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Charles (Loss)

1994 Recommendations

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Use this thread to post recommendations for the yearbook.

 

I don't want to put requirements on making recommendations necessarily, but I will kindly ask a favor -- if you recommend something, if you could, maybe just include a brief reason that you're recommending it. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but just something for us to see why it should go on.

 

If you make recommendations that pique my curiosity, I will do my part to ask more follow-up questions to make sure I have a good understanding of why it was recommended.

 

In addition, I will use this thread to list matches I come across when looking through various lists that look interesting on paper to ask if anyone has seen them.

 

Thanks!

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AJ

Misawa & Kobashi vs Kawada & Fuchi, 1/7: Kawada/Fuchi are ring generals and do better than Kawada/Taue did in the classic from a month earlier. Baba's ultra-conservative booking hurts, but Kawada and Fuchi are good enough to overcome that.

 

Kawada, Taue & Fuchi vs Misawa, Baba & Kobashi, 1/29: Baba is used smartly and effectively, adding rather than detracting from the usual goodness you'd get from the other five.

 

Kawada & Omori vs Kobashi & Asako, 2/19: Every pairing except Omori vs Asako is wonderful. One of those few notably good All Japan midcard matches.

 

Misawa & Kobashi vs Baba & Hansen, 3/5: Important, and most of all GOOD.

 

Hansen vs Kobashi, 4/10: It drags in parts but these two are so good together that you can't help but enjoy it. And a historic finish!

 

Kobashi & Akiyama vs Taue & Honda, 6/3: Hot crowd, more than enough good action, and one of the few good Honda outings from the '90s!

 

Kawada, Taue & Fuchi vs Misawa, Akiyama & Kikuchi, 6/30: Best example of the standard AJ-style 6-man that the company produced in '94.

 

Misawa/Kobashi vs Can-Am Express, RWTL: Granted, there's a lot of talent, but the 'rank' disparity is working pretty hard against it. So Kroffat & Furnas turn up the teamwork and HEELING to make it interesting!

 

Misawa/Kobashi vs Williams/Ace, 12/10: A match I think anyone can enjoy. Hate, intensity, peril, quality tag match structure, and a plenty-big finish.

 

Kawada & Taue vs Baba & Hansen, 12/10: Baba's last big match and he does bring it as much as he possibly can. He has some exchanges that make you wonder how great he'd have been in a more workable body. (Answer: REALLY great.)

 

 

AJW

Kong vs Hotta 1/24: This is sorta like the Hansen vs Kawada ’93 match, only with women, and only MORE BRUTAL.

 

Kong/Hokuto vs Kansai/Hotta, 8/24: The booking is somewhat obvious if you know what the storyline is and how Japanese booking tends to go. Thankfully I doubt many will be able to predict the eliminations. Big-time, hard-hitting tag battle.

 

MPro 6-man, 11/20: For some reason we get a Michinoku Pro match at an already absurdly long card. Not that I’m complaining, because this is full of lucharesu action and fun!

 

Kansai vs Kyoko Inoue, 11/20: Battle of the crucifix bombers! I respected both of them already when I first saw this, but even then I was still surprised by how much they were able to pull off a Tokyo Dome caliber bout.

 

Kong vs Kansai, 11/20: An improvement on their '93 bout because this one is a bit tighter.

 

 

Michinoku Pro

Sasuke vs Delfin 6-man, 2/4: Somewhat of a distillation of the spots/formula they were doing in their home region. Lots of things you’ve almost certainly never seen, and are doubtful to see again.

 

Taka vs Jado, 7/30: Wee Taka takes on the WAR invader. Agile babyface versus hard-hitting heel is a winning formula and this is a total hidden gem.

 

 

NJ

Hashimoto vs Tenryu, 2/17: Huge historical importance and plenty of drama, this should be a lock.

 

Hashimoto vs Liger, 2/24: Heavyweight ace versus junior heavyweight ace! Hash really goes the extra mile for Liger.

 

Hashimoto vs Norton, 3/21: Showing how good Hash was, here he is against a 'lesser' opponent in a 'lesser' title match and it's still very good.

