Written By Alfredo Esparza
All Japan Classics #8
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Stan “The Lariat” Hansen in the Champion Carnival 1993 Final
Taped 4/21/1993 at Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
Stan Hansen charges at Mitsuharu Misawa before the bell rings and the two exchange elbows and go back and forth dishing it out at each other. They back away from each other to calm it down a bit but Misawa gets Hansen in the corner and delivers a series of kicks. He follows that up with elbows and more kicks at Hansen. Hansen rolls the outside while Misawa waits for him in the ring.
Hansen gets back in the ring and he starts to kick and chop at Misawa, knocking him down to the mat. Misawa back up and delivers an elbow. More kicks from Misawa including some jumping kicks to get a two-count on Hansen. He gets Hansen in a chinlock. Hansen picks up Misawa and backdrops him to break out of the hold. He whips Misawa into the ropes and catches him with an elbow. Hansen pulls down his knee pad to land a knee drop on Misawa that only gets him a two count.
More elbows across Misawa’s face from Hansen. He catches Misawa with a knee lift and kick that knocks Misawa down. Hansen goes for a suplex but Misawa blocks it and they end up in the corner. Elbows thrown by Misawa and he follows with a kick that knocs down Hansen. Uppercuts thrown by Misawa rock Hansen but he bounces out of the corner with an elbow that knocks Misawa down to the mat. Elbowdrop followed by Hansen. He climbs up the ropes and hits another middle-rope elbow drop for a two-count.
Hansen continues to stomp on Misawa and goes for a camel clutch. Misawa breaks out of it but Hansen stomps on him as he gets back up. Hansen tosses Misawa to the outside. He follows after him as Misawa tries to get back in the ring. Referee tries to separate them but Misawa fires up and catches Hansen with a rolling elbow.He sends Hansen back into the ring and kicks him a couple of times. He drops a knee across Hansen’s head and covers him for the pin but can only get a two-count.
Misawa with a headscissors on Hansen to wear him down on the mat. Hansen reaches the ropes to break the hold. He pulls Misawa near him and then charges at him with an elbow and gets a two-count. Another kick to Misawa’s back. He stomps on Misawa as the referee warns him that he’s near the ropes. Misawa rolls to the floor to catch his breath. Misawa heads back in but Hansen grabs him and pulls his hair. Misawa kicks Hansen off the ropes. He follows with a slingshot plancha into the ring and onto Hansen for a two-count. Misawa whips Hansen into the ropes and catches him with a body press for another near fall. Misawa with a spin kick but Hansen blocks it. Misawa catches him with the other leg.
Hansen regains control of the match and powerbombs Misawa! Fans start to chant for Misawa as Hansen continues to beat on him. More knees to Misawa’s face and he whips him into the corner and follows with a dropkick for a near fall. DDT from Hansen! He motions for the lariat! Crowd pops! Hansen charges but Misawa ducks and catches him with an elbow. He charges at Hansen again with another elbow. Misawa goes for the pin but Hansen kicks out.
Misawa climbs to the top rope and hits a frog splash! He gets another two-count as Hansen kicks out. Misawa goes to the top rope again but Hansen rolls out of the way and under the turnbuckles. Misawa climbs off and goes after Hansen. He goes for the Tiger Driver but Hansen blocks it! Misawa delivers more elbows and goes for it again.Hansen picks up Misawa and backdrops him. Misawa back up and catches Hansen with a kick. He hits the ropes and charges at Hansen but Stan catches Misawa with a kick. Misawa goes for it again but Hansen and Misawa end up hitting each other’s arms at the same time and that sends both down.
Hansen goes to the outside and is writhing in pain. Misawa remains in the ring. Hansen holds onto his left arm and screams as he tries to get back in the ring. He finally rolls back in and Misawa kicks at him. Hansen heads back to the floor. Misawa attacks the injured left arm. Hansen headbutts Misawa and gets him in the corner with some chops. He tries to whip him out of the corner but Misawa reverses and gets Hansen with an armbreaker!
Misawa attacks the left arm. He catches Hansen with a dropkick but that doesn’t knock him down. Hansen charges at Misawa with a tackle and that takes him down to the mat. Stan goes for a middle-rope shoulder tackle at Misawa. Misawa back up and he catches him with a kick. He charges at Hansen but Hansen’s ready and he gets Misawa with the lariat!!! He crawls over to cover Misawa but Misawa reaches the ropes with his foot.
Stan Hansen gets back up and stomps on Misawa. Misawa back up and lands an elbow at Hansen who keeps holding his left arm. Hansen goes for powerbomb but Misawa blocks it. Stan kicks Misawa off him. Hansen goes for the powerbomb again and gets Misawa with it. He covers him for the pin!
WINNER: Stan Hansen
Toshiaki Kawada vs. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams in the Champion Carnival 1994 Final
Taped 4/16/1994 at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan
Dr. Death gets Toshiaki Kawada on the ropes and breaks cleanly to start the match. Williams with a side headlock on Kawada. Kawada whips Williams into the ropes but Doc drops him with a shoulder tackle. He takes Kawada down again with another shoulder tackle. Williams goes for a backdrop but Kawada clocks it and slaps Doc. He then gets Williams up in a backdrop !
