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Found 208 results

  1. The TAKEOVER duo has an awesome entrance together. As Misawa makes his entrance, Shibata just stares him down & I am already loving this. Then the actual match starts with Shibata completely owning Go. He doesn't want to fight Go, he wants Misawa! So Misawa tags in, and we get some great stiff back & forth between him & Shibata. Eventually Shibata comes out on top, so Misawa works as the FIP for a bit - KENTA & Shibata were awesome working over him in complete dickish, no respect fashion. They weren't out there to shake hands with the legend or anything, they were out there to make a hard hitting, badass statement. Misawa comes back to things & KENTA works as the FIP for a brief amount of time - eventually the Takeover fellas gain the advantage again & they just kick the shit out of poor Go. Shibata & KENTA truly were amazing together in this one. Then the finishing run, my goodness. That was really hot & had a real sense of urgency to it - great way to cap off this classic tag match. Takeover rules. ****1/2
  2. This was a lot of fun. You got some brief interactions between Kobashi & Misawa, and those were pretty wild as you'd expect, then you got KENTA & Marufuji doing their thing - some fast paced, energetic sequences. My favorite thing though was just seeing KENTA & Kobashi kick Marufuji's ass - my goodness their offense looked so great & Marufuji sold the beating well. Great match. ****
  3. A fun mess. Match starts out with Nakajima and Marvin, and while you may expect them to do some contrived junior sequences they instead proceed to just slap the taste out of each other's mouth, setting the pace and the heat for the match. And it's not like it was hard for them to sustain that-you get Ibushi pinballing for Misawa, Misawa and Kensuke slugging it out, Kensuke destroying juniors, all intriguing ideas that were executed well (I loved MIsawa saying fuck it mid-strike exchange with Kensuke and tagging out). Misawa is at his most Giant Baba-ish here, at the end of the match he can't even run halfway across the ring, but anyone other than Kensuke that gets close to him gets elbowkilled. Marvin and Nakajima were unfortunately the heat killers too, as Marvin tried to use more of his more juniorish offence in their next match-up and Nakajima didn't really know how to react. In an interesting turn of events Ibushi and Ishimori were the ones to get the heat back by doing even more junior stuff, but with fluidity and good execution. It being a six man tag also allows them to incorporate more complicated spots easier without ridiculous set-ups, like Marvin's ramp run and Ibushi's sudden Springboard to cut-off the double 619, you don't even notice that stuff when there's simulatenous action going on. ***1/2
  4. It's been said before, but parts of AJPW felt pretty old hat by 1999. Case in point: matches like this. Misawa no sells a few moves, parts of the Kawada/Misawa sections came dangerously close to current NJPW elbowfests, and the build and sense of escalation seemed to be lacking overall. It picks up here or there, but it speak volumes to me that 2 minutes before the finish in this match Misawa and Kawada were still working fairly standard exchanges that didn't feel like they were preceded by a 20 minute match at all. It was a pretty stiff match, so even if it wasn't exciting, it was atleast painful. Shinzaki didn't really add much besides a few different moves. He threw a few uppercuts, so I guess that makes him the stand-in for Great Kabuki.
  5. This was a good 6 man tag. Fast pace, no restholds, lots of stiff shots to keep you entertained. However, since Misawa & Friends where still somewhat green at this point, it still feels like they are running through their shit when they are in control. So the most interesting bits are when Jumbo comes in to interact with them. Taue took a beating but it didn't lead to much, on the other side Kobashi took the most punishment, including being on the bad side of some vicious lariats from Jumbo, and Mighty Inoue of all people stepping on him, attack him with punches, knee drops, double stomps and even a piledriver on the floor. The Kobashi vs. Inoue finishing stretch was thus pretty exciting because Inoue is old and feeble, but can win with a flash pin. That was some cool booking.
  6. Again JIP to the MVC controlling. This was a really fun match where Williams and Gordy work over Kawada in stiff fashion. There were some great Kawada/Gordy interactions - Kawada laying into a big gaijin as hard as he can never gets old.The finishing run was pretty hot with Kawada and Misawa throwing the big guys around for impressive nearfalls, including Kawada dropping Gordy with a sick powerbomb. After the match a brawl breaks out, indicating somebody was pissed off with that result.
  7. JIP to a control segment on Kawada. We get some stiff strikes and Kawada taking huge bump to the outside after eating a nasty lariat from Jumbo. The finish run had some cool exchanges and Misawa looking like a boss. This wasn't bad, but not really terribly exciting. The result was cool to see though.
  8. Just a 9 minute clip, but a really fun, energetic little fight that showcases what made this crew so fun in 1990. Inoue throws fists and gets the shit kicked out of him (seriously he always took a nasty spinkick from Misawa), Kawada does very un-Kawada like flying around, some impressive double team moves and Misawa showing Taue the business with his elbows. Fuchi at one point lays in some vicious stomps and pays for it when Misawa KO's him with that big bad elbow smash, which is sold perfectly.
