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Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW Super Power Series 06/03/94)

AJPW Super Power Series June 3 1994 Budokan Hall Mitsuharu Misawa Toshiaki Kawada Misawa vs Kawada 5*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:39 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 Loss

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:52 PM

I could write a ton about this and likely will at some point, but I question why I should. This is untouchable. I have always appreciated this as a great, classic match, but never quite like this. Watching all of the 1992-1993 footage certainly helped paint a picture. I'm not sure what else to say. If you've never seen this, everything you've heard is true.

#3 jdw

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:10 PM

It's really an amazing month and a half for Kawada: 04/16/94 Kawada vs Williams (Carny Final) 05/21/94 Misawa & Kobashi vs Kawada & Taue (World Tag Title) 06/03/94 Misawa vs Kawada (Triple Crown) They're not just great matches, but they are terrific performances by him... and he really seems to get the best out of his opponents. That's not even grabbing the other really good stuff in there from Carny if it's stretched back for two and a half months. It's actually an amazing run from 12/03/93 to 06/03/94.

#4 Loss

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:15 PM

I really struggle to say much about matches like this, because I feel like I'm repeating things others have already said. In an effort to point out things that I'm sure have been mentioned that maybe aren't talked up as much, I'll point to the post-match. The handshake from Misawa, while deserved, really surprised me because this was at such a peak in their rivalry. The look on Kawada's face couldn't be more perfect. He does respect Misawa, but he's just kissed his sister, to borrow an old Southern phrase.

#5 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:37 PM

Crowd is pumped to say the least. Back in 2002, I want to say that this is one of the first puro matches I ever seen which in hindsight isn’t right as I should have watch other stuff to wet my appetite before seeing a match like this. But what the heck did I know at that point anyways. It was also like the last 10 or 15 minutes of the match which just isn’t right. I ended up picking up a random VHS comp tape later in the year that had match but it was still JIP. Wouldn’t be until many years later that I would get to see it in full. I was also able to watch some of their earlier singles matches and some of the tag stuff which helps make an awesome match on it’s own even better. The crowd is fantastic in this match jumping around in the ailse on two counts. Just one of those matches that had everything and I love just watching this every so often. I am so emotionally invested in Bret/Owen that I will always have a big favortism to what they were doing in 1994, otherwise this would be match of the year. But it is closing the gap over time. I have always read about how the wrong guy won in this match. Is this the Kawada fans speaking out or was he legitimately ready at this point to beat Misawa and have a run with the Title? He doesn’t beat Misawa for the Triple Crown for another four years. That’s just too long in the end but I have always been curious about this booking decision.

#6 Ditch

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:18 PM

Misawa had held the belt for almost two years, hadn't defended it in 8 months, and this was Kawada's third attempt at taking it from him, AND Kawada had finally gotten a big singles accomplishment by winning the CC. Now, they did have Kawada get the belt in October, and Misawa winning here helped make 6/9/95 and 12/6/96 special, but business-wise Kawada became an also-ran as time progressed without him knocking off Misawa. By the mid-2000s, Kobashi was a bigger star than Kawada because Kobashi actually managed to become ace while Misawa was around; Kawada became ace by default. If Kawada was seen as a true peer to Misawa, AJ would have been in better shape after the NOAH split. The TD '91 finish does a lot to mitigate the "wrong guy won" aspect, because it puts Kawada over as the strongest challenger so far. Kawada was able to survive the level of Misawa effort that had previously beaten Kawada, Hansen, Taue and Williams; Misawa had one last trick up his sleeve that Kawada couldn't handle.

#7 jdw

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:15 PM

I have always read about how the wrong guy won in this match. Is this the Kawada fans speaking out or was he legitimately ready at this point to beat Misawa and have a run with the Title?


That would be me speaking out, originally in the 7/18/94 Observer. :)

Kawada was ready to beat Misawa.

On the other hand, one of the jobs of the Ace of All Japan is to put over the top Gaijin. Doc was getting his push to being the top gaijin. Misawa ran the table with Kawada, then put over Doc... who put over Kawada.

I get Baba's thinking. On a level, he was wrong in the long term.

John

#8 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:50 PM

I don't see how Kawada going over Misawa would have done anything to help All Japan's business in the long term.

#9 MJH

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:47 AM

Kawada shouldn't have gone over. He hadn't come close to pushing Misawa to his limit in singles to this point. This was the match where he did that. From a story-telling perspective, this was the match where Kawada should have got the job done: Misawa was hurt, Kawada had the momentum, carried it over to this match, and was far more dominant/successful than he'd been remotely close to against Misawa at this point; Kawada eventually 'lost his head' again in the showdown and paid for it. Him going over here would have made it an almost 'changing of the guard' type thing (which it shouldn't have been, obviously). But anyway, yeah, this is sublime.

