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[1993-07-02-AJPW-Summer Action Series] Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa

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This is often cited as the greatest six-man of all-time. Personally, I need to view this against the six-mans from '90 and '92 to clarify. Nevertheless, an epic match for sure.

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This is a great match, obviously, but me walking through it wouldn't really demonstrate that at all. As great as this match was, one thing I will say is that it always seems much easier to remember all the twists and turns in the Tenryu vs New Japan matches. The reason is because they space out everything. While everyone in the Tenryu matches would have to be having a great night to come close to the action in this match, I can honestly say that as soon as this ended, I didn't remember very much about it. Because instead of setting things up and paying them off, it's more a spotfest. And hey, if you want to watch a great spotfest, these guys are great picks for that. But because of the rep this match has, I really expected more. But it just might be the best heavyweight spotfest there is, and it's still something I'd consider a mid-range MOTYC.

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Ultimately I don't think this is a standout match, like Loss said. I'd say the Misawa/Akiyama vs Kawada/Fuchi match from later in the tour is just as good of a Misawa/Kawada lead-in and it's tighter overall. The 6-man has very middling performances from Kobashi and Taue. This isn't a top 5 6-man for All Japan in the '90s and it might not even be the best 6-man of '93.

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Great match, but it never connected with me on the same level that I've seen it touted over time. There's obviously nothing wrong with it and as Loss notes its certainly a fantastic spotfest. But I agree that afterwards you're not left recalling much other than "that was a lot of fun." Which means its still better than most of what you'd find elsewhere while failing to rise to the level of what I'd consider memorable.

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The KKrowd were lapping it up which added a lot to this and made it feel meaningful in the middle stages. The underlings took their punishment early on. The exchanges with Kawada vs Misawa/Kobashi were the highlight. It got hot at what should have been the finish. Alas it outstayed its welcome by going 25m instead of 20m. And Kobashi pinning Ogawa means fuck all. The results of nearly all 6 mans mean nothing because they're not important matches. As a format it's deficient and has a low rating ceiling in my book.

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I had the same feeling that they missed the peak of things by a few minutes. Also didn't feel like we got the best performances from all six guys such as Taue. Still a pretty good match though and maybe would stand out more if AJPW 93 didn't have so many other great matches.

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Yeah, this is great--spectacular, even--but I didn't come away from it thinking, "Greatest 6-man ever." I don't think it's far off, just not quite as memorable as the 4/92 6-man where all the babyfaces get their submissions in on the Jumbo Team, to name one example that sticks out. They did attempt a sort of rehash of the 4/90 Misawa/Jumbo "things getting out of control" moment where Kawada and Misawa start stiffing the shit out of each other, climaxing with Kawada cheap-shotting Misawa with a stiff kick as Kyohei Wada is restraining him. There was some hate and stiffness throughout this, but things still settled down into a more traditional AJPW 6-man. I agree that Kobashi pinning Ogawa is kind of an underwhelming result that doesn't add much to the story, though the build to the moonsault and Misawa restraining Kawada on the apron were done well.

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Previously at PWO:

 

Mitsuharu Misawa - Kenta Kobashi - Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada - Akira Taue - Yoshinari Ogawa 7/2/1993 = One of the greatest six-man tag team matches I've ever seen. Surprisingly, not many head drop spots in this match, which is odd considering 1993 was pretty much the huge start of the head drop ways. I loved the interaction between Kawada and Misawa, you can already see the hatered between the two. Jun and Yoshinari are the two guys who took a lot of punishment, especially Jun. Great match, highly recommended!

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Agree that while this match is awesome, it doesn't definitively step out from the crowd like other six mans like 4/20/91 do. Kobashi was great here in brutalizing Ogawa when he got the chance and the Kawada/Kobashi exchanges continued to be heated. I also think this is a six man where Misawa turns in a great performance and is at the forefront. The sequence early on where they keep attacking and eventually dive onto Kawada to take over on him is absolutely great and memorable. 1993 All Japan continues to shine. ****1/2

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I definitely wouldn't call this the greatest six-man ever. It had its moments- we got a lot more of Misawa-Kawada then I ever thought we would, and they were tremendous- but it didn't really advance things much.

 

Akiyama and Ogawa were good punching bags, but no one in All-Japan will ever top Kikuchi as the best one ever. I liked that Akiyama was able to get the best of Kawada in a sequence or two; Baba must have really seen potential in him to allow a rookie like him to look so good against the other side's captain. I'm not sure if Akiyama can still be considered a rookie, especially with the company he's keeping, but if he can, he's got my vote for 1993 Rookie of the Year.

