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Scout Report by Wrestlingscout

"I Have a Dream…" Match that Is

This was a tricky task to come up with ten dream matches. I limited myself to heavyweights (mostly with the top spots in their respective companies). I will certainly do a follow-up with juniors and tag teams, but for now here you go:

10. Jun Akiyama (NOAH) vs. Satoshi Kojima (NJPW) -
I questioned whether or not I should include Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima, but for my money Kojima is the more awesome of the two rising stars in New Japan. Tenkoji will definitely have a spot on tag team follow-up. While Aki can be the most hit and miss of all the guys I used, when paired with someone awesome he has excellent matches. This match has that youthful energy appeal to it that none of the others really do. Maybe in 5 years (assuming we don't see this) these guys will be higher on the list.

9. Keiji Muto (NJPW) vs. Jun Akiyama (NOAH) -
Perhaps the closest match on the horizon, so I brought it down lower than it would've been a few months ago. This potentially is going to be the first Triple Crown vs. Globally Honored Crown match and perhaps the only one we see in the foreseeable future. I can only imagine that it would be held on a NOAH card and the Triple Crown would not be on the line. I'd prefer to see it in the Budokan, under the AJPW banner and make it title for title.

8. Kenta Kobashi (NOAH) vs. Kensuke Sasaki (NJPW) -
Two of Japan's most powerful main eventers, both returning from a long hiatus. This match just has an interesting element to it. I think we'll have to see how the reborn Sasaki looks in the ring, since he was at his best before he left. Kobashi was one of the very best workers in the world even on his shattered knees, hopefully he can return to the level he was once at over a year ago. These two could have a helluva match, but there are a lot of factors that are uncertain at this point.

7. Genichiro Tenryu (AJPW) vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (NOAH) -
No match on this list has a bigger historical ingredient than this one as both these guys are legends in puroresu. Tenryu is the former partner and rival of Jumbo Tsurata and though his best matches were against Tsurata, Jumbo's money feud was with Misawa. These guys are both past their primes, but can still put out a surprisingly good performance. Sadly, this one would not be as good as it could've been ten years ago and most of these matches could overshadow it. This is the kind of match that would be best suited for a "Jumbo Tsurata Memorial Show" in the Budokan.

6. Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW) vs. Shinya Hashimoto (Zero-One) -
These two no-frills stiff-as-hell combatants played second fiddle to more flashy stars (Misawa and Muto), but were arguably better workers. This one could be just stomach-turning with vicious kicks and violent suplexes. These are two of my favorites and I'd love to put it higher, but I don't see this one as being a near impossibility and historically-speaking it is inferior to some of the others. This one could be the best match on here though.

5. Kenta Kobashi (NOAH) vs. Keiji Muto (NJPW) -
The knee attacks in this one would be sold so well…wait a minute. Two of the best workers, who can suffer through the most excruciating pain, could put on a stellar match. I genuinely think Kobashi will make a strong return if Muto is to challenge NOAH's stars, this one seems like a matter of time.

4. Jun Akiyama (NOAH) vs. Yuji Nagata (NJPW) -
The two hottest youngster going could have an outstanding match. Nagata can carry anyone and Aki is not one that needs to be carried, so I think this one would be an awesome battle of Exploders. These guys are just hitting their prime unlike every other abovementioned wrestler (except Kojima) and on the verge of getting the recognition they've slowly been earning. After teaming to beat Keiji Muto & Hiro Hase a battle between the GHC holder and G-1 Climax winner (and future IWGP Champion) seems inevitable.

3. Shinya Hashimoto (Zero-One) vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (NOAH) -
This match was teased during Zero-One's two PPVs, but it is yet to come to fruition. This is a real dream match as both men were dominant champions in their respective companies in the mid-90s. Now in the new millennium, these two have gone with promoting their own groups by "stealing" talent from the promotion that made them. Hashimoto and Misawa maintain a strong following and could still have a major money match for either of their rebel companies.

2. Mitsuharu Misawa (NOAH) vs. Keiji Muto (NJPW) -
After Muto's recent match on a New Japan card that for the first time had a NOAH wrestler on it, Muto said he would like wrestle Misawa. Now this was just thrown out there and like Hashimoto, may no sooner happen than Misawa wrestles on an All Japan card, but at least it has been mentioned. Both men were the top stars of All and New Japan respectively and have gone on to rejuvenate their legacies in NOAH and All Japan respectively. It would be interesting to see a Triple Crown match in the Budokan between the two, but it seems unlikely. While both are past their physical primes, they continue to amaze by working well with the young talent, which they are now putting over.

1. Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW) vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (NOAH) -
A few years ago, a match between these two would be a big deal, but now it would be the biggest match of the year. I mean Austin-Goldberg could have people in the States up, but the past between these two and the type of match they could have would blow that away. This one would have to be held in the Budokan and preferably in an All Japan ring. I don't know the extent of heat between these two, but many wrestlers have been able to put personal problems aside for a big money match, which this definitely would be. This would revitalize All Japan and elevate NOAH to a height it is really yet to see. For Strong Style purists, this match would be a blessing and could alter the hit-and-miss stuff that puroresu is now putting out.

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