What are you watching?
Posted 19 November 2011 - 10:23 AM
Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:27 PM
So a few years back Jeff Lynch put together a 7 volume comp of Gran Hamada's Universal Wrestling Federation and I ended up picking up the last 2 volumes which focus exclusively on the women's matches that took place in the promotion. AJW & UWF had a working relationship at the time so they would trade talent back & forth, mostly AJW girls appearing on Universal shows but a occasionally you'd see the UWF men wrestling on an AJW card too. Don't know how well it worked out for UWF but it exsposed the AJW girls to a lot of new fans and i've always heard it credited as being 1 of the things that helped eventually grow their audiance and led to more male fans showing up at shows as opposed to the school girl dominated crowds of the 80's. Anyways, i've never seen any of this footage before and only maybe 5 or so UWF matches period so this will be interesting to take a look at.
3/1/90 - Xochitl Hamada & Mika Takahashi vs Bison Kimura & Grizzly Iwamoto
This is from UWF's debut show. Ah Xochitl, Ayako's lesser known but just as talented older sister, glad to see more footage of her. You can really tell this is def a diffrent audiance who doesn't usually watch much joshi based on the crowd reactions. A lot of stuff that's routine on AJW shows like the screaming and certain other spots gets a lot of laughter and bemusement from the audiance, at the same time, they also pop for a lot of the big moves and seemed into it by the end. Mostly a by the numbers formula tag. The Outsiders Bison & Grizzly mostly dominate things with their rough, heel style with Hamada & Mika making the ocasional comeback only to get cut off and the beating to continue. Of the 2, when they did get on offense Hamada got to shine the most and really looked like the star of her team. Ending comes when Mika & Hamada get a hold of the Outsiders Kendo sticks and start caning the crap out of their opponents and the ref who happens to be Wally Yamaguchi of WWF Kaientai "Choppy choppy your pee pee" fame. Kind of funny since in AJW this wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary but apparently UWF has stricter "rules" so the ref calls for a DQ. More chaos follows but eventually gets settled down. Nothing special but a pretty decent match.
3/2/90 - Xochitl Hamada vs Bison Kimura
Based on how the last match ended you'd exspect a heated follow up but no. Sadly they just have a low end house show match. Lots of basic mat work mixed in with a couple bigger moves. Didn't help that this took place in a darker building with a quieter more subdued crowd too. Hamada again looks good with a few nice highspots at the end including a crazy out of control plauncha but not too many highlights besides that. Match ends in a double countout shortly after.
3/5/90 - Xochitl Hamada & Kaoru Maeda vs Aja Kong & Bison Kimura
Starts out a little bit similar to the 3/1 tag. Kaoru & Hamada get in bigger stretches of offense then Mika & Hamada did but the early going is still largely heel dominated. Hamada & Bison really clicked here for the 1st time and had some great exchanges and a nutty Flair/Garvin level chop war. Ending comes when all 4 get in the ring and they go for one of those complicated lucha sequences whear everyone's doing mirror spots at opposite ends of the ring and there's a bunch of heel miscomunicaion stuff. Sorta falls apart a little at this stage but they recover nicely and bodies go flying all over in a cool dive train. Back inside Kaoru & Hamada score the win with tandem roll ups on their opponents. Overall a damn good match and the 1st to really show off how good the AJW girls could be.
6/4/90 - Manami Toyota, Mika Takahashi & Kaoru Maeda vs Aja Kong, Bison Kimura & Grizzly Iwamoto
They switched things up and brought over an AJW ref to handle things, nothing against Yamaguchi but that's def a wise move. You can tell the girls had really started to get over with the new audiance at this piont as the crowds hyped for this one. Funnily enough it's the Gokumonto heels that are the one's who have the biggest cheering squad too with Aja especially being crazy over. In a funny bit they chant her name in tune with every offensive move she hits or when the ref counts a pinfall for her like the ECW fans chanted Shaw for Hack Myers. Hilarious stuff I really can't do justice describing. On the opposite end, the crowd doesn't dislike Honey Wings DX either, they'd ohh, ahh and applaud when they'd do a big move or cool spot but they're not as into them as they are their opponents. Match itself follows the previous pattern of the heels kicking all kinds of ass and the faces having to bravely fight back. All 6 really busted ass in this one and near the end Toyota & Kaoru are getting big chants as well after making their comeback. Near fall exchange is really good down the stretch and ends with Aja & Toyota going at it. After escaping a suplex attempt Aja backfist Toyota and puts her down with a huge german suplex of her own to win. This wouldn't crack my top 10 for AJW in 1990 but i'd say this is def somewhear in the top 20. Great great match with a hot crowd, nothing not to love about this.
