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Misawa vs. Kawada vs. Kobashi vs. Taue - Comparing the Four Corners

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The guide would be "This was the stuff Will thought this was good enough to include".

 

People are saying that Kawada post-2000 was mediocre relative to Misawa (when he wasn't dead), Kobashi (when he wasn't missing years injured) and Taue in the 10-or-so years. That's roughly 100 matches, roughly 10 a year, a reasonable sample against a variety of matches.

 

I don't think anyone is going to claim this is 1994 Kawada, anymore than anyone is saying Kobashi in the 00's was 1993 vintage Kobashi, or Misawa in the 00s was 1994 Misawa, or that Taue in the 00s was 1996 Taue.

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Daniel watched 60+ Tenryu matches in about that amount of time, along with the other stuff he was watching. Most of those were from the 90s, with most that weren't coming from 1988-89. A lot of the stuff was rather randomish rather than just the pimped stuff. If people tossed out some stuff that tied in (like the 3/2/94 Tenryu & Hara vs Onita & Goto or the first Tenryu-Takada), he'd give it a look.

 

My point was more in terms of a challenge. If someone thinks that Kawada's 00's is mediocre to the degree that it drags down what he did prior to it relative to what the others did prior to it, there's a good sample of matches to check rather than the old "Here's 5 Matches!" that represent a decade for these four wrestlers.

 

I'm doubtful anyone is going to pick it up. I'd be interested to see if anyone even comes up with the equiv lists for Misawa, Kobashi and Taue.

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That's a fair point, watching a larger sample of matches would probably better indicate if he really was individually worse than the other three during the 2000s. And the regular overlap of Misawa, Kobashi and Taue is a good point, especially in tags that included Akiyama, Tenryu etc., and definitely would have been a factor for the higher match quality.

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Yeah, jdw, it's probably unrealistic. Some of us might wathc 5-10 late Kawada matches, but I can't see anyone doing 100 unless literally the ONLY thing they cared about was Kawada.

 

I dunno that I would use the word "unrealistic" since doing stuff like that is kind of the whole point of this site and GWE project. How many Dory Jr matches have you watched to re-evaluate people calling him boring and awful? That someone would subject themselves to that strikes me as way more unrealistic (not to mention masochistic :) ) than deep diving on late era Kawada. I mean for godsake, this site has a 2 page long Trish Stratus work analysis thread.

 

A fair amount of 00s Kawada is online. I may look into it once I get some computer issues resolved. Unless John wants to order me a Kawada set for Christmas :)

 

I'm intrigued by the idea that someone would rank Misawa, Kobashi and Taue above Kawada based on post prime work because it would indicate to me (someone who loves Kawada) that he was really bad post 2003 (when I stopped following modern puro) while Misawa/Kobashi/Taue must have been really fucking great considering that's the time period that makes the other 3 "easily surpass" Kawada. I haven't watched a ton of post 2003 4 Corners stuff but I've seen enough that I'm skeptical.

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"Easily surpass" is probably the wrong choice of words by me (it refers more to match quality than individual performances anyways, which might not be the right criteria). Still, I would have ranked Misawa and Kobashi above him anyways regardless of everyone's post-prime work. The 2000s boost mostly applied to Taue, who I always thought was only a little bit below the other three in their 90s matches.

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Yeah, jdw, it's probably unrealistic. Some of us might wathc 5-10 late Kawada matches, but I can't see anyone doing 100 unless literally the ONLY thing they cared about was Kawada.

I dunno that I would use the word "unrealistic" since doing stuff like that is kind of the whole point of this site and GWE project. How many Dory Jr matches have you watched to re-evaluate people calling him boring and awful? That someone would subject themselves to that strikes me as way more unrealistic (not to mention masochistic :) ) than deep diving on late era Kawada. I mean for godsake, this site has a 2 page long Trish Stratus work analysis thread.

 

A fair amount of 00s Kawada is online. I may look into it once I get some computer issues resolved. Unless John wants to order me a Kawada set for Christmas :)

 

I'm intrigued by the idea that someone would rank Misawa, Kobashi and Taue above Kawada based on post prime work because it would indicate to me (someone who loves Kawada) that he was really bad post 2003 (when I stopped following modern puro) while Misawa/Kobashi/Taue must have been really fucking great considering that's the time period that makes the other 3 "easily surpass" Kawada. I haven't watched a ton of post 2003 4 Corners stuff but I've seen enough that I'm skeptical.

 

Yeah, I get what you are saying, but with Dory there was, in some sense, "a need" -- a guy with an old-time rep of being all-time great whose rep through revisionist eyes had fallen to "boring old fuck who is not even being considered" -- whereas for a guy like Kawada who is largely going to be in over 80% of people's top 20s (probably top 10s) anyway, it is literally going to be deciding if he's going to rank #5 or #6.

 

And when some of us have watched less than 10 Negro Casas or Buddy Rose matches total, it's a question of priorities.

