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Charles (Loss)

[1991-06-07-AJPW-Super Power Series] Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey

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Misawa and Kawada are rock stars. They are being mobbed and can barely make it through the excited crowd to get to the ring. Hansen has an efficient way of dealing with that problem.

 

This was really good. Misawa, Kawada and Hansen are as great as you'd expect them to be, but even Spivey looks better here than Steve Williams or Terry Gordy have looked at any point in 1991. There's a lot of oneupsmanship here surrounding limbs, with Misawa's leg and the arms of both Hansen and Spivey being targets. The match is a brawl right away and never really loses that spirit, even if it eventually settles into a fairly standard wrestling match.

 

While Misawa and Kawada were definitely stars by this point, Hansen is still a step above them in terms of projecting himself as a star. He gives them a lot of offense, but their offense is about his struggle, and his offense is about his dominance. He's not intentionally taking anything away from them, but he just seems like a much bigger deal.

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I love the storyline of Kawada emerging as a Hansen-level prick against Hansen himself. There was a lot of fun stuff in this one, from Hansen using his good arm to hurl Misawa over the guard rail into a table to Kawada's counters into the late-match armbars on Hansen. They fell into a few dead spots but this is one of the more overlooked gems from '91 All Japan.

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Another really good match, with Spivey pulling his weight this time. The Americans rely on brawling while the natives try to take out Hansen's arm, with Kawada doing some great counters into armbars, but they don't take it out enough.

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Crowd really getting behind Kawada’s kicks. Hansen trying to scalp Misawa with chops to the top of the head. Announcer really gets over Misawa’s facelock as a devasting hold. Dug Kawada getting those armbars on Hansen. Stan is just too clever at the end getting both Misawa and Kawada with the lariat. Good match.

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This was taped June 7th. Hansen was the standout performer. There was plenty of animosity between him and Tosh. The build had a variety of body part work. Hansen shoulder, Misawa knee, Spivey shoulder. His partner was ailing at the end but the lariato came through. Hot start, thrilling finish and pretty good in the middle.

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Under the radar very good match that features some intricate selling and brutality by both teams. This match seemed like a good one int he Hansen is GOAT camp because he was fabulous here slinging Misawa into the table and fending off Kawada. Misawa/Kawada have really gelled as a team together.

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Will be excited to tackle that when I finish the 1992 and 1993 yearbooks. One of those questions that looks ridiculous on paper but may actually be correct after re-evaluation.

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I thought "fun" was about right as far as describing this match. Kawada vs. Hansen was the best part for sure. Spivey not killing the match could also be considered a highlight. About midway through 1991 I'm in complete agreement with Ditch. Hansen/Spivey are more consistently good and somehow far better at filling time in matches than Williams/Gordy. I guess we'd be looking at it differently if the MVC would have been booked in 15 minute and under matches more consistently.

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Really enjoyed all the limb work here. The Spivey shoulder injury looked very convincing - any word on whether that was genuine?

Also, how did Misawa's facelock suddenly become so over? Have I missed him scoring a big win with it?

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The natives try their best here, almost destroying Hansen's arm, but in the end the Americans are just a little too mean for them. What made this match stand out for me is the limb work, which is something you don't usually associate with maulers like Hansen and Spivey. They do an excellent job taking apart Misawa's knee as revenge for the natives trying to tear Stan's lariat arm off, and one of my favorite spots on this yearbook so far is Spivey setting up a table on the edge of the apron for Stan to ram Misawa's knee into. It's a variation on the "knee gets destroyed on a ringside object" spot that's a staple of All-Japan, and it's a clever way to keep that spot fresh. Nice work. On the downside, I think two DDTs on the concrete was one too many, especially when one of them (Spivey's to Kawada) was only meant to stop Kawada from interfering with Stan's winning pinfall. Couldn't Danny have just held Kawada's leg?

 

Misawa and Kawada don't look bad in losing, but they really seem to be in a funk lately. They've been losing clean regularly to Jumbo and company, and now they drop one to Hansen and Spivey with a rematch against the MVC on the agenda in July. It's time for them to step up their game in a big hurry if they want to continue to be one of the elite teams in All-Japan going forward.

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These guys are just on another level. No offense to Spivey, because he carried his weight, but I'm specifically talking about the other three. However, Hansen is my MVP here. He brings such an intensity every single time he wrestles (from his entrance to his exit). His selling his was fantastic, and his focused limb work was really good. I know when we ranked our GWE that I had him in my top 5 or 6, and what I wouldn't give to have my votes back and put him in my top 3. I've watched so much Hansen over the past few years, and not that I hadn't watched a lot then, but my appreciation for him at this point in my fandom is so high. I legitimately get excited to watch any match he is part of at this point, even if I've seen it five times. Anyways, I thought Kawada and Misawa were great here too. I love the selling of the knees after the double-suplex. I loved this match.

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I love the entrance for the simple reason that Misawa and Kawada getting mobbed and struggling to get to the ring while Hansen gets through easily with his bull whip. Lol. This was excellent. Kawada was a total killer for most of the match. He was the one getting the advantage for his team, he was the one beating Hansen up when Misawa was struggling. A great switch from what Misawa usually does. Misawa and Kawada showed tremendous team work early in the match when going for Hansen’s arm. Then later Spivey and Hansen also showed why they were the champions and attacked the knee of Misawa using a table. This was a great match. ***3/4

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