corner taking those big Vader bear paws. Akiyama gets a high knee from the middle rope and quickly tags out to Kobashi. Kobashi comes flying in, hits a couple bombs tries for the pin. Nada. Goes for suplex and Hansen hits him hard in the side. There is way more respect for Vaders size in this match (three early suplex attempts and none landed). Kobashi gets his ass kicked by Vader & Hansen. It is all simple, but wicked effective. Just using their body weight and hard parts of their body to beat him up. It is like Vader & Hansen are the best possible Demolition. Kobashi gets a quick lariat and tags out. Akiyama gets a missile dropkick. He is flying around, but ends up taking a wicked back elbow from Hansen. I am loving how the faces cant get anything started against these two monsters. Just when you think there is hope, It is extinguished by sheer brutality. Vader flying body attack on the outside. Vader misses a charge in the corner. Akiyama dropkicks the knee! Akiyama tags out. Kobashi charges at the knee! Here is their chance! Single leg crab. Hansen saves. Kobashi charges. Hansen is persistent. DDT and then Vader splash. This is so not fair! There is a real sense of injustice that after all that work to gain the advantage that not it being taken away from them. Now we enter the finish run with lots of double teams from the Big Boys. Vader splash and hard Hansen elbow on prone Kobashi. Hansen throws Akiyama into a Vader body attack and Hansen DDT on Akiyama on floor. Things do not look good for out heroes. Hansen with douchey kicks to the head. Vader body attack into Back Drop Driver and then Vader powerbomb only gets two. They set up for Vader to whip Kobashi into Hansen lariat, but Kobashi fights out and Akiyama hits a flying knee to the back. Kobashi clobbers Hansen with a clothesline for the win.
Excellent monster vs plucky underdog match. Kobashi & Akiyama wrestled with the urgency necessary to beat these monsters. Hansen & Vader really did feel like an unstoppable force. I thought the finish run was a bit overkill that all those moves should have killed Kobashi. I did like the actual finish with Akiyama hitting the knee from behind. It felt like a fun action movie finish. I thought they did a really good job making you doubt Burning would win. One of the all-time great Summer Action Blockuster matches . Definite top 5 1998 All Japan match of the year. ****1/2

#8 PeteF3

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 06:38 PM

AJPW finishes the year strong, as they always seem to do no matter what happens earlier--though I will say this year felt stronger from start to finish than '97 did, which opened with a GOAT candidate and then slid off for 10 months until a hot finish. As for the match itself, yeah, it's a MOTYC and probably the best AJPW tag I can recall seeing. Vader feels home again and continues to fit right into this environment, and Kobashi is such a perfect opponent for him on multiple levels. This is hard-hitting and super-heated and yet never really feels overindulgent--as Loss said, it's more of a big slugfest than a match with a lot of advanced offense, but the moves are still put over like they're high-end. And the finish is almost cinematic, as a dead Jun resurrects himself and you can see the action develop as he makes a last-ditch effort for the save. 

#9 JKWebb

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 08:49 AM



This is incredible. It's exactly what you'd want seeing this on paper beforehand. Hansen is great throughout. The way he is smirking while Vader is beating Burning down, his pointing and yelling while he's legal, and damn - the way he takes that Kobashi lariat at the end! Vader is a monster as usual, and his strikes are as stiff as shit. The Kobashi/Vader exchanges are so good. I think this is probably my second favorite match on this countdown so far. I'm right there with the ****1/2. A really fun match that I will definitely revisit.

#10 Tawren

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 09:57 AM

Watched this after it was reviewed on Segunda Caida as a 1998 MOTYC. It's definitely an awesome match. Kobashi has so much support, the level of crowd heat doubles whenever he enters the ring. Hansen and Vader is an awesome team and it's a shame they didn't tag more together, but Vader's late-90's AJPW run is always fun to watch.


Vader and Hansen are great monster jerk heels here, beating down Akiyama and clobbering both faces with wild swinging punches. This never gets to the next level that the classic AJPW tags, for example the 1988 final w/ Kawada as the young star, but it's a ton of fun. 



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: AJPW, Real World Tag League, December 5, 1998, Budokan Hall, Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Vader, Stan Hansen

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