Wow, I didn't even know this existed in full. I bought the TV week it aired off Lynch but it was clipped.
EDIT: I finally watched this later this evening and had a blast. Opening work was simple but had the kind of cagey feel you'd want considering the differences (size, age, height, etc) between the two. Fujinami always looks ready to catch a kick and strike or dragon screw Hash's leg while Hash is looking to destroy. And man, after he hits that first DDT he really does go on the warpath. Unless the video quality tricked me, he breaks out some knee strikes to Fujinami's hamstring that I had never seen him do before. The variety of strikes he had at his disposal was always crazy to me. Fujinami really shines here too, as that strike exchange they had that got GIFed on twitter is even more awesome within the context of the match. Slaps, punches, close quarter combat that's off to the side on the ropes so it doesn't seem like some clearly planned standoff and finally Hashimoto closes things with a high kick to get back in control. When Fujinami finally breaks through and hits the dragon screw and starts to get some momentum in, it feels like a major and rewarding development. Submission work down the stretch had a lot of drama and really the way Fujinami immediately switched from the dragon sleeper right back to the normal sleeper when he saw Hashimoto threatening to rise to his feet was so smooth. Great match.
If you had to pick a singular year for Misawa's best in my opinion it would be '95 and this might be his masterpiece. Every time I watch this it's always incredible to see just how extended and almost subtle his comeback is. It's like watching a team have Golden State down 14 with like 5 minutes left and then Curry just finds time to hit some threes over about 3 minutes and you realize where this is going. Misawa's elbows carry that kind of potency and you really believe if a guy starts eating too many late he's just got no shot. Taue from the start sets that he's going to attack Misawa's broken face and it's so well done, from Misawa's selling to Taue's attack. And they gradually build to it. He takes a few shots early but he really starts to go after it at the perfect time (when it feels like Misawa is really gaining momentum) and then for the next few minutes you're treated to a great beatdown and some exquisite selling from Misawa. The way he jerks his body around after getting thrown into a turnbuckle manages to show just how painful his orbital bone injury is to the fans in probably the best way possible. The set up for the bombs in general throughout have that great peak 90s AJPW sense of struggle but the Nodowa off the apron is easily the best one and feels like a clincher for Taue. Until of course Misawa finds his opening again, again and again for his elbows. Taue's last stand to try to keep his CC hopes alive by grabbing at Misawa's face is a great moment but equally great is that simple but defiant shove Misawa does to Taue's hands followed by caving his face in with one more elbow before putting him away. As satisfying a victory as I can remember from Misawa.
Yeah I really liked this. The call of Misawa and Hansen being stubborn with how much they wanted to gain control is perfect. Dual armwork from both with them trying to wiggle out of holds or just resorting to beating on eachother was well done and kept me intrigued. And I love how in between they'd just periodically kick or slap at the other guy to get across not only a sense of disdain but also desperation to get an advantage. That battle near the ropes with Misawa stuffing Hansen's shoulder blocks and then immediately diving on top of him after he created some space was awesome. But I will say I fall on the side of thinking the finish missed a count with how it was executed. I have no problem with Misawa KO elbow finishes but I feel like he should've been ducking a lariat or maybe just a little bit faster to get over for the cover. Either way, still a great match.
Finish felt abrupt but match was gritty. Joe stuffing suplex attempts on the ropes and using clinchwork and Brock having to break out feints to actually do suplexes made the suplex city stuff worth it for once. Probably liked it more than anything I've seen from Joe on the main roster besides the Roman matches.
But this show was pretty great. I enjoyed everything I saw (didn't see the preshow or Rollins/Bray) and I'll finally remember to set RAW to DVR again.