Watched Kobashi v Akiyama from 7/04 about an hour ago, and DAMN it's still as awesome as I remember. I still don't think it's ***** though, for some reason.
I liked how they seemed to break it down into 3 parts - Kobashi picking Jun apart with his chops; Akiyama lands a huge knee smash and the tide turns, allowing him to go after Kobashi's neck for the Exploder; huge epic finishing stretch - and it just escalates from move to move. Kobashi legit spitting blood after that suplex off the apron was crazy... then taking a fucking Exploder from the tope to the floor was completely in-fucking-sane!
The finishing stretch was, like I said, epic, but it didn't seem absurd like a lot of the high-end heavyweight matches seemed to get since '95. Akiyama also kicking out of the moonsault was like "going over" without actually pinning Kobashi since the moonsault was the equivalent to death next to everything but the Burning Hammer. Of course, it's only appropriate that Akiyama finally goes down to said Burning destruction, and after it's done you realise you just saw one HELL of a war.
Like I said, I wouldn't go the full 5 snowflakes, but I'm really not sure what's holding it back for me. I just haven't got that "5 STAR feeling" about any puro match in a while. Guess I should go back and watch Misawa against that Jumbo fella' from 9/1/90 (which is better than 6/8 btw
) and see if I get it back. ****3/4