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Charles (Loss)

[2005-07-18-NOAH-Destiny] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada

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Lots of good stuff early. Great strike exchange. Misawa being the aggressor is a fresh way to present this. Then somewhere along the way it derails and becomes a standard NOAH finishing run with Kawada and Misawa. They should have done something more off the norm of how NOAH worked for these two, but instead they seem to have just fallen back on formula.

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Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada - Tokyo Dome 7/18/05


It is hard to declare one particular matchup or feud as my all-time favorite, but it asked to rattle a handful off, you best believe that Misawa/Kawada would be listed. It had been five years since their last match due to the All Japan/NOAH split of 2000. I could not think of a better way for them to go out then in front of 52,000 fans in the Dome. All Japan never even ran the Dome until 1998 and what was the feud that propelled them to believe they could pop a big number: Misawa/Kawada. In a full circle moment, this matchup headlined the last NOAH Dome show. Much like a big 70s/80s hard rock/heavy metal act touring on their big hits, Misawa and Kawada seek to deliver the best of Misawa/Kawada one last time. A nostalgia match really will never be an all-time classic, but when it is Misawa/Kawada you can't deny how good it makes you feel to watch them work on last time against each other.


A long staredown between the old rivals is broken by Kawada's fear of the Almighty Elbow. In a change of pace, Misawa is the early aggressor and it is Kawada trying to weather the initial storm of elbows. There is a great moment where Kawada goes bezerk after a couple elbows by slapping the shit out of Misawa and kicking him in the face. Kawada knew he could dig himself into a hole early and it was like he woke up and just freaked out. It was relaly good stuff. He goes for the piledriver on the floor, but Misawa hits a Tiger Driver on concrete. Kawada collapses on the Irish Whip. After years of dominating Misawa early and not being able to put him away, it looks Kawada is being blown out by Misawa.

Kawada's answer to Misawa's elbow has always been his feet and with some timely kicks begins to turn the tide. Misawa is looking for the Tiger Driver on the apron, but it settles for elbowing him off the apron. INCOMING! Kawada elbows Misawa out of the sky. Game-changer. Misawa misses his first big bomb and Kawada hits a powerbomb on the ramp. I didn't really care for this because the amount of walking done to get to the ramp and then Kawada having to walk Misawa back to the ring to avoid countout finish. Kawada survives an elbow war with a kick and wins a suplex struggle to be able to apply the Stretch Plum and get two. Kawada firmly in control even works in his bicycle kick counter to the German and it looks like the beginning of the match is long gone with Kawada rocking and rolling. Brainbuster gets two. Powerbomb gets two. Whiffs on the home run knee. You sense something big is coming and BANG! GANSO BOMB~! Tough to watch regardless what happened to Misawa later. You know once Misawa kicks out of the Ganso Bomb that this not going to end well for Wile E. Kawada.


Misawa-rana right out of his own pants in a funny moment. Elbows reestablish his control and Emerald Flowsion onlyu gets two. Rolling kappo kick sets up the Tiger Suplex and Tiger Driver '91. It is the merciless onslaught of elbows and eventually Kawada can no longer resist.


As a one last time, "Best of" match, this really hit the spot. You do get a curve ball early with Misawa being so domintant early and really setting the tone with his elbows and Tiger Driver. Kawada was really put on his backfoot, but made the most out of expoliting Misawa's mistake. In the story that is as old as time, Kawada try as he might could not put away the resilient Misawa even with the ultra-dangerous Ganso Bomb. Then it became 'ol reliable the best stretch in wrestling Kawada jelly leg feeding Misawa and Misawa elbowing him into obvilion. ****

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I think my opinion lands right between dawho5 and Superstar Sleaze on this one. I liked this and I think it's better than a bunch of those lifeless late 90s matches between them. Not a great match but a lot of fun and a satisfying main event to a big show.

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