6/7/90 - Madusa, Mika Takhashi & Kaoru Maeda vs Aja Kong, Bison Kimura & Grizzly Iwamoto
3rd Show in a week Universal had run at K-Hall so the crowd's not as hot at this point though still into things a good bit. Compared to the previous tag this has more back & forth stuff with no team getting controlling for too long. Aja & Madusa were in the middle of their feud at this point so there's a big focus on them well.
The stuff between them is pretty good as they had decent chemistry together. Madusa working with the others is a bit hit & miss so thankfully Honey Wings do a majority of the work in this. Last few mins are a bit odd. Goku are in controll and go for what I can only describe as a traingular belly bump of doom but it backfires and leads to everyone fighting outside. Big dive train follows and in the midst of all the chaos Madusa & Bison end up going at it in the ring. A small USA chant of all things breaks out for Madusa and after accidently running into Aja, Bison gets pinned out of nowhear with a rollup. Def a step down from the previous tag and the finish was pretty anticlimactic but overall still a good match.
6/1/90 - Bison Kimura vs Kyoko Inoue
Not much to this as they have a pretty by the numbers match. Kyoko was still a no name with a bit of potential at this point as she didn't get her big break until the end of the year. She got to get in just enough offense to not make this a total squash but never really looked competitive enough that you ever thought she had a chance of winning. Bison wins with that weird drop to your ass backslide she was doing for a while.
11/9/90 Kaoru Maeda & Mika Takahashi vs Xochitl Hamada & Esther Moreno
More Esther Moreno is always great in my book. Somewhear along the way Honey wings seemed to have developed some bad blood with the luchadoras as they rush the ring and attack before the intros even start then throw their oppenents out into the crowd. Back inside both Kaoru & Takahashi run through some cool highspots with Moreno before things slow down and the Moreno/Hamada team gains controll. Only last a couple mins as they go right back to fast more fast paced back & forth action. After a couple double teams including a pretty sweet stereo elbow drop on Moreno, Kaoru gets the win over her with a german. Damn good match, whole thing only last maybe 10 mins but they packed a lot in. Excited to see the 2 rematches they have a couple days after this. Kaoru & Takahashi get in a few exsta punts to Moreno's head as they leave just because. Moreno & Hamada give ref Yamaguchi a giant back body drop before making their exit...just because
JWP TV 2/11/1993
- (Sumiko Saito Retirement Match) Hikari Fukuoka vs Sumiko Saito
Sucks Sumiko didn't stick around longer and retired just as joshi was begining another boom period. The few times i've seen her in the past I was pretty impressed. Match is JIP with Fukuoka dominating things and getting in a big flurry of offense coming close to getting the W a few times but Saito isn't going down easy in her last match. Tide changes once Saito is able to grab an STF, followed up by a few suplexes and another STF for a near submission. They go back and forth a bit more with Fukuoka coming out on top, a couple of big powerslams including 1 off the top rope and a cross armed german get her the win. Good little match for Saito to go out on, about 10 mins aired. Your usual joshi retirement ceremony follows.
