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Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Steve Williams & Johnny Ace (AJPW Excite Series 03/04/95)

AJPW Excite Series March 4 1995 Mitsuharu Misawa Kenta Kobashi Steve Williams Johnny Ace Misawa & Kobashi Budokan Hall 4*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 04:52 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Ditch

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 10:44 PM

Shows where the Triple Crown was a semi-main under Baba: -3/6/90, Hansen/Tenryu vs MVC over Jumbo vs Windham (a good choice) -6/8/90, Jumbo vs Misawa over Gordy vs Hansen (ditto) -9/1/90, Jumbo vs Misawa over Hansen vs Willians (ditto) -3/4/92, MVC vs Jumbo/Taue over Hansen vs Misawa (questionable) -6/5/92, Jumbo/Taue vs Misawa/Kobashi over Hansen vs Kawada (leaning 'good choice') This should have been the main event, even though it was long past the point where Misawa had elevated the title to legendary status. Kawada vs Hansen was plodding and served as a step back. This match, while somewhat of a rehash of the RWTL '94 iteration, leaves everyone in it looking better than they did going in; Kawada looked like crap in how he lost IMO. Plus, it would have served to further set up the 6/9/95 tag title as deserving of being on top of a de facto one-show card. That said, this isn't a near-flawless chunk of tag wrestling such that it's a crime to have it as the semi-main. It meanders at times, and for all the bombs tossed by the gaijin squad they only get like one good nearfall. But it's VERY GOOD, with lots of top-notch action and exchanges and cool moments. I rate this a hair below the more famous June '96 tag with Akiyama in Kobashi's place.

#3 jdw

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 11:19 PM

The first three are more Main + Semi Finals while the other two plus this one are Double Main Events. It fails here because Hansen-Kawada wasn't well thought out. They really should have gone just 15 minutes and kicked the shit out of each other. It became a massive flaw around this time that TC's had to go loooooooonnnnnnnggggggg. After Misawa-Kawada, they had a long stretch of TC's going about 15+ minutes too long, really for no good reason. The first to break out of that was the Misawa-Kawada in July, which was only short in the context of what the two could otherwise have done. But it's not like anyone learned from that as they went back to going longish. Then when Budokan became little more than one match cards, there probably was an increased mentality of it having to be a long epic. Sad. One does wish Hansen and Kawada had the vision and stones to go a different route. John

#4 Loss

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 08:12 PM

At the time, I'd say Dave overrated this match, but it's not one I generally hear people banging the drum too loudly for, so I probably won't ruffle any feathers by saying that. It is still an excellent match that seems to be focused on getting over two feuds -- Misawa/Doc and Kobashi/Ace. There is occasional crossover in the action, but those are the big rivalries the match is laid out to get over. I think this started off really strong with all the tempers flaring stuff on both sides. I dug the slapfests. But all of Doc's run-ins when he wasn't the legal man before the match built to a climax really annoyed me, and not in a "Wow, I hope this guy gets his comeuppance" way. I think one big thing I left this match thinking is how amazing a team Misawa and Kobashi were. Both Misawa and Kobashi work wonderfully with Ace, in a way where they aren't upstaging him even though it's obvious they're the ones carrying things. Kobashi's powerbomb on Ace really felt like it should be the finish, but I guess Kobashi doing the top rope legdrop made sense considering how loopy it made Ace just a few minutes before. Great match, but I couldn't get into Doc and Ace, so I had a tough time really connecting.

#5 Tim Evans

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:46 AM

Man Big Johnny looks huge here. Almost mid 2000's HHH level. The final 15 minutes of this were real good. I didn't care much for the early limb work, especially from Ace.

#6 PeteF3

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 08:12 PM

This is another AJPW title match that runs a little too long, but it didn't overstay its welcome quite as badly as the late-'94 TC matches. It's an excellent match with a star-making performance from Ace. He's not GREAT here but he's booked strongly and comes off as the gutsiest bastard alive. He does lots of impersonations here too--he mocks Kobashi's moonsault taunt, does the Doc stomping taunt, and then mimics Kobashi's loopy selling of the backdrop driver when he gets hit with a legdrop. Kobashi and Misawa are spectacular together, busting out some sweet double-teams. That powerbomb+top-rope splash was so great that it was almost wasted where it was. That could have been used as a legit finisher or hot near-fall spot. Kobashi also assists Misawa with doing a double tiger driver. Doc got to be a bit of a nuisance, but his selling of the leg was pretty great and he was at least finding new ways to get involved. I don't see this as the MOTY even for the first 3 months, but it might be the All-Japan match I've enjoyed most so far in '95.

#7 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 16 December 2016 - 07:18 AM



The first thing I noticed about this was that the file length was 44 mins long. That reminded me of back in the day when you'd order a 3 hour custom comp in EP mode and 44 minutes would take up a huge chunk of your comp. How times have changed. I have no idea whether I've seen this or not, but I do know that I really liked it. Long All Japan matches are an immediate turn off to me but this kept me engrossed for a good 35 minutes. Johnny Ace did an unbelievable job of sustaining his accuracy and level of performance over 30 mins+ , and while Williams didn't look in the best of health compared to his '94 run, he still brought a huge degree of intensity. Probably the best thing about the bout is something that doesn't work in every match in Japan but worked here, and that's the aggression and disrespectful attitude that the Americans brought. There are times when you watch a match like this and the Americans will trash talk and the Japanese wrestlers will ignore them and go through their thought processes, but Williams managed to rile Misawa and get his ire up. That added another wrinkle to All Japan (Misawa vs. Williams, that is) and was in all honesty more meaningful than anything Misawa vs. Hansen ever offered. Not sure I agree with Loss here that the match as split into the two feuds/match-ups. I thought there was an even amount of action between all four contestants and that it was an exceptionally well-worked tag match outside of the framework of native vs. native teams that dominated All Japan from the Choshu invasion onward. Better than any of the Wiliams/Gordy vs. Misawa/Kawada tags from memory and maybe the best native vs. foreigners tag of the 90s. 

#8 Zenjo


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Posted 06 April 2017 - 05:11 PM

High intensity and plenty of rivalry psychology to kick things off. With Ace, Williams and Kobashi in the same ring you had a 10 on the goofy machismo scale. The opening exchanges between Doc and Misawa were fun. They seemed to be building up a singles rematch. The second 10m section was underwhelming as the natives were worked over. The crowd were muted until the 20m announcement when the stretch kicked off.

And it really did kick off. Terrific action and excitement as the challengers land some boss offence. It turned into a semi-epic. Near the end Williams had his knee damaged and was desperately trying to save his junior partner. The psychology and storytelling were strong, and the American duo looked as good as they ever would. It's a shame Doc's prime ended here. This had many of the elements to be an AJ classic. But there were flaws too. The build being a bit lacking, odd execution mistakes, peaking 5m before the end. Still up there with anything so far this year.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: AJPW, Excite Series, March 4, 1995, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Steve Williams, Johnny Ace, Misawa & Kobashi, Budokan Hall, 4*

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