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[1996-04-20-AJPW-Championship Carnival] Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Johnny Ace & Gary Albright


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  • 3 weeks later...

I love the moment of Akiyama having enough of Kawada's kicks and Kawada casually walking away from him. This has lots of the great moments you expect from these guys in a condensed format. All action format, and all the potential pairings are given plenty of time and focus. Not the best primer for 90s All Japan, but a really good one.

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  • 1 month later...
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  • 1 year later...

Shorter than most of the early-'90s six-man classics, but this adequately takes its place amongst them. I dug Kawada heeling it up some, walking away from a confrontation with Jun and repeatedly kicking a downed Kobashi. Albright and Jun have some terrific sequences and exchanges. More great build to the full nelson suplex, and this time Albright hits it.

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  • 1 month later...

This was really good stuff. Looking at the pairing, I said to myself wow what a mismatch for the Albright and Ace side not knowing the end result. They did a great job of making them look effective especially Albright who is now on a bit of a roll with his AJ run. This is the type of match that showed AJ still had some decent depth and could deliver compelling six mans on the back half of the decade. ***3/4

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Coming out of this match I want to see Albright against these guys in singles matches. He doesn't spend a whole lot of time in the ring here but when he's in he's explosive. His suplexes look nasty even in the context of AJPW suplexes. He starts teasing the full nelson from the very beginning of the match, but when he actually hits it the camera almost misses the whole move! It does look great on replay though. Akiyama also looked great, he worked some really good if brief exchanges with Albright and a really good one with Kawada. Just great action in this match.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-04-20-AJPW-Championship Carnival] Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Johnny Ace & Gary Albright
  • 1 year later...

Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada, Johnny Ace and Gary Albright - AJPW 4/20/96

My first look at Akiyama since 1993 as he teams with his Super Generation cohort just about a month before he graduates to being Misawa's junior tag team partner. Kawada's partner and Ace's partner are squaring off in the Carny Finals so they are making a team of strange bedfellows and they have added Albright for good measure. Interesting that Hansen is not part of this match showing that he has become more of a legend/part-timer. 

If you have read my reviews, you will not be surprised who my MVP of the first half of this match is...Johnny Fucking Ace! Dude is a jolt of energy as soon as he hits the ring. Those clotheslines on Akiyama were ferocious. I love how he goes the exact opposite of tactic of Orton. The RKO is all about the element of surprise whereas the Ace Crusher is loudly announced before every attempt. Ace is great for bumping & feeding for Misawa's & Kobashi's great offense. I really want to see a Kobashi vs Ace singles match now. There was so much macho posturing there. They were lighting each other up! I thought the Spinning Back Chop miss into an Ace German looked fucking great. Ace tagging out to Kawada was smart and that's how the first half ends. Only two other things to note, Kawada vs Kobashi ended with Kawada trying a cross-armbreaker when Kobashi blocked, Albright came in and put a cross-armbreaker on Kobashi's other arm which was a fucking great spot. Akiyama broke it up. This set up Akiyama vs Albright. Albright did a pretty good job shining Akiyama up letting get a heel hook and a Jumping Knee. Nice Exploder by Akyiama early on an interfering Ace. Akiyama knocked Kawada off the ring so Kawada comes in and gives a Cowboy Kick to him. Good start for Akiyama. Really super six-man so far!

There a lot of six-mans I see get hyped that I think are just great workrate matches I thought this was excellent in that department but also had great character work and a legitimately shocking finish. Kawada vs Akiyama came off great. Akiyama slapping Kawada repeatedly and then Kawada trying to kick Akiyama's head off was awesome. Akiyama fires up and Kawada punks him out by tagging put. Johnny Ace fucking put in work. His exchange with Misawa was bitchin'. Give this man a fucking Triple Crown title shot already, Baba! He was just kicking ass in there. It is too bad he fucked up the moonsault. I have seen him hit clean plenty of times in 94 and 95 but sucks he botched it here. I loved that he does the Kobashi fist pump before it each time. Kawada obliterated Kobashi off the apron. Nice touch when Misawa does that to Ace when Ace tries to stop the Kobashi moonsault. Ace goes for the Doctor Bomb on Misawa but Misawa fights out. Akiyama tags in and Ace hits a beautiful heel kick in the corner that has to be seen! Akiyama throws him off on the DDT attempt and here comes Kobashi to kick some ass. DDT and Sleeper and Kobashi is in control. Kawada hits an absurd, uncomfortable amount of Kawada kicks on Kobashi who of course fires the fuck up because KOBASHI IS ALL FUCKING MAN! Kobashi rages only for Kawada SLUG HIM WITH A MACK TRUCK LARIAT! Akiyama bails Kobashi out. Misawa is hanging back. Kobashi/AKiama are gelling. The prospects of Burning look great. KOBASHI THROWS KAWADA DOWN WITH A POWERBOMB! Kawada does his aristocratically great selling. Kobashi Moonsault! 1-2-NO! Great nearfall! This is when Albright comes and becomes a force of nature just throwing the Super Generation Army around with suplexes. 

I wont spoil the finish. You have Akiyama coming of age, Ace being a ball of energy, Kawada the surly bastard and ringleader (Kawada is super important in the finish because he is running point), Albright killing fools dead with suplexes, Kobashi as Mr. Macho and Misawa hanging back just bailing his team out. It was a great dynamic. I loved this ****1/2

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  • 1 year later...

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