Mitsuharu Misawa is known worldwide as the greatest professional wrestler from Japan. The mastery that he showed in the ring eclipsed that of the legends that came before him or those sharing the squaredcircle with him at the time. He was loved by the fans and adored all over the wrestling community. He strode very high. However, tragedy struck in 2009 when Misawa would lose consciousness in the ring and never wake back up. I have always felt a little bad for not being more familiar with Misawa’s work. He has always been described as the Japanese Bret Hart, and I couldn’t wait to jump in and watch! So today we are going to be looking at some early Misawa matches.
I am going to light up some of this delicious 22.1% Jack Herer from Airfield Supply Company. Ahh... Jack Herer. A very potent Sativa strain that delivers happiness and energy all in one package. The piney taste and overbearing aroma make Gentleman Jack, perhaps the greatest weed to use for a Wake ‘N Bake. Seriously.
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Shiro Koshinaka
Special Ref: Lou Thesz
Lou Thesz Cup Final Match
April 22, 1983
Starting things out early. It’s not easy to find Misawa matches from his debut. But I did find this really cool Tournament Final between Shiro Koshinaka and our man Misawa. It’s a strong, stiff match that features Mr. Charisma, Lou Thesz as Special Referee. Man, that Jack always gets me coughing. I love it. A great strain for a strong-style match like this. These two really lay it in tight and give no quarter. Koshinaka is no slouch. He’s mean. This guy makes a snap-mare look like one of the most vicious moves in professional wrestling. And he’s in there making Misawa look like a two-year amateur for most of the match. But this two-year amateur starts mounting a comeback halfway through. Misawa and Koshinaka beat the hell out of each-other for a good while with Thesz out futzing about. I found this match to be really exciting. I loved the intensity and man… this Jack Herer is already right on top of me.
PS. I love that sign in the back that says THE FUNKS in the background.
Tiger Mask II vs. Pirata Morgan
December 8th, 1984
Now donning the infamous Tiger Mask, Misawa is seen here taking on Mexican legend, Pirata Morgan. This took place during AJPW’s Real World Tag League in 1984. It’s a fantastic match that showcases some amazing wrestling between two tremendous wrestlers. Misawa looks like he is working a bit outside of his comfort zone, but he is still very green in this gimmick only taking up the reigns as Tiger Mask in August of ‘84. These two look great. They are putting on a great match. Diving out of the ring and off of the turnbuckles. It’s awesome! Pirata Morgan dominated the beginning of the match, but once things pick-up Tiger Mask shines. I can’t wait to see Misawa get more comfortable with the character.
I am going to start packing a second bowl. This Jack Herer is really tasty. Almost too tasty.
Tiger Mask II & Mighty Inoue vs. The British Bulldogs
November 30, 1985
Holy crap! Dynamite is loose! He instantly wowed me with his offense on Mighty Inoue. Even if it was cut off quickly. I gotta do one of these Wake ‘N Bake-things on Dynamite. He was a dick, but it’s a shame he passed. Tiger Mask got some good offense in on Dynamite and Davey, with Inoue tagging in-and-out frequently. Inoue is really decent too. But those damn Bulldogs are so violent and entertaining. That powerslam from the second turnbuckle was the business. I could watch these guys go a lot longer than they did. The end of this match is crazy entertaining! They had an awesome shot of Dynamite hitting the flying headbutt. A solid four-and-three-quarters stars match.
This marathon is fun. Two cups of coffee and I still have half a bowl. That last match had me marking out too much.
Tiger Mask II vs. The Great Kabuki
January 28, 1986
There are too many intriguing matchups during this Tiger Mask II run. I am going to have to break some of this up. I thought I would hit the nineties this morning. I wanted to watch that Bret Hart/Misawa match from ‘90, but I can push it off for a few weeks. I am having too much fun watching these matches. It’s great seeing Misawa becoming so comfortable with the Tiger Mask character. Kabuki is another great character. A disgusting, hulking monster that looks horrible and spits green mist in your face. He’s terrible in the ring but The Great Kabuki is a great character. Tiger Mask puts on the best match he can with Kabuki’s boring offense. Nothing but armbars. Boring armbars. When Misawa tries to mount a comeback, Kabuki forces him back into these bland holds. It’s a good match when it actually picks up. They go outside the ring and start getting hardcore. Tiger Mask looks like he gets tired of putting up with Kabuki’s shit. Then boom! Kabuki is bleeding all over Tiger Mask. Like spewing blood. Then Kabuki looked like a madman and went to the top-rope screaming for a top-rope fist drop. It was a glorious moment. Then we had a fucked-finish and… Oh yeah! The ref looks ridiculous.
Jack Herer is always the strain to use when needing that extra boost of energy. It’s a good high that keeps you motivated and happy. I had a good time this morning smoking and watching these matches. And I cannot wait to get into more Misawa matches. Try it yourself, I bet you like it.