Saturday, June 14, 2014

Misawa's Death 5 years later...

This month marks the five year anniversary of the passing of Mitsuharu Misawa.  It was one of those death's that resonated throughout the wrestling world at the time.  What made this one unique was that Misawa never had a big run in the US, yet, there were many who knew of him and his body of work. 

He had a big following in the late 90's-early 00's due to the popularity of tape trading.  And many of those would go on to train and become professional wrestlers themselves.  His rivalry with Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi inspired many independent wrestlers to emulate their style, which was popular in the mid 00's. 

To many, his June 3, 1994 match with Kawada is considered by many to be one of the best matches of all time.  However, it was the headdropping style that inspired others that became the reason for his death.

It was a match 5 years ago where he took a belly-to-back suplex from Akitoshi Saito that was the "death blow".  But it was from years of taking head drops that was the issue.  Since then, we've seen the amount of head dropping suplexes drop in the years. 

And since his passing, his company Pro Wrestling NOAH, has struggled to stay in business and the company he left to found NOAH, All-Japan Pro Wrestling has also struggled.  They've been on a downslide, and sadly, the death of Misawa seems to have been a catalyst for it. 

But this post isn't about that, it's a tribute to Misawa, so we raise a glass and celebrate the amazing career you had. 

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