You don’t have to dig deep to see the differences between Hyper Misao and Jun Kasai. One is a crazed lunatic, dealing out violence with an increasingly bizarre collection of weapons and the other is Jun Kasai. Jokes aside, it’s safe to say that the superhero antics of PaMi and the scarred deathmatch torso of Kasai don’t look like they belong in the same world. And yet, it was Kasai that inspired Misao to become a wrestler. To push off from a life where she was wasting away, living on bags of chocolate cream puffs, and become the superhero we now know and love.
If that superhero needs a match to sum her up, then this is the perfect one. From the bell, it is pure, unfiltered Misao, as she boots away Kasai’s water bottle in the opening seconds, preventing him from washing down his bag of chocolate cream puffs (they had to finish them or their pins wouldn’t be legal). That will end up being one of her lesser moments too, as she spends most of this determined to run him over with her bike, although hitting him sometimes seems secondary to her desire to do daft stuff. She even rides it down the Korakuen steps, somehow managing to stay on as it bucks around beneath her.
In Kasai, she chose the perfect idol too. For as much as he is that battle-scarred old badass, he’s also someone who is happy to get silly with it. There are moments where he is on the run, seemingly terrified of Misao and her desire to knock him over. He has good reason too, as she throws him through a door in the Korkauen stand and by the time he emerges she’s coming out of the opposite one, mounting that damn bike once more. It’s a performance that doesn’t include a hint of ego, as he knows this is her story. Even towards the end when he wrestles control, seeing her off with a huge Pearl Harbour Splash (the move which inspired her finisher), he makes sure she shines, giving her all the kick-outs in that closing stretch.
Despite my love for Misao, this was the first time I’d watched this match, and I’m not even slightly ashamed to say I cry laughed my way through most of it. I can’t separate it from Misao’s story and, to be honest, they are inseperable. It is as much about that lass who was inspired to go out and grab what she wanted as it is about Hyper Misao vs Jun Kasai. Watching her wrestle one of her heroes in Korakuen Hall, the crowd chanting their names as she unleashes her chaos, is beautiful in a perfect, pure little way. It’s sometimes hard to remember why we love wrestling. It’s an industry so full of flaws that the good can be difficult to spot. In Hyper Misao, we have a little reminder of how powerful it can be. It turned her into a superhero.
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