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[2007-04-28-NOAH-Spring Navigation] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Tahuma Sano


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  • 5 months later...

Like I said in the thread for their 2003 match, the title of this thread should say Takuma Sano, not Tahuma.


Anyway, I remember liking this match but I forgot just how awesome it was. Sano is a master of working over an opponent's midsection. His savate kicks and double foot stomps are already brutal but the double foot stomp from the top rope to the floor establishes that Sano is in control early. More importantly, Misawa sells like he is in serious danger and doesn't really get a lot of offense in until much later in the match. Sano goes back and forth between striking, working over the leg, and the midsection attacks throughout the match and rathe rthan seeming scattered it looks like he has put together a multi-pronged strategy. The injury to Misawa's ribs is most important though because he goes back to that whenever it seems like he's not in control. Misawa has a characteristic long comeback but it's easy to doubt that it's becoming because we never had the back and forth section you expect to see in the early going of these matches. When he finally does make a comeback the Emerald Frosion doesn't cut it because Misawa hasn't done enough in the body of the match to put Sano away. Misawa really has to tough it out to survive and Sano comes out looking tougher than he ever has before. Again, this is a tremendous match.

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Graham which match did you like better? I thought Misawa was in better shape in 2003, which made for a more heated and energetic encounter, but 2007 told better story. I say they are very even. I'd give slight edge to 2003.

GHC Heavyweight Champion Mitsuharu Misawa vs Takuma Sano - Budokan 4/28/07


Regardless of my feelings toward this match, I am shocked they ran this a top of a Budokan card. It shows you how much Misawa felt comfortable working with Sano and how thin and directionless NOAH was. That being said I did really like this match a lot. It is the Roundhouse Kick versus The Emerald Elbow, it is just a badass story. I thought this match told the better story over the 2003 encounter in regard to how much Sano was able to hold Misawa at bay, but did not have the same energy as the '03 match.


Sano hits an early roundhouse kick to send Misawa to the floor. SUICIDE DIVE! Misawa tries to rebound off the railing, but roundhouse kick to the chest, which would be a frequent occurrence. DOUBLE STOMP FROM TOP ROPE TO FLOOR!!! HOLY SHIT! Sano is just so damn tempted by working Misawa's legs even though it is going to be blown off, which is exactly what happens. Every time Misawa gets a little chippy with those elbows there is a roundhouse kick to the chest to greet him, which sets up double stomps and a german suplex. Misawa looks to come off the top rope and everybody say it with me: ROUNDHOUSE KICK! That looked sick. Sano follows him to the floor with a somersault plancha. Sano tries to end this with suplexes and kicks to no avail. Misawa converts one suplex to Emerald Flowsion, but does not have much in the tank. He hits another Emerald Flowsion for only 2. I just notice there has been no heat this entire match. Fuck this crowd! Misawa blows him away with some elbows and hits a Fireman's Carry Emerald Flowsion for the win to a dead crowd.


Not your typical Misawa match as he got less offense than usual and relied on three big bombs late to escape the match. Normally, he would be peppering more offense through the match, but Sano was really keeping him in check with those roundhouse kicks. The beginning of the match was really good, but there was a lot of meandering in the middle. Sano had a great answer to Misawa's elbow, but you never really felt Misawa was in danger because Sano really had no bomb. His roundhouse kicks were not setting anything up but standard moves. If the roundhouse kicks set up body part work or head shots than maybe, but Sano needed more to take the match to the next level. The 2003 match benefited from a hotter crowd and an more energetic crowd. Still this is a great match because of how well the story was told. Sano is out matched by the great Misawa, but can hold him in check with the roundhouse kick like no one before, but unlike a Kawada or Kobashi he has no follow-up bombs. Misawa is able to find an opening to hit his bombs and win. ****

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  • GSR changed the title to [2007-04-28-NOAH-Spring Navigation] Mitsuharu Misawa vs Tahuma Sano

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