  9. This was quite the fascinating bout. A long fine handheld tag match. Jumbo was a lot more menacing here than the stooging character he played on TV lately, as he clobbered Kawada and Misawa mercilessly. The parts where Fuchi is in are solid, and Kawada looks real good as he sticks to his kicks, to the point where Fuchi is almost sympathetic as Kawada kicks the snot out of him. But what will stick the most in your mind is the way Jumbo assaults Misawa here, beginning with a forearm smash that leads to Misawa taking huge bump to the floor. Eventually Jumbo hits his big backdrop driver, but instead of going for the pin Jumbo goes into mount and beats Misawa like a dog. Jumbo beats Misawa to the point where Misawa can't get to his feet anymore but refuses to quit, and Jumbo keeps picking him up and refusing to pin him. Both Kawada and even Fuchi run in to calm Jumbo down but he kicks their asses too. You'd except this kind of grit and hatred in a heated US bloodfeud but it worked here aswell. Great match.
  10. Just the last 10 or so minute of what looked like a solid match. The highlight was easily Kawada and Kabuki waffling eachother. Also, Inoue gets the snot beaten out of him by the young punks but wins with flash rollup, which is one of my favourite things. Other than that this was mostly a flurry of moves.
  11. Man oh man I LOVED this one. Such an amazing performance from Fuchi trying to survive against a higher ranked opponent by destroying his leg. His early control segment ruled, he was just viciously slamming Misawa's leg onto the announce table. The legwork set Fuchi up for both his future control segments giving him a good base to work on by stretching Misawa and also provided with him a way to easily and believably transition back into offence. Misawa's selling was sublime, just a perfect example of how selling doesn't have to black or white (and in most cases when such selling is used it takes away from the match more than anything), he limped and slowed down but still went for all his big stuff regardless like you would in a fight and recognized the pain both by not being able to follow up a great looking frog splash with a cover and by modifying his flip lariat (usually he would use a dashing start, here he just kind of threw himself at Fuchi). We get a few nearfalls that didn't use "big" moves but were extremely well set up and the crowd bought into them before a cool and (for All Japan) unique finish. A lot of stars.
  12. I made this topic since I just found this on YouTube and had never seen it before. It's not on Ditch's site and didn't make the 1993 Yearbook. It was also skipped over by the All Japan Excited Series podcast. It's an awesome match in my opinion, and being the final match of the CC with the names involved it seems like its been snubbed a bit. Was this unavailable until recently? Has it not been looked upon favorably?
  13. In keeping with the current trends I thought it might be good to take a look at two other guys who will almost certainly finish high in the voting. This one interests me quite a bit because there are both direct and indirect comparisons to be made. They both worked as the ace of All Japan for an extended period of time. They worked against one another during the transitional period and that can come into play for comparison as well. I feel like an interesting comparison here would also be how Misawa worked with Kobashi during the years Kobashi overtook Kawada as the #2. It would be a very direct comparison to Jumbo vs. Misawa in my mind. On the flip side, one worked a very athletic, cutting edge style punctuated with stiff elbows. As well of having a long list of finisher level moves that dwarfs a listing of every move used by the majority of his contemporaries and wresters who came before him. While the other was a very simple, traditional wrestler with good athleticism for his size, but his calling cards were doing the little things exceptionally well, adapting to the moment, working pitch perfect across from whoever he was up against and using a limited amount of simple tools (in comparison to Misawa) to great effect. Another great contrast is their style as the ace. Jumbo was emotional, went with the flow and worked to his opponent to an incredible degree. Misawa was stoic, dictated the way the promotion was going and had a formula he plugged his opponents into with small variations. I'm not saying Misawa was always really formulaic, but when he was working somebody much lower on the card he didn't seem to make all that much seem different. I personally lean towards Jumbo for several reasons. I feel like he had a deeper grasp of the dynamics of a main event vs. midcarder match and that's a pretty big thing when you are the ace of a traditional Japanese wrestling company. I also think he adapted far better than Misawa did as time went on in his career. It doesn't hurt that I also felt like Kawada was the better wrestler than Misawa and should have been in Kobashi's spot.
  14. Masa Fuchi puts on a clinic here during a buildup tag to Kobashi vs Taue. Taue and Kobashi do great as well, especially Kobashi, but this is Fuchi's match.
  15. Albright is a man ahead of his time, coming out to "Voodoo Child." No air guitar, though. Definitely a match of value if just to see the other AJPW types work with Gary and compare them to what Kawada did in October. This is decent but not nearly as good--the opening is a total waste as Misawa doesn't seem to know how to really work Albright's style of opening mat-wrestling, so we get a lot of lock-ups, stalemates, and resets that's broken up when Albright unleashes a German suplex. Gary locks on a cross armbreaker on Misawa's rolling elbow arm and doesn't break when Misawa's in the ropes, providing an opening for another psychological road to go down, but they don't follow up on it aside from Misawa paying Albright back by doing the same thing. I can't really call this a spotfest--there's some token psychology involving Albright constantly going for a dragon suplex and Misawa constantly foiling it--but there isn't a ton of substance outside of the big suplexes. Albright does take a great flying bump off Misawa's rolling elbow at the finish, and overall I think he was as good or better of a worker in this match than Mitsuharu. Not a bad effort, but unless Gary was going to work Kawada every match, this is strong evidence that he wasn't going to be a great fit for the company.
