Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Saturday, October 29, 2016

All Time MOTY list HEAD to HEAD: Santo/Casas v. Scorpio/Bestia VS Vader v. Misawa

Vader v. Mitsuharu Misawa AJPW 10/30/99

PAS: Twelve minutes of bombs being dropped. Reminds me of the awesome Vader v. Dustin Rhodes matches from WCW, short, impactful and impressive. With hindsight it is tough to watch Misawa take german suplexes, but he takes a german suplex as nastily as anyone in wrestling history. It is also pretty amazing the bumps a 44 year old fat dude is willing to take, he gets dumped on his head by german suplexes, and even takes sort of a Tiger Driver 91, although that may just be because he didn't fully rotate. I also loved Vader countering the Misawa elbow suicida by leaning against the guardrail and kicking Misawa in the chest with both feet like a mule, never seen that spot before and it was awesome. Vader was such a breath of fresh air in AJPW at this point. They had basically been running with the same group of top guys for almost a decade, so to have this disruptive force come in and start wrecking dudes was great. I loved the length and the fact that Vader went over,  but I don't think they had figured out how to graft an exciting AJPW style finish run on a match this length. It ends up falling slightly flat, which keeps it out of all-timer status.

ER: A match with some flaws, but a match with an incredible amount of charm. You hear how wild the crowd is for Misawa and it's addictive. And then you see how insanely athletic is for a man his size, and a man his age, and this just feels like a real clash of the titans. The first 4 minutes are just a total bear attack, with things starting civil until Vader just belts Misawa with a left. Misawa's selling after that slap, the stagger and slump and surprise, was perfect, and from there we get Vader corner attack. I loved the struggle over the German suplexes (I wish there was more struggle on stuff as the match went on) with Misawa hanging onto the ropes for dear life, and Vader choking him to get him to let go. And when Misawa finally does let go the suplexes are disgusting. And then Vader just starts squishing him with full splashes. You can hear the crowd getting nervous, which is awesome, that these two were so convincing that the crowd was already murmuring that Misawa could lose a Triple Crown match in mere minutes. But Misawa comes back, and it blows me away how Vader can get up for suplexes and a crazy tiger driver. But Vader just keeps on finding great ways to squish him, and it's great. If you just described a match to me as "smaller guy fights with stiff strikes, but keeps getting squished by a fat guy" I would already love that match. And just when Misawa would get a little momentum, he would run into a big swinging arm or get smothered. I thought the build throughout could have been better, maybe could have peaked better, but the match length felt right. Impressive, motivated stuff from Vader, and tons of great die on sword moments from Misawa. Also, watch for Vader's super likable interview backstage.

El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas v. Bestia Salvaje/Scorpio Jr. CMLL 3/19/99 Review


PAS: Lucha tag takes it for me, Vader v. Misawa is great and features awesome performances by both, but the apuestas tag is an all timer, pretty much a perfect example of that kind of high stakes war.

ER: Agree with Phil. This match was very close for me, and there were some minor changes that could have been made that would have shot this match into the lead (Misawa not doing Germans, the ending peaking better), but even as is it was close. Still, lucha tag defends its crown.

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