Mitsuharu Misawa Tribute

Here are several matches I reviewed last year right after Mitsuharu Misawa’s death.

All Japan, 3/9/88
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Tiger Mask II.  This is their first singles match.  Handshake before the match.  They lock up and switch around a bit before Jumbo backs him into a corner and gives a clean break.  Tiger works a headlock a bit.  Jumbo lifts him up and hits a knee breaker, but the pugnacious Tiger grabs the headlock again.  Jumbo tries to fight it but Tiger grounds him.  Jumbo rolls it over into a pinning predicament a couple of times, but Tiger keeps it clamped on.  Jumbo hits the knee breaker again, but Tiger doesn’t even let go this time.  It finally gets broken, but Tiger rebounds off the middle turnbuckle and hits a headbutt.  Then he grabs the headlock again.  Really?  Jumbo has had enough of this shit and fights it, but Tiger continues to grab the headlock at every opportunity.  Jumbo finally hits a backdrop suplex, then the high knee and a piledriver.  Cover gets two.  Double-arm suplex from Jumbo yields the same result.  Tiger fights back with some kicks that send Jumbo to the outside, then hits a baseball slide dropick and a suicide cannonball.  Jumbo comes back in and Tiger sends him back out with a lariat, then heads to the top rope and dives out onto him.  Back inside, Tiger hits a missile dropkick and a German suplex hold for a near fall.  Tiger hits a slam and goes for a frog splash, but Jumbo gets the knees up.  Jumbo hits a knee kick and then stomps him a few times.  Tiger gets a schoolboy for a quick near fall.  Jumbo lands some chops, then Tiger reverses him and gets a reverse cradle for another near fall.  Frankensteiner gets another one.  Misawa did Frankensteiners?  Jumbo blocks what was possibly another attempt, then hits a backdrop for a close near fall.  Jumbo goes for another backdrop, but Tiger gets him with an inside cradle for a near fall.  Tiger dodges a lariat and tries something, but Jumbo nails him with an elbow, then hits a third backdrop suplex for the win at 14:43.  Good match, but I flinched everytime Misawa took a backdrop.  I better get used to it.

All Japan, 6/8/90
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa.  2 years later now, Misawa is sans-mask and ready to step up to the top. Jumbo offers a handshake, but Misawa snubs him.  They lock up twice and Jumbo shoves him away both times.  On the third lock up, Jumbo grabs a headlock and starts doing some stuff.  Stuff happens quickly, then Jumbo hits a lariat for the first near fall.  Jumbo goes for a backdrop, but Misawa turns over into a pinfall attempt.  Jumbo is sent out.  Misawa flips over the top rope, then hits a dropkick off the apron.  Misawa sends Jumbo over the guardrail with an elbow shot.  Misawa meets Jumbo on the apron with another elbow that sends him off, taking another bump into the guardrail, then follows with a dive to the outside.  They make it back in the ring and Misawa clamps on a front necklock.  Jumbo counters and works Misawa’s arms a bit with a double wristlock from behind.  Misawa reverses it, then Jumbo reverses the reversal.  Misawa kicks him away to break it.  Misawa does a hammerlock.  Jumbo gets to the ropes to break it, then Misawa slaps him.  Lock up, Misawa backs Jumbo into the ropes, breaks, and slaps him again.  Jumbo gets pissed and hammers him with some blows and the high knee, then locks in an abdominal stretch.  Misawa reverses it.  The end up outside, where Jumbo whips Misawa into the barricade, then it’s back to the ring.  Jumbo gets a near fall off of the Butterfly suplex, then clamps on a rear chinlock.  Misawa breaks it, then gets flapjacked and stomped on.  Jumbo tries to flapjack again, but Misawa dropkicks him and nails some elbows and a slam, then the missle dropkick.  Misawa keeps up the attack and gets a near fall with a frog splash.  Jumbo half ass hot shots Misawa into the top rope and gets a two count, then stomps him again.  Jumbo hits a piledriver and gets two, then a Thesz press for another near fall.  Jumbo throws a dropkick and that big boot he likes then goes to the ropes.  Misawa meets him and gets caught with a knee to the face.  Jumbo slams him and goes up top again.  Misawa goes up to meet him and attempts a superplex, but Jumbo nails him with a forearm to knock him down and comes down with a flying knee to the face.  Jumbo hits a powerbomb, but Misawa still has some fight in him and kicks out.  Jumbo goes for the Butterfly suplex again, but Misawa turns it into a backslide for a near fall.  Jumbo takes a breather on the outside, but just like their previous match, Misawa hits a baseball slide dropkick, then a dive to the outside.  Misawa tries to set up a German suplex back in the ring, but Jumbo fights it.  Misawa gets a reverse cradle for a close one.  Misawa kicks him down and goes for the frog splash, but Jumbo catches him with the knees and covers for a two count.  Jumbo slams him and locks in a crab hold, but it’s too close to the ropes.  Lariat from Jumbo almost gets the win, but Misawa still has some left.  Second lariat yields the same result.  Jumbo hits another lariat in the corner and nails the backdrop suplex, but can’t take advantage.  Misawa makes it to his feet first and gets a German suplex hold for a really close near fall.  Misawa goes for the Tiger Driver, but Jumbo turns it over into a bridge for 2.  Jumbo hits the high knee again.  Misawa tries that bouncing off the middle turnbuckle and heatbutting him bit from the previous match, but Jumbo catches him with a punch.  Misawa avoids a charging Jumbo and tries a suplex.  Jumbo counters and tries his own but Misawa lands on top.  Jumbo turns it over once, but Misawa ends up on top and gets the win at about 24:20.  Really good match… I almost want to call it great.  Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi, and Akira Taue come in the ring to celebrate the win with Misawa.

