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[1996-05-24-AJPW-Super Power Series] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue


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  • 4 weeks later...

Taue wins the Triple Crown! I didn't like this as much as Kawada/Kobashi, but still a very good match. The selling wasn't as good and the offense wasn't as good, and it's hard for me to watch the two matches back to back and not compare them to each other. I do like the typical All Japan style of teasing moves multiple times and delivering them later. Misawa seemed a little off. Usually, he's got an ironclad grip on his spot in these matches, and I don't want to say that wasn't there, but he wasn't The Man in the same way he normally is. The match wasn't laid out in a way where Taue got as much momentum as he could have from the win. They seem to be going through the motions a little, although these guys going through the motion is still very good wrestling. Criticisms aside, I did enjoy this match.

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  • 1 month later...

This is a strong sprint, with a surprise finish, but it's one of their lesser matches together. If you're looking for an overlooked Misawa/Taue match, I'd take their one a year later (even with the blown finish) over this, but I think it goes to show you with All Japan when something like this comm (5/23 tag titles;this;KawadaKobashi) isn't really spoken of a great deal.

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It's interesting over the years that we've tossed out the word sprint (or words to those effect) for AJPW matches like this, or the 7/95 Misawa-Kawada, or the Kawada-Kobashi from the same night especially relative to the other draws Kawada-Kobashi were working. It makes one pause to think about the sprint:

 

04/28/96 Shawn Michaels vs Diesel (17:53)

 

04/29/96 Nobuhiko Takada vs Shinya Hashimoto (12:33)

 

05/24/96 Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi (19:41)

05/24/96 Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue (16:05)

 

05/26/96 Shawn Michaels vs Davey Boy Smith (17:21)

 

06/23/96 Undertaker vs Mankind (18:21)

06/23/96 Shawn Michaels vs Davey Boy Smith (26:25)

 

Misawa-Taue wasn't really that short in the big picture. Shawn-Davey was something of a long WWF match, as was the Shawn-Taker from Rumble earlier in the year. Here are the WWF PPV title matches, leaving out the Bret-Shawn due to the Iron Man gimmick:

 

01/21/96 Bret vs Undertaker (28:31)

02/18/96 Bret vs Diesel (19:13)

04/28/96 Shawn vs Diesel (17:53)

05/26/96 Shawn vs Davey Boy (17:21)

06/23/96 Shawn vs Davey Boy (26:25)

08/18/96 Shawn vs Vader (18:59)

09/22/96 Shawn vs Mankind (26:25)

11/17/96 Shawn vs Sid (20:02)

12/15/96 Sid vs Bret (17:03)

 

Shawn-Davey and Shawn-Mick are pretty much Shawn trying to work an epic match, with the Davey almost being his attempt to Budokan a match. Bret-Taker was a strange one... don't know if that was stretched because the Rumble that year was such an incredibly limited card.

 

But by the WWF, WCW (which is hard to run with since it's Hogan) and NJPW standards, the length of Misawa-Taue (and Kawada-Kobashi) isn't too sprinty.

 

It's also not as if they didn't sell and were just working go-go-go like Low-Ki vs Chris Daniels. ;)

 

But yeah, for All Japan hitting the 15 minute mark and being in the home stretch of a match... that's pretty quick paced when we were use to them falling out of bed to go 20+ (and increasingly longer) in big matches.

 

John

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I've always just termed "sprint" in relation to the pace of the match (ie; "all-action", etc...) rather than it's length. You get 8:00 WWE matches worked at a slow pace and something like the RWTL Final worked at a pretty furious pace (certainly for heavyweights). I'd similarly term the latter a "sprint"; and I figure what separates it from "spot-fest" is obvious. I think "sprints" actually benefit Taue; he was at his best when just running through his stuff, particularly as a dominant figure.

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Understood.

 

One of my points in all that was that those two matches have a strange, "relative" pace.

 

It's not like they're pacey in the sense of a current indy match, or say a Kanyon Nitro Match. Taue and Misawa do sell their spots.

 

I'm not sure if the pace is far greater than the 7/95 Misawa-Kawada, which also has an All Japan "sprint" feel for a big match even going 24 minutes. In that case, it's not just that it's 11 minutes shorter than 6/94, but much of the 11 minutes dropped is the slower, more methodical stuff. They're getting to stuff earlier, and quicker.

 

With this, it more of an "edited" Misawa-Taue match relative to their two Budokan matches the year before. Are they really any quicker in selling their stuff compared to say a 25 minute match. They just happen to cut out a big chunk of that they did in their 1995 Budokan matches. Some of which was clearly "slower". Some of it wasn't slow stuff.

 

The "faster" aspect is more in the sense pages 26-75 of a 200 page book have been chopped out. Some those 50 pages are slower exposition, but some of it has some good high spots on it. Pages 1-25 and 75-200 haven't been changed much at all, so the pacing of those sections are pretty familar. It's just a 25% shorter book: overall it's a quicker book to read, but due to a big sectionbeing taken out rather than tightening throughout.

 

It's a paradoxical sprint, and probably half spotfest and half sprint. And moreso in an All Japan context than crossing over into comparing with other promotions. It wouldn't be a sprint relative to Kyoko vs Toyota going 16 minutes. :)

 

John

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  • 2 years later...

