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Mitsuharu Misawa R.I.P. Five years ago today.

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Today is the fifth anniversary of Mitsuharu Misawa’s passing and I just thought a separate thread would be in order so we can talk about Mitsuharu Misawa. I learnt about Misawa’s passing on the wrestlingobserver.com website. I was surprised by the news, more so when I learnt how it happened, in the ring. Mitsuharu Misawa was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, taking part in some of the greatest matches of all time. Misawa’s best was with Kenta Kobashi against Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue in All Japan Pro Wrestling on the 9th of June 1995. R.I.P. Mitsuharu Misawa.

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To this day, I remember waking up that next morning and checking NOAH results out of habit because it was a bigger show and being in total shock at what I was reading. It was on PuroLove, so it was in German and took me a moment to process the gist of it, but it struck me really hard once I did. Later that day it was just surreal watching the news crew footage of the event and seeing that one famous Japanese newscaster break down while watching it. I still remember the whole thing vividly and it still hits me every time I think about it. The footage is still up on YouTube the last time that I checked around for it and it still seems as fresh as it did that day. With everything that has happened to NOAH since that moment in time, it feels like none of it is even real. He's definitely missed on multiple levels from the fans and for the sake of his wife and children and all his friends and co-workers. The whole thing seems unreal even now.

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From just a few moments ago.

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Misawa was the corner stone of one of the greatest periods in wrestling history. Mid-90's AJPW was a true high water mark as far as pure ring work goes, in my opinion. In one company, you had three of the top five workers in the world all working main events in the same stretch of time. The entire story of 90's AJPW was basically the rise, reign, and battles of Misawa. He was an amazing worker that seemed to get the best out of anyone he worked with. There will be some Mitsuharu Misawa on my television tonight for sure.

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I wasn't following wrestling when he died but I remember seeing the headline on Yahoo or CNN, some place odd like that. It was a truly terrible moment and a great loss to wrestling. It was and still is incredible how much he accomplished, NOAH was never the same without him.

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In terms of a sudden, shocking events in wrestling this is right there with Benoit. Just a crazy sad story on so many levels.

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I cannot cry today.  The fucking garrison commander is coming in this afternoon.

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Takayama bullying his way up to the ring, ready to see what the fuck was going on. The picture of Kawada at the funeral...

 

Fuck. 

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It's so surreal that it's been five years already, I remember that day almost perfectly. This was one of the sadder wrestling deaths I can recall. If it wasn't for Misawa, a lot of matches that I really love wouldn't even exist. Now I'm gonna go blast "Spartan X" on my iPod and watch the main event of the first Zero1 show.

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I remember that day on this board I read through all 36 pages of that forum. Misawa meant a lot to a lot on this board. I want back and watched his matches yeah he was great.

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I frankly never would have become a fan of Japanese wrestling if not for Misawa.  I always read about him, Kobashi and Kawada in PWI for years, and those guys had such a mysterious aura around them  to me.  A friend let me borrow an AJPW tape early in the 2000's.  It was the "Best of 99" tape, and I instantly said "Holy shit, so THIS is Misawa". 

 

I'll never forget when he died.  I was at an incredibly low point in my life as it was, and to read that one of my heroes had died, was just exceptionally hard for me.  Truly an all time great, and he's always been my pick for worker of the 90s.  There will never be another quite like him.

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That literally was announced today. He was in the main event against Marufuji. He has been a freelancer the last few years.

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Oddly, Akitoshi Saito used this move today on the anniversary of Misawa's death. I'm not sure he's used it even once since Misawa died from it(was cumulative, but it was the move). I read some article saying he was going to do it and the reasoning behind using it again, but it's kind of lost in machine translation about specifics beyond something about Misawa.
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I still remember as clearly as if it were yesterday walking past him and Ogawa on their way into the building of a show for Mike Modest & Donovan Morgan's indy promotion (that he wasn't announced for) and doing a literal double take.

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The day wrestling died for me, truth be told.

 

It's just never been, and never will be the same again.

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Misawa´s death was a real blow to my fandom aswell. I felt incredibly honoured and lucky meeting him at a show in Germany. He was a respectful man towards anyone and seemed genuinly flattered by the vivid support he got from merely a couple of hundred people who attended the show. Him and Kobashi and to a degree Akiyama were the only people I ever saw up close which had real superstar auras surrounding them, and those auras seemed to be a natural thing, not something that was created. He seemed a great man. His death was such an incredibly bad thing to happen to Misawa and it saddened me quite a lot.

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I marked out when Vader was on Austins podcast telling him about how great Misawa was in the ring and Austin responded like he was very familiar with his work.

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As I've just been saying in the Stan Hansen ...Of the Day thread, Misawa's death was when I stopped watching wrestling. I just kinda felt abit disgusted and dirty about the whole strong style thing and taking enjoyment from it, no problem with clubberings and stiffness but the the head and neck drops and going above and beyond the call of duty left me cold

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