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[1997-08-22-AJPW] Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako vs Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith


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  • 2 weeks later...

I am glad i found the unclipped version of this as this is one of the better korakuen main event tags that AJPW had put on for a while at this point. The absolute star of the match was johnny smith who excelled in three distinct parts of the match, he had a really good heat segment on Jun Akiyama. This was great as he only focused on the arm twisting his much senior opponent up with various arm locks. Moving well between them but still giving enough time in each hold for Akiyama to sell it and get the audience to react. Something that someone such as zack sabre struggles with as he seems to quickly move through a bunch of holds. He then had a heat segment on him later in the match with mostly Misawa beating on him and akiyama getting the measure of revenge. In the finishing run he was the center of it with Asako. They worked it with the other four more established stars being the ones who would come in and break up the pins or help with a bit of double teaming. Other than smith all the others gave good performances, Misawa and Kobashi had a few exchanges that were hot as expected and Misawa sold very well for him. AJPW in 1997 still does have many great matches with my personal pick for best match ever at the start of the year, but despite that the promotion does feel tired in comparison to previous years. This match however was good enough that it felt that it could have taken place in 91 or 92 with the different hierarchy and the lower level guys getting to shine. A properly great AJPW six man in Korakuen which were becoming far less common as the decade wore on. ****

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  • GSR changed the title to [1997-08-22-AJPW] Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako vs Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith

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