Taue rises to the top of the mountain for his first and final Triple Crown reign. He would of course also go on to claim the GHC crown many years later. It was satisfying to see because physically there's no way the guy should've been able to become a great pro wrestler working this style. His win here was done as a fluke, catching a one-off counter move. That was probably the right way to do it as Misawa was still the company ace. The bout was a sprint all the way. It wasn't like the earlier Kobashi vs Kawada match where they went for excellent and ended up with good. Here they just went for a good match and delivered it.

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  • 11 months later...

This was good, but I was hoping for a little more for Taue's first TC win, and in comparison to the previous classics between these two. This is a shortened version of a standard Misawa formula match--quick start by the challenger, big Misawa comeback, then the finish. In hindsight, I almost wonder if it wouldn't have been better and more memorable for Taue to have the big comeback. Instead, this feels very by-the-numbers. Now, a by-the-numbers AJPW main event is still really damn good, but...well, expectations are what they are. The counterwrestling involving the nodowa toward the end was fantastic, and the finish was quite well-done though I don't necessarily agree with the logic of booking Taue's big title win on a fluke. Misawa was so firmly entrenched on top at this point that it wasn't going to hurt to have him beaten more decisively.

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  • 1 month later...

Very good match but not an all time classic. This does have a great finish with the Nodowa finishing off Misawa to give Taue his Triple Crown in kind of stunning fashion. I Think they maybe should have pulled the trigger on this in September of 95. IN contrast to Kawada vs. Kobashi, these two had some real highlights in the 1990's but also some matches that fall into the very good realm instead of the great one. Kind of weird so far in All Japan that no one feels like they are firmly established as now even ace Misawa has a big loss to show for himself. ***1/2

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  • 2 years later...

No doubt this is a good match; as a solidly worked AJPW style main event, it's hard to objectively call it anything less than decidedly very good. But for Taue's only Triple Crown win, you'd have hoped for a more memorable match. I don't know if I'd call this a sprint, I didn't get a sense of a particularly faster or more frantic pace -- just a shorter main event style match without any real time spent working holds in the beginning. The ending was great though, teasing the nodawa several times and then having Taue catch Misawa out of nowhere for the shocking win.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-05-24-AJPW-Super Power Series] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue
  • 1 year later...

All Japan Triple Crown Champion Mitsuharu  Misawa vs Akira Taue - AJPW 5/24/96

You can always count on Taue for efficiency and tidiness. At first, I thought they were telegraphing Misawa's loss by giving him so much offense early, but Misawa kicking out of the Dynamic Bomb around 10 minutes made you believe that Misawa would make his typical comeback and win. So they did a good job doing a surprise title switch. Kawada's victory over Kobashi seemed to telegraph the Misawa victory to set up Misawa vs Kawada for the fourth straight year as the summer Budokan main event. I am glad they switched it up and with Taue victory and some fresh Triple Crown matches. Also the crowd seemed pleasantly surprised with the Taue victory as they chanted his name. 

Fun Taue shine at beginning, Misawa tries to quicken the pace early and Taue side-stepped & drove Misawa face first into the canvas. Two tremendous dropkicks by Taue, great extension and impact. AIR TAUE~! Taue tries for Apron Nodowa but Misawa begins his first comeback. Lots of Elbows...slingshot Elbow, Missile Dropkick...Somersault off apron. Misawa is cooking. Senton & Facelock. Routine Misawa. Taue both blocks the kick and dumps him on his ass...nice and runs him over with a shouldertackle. Taue goes for his 3rd dropkick, Misawa sidesteps. Taue scoops up Misawa and SNAKE EYES! Taue takes Misawa to Claymore Country. I love Taue. He does not dawdle. He gets an advantage and goes for the kill...Dynamic Bomb...Misawa-rana. Misawa goes crazy and takes two crazy Germans that could have paralyzed him if he was not getting his forearms up. DYNAMIC BOMB~! Kick out...now you feel like the match will be short, but Misawa will make his comeback and win. 

At this point, Taue has got to be thinking NODOWA while Misawa needs to go to his trusty Elbow. Misawa is deadweight. Elbow but Misawa crumples. Taue absorbs and wants to pick Misawa up for the Nodowa right on cue. Atomic Legdrop by Taue and he goes for the Nodowa again and after much struggle... it is a good one for two! Big Elbow Decks Taue as Misawa powders. Apron Nodowa? Misawa is selling big time on floor. Taue is thinking Dynamic Bomb on floor but Misawa backdrops out. Here comes Misawa! Elbows...Tiger Driver? Struggle but Taue backs into the ropes. Tiger Suplex? Again Taue makes it to the ropes. Taue is still too strong. Taue uses headbutts to fight the elbows. GERMAN BY MISAWA! Misawa making in-roads he wastes no time...Tiger Driver! Playing field has been levelled. Didnt love this transition...Taue goes all Baba tribute act with head into hip attacks and the neckbreaker drop. I think after German/Tiger Driver they could have gone with a better transition then it being even stevens.  Misawa nice armdrag out of Super Nodowa...ROARING ELBOW~! Great nearfall! It has become Nodowa vs Elbow with Elbow winning. Misawa goes for Neckbreaker Drop from the Top and Taue catches him with the NODOWA~! FOR THE WIN! HELL YEAH TAUE! Misawa had won a couple matches recently with the Top Rope Neckbreaker Drop so it was well-scouted by Taue and it played well into the narrative that Taue could not hit the Nodowa when he telegraphed here, but as a defensive move he was able to hit suddenly for the win. Really fun match and very happy Taue got his moment in the sun! ****

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