by Daniel Johnson
Keiji Mutoh and Jimmy Yang vs. Kaz Hayashi and Satoshi Kojima
Here is a pretty interesting match from AJPW that took place just a little over a year ago. Aside from the odd pairing of Keiji Mutoh and Jimmy Yang, the match also begins with two former members of The Jung Dragons locking up. My Japanese isn’t great, but as Kaz Hayashi is battling Yang you can clearly make out the words, “WCW” and “Jung Dragons.” So over 10 years after WCW died, top Japanese promotions are still talking about the few good ideas that came from WCW 2000. That’s got to count for something, doesn’t it?
The match is actually filled with WCW references. Yang opens with a Ric Flair mannerism as he refuses a handshake from Hayashi and instead slicks back his hair. Hayashi responds by chopping Yang, but Yang just struts it off.
As far as the in-ring work of the match goes it is perhaps unsurprising that Hayashi and Satoshi Kojima work better as a team than Mutoh and Yang. Even fairly early on in the encounter Hayashi and Kojima hit a breathtaking double team maneuver where Hayashi hits an elbow from the second rope as Kojima simultaneously flips over the ropes to deliver an elbow of his own. Kojima may be effective in this match because he is also well schooled in wrestling former WCW wrestlers (or at least having the tar beaten out of him by one). At any rate as the match comes to an end there is a funny spot where Yang hits a handspring elbow attack just as The Great Muta would do in his much younger day. Mutoh observes this and follows it up with much less athletic (but still nifty) flying kick. With just moments left Hayashi drops a couple of f-bombs as he hits Yang and eventually plants him on the mat for a win.
Categories: Wrestling Clips