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[1995-04-12-AJPW-Championship Carnival] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue


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  • 3 weeks later...

For such a great tour, All Japan has one of the dumbest booking moves you'll ever see from a big promotion. Taue has a big new finisher that's laying guys out left and right, and so he faces Misawa and... Misawa kicks out. And makes a comeback after it. Oh and they have a rematch three days later.


There are four good ways to book this:


1. Taue hits the Dynamic Bomb, bell rings before/during the pin count

2. Taue is going for the DB when the bell rings

3. Taue hits the DB, Misawa kicks out, Taue about to finish the job when the bell rings

4. Taue wins outright


This is none of those. Match before that point is clearly behind their other two matches from the year, though still good.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yet another terrific Carnival match. Taue was excellent here, but Misawa was on another level. I think back to '93, and the February match against Taue was one of my favorite Misawa performances. This is another outstanding Misawa performance. Most Taue matches aren't as good as Misawa's matches with Kawada and Kobashi, but I think Misawa gets the chance to put on better individual performances against Taue.


As a match, this is great at times, but mostly just solid and really good. It's in the bottom rung of the Carnival matches for me so far. But if I were ranking individual performances in the Carnival, Misawa in this would rank pretty highly.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 years later...

This had some real-life things going against it, as they had to work 30 minutes with Misawa having a broken orbital bone. But the opening control holds by Taue, while logical in a real sense since he can't just pound the shit out of Misawa, aren't that compelling. Now, this picks up in a hurry when Taue starts digging his forearm into Misawa's eyeball, raising eyebrows all across Japan, and there are a good number of holy-shit spots like Taue splattering Misawa's face on the turnbuckle and on the mat, which are sold great by both guys (Taue's body language even comes across as, "I can't believe I just did that"). And Misawa manages to avoid the nodowa off the apron, and come back from the Dynamic Bomb and nodowa on the floor, to the point where the draw feels like a win but at the same time it also feels like a win for Taue, too. Classic work and booking that elevates both guys. I guess I'm talking myself into liking this more the more I write, but as it stands it's the #2 match of the Carny for me.

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  • 2 years later...

The Carny continues to deliver. Taue dukes it out for 30 minutes with the top dog, competing as an equal. I actually think this is one of those occasions where a countout victory would've worked well. There was good quality wrestling throughout, but the draw was clearly signposted. About 10m in they halted the momentum and did a reset, which was a clear signal to me. Still the crowd were supportive and it's well worth half an hour of your time.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1995-04-12-AJPW-Championship Carnival] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue
  • 1 year later...

Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue - AJPW 4/12/95

Unfortunately, no 2012 Martin for this one as I skipped during my re-watch and I have never seen this match before. I was getting used to having 2012 Martin around, it was saving me so much time. 

From babyface Taue standing up to that bully Kawada to shameless Taue being a prick working the injured eye, this Carnival is the many faces of Taue. The first 10 minutes or so they work this like a WWF House Show Time Limit Draw, everything is solid and snug, but not very exciting. The only exciting thing at the beginning is Taue takes Misawa down via an eyerake and puts his boot up against Misawa's eye. The ref admonishes him. 

Misawa begins his comeback through one of his favorite spots, he slips out the back door of a suplex and starts rocking & rolling with some elbows. He does some fancy Tiger Mask II bullshit to lure Taue in position for the Elbow Suicida! Tiger Driver gets two, which is a good nearfall. I like how when Taue claps his leg together to kick out Misawa clutches the eye. We have seen that style kick out a million times for sunset flip, I liked that wrinkle. Because they are going long Misawa works some more holds like a Figure-4 around the head. Taue his backdrop driver out of a headlock and then a leg drop. Now the match picks up. Elbow pressed against the bad eye and then a foot. Alright some fucking heat to finally warm me up. Misawa hope spot, but Taue side steps the middle rope dropkick and looks like it is all aboard the Taue express at the 15 minute mark. 

Taue was fucking over. I have never seen anything like this. Without a doubt, the MOST HATED move in Japan from 1993-94 was Taue's Snake Eyes. It was literally the only thing Japanese fans would consistently boo. In this match, Taue rolled Snake Eyes on Misawa and the crowd popped like no other. There were chants of "TAUE! TAUE!" ringing through the arena. That's the other thing is in native vs native matches even Kawada & Taue are ostensibly heels the Japanese crowd is usually pretty respectful akin to a tennis crowd and will cheer whoever is losing in order to get a better, longer match. They were actively cheering Taue when was on top kicking Misawa's ass. They didnt boo Misawa when he made his comebacks but they werent happy either. It was very weird. 

They should have had Taue drop the Powerbomb right after that Snake Eyes. The heat for that nearfall would have been nuclear. Instead, Misawa worked a comeback based around Spin Kicks to the back and ultimately led to a German Suplex. It was pretty weak. Misawa ends up missing a move from the top and Taue bulldog. Now we get the Powerbomb kickout and it is a hot nearfall but they definitely mistimed it. Misawa goes back on top. This is a tone deaf match. They clearly had a plan, but the crowd had a fever and the only cure was more Taue! Again it is not a very interesting Misawa comeback. Taue ends up hitting a NODOWA~! Another hot nearfall, Misawa rolls out, which is bad business in a 1995 Taue match because you know the Apron Spot is coming. They work the apron but Misawa avoids Doom, Death and Destruction by dropkicking Taue in the gut on the apron, but Taue rises and Sweeps The Leg with a clothesline. Rough Misawa Bump on the apron. NODOWA~! on the floor! Rolls back in but too much time has elapsed. Only a two count. DYNAMIC BOMB~! 1-2-NO! INSANE! There is about one minute to go in the time limit after this and surprisingly they work a Misawa comeback with a Tiger Driver nearfall at the bell to make Misawa stand tall at the end. 

Very weird if you are going to do the time limit draw why give away the Dynamic Bomb nearfall. Now that being said they did NOT give a way the NODOWA off the apron. I think that's the real key. In both the Kobashi & Kawada matches, it is the NODOWA off the apron that signals the end is night and the Dynamic Bomb just polishes them off. Misawa did not wrestle his best. It was a very lukewarm performance from him. Besides the middle of the match where he busted out that fancy Tiger Mask shit, he did not seem motivated, but that's probably due to being in tremendous his pain from his eye. Some people really liked this match, but I see a great Taue performance and a crowd really hot for Taue. ****

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  • 2 years later...

A precursor to their reputed classic three days later, this ends up a draw and felt like the ace surviving Taue instead of the usual other way around. This isn't as physical as Taue's matches with Kobashi and Kawada since Misawa is working with a broken orbital bone, but there are moments here where Taue viciously targets the face and of course it fucking rules. I'm surprised at how early they blow a Dynamic Bomb nearfall, but it's somewhat protected since Taue doesn't soften up Misawa with the apron Nodowa beforehand, and you also get the sense that Taue goes to it hastily because he erroneously smells blood in the water.


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