1) MVC v. Mitsuharu Misawa/ Toshiaki Kawada (02/26/91)- 5
This gets started in a hurry, wild stiff brawl with all four guys wailing away at each other wrapped in streamers. The faces got control and worked a good strategy of keeping Doc in by assualting him with quick offensive flurries then tagging out. Both guys were throwing great kicks, particularly spinning roundhouse and crescent kicks directly to Doc's cranium. Gordy finally got a tag in and then MVC used the same strategy by cutting off Kawada from his corner while Gordy pummeled his face with quick, brutal knees to the face.
This match had a slow pace because both teams were using submissions and wear down holds to tired their opponents out instead of high impact offense. In the end, MVC seperated and conquered as Gordy took Misawa out to the crowd and powerbombed him on the concrete while Doc beat on Kawada. The finish got pretty sloppy though as Kawada desperately tried to fight back and MVC were really off the mark trying to finish the match; a messy clothesline attempt finally did the trick. Not their best work.
2) MVC v. Mitsuharu Misawa/ Toshiaki Kawada (07/24/91)- 7
Misawa and Gordy start the match off and they both looked pissed! They are just destroying each other's faces with hard elbows; I'd really like to see a singles match these two had around this era. MVC aren't playing around this time and they single out Misawa, just pounding him into the mat allowing him no room to breathe. There's a great camera shot where he's trapped in kind of a semi-sleeper on the mat and the camera is right in his face as he pleads for mercy. Then, Doc gets up and stomps his head in a brutal image. This match is a lot more physical than the last one, as both teams seem to realize that maybe the submission strategy isn't how they are going to win.
Misawa hurts his leg this time around and Kawada is left on his own to fight off the two giant bears that are trying to maul him in the ring. Misawa makes a quicker recovery this time but the blood is in the water and they sharks swarm around his leg, decimating it with mean kicks and dropping serious elbows on the injured appendage. Misawa, of course, sells it to the fullest. Then, Gordy decides to take Kawada out of the picture and takes him to the crowd and delivers a coma-inducing piledriver to the concrete. Misawa never gives up though and reverses some great moves to finally hit a quick rollup pin for the upset victory. Dynamic performance from the great man in the green and white. You can see how great he and Kawada will be, even though at this stage they just aren't capable of having a 10 yet.
3) MVC v. Mitsuharu Misawa/ Toshiaki Kawada (12/06/91)- 8
Doc is pissed off and looks like he hasn't eaten in a few days; he starts out the match and just wraps his elbow around Kawada's head then nearly KO's him with a clothesline in the corner. The violence level has been turned up another notch in this match. Gordy and Misawa get in and have another elbow exchange that more deadly than an LA gang shooting. Misawa and Kawada took the belts in the last match and this time they control the pace with Misawa shining on offense, just running through moves like a fucking jazz musician blasting a solo in a low lit nightclub. It's a thing of beauty.
Doc and Gordy rarely lost in Japan so this is a match where they are trying to win back their pride, being upset by the young guns who were poised to take over All Japan on the heels of Baba and Jumbo's walk off into the sunset. I hate Doc's hold onto the rope bump- it's so obviously protected and unnecessary. The last 10 or so minutes is what makes this thing so damn hot: the other 2 matches have led up to this one, as Misawa gets tackled outside and is laid out again, just like in the first two matches. But, this time Kawada is fighting on all cylinders and catches Doc with a jump kick to the back of the head, which causes him to spill outside the ring! so, the sides are evened up finally as Kawada and Gordy trade near falls with big power moves. Doc recovers first and you think MVC is going to win this one like the first match but right in the nick of time Misawa recovers and makes the save, then they all start hitting huge finishing moves and breaking up near falls until the devastating last move which gives MVC the win! Epic encounter and a brilliant series.
I think this is the team that made Gordy and Doc wrestle stiff!
4) MVC v. Jumbo Tsuruta/ Akira Taue (10/11/92)- 5
I believe this is right near the end of their WCW run. Jumbo is near the end of his career and Taue is still greener than the Riddler's bowler, so this is an interesting combination. Jumbo is hugely over and some of it is rubbing off on Taue. He is bumping and working well with the gaijins who are working a very American style, everything telegraphed, moving from spot to spot in a natural progression usually resorting to forearms and boots to get there. Taue is easily manipulated for the bulk of the match and kept in the MVC corner where he's worked over, but you never feel like he's in danger. Doc does a lot of throws and slams but a lot of it just seems like slop. Jumbo wasn't very mobile and took no bumps for the majority of this match. Taue did a crazy suicide dive halfway through and Jumbo hit his famous back drop near the end for a breathtaking near fall. In a huge shock, Taue went over after several chokeslams and a few really good near falls.