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[1996-09-28-AJPW-October Giant Series] Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa

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We get about 18 minutes of a 22 minute match. Asako and Ogawa try, but they just aren't as good as the other four. I wouldn't say the match suffers when they are in, but it does lose something. Very good match. It's probably the worst near-full length All Japan match on the set, but it's still very good. Glad to see some stuff here that isn't big show All Japan, just to have some representation of the smaller shows.

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I seemed to like this one a good deal back in my Torch review of it. Possibly due to the decline in the number of good "regular" six-man tags in 1996 (and 1995 and 1994) once they cut to the show to 30 minutes. I think when either you or Will asked, my comment was that it warranted being on as nod to the old six man tags that anchored the spot show tapings in the first half of the decade, along with a decent comp to them.

 

John

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I seemed to like this one a good deal back in my Torch review of it. Possibly due to the decline in the number of good "regular" six-man tags in 1996 (and 1995 and 1994) once they cut to the show to 30 minutes. I think when either you or Will asked, my comment was that it warranted being on as nod to the old six man tags that anchored the spot show tapings in the first half of the decade, along with a decent comp to them.

 

John

And, unfortunately, when full 6-man tags resumed airing with Samurai TV in '96 they just weren't on the same level. Too much of the Asakos and Omoris of the world, too little Fuchi. Thankfully the Baba-ism 6-man quality was revived in NOAH.

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I think Omori might have been shot in 1997, but back in 1994 he was fine in the role. Asako was as well. All Japan fans weren't really buying Fuchi much when they flipped the Misawa-Jumbo feud over into Four Corners. They had a brief moment of semi-getting it in early 1994 of Omori opposite Jun, and Asako moving into the Kikuchi role. Blew that quickly... I'm a broken record on that. :)

 

John

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Yet the fans were right there to get behind Fuchi when he re-emerged in 2000. From what I've seen it's not like Fuchi 'returned to form' in 2000, it's just that he didn't get many chances to show off after his demotion in/from HDA.

 

I recently watched Misawa/Kobashi vs Kawada/Fuchi from 1/7/94. Kawada/Fuchi put on a clinic, and really did better than Kawada/Taue the month before. Baba could have gotten some mileage out of having Fuchi pin Kobashi there, since you could have:

-A return match with Misawa/Kobashi winning

-Some sort of angle where Taue proves himself against Fuchi, either in a tag or singles

-Kawada/Taue getting a win over someone big to set up their May title shot

 

And Fuchi would still be more credible going forward in 6-mans even after 'giving back' multiple times.

 

Oh well.

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I'll be honest, this is probably my favorite All Japan match on the set so far. Mostly cause it's different from the rest and the guys really shined. Especially Taue and Kawada being total dicks to Asako. I've never even heard of Asako before but he was pretty good here as a poor man's Hoshino. Fun match.

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The stuff between Jun and Kawada were the best and most heated portions of the match, but the rest of this was pretty blah. I don't know what happened to the Asako who looked so good against the Can-Ams a few years ago, but here he's a startling depiction of the arrested development that AJPW's non-Jun '90s talent seemed to be stuck in--both AJPW and AJW are about to have a real problem. Ogawa's a bit better but no one's buying him as a threat to anyone of importance, and Misawa was giving a House Show Bret performance, as opposed to his other greater examples of letting his partners have the spotlight. Disappointing bout that's one of the least of the AJPW 6-mans to make a '90s Yearbook.

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This wasn't great like some of the other 6 mans we have seen but it was good to really good in most of its parts. Asako striking Kawada and him giving back an "are you serious bro" look was great. Akiyama and Kawada was the main focal point and this was a good chapter in the evolution of the Akiyama story. I thought Misawa was fine here especially when him and Kawada squared off and he took the powerbomb. I found this to be really enjoyable. ***1/4

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Really good match, and I was actually really impressed with Asako, much more than with Ogawa. Asako had some cool looking punch/palm strike combos and worked a particularly good segment with Taue. I thought he was the highlight of the first half or so of the match, until the big boys picked it up and basically worked a mini home stretch of one of their big tag matches with some great energetic back and forth.

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