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[1996-11-30-AJPW-Real World Tag League] Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Steve Williams & Johnny Ace

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A cozy 7 and a half minutes of bombs at a breakneck pace. There's probably a better parallel to the famous Hagler vs. Hearns fight than this--it's a good match but not *quite* that transcendent--but none are really coming to mind right now. In the first minute, Akiyama takes a backdrop driver, Doc gets knocked out by a rolling elbow, Misawa takes an Ace Crusher, and Ace takes a tiger driver--the car wreck on the highway analogy so favored by JR has never been more apt than it is here. This is like a Yearbook match clipped to the finishing stretch, but the clipping is by the wrestlers and not by editing.

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Steve Williams & Johnny Ace vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama - AJPW 11/30/96

I am a bit confused why this match is even happening. These two teams went to a 30 minute draw at the beginning of the tournament. I assumed that they were tied for second place and they needed this playoff match to see who would face Holy Demon Army in the finals at the Budokan on 12/6/96. However I checked the standings and Misawa/Akiyama had one more point than Doc/Ace, maybe they had one more point b/c of this match, BUT Kobashi/Patriot were tied with Doc/Ace. I guess it is not that important, but it is unusual. 

I only have one Doc/Ace match left on the docket, but I am going to miss this team. It is an unheralded excellent tag team of power and aggression. Brody & Hansen have the aura, but Doc & Ace put in the work. All Japan finally realized their dream of having a match that is entirely home stretch. They accomplish this by making the match only 7 minutes. There should be more 5-10 minutes sprints in wrestling when the wrestlers just go balls out. This is a great bomb-throwing spotfest and I mean this by reverence. It is all kicked off by young upstart Akiyama dropkicking Doc from behind at the bell. Doc responds by DEMOLISHING Akiyama with a Back Drop Driver and it is off to the races. ACE CRUSHER, DOOMSDAY DEVICE, DANGEROUS NODOWA/BACKDROP ON THE FLOOR ARE ALL THROWN OUT LIKE CANDY! Misawa's Elbow heavy comeback is great, but Ace hits a powerbomb. Akiyama saves from the Dragon Suplex with a missile dropkick. Akiyama busts out a rolling Northern Lights Suplex. The Misawa German into an Akiayma German is a spot they have done before that I absolutely love just a great tag team spot. Misawa decks Doc from behind and EXPLODER~! Multiple Tiger Drivers put Ace down!

Loved this! All spotfests should be this short and explosive! I would never complain. ****

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