MATCH : Akira Taue/Toshiaki Kawada v Jun Akiyama/Mitsuharu Misawa


EVENT : Budokan Hall Show (December)

VENUE : Budokan Hall, Tokyo

DATE : 5th December 1997

Background : This was the final match of the AJPW Real Tag Team League 1997. Akira Taue and Toshiaki Kawada had won the competition the last couple of years and had even beaten Jun Akiyama and Mitsuharu Misawa in the previous years which was a great match. Misawa was the current Triple Crown Champion and his feud with Kawada was really starting to garner much attention. The Holy Demon Army (Taue & Kawada) were also six times former AJPW Unified World Tag Team Champions and would have to think that a win in this match would put them back in the frame to face the current champs, Johnny Ace and Kenta Kobashi.

MATCH REVIEW : This was a brutal match that showed the intensity of all four men in this marathon of a bout. A strong spirited fight that highlights the heart of Jun Akiyama who eventually fails in his bid to overcome the The Holy Demon Army. In my opinion what this match done specifically well was overshadow the match they had a year previous. A lot of people debate whether this match was better than the 1996 Tag League Final but for me there is no competition, this one was better timed and a lot more exciting. Taue and Kawada would go on to further success as a team by winning the AJPW tag Titles for the seventh time just a few months later. Kawada's feud with Misawa would continue through the years and go down as one of the best in AJPW history.