By Alex Podgorski on 30th November 2023
It has been a VERY long time since an AJPW match received the “coveted” 5-star treatment from Dave Meltzer…or in this case, 5-star PLUS.
The last time All Japan reached this supposed level of historic greatness was in October 1999 in a match involving two of the fabled Four Pillars, an Olympic-level grappler that is considered the unofficial “fifth pillar” and a guy who was known as “Rat Boy”. But not only is this the first AJPW match in 24 years reach such a level, but if Meltzer’s ratings are to be taken at face value and supposed biases taken out of the equation, then this is considered the best match in AJPW history. And considering how much wrestling that encompasses and how much the modern wrestling landscape has been influenced by AJPW’s 1990s golden decade, claiming that this is AJPW’s ultimate magnum opus is a bold statement, to say the least. Let’s see if such praise is deserved.