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

[1991-04-18-AJPW-Championship Carnival] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jumbo Tsuruta

Recommended Posts

Could you imagine in 1991 going to a card with these being the last four matches on it:

 

Kenta Kobashi vs Dan Kroffat

Toshiaki Kawada vs Akira Taue

World Tag Titles: Stan Hansen & Danny Spivey vs Terry Gordy & Steve Williams

Triple Crown Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa

 

Yow...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't think it was a 15 minute walk from Budokan to Korakuen Hall. It seemed like 15 minutes simply from the subway up to Budokan. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was quite surprised to find this a significantly stronger match than their 6/8/90 encounter. I guess I just like the more assertive Misawa, who rocked Jumbo with elbows to start the proceedings and then merrily slapped the shit out of him during a great mid-match exchange. They built to an awesome run of nearfalls, with Misawa staging a near-vintage comeback only to eat a brutal trio of back suplexes. Even though I knew the result, I popped for the spot where Misawa blocked Jumbo and then drilled him with a German suplex for a 2.9 count. From now on, I'll regard this and the 9/1/90 match as their masterpieces, with the 6/8/90 match a step down despite the memorable finish. This is a MOTYC, even if I expect it to be rapidly eclipsed by the 4/20 six-man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is interesting, because for whatever reason, I'm dreading watching this match and it's making me stall on proceeding with the yearbook. It's not that I have an aversion to Jumbo/Misawa matches. It's that I'm not sure I am in the mood for a 30 minute match at the moment. Your review gave me a little hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is interesting, because for whatever reason, I'm dreading watching this match and it's making me stall on proceeding with the yearbook. It's not that I have an aversion to Jumbo/Misawa matches. It's that I'm not sure I am in the mood for a 30 minute match at the moment. Your review gave me a little hope.

The problem there is that you know its a 30 minute draw. I went into the April '92 AJ 8 man on the yearbook last night thinking maybe it goes ~35 minutes, and next thing I know its an hour and twelve minutes. Quite the Ignorance is the best sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering if I was in the wrong year when I saw Loss reference a 30 minute match, since that one was their 1992 Carny match. This goes "thirty" only when counting intros and post match, which when shown in full kind of give these a Big Match Feel that AJPW did about as well as anyone. But the match itself was under 25.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another strong match. The guys seemed to cut a slower pace. Because of this Misawa's elbow 's stand out even more. I also thought the pace helped up the drama. The finishing run was pretty great, and I bought on some if those false finishes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked the pacing of this also. Matches built around selling and slow pacing, with bursts of offense thrown in then given time to settle, are matches I really enjoy. I don't think I loved this quite as much as the rest of you, as I thought it was a step above the June match, but not nearly as good as the September match. While we got four singles matches from them, I wish we could have had more, and that this feud could have played out over another two years or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I admit they were close to losing me during the long surfboardery in the middle, though part of that is trying to split attention between the NCAA tournament and the Yearbook. It was enough to make me question if this was better than their '88 match. But goddamn what a closing stretch that was. Misawa's elbow is now getting major play as a potential one-shot finish, which will pay off later in the year. It doesn't finish Jumbo off in this case but Misawa goes from being dead in the water to being in control thanks to one huracanrana and one elbow to the face. We get big moves and flash pin attempts, plus one last little gasp from Misawa that only serves to piss Jumbo off, before Tsuruta reasserts himself as the Man. Not a MOTY, I don't think, but not far off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liked Misawa busting out the enziguris. He was throwing everything at Jumbo. Later, Jumbo looks like he won’t get a powerslam successfully and just drops Misawa throat first across the ropes. Misawa got a bit more offense in but looked to be the turning point in match. Really good finishing stretch to match. Damn good card so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though this is the lesser of the three matches for me in the 90's between these two, I still though it was great. Misawa looked more equal in this one than he did in either 6/8 or 9/1. My favorite spot of the match was Jumbo using the hot shot to try to put away Misawa. Him giving him three backdrops felt definitive and may have set in motion that move being an Achilles heel for Misawa throughout his career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most wrestlers would kill for a career match as good as this. It was their 5th best singles match out of 5 which is totally insane! I would rank them 1) 9/1/90 2) 6/8/90 3) 4/2/92 4) 3/9/88 5) 4/18/90 ranging from great to really good.