All Japan, 9/1/90
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa.  The rematch, and from what I’ve watched so far, a rubber match of sorts.  We get full entrances and all of that good stuff this time.  They lock up.  Jumbo blocks an elbow.  Repeat.  Misawa avoids the high knee, but Jumbo catches him with a low knee, then shots to the mid-section.  Misawa fights back and schoolboys Jumbo, but I don’t think he even gets a one count.  They do the double armlock countering bit from the previous match.  Misawa throws some strikes to keep up the offensive for a while, then Jumbo fights back and hits the high knee for a near fall.  Jumbo tries a crab hold, then applies an abdominal stretch.  He turns it into a ground Cobra Twist for a near fall.  Jumbo works on Misawa’s leg a bit.  Misawa applies a headscissors.  Jumbo gets out and pounds Misawa’s back some.  Misawa fires off with some kicks.  Jumbo hits a couple of elbow smashes, then gets a near fall off a piledriver.  Misawa tries that hitting the middle turnbuckle bit, but Jumbo fucking faceplants him into the mat, then hits the Thesz press for a near fall.  Jumbo goes for the backdrop, but Misawa lands on top for a near fall.  Jumbo rolls it over and gets one of his own.  They trade elbows, the Jumbo nails Misawa with a flurry of slaps and punches.  Misawa rolls to the outside.  Jumbo follows him out and throws him into the barricade, then over it and into the crowd, where he nails him with a chair.  Jumbo heads back to the ring.  Misawa takes a minute, but makes it back too.  Jumbo meets him on the apron and Misawa nails some elbows, then something off the top rope.  Misawa sends Jumbo out and hits a suicide dive.  Back inside, Misawa hits a diving shoulderblock for a near fall.  Misawa blasts Jumbo with a flurry of elbows.  Jumbo responds with headbutts and a dropkick.  Cover gets two.  Jumbo gets a powerslam and covers, but Misawa is too close to the ropes.  Jumbo goes for the powerbomb, but Misawa turns it into a half assed Frankensteiner for a near fall.  Misawa hits an elbow and the German suplex for a near fall.  Misawa tries a victory roll, I think, but kinda leapfrogs Jumbo.  Jumbo pounces on the cover and almost wins it.  Jumbo hits the high knee, tries another and kinda fails.  Misawa goes to the top, but Jumbo superplexes him.  Jumbo hits the backdrop suplex for the one, two, hegothimnohedidn’tcomeonref!  Misawa hits a vicious elbow smash and throws two more.  Jumbo big boots him, then catches him with a lariat and hits the backdrop suplex for the pin at 24:51.  Another really good match.

