Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Bad News Berzerker Goes to Japan: Part 2

65. Stan Hansen/John Nord/Johnny Gunn vs. Mitsuharu Misawa/Kenta Kobashi/Jun Akiyama (AJPW 1/2/94)

I truly love Kings Road/NOAH 6 man tags. You can always expect a certain level of professionalism, they don't overstay their welcome, you get some nice match-ups and you can typically guess who is going to take the fall. There's a familiarity but also always some pleasant surprises. This is a wonderful babyface team against a kinda strange heel team. I don't think any of these three heel men had ever met before, and they had certainly never worked together before. They are joined here together in their mere whiteness. Johnny Gunn is a guy who nobody has an opinion on, and here looks okay. He is somehow both clumsy and smooth. He'll trip on the ring ropes entering the ring, he'll set up an arm drag way too early, but then he'll break out a cool snap fisherman suplex. Sometimes the clunkiness and smoothness can happen within one move, like when he locks Misawa in an awkward Russian legsweep but then ends it with a slick floatover into a pin. Nord looks a little rusty here, his bumps seem more tentative, he gets crossed up a couple times on rope running which is odd as nobody ran the ropes more than this guy the previous two years. But he still lands a couple gorgeous kneedrops, his huge falling slam on Kobashi, some nice big boots, a great lariat, and it's neat seeing him next to Hansen. Hansen of course looked better than anybody here, yanking his kneepad down for a great kneelift, working the apron like a total savage ("Pin him again, John! Now tag me in!!"), beating dudes into the crowd, taking nasty Kobashi chops and booting him in the face. The double teams are still a little clunky but we'll see if they improve over the tour. The finish is obvious to anybody who's ever watched even a little All Japan. Once Hansen and Nord spill to the floor, we know we're in the stretch. Hansen kicks and punches Kobashi through the crowd and abandons him, but in a great show Kobashi comes charging back and surprises Hansen before he gets back to the ring. Kobashi turned in a great babyface performance in this one. The stoic Misawa fights over the tiger driver and Nord bursts in with an awesome save, doing a classic Berzerker axe handle, landing on his knees. But Akiyama tackles him to the floor, and with Hansen tied up still with Kobashi, Misawa merely cracks Gunn with an elbow (and Gunn leans in great, getting spun around in a 180). Misawa spins him back around, tiger driver is academic.


COMPLETE & ACCURATE BERZERKER

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