Introduction – Greatest Wrestler Ever Project

Greatest Wrestler Ever

As a wrestling fan for 23 years I’ve had a lot of periods of “new discovery” which I always find massively exciting and reinvigorating for my fandom. Continue reading

Video Vault – Mitsuharu Misawa Career Highlights

Today I thought I’d share some of the late Mitsuharu Misawa’s legendary moments in pro wrestling. I know that a lot of North American readers who read FGB might not be that familiar with Mitsuharu Misawa’s body of work, so this is a good chance to catch up on some of the legend’s great matches and moments. (My apologies to Alan for doing your gimmick lately.)

This first clip is from 1990 during a big tag team match on All Japan Pro Wrestling TV from Budokan Hall. Yoshiaki Yatsu and Samson Fuyuki battled Toshiaki Kawada and Tiger Mask II (aka Misawa). This was the infamous match where Misawa actually unmasked himself (something almost unheard of at the time) during the match. Normally when a masked wrestler unmasks, it is the beginning of the end of that worker (see Mexico). However in this case, this was the rebirth of a career, as unmasking himself was the first step in Misawa becoming the torchbearer for AJPW. After this match he challenged Jumbo Tsuruta to a match.

Yoshiaki Yatsu and Samson Fuyuki vs. Toshiaki Kawada and Tiger Mask II

On June 8th, 1990, Misawa battled Jumbo Tsuruta in Budokan Hall in what would be, to this day, the most legendary encounter of his career. Tsuruta found out mere moments before the opening bell that he would be dropping a fall to Misawa, something that didn’t quite happen very often. You see, in that era, the tippy-top guys never lost. You didn’t see the champions get jobbed out to punks like Randy Orton does on WWE PPVs. Tsuruta losing at Budokan was a big deal as he symbolically passed the torch to the man who would carry All Japan for the rest of the decade and turn the entire company around. Dave Meltzer gave this match 5 Stars and described the atmosphere as being like no other show he’d ever attended. Continue reading