 

Liger vs Delfin, BOSJ final: This being a BOSJ final, plus their combined charisma, plus Delfin's special outfit, plus the it-is-a-good-match factor, should be enough to get it in.

 

Fujiwara And Yatsu Rule The G-1 Climax: Hard to pick one match, but man are they GREAT in it. Both vs Choshu, against each other, Yatsu vs Mutoh, just so many highlights.

 

Hase vs Koshinaka, G-1: This really fell through the cracks. One could argue that there’s overkill, but it’s not like they dish out gansobombs and burning hammers and shooting stars. I’d say that the very big, very dramatic second half is enough to make this one of the better New Japan heavyweight matches of the decade.

 

Hashimoto vs Hase, 12/14: One of the best IWGP title matches ever, in what wound up as Hase’s only heavyweight title shot. Wicked finish.

 

 

RINGS

Han vs Kopylov, 10/22: There are other good Han matches, but those are just Han carrying someone. In this he's certainly the better man, but Kopylov holds his own and makes this more than just a Han exhibition.

 

 

UWFi

Vader vs Tamura, 6/10: David vs Goliath, with a minimum of fat as far as the match goes. I'll take this over the anticlimactic, poorly-shot Takada match anytime.

 

Takayama vs Kanehara, 10/8: I have no idea what the general response to this will be, but if you enjoy hard-hitting heavyweights this is for YOU.

 

Vader & Tenta vs Albright & Yamazaki, 10/8: Yamazaki is out of place amongst the BEEF, but he does deliver, as does Tenta. Vader vs Albright is the key and it gives the match a 'bigness' that's other than just the combined weight of the competitors.

 

Yamazaki vs Kakihara, 11/30: I really, really like this one. Kakihara's spunk, Yamazaki as the frustrated veteran, and a whole lot of quality shoot-style action!

 

 

WCW

Boss vs Vader, Spring Stampede: An easy top 5 match for Traylor, and yet another fun battle from Vader.

 

Vader vs Dustin Rhodes, Clash 29 (November): This should have been a feud, they work so well together. Dustin is big enough to go toe-to-toe, but small enough (ie. not jacked) that Vader can still be a monster.

 

Steven Regal vs. Larry Zbyszko - Saturday Night 5/28: You wouldn't expect babyface Larry Z to work so well. This was the last meaningful feud of his career (aside from the booking-heavy one vs nWo) and it's nice he got one last chance to shine. Regal is Regal.

 

 

WWF

Bret Hart vs 123 Kid, 7/1 (Raw): Reasonably well-known, probably Waltman’s career match. The underdog vs ‘ace’ dynamic is one you see much more in Japan than the US. The two notable instances in WWF/WWE were both very well-received, the other being Taker vs Jeff Hardy. Hart is good at controlling things and feeding Waltman just enough to make it exciting down the stretch.

 

Bret Hart vs Bob Backlund, 7/3 (Superstars): Every so often I see people ragging on Backlund and I honestly don’t get it, especially what comes *after* his big WWF title run. He was effective doing shoot-style in Japan, he’s effective as a crazed technical foe for Bret, and another couple of years after this he was still good in Japan. Anyway, I prefer this to the Bret vs Owen bouts as straight-up quality grappling.

 

Shawn & Diesel vs Razor & Kid, 9/28 (aired 10/30 Action Zone): The famous 'Kliq works hard to make each other look good' tag. Off-hand I can't think of a '90s WWF tag match I liked more. The basic face/heel tag formula done by three good athletes and a fourth who could still sorta 'go' (Nash).

 

 

Matches I assume will be on:

Kawada vs Williams 4/16

Liger vs Sasuke 4/16

Flair vs Steamboat, Spring Stampede

Misawa/Kobashi vs Kawada/Taue 5/21

Misawa vs Kawada 6/3

Misawa vs Williams 7/28

Williams vs Kobashi, 9/3

Kong vs Toyota 11/20

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The only non-obvious thing I can think of at the moment is stuff from Global and ICW. There's a decent amount of '94 Global TV around now (I should pick it up) and there's interesting stuff with the Adams-Price feud, Gordy/Garvin Freebirds managed by Hayes, Brandon Baxter as a heel manager, Chaz and Tugboat Taylor with a manager who was really a heel when they weren't looking, etc. ICW I only remember seeing one or two episodes and it was a doozy, with Tony Rumble tearing into ECW for the NWA Title deal, a music video of Sabu clips (he never ended up showing up), a wild tag match presumably taped months earlier that was Dreamer/Vic Steamboat vs Taz Kevin Sullivan IIRC, and a really good Chris Michaels match (before he headed south for the rest of his career) vs some guy named The Hollywood Kid. Hopefully Steve F. has the ICW.

