Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Loss

[1996-06-07-AJPW-Super Power Series] Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Steve Williams & Johnny Ace

Recommended Posts

Another great All Japan tag, with Akiyama scoring the big win. There were probably just a handful few too many nearfalls for my tastes in the end, but the match worked well enough that that's nit picking. Also seems to be a story developing over time in these matches of Misawa protecting Akiyama in spots and clearing the way for him to take the big win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also seems to be a story developing over time in these matches of Misawa protecting Akiyama in spots and clearing the way for him to take the big win.

Pays off big time in the Tag League Final, which I think we've/I've written to death over the past 14 years. :)

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rewatched tonight, still think it's the second best tag of the year. Thought Doc looked much better than he's generally given credit for post-bust. Ace is still Ace, however. At least he didn't early crush Misawa's face by not wanting to bump a Tiger Suplex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Halfway through I was wondering if my positive memories of this were a bit off base. Clipping out 7m didn't help matters. I needn't have worried as this match was like a car going through the gears. By the finish it was pedal to the metal top speed. A classic stretch with plenty of excitement. There were several brutal headbumps administered by Williams, which the crowd were super into at this time. No end of nasty suplay, followed by mark out 2.9ers. It felt like the result was on a knife edge. The champions would survive everything, and Akiyama got the win over Ace to continue his push. Probably a top 10 match for '96.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the AJPW Match of the Year to this point, surpassing Taue vs. Doc, and that puts it at #3 for the year at the moment. There is definitely a foreshadowing of the head-droppy nature of late-'90s All-Japan to come, but they're worked in well here, knocking guys out for extended periods and being treated as huge momentum shifters. Akiyama gets to shine again, as does Ace down the stretch when Doc is finally taken out, after being a deadly lurking force for most of the match. Ace succumbs but looks like a tough bastard in his own right for surviving as long as he did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another great match and Misawa vs. AKiyama is an awesome team breathing new life into the pairings we were starting to get used to. Akiyama picks up another big win here. This was a straight bomb fest for much of its duration with tons of big moves and either kickouts or saves. At points, it felt excessive but they remained true to form with the saves and AKiyama securing the win overrides any minor negatives I would have for the match overall. Great stuff and a load of fun to watch. Good to see Doc still can bring the goods like this in 1996. ****1/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh lord, I have cursed those missing seven minutes ever since I first saw this match over 20 years ago. I always hope that somehow this match will be made available in full on a Japanese DVD set or something or maybe AJPW On Demand nowadays. I never agreed with this being the WON MOTY for an incomplete match. But I'll keep waiting....the Kobashi and Kikuchi tag from 5/25/92 came out years ago in complete form, so perhaps there's still a chance....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another old review for those thinking of checking this match out:

 

A pure 20 minute plus spree of excitement and nearfalls. Ace has never looked better, and his chemistry with Akiyama is what made this match so great. Doc once out of the singles limelight really showed his strength as a brilliant tag wrestler. He and Ace were such a standout team because of their dynamics. Akiyama played his role brilliantly and Misawa was ace but also teacher/big brother. It was masterful as ever and touched an emotional nerve.

 

I will say the interactions with Doc and Akiyama was rough in the early going but as it became more heated, one forgot this segment of the action. It was clear this match was for Ace and Akiyama to shine and they did not disappoint. Classic stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of those WON match of the years that looks strange, because it just didn't end up in the canon of great matches of the 90s. But watching it, it's definitely a match that could win a MOTY award and deserves to be mentioned among the great AJPW matches. It's an epic, hard fought tag title match that never lets up. They're definitely continuing with the clear theme of the Akiyama/Misawa team being Misawa's relative superiority. Akiyama is awesome in this match, as he has been in most of his performances on this set. He's able to string together hot runs of offense, he feels like he has something to prove and wrestles frantically; but his more experienced opponents always catch up with him, and it's always down to Misawa to save him from defeat. Akiyama gets hit with a huge back drop driver, and Misawa has to come in and roll him out of the ring to buy him some time (a really, really awesome spot -- Misawa had just taken a lot of damage himself so didn't even tag himself in, just needed to buy time). There's a point where Doc and Ace have just hit both guys with huge moves and it feels like they HAVE to have this thing wrapped up, and it's only Misawa's superhuman recovery from a German suplex that keeps them in the match. It's Misawa who strategically takes out Williams at the end and keeps him out to let Akiyama get the win. Akiyama brings a lot of raw talent, but Misawa is truly carrying the team.

