Manami Toyota v Aja Kong (1994)
This is arguably the best match Toyota ever had, though with her amazing career, looking for one match is a meaningless exercise -- there have been dozens, indeed scores of epic, Match-of-the-Year, displays from this incredible athlete and performer.
What made the BIG EGG UNIVERSE matches so special is the stage. On November 20, 1994, AJW, JWP, LLPW, FMW, and others all came together to put on the biggest women's wrestling show of all time. The venue -- Tokyo Dome! The event marked the end of the Joshi golden era (early 90's) And the championship tournament that ultimately ended in a match between Aja Kong and Akira Hokuto (that Hokuto won) featured the dominant big women and superlative workers of each company. A much better match than the final previously mentioned, was the semi-final between to AJW standouts: the dominant and brutal, Aja Kong, and the precociously talented wunderkind, Manami Toyota. Kong and Toyota were contemporaries, both entering AJW in 1986, but there styles were contrasting: Kong was a striker (kicks and punches) while Toyota was an innovative high-flyer with tremendous balance, agility, acrobatic elegance, and surprising power for a woman her size. Her ability to scale to the top rope without her hands and fly inside or outside the ring with moonsaults, missle drop kicks, planchas, etc. was phenomenal. No crowds "ooooooh!" more respectfully and "on cue" than Japanese wrestling crowds; no one ever drew these reverential responses more regularly or genuinely from the Japanese crowds than Manami.
With a massive crowd of 42,500 (thanks John Hyperion for looking up this gate number!) gathered in the Dome, and so much at stake in the semi-final match, the stage was set for great passion and great performances from Kong and Toyota. Neither woman would disappoint. The insane risks that Toyota took to beat the bigger, stronger woman are legendary and her creative improvision -- creating moves never before seen (like Derek Jeter improvising to make an out at the plate in the ACLS against Oakland in 2001), Toyota created moves never before seen, never before named. It is a phenomenal match. Enjoy!