Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Charles (Loss)

[1995-04-06-AJPW-Championship Carnival] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada

Recommended Posts

Other than Misawa wrestling with a broken orbital bone for ~28 minutes, this is one of the least matches of the series. Perhaps *the* least. Not flawed in big ways, but more in that they somewhat take it easy. Though Kawada does keep throwing those face kicks....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kawada catches Misawa in the face with a nasty kick that breaks his orbital bone in their first exchange of the match. Give Misawa credit for toughing it out for the rest of the match. I don't know that I agree that it's not as good as the other Carny matches -- it's above Kawada/Akiyama for me for sure, and not far behind some of the others. The exchange that led to the Tiger Driver on the floor was hot, and they really focused on selling everything well. Like Ditch said, Misawa still eats quite a few kicks to the face, which was pretty unnecessary. But had the match been JIP at 2 minutes, I would not have known Misawa was injured. I'm curious other opinions on this. I may be on my own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one of the better matches they had together. This was gut-check city for Misawa. The weird thing is that the kick didn't look any worse than a normal hate-filled Kawada kick. Weirder yet, Misawa is so epically stoic about it.

 

6/4/94 is def. their best. 5/98, 10/92, and 7/95 are all excellent as well. Matches they had in the Carny, like 3/93 and 3/98 and 3/00, I'm drawing a blank. IIRC their first Carny match in '97 was a great performance. Pretty much, they're all awesome matches, and it would be splitting hairs to rank them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There feels like a progression from 10/21/92 to 03/27/93 to 07/29/93 to 04/11/94 to 06/03/94 that climaxes in the last one. It's a little too bad that the two 1995 matches get watched in the sets before the 1994 ones... and the 1994 ones will be a distance from watching the 1992-93 ones. Would almost recommend that you go back and watch the 1992-93 singles matches between the two along with 12/03/93 before dipping 1994 to re-focus the mind.

 

Whatever they had planned in this one other than going to a draw sort of got pitched out the window to a degree. The match ground to a halt relative to how they usually worked, my recollection is that Kawada looked for ways to cover for the fact that Misawa was fucked up pretty bad (and kind of out of it / thrown off his game for a while after it). Of course the picked it up, and did a lot of shit... not really as coherent as they'd been in the past, but it's also hard to think of how many folks at that time would have had a match at this left if one guy's eye got crushed to shit.

 

My guess is that barring the injury, they probably would have had a match along the lines of the 1994 Carny match, just a year more advanced. Perhaps not as much "stuff" as Kawada-Kobashi in Carny went through, but plenty of it, and arguably Misawa and Kawada at their very peak... my guess is it would have been on par with the best singles AJPW kicked out in the year. It would have lacked the "wow" factor of the Misawa-Taue matches because by 1995 everyone expected Misawa-Kawada to knock our socks off, while Misawa-Taue was a shocker.

 

In that first run of five matches, of course I think El Classico is the best for the reasons I touched on over in the 1994 Yearbook pimping thread. That said, the earlier our have some real positives. I think the first three age well relative to a lot of the post-06/03/94 stuff in the promotion. The matches take more time to develop, they're less about trying to cram all sorts of shit in, they're before the head-drop-o-rama mentality so there are other nice ways for them to pop the crowd that seem to be cast aside / forgotten as the decade goes on.

 

07/24/95 is a very good match, and if it was *anyone* other than Misawa-Kawada having that match, it would probably be up there as a career match. I'm not sure that the two Misawa-Taue matches are on it's level for what gets done... it's just that Misawa-Taue had low expectations while Misawa-Kawada was hoped to top 06/03/94... and that's an insane level of expectations.

 

El Classico is a dividing line. Watching the first four all now they don't get compared to El Classico, but instead to where they fit into the moment of AJPW and what else was going on in wrestling at the time. They feel great in the context of their time, the building of the rivalry, and the sense that these two have more in the tank. That gets hit on 06/03/94.

 

The matches after... they can't help but get compared to 06/03/94, and having hanging over their head the promise of delivering the ultimate moment in the feud: Kawada's for singles pin on Misawa, which we all assumed would be in a TC match similar to Tenryu getting it from Jumbo in a TC match. The comp to El Classico is never really favorable, and the ultimate moment never gets delivered.

 

So you watch stuff like this one and 07/24/95 and are usually going to get stuck with either (i) that's good but it doesn't top the classic, or (ii) it still doesn't pay off... or worse, (iii) both.

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could definitely notice something "off" about Misawa's performance even if you didn't see the kick to the eye. He blew a couple of moves from his basic repertoire, which just wasn't something you saw from him at this point. I would put this in the bottom 1/3 of their matches; there wasn't a tremendous amount of focus to either guy's attack. But they were so fucking great that they still managed to settle in for an excellent match with a hot finishing stretch. When you take the injury into account, it's certainly a memorable effort if not a memorable match by their standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man Misawa was nuts for working with that injury. Kawada's powerbombs were just sick here. Especially the one where Misawa almost lands on his neck. Good match with a great crowd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's definitely a "something wrong" moment at the time of injury, and in the next few minutes afterward as Misawa's performance is off, with a number of blown spots, and Kawada taking it easy by working a chinlock for a bit. Not a great match, really, but two very good performances under the circumstances. This isn't a psychological masterpiece but these two are so comfortable with each other that just about everything they do looks good, and you can't really blame them for having any pre-match plans possibly go out the window.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During the opening exchange Misawa suffers the injury from an innocuous looking kick. He was initially stunned, but the tough as nails warrior put that to one side and fought on without complaint. He sure didn't ask Kawada to go easy on him or limit the physicality of what was to come. There were a couple of moments when his timing was a little off. But by the end I'd forgotten about the injury. Instead I was remembering last time out. Having watched all the post 95 Yearbooks it's great to go back to a time when this rivalry was hot.

 

Once they got motoring it turned into a hell of a battle. Both dishing out the punishment and going full steam ahead. It wasn't paced like a draw in the middle stages. Then during the final 10m the smart booking of the previous Carny matches bore fruit. They'd had decisive finishes so why not here? Add in a red hot crowd, this was excellent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×