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Toshiaki Kawada vs Akira Taue (AJPW Championship Carnival 04/08/95)

AJPW Championship Carnival April 8 1995 Toshiaki Kawada Akira Taue Kawada vs Taue 4.75* Osaka

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#1 Loss

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:21 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 Ditch

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:21 PM

My thoughts from '07: "...right there with their 1/91 match. The exchanges, the sequences, the stiffness (stiff Taue lariats?!), the nearfalls (credible Taue regular powerbomb nearfall?!), the selling, the contunuity... it's alllll there. I especially like the way they show that Taue has grown from the past as he refuses to let Kawada make a comeback from the big spot of the match." This match has been slept on. Put it at Budokan, re-do it move-for-move, and it would have been a worthy final. For one tour, Taue was the best of the 'corners'.

#3 Loss

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:24 PM

How does this compare to the '93 match?

#4 jdw

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:38 PM

This is about what you'd expect 1995 Kawada and 1995 Taue to do, so the expectations are different... higher. There's no doubt some freshness to their earlier ones: they're younger workers, they're different from what they'd become and how we see them, and the feuding/rivalry/hate is on display. Expectations, especially for Taue of that era, are lower. It's easier for a 1991 match between them to exceed expectations than a 1995 match, because expectations are so high. To me, this is far and away their best worked match. John

#5 Ditch

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 08:55 PM

How does this compare to the '93 match?

Bests it handily. As JDW says, they were better in '95 and accordingly had a better match.

#6 jdw

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:16 PM

It's rather sad that they didn't take this approach in their sole TC match against each other. It's possible they were, as I still have a feeling that Taue started heading towards the finish early, and that Kawada had more match left in the tank mentally. John

#7 Loss

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 09:03 PM

I thought this was magnificent. I would call it my MOTY at this point. So much good stuff to talk about, so let me try to organize my thoughts. The whole approach to this match is to make Taue's win seem inevitable. They create doubt over it at times, but that's the whole point of the match. Even when Kawada is in control, this match is about Taue, which is a credit to both guys understanding the booking purpose and building a match accordingly. When Kawada has Taue in the stretch plum, there are "TAUE!" chants. There are never Kawada chants at any point because Kawada never puts himself in a position to be sympathetic. It's by design. Mission accomplished. To this point, I like that there is a continuity between this match and Taue's earlier match with Kobashi. The Kobashi match had him throwing his usual opening bag of tricks at Taue and Taue asserting himself. Here, Kawada tried the same, and met the same result as Kobashi. Kawada tries distancing himself and Taue follows him, getting Irish whipped into the guardrail. This gets paid off later in the match when Kawada tries the same thing again and Taue is prepared this time, coming back with a big lariat on the floor. Taue is also performing at a much higher level than he was in January, even when doing the same things. Doing the neck vice in the middle of a big flurry of stuff took the momentum of the match down a notch in the January tag. Here, it made sense (and was applied much better) because he was already targeting Kawada's neck. Kawada responds by getting Taue in some nasty submissions, including one where he is stepping on his head while pushing his legs into forced splits, and another where he is hyperextending both arms while pushing his head into the mat. No matter what Kawada throws at Taue -- and he throws quite a bit at him -- Taue consistently comes back. In the closing moments, Kawada seems to hit a realization that he can't beat Taue in this match, so he starts actively seeking a draw. After the nodowa on the floor, Taue throws Kawada in, and Kawada rolls back out. When Taue tries to cover him, he is still trying to get away, and at this point, it's clear that if Taue can keep Kawada in one place, he is going to win this match. Even when Kawada manages to get in a strike, Taue is to his feet first. When he's finally able to execute the dynamic bomb, he gets the win. This works both as a match and as a moment. If the Misawa/Taue final and September match are better than this (which based on hype, I'd expect), I'm in for some great stuff.

#8 silverwidow

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 10:17 PM

If the Misawa/Taue final and September match are better than this (which based on hype, I'd expect), I'm in for some great stuff.

The Carny Final is something I'd put in the "elite" tier of AJPW singles (up there with epics like 7/93 Hansen/Kobashi and 6/3/94). Best performance of Misawa's career, IMO. I wouldn't be surprised if you drop five stars on it.

