Who's the better in-ring worker: Michaels or Misawa?

Discussion in 'General WWE' started by Marcus Snowden, May 8, 2016.

  1. In my mind, there are two wrestlers that stand out in my mind as the best in-ring workers ever: "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels and Mitsuharu Misawa (Ric Flair's a not-too-distant third). They've had many classics and consistently had great matches for a long period of time. Who do you think is better?
  2. Haven't heard of Misawa, what's some of his greatest matches?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. His classics with kenta kobashii in AJPW some of the greatest matches of all time, hard hitting brutal battles, plenty of others too.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Enjoy if you have the time. I consider this one of the greatest wrestling matches I've ever seen.

  5. Yup. You could put every Misawa v Kobashii match in a hat, put one out and have a wonderful match to watch.

    In regards to the question, my caveat is that in my personal opinion Ric Flair is first. He had a lot of crap later in his career but I don't blame him for that. But that's just something as a Flair fan I had to put in.

    Between Michaels and Misawa, I would easily go with Misawa. What that man did in the ring over and over and over and over and over is just amazing.

    The reason I cannot go with Michaels is that I don't feel he was as consistent as Misawa was. For example, when Michaels broke off with Marty Janetty, I thought he was fantastic... up until he won the world title. His first IC title run was great and his work leading up to the world title match with Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 12 was good too. But I found his first WWF Championship reign to be boring. For example, I personally find the "legendary" Iron Man match to be the most overrated match of all time (and I won't argue this with ANYONE, it's just my opinion). I literally almost fell asleep twice during the match. Now, his no holds barred match with Diesel was good, but from that until his feud with Sid, I was bored. I also found his match with Austin at Wrestlemania 14 pretty boring as well... but I guess he wasn't in the best of health so I shouldn't hold that too against him.

    For me, Michaels really hit his stride when he came out of retirement. Pretty much everything he did from returning until retiring was just flawless. He was in the 2000s what Flair was in the 80s and Misawa was in the 90s: unequivocally the hardest worker of that decade.

    But yeah, I guess that was the long answer, the short answer is : Misawa :emoji_slight_smile:
  6. I agree with the Iron Man match being overrated. Is it a great match? Yes. It is the classic that the WWE claims it is? No. However, I disagree about him being boring after WrestleMania 12. In my personal opinion, Shawn was truly in his peak at this period. He could carry a broomstick to a four-star match. His match with Sid at Survivor Series that year was proof of that. I think that his 1996 WWF Championship is one of the greatest in-ring title reigns of all time. On the WM14 match with Austin, you can definitely argue that. I personally think the match was great despite HBK's injury and the fact that it was Austin's first true Singles match since returning November of 1997.

    I agree with you that Michaels' second run with the WWE was his best. I mean, his classic with HHH at SummerSlam. The consistently great matches at Mania. His rivalry with Jericho, which is one of the greatest rivalries in wrestling history. The man just killed it. At 44 years old, he outperformed almost everyone in the roster.
  7. Well, I did actually say it was boring up until his feud with Sid, so the match with Sid doesn't really refute what I said about the earlier part of the reign. If the entire reign had been like the Sid feud, than I would have enjoyed it. But he didn't have the matches with Vader, Mankind, the Bulldog et al that he had with Diesel and Sid. In my opinion, he fell into a lull and it bored me.

    That title reign was, for me, the most disappointing I've ever seen because I had such high hopes for it. I was a HUGE HBK mark back then. Hell, I was all about the Rockers back when they were in the AWA. Then I began hoping they would break up because Michaels deserved a solo run and he got it and it was fantastic! Although I was disappointed in the iron man match, I was happy he won the title. And he had a great match with Diesel immediately after....And it was just boring for me afterwards up until Sid.

    Hell I even bought one of those goofy hats of his and wore it to King of the Ring 1996.

    Back then, I went to a LOT of WWF house shows and every one of them, Michaels would put on the type of fantastic matches I came to expect of him. But his PPV matches during the reign, up until Sid, were routine.

