The offensive display in this match is insane. I can't think of a match that more flirts with excess but never dips over into it than this. I mean, the first 10-15 minutes done by somebody else probably falls off the rails but with these two it just seems to work. Probably because of the execution, it's so well laid out, but it doesn't feel video gamey. It's so human and organic with such a nice flow to it, so it doesn't feel like a spotfest. Only thing I can think of that's similar is the Warriors/Cavs Finals last year where Cleveland decided to run pace with Golden State and you get this offensive masterpiece that you just ignore the way defense gets pushed aside.
Most big Kobashi/Misawa matches actually leave me cold but this one, even before you hit the elbow injury story, has the right amount of animosity you need in those big AJPW matches. Kobashi's got that right hint of malice in this one. It's the sort of performance Kawada would break out. Every strike, every move, there's a notion of disdain behind it. I feel like that's missing in their other big matches. Also, the momentum shifts in this match are so controlled and valued. You can really break down the match by each period where one of them has the upperhand and the constant struggle over that
Even the final segment where you've got them firing off suplexes like they're on fumes has its place to sell the impact of the match has had on them. Misawa finding that opening with the enzu elbow followed by the tiger suplex letting you know where the match is heading feels like a Big Deal. The finish finds a way to work because Misawa masterfully sold the elbow throughout and needed to pull out a twelve year old move to set up the elbow strike. 42 minutes long, and still flies by like it's 15. Great match.