#9 smkelly

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:47 PM

If the Misawa/Taue final and September match are better than this (which based on hype, I'd expect), I'm in for some great stuff.

Oh, definitely. 1995 was an excellent year for All Japan. I'm thinking several five-star matches will be from All Japan on your list, though, I have been surprised by a few of them already, so maybe not :)

#10 Tim Evans

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:15 AM

Another awesome match from All Japan. I use to think that Kobashi was the best of the All Japan 4 but I think my pick now is Kawada. Just so incredibly stiff. Love the Lariats and Taue's enzugiri. Match of the Year so far.

#11 PeteF3

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:01 PM

Fantastic stuff again. I really, REALLY liked that '93 match, but maybe this does rank ahead for the more satisfying payoff. I've talked about how Kawada has had a 1-step- forward, 2-steps-back push at times, but this really felt like an elevation for Taue despite all the high-profile jobs Kawada has done and despite the fact that this isn't a "new" result. Taue takes the advantage early with a nodowa off the bat, and despite some awesome leg work by Kawada including an incredibly funky early submission hold, this really feels like Taue's match. Top 10 MOTY so far, I'd say.



#12 Matt D

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Posted 09 September 2014 - 09:17 PM

I want to see this, actually. I'm going to go out of my way and watch this soon.



#13 Zenjo

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 03:42 PM

You'd have never guessed these two were tag partners if you hadn't known. They launched straight into battle and never took a backwards step. Terrific workrate throughout. It never felt like a draw was on the cards. One of the things I love about Taue is that he wouldn't take the worst of it in an exchange because of ego. Because of their pride Kawada, Kobashi and Akiyama would keep exchanging strikes even in situations when their opponent had the upper hand. Taue was all business, he wrestled to win.

This was an impressive level throughout and got better the longer it progressed. They battled back and forth until Taue landed the ring apron nodawa. Kawada was in trouble and went into defensive survival mode. He was rolling away and Akira was chasing after him, trying to catch his prey. A high end finish that helps make this a top 10 match for 1995. The result was an upset yet didn't feel like one. It simply felt right and just. The duration, the layout, the final move. All spot on. Taue was on fire and peaking.

#14 fxnj

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:03 AM

Absolute masterclass in storytelling here. I kind of feel like I watched a different match than the people who make this out as nonstop action from the opening bell. If anything, they seemed kind of timid from the start as Kawada just did a few chops before trying to work some holds. I guess the early story was that they were tag partners and both guys wanted to win without hurting the other too much. They start looking for big moves relatively early as well, which makes me think they just want a quick win without killing the other guy. Through all this, though, a theme starts to emerge that Taue really has Kawada scouted, as he repeatedly finds ways to counter Kawada's moves better than anyone seen thus far.

 

As the action starts to escalate, I notice a really nice detail in play in how Taue knows refuses to engage Kawada in striking battle, presumably because he knows he can't win, and always finds some other move to catch Kawada off guard. Of course, it's gonna take more than a few nice counters to take Kawada down, and Taue does turn in a really good sympathetic performance when Kawada gets a chance to unload. Still, Taue just keeps surviving and Kawada starts selling the frustration as he just can't seem to put Taue away.

 

This all leads to an amazing, beautiful moment late in the match when they're both on the ring apron and Kawada is ruthlessly high kicking away at Taue. Kawada is clearly flustered whilst Taue holds the ropes to stop from falling down, but you get this sneaky feeling from when he defiantly hoists himself up that this is exactly where he wants the match to be. And just like that, he catches Kawada with a nodowa off the apron and pretty much has him beat right there. This match would be a classic just for that sequence alone. Anyway, Kawada tries to roll around for a bit to stall, presumably in an attempt to run down the clock, but there's no escape from Taue. Pretty soon thereafter, Taue hits the dynamic bomb for an incredible upset win.

 

Bit of a slow burner, but they definitely paid everything off by the end. I'm not sure if I'd call this clearly better than their 1/91 match as it lacks the same visceral punch, though it's definitely a deeper match from a standpoint of selling and psychology. By no means is this a bad match from an action point-of-view, but it's the cerebral aspects that put it over the top ****1/2







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: AJPW, Championship Carnival, April 8, 1995, Toshiaki Kawada, Akira Taue, Kawada vs Taue, 4.75*, Osaka

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