#10 NintendoLogic

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:07 PM

From a story-telling perspective, this was the match where Kawada should have got the job done: Misawa was hurt, Kawada had the momentum, carried it over to this match, and was far more dominant/successful than he'd been remotely close to against Misawa at this point; Kawada eventually 'lost his head' again in the showdown and paid for it. Him going over here would have made it an almost 'changing of the guard' type thing (which it shouldn't have been, obviously).


Are you talking about the 7/95 match here?

#11 MJH

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:50 PM

No...

#12 NintendoLogic

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

I asked because your first paragraph said "Kawada shouldn't have gone over" and your second paragraph said "storytelling-wise, this is when Kawada should have gone over." They seemed disconnected from each other. Plus, the stuff about Misawa being hurt and Kawada being on a roll would apply just as much to the 7/95 match.

#13 jdw

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

Him going over here would have made it an almost 'changing of the guard' type thing (which it shouldn't have been, obviously).


Not really. Tenryu won the TC from Jumbo. Jumbo won it back, and was still the Ace.

As far as Daniel's comment about the long term, there was a point at which Baba needed someone else to run on top while Misawa was out for quite some time recovering from years of working injured. Kawada had been burned to the point that the fans didn't buy it, and Kobashi wasn't at the point where he could carry it. The promotion was Misawa-centric, business tanked, they went from one panic move (getting the belt off Kawada to Kobashi), to another (rushing Misawa back way too fast), to another than Misawa didn't at all want that quickly (having the belt go back from Kobashi to Misawa).

The handling was dogshit.

I know Daniel wants to cling to his notion that the booking when to shit when Baba got the cancer. We've been down his road before and the reality is that the big picture long term booking went to shit when Baba was healthy, much earlier. Daniel likes to ignore it when it's pointed out, then pop his head up a while later like here to go back down that road.

John

#14 Ditch

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:17 AM

Misawa literally died because it was felt he couldn't take time off to properly heal. (Well, that and he didn't take better care of himself given those circumstances). I think "Misawa shouldn't have been pushed as the end-all be-all for so long" is self-evident.

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:19 AM

Him going over here would have made it an almost 'changing of the guard' type thing (which it shouldn't have been, obviously).


Not really. Tenryu won the TC from Jumbo. Jumbo won it back, and was still the Ace.

As far as Daniel's comment about the long term, there was a point at which Baba needed someone else to run on top while Misawa was out for quite some time recovering from years of working injured. Kawada had been burned to the point that the fans didn't buy it, and Kobashi wasn't at the point where he could carry it. The promotion was Misawa-centric, business tanked, they went from one panic move (getting the belt off Kawada to Kobashi), to another (rushing Misawa back way too fast), to another than Misawa didn't at all want that quickly (having the belt go back from Kobashi to Misawa).

The handling was dogshit.

I know Daniel wants to cling to his notion that the booking when to shit when Baba got the cancer. We've been down his road before and the reality is that the big picture long term booking went to shit when Baba was healthy, much earlier. Daniel likes to ignore it when it's pointed out, then pop his head up a while later like here to go back down that road.

John


I didn't mention anything about Baba. What evidence is there to suggest that Kawada winning here would have helped business in the long run? How would Kawada have drawn in such a way that the belts wouldn't have ended up back on Misawa by May '95? And what then? You can throw it out there as an alternative, but I don't see how it changes anything... Baba still dies, the promotion still splits, wrestling in Japan still nosedives. The money, or what was left of it, was in interpromotional matches.

#16 MJH

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

Him going over here would have made it an almost 'changing of the guard' type thing (which it shouldn't have been, obviously).


Not really. Tenryu won the TC from Jumbo. Jumbo won it back, and was still the Ace.


In specific relation to the match as they worked it: Kawada gets the best of the early exchanges; Kawada takes the first serious control; Kawada (iirc) has the first run of near falls; Kawada battles through Misawa's big flurry that had beat him before; if, instead of the rolling kick that knocks Misawa out of the ring into the staredown, Kawada then hits another powerbomb to win, it's been a pretty dominant and decisive win for him. The jump from 7/93 to that (with Kawada over) is massive; Kawada didn't really come close to beating him before; there was more mileage in him losing. Where do they go from here in singles with Kawada going over? Misawa 'gets his win back', but the story is done. I don't have any problems with how the story plays out through 7/95. I'm not saying it was perfectly done, nor that you couldn't re-jig a few things so they get to that point sooner (and then to Kawada's eventual win sooner). But then from 7/95 you have another 17 months before Kawada gets a big win (which was even less of one than the first), and then a further 7 months before their next TC match, by which point it's mid-97 and they haven't progressed much at all in three years... that's what killed Kawada as a 'substitute' when Misawa went down; not him losing here.

