review by Mike Campbell

Is there a better way to end the summer, than another Misawa/Taue singles? The answer is yes, unless you throw in the Triple Crown being at stake, and a much more improved and confident Taue.

Mitsuharu Misawa . . . is still out for revenge for the tag title loss.
Akira Taue. . . is out for revenge from the Champions Carnival, and that Triple Crown doesn’t hurt either.
Yoshinari Ogawa . . . is going after gold as well.


Misawa took care of Kawada in July, and now its on to the other guy responsible for his defeat on June 9th. Misawa starts off strong as the top guys always should, he hits a series of elbows on Taue, sending him to the floor and then flies at him with the elbow suicida. Misawa is not only the top dog, but he’s been feuding with and beating Taue since 1990. Misawa’s trouble with Taue, was also due to a broken orbital bone that has since healed. Misawa attempts to use the Tiger Suplex (same thing he used on Taue to win the Champions Carnival) but Taue blocks it, and Misawa hits a running elbow, and then drops him with the Tiger driver for two. Misawa has this under control, and its looking like another check in the win column in the Misawa vs Taue feud.

Misawa tries a pescado, but Taue moves, Misawa lands on his feet and Taue takes a cheap shot at Misawa’s knee, Misawa is clearly distracted as he had no clue it was coming and Taue seizes the moment to plant the champion with a Nodowa Otoshi. Taue uses his advantage and drops Misawa twice over the turnbuckle and then drops him over the top rope. Misawa realizes he’s in trouble and blocks another Nodowa, but Taue hits a drop kick and does a tope suicida to even up the odds. Taue even does a shout out to his tag partner and does a folding power bomb for two. Misawa ducks a chop and hits a German suplex for two, but hurts his knee (although he didn’t lose the bridge like Kawada did in 12/93). Taue takes another kick at the knee on the floor and pulls back the mats and gears up for the NOMDK. Misawa fights it and Taue responds by with two kicks to the face. Taue tries again, and Misawa takes advantage of Taue being distracted and elbows him and rolls into the ring. With the beating that Taue has already dished out, the NOMDK would have surely been the end of the match and crowned a new champion. Taue continues to work over the knee with a Sasorigatame, and then hits a big German suplex and drops him with the Dynamic Bomb for two. Taue avoids an elbow and attempts to hook on a Nodowa but Misawa blocks it. Taue then attempts a chop, but Misawa ducks that and hits a German suplex. Misawa is on the comeback trail here, he’s taken all Taue can dish out, and managed to avoid the one move that would have surely ended the match for him.

Misawa hits the running elbow, that worked so well against Kawada, but Taue kicks out of it. Taue gets hit with a Rolling Elbow and he’s still reeling from it, but manages to grab Misawa for one last Nodowa Otoshi and its still not enough. Its over for Taue, he’s out of gas and nothing he can do will put away Misawa. Misawa is a five and Kawada and Taue were both a three. Neither of them can overcome Misawa alone, only when they’re combined. Misawa counters a Dynamic Bomb into a hurricanrana and while Taue is struggling to get up and looking dead to the world, Misawa knows its over and he’s turned back both of the guys who put him away before. “Reap it Taue, you son of a bitch”. Misawa with the Rolling Elbow and Taue is down for three. This is almost as good as their Champion Carnival finals, and Taue’s confidence in himself by this point, made it known that it’d only be a mater of time before he could successfully knock off Misawa. ****1/2

YOSHINARI OGAWA vs. DAN KROFFAT © (AJPW Jr. Heavyweight Title)

In my earlier reviews, I’ve made some comments about Ogawa that insinuate he’s a lousy wrestler and deserves no push whatsoever. After seeing this match, I’d say my comments about him are dead on the money. Dan Kroffat is one half of the tag team The Can Am Express, along with Doug Furnas. They also wrestled in both ECW and the WWE. This match is simple, Kroffat wipes the mat with Ogawa, using some nice mat wrestling and submissions, to doing the simple heel tactics like throwing him outside and slamming him onto a table. Ogawa does nothing more than a few counters to roll ups, or a backslide. But Kroffat attempts a sunset flip and Ogawa rolls through and cradles him for the upset and the title. To a lot of people who argue that heat itself was better in those days because everything got heat, watch this match. The crowd is mostly silent, except for their pop at Ogawa’s three count, the match was only ten minutes long, but it felt more like thirty.

Conclusion: Must see stuff for the Triple Crown match, nothing to see in the Jr. Title match. Recommended because the good in the Triple Crown match, outweighs the bad in the Jr. Title match.

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