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[1993-06-03-AJPW-Super Power Series] Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa

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Another terrific All Japan six-man tag. Not in the upper echelon of matches I've seen for the year, but still really, really good. Misawa and Kawada continue to do a great job building to their feud, and Kikuchi and Ogawa get quite a bit of spotlight to shine here, and they make the most of it. Kikuchi gets the pin on Ogawa in the end to secure the win for his team.

 

Kawada and Kobashi always bring the hate so much in their exchanges that I'm looking forward to their next singles match too.

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Kawada and Kobashi always bring the hate so much in their exchanges that I'm looking forward to their next singles match too.

You won't be disappointed!

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Kawada's grumpiness is beautiful. Just belligerent as all fuck and won't take shit from anyone. If it wasn't for Tenryu and Hansen he's be my runaway WOTY at this point.

 

I actually thought this was the July match and I had just gotten dates mixed up, so it's cool that there's another 6-man about as good as the July one (which I haven't seen in years)...because this was REALLY good.

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Decent match. I like that they didn't try to go for too much. The highlight was the inevitable Kikuchi asskicking. He probably thought it wouldn't be too bad beforehand with no Fuchi or Jumbo to torture him. Instead Kawada and Taue are more than happy to take over and tossed him around like a rag doll. It's tough at the bottom of the food chain. However this match also featured the jobberish Ogawa and Kikuchi seized his opportunity. It was nice to see him pick up a rare victory.

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There is so much tension between the top four guys that it rubs off on Kikuchi and Ogawa. Kikuchi charges into the ring to break up a submission only to get his ass kicked by Kawada. Ogawa puts the boots to Kikuchi over and over. I like Taue doing his snake eyes move and practically looking at Kobashi on the apron the whole time as if daring him to do something. Kawada/Taue teaming up has really brought AJPW to another level in 93.

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A fall-out-of-bed excellent match. Taue looked terrific here, and it's Taue vs. Misawa that's the singles match I'm looking forward to most coming out of this. But Kikuchi got the big spotlight here, working a long-ish FIP that's as good as you'd expect before working a sprint to the finish with Ogawa and scoring the pinfall. If anything this felt like it could have gone longer--Kobashi basically disappeared after the opening portion, though he did play an important role in Kikuchi making the hot tag.

 

Someday I'll go through 1993 AJPW TV, where I can see the full depth of each guy, which matters a lot in such discussions. But until then, Kawada and Misawa both strike me as having better years than Kobashi.

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Awesome match. Every match felt dynamic to me even Kikuchi and Ogawa. Ogawa's tights were something to behold. The KObashi/Misawa/Taue/Kawada interactions all delivered and I think 93 is when Taue made that leap from competent #2 for Jumbo who had a great feud with Kawada to someone that could hang with a variety of opponents and bring something to the table and in many instances be the standout. We have seen some good AJ 6 mans this year, but this was on another level. ****1/4

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I love this as the first six man between Kawada and Misawa as enemies. This and the tag two days earlier are really incredible matches from guys who have never had to carry a main event in these configuratons. If you're Baba after these two shows you have to be happy with the results given the knowledge that Jumbo isn't going to be able to carry things any more and you know Hansen won't be around forever.

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This was very good, but as others have said it was more of a tease of what's to come, whuch is why Kikuchi and Ogawa got so much time. Any combination of the other four in singles or tags is a money feud that doesn't need to be explored in depth at the moment.

 

Kikuchi took his usual asskicking here, and despite the fact that he got the pin I don't see much of a future for him in this feud. Bring up Ricky Morton all you like, but he was a World or regional tag team champion who took his whippings from people desperate to win the championships that he held. Kikuchi is nothing more than a human chew toy for the likes of Jumbo, Taue, and company more often than not, with very little upside potential from what I've been able to grasp. He may have had some at one time, but not now. I liked the slam he took from Taue that broke the press table clean through, and I'm surprised he didn't legitimately hurt his back as a result.

 

Kawada's not that much different now than he was before; only his opponents have changed. It seems like while the prestige will come from his feud with Misawa over the Triple Crown, it's going to be Kobashi-Kawada that's the real blood feud, with Kobashi the one expressing the moral outrage over Kawada's defection. It's a great way to build two money-making feuds at the same time, which most promotions have been surprisingly poor at in the course of wrestling history.

