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Charles (Loss)

[1991-01-27-AJPW-New Year Giant Series] Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi

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Excellent six-man with Kawada taking center stage. The feud with Taue bookends the match, with a mini-Kawada/Jumbo feud happening in the middle. The first half of this is solid offense and aggression from Misawa's camp. Jumbo finally has enough of Kawada cheapshotting him and turns the tide on sheer will alone. I love that he loses his temper and finally gives Kawada his payback, but still never really stops selling the effects of Kawada's attack. In a really cool moment, after playing FIP for a while, Kawada is about to tag Misawa and Taue pushes him into Misawa, who crashes to the floor and is a non-factor for the rest of the match. Kawada teases a final comeback, but Jumbo refuses to let it happen and Taue pins Kawada after a powerbomb. Some of the guys involved in this are bit players, so I don't think this is one of the elite six-mans of the era. But it's still a very good one that furthers the Kawada/Taue issue and builds anticipation for me to see the upcoming Kawada/Jumbo matches in '91.

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Another strong 6 man from All-Japan. Here Jumbo and Kawada take center stage. I thought Jumbo was incredible here. I thought he showed a ton of aggression . Overall an excellent match.

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Not quite as breakneck a pace as previous 6 mans but still great. I think my favorite thing right now in the feud is that Misawa vs. Jumbo is still really hot but they have done such a good job of elevating Taue and Kawada now that you can intertwine any of those combos and it is heated. Jumbo was really great in this match as the wounded ace and a nice win for Taue over Kawada.

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Tsuruta's teased Hulk-Up, cut-off, then actual Hulk-Up as Kawada is wailing away on him is one of the major highlights here. Amazing that one angry facial expression was able to draw such a crowd reaction. Kawada is shoved into accidentally clotheslining Misawa off the apron, leaving him more or less alone against Jumbo and Taue. He's about to pull a miracle powerbomb finish when Jumbo lariats him in the back of the head--irony! Taue uses a powerbomb of his own to pick up a needed victory. Your usual great AJ 6-man that puts Kawada on another level for the body of the match and Taue on the same level for getting the pinfall on him.

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We start off with Taue and Kawada which is the right thing. Their hate has been a real welcome addition to these six man tags. Kawada knocks Jumbo into the railing at one point and you know he will get his later. Jumbo is pissed off when he finally gets in there with Kawada. I thought it was a foregone conclusion that Kikuchi would take the pinfall but Taue gets the win over Kawada to continue their feud on. Kawada was the man of the match here for me.

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It's the standard stuff. Whatever you think about their other 6 mans from the era you'll likely feel the same way about this. High workrate but went on a bit.

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This match is great for so many reasons. It plays off of a lot of stuff that has led up to it. It is at Korakuen and Kikuchi is in it. Kikuchi actually gets to look good on offense for a few brief stretches, despite the whiffed diving headbutt. There's a lot of stuff in here that is a callback to things that have happened in the months prior. Oh, and Kawada slamming Taue down on the piece of railing Misawa and Kikuchi took out and laid on the floor is incredible. It's not a 10/90 or 4/91 level awesome 6-man, but it's right up there behind them.

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The pace in this one's almost too fast to keep up with at times, and there were many more instances when more than one man was in the ring, which shows how far this rivalry has progressed. The two main feuds (Jumbo/Misawa and Kawada/Taue) were furthered, particularly by Taue scoring the winning fall on Kawada, but a new issue sprang up between Junbo and Kawada that will undoubtedly lead to some good singles bouts in the months ahead.

 

Each side got at least a brief three-on-two advantage when first Jumbo, then Misawa were briefly incapacitated by being knocked off the apron. I liked the idea that Misawa's side was allowed to be just as vicious as Jumbo's when the time called for it. Kikuchi was well-used here, particularly on a couple of nice doubleteams, and Fuchi provided some veteran grit when needed and also protected Jumbo while he was laying injured outside.

 

This wasn't a classic like some of the other big six-mans were, but it gave the fans a thrilling ride and provided the spark for the Jumbo/Kawada series. I guess the best word to describe this match would be productive.

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This match is awesome. I saw Allan post two GIF's of Jumbo today that he titled "Don't Mess with Jumbo Part 1 & 2. Well, this match has your parts 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7. Jumbo is a BEAST. I can watch him work these tags all day. Great match.

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Stiff as hell 25 minute sprint. Altough it is telling that in a match that Misawa spin kicking dudes in the face and Jumbo waffling the hell out of Kawada with a chair, the highlight was Fuchi blasting Misawa with awesome punch combos. Match had ample opportunity to deliver a strong heat segment but every few minutes there was a reversal, tag out and then someone else was ready to continue the bomb throwing. I guess the Kawada vs. Jumbo interactions were central to the match. Finally, we get an excellent finish between Kawada and Taue.

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Although these early All Japan six-mans can become a little hard to distinguish from one another, the formula works so well and the characters play their roles engagingly. Once again, the seasoned dad wrestler Jumbo showed terrific resilience against that fiery shitkicker Kawada, who pesters him throughout. I mean, the opening exchange sees Kawada bump like hell off a kitchen sink knee -- Jumbo hits him so hard he hurts himself. At one point, Kawada keeps peppering Jumbo with his shitty face kicks and Jumbo snaps, unloading a barrage of big daddy elbows on him and continuing the punishment on the floor with chairshots. Fuchi's the prematurely old dick head, Misawa the young hero, Kikuchi the underdog, and Taue does what Taue can to ensure his team comes away victorious, getting shit from the fans for breaking up puns but ultimately scoring the pinfall with the powerbomb.

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A terrific six man tag between the two groups, as per usual. The crowd and match was most heated when Kawada and Jumbo were going at each other, some great stuff that. As well as the Taue vs Kawada interactions brewing off their blood feud at the time. Fuchi didn’t do much but he wasn’t totally a hang along, as he did some good stuff. Kikuchi took some nasty bumps into the guardrails and was basically the guy for Jumbo to torment. Misawa was pretty decent too. Loads of different components. ****

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