 

All of that said, I'd LOVE to see someone tackle that late Kawada stuff in detail and point the rest of us to the cherries. When I said "unrealisitic", I was think more of the types of guys who have done that sort of work to date, and I have a rough idea of the sorts of stuff they will be watching in the next four months. But if there's someone reading this who'd take it on, absolutely do it!

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I have seen a large amount of those matches listed, plus some stuff not on there and I am shocked anyone could be let down by it. There's just too much great stuff in the first half of the decade like the 2000 Tenryu match, the Nagata/Iizuka tag, 2002 Mutoh TC, Hashimoto TC, Misawa 2005 etc. for me to see how it could be dismissed and when I watched his 2005 run for Ditch's poll I thought he was still one of the best in the world. By 2006 he slows down a bit but he still looked in great shape relative to the other pillars and his final NOAH made it clear he had plenty left in the tank even that late into his career. If anything, I'd be more interested in the matches that underwhelmed as the idea that Taue was better in the 2000's sounds absurd to me on the surface.

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I'm going to watch these ones soon. WOOOOOO last day of teaching today!!! I can watch wrestling again and I'm going to be hitting it HARD over Xmas.

 

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi (1/17/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Vader (2/17/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (3/31/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Masa Fuchi (7/1/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Genichiro Tenryu (10/28/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Keiji Mutoh (2/24/02)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Keiji Mutoh (7/13/03)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Shinjiro Ohtani (9/6/03)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Genichiro Tenryu (1/18/04)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Shinya Hashimoto (2/22/04)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Cactus Jack (Hustle 5/8/04)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (NOAH 7/18/05)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (NJ 8/5/05)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. D-Lo Brown (7/30/06)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. TAJIRI (3/28/07)

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Some matches I would recommend for Taue in the 2000s

 

Akira Taue vs. Yuji Nagata (6/6/2003)

Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (8/1/2004)

Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi (9/10/2004)

Akira Taue/Kenta Kobashi vs. Genichiro Tenryu/Jun Akiyama (9/18/2005) --> Taue's performance is the best one in the match, IMO

Akira Taue vs. Takeshi Morishima (12/5/2005)

Akira Taue vs. Jun Akiyama (1/22/2006)

Akira Taue vs. Naomichi Marufuji (3/5/2006)

Akira Taue/Go Shiosaki vs. KENTA/Katsuyori Shibata (9/9/2006)

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Micro you forgot the 2009 HDA reunion tag against KENTA/Akiyama. It may not stack up in terms of only the in-ring action, but seeing Taue and Kawada reunite one more time to honor their fallen foe Misawa is a sight to behold.

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That match was a ton of fun, but in my memory, it was Kawada's interaction with KENTA that really made it. In fact, Kawada's last little run with NOAH was a satisfying end note for his career.

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I'm going to watch these ones soon. WOOOOOO last day of teaching today!!! I can watch wrestling again and I'm going to be hitting it HARD over Xmas.

 

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi (1/17/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Vader (2/17/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (3/31/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Masa Fuchi (7/1/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Genichiro Tenryu (10/28/00)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Keiji Mutoh (2/24/02)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Keiji Mutoh (7/13/03)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Shinjiro Ohtani (9/6/03)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Genichiro Tenryu (1/18/04)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Shinya Hashimoto (2/22/04)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Cactus Jack (Hustle 5/8/04)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (NOAH 7/18/05)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (NJ 8/5/05)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. D-Lo Brown (7/30/06)

Toshiaki Kawada vs. TAJIRI (3/28/07)

I wouldn't necessarily bother with the Misawa and Kobashi matches from 2000--not much to be learned there. His key matches from 2000 were the 7/23 tag (first big post-split AJPW main event), the 10/9 New Japan match with Sasaki, the 10/28 Triple Crown match with Tenryu and the 12/14 tag.

 

I loved his 12/14/03 match with Ogawa. The 11/3/04 sprint with Shibata is cool, and the 2/16/05 match with Kojima is one of his most famous late-period matches. The '05 G-1 run, which includes that Fujinami match, is interesting.

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Someone on DVDVR mentioned not "getting" Taue. I was watching some All Japan last night and thinking about that comment. 

With Kawada or Kobashi, you get what you expect - asskickers who enjoy inflicting pain on opponents. With Taue, you get this enormous Baby Huey looking dork. He's the biggest of the four, but you can't take him seriously as a threat. Moreover, he always seems like he doesn't want to be there. Not in a Takayama "get off my lawn" way - he just comes across like he doesn't want to be bothered. 

Okay, expectations set. Something will happen, such as Kawada getting in trouble. Taue will be all, "Dammit, I have to go save my partner. And I'm not even supposed to be here today!" He Baby Hueys his way across the ring -- and proceeds to chokeslam Kobashi straight to hell. Then he'll shrug his shoulders and lope on back to his corner. 

One of my favorite Taue spots is when he takes Akiyama up like he's gonna throw an atomic drop. Then he decides "fuck it" and instead tosses Akiyama across the ring. 

I appreciate those who don't care for his schtick. But I love it to bits. 

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