 

This was a fulfilling encounter that was never less than captivating. A patient build moving onto a strong stretch and finish. Jumbo went over quite convincingly at the end. After going 1-1 in 1990 this confirmed that he was still top dog for the time being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anybody else have trouble watching Misawa take Back Drop Drivers?

 

The home stretch epitomizes All Japan and how incredible Misawa and Jumbo are as workers. This is the type of match where if you came in JIP to the slapfest in the middle, you may come away thinking there was a five star match here. There is one element of the beginning that I did like. I liked how Misawa took it to Jumbo immediately and hit his big diving elbow. It is a title match and Misawa is going in with the challenger’s mentality that he has to take the match to Jumbo. However, the match goes into a whole another gear once the slapfest breaks out and Jumbo annihilates Misawa with the high knee. As soon as the crowd is finished doing the Jumbo cheer, they break into a “Mi-Sa-Wa” chant. The heat segment was ok, it is nothing that will set your world on fire with Jumbo working the knee after a kneecrusher on the table. Once Misawa dodges Jumbo on a criss-cross and hits his lariat, the match really picks up into a great sequence for the Triple Crown. Misawa is not quite where he would be in a couple years, but this extended comeback is portent of the amazing things to come. The highlight spots that stuck out in my mind were the reversal of the back drop driver, but Misawa’s faces eats the ropes, just nasty. Misawa’s diving elbow (I kept thinking this was in the Champion’s Carnival so I bit on that finish). The hotshot by Jumbo followed by the Misawa German was friggin crazy and it was so cool to see a Japanese audience lose their shit over it.

 

What I love about this finish by actually watching matches backwards is how in some ways Misawa feels like Kawada. He pours it on attempting to get the pin after each bomb. He goes for the big bomb, Tiger Driver, only to be reversed and eat three back drop drivers. You would see that in Kawada/Misawa matches with Kawada running out of gas and Misawa hitting the repeated moves to get victory. It enhances those matches because now you know Misawa knows how Kawada feels. He was there. He lived it. He developed his killer instinct wrestling these matches with Jumbo where he learned when you get the chance you pounce and you do not let up. If that means three Tiger Suplexes so be it, I friggin’ earned this and I am not letting go. This was another in a slew of star-making performances for Misawa where you could feel he was getting closer both in kayfabe sense and in a real sense. The match was becoming more built around him and what would become predominant All Japan style. He had so much more confidence to lead in this match. In a kayfabe sense, he took it to Jumbo early and his comeback was filled with a lot of nearfalls that you got the impression that Jumbo was desperate (hotshot), but pulled it out in the end. I am slighting Jumbo by not talking about him more because he was great in this match timing all his offense well and selling the Misawa elbow like a million bucks. The Misawa elbow only works if he, the Ace, sells it and he made that move.

 

I think the top three matches are all hovering around four stars for me and I will give it sometime before I make argument for ranking them, but hot damn that was one helluva night if you were attendance. Judging by the crowd reactions, they knew they were getting the best and they were hot as hell for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some things I found worth mentioning on my first watch ever of this match. The crowd is chanting for Misawa (as loud as the music when it hits ) before the music starts. Holy fuck is that awesome. I thought Jumbo doing small things really made the middle and the end. Like where he heard the chants for Misawa after a few nearfalls, pauses to react to the fans and gives Misawa the rana reversal for a nearfall. That's some genius shit for a much bigger pop than you'd think a rana would get in a heavyweight match. Then things like the twitch after the DDT make me love Jumbo so much. I thought this was better than the June match by a long way but shy of the September one. Jumbo's quest to stay on top makes that match transcendent to me, where this is as much Misawa's Kawada in 6/3/94 performance. The first match he got lucky with the timing of things when Jumbo crotched himself on the ropes after hurting his arm, which opened up the rollup being a possible finish for Misawa. The second match was where we saw that Misawa was still a clear number two with some work to do before he stood a chance at beating Jumbo. This match Misawa really threatens Jumbo late, even hitting an elbow (reminded me of the Williams match in 94 a lot) after the first backdrop driver that forced Jumbo to up the ante with two in order to put him away. Great match for sure, but not their best. I would say that was as much because of the focus of the match as anything. Misawa just was not as compelling as the guy trying to catch Jumbo compared to Jumbo as the veteran trying desperately to show he was still number one. If you look at it in terms of All Japan booking the matches all have a purpose which they serve really, really well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe this is a function of when I watched the match rather than the match itself, but I really didn't feel this one. I watched it along with a slew of other epics from May (I forgot about it in April), and this really didn't stand out all that much. They definitely worked hard and hit all the right notes, but it didn't feel like something that was overly noteworthy. I dug Jumbo's counters, particularly the hot shot off the top and the almost backdrop driver he hit directly on the second turnbuckle, and Misawa was plucky as ever, to the point where Jumbo had to hit three backdrop drivers to put him away for good. But the six-man from two days later was the best match of its kind ever, so watching that one before this, plus all the other long matches I've been watching lately, almost guaranteed a letdown. Maybe if there had been a title change it would rank a bit higher, but they weren't ready for that yet.

