Koki Kitahara v Akira Katayama (SWS, 10/29/91)
Man Kitahara was the best. I remember when I first got into Japanese wrestling I'd buy tapes with as much junior heavyweight stuff on them as I could find. Guys like Liger, Kanemoto, Ohtani, Eddie, Benoit, etc. I doubt I even knew who Koki Kitahara was back then and if I saw his name on a match list I probably would've skipped right over it (unless he happened to be matched up with one of the aforementioned names). It's been a while since those simpler times. My tastes have shifted somewhat dramatically since then and at this point I'm more likely to seek out obscure Koki Kitahara matches than any from those other guys (with the exception of probably Eddie). This started out with Katayama, in his leopard print tights and kneepads, jumping Kitahara at the bell and laying a beating on him. He had to try and stay on top the whole match because if he let Kitahara catch his breath he'd pay for it. Of course Kitahara caught his breath and kicked Katayama really hard in the mouth. I thought he'd literally kicked his teeth out and Katayama spent the back half of the match bleeding down his chest. Kitahara also seemed to be nursing a bum leg from a previous match so Katayama would go after that now and then as well, almost as a contingency plan of sorts. Kitahara hit what was basically a Ganso Bomb and his snap suplex is so, so good; easily as fast and sharp as Dynamite Kid's or Benoit's or whoever else's. Fun match. There's bound to be some hidden Kitahara gems from WAR v New Japan.