All Japan, 8/31/90
Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Akira Taue, Masanobu Fuchi, & Mighty Inoue.  I missed this match before because my file names were out of order.  It’s the day before the previous match, and coincidentally, my third birthday.  JIP where Taue has Kikuchi in an elevated crab hold.  Kawada comes in and lands a kick on Taue to force the break.  Misawa tags in, but Taue goes right to work on him.  Tag to Fuchi, who gets caught with Misawa’s rebound hedbutt.  Tag to Kawada.  Kawada and Misawa double team Fuchi for a moment.  Kawada hits a kick that sends Fuchi out of the ring, then press slams Kikuchi out on to him.  Kikuchi pounds on him briefly until Taue comes around to save him.  Kikuchi tags in, then Fuchi tags Inoue, who I’ve never seen before.  Kikuchi is a fighter, but inoue gets the better of him.  Kikuchi takes the punishment from team Taue for a while.  Hot tag to Misawa, who pounds Inoue with elbows.  Taue tags in and takes some elbow-related punishment too.  Tag to Kawada.  Taue gets double teamed a bit.  Kawada moonsaults onto Taue, but Fuchi saves.  Tags to Kikuchi and Inoue.  Kikuchi lands a Fisherman’s suplex for a near fall, then slams Inoue and goes up top.  Inoue gets up and throws him face first into the mat.  Inoue lands a couple of sentons and covers, but Misawa saves.  Kawada tags in and gets caught with a crucifix hold for a near fall.  Fuchi tags in and backdrop suplexes Kawada, but Misawa saves.  Taue runs in to attack Misawa, but gets tossed out.  Kawada nails Fuchi with a lariat, then tags Misawa, who KO’s Fuchi with a diving elbow smash for the win.  Pretty good match here, too.

All Japan, 2/23/91
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. The Miracle Violence Connection (Steve Williams & Terry Gordy).  By the way, Miracle Violence Connection is the greatest name for a team ever.  We get the entrances and intros, then JIP to the MVC working over young Kobashi.  Kobashi starts fighting off Gordy, who quickly decides to let Doc handle this situation.  Doc punishes Kobashi with an abdominal stretch, but Kobashi gets out of it and tags in Misawa.  Gordy tags in.  They trade blows, then Gordy lands a lariat for a near fall.  MVC work over Misawa.  Kobashi tags in and works Doc’s leg a bit, then lands an enzuigiri on Gordy and kicks the shit out of him.  Misawa comes in and works Gordy’s leg, applying a half crab hold.  Doc tries to break, but has to work hard at it, because Misawa is hard headed.  Literally.  Kobashi tags in and applies a Texas Cloverleaf to Gordy, then meets an interfering Doc with a lariat.  Gordy lands the DDT on Kobashi, but his foot is too close to the ropes.  Kobashi takes the punishment for a bit, but drops Gordy with a bulldog and makes the tag to Misawa.  Misawa lands a backdrop on Gordy.  Williams breaks the cover, so Kobashi nails him.  Gordy goes for the powerbomb, but Misawa counters and gets a Fisherman’s suplex.  Williams makes it back in to save.  Williams tags in.  Misawa lands a leg lariat and tags in Kobashi.  Double DDT to Williams, but Gordy breaks Kobashi’s cover.  Kobashi hits the moonsault, but Gordy breaks it.  Kobashi does the rolling cradle on Gordy for a near fall, then Gordy faceplants him into the mat.  Kobashi nails a charging Gordy and goes for the moonsault, but Williams pushes him off the top rope to the floor.  Soon after, Gordy nails Kobashi with a lariat for the pin.  Good match.All Japan, 7/24/91
AJPW World Tag Team Championship Match: The Miracle Violence Connection (c) vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada.  At this point, neither Misawa nor Kawada have held the tag titles.  Misawa starts with Gordy and nails some nasty elbows.  Gordy responds with a lariat for an early 2 count.  Doc tags in and does the same thing.  Kawada tags in and they do a test of strength, then Kawada just kicks the shit out of Doc’s leg.  Doc works Kawada’s arm a bit.  Misawa steps down from the apron and wipes his face with a towel or something.  Maybe a bloody nose?  Both MVC members continue to work Kawada’s arm.  Kawada finally gets up, kicks the shit out of Doc’s leg again, and makes the tag to Misawa.  Misawa kicks ass briefly, then the MVC starts to work him over too.  Misawa fights back after a while and tags in Kawada.  Kawada can’t get Gordy up for a suplex, so he takes him down a Fujiwara armbar.  Gordy gets a rope break.  Misawa tags in and goes after Gordy’s arm too for a moment, then it’s Kawada’s turn again.  Williams and Misawa tag in.  Misawa gets a German for 2 as Gordy saves.  Misawa tags out with a hurt knee.  Kawada comes in FIRED UP, but is quickly shut down.  Kawada takes a beating, then tags Misawa.  Williams promptly attacks Misawa’s knee, but Misawa will have none of that.  Williams does manage to apply a half crab, but Kawada comes in and kicks him off of it.  Gordy takes Kawada outside and they fight into the crowd as Williams continues to work on Misawa’s knee.  Gordy disposes of Kawada and comes back to help Williams work the injured knee.  Kawada makes it partway back but falls down before getting to the apron, so he isn’t there when Misawa gets near the corner to tag.  He makes it back as Williams has Misawa in another leg hold, but Gordy throws him back into the crowd.  Kawada finally makes it back to force Gordy to break a Sharpshooter.  Gordy goes for a backdrop, but Misawa lands on top for 2.  Tag to Kawada, who makes Gordy pay for fucking with him.  Powerbomb gets 2.  Kawada sets up another, but Doc prevents it, then tags in and punishes Kawada.  Kawada avoids the first Oklahama Stampede attempt, but Doc gets the second one.  Misawa saves at 2.  Kawada drops Doc with a spin kick and tags Misawa, who nails Doc with the flying elbow smash.  Tag to Gordy.  Misawa hurts the bad knee and can’t keep up the momentum, but keeps kicking out of pin attempts.  Doc comes in and powerslams Misawa.  Kawada comes in and kicks the shit out of him.  Gordy goes for a powerbomb, but Misawa turns it into a Frankensteiner for the win at 25:47.  Misawa & Kawada win the belts for the first time!  The new champions are presented with the belts as the MVC leave, pissed.  Really good match.  Right as the video ends, there’s a shot of Giant Baba doing commentary.