  16. Very effective ace vs. upstart match, with a closing stretch even better than I anticipated. Akiyama's Exploder is not yet named but is now being treated as a big move--Misawa acts desperate to avoid it at first, and when Akiyama hits two of them, Misawa is saved by the ropes from what looks like a huge upset. That's the last bullet in Akiyama's chamber and Misawa effectively takes control with his elbows soon afterward, but a good little scare was put into him nevertheless. This isn't an all-time performance for Mitsuharu but it's a good look at him as the dominant ace, who shows just enough vulnerability to put Akiyama over but effectively re-establishes himself in short order.
  17. I think I've seen Takao twice in my life--the 1996 Royal Rumble where he didn't do anything, and the 2000 Carny match with Jun...not a whole lot to extrapolate from that marathon. Omori is full of pep and energy in his first big showcase match. Unfortunately for him Team Misawa sees to it that his hopes and dreams are swiftly and efficiently crushed, leaving undoubtedly a bitter cynical shell of a man. Omori gets the absolute snot beaten out of him--even Akiyama gets to act like a grizzled old veteran stiffing the shit out of some young snot. Omori is in peril for a LONG time, and we must go about 15 minutes before Kawada tags in. He's doubtless still working hurt, but when he tags in for the first time it's with Misawa down and vulnerable, and having milked the big showdown for quite awhile the crowd is suitably amped for it. The other running subplot from this and other recent matches is the budding rivalry between Kobashi and Taue--every exchange they've had recently has been stiff and exciting and full of hate. Anxious to see a singles match between the two now, and that's probably the least notable of the Four Corners match-ups. After being on a big hot streak, by the end of this Kobashi is back to being the gutsy overmatched underdog having to hang on for dear life--not necessarily because he's outranked but because the numbers game overwhelms him. Taue eventually puts him away with a nodowa to put more heat on that matchup. I guess this is it for Omori's major involvement in these stable wars, and honestly it's kind of hard to evaluate how he'd place in future matches--he looked promising but he really didn't do a lot besides act as a punching bag.
  18. Because I couldn't go through '95 without getting a glimpse of EVIL KIKUCHI. He's even switched to evil black tights, though he eschewed the evil goatee. Sadly he seems pretty banged up and out of it by this point, so he doesn't do a ton and leaves the heavy lifting to his partners. The first half of this is all about setting up Kawada as a killer, as he chokes out Misawa and is basically treated almost as a no-selling monster heel from the way he carries himself and the urgency with which Kobashi and Akiyama take him on. After that it bogs down into a pretty through-the-motions tag, with a through-the-motions FIP segment on Akiyama and a through-the-motions finish with Misawa putting Ogawa away without a ton of trouble. One for AJPW completists, though I could get into Kikuchi & Ogawa as a ratfuck tag team.
  19. So the story is that AJPW really wasn't enthused with this whole project. They were isolationist to begin with, and they were smack in the middle of their Champions Carnival with guys having a bunch of hard-hitting (and long) singles matches. They were planning to just send some undercarders, but with fan backlash and New Japan trotting out a main event with its two hottest singles stars, they changed course, provided an all-star 6-man tag, and from what I understand stole the show, or at least stole the thunder from NJPW. Ace is a substitute for Dr. Death, who was going through his drug/arrest troubles and was out of wrestling entirely, putting an end to a great 18-month run. This is something past "fall out of bed" good. This is one of the better AJPW matches of the year and probably the best 6-man we'll see. It's the best performance I remember seeing out of Johnny Ace. It's one of the best Kobashi-in-peril performances you'll see. It even advances the Taue/Misawa CC rivalry as Taue has Misawa on the ropes down the stretch. It has a fresh dynamic with Hansen in a white-knight role, working the hot tag and doing double-teams with Misawa. It absolutely flies by--I wasn't even considering that this might be a draw until the "5 minutes left" time call came. I could have watched these 6 guys go for another 30, easily, and my patience with hour draws was wearing thin. Ultimately this probably wasn't truly consequential enough to be a major MOTYC, but it's certainly in the top 10 right now and could easily finish in the top 15-20.
  20. JerryvonKramer

    All Japan Excite Series #2

    http://placetobenation.com/all-japan-excite-series-2/ Are you excited? Parv and Steven watch four more exciting matches from 90s All Japan Pro Wrestling! 10/19/90 Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada & Kenta Kobashi vs Jumbo Tsuruta, Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi 01/15/91 Toshiaki Kawada vs Akira Taue 04/20/91 Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada & Kenta Kobashi vs Jumbo Tsuruta, Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi 09/04/91 Stan Hansen vs Kenta Kobashi The PWO-PTBN Podcast Network features great shows you can find right here at Place to Be Nation. By subscribing on iTunes or SoundCloud, youll have access to new episodes, bonus content, as well as a complete archive of: Where the Big Boys Play, Titans of Wrestling, Pro-Wrestling Super-Show, Good Will Wrestling, and Wrestling With the Past.