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From AJW: Hokuto and Kandori vs. Kong and Nakano 3/27. A tag match between four of the best, with Hokuto and Kandori having to play nice. One of my all time favorite matches.

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UWFi

Vader vs Tamura, 6/10: David vs Goliath, with a minimum of fat as far as the match goes. I'll take this over the anticlimactic, poorly-shot Takada match anytime.

Is my memory playing me a trick or was the 95 Vader-Takada match the poorly-shot one?

 

There are a few New Japan matches, that you did not list either in "nominations" nor in your "assuming that will definitely make the list" lists that should definitely be on this set:

- Sasuke/Black Tiger vs. Pegasus/Ohtani (10/16) - great all-action jr. hv. match

- Sasuke vs. Pegasus (J Cup finals)

- maybe Sasuke vs. Samurai (J Cup 1/4 finals)

- Sasuke vs Liger (7/8) - on the level of their J Cup match

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I've been watching some WCW Main event from May 94 and they had a series of matches with Ricky Steamboat and Arn Anderson vs Bad Attitude(Steve Keirn and Bobby Eaton). I had no idea that Steamboat and Arn teamed but the matches were good. Kind of screwy finishes though. Ricky and Arn also had a fun match with a reunited Orient Express on Saturday night in April.

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Bunkhouse Buck vs. Dustin Rhodes from Spring Stampede, and the ongoing angle from WCW TV where Dustin wants Arn to team with him, leading to Bash at the Beach where Arn turns on him. Also, in keeping up with the Studd Stable, there's a Buck/Funk/Arn vs. Scott/Steve/Brian Armstrong match from (I beleive) WCW Main Event from August.

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On Rumble 94, there's a great recap of Owen v Bret that should be included, since it sets up the feud going into Mania. And of course the finish from the Hart Foundation tag on the same show, with Owen's heel turn.

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This is admittedly a low end nomination of sorts, but J.T. Smith/Steve Richards v. The Pitbulls is one of the first good FanCam finds (and one of the first FanCam taped shows IIRC) from December of 94.

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I better get on with my 94/95 stuff to watch...

 

Manami Toyota/Toshiyo Yamada vs. Etsuko Mita/Mima Shimoda - 01/24

This is probably a borderline pick, but I'm leaning yes. The first fall is good, the third fall falls a cliff for the first five minutes, but the second fall is really fucking great. I wrote about what happened with it on DVDVR's Joshi thread, but I think this has more of a chance for interesting discussion than a lot of Joshi matches, too. The work seemed perfect leading to this big near fall early in the third, carrying over from the second, but the crowd just don't bite on it at all and it seems to through them off really badly for the next few minutes.

 

Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue vs. Aja Kong & Manami Toyota - 03/03

This is just a super, effortless match that shows how talented all four were. It really feels casually knocked off and it's a great tag.

 

Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue - 08/24

Yes, it's a "Toyota vs. Kyoko" match, but this has always been my favourite. There's a few Toyota moments, including the finish, but this is comfortably better than their '96 matches, and the 60:00 is more a "thing that must be seen" to me than a match, given how much it falls apart by the end.

 

Manami Toyota/Toshiyo Yamada vs. Kyoko Inoue/Takako Inoue - 10/09

I need to re-watch this, I made the mistake of watching it before the day after watching the 8/30/95 version with Sakie replacing Yamada, but I recall it being really good.