- Devil Masami & Debbie Malenko vs Dynamite Kansai & Plum Mariko
Always thought it also really sucked that Debbie got hurt shortly after this and had to retire before getting to mix it up with JWP girls like Plum. Quite excited when I found out this match existed as I didn't know it had even taken place until a couple of months ago. Pre match promo Debbie puts over everyone involved and says she's just happy to be thear. JIP with her locking in a Fujiwara arm bar on Kansai, once she escapes they blow a running headscissors spot but recover nicely. Debbie & Plum have a short section that sees Deb drop her with a few suplexes. Devil comes in and gets worked over for a while, long long boston crab spot from Kansai that goes no where. Things pick up when we get more Deb/Plum action and finally get to see them take it to the mat a tiny tiny bit. Devil comes back in and does that nasty spot whear she press slams folk onto the top turnbuckle which always looks like it sucks to take. Kansai comes in and eats a giant powerbomb to hell from Devil for her trouble as well. Match goes outside and we get a cool dive train starting with Plum climbing up Kansai's shoulders to hit a diving cross body and ending with Debbie doing her crazy suicide dive as a follow up. Back inside Debbie gets the armbar in on Plum as they go at it a little more, her & Devil hit stereo superplexes on both in another big highlight. Finish sees Kansai & Devil throwing bombs at each other, funny moment as Kansai tries to call out Debbie so Devil straight arm lariats her right in the face for ignoring her. Few moments later Kansai makes her pay with some stiff kicks and gets revenge for earlier with a big powerbomb of her own which backfires as Devil reverses the pin attempt into a cradle to get the win. Post match Debbie & Plum talk shit to hype up Dreamslam whear it was supposed to be Debbie in Ito's place vs Plum & Fukuoka. I was pretty disapointed we didn't get more exchanges between the 2 in this, especially on the mat as that's what I most wanted to see. I imagine it got left on the cutting room floor as while we got about 17 mins of this, in full it was 33+. Still, taking this for what it was instead of what I wanted it to be it was a damn good match, especially Kansai & Devil opposite each other, worth checking out for sure.
Posted 26 November 2011 - 07:23 PM
Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:19 PM
Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:41 AM
Better VQ but only 2/3 of the match:
I can see why this match is slept upon. The term "ladder match" creates a certain set of expectations, and those expectations were even more prevalent a few years ago. In this match the craziest bump has nothing to do with the ladder and there's only one real jump off of it. The first half of the match, the ladder doesn't even come into play. It's still really good though, and in some ways more structured and better than most ladder matches.
Michaels' intensity in the beginning is great. I've seen very little WWF in 96, actually, so I'm not sure if he started most of his matches with that or not. He has this brutal looking chairshot early on when Goldust is going for the ladder the first time, which sort of explains why the ladder doesn't play much of a role for the first half of the match (as Dustin paid bigtime for trying to get it too early). Dustin's punches and general offense look great. Michaels bumps big for him, including one crazy no-hands catapult over the top rope. When the ladder comes into play it's mainly just a prop that Dustin uses to enhance his attack on Michaels' back and he finds smart ways to use it that aren't all that dangerous but look really good.
The teases of the finishers are fun for the time. One transition where Goldust sidesteps a roll up in the corner is actually pretty neat. They do a good job at cutting off comebacks and timing everything well. I wish Shawn didn't do this floatover out of a move (twice Curtain call, once slam, once suplex) as a reversal. Three times sort of worked and led into the finish. Four times frustrated me. It's a fancam and cuts now and again towards the end but it's minimal and you can generally figure out what little bits you missed with ease (though at one point Shawn gets his foot stuck in the rope and I kind of wish what happened immediately thereafter had been retained).
All in all, a really fun ladder match.
Posted 02 December 2011 - 11:11 PM
11/10/1990 - Kaoru Maeda & Mika Takahashi vs Xochitl Hamada & Esther Moreno
Bit of a weak follow up to the match the day before. More just a standard tag match with Moreno & Hamada going for fast paced flippy stuff and the Honey Wings slowing it down with mat work. Near the end team luchadora have a bit of miscomunication and get in a shoving match after accidenly hitting each other. Kaoru & Takahashi take advantage and are able to finish off Xochitl pretty easyily after isolating her. Takahashi gets the W with a big superplex.