All Japan, 9/4/91
AJPW World Tag Team Championship Match: Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada (c) vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue.  Entrances, introductions, and a fuck load of streamers.  Kawada and Taue, who will later form a great tag team of their own, start.  They lock up, with Taue overpowering Kawada.  Taue slaps him, which incites Kawada to kick Taue’s ass.  Misawa tags in and Taue seems reluctant to go with him, but Jumbo tells him to go for it.  Misawa throws kicks and elbows, then sends Taue outside to take some punishment from Kawada.  Taue comes back in, takes another elbow from Misawa, and tags in Jumbo.  Jumbo gets the better of the exchange and Misawa tags in Kawada.  Kawada goes toe to toe with Jumbo, then takes a vicious lariat.  Tag to Taue, who gets the better of the softened up Kawada.  Jumbo comes back in and locks Kawada in a sleeper.  Misawa comes in and breaks it.  Taue tags in and hot shots Kawada into the ropes for 2.  Jumbo tags in and locks in the sleeper again.  Kawada kicks him away and he tags in Taue.  Kawada kicks Taue and tags in Misawa, who hits the flying elbow smash.  Tag to Jumbo.  Jumbo goes after Misawa’s arm.  All of these matches seem to have lots of quick tags instead of extended heat segments.  Misawa counters Jumbo and drops him with a DDT, then tags Kawada.  Kawada ducks Jumbo’s big boot and hits a lariat, then knocks Taue off the apron.  Kawada blasts Jumbo with kicks.  Jumbo gets Kawada with a knee to the middle and tags in Taue.  Misawa gets his arm tended at ringside.  Kawada drops Taue and hits a diving elbow drop for 2.  Kawada takes a beating for a while.  Misawa comes in and throws some elbows, rips off the tape that was just put on his shoulder, and tags in.  Misawa and Kawada hit some tandem moves on Taue.  Misawa hits the Tiger Driver, but Jumbo saves at 2.  Jumbo tags in and locks Misawa in an abdominal stretch.  Kawada breaks it and gets lariated for his trouble.  Jumbo and Taue target Misawa’s shoulder.  Jumbo hits the backdrop, but Misawa kicks out at 2.  Jumbo goes for the backdrop again, but Misawa lands on top for 2.  Misawa nails him with an elbow and applies a facelock.  Jumbo gets a rope break.  Misawa goes up top and gets superplexed.  Jumbo hits a powerbomb for 2.  Kawada nails Jumbo with a lariat and pulls Kawada on top for 2.  Some stuff happens while I had to answer the phone, and Jumbo submits to Misawa’s facelock at 21:18.  The official time says 26:34, so either this was clipped and I didn’t notice, or something is wrong with their stop watches.