 

I understand Kobashi getting the winning pin so he looks good for his upcoming bout against Hansen, but would it have killed Baba to let him beat Taue? As Zenjo said, him beating Ogawa, Team Kawada's designated jobber, means diddly squat in the grand scheme of things. For a moment I thought that either Misawa or Kawada would be involved in the finish somehow, but they weren't.

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Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama vs Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada, Akira Taue, Yoshinari Ogawa) - AJPW 7/2/93

Unbeknownst to me this is apparently the greatest six man tag match of all-time, I always thought that distinction went to a matches either in '91 or '92. I am inclined to agree with this is great, but that not that great crowd. It is balls to the wall action, but it feel more consumable & easily digestible like a Summer Action Movie Blockbuster than that Oscar Award movie that sticks with you like some of their  classics. 

Das Wunderkid Jun Akiyama replaces Kikuchi in this six-man line up. The first big interaction is the Misawa vs Kawada fight. Unlike their previous initial interactions, it is not as even (i.e. shit goes down). At first Kawada takes the lead with kicks, but Misawa storms back. Misawa end up hitting his diving elbow outside the ring. Taue stops Kobashi from diving out but Akiyama crashes down on Kawada from the top rope. Good babyface shine! Misawa tags out to Akiyama bad idea. Kawada is able to overcome with kicks near his corner and tag out to Taue. Taue hits a Jumbo High Knee, which Akiyama would eventually take for himself. Single leg crab, but Kobashi breaks to a smattering of boos with a bulldog, honestly it felt unwarranted. Ogawa begins working the midsection, love a good double stomp. Kawada & Taue continue their torture of the Supernova Rookie with Kawada unleashing a wicked Cowboy Kick on Akiyama. Akiyama wins a suplex struggle over Ogawa for a weak transition. Misawa uncorks on Ogawa. Misawa & Kobashi beat the tar out of Ogawa. Misawa gets distract by Taue constantly threatening to interfere. Ogawa counters from the top rope long enough to tag out to Kawada. 

Kawada comes in all piss & vinegar. Kawada Kicks. Misawa Hulks Up! Kawada CLOBBERS him with his spinning heel kick. Misawa/Kawada has been definitely been the highlight of this match. Taue comes in and rolls Snake Eyes. As Jumbo knows you cannot suplex Misawa, he slides out the back, spin wheel kick and tag out to Kobashi. Who has not seen much action and is raring to go. Big shouldertackle from Orange Crush. Suplex struggle and Taue comes out the winner with a DDT. This is when the match picks up. 

Kobashi/Kawada go on a tear with each other. This is a firefight brawl I am looking for. Kneelifts and kicks. Kawada wins and does a Stretch Plum. Misawa kicks Kawada in the face a bunch, but Dangerous K is unyielding. Eventually Kawada releases to say what the fuck is your problem. Firefight breaks out that Kawada wins with a jumping high kick to the face. Powerbomb on Kobashi. Misawa/Akiyama break up cover. Melee ensues. Misawa DECKS Kawada with an elbow who sells for a while. Kobashi is in a rough way. Taue and Ogawa keep him down while Kawada recovers. General heat on Kobashi who has a nice hope spot sequence where he shows life but is QUASHED by a NODOWA~! I really liked how he turned the second Nodowa attempt into a Russian Legsweep to tag out to Misawa. 

Misawa/Kawada meet in and it is awesome! Kawada TRUCKS Misawa with a Lariat, but you cant powerbomb Misawa. I thought you couldnt German Suplex Kawada but Misawa proves me wrong, but when Akiyama tries it, Kawada unleashes his kick counter. Akiyama misses a flying elbow in the corner I thought he was dead meat. Taue rolls Snake Eyes but Akiyama sitouts on a powerbomb and tags in Kobashi. Kobashi ends up with Rat Boy alone. Fracas ending which was great and Kobashi Moonsault Wins the match. Taue & Akiyama are still brawling. 

I am glad I watched this. Kawada has kinda disappointed me in 1993 but this has me revved up for 7/29/93 which is exactly its purpose. The Misawa/Kawada exchanges were lit. By far the best parts. Kobashi was also engaging, loved his face in peril and great finish stretch from him. The major problem is they sacrificed story for action. Lots of action for the workrate marks but for those wanting a little more meat on the bone, this falls short of classic status. ****

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