Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mitsuharu Misawa v. Satoshi Kojima (All Japan 07/16/2004)- 8

Wow, the man in emerald green is sorely missed. He brought such a tireless work effort to his matches and they felt so big. I'm thinking this was Misawa's return to All Japan after leaving them high and dry like a one night stand with no cab fare on the dresser. He obviously went on to create Pro Wrestling NOAH to continue in the King's Road style. Kojima is more than game here, as the opening salvo of rest holds doesn't last long before Kojima starts using Misawa's own moves on him. One thing you have to respect is how eager Misawa is to hurting himself for the match. He takes a running Koji Cutter off the apron to the floor, logistically would be a nightmare to make look painful or legit, but Misawa does a complete front flip on his head to get this spot right.
Later on he pulls off a hurricanrana that throws Kojima into the guard rail like a tornado grabbed his orange ass and chucked him into the side of a decaying barn. Really crazy as this is the only match I can think of off hand where Misawa was cheered against, guessing from that defection I mentioned earlier. Misawa isn't near as limber as he used to be and looks foolish a couple times trying something high risk that would be more akin to Great Sasuke's moveset and Misawa just can't pull it off. Kojima's nose looks lacerated but hard to tell with the Breath Right strip on his nose, as usual. Both men worked really hard here, stiff strikes and elbows, all of Kojima's big moves are awkward as fuck to sell but Misawa does a bang up job making them look legit.

I always compare Misawa to Clint Eastwood in his younger days, in all the Westerns, the strong, silent type that always seems to come out on top, so for him to display the emotion he gives after Kojima kicks out of freakin Tiger Driver off the apron is quite epic. Yep, this match is going up a point,the ending was sick as probably most aything Ryan Dunn will attempt in the new jackass film. they brought it hard at the end and didn't go overboard on the nearfalls but this match really makes Kojima in my eyes as a big player.

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