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[1991-07-24-AJPW-Summer Action Series] Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy


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  • 3 months later...

If there is one thing 1991 All Japan brings in abundance, it's bland matwork from Doc and Gordy. I think this was better than previous versions of this match because Misawa and Kawada got a little more offense and the crowd heat was sustained, but it wasn't enough, and there's a sameness to all the matches in this feud. Gordy eats the fall to Misawa, which feels like a surprise even though Misawa won a singles match against him last month.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This match was bland and directionless until the closing stretch, with lots of holds from Gordy and Doc that neither passed the time compellingly nor led to much. The end sequence, with Miracle Violence trying to destroy Misawa's leg while keeping a feisty Kawada out of the ring, was more heated and focused. But even then, they made some strange decisions that threw off the rhythm of the match. I think we still have the best match between these teams ahead in the RWTL. But this was one of the worst All-Japan matches on the set (still needed to be included because of the title change.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

This was the least of the matches in this series so far. This featured the worst of Doc & Gordy sitting around in holds and it's compounded by the natives doing a lot of the same. Then we get Kawada knocked out on the floor but not a whole lot of urgency or feeling of danger when Misawa is down 2-on-1. The leg work does pay off nicely when Misawa gets a hot tag later on, and the attempted "stop myself with my foot from hitting the corner" backfires. This picks up from there, with a nice quick pace and Kawada getting another chance to shine. Misawa pins Gordy again, but with the fluky nature of the pinfall itself and this being a tag title change, the feeling of an upset is still there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This felt the same as their previous matches which tend to drag on with Williams/Gordy dominating. It did pick up towards the end but it was too late for me to get any enjoyment out of it. I would have been fine if we just go the last few minutes to show the title change.

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  • 5 months later...

This was probably my least favorite of the series and really felt like a time killing match for the majority of the first half. Williams especially would do some semi decent interesting stuff but then there would be no follow up. The ending run was hot and heated but they had a long journey keeping me interesting and lost me throughout the opening 20 minutes. Disappointing considering the crowd was great.

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  • 1 year later...

I liked this one better than most of you. There was some sitting in holds, but I think that's part of the MVC's gimmick. They're trying to be deliberate like the Andersons were in their day, which doesn't really seem like something a monster team should be doing; they seem like they should be trying to level their opponents with strikes and power moves.

 

At any rate, this was more about the pluck of the natives than the might of the challengers. Misawa and Kawada overcome the power of Williams and Gordy plus two separate two-on-one disadvantages to score their second straight upset win, this one for the titles. I liked the MVC's work on Misawa's knee, which is becoming more of an Achilles heel for him as time goes on. True to their style, they work the mat rather than go crazy pounding it with objects. Kawada eventually gets the hot tag, but Doc and Bamm Bamm cut him off rather quickly, which leads to Misawa pulling the victory roll seemingly out of nowhere for the win.

 

While I admire the MVC's retro-Andersons routine, I wonder how exciting of a team they could have been with more traditional American power offense. That may have been the style they needed to adopt in order to get over better when they hit WCW. I'm kind of surprised Watts didn't clue them in to that, but if it was their Japanese style which led to that run, I'm not surprised that they wanted to stay with it.

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  • 2 years later...

I guess if wrestling in front of dead crowds is a sign you're doing things right, the MVCs way of building matches is awesome. Do they not notice it? Anyway, the work on Misawa's leg actually had direction. Not that it made me want to wake up after 10 minutes of MVC laziness. Finish was fine, but MVCs again took way too much of it.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1991-07-24-AJPW-Summer Action Series] Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy
  • 1 year later...

Two thirds of this consist of those filthy gaijins working over Misawa and Kawada. I didn't find the matwork dull and Williams and Gordy getting under the skin of the Japanese crowd by interfering kept me entertained. The finishing stretch doesn't overstay it's welcome and the crowd are hot for all of it.  I've always liked it when Misawa attempts to win by using the same counter that got him his fluke win over Jumbo in 1990. Misawa not being able to land his rebound elbow strike as his leg is too damaged was a cool spot, completely justifying the lengthy control segment during the first half of the match.

★★★½

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