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Akira Hokuto vs Harley Saito (AJW 08/05/93)

AJW August 5 1993 Akira Hokuto Harley Saito Kasumagaora 4*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:48 AM

Talk about it here.



#2 Loss

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:38 PM

Hokuto's matches, more than anyone else's in Joshi at the time, feel like a real struggle first and foremost and an athletic display second, and this is no exception. Some of the footwork is flawlessly timed here, like Saito catching Hokuto with an amazing looking kick as she's coming off the top rope. And of course, because it's a Hokuto match, there's some focus on injuries, in this case, Hokuto taking a nasty plunge to the floor on her knee. I don't know Saito's standing at this point, but this really feels like a match where a midcarder pushed a top star harder than expected. And only in a Hokuto match would you find a somersault dive to the floor done out of desperation. There are some crazy suplexes and highspots in this match, but what pulls it all together is the logic behind it -- the way the moves are sequenced, sold and paced gets them all over in the way they deserve.

#3 FLIK

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 11:25 PM

I don't know Saito's standing at this point, but this really feels like a match where a midcarder pushed a top star harder than expected.


Upper mid carder is about right.
#3 or 4# wrestler on the LLPW totem pole at this point

#4 PeteF3

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:56 PM

I know nothing about Harley Saito, but as Nise Dynamite Kansai she does a more than adequate job. They push a strong running story of Saito's bad ribs vs. Hokuto's bad knee, and both ladies take the time to sell that stuff, so you get a more leisurely and psychologically sound joshi match. Not a match that'll change the world but a good look at the "upper-card vs. not-as-upper-card" style of the time.

#5 Zenjo

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 11:32 AM

The start of an incredible month for Hokuto. Right away Saito's damaged ribs were attacked, which showed great continuity with previous JGP matches. Akira utilised plenty of variety and innovation in her plan of attack. Harley kept trying to fight back but her comebacks kept being cut off. That was before the bad knees started to play up. I don't think it was necessarily planned to unfold this way, and they had to call an audible halfway through. You can tell that the knee injury was legit as Harley was avoiding going for them like the plague. This hurt it from a kayfabe perspective.

The latter stages became a test of spirit as both were wounded warriors. The selling was convincing from both parties and the outcome in the balance. In the end the Dangerous Queen was able to scrape through to continue her incredibly valiant campaign. Victory through guts.

#6 soup23

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Posted 04 September 2015 - 09:12 AM

Great match with a clear focus and strategy for both competitors. One thing I liked about this match was that Saito's positioning was clear but she maximized that without Hokuto looking week. I also thought this went the correct amount of time for the story that was progressed overall. Impressive action. **** 



#7 garretta

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 03:44 AM

This one defines the term "war of attrition". Bwtween Harley's ribs and Akira's knee, it was a race to see who could get the win before their injury became too much for them. Akira managed to get the win, but both of them needed help out of the ring afterward.

 

Zenjo brought up that Akira's injury may have been legit because Harley avoided working on it. That may very well have been the case, but it's also plausible that Harley's ribs had been pounded so thoroughly that she was more worried about surviving that attacking Akira's weak spot.

 

Overall, Harley was the much better seller here; Akira went up to the top too many times for someone with a knee injury as bad as hers supposedly was, and looked quick as a cat doing it besides. Harley forgot herself and went up once too, but she mostly stayed on the mat after that. This is the one problem I have with joshi above all the others: the finishes require so many moves off the top that the girls are forced to ignore injuries that they've spent the majority of the match selling.

 

Akira really worked Harley's ribs like a master; by the end of the bout they were so destroyed that even kicking out of pin attempts caused her intense pain. Part of me wishes that the finish had directly involved the ribs, but you could say that getting air was so tough for Harley by that time that any sort of slam or suplex could have put her away, as one eventually did.

 

This wasn't the greatest joshi match I've ever seen, but it was enough to take the bad taste of the Thunderqueen match out of my mouth, which is a definite plus in its favor.



#8 Jetlag

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 09:13 AM

I forgot this match existed and now that I know who Harley Saito is, I remembered. This such a gritty little war: Saito popping Hokuto with thudding kicks, and Hokuto just torturing her by working the stomach. Hokuto is totally at home in a nasty asskicking battle like this, and Harley was getting the maximum out of her underdog role. Then Hokuto blows her knee, and suddenly it looks like Harley isn't so chanceless anymore. I liked how despite the fact this was a fast paced match with a lot of action, every move had a ton of gravity, and these two are so good at timing momentum swings and cutoffs it's ridiculous. Really good example of how to do a near epic match between a megastar and someone a whole league below.







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