By Sean Orleans
Yesterday, as many of you sat around a table with family and gave thanks before stuffing yourselves full of high caloric garbage and parking your asses on the couch to watch “pro football” to kill time before you could go and trample your fellow man at big box stores that evening for the latest overpriced bauble, yours truly was studying as always. You don’t get to be the smartest man in wrestling by resting on your laurels. No, my task is to learn. To assimilate information. To make myself more knowledgable than everyone else.
Sure, I’m already smarter than most (probably you), but that doesn’t mean I can shirk my responsibility to educate the wrestling public on the finer points of the sport by showcasing fantastic contests.
Such is the case tonight. While everyone looks for a one-of-a-kind deal on this day, I present to you–FREE OF CHARGE–the 2003 Match of the Year: Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa. These two won Match of the Year honors in 1997 and 1998 for their singles bouts in All Japan Pro Wrestling. This third encounter would be contested under Misawa’s Pro Wrestling NOAH promotion.
To understand how crazy these two men were in performing the array of moves you’ll see below, consider this: at the time of this match, Kobashi is 35 and his knees are shot; Misawa is 40 and his back and neck are in a bad way.
The next time you’re hanging out with your buddies and downing beers, and one of those knuckleheads looks at wrestling on the TV and says, “that ain’t too hard,” pull up this match and let them see what these men do to each other. Man’s game, folks. Man’s game.