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[1996-09-05-AJPW-Summer Action Series II] Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Steve Williams & Johnny Ace

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The opening minute with Akiyama and Ace is awesome. Just one counter after another and neither guy being able to hit anything.

 

I think I like this better than the 6/7 match between these teams, just because this is a really fantastic Johnny Ace performance. There are some things he does that are a little physically awkward, but for whatever reason, it works. He was the guy who stood out the most to me here.

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I agree with this being on par with the 6/7 match. Both are good in similar ways, and the teams just meshed so well. It's funny how famous the MVC was, yet it seems clear to me that Doc & Ace produced better matches in the clutch despite Ace not being the wrestler Gordy was.

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When you shoot for the sky you can have a big success, a big failure or a partial success. Usually the 3rd isn't that noteworthy, but this is 90's AJ baby. 23m of 29m shown. Solid work, yet it felt a bit long and bloated. The crowd were flat before the finish spike. It still got hot at the close, and the highlight was Ace's awesome modified sleeper suplay headdrop. He was a guy who looked badly exposed in singles bouts, but could contribute well as the junior partner in tag matches.

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Similar story to the 6/7 match but I still liked that one a bit better--Ace had a good performance in that one, too. Misawa does another great job of letting Akiyama shine and basically coming in to make saves or swing momentum, and Doc does much the same with his partner. The result has everyone looking good.

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Agree that this is below the 6/7 match for me but I still enjoyed it a great deal. The storyline of Akiyama rising up has been done so well throughout 1996 and Misawa has hit the right median of helping him but also stepping in when he needs to. I enjoyed Doc being this energetic this late as this may be the last instance as we will see as the year progresses. ****

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#177 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-200-151/

 

Yeah, loved the opening with Ace and Akiyama. Seemed like Williams kicked out of a frog splash and Tiger Driver pretty early, but I guess there are five minutes clipped that might change that feeling. Akiyama is the work horse here, and as always, looks great. Ace did look good here too. I really enjoyed his offensive spots in the closing stretch. Akiyama crawling to get the pin attempt on Ace was pretty awesome. ****

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I think this is only JUST below the very best matches of the year. These two teams knock it out of the park again. Great action packed match with lots of big moves, really felt like a top level title fight. Didn't quite have the drama and story of their June match but the work was still phenomenal. The Akiyama/Ace opening was indeed awesome, and Misawa and Williams follow it up well too with a really cool exchange building around grinding each others heads. Everyone looks good here, Doc is particularly impressive, Ace puts in a good performance including a really cool Ace Crusher over the ropes. Even though they lose, Akiyama and Misawa seem to be becoming more of an equal pairing -- Akiyama looks like less of the "junior partner" of the team throughout even though he takes the fall.

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