Kawada follows with a kick to the back of the head and some elbows. Doc chops back but Kawada repays him with a chop. Another elbow and Doc gets fired up and the two stare each other down and exchange chops. They exchange elbows. Kawada gets in more elbows and a kick to the back of his head. Williams kicks Kawada away from him. Some forearms from Doc across Kawada’s neck.
Williams gets kicked by Kawada and that leads to Kawada getting him in the corner with more kicks. Kawada whips Williams into the ropes and catches him with a spin kick that sends him to the floor. He follows and whips Williams into the guardrail but Doc bounces off and charges at Kawada and catches him with a clothesline. Williams tossed Kawada back into the ring and gets him in a sleeper hold. Kawada reaches the ropes to break the hold.
Williams headbutts Kawada several times. He picks up Kawada and drops him down to the mat for a near fall. Doc kicks at Kawada. Kawada counters with a kick of his own but Williams knocks him down to the mat. He kicks at Kawada. Kawada blocks Williams from sending him into the top turnbuckle and climbs up the ropes and kicks Doc again. He gets Williams in a reverse chinlock but Williams reaches the ropes.
Kawada continues to kick at Williams which just fires up Doc. Chops delivered by Kawada. He kicks at Williams. Williams charges at Kawada and knocks him down with a clothesline. Knee strike to Kawada’s head. Doc gets Kawada again in a chinlock. He switches over to grabbing both of Kawada’s arms and then suplexing him! Crowd pops for that move! Doc goes for the pin but Kawada kicks out. Kawada falls to the outside while Doc waits for him in the ring. Doc finally heads to the outside and whips Kawada into the guardrail. He charges at Kawada but Kawada catches him with a kick.
Williams sends Kawada back into the ring and goes for the pin on Kawada but Kawada kicks out. Doc slams Kawada and climbs to the top rope but misses a splash as Kawada moves out of the way. Kawada with another spin kick followed by some chops. He slams Williams and follows with a knee drop off the ropes for a near fall. Williams blocks a suplex and goes for one but Kawada blocks it and takes Williams down with a Fujiwara armbar!
Kawada keeps the Fujiwara armbar on Doc and pulls at his arm trying to get him to submit but Doc reaches the ropes. More kicks from Kawada followed by some chops. Williams reverses a whip into the ropes and catches Kawada with a spinebuster for a two-count. Doc follows with some chops at Kawada and then whips him into the corner and grabs him for the Oklahoma Stampede but Kawada grabs hold of the ropes! More chops by Williams and he whips him into the corner and splashes Kawada! Doc quickly picks up Kawada for the Oklahoma Stampede and goes for the pin but Kawada kicks out!
Dr. Death with a clothesline for another near fall on Kawada. Kawada back up and delivers a kick to Doc’s head. He gets him with another kick bouncing off the ropes. Chops by Kawada and he goes for the stretch plum submission on Williams! Doc reaches the ropes to break the hold. Kawada kicks at Williams but Doc is fired up!. Williams punches Kawada and knocks him down! Referee warns Dr. Death about using a closed fist.
Williams with more punches knocks Kawada down to the mat. He whips Kawada into the ropes and gorilla press slams him onto the top rope! Kawada catches Williams with some kicks but that only gets Doc mad and he kicks at Kawada. Williams goes for a submission hold on Kawada. Kawada is able to reach the ropes to break the hold but Doc keeps kicking him and catches him with a short-armed clothesline. Kawada ducks another clothesline. He then blocks a backdrop driver attempt by Williams. Kawada catches Doc with a kick to the head!
Crowd cheers the action. Kawada charges at Williams but Doc ducks a clothesline and catches Kawada with the backdrop driver! Kawada rolls to the outside. Williams sends Kawada back into the ring and pins him but Kawada kicks out at two. Dr. Death picks up Kawada again and powerbombs him and gets another two-count on him!
Williams picks up Kawada again but Kawada grabs the ropes. Kawada blocks an attempt at a backdrop driver and instead catches Williams with a spin kick. He goes for the pin on Doc but can only get a two-count. Kawada gets Williams with a powerbomb but Doc kicks out of the pin attempt. Kawada goes for the stretch plum on Williams! He covers Williams for the pin but Doc kicks out at two!
Kawada goes for a powerbomb on Williams but Doc back drops him. Kawada goes for a clothesline but Doc catches him with a fist that knocks him down! Kawada with a jumping kick at Doc’s head! He gets Williams with a second kick. Powerbomb by Kawada for a near fall as Williams kicks out again! Crowd cheers loudly. Kawada goes for another powerbomb and loses Doc briefly before going for it again and covering him for the pin! Kawada wins!
WINNER: Toshiaki Kawada
Williams and Kawada shake hands after the match.
SHOW THOUGHTS: Two good Champion Carnival finals matches. The Hansen win with him becoming a bit of the underdog late in the match with his left arm injured was a good comeback type of win. Really strong storytelling taking someone the size of Hansen who clearly has a big advantage over Misawa in the match and suddenly with the arm injury, he’s the one fighting his way back to an emotional Champion Carnival win. Kawada vs. Williams was fought more evenly. Was interesting to see back-to-back Champion Carnivals finals end with a powerbomb finish.