 

NB: I've always heard great praise for Toyota vs. Takako from 10/22 (airing 10/31). I haven't gotten to it yet (I actually mislabelled my order for it and wound up getting the 11/30 TV with stuff from Big Egg - doh) but it was often described to me as a slightly lesser version of the '95 JGP Shimoda/Toyota match in terms of being a much better match than you'd think.

 

I also second the nominations for Aja/Hotta (has to be on), Queendom (classic), 8/24 main, Kong/Toyota in the dome (classic) and Kong/Kansai in the dome. I'll have to rewatch Kyoko/Kansai; they had a hard act to follow and I really need to watch it in isolation.

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This might seem a strange request/nom... what about having both versions of Misawa/Kawada 6/3 on? AFAIK it's the only match of its level where we have both the pro-shot and the crowd-shot versions for. I know the HH isn't perfect, but I don't know, throwing it out there...

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Well they're completely different experiences, really. Like I said, it was just an idea I threw out, and given the rep of the match, and it not being as though people buying the set haven't seen it before, it's a chance to make something a little more interesting because of it. I mean, there's really no discussion to be had on the match, it's like the Tag League Final in 1996, and the 6/9/95 tag, they're going to get the #1 spot and pretty much everything that's ever going to be said about them has already been said. At least by putting on two very different versions of the match it's something to compare and contrast and if it's ever going to be done, it might as well be on that match.

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Oh, add Kyoko vs. Bull, also 1/24. It doesn't reach the peaks that the Tag Title match did, and it isn't as memorably as Aja/Hotta, but it's more consistent than both throughout and probably their best match together (though, as I said on DVDVR, their 9/91 match will always be my own sentimental favourite). It's about five-minutes longer than it should've been, but it's a very good match nonetheless and, at least so far, the Joshi list is looking somewhat sparser so it's definitely worth a look. It betters their '95 matches, I think.

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Douglas/Pillman v. Simmons/Scorp from ECW is something that might slip by the initial screening but ought to be strongly considered. It's the only time Pillman ever wrestled in the Arena (as a sub-for Austin), it's better than the WWC match with Eaton and Arn coming in, and the finish with Sherri is awesome.

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I assume the Onita vs. Tenryu Super-Duper Sparkler Cage of Death (If Onita loses he must retire in one year) from 5/5/94 is quite likely to make an appearance, both for significance and because not surprisingly when he's working Tenryu instead of, like, Mr. fucking Pogo, it's one of Onita's better FMW matches from this timeframe. I'm sure there was build up to it as well featuring a tag match but I'm rusty and just totally blanking on dates. I think that was in W.A.R. and it was quite good and heated.

 

The Sabu/Douglas/Funk 60-minutes 3-way from ECW The Night The Line Was Crossed probably has to make an appearance as it is the match that put ECW on the map to quite a few people, but I do remember it sucking pretty bad, really. Hopefully there is a clipped version of it floating around that might be more palatable. On the wrestecrap front there's the JT Smith vs. Mike Awesome match from that same show where Mike almost breaks JT in half on one of those crazy dives he would do, then the top rope breaks. It's a total fucking disaster but ECW had a few of those that you can't really cover their history without looking at. It's also really short, at least.

 

The Bull Nakano vs. Alundra Blayze match from Summerslam might be worth including for a yearbook style format, though having not seen it in forever I have no idea how it holds up. It's nowhere close to "great all time joshi match" but for one held on American soil it probably doesn't get a lot better, so I suppose you include it for comparison if nothing else.

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As a massive fan of Action Zone how about Bret vs Owen in the first ever main event on 10/23/94? I haven't seen it for some years but from memory it was a good match as well as the historical interest. (Okay, first main event of AZ is REALLY pushing it for a 'historical interest' claim.)

 

Would also definitely 2nd the 'kicked your leg out from under your leg' Owen interview and the awesome Kliq tag.

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From AJPW's first two series:

 

AJ

Misawa & Kobashi vs Kawada & Fuchi, 1/7: Kawada/Fuchi are ring generals and do better than Kawada/Taue did in the classic from a month earlier. Baba's ultra-conservative booking hurts, but Kawada and Fuchi are good enough to overcome that.