    But anyhow, that's the fun thing about perspectives, what I saw as boring, you saw as great and ultimately that is a good thing because it would really suck if we all agreed on everything :emoji_slight_smile:
  8. Michaels, but I'd imagine Misawa does a perfect drop kick and has crisp workrate.
  9. Basically the entire 1990s
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. To give a more in dept response.

    Michaels might be considered the bigger showman of the two, there's no doubt that Michaels is the more flamboyant and extravagant of him and the late, great master of the emerald elbow. But like Jacob touched on, Misawa was without a doubt the more consistent worker. His rivalries with Kobashi, Kawada and Taue is the stuff of legends. Not to mention his rivalry with Jumbo Tsuruta or with gaijins like Vader, Hansen etc etc. Misawa operated on a completely other level quality vise, always evolving, always bettering himself. But unlike Shawn also willing to give as much as he took (or almost). It wasn't just him that looked good, but everyone he worked with got shine as well. All that plus the environment he worked in, 1990s All Japan, which is considered the best era any promotion world wide has ever produce (seriously, it shits on everything else IMO), puts him as the clear winner imo.

    But I'd totally buy Shawn winning from a more "western" viewpoint with his flash, flair and showmanship.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Misawa founded Pro Wrestling NOAH. Look up Misawa vs. Kobashi.

    As for best in-ring worker. Shawn Michaels is better with showcasing charisma and having a good story. He also presents a more high-flying style that can either be good or bad, depending on if he lands that outside moonsault. Shawn Michaels can rile up a crowd with his mannerisms, taunts and expressions. Shawn Michaels can also be considered to have been a revolutionary wrestler, as he led the industry into new eras (twice). His accomplishments and other accolades also warrant a mention. Another thing is his uncanny ability to have a long-term feud, and make each match better than the last. He gave guys like Daniel Bryan, Brian Kendrick and even Milano Collection A.T. He also mentored guys like Triple H and Kevin Nash. He is synonsymous with one of the worst periods in WWE history, but also one of the best. He isn't considered the greatest of champions, as most of the time he failed to draw in his home town. But he is known for having one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time. I think he's a world class wrestler that is the best of the American/Western wrestling industry on par with guys like Hogan, Austin and Undertaker. He is a great talent, but I can't really vouch for his ability to bank on good business.

    However, Misawa wasn't much different. He was revolutionary and founded a promotion that was basically #1 at a time in Japan. He gave guys like Takashi Sugiura, Naomuchi Marufuji and more people their chance to shine and it shows as they are the biggest stars in NOAH, and can be considered household names. And instead of being a flamboyant showman that riled up crowds with mannerisms and taunts, he did it through a stiff style of wrestling and beautifully crafted matches. Which brings me to the long feud argument, Misawa and Kobashi is the definition of an expertly crafted long-term feud. I mean they might be the only reason NOAH was able to draw upwards to 60,000 people at a point. The earlier sparks of their feud (after some research) seems to be in the earliest part of the 90s and ran for more than a decade. He also founded NOAH. Despite being a fuck fest of steamy fucking shit nowadays, back in the day it was a solid #1. It was almost exclusively due to Misawa. And the fact that he was able to return to AJPW, a few years after almost putting them under also shows the respect and credibility he carried. I think he's also a world class wrestler that is the best of the Japanese/Eastern wrestling industry and can be compared to Inoki, Kobashi, Baba, and might even be considered better. He, unlike Shawn, has been proven to be a good draw and has done the best numbers in NOAH's history (and they are 99% likely to never reach those height)

    Bottom line, it only comes down to how you think about it. Who was the better story teller, that could do it both in-ring, in a promo, and anywhere else? Probably Shawn. Who was a better draw, consistent talent and a better personality in and out of the ring? Probably Misawa. Mind that I have never heard or read a Misawa promo. My 2 cents, probably not the most accurate depiction of both people, but I'd like to think I hit it nice. [​IMG]
Draft saved Draft deleted