11/12/1990 - Kaoru Maeda & Mika Takahashi vs Xochitl Hamada & Esther Moreno
A mix between their previous two matches. Like the first match it starts pretty hot with Kaoru & Mika again running out to jump them then when things settle down we get a long matwork section. Bit hard to focus at times due to the camera angle but this is a 21 year old fan cam so beggers can't be choosers. Moreno & Mika are really good during this part. The action picks back up once the lucha girls get in a big series of highspots , they miss a pair of dives outside which leads to some pretty nice brawling around the building for a while. Back inside we get a little more matwork before going into the finish which is a bit of a repeat of the last match only this time it's Moreno eating a giant double superplex. Post match Hamada goes nuts on Moreno beating her down with a chair, the Honey Wings leave at first not caring but Hamada keeps beating her down, including giving Moreno a tombstone on the chair until finally Kaoru & Mika begrudgingly make the save.
Damn good match, bit of a toss up between for which is better, this or the first but I slightly lean towards 11/9 however. Sadly there's no footage of any Hamada vs Moreno singles matches that may have come out of this as i'm sure that'd be a great pairing opposite each other.
3/7/1991 - Mariko Yoshida vs Sakie Hasegawa
This was ok. They only got 8 mins so kind of a cliff notes version of what they could do as they run through the usual. Little sloppy in a few spots which hurt the momentum of the match too. Near the end Sakie goes for a diving cross body and somehow catches Yoshida in the nose on the way down busting it open so they go to the finish pretty soon after that. Sakie goes for a suplex combo but Yoshida reverses out and hits one of her own to win.
3/7/1991 - Noriyo Tateno vs Kaoru Maeda
Crowd was hyped to see Tateno as this was a little over a week before she was set to retire. They did a few nice spots in this, crazy suicide dive from Kaoru and Moreno dead lifting Kaoru up by the hair into a big slam were two of the highlights. Beyond that and a few other things they didn't do much else of interest. They went to a draw and even at a measly 10 minutes it still suffered from a lot of the same issues that plauge those types of matches.
3/8/1991 - Noriyo Tateno & Sakie Hasegawa vs Mariko Yoshida & Kaoru Maeda
Bit better then either or their individual matches the day before. Kaoru & Yoshida get the early advantage and I dug the leg work with them going after Sakie's knee. When Tateno & Sakie gain control they don't fare quite as well. They get Kaoru in for an exstended beat down but every time it looks like she's gonna be in any real trouble Yoshida is thear to watch her back and make the save. All through the rest of the match Sakie keeps selling her knee from earlier which was a nice touch and eventually they go back to attacking it. Tateno gets the win out of nowhear with a surprise cradle on Yoshida. Fun match up until then.
3/9/1991 - (Special ref Kaoru) Mariko Yoshida vs Sakie Hasegawa
No clue why Kaoru is on ref duty tonight, bigger mystery is why the heck they had her wearing a garbage man's uniform to do it in. Essentially they do 5-6 mins of really basic low level stuff then all of a sudden Yoshida nearly kills herself on a suicide dive outside, landing bad as her head goes splat on the concrete floor. Miraculously she appears to be ok, enough to continue the match atleast which wakes the crowd up and a big Yoshida chant ensues. They don't go too much longer however and back inside they imediatly switch it into high gear with a bunch of counter sequences that sees Yoshida come out on top, again reversing something of Sakie's into a pin for the win. Last few mins were good but before that pretty average.
5/24/1992 - Mariko Yoshida vs Mima Shimoda
K, this is more like it as we skip ahead a year and are now in the middle of Yoshida's run as one of the best wrestlers in the world. Story early on sees them take it to the mat with Shimoda focusing on Yoshida's arm. As always, Yoshida does a great job putting it over not only while on defense but continuing to do so while on offense. She drops an elbow but it only serves to injure her own arm, she goes for a boston crab but doesn't have the strength to hold on to both legs so has to switch to a half. Great little things like that make her stand out as one of the best. For a while the match turns into a Yoshida showcase as she goes on the attack for a bit. Shimoda hits a lot of really nice flying clotheslines during the comeback which she always does but tonight they looked better then usual. Switching things up she starts going for a bunch of leg lock submission attempts now. In another cool little touch she locks in an ankle lock and when Yoshida tries to push up out of it Shimoda reaches over and punches her in the gut to shut that shit down. Like a lot of Yoshida matches that i've noticed, in the end things come down to them dodging and countering a lot of each others moves, lots of athletic back and forth stuff. Really puts over Yoshida as the type of wrestler who wins by outsmarting her opponents. Damn good match, i'd say this is just a notch or so below the great match Yoshida would have with Shimoda's partner Mita a month or so later. Really played to both girls strengths well.