 

Kawada, Taue & Fuchi vs Misawa, Baba & Kobashi, 1/29: Baba is used smartly and effectively, adding rather than detracting from the usual goodness you'd get from the other five.

 

Kawada & Omori vs Kobashi & Asako, 2/19: Every pairing except Omori vs Asako is wonderful. One of those few notably good All Japan midcard matches.

 

Misawa & Kobashi vs Baba & Hansen, 3/5: Important, and most of all GOOD.

 

I agree with all that.

 

I'd also add, with TV dates:

 

01/30/94 Misawa & Kobashi & Akiyama vs. Kawada & Taue & Omori

 

This is the one time to see what potentially could have been the six-man tag. Not an off the charts six-man, but good and Jun & Omori worked pretty well together at the time.

 

02/13/94 Omori vs. Akiyama

 

Finals of Cup. There was a singles between the two earlier in the series. I think this one was pretty completely relative to the other one, and perfectly good.

 

02/20/94 Misawa & Akiyama vs. Williams & Eagle

 

On the same show as the Kawada & Omori vs Kobashi & Asako. I thought this was one of those matches where you start to see Doc as *really* starting to look like The Top Gaijin, even though Stan technically was above him. Since TV goes to 30 minutes in April, there really weren't any good Doc-Misawa "television tags" leading into the their Triple Crown match. Looking at the old ***+ star ratings list, this is in fact their last ***+ match on TV before the TC change. Meltzer had it at ***3/4, and I think when Doc is in it's very much at that level. He's improved since 1993.

 

 

Hansen vs Kobashi, 4/10: It drags in parts but these two are so good together that you can't help but enjoy it. And a historic finish!

1994 Carny Tape has:

 

3/27 Kawada vs Ace

3/27 Kobashi vs Taue

 

Don't recall either all that much. Might be the only Kawada-Ace singles out there. Kobashi-Taue doesn't get run again in 1994. Both are worth you taking a look at and seeing if they warrant inclusion.

 

4/1 Kawada vs Akiyama

4/10 Williams vs Akiyama

4/11 Kobashi vs Akiyama

 

Young Akiyama. The TV year, much like in 1995, is really absent of singles matches for him. Kobashi is pretty much his "favorite opponent". The Kawada match is a comp for the one the prior year, and it's a rivalry they pretty much hit an airball in singles matches after 1995. Don't have a clear memory on the Doc match other than it was watchable.

 

4/11 Taue vs Hansen

 

Taue's first win over Hansen, and it really should be gotten across on the set that Hansen got pinned in back to back nights.

 

4/11 Misawa vs Kawada

 

Annual Misawa vs Kawada draw. Needs to be on there It's also "non-Carny" as Misawa pulled out due to the kneck injury.

 

BTW: the highlight on NTV of him coming to the ring injured and being announced as being out of the tourney should be in the set. It's a short item.

 

 

4/14 Hansen vs Williams

 

Another one that's been a long time, my recollection is that at the time I thought it was the best Doc-Hansen match. Stan was all fired up because of the two jobs. It's also really the one time where they're near-equals. Stan the long time top gaijin and Doc a couple of months away from winning the TC.

 

4/14 Kawada vs Taue

 

It's Kawada-Taue. In back-to-back years, the Path To The Finals saw them go through each other. This is their first singles match since Joining Hands. The 1995 match was a bit more of Taue earning Kawada's respect by taking an ass stomping and coming back. This one is where there's the drama of whether the Old Hate is going to bubble up

 

4/15 Williams vs Kobashi

 

It's Korakuen Hall, something of a unique setting. Doc wins and he gets in the finals. I seem to recall liking this better than the 1993 match and the TC later this year... but that might have been lower expectations.

 

Non-singles:

 

4/1 Kobashi & Kikuchi vs Taue & Ogawa

4/10 Baba & Misawa & Kikuchi vs Kawada & Taue & Fuchi

 

No strong recollection of those.

 

 

Kawada vs Williams 4/16

Make sure to get the commercial version.

 

They also had a League draw on the first 30 minute show: 04/02/94. I liked it quite a bit, but I'm a Doc-Kawada fan (other than their title change).

 

Hansen vs Kawada was on the 3/27 NTV. Dave gave it ***1/2. I'm just not recalling it enough to confirm. Possibly a contrast to Kobashi-Stan and Stan-Taue, but there are a lot of other Kawada-Stan matches out there.

 

5/18/94 4 vs. 4 Survival Tag Match: Toshiaki Kawada / Akira Taue / Masa Fuchi / Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Jun Akiyama / Takao Omori / Tamon Honda / Satoru Asako

 

This might have been the one where Kawada & Taue cleaned the clocks of the Kids. Haven't watched it in long time. It might have the value of show how from the first two series where they had Omori with Kawada & Taue that just two months later they were screwing things up.

 

Main event on that commercial tape was Hansen & Doc & Ace vs Misawa & Kobashi & Kikuchi. Defer to Ditch on that one.

 

 

Misawa/Kobashi vs Kawada/Taue 5/21

Misawa vs Kawada 6/3

Yep and Yep. Comercial versions of each.

 

Kobashi & Akiyama vs Taue & Honda, 6/3: Hot crowd, more than enough good action, and one of the few good Honda outings from the '90s!

:)

 

Kawada, Taue & Fuchi vs Misawa, Akiyama & Kikuchi, 6/30: Best example of the standard AJ-style 6-man that the company produced in '94.

Drawing a blank on that one. 10/15/94 TV has Misawa & Kobashi & Akiyama vs. Kawada & Taue & Ogawa which got more pimpage at the time, but neither stand out in the mind 17 years later.

 

 

Lynch Bootleg #334 has:

 

07/22/94 Tag Titles: Misawa & Kobashi vs Williams & Ace

 

This hasn't been as widely circulated as all the usual suspects, so it's the chance to get something fresh for a lot of the viewers. Wasn't on NTV, and instead seems to have been on local TV or on a Special. Even Dan's 1994 TV set doesn't have it. It's the early version of the match between these teams, and will make for an interesting comp with the Tag League and 3/95 versions before Doc went bye bye.

 

 

Misawa vs Williams 7/28

Williams vs Kobashi, 9/3

Yep and yep. Again, commercial versions.

 

 

Misawa/Kobashi vs Can-Am Express, RWTL: Granted, there's a lot of talent, but the 'rank' disparity is working pretty hard against it. So Kroffat & Furnas turn up the teamwork and HEELING to make it interesting!

Good match. One of the reason I would like to see Can-Ams vs Kawada & Taue from 1/95 on the next set as a comp.

 

Misawa/Kobashi vs Williams/Ace, 12/10: A match I think anyone can enjoy. Hate, intensity, peril, quality tag match structure, and a plenty-big finish.

Real good match.

 

Kawada & Taue vs Baba & Hansen, 12/10: Baba's last big match and he does bring it as much as he possibly can. He has some exchanges that make you wonder how great he'd have been in a more workable body. (Answer: REALLY great.)

I'm not as enthused by this as other good 1993 & 1994 tags, but it is The Final Match Of The Year... so it needs to go on. If it's not, people will think the prior match was the last one.

 

TV:

 

11/25/94 Misawa & Kobashi vs. Kawada & Taue (Tag League)

 

I'd include that as it will mean that the 1993-95 sets will have 8 of the 9 matches between the teams. The only one missing is the 1995 League match, which actually looked more interesting than the 1995 Final.

 

The Misawa & Kobashi vs Hansen & Baba from the 1994 RWTL is available on commercial tape. I've never seen it, so that's an idea of how "fresh" it would be for many people. Only 4 other Tag League matches on the set, might be worth tracking down.

 

 

John

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There's also this:

 

11/05/94 Misawa & Hansen vs. Kobashi & Taue

 

That's the semi of the Kawada-Doc Budokan. Dave gave it ****1/4. I recall being disappointed by it since it didn't take off as much as one would have hoped. Might be worth taking a look at since it's never mentioned in the usual suspects.

 

John

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Yep... that's my recollection. There was a "stepping it up" vibe in 1993 with Gordy gone, than a "holy shit this guy has gotten REAL GOOD" vibe in early 1994. Having the Yearbooks be able to catch some of that would be great.

 

John

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