 

Speaking of which, shouldn't we be getting to the point where things are a bit more even between these two? By my count, Jumbo's comfortably ahead if you count all the matches in the feud: 4-2 in six-mans, 2-1 in singles, and 1-1-1 in tags in the Yearbook series from January of '90 through June of '91 (their next encounter is in July). The total thus reads Jumbo 7, Misawa 4 with one draw. At some point Misawa the plucky challenger who can't quite get over the hump just won't cut it anymore. I'm not saying that he has to dominate Jumbo for the next year straight, but maybe he should have gotten the pin on Jumbo in the 4/20 six-man instead of Taue as a bit of revenge for this loss. Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-450-401/2/

 

I thought his was great. I specifically liked the pacing of the beginning of the match. Jumbo does little things I like, like taking a few deep breaths before he can get up enough strength to power out of Misawas wrist locks. Anyway, very entertaining closing run... I'd have it somewhere around **** so far, I think I'd have this behind the two from the 90s, but I don't mean that to take away from it at all.

 

Loss #425 - Top 500 Matches of the 90s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#425

 

I liked this just fine. In general, I think the six man tags and tag matches are better than the singles matches from this era, but I tried to take this on its merits instead of expecting it to be the next level up in the Jumbo/Misawa feud. I will say that I think All Japan matches are a lot better when they're striking each other as opposed to working submissions, but if there's one thing that All Japan did better than anyone else it was their finishing stretches. Jumbo was fired up stretch (and afterward in the locker room too) and really drove home his size and strength advantage to brutal effect. I'll leave it to others to worry if Misawa made any inroads toward beating Jumbo again. I liked this as a stand alone bout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was a perfectly solid rematch but with some of the clunky transitioning throughout. I like that Misawa shows more confidence and fire with his elbows, not allowing daddy Jumbo to punk him early on, before the match settles into a slower, back-and-forth struggle to maintain control. I love a good spat and when Misawa keeps pounding on Jumbo, Jumbo's finally had it and he lays into him with hard slaps and quick knees and then that big jumping knee to hype up the crowd. Then it's back to that slower pace of Jumbo working the leg and Misawa being aggressive with his elbows. I thought Jumbo's almost haphazard way out countering Misawa's offense was pretty great. At one point, Misawa starts heating up and the crowd is buzzing loudly for him but the decision to not hit the dive onto Jumbo on the outside really killed the momentum and the buzz. Misawa's able to score a big two count off of the German suplex hold but when he can't deliver the tiger driver, Jumbo dumps him with a brutal backdrop and follows up with two more to put him away. A good match, with a few great moments, but the pacing and transitions hurt the overall quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good match with the theme being the constant giving and taking between these two. You had Misawa with the usual precise elbows and graceful athleticism while Jumbo stuck to working over his mid section. Eventually they move out of their usual rhythm to just get into a slapfest. While  transitions came a little too easy for this to be an epic struggle they eventually moved into the kind of finishing run that gave the fans their moneys worth. Should add Misawa eating the turnbuckle when trying to counter the backdrop is one of those outstanding spots you only really get in early 90s AJPW

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  

×