5/7/1993 - (CMLL Women's Title) Xochitl Hamada © vs Kaoru
Skipping ahead another year, Kaoru had droped the last name by now and had started working in the mask as "Infernal Kaoru". No major highlights in this, just a good solid match with Hamada mostly dominating and Kaoru fighting back ocasionally. Not enough in the end as she gets powerbombed to hell as Hamada retains.
Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:24 AM
The most memorable part of this match for me was that the finish was Michaels hitting the superkick with his pants pulled down. It's easy to see why he was getting huge boos three months later.
WWF - 8/24/96 - Toronto - Shawn Michaels vs Goldust - Ladder Match
Posted 03 December 2011 - 02:41 PM
- Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue vs Suzuka Minami & Etsuko Mita
Really nice sprint, full of all the usual fast paced, big move, near fall goodness. Suzuka got to play heavy hitter for her team and wipes out Kyoko on a couple ocasions in this but the story of the match is W Inoue having better teamwork. Every time Suzuka or Mita would get a little something going one of the Inoue's was right thear to cut em off and take back controll of the match. After a nice string of stuff leading up to the finish the Inoues eventually get the win with their combo choke slam/niagra driver on Mita. About 10 mins out of 18 aired. Good stuff.
- Aja Kong vs Yumiko Hotta
Interesting match, full of all the things you'd exspect. Lots of hard hitting strikes, brawling and smash mouth action. At the same time, a bit more one sided then you'd think as well. We only get to see 7 mins of 16 and what airs is largely Aja kicking ass, pounding Hotta down, draging her all over the building, etc.. What small bits of offense Hotta gets in only comes after either attacking Aja from behind or being able to dodge one of Aja's moves and counter with her own. Finish comes when Aja blocks a Hotta kick & coming back with a stiff uraken right to the forehead and followed by her diving back elbow to end the match. Not as great as what they'd do a year later but this was still pretty enjoyable. Not a total squash but still did a good job putting Aja over as a monster.
- Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Sakie Hasegawa & Debbie Malenko
Things started out quite nicely, their tag league match a few months back was one of the better matches in 92 and it seemed like they were on course to have another really good one until Debbie gets injured 7 or 8 mins into things. She was catching Toyota on a dive, nothing special, your standard cross body but Debbie plants her foot wrong and snaps her ankle badly on the landing. Bit hard to see if you're not looking for it because it happens so fast, I re-wound the dvd to see if I could spot what happened and I actually really wish I hadn't now. The angle Debbie twist & then snaps her ankle at was nearly as bad as what happened to Sid. Really uncomfortable to watch. Toyota tries to continue the match but Sakie quickly realised something wasn't right and gets her off her pretty fast. After what felt like forever but was probably only a few mins they get Debbie to the back and they decide to have the match continue 2 on 1. They go another 5 mins or so a good portion of which ends up being a disaster with tons of blown spots and awkwardness but you honestly can't blame them for not being into it after what happened earlier. Yamada puts an end to things with the diving enzu kick. It'd be over 8 years before Debbie would show up in wrestling again, making a 1 time return for Sakie's retirement show in ARSION.
Shimoda over Numata in 12:30
Bat & Watanabe over Ito & ? in 20:30
Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:57 PM
I'm not sure of the date on this one but I think it might be 1984. I've seen Dylan pimp Bock and Saito as a tag team and this match proves he right. They did some good heel work with the sleeper and screwing with the Ref. I also had no idea the Fabs were as over as they were here. You would have thought they were in Memphis or something? Good match that makes me look forward to the AWA set.
