Sunday, May 12, 2013

AJPW 2/27/2000 - Big Van Vader vs Kenta Kobashi

AJPW 2/27/2000 - Big Van Vader vs Kenta Kobashi

AJPW finally opened their doors a little in the late 1990's. While it was too late for a lot of things, it did give us a few new talented wrestlers like Big Van Vader. Vader had already peaked many years earlier by this point but the monster vs fiery babyface match is always a good one. Vader was a natural opponent for people like Kobashi Kawada and Misawa but he never really performed like he could have a few years earlier.

Kenta Kobashi beat Big Van Vader with a lariat in 19:49. This was a disappointing match. Vader is one of the stiffest dudes ever and took it pretty light on Kobashi. He didn't hit any really big suplexes and he didn't really strike Kobashi like I had hoped. The same went for Kobashi. He got very little in and mostly stuck to selling. The story of the match was Vader working Kobashi's hurt ribs and then Kobashi making a comeback to win. Vader's rib work was smart but it didn't really kick in until he started doing Vader Bombs. Those were good but after that, he didn't bother so much with them.. The match also really didn't have enough time and didn't use the time it had wisely enough. A 20 minute Vader/Kobashi match should have been a shootout, but honestly, it was slow for the first half. A longer match could have fixed this and could have done some of the bigger moves and sequences that I had expected. This was honestly disappointing but the crowd was into it. Rating:***1/4

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