#17 jdw

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:35 PM

I didn't mention anything about Baba.


Your comment on the long term was in response to the only post in the thread that mentioned long term, right above it... which mentioned it directly in terms of Baba being wrong in the long term.

What evidence is there to suggest that Kawada winning here would have helped business in the long run?


The other top promotion in the country where they drew well when the belt came off Hash.


How would Kawada have drawn in such a way that the belts wouldn't have ended up back on Misawa by May '95?


There's nothing wrong with the belts going back to Misawa in May 1995. After all, All Japan drew well with the belts going Jumbo --> Tenryu --> Jumbo --> Hansen/Gordy/Hansen --> Jumbo --> Hansen --> Misawa, with the last just a pause where they were going back to Jumbo until he went out ill. Then they drew well when Jumbo went out because they had established Misawa well, and used Jumbo going out to flip Kawada to the other side.

The money, or what was left of it, was in interpromotional matches.


You're telling me about interpromotional matches? I was discussing it about All Japan, and Baba's isolationist mentality, before you even watched your first puroresu match.

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#18 jdw

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:49 PM

that's what killed Kawada as a 'substitute' when Misawa went down; not him losing here.


There were windows for Misawa losing the title:

* here
* mid-1996
* mid-1998

We all agree mid-1998 was too late for Kawada, even if they hadn't run the 1997 Carny they was that they did. 5+ years into the chase, being the #2 guy in the company with your #2 spot being pushed more by Kobashi than Kawada was pushing Misawa for #1.

After a year with the belt, Misawa was ripe to drop it again in 1996 and it looked like "Kawada's turn", which ended up going to Taue. Does it work there? It might, but by that point we're three years into Misawa dominating the rivalry. I'm not as sold that it would have elevated Kawada up onto a stronger rival than he already was.

1994 was the first time Misawa was ripe for dropping it after Jumbo went out. He'd run the table of everyone, with Kobashi not yet at that level and instead better off saved to get his first challenge later. If Misawa is going to put Kawada over for the belts and have an impact, this really was the only chance.

Set aside "how they worked the match". If Kawada was going over, they would have laid out something a little different. But even if they didn't and instead picked a different end run to this starting at some point after the 30th minute, it would have been fine. Misawa-Williams has a sudden, furious turning point from which Misawa never could come back. We're talking about Kawada in this match: if anyone could have come up with a similar turning point in this one, he could have. Transitions were his strong point in this period of 12-24 months.

John

#19 jdw

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 02:54 PM

Misawa literally died because it was felt he couldn't take time off to properly heal. (Well, that and he didn't take better care of himself given those circumstances). I think "Misawa shouldn't have been pushed as the end-all be-all for so long" is self-evident.


1998 was the tipping point. He had more things wrong with him by the end of Carny than Shawn Michaels did, and frankly just as serious. Shawn sat out until 2003. Misawa missed a few *series*, when the original plan was for a longer break. Then he didn't want the belt back, and publicly talked about not challenging, but Baba booked him into the 10/98 match with Kobashi... and made Misawa take it back (quite the opposite of the power play bullshit meme that folks built up long after the fact).

There were signs earlier of Misawa working through injuries. But if the promotion laid down things smarter earlier, at that point they could have worked things to give him the time off and not flopped.

John

#20 MJH

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 04:22 PM

Oh, if Kawada was booked to go over I'm not saying they couldn't have made it work... I just don't think, as a story, the rivalry was at the point for Kawada to win when he hadn't even come close before - Misawa couldn't have any further 'put him in his place' in their previous TC match, he didn't bother trying to beat (an admittedly injured) Kawada in the Tag League and focused on letting Kobashi get the win, etc... I mean, sure, Kawada won the Carnival, but they had a tonne of mileage left in the feud before Kawada winning was the only logical move. I'm not saying you go to 5/98 without Kawada beating him for the TC, and, like I said, I agree with you that they'd've found a way to make it work in the match itself, but you miss out 'Kawada coming close... but not quite', and 'Kawada getting his first win... in a tag match', which are big moments (and two [/three] of the best matches ever). Kawada pushing Misawa further than anyone but just letting it slip from his grasp was the right chapter at this point. Aside from Misawa not being the best guy in the world at working the knee, I wouldn't change a thing about this.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: AJPW, Super Power Series, June 3, 1994, Budokan Hall, Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, Misawa vs Kawada, 5*

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