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Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue

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#1 Loss

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:35 AM

Talk about it here.

#2 MJH

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:25 AM

So, after being reminded in the Misawa/Kawada thread, I decided to re-watch this this morning. I don't think it's as near-great (pre-finish) as I thought, but I still have it as their second best match (distantly from the Carnival Final of course). Taue's opening burst is great - he was at his best when rolling through his big offence. I actually like that the backflip counter to the apron nodowa didn't really amount to anything as, given the punishment Misawa had received at that point (to Taue's essentially none), it needed a few more counters and elbows to make the transition. I also liked Misawa immediately paying back the floor powerbomb with a Tiger Driver (though I love payback spots). I thought Misawa collapsing off the powerbomb->rana counter was mis-placed and should've come a few minutes later, probably after his next pop-up elbow counter, and before the powerbomb hit... if the point is that Misawa can't make his usual comeback (and they do break it up here so I'm assuming it was), it came too early in Taue's second control, firstly that Misawa's damage didn't quite correlate, nor did Taue going for the powerbomb there relative to his own offence. Actually, what hurt the match most (besides the finish) was that you could see the gap in Taue's offence. He had his big near falls, and Misawa obviously fed him Germans, but between them and his low-mid level stuff like the stun gun and what have you, he didn't have the mid-high stuff whereas Kobashi and Kawada obviously would've done. He (Taue) just looked that little bit older, I thought. As for the finish... I don't understand the botch. If the plan was TD '91... he has him up and in position and hit the Tiger Driver proper no problem (which is more difficult as he's popping him out more)... and it all went so quick (as if Taue slipped out of the grip) that it wasn't any weighting issue. But, no, I still think this is a better match than it's been repped over the years (whereas the 9/95 one goes the other way), and there's far more obvious story/structure/lay-out than in the Kawada match a month before.

#3 Loss

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 09:22 PM

Misawa countering the nodowa from the apron was a holy shit spot that could have easily been fatal if it had gone wrong. Good Lord. It was a great spot, but scared the shit out of me. I thought there were too many highspots on the floor in this match, to the point that they raised the bar where the good stuff they did in the ring didn't get the pop it sometimes deserved. There are definitely chinks in the armor of the style at this point. This had its moments and was a good match overall, but it's not something I have any desire to revisit. If the All Japan style was still progressing in 1991 (the last yearbook I watched), then it's regressing here. And that's put a little stench on even the good matches unfortunately. Taue's performance was also much more interesting than Misawa's "lay around and get beat up" act. If I did have any desire to re-watch this in the future, I'd love to watch it back to back with Misawa's 2/93 defense because Taue's improvement would be pretty evident.

#4 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 07:50 PM

Loss pretty much sums up my point of view on this on the early from the apron spots to the overall progressing from earlier yearbooks to what we are seeing in 1997. Back to back misses on the Tiger Driver leads to a German Suplex win. Another Misawa finish that is off in the end with the execution. Just weak in the end and more of AJPW not being able to hold up the standards of the previous years.

#5 Childs

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:12 AM

I don't quite get the gripes about this match. You basically had Taue trying to throw bombs at Misawa from the drop, knowing he couldn't outwrestle him in the long haul. And you had Misawa, fighting to survive long enough that his superior talent could find its level. Taue had long since established the apron spots as go-to moves in big matches. So they seemed a logical part of his nuclear strategy. The Tiger Drivers looked weird, but Misawa's comeback offense still came off as plenty nasty. A 20-minute sprint full of big moves is pretty much what I want from Misawa-Taue. This can't touch the 4/15/95 classic but fits comfortably with the rest of their series. So I don't see it as part of the "All Japan in decline" theme.

#6 soup23

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 08:42 AM

I'm with Childs on this one. The match does expose some flaws that can happen within the style as it was a 20 minute bomb fest essentially but I did think it was critical for Taue to set that tone initially off the bell in order for him to look like a threat. The nodowa spot off the apron was one of the craziest spots I can remember seeing and was really well timed. I have always been a huge fan of Misawa's selling and that coupled with Taue's desperation offense had me really invested in this match. Finish is weird and like last month we have a german suplex finish which has become the go to move for Misawa following a botch. I don't really know where overall this falls on the series but I do consider this a great match and that increases the amount of great matches these two had.

#7 PeteF3

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 06:44 PM

One of the problems this had is that it came right off Santo/Felino, which absolutely smoked this as an overall match but especially as a bomb-fest. This started off *great*, with Taue borrowing one of Misawa's tactics and blitzing him right from the start with a Nodowa, and then Misawa's holy-living-fuck backflip counter to the attempted apron nodowa. But the longer this goes the more it feels like it's meandering, like a bunch of good-looking bombs with not a whole lot in-between and a lot of repetition. It only goes a little over 20 but feels longer. It's a good match, not nearly as disappointing as the Kawada/Misawa bout, but ever since they hit their peak in January AJPW really feels like it's losing the plot--both in terms of booking and in terms of putting together a great match. And that ending was WTF on several levels.

#8 Zenjo


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Posted 09 November 2016 - 03:59 PM

Starting a full length match with finishers is fundamentally bad wrestling. It's one of the cardinal sins in my book. Doing so completely messes up the pacing and the structure. Once you've started that quickly then the whole thing needs to be fast. You can't do that for 20m, resulting in a massive dip in the middle. After the dip it's really hard to get back up for the stretch. If you start too quickly there's nowhere you can go except down.

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