All Japan, 12/6/91

Real World Tag League: Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. The Miracle Violence Connection.  This is the de facto final.  The first couple of minutes involve Kawada and Misawa working over Doc, and Doc taking it because he’s a bad motherfucker.  Gordy and Misawa trade shots.  Kawada lands kicks on Gordy and drops him with a lariat for 2.  Doc uses his knee to faceplant Kawada and applies a sleeper.  Doc lets Kawada up and tries to suplex him, but Kawada counters with a sleeper of his own.  Misawa comes in and tries to same tactic.  Kawada tries an abdominal stretch, but Gordy comes in and nails him.  Doc lariats Kawada, who takes a break on the outside.  Doc looks to consider a dive, but nothing comes of it.  Doc suplexes Kawada back in and tags in Gordy, who applies an STF.  Kawada reaches the ropes.  Doc applies what I think is a Prison Lock, but Kawada reaches the ropes again.  Same story with a half crab.  The MVC keeps working Kawada’s knee.  Kawada finally fires up with kicks to Doc and makes a warm tag to Misawa.  He takes care of Doc, then elbows Gordy out of the ring and hits him with a tope suicida.  Misawa brings Gordy back in and covers for a near fall.  Williams sneaks in the land some kicks on Misawa, then tags in.  Misawa nails him and tags Kawada.  Kawada and Doc trade shots.  Doc goes for the football tackle, but Kawada nails him with a kick to the face for 2.  Kawada tags out and holds Doc for a missile dropkick.  Misawa hits the frog splash on Doc for 2.  Misawa blasts Doc with the diving elbow smash, then goes for the facelock.  Gordy comes in and apparently scratches Misawa’s face to get him off.  Kawada tags in and gets tossed around by Doc.  Misawa breaks a cover attempt and he a Gordy brawl.  MVC take Misawa outside.  Kawada follows and tries to save, but Doc slams him.  MVC double powerbombs Misawa on the floor.  Doc gets Kawada back in the ring and covers for 2.  Kawada surprised Doc with an inside cradle and almost wins.  Doc tags in a pissed off Gordy, who lariats Kawada in the corners about 3 times.  Kawada kicks out of the cover again.  Kawada lands a spin kick to Gordy and goes for a powerbomb.  He doesn’t get it, but it almost turns into a Ganso bomb.  Kawada applies the facelock to Gordy.  Doc interrupts and gets NAILED with a lariat.  Kawada locks the facelock on Gordy again.  Gordy manages to get a rope break.  Kawada hits the powerbomb and gets a very close 2 count.  Kawada hits a bodyslam and the diving elbow drop for 2.  Kawada goes for another powerbomb, but Doc makes it back in and stops it.  MVC beat down Kawada.  Double powerbomb, and it’s gotta be over.  But no!  Misawa saves!  Misawa hammers Doc in the cornerm then throws some elbows at Gordy.  Kawada Germans Gordy for another close 2 count.  Gordy catches a kick attempt and drops Kawada for a close one.  Gordy powerbombs Kawada for the win at 25:24.  Good match, and the finishing stretch was awesome.All Japan, 1/21/92
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Masanobu Fuchi.  JIP.  On paper, Fuchi is out of his league.  Fuchi doesn’t give a shit what your paper says.  We start with Fuchi working a headlock.  He survives a barrage of elbows and a suplex and continues to work over Misawa.  Fuchi deals out much punishment to Misawa’s knee.  Fuchi rocks an STF, but Misawa gets a rope break.  Fuchi hot shots Misawa into the ropes for 2.  Misawa finally has enough of this shit and fires away with elbows.  Misawa hits a couple of suplexes and the frog splash, but can’t make the cover.  Fuchi counters the Tiger Driver and almost pins Misawa with a backslide.  Fuchi lands a backdrop and a Thesz press for 2.  More cool stuff happens, then Misawa wins with the facelock.

One Response to “Mitsuharu Misawa Tribute”

  1. […] Complete Chronological List of Reviews Compilations Starrcade: The Essential Collection Disc 1 | Disc 2 | Disc 3 Mitsuharu Misawa Tribute […]

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