Should Jun Akiyama be in the Wrestling Observer Hall Of Fame? Continue reading
It’s the Final Countdown!
Every time I hear that song, I think of two things. The first is 1980s hair metal and the second is the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson also known as your current World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan.
At first glance, when you take a look at Dragon you’d think he was better off fixing your laptop rather than mixing it up in the squared circle. But once you find out that he was trained by the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, opinions change fast. Dragon has wrestled all over the world in Japan, Germany, and Mexico, winning championships in each those countries.
But for me, his work that had me saying, “YES! YES! YES!” was Dragon’s run in ROH. He had a lengthy run as ROH Champion and had an amazing match with Nigel McGuiness on ROH’s first trip to the UK. But for me the, match I would choose as the one that showed why everyone should be a fan of the American Dragon, is when Dragon was challenging to regain the ROH Championship from then champion, Pro Wrestling NOAH star Takeshi Morishima.
Defining Match Of The WrestleMania Era: Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima at Manhattan Mayhem
Today I thought Iâ€™d share some of the late Mitsuharu Misawaâ€™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 Misawaâ€™s body of work, so this is a good chance to catch up on some of the legendâ€™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 didnâ€™t quite happen very often. You see, in that era, the tippy-top guys never lost. You didnâ€™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
Thanks to www.purolove.com for the lineup.
This promises to be one of the best shows of the year. NOAH’s on a roll right now with a change in booking philosophy, and several of it’s wrestlers being on fire.
The top three matches are ridiculously good on paper. The NOAH vs. NJPW tag will look to continue where the Tokyo Dome left off, with Go Shiosaki and Milano stepping in for Misawa and Goto respectively. The two stars of the 1/4 match, Nakamura and Sugiura, are still in place though and will no doubt be fired up every time they cross paths in this match.
Nakajima and KENTA just put on a MOTYC three weeks ago and that will be hard to top, but these crazy S.O.B’s will no doubt try. KENTA is pretty clearly the best wrestler in the world based on form in the last three months. He has never looked better and considering some of his prior years, that’s really saying something.