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Charles (Loss)

[1991-12-06-AJPW-Real World Tag League] Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy

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This match again. FEEL the enthusiasm. One of the best things about finishing the 1991 Yearbook is that I will probably never have to watch a Doc/Gordy tag again. I guess there are some in '92 that I liked, and one in early '93 featuring these four that I thought was outstanding, but their '91 series can suck it. They aren't bad matches, and I think that's what makes them doubly frustrating. In fact, this one is pretty good, better than most of their matches so far, especially in the final few minutes when they start building toward a finish. Misawa's crawl-through-fire save of Kawada after the double powerbomb is the highlight of the match for me. The problem is that most Doc/Gordy matches are BORING matches. This one has all the excitement when they're working toward a finish, and none at all before that. 1991 has really brought my opinion down on both guys, which I'll admit is partially booking, because I'm tired of seeing them win against better teams. I'm still waiting to see what exactly Terry Gordy did to earn his spot in All Japan.

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I think MVC turned a corner with this match and were much more reliable in the following year and a half. This is my favorite from their run.

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Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 02/26/91) ***1/4

Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 04/18/91) ***3/4

Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 05/24/91) ***1/4

Mitsuharu Misawa vs Terry Gordy (AJPW 06/01/91) ***1/4

Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 12/06/91) ***1/4

 

Steve Williams & Terry Gordy vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue (AJPW 03/04/92) ***1/2

Mitsuharu Misawa vs Terry Gordy (AJPW 04/26/92) ***1/2

Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 08/22/92) ***1/2

Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 10/07/92) ****1/4

Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 11/30/92) ***3/4

 

Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 01/30/93) ****1/2

Steve Williams vs Terry Gordy (AJPW Championship Carnival 04/12/93) ***

Kenta Kobashi vs Terry Gordy (AJPW 05/29/93) ****

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (AJPW 05/20/93) ***1/4

 

Yeah... looking at your ratings in the yearbooks, he hasn't been one of your favs. A few matches here and there that you liked, but not really sustained, nor even a specific match up that you liked a lot.

 

There was a Gordy & Doc vs Jumbo & Taue match from either the 1990 or 1991 Tag League where Gordy & Doc were just kicking the crap out of Taue down the stretch, with Taue kicking out of stuff and not rolling over that got the crowd going... that I seem to recall enjoying a fair amount when randomly watching it a couple of years back (as in 5 or so). I don't see either of those matches making the yearbook, with the pairings showing up in 1992. If I wasn't hitting the bong on it, that might make a useful addition to the bonus disks... as much for Taue as for the MVC.

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I'm burned out on this one. It is a tough watch but then the finish section is pretty good and I'm finally into it. Crowd is eating it up. I just wish Williams and Gordy could do more early on to keep my interested.

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Man oh man, I don't get all the talk about Rick Rude's obsession with sitting in holds when we've got Doc and Gordy right here. They tend to change up the holds more than Rude but when it comes down to it, there's not much more excitement in seeing Doc or Gordy sit in a toe hold than there is Rude in a chinlock. Kawada can work underneath in holds better than Hansen did, so this match is better in the early going, but it's still not great. It gets a lot better the moment that Doc goes for a football tackle and Kawada levels him with a kick to the face. They re-do the story from earlier in the year where Misawa gets powerbombed on the floor and taken out, but unlike in that match there's a great deal of urgency on all sides when Kawada is down 2-on-1, with near-falls and hope spots and then a twist when Kawada levels Doc with an enzuilariatio and takes *him* out, leaving him 1-on-1 with Gordy. Both partners make returns and a few other hot near-falls follow before Kawada succumbs.

 

Maybe the Steiners really were the ideal MVC opponent, because clearly their best stuff on this Yearbook, singles or tag, has involved throwing bombs at the opponent. Still, I left this match with a more positive impression thanks to the stretch run and to the work of the natives. In a way, even though he did the job this feels like as much of a coming-out party for Kawada as the singles bout with Jumbo did. Of all the members of the two native armies, he clearly seems to be next in line to get a big victory over one of the main Triple Crown contenders.

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Had a lively opening but then settled into solid territory as it got a little bogged down. Williams in particular at this stage didn't sell enough or appreciate the value of an opponents momentum. It did improve quite a bit later on as they had a long and intricate stretch more like you'd see in later years. Misawa had a spell layed out on the floor (recurring theme), but he just made it back in time. The result was in the balance and they missed a trick by not having a home win as the fans would have exploded.

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I'm still waiting to see what exactly Terry Gordy did to earn his spot in All Japan.

He was big and ugly. I'm increasingly convinced that's all it really took for Americans to get spots in Japan in the 80s and 90s.

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I agree somewhat with Charles on MVC but do think of them more highly on average than he does as almost every rating JDW throws out above, I am a 1/4 * to 1/2 * higher. The opening of this mixed in some more fire than in other MVC which helped carried it for me. Good strike exchanges between Gordy and Misawa/Kawada and we see the beginnings of the good/great chemistry Doc/Kawada have in 1994. I do think Doc is the worst in this match and most of the match being brought down is down by him grabbing a chinlock or working a hold. Match does heat up a lot in the last ten minutes with Misawa saving Kawada multiple times. In the end, this match feels like the majority of 1991, entertaining and good but not really groundbreaking.

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Agree that the MVC has been underwhelming to say the least in 1991, but I dug this way way more than others in the thread have been. Thought they told a good story despite the aimless holds, and the last 10 or so minutes as they worked towards the finish was great.

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I don't get it; if this was 80% of the other wrestlers in the world, a lot of people would be applauding how well the opposing team worked over Kawada's knee, how it showed psychology and dedication to working a body part the way it ought to be worked, But since it's Doc and Bamm Bamm, it's boring? I know we'd all rather see them use their fists, forearms, and feet to mulchify everything in sight, but give them credit for at least trying to work a bit like the natives.

 

At any rate, I liked how Misawa and Kawada never backed down from the big bad gaijin and were able to outsmart them on several occasions. The spot where Kawada anticipated Doc's tackle and caught him full on with a dropkick in the face is in my top five spots for the year, and I liked how Doc was taken out of action right after Misawa was so that Kawada didn't have to go two-on-one with Doc and Gordy, which couldn't possibly have ended well. As it was, the short time Kawada was subjected to their tender mercies by himself probably ended up costing him and Misawa the match.

 

I'm not sure I like the idea of Misawa constantly having to miss major time in big tag matches because he's hurt on the floor. Once in a while it adds to the drama; too often and it's a booking crutch and a turnoff. because how can anyone reasonably expect his team to win when they're one man short? And if they do win, it makes the opponents look weak for having the man advantage and not being able to capitalize on it. This is the second or third time in the past month that I've seen Misawa taken out, and it's already getting old, at least for me.

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First three words out of my mouth when I saw this match were, "Ahhh fuck you!" Should let you know my mindset going in. MVCs do better in giving to Misawa/Kawada here. It isn't top shelf, but it is definite improvement. They even remember to stop with the boring shit and make the crowd react when it starts to get quiet. Finish is a really good twist on the story all year with...the same ending. Fuck you after all.

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