Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi on 8/31/93
review by Suicidal Youth
Backstory: This is the first meeting between these two. Dr. Death Steve Williams was one of the top Gaijin wrestlers in All Japan along with Stan Hansen. Kenta Kobashi faced Hansen in a brutal match that saw Kobashi hold his own against Hansen before being absolutely killed. This match is for the #1 Contendership to the Triple Crown. Williams has had two shots in the past, and has failed in both. This is the closest Kobashi has come to a
Match starts out with both men locked in a grapple until Williams takes Kobashi to the mat. Irish Whip, but a Shoulder Block doesn't floor Kobashi, so Williams elects to nail a Spinebuster and lock on a Surfboard Stretch. Kobashi attempts to break the hold, but Williams has it on tight. Kobashi finally breaks it, and drops Dr. Death on his noggin with a STIFF German Suplex!!!! Williams rolls to the floor, and Kobashi follows him out there and lands a DDT on the floor, as well as a Plancha!! Back inside, Kobashi unloads with some Chops, and drops Williams with a Backbreaker, and goes right into a Chinlock. He breaks, and nails a few kicks to keep Williams down. A Chop doesn't seem to phase Dr. Death, but a Suplex sure does, and Kobashi is in firm control once again. Williams Snapmares his way out of a Chinlock, but Kobashi doesn't give him any room, and stays on him with some more kicks. Kobashi sends Williams back into the corner for some more Chops. We're about ten minutes in, and Williams is starting to fire up. Chops and kicks aren't phasing him now. He blocks a punch, and unloads to stiff rights. He sends Kobashi to the ropes. Kobashi ducks a Lariat, but is caught in a Military Press, and Williams dumps him to the outside!!! Dr. Death takes some time to rest before heading out to send Kobashi back first into the ringpost twice before Bodyslamming him on the floor. Back inside, a Brainbuster gets a nearfall. Williams locks on a WAR Hold, turning it into a Release Tiger Suplex for another two count. Kobashi shakes off some kicks from Williams, but is floored once again with a Shoulder Tackle. Williams goes for the Doctor Bomb, but Kobashi grabs the ropes to prevent the move. He switches up to the Homicide Backdrop, and Kobashi finds salvation in the ropes once again. The ref breaks them up, and WIlliams unloads with some heavy Chops. Kobashi won't have it, and the two exchange some stiff Slaps! To the floor they go once again, with Kobashi using the guardrail to assist him in delivering another DDT on the floor!!! He charges Williams, but takes a Powerslam on the floor!
Williams heads back in to wait for Kobashi. Kobashi comes back in, and sends Williams into the corner, and follows up with a Bulldog. Kobashi backs Williams into the corner, and unloads with Machine Gun Chops! Williams fires back with a Dropkick and sets up for the Three Point Stance. He charges, but Kobashi catches him in a Sleeper! Williams rolls to the ropes for the break, and sends Kobashi into the corner. He goes up top, and takes a Superplex for his troubles. Kobashi nails a DDT, followed by a Jumping DDT for another nearfall. Kobashi isn't deterred and lands a series of Running Legdrops to further weaken Williams. German Suplex with a Bridge earns another nearfall. Scoop Slam, followed by a Moonsault gets 2 and 99/100ths!!!!!!! The look on Kobashi's face illustrates the frustration that must be filling his head right now. He goes for a second Moonsault, and Williams gets his knees up, and nails the Three Point Stance. Kobashi counters a Doctor Bomb to save himself once again and gets a two count. Kobashi's up.......BURNING LARIOTOOHHHHH!!!!!!!! COUNTO TWO!!!! Kobashi misses a Jumping Knee in the corner, and Williams nails the Oklahoma Stampede for another two count!!! Williams with a Running Lariat for ANOTHER nearfall!!!! Kobashi recovers and strikes back with some Chops, and goes for the win with a Schoolboy!!! Both men are back up, and Williams charges into another Sleeper from Kobashi....NO!! HOMICIDE BACKDROP!!!!! Kobashi looked either dead or paralyzed after that one!!!!! And it only gets a two count!! Williams goes for a second, but Kobashi blocks it. Williams nails a Lariat to the back of Kobashi's head, and DROPS HIM ON HIS HEAD A SECOND TIME WITH THE HOMICIDE BACKDROP!!!!!!!!! That one was even sicker than the first!!! KOBASHI'S UP!!! That has to be pure instinct! Kobashi can't even stand, and has to pull himself up using the ropes!!!! Williams compacts Kobashi's neck a third straight time with a Homicide Backdrop Hold, and Kobashi stays down for the three count!!!!
Analysis: DAMN!!!! This was what All Japan was about in the 1990's. Hard hitting, headdropping, non-stop action. Kobashi went right after Williams at the bell with no hesitation. Kobashi was really coming into his own during this time, and it was incredibly fun to watch him in this match especially. For someone who had a brutal match with Stan Hansen a mere month before this match, Kobashi didn't show any ill signs of pain or injury. Whether it was intentional or not, both men did a good job of working over each other for their finishing moves. Kobashi went right after the upper body of Williams, which would be affected by the Moonsault and the Legdrop. Williams wasn't exempt, either, as he punished Kobashi's neck over the course of the match. The Press Slam to the floor, Tiger Suplex, Powerslam on the floor, etc. It made the finishing stretch that much more enjoyable. My only gripe is the three Backdrops. I think one would have sufficed, two at the absolute most. However, It's a minor issue, and doesn't detract from the match too much.