 

Another thing that adds to the story of these multi-man tags is that most of them involve the Triple Crown champion (in this case, Misawa), which means that a pinfall victory over him by anyone from the other side automatically makes them a top contender to the title. What an opportunity that would be for someone like Ogawa, who doesn't figure to reach Misawa's class on his own merit, but could take advantage of a slipup in a match like this to score a three-count on him and earn a championship bout. A scenario like that hasn't happened yet in these Yearbooks, but it's always a possibility, which adds a lot of intrigue to these matches, at least for me.

 

I've read some good things about the tag match from two days before this, and I can't wait to see it!

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

 

A very good match with a nice performance from Kikuchi. Ogawa's tights were mentioned above, and they sort of reminded me of some of the earlier HBK tights before he had the hearts on them. I thought the offense of Misawa and Kobashi looked really great after the hot tag, and liked how it wrapped around back to Kikuchi for the pin. Really nice finishing sequence. ****

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Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada, Akira Taue) & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi - AJPW 6/3/93

This takes place just two days after the first ever Four Corners of Heaven tag at Budokan and it is just one day removed from Kobashi & Kikuchi dropping the All Asia Tag Titles to The Patriot & Eagle.

RAT BOY! Looking not very ratty and no Zebra-print! It is weird to think Kobashi and Ogawa would go onto have one of top 5 favorite matches of all time in a decade headlining the Budokan together. 

There are a lot of similarities between the opening of this and 6/1, Kobashi & Taue have a great even exchange. Then it is Misawa and Kawada again the crowd is rocking. Interesting here Kawada yanks Misawa down into a choke. Then we get Kikuchi and Ogawa doing their stuff. Kikuchi would do well in today's scene with all the leg lariats. Kawada works over Misawa's knee and this lasts a little longer than 6/1 that you almost think that could be the hook, but the hook is of course Kikuchi taking a shit kicking. Kobashi must be so relieved in these six-mans. :)

I really enjoyed the heat segment on Kikuchi. I loved how it was set up. I loved how the Holy Demon Army really kicked ass. I loved how Kikuchi sold. Kikuchi has a heart three sizes too big. He thinks he can suplex Taue. God bless his heart. Taue just picks him up and slams him. The plucky Kikuchi shoot right up and actually yanks Taue over. It is not a suplex as much as a takedown. Taue is pissed. Kikuchi goes for a hiptoss, Taue blocks and picks him up and slams him down. That was great. Here comes Kawada. He hoists Kikuchi up and hurls him over the top rope onto the floor. Second time I have seen Kawada do that spot, he should have kept that. Taue SLAMS Kikuchi on a table. Then Snake Eyes on the railing. I love Taue. They work over Kikuchi's back. Deep Boston Crab by Kawada, save by Misawa. Taue gets a hold on Kikuchi and Kobashi saves. Taue is pissed. Ogawa gets a Boston Crab and Kikuchi makes the ropes. I liked that no one had to save during Ogawa. Kawada comes in and lights Kikuchi up. Taue comes back in and it comes full circle. Ogawa is able to get a leg lariat to stun Taue, Taue catches him a second time and falls back, Kikuchi crawls for the tag, Taue has the leg, Kobashi breaks Taue's grip and tag out to Misawa!  I loved that! It seemed straight out of a 80s WWF Tag team match! 

Misawa OBLITERATES Taue with an Elbow summarily. He smokes Kawada & Ogawa. Taue and Misawa matched up well here. Taue wrestles through a Tiger Driver and hits a Samoan Drop. Kawada comes in. Kawada & Misawa trade Stretch Plum and Facelock. Misawa tags out to Kobashi. These two sure love to stiff each other. I love how committed Kobashi was to the Rolling Cradle! It is such a great move. They should bring that back and the rolling Short-Arm Scissors.

Kobashi & Kikuchi do a Rocket Launcher version of Twisted Bliss! Which of course I had to let Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross know about on Twitter because I marked out hard. 

 It turns into the Kikuchi & Ogawa show down the stretch. They trade a ton of hot nearfalls which makes sense as they clearly #5 and #6 in this match so they can bust out all the offense not worry about protecting their stuff. Kikuchi wins with the German. 

They did a good job tantalizing you  with Misawa & Kawada. They never gave too much away from either man. Especially Misawa was just using his strikes, the Facelock and the Spinning Lariat. He never busts out his big offense. Again, I thought Taue stole the show. He was the game-changer on the heel side. He worked really well with Kikuchi. I loved how they entered the heat segment and left it. Really took advantage of David vs Goliath dynamics. Loved Taue slamming Kikuchi on the table out of rage and rolling Snake Eyes on the railing. The finish was hot too. I came out of it wanting to see Taue vs Kikuchi and Taue vs Misawa singles matches more than anything else. ****

 

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