 

This match had some nasty head drops but I don't think it was excessive (from a thematic point of view at least); each really big move felt really significant. I don't think there were too many kick outs either. This was all around a really, really great match that told a clear story very well while delivering incredible action all the way through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All Japan World Tag Team Champions Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Dr. Death & Johnny Ace - AJPW 6/7/96

Besides Dr. Death himself, no one was as hurt by the Williams drug bust as Johnny Ace who disappeared from the main event scene in 1995, but he is back with a vengeance here. Do you remember 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore? It is the same premise with Johnny Ace and pro wrestling fans. Everytime pro wrestling fans watch a Johnny Ace match from All Japan they are surprised at how good he is. Then some time goes by they watch a second one, but they act like it is the first time they have ever watched him wrestle and again much to their shock, he is good! I am here to say Johnny Ace is a great pro wrestler and someone I would definitely consider for my Top 100. I still think his best performance I've seen is 12/10/94 but he was good here again. 

I'll admit the clipping really broke my rhythm watching this match and part of it was I didnt expect it. At 23 minutes run time, I thought it was just an All Japan sprint it didnt occur to me 7 minutes is clipped and worse still there are two clips. I think I would rather they cut the same amount of time and just joined in progress. The way they did it just caused start-stops in my head. What we did see is Misawa & Akiyama work well as a team again. Doc & Ace were the first to double team  but that triggered stereo top rope dives from Misawa and Akiyama. Great chemistry. Misawa ate a crazy Tiger Suplex head drop. Clip. Ugh. Ace goes for the Kobashi Moonsault, but Misawa rolls away and ultimately tags Akiyama. Akiyama fares well, but Ace evades and throws him head first into the canvas. They start working over Akiyama pummeling him, but there's another clip. 

Misawa saves when Ace goes for the Powerbomb after he a couple signature moves like the Spin Heel Kick in the corner and Rocker Dropper erroneously called an Ace Crusher by the announcer, no respect, no respect. :)  Misawa goes off on his hot tag...Spinning Plancha...Tiger Driver. Dr. Death THROWS MISAWA ASS DOWN WITH A GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB! HOLY SHIT! I think one of the main reasons I love All Japan is because I am a such a Powerbomb Mark and that was a great Powerbomb. That feels like a game changer. They build to Doc's Back Drop Driver but Akiyama dropkicks him in the head...great dropkick. Akiyama is game, but Doc hits a DANGEROUS BACK DROP DRIVER on him! Again what a game changer! Dr. Death feels like he is partying like it is 1994 again! Such a force of nature! Misawa senses Akiyama is in grave danger, Elbows out of trouble and rolls Akiyama out. I dont think he would have ever done this with Kobashi. He always let Kobashi sink or swim. Misawa tries to hold the big, burly Americans at bay only to eat a DOOMSDAY DEVICE~!

Doc & Ace look poise to win. They threw two huge bombs and landed them perfectly. Ace Crusher on Akiyama! Powerbomb! Misawa saves. This may sound weird about a 30 minute match but I feel like they rushed the end. With 5 minutes to go, Akiyama and Misawa were out cold on the floor. They needed a game changer like how Doc & Ace hit their bombs or maybe a Doc & Ace mistake. This felt too forced like all of sudden Akiyama and Misawa were revived. I really liked the Tiger Driver on the floor on Dr. Death as a way to take him out of commission. I thought Ace started selling discombobulated too early. If he stayed on offense and then Misawa decked him & hit that Tiger Suplex that would have been perfect. The way they did do it with Misawa hitting the Tiger Suplex and Akiyama needing multiple Exploders was great. It shows Akiyama has gotten the pinfall in both title matches but each time it was enabled by a big Misawa bomb with Akiyama following up with Exploders. 

Clipping hurts it, finish is a tad bit rushed, very surprised this won WON Match of the Year honors but then I remembered December matches count for the following year, honestly I dont know what the second best All Japan match of 96 is. I thought 5/23/96 was hands down better than this. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed this came in with a bit of rep and I was hoping this would be the Doc & Ace match I could really hold up to the light. I still love 12/10/94 the most. The segment where Doc Gutwrench Powerbombs Misawa then Back Drop Drivers Akiyama and the Doomsday Device is fucking fire, the most heat in All Japan since 6/9/95, he looked like a total beast. Cant go above ****.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×