Posted 10 December 2011 - 05:17 PM
- Saemi Numata vs Masami Watanabe
5 minutes of the most excruciatingly boring wrestling you could ever see followed by 2 minutes of kind of ok decent stuff. Entirely skipable match. Numata wins with something I can't remember after watching 1 minute earlier and don't care enough to re-wind and check.
- Terri Power vs Etsuko Mita
Slightly better then the previous match in that it was more bland then boring. Simple match, mostly Mita in controll with the ocasional Terri stretch of offense from Terri who pins her win with a frankensteiner in 13 mins.
- (Midget Match) Mr.Buddhaman vs Tomezo Tsunokake
I was almost curious enough to check this out just to see if them working a house show match could possibly be worse then them working on the major shows but thankfully logic prevaled.
- Mima Shimoda vs Kaoru Ito
Ito vs any one of LCO is always a good pairing so the show finally picks up with this match. Goes to a 20 minute draw but manages to avoid many of the pitfalls most other matches that go to the distance avoid. There was a lot of mat work but it all felt organic and focused and both sold the submission atempts really well. They also did a good job of knowing when to pick up the pace with bigger highspots and nearfalls and then slow things back down without making it seem like they were stalling for time. Mita was especially fun playing the more agressive, cheating heel. Overall just a really good match that never draged or telegraphed the ending.
- Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue vs Bat Yoshinaga & Tomoko Watanabe
Guy taping things seemed a bit distracted during this so some stuff gets missed making it a bit hard to follow at times. Looked like a pretty decent match though, mostly Bat & Watanabe getting beat on. If nothing else Hotta & Bat kickin the snot out of each other always rules and there was a fair amount of that atleast and it's Hotta who takes her down w the Tiger Driver in the end.
- Suzuka Minami vs Kyoko Inoue
Pretty interesting match. The 1st 10 mins is almost entirely Kyoko stretching Suzuka almost to the point of overkill. It pays off however once Minami finally starts fighting back. She continues to put over the fatigue of the match but you also get a unique sense of intenisity from her, really cranking down on the holds and putting an extra little something behind the other moves as she goes for revenge on Inoue for everything that happened earlier which I got a kick out of. They rinse/repeat the 1st half of the match after that before going into the usual run of near falls at the finish ending after Kyoko misses her running back elbow setting her up for Suzuka to hit the diving senton to win. Pretty surprised at the result, by this time Suzuka was clearly on her way down the card and Kyoko had been getting pushed higher up top for a while but neither neither was at the point whear i'd call this an upset yet but with Kyoko getting a 3WA title match in a couple of days I thought for sure they'd protect her here. Really annoying fan in the crowd who was screaming "ME NA MEEE" for almost the entire time so i'm sure she was happy atleast. No particular part of this individually was anything special but by the end it all came together to form a pretty good match.
- Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa
All about Aja playing unstopable monster. Sakie would get beat up for a bit then Aja would come in to save her, punting ppl in the jaw, stiff chops, tossing bodies all over and all around smashing folks. Then after that Sakie would come in and pick the scraps, cool submissions and her usual bag of spin kicks and suplexes. Wasn't until the match turned into more of a brawl that Toyota & Yamada get the upper hand for a prolonged period of time. Yamada hauls off on Sakie with a bunch of kicks of her own, taking her out then tries to do the same to Aja with less success. They double team Aja and almost get her down but Sakie recovers enough to make the save. She ends up eating an accidental back fist from Aja however which knocks her out enough for Toyota to drop her with a suplex to win. Fun match to end the night. Aja smash always = enjoyable wrestling and Sakie was good in her role trying to keep up.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 03:09 PM
Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:24 PM
- Saemi Numata vs Masami Watanabe
Really really didn't need to see a re-match between these two. Slightly better then their match a week earlier, the early matwork was a little nicer atleast but still a pretty worthless matchup. Numata won with a shoulder block...yup....
- (3WA Midget Title) Little Frankie © vs Mr.Buddhaman
Why the freakin division that consisted of the same 3 midgets rotating in an eternal hellish loop is beyond me
- Mima Shimoda & Suzuki Minami vs Kaoru Ito & Terri Power
Terri was the weