Friday, June 13, 2014

Remembering the Emerald Destiny

Rest in power, Emerald Destiny
Photo Credit: Online World of Wrestling
Five years ago today, Mitsuharu Misawa passed away in a Hiroshima hospital after losing consciousness at a Pro Wrestling NOAH show. He took a sharp-angle back suplex Akitoshi Saito and never regained his senses. The official cause of death was never released at the request of Misawa's family, but it has been suspected the bump he took was the last straw in a career where he took calculated risks with the various falls and strikes he'd take in the ring. He was 46 years old at the time of his passing.

I won't sugarcoat the circumstances around his death as "doing something he loved," mainly because I didn't know the man or know his mindset at the time of his passing. However, his death has left an immeasurable void in wrestling rings all around the world. He was the ace of All-Japan Pro Wrestling during a time when it was the biggest promotion in the country with perhaps the best roster of any wrestling company in history. The Japanese fans and American/European tape traders who watched him tangle with Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi, and the rest of that roster were influenced immensely into a new way of thinking about how pro wrestling could be. No wrestling ring in America or Japan is free from his touch.

If you're unfamiliar with his work, do a simple YouTube search for him. Footage exists, whether full matches or clips of his most famous moves. Check out the Misawa Week tag for a start into what he was all about from my perspective as well. But even if you don't have any interested in puroresu at all, realize that without Misawa, the indies are drastically different, Chris Hero and other wrestlers have far divergent styles, and wrestling as everyone knows it perhaps goes down a different path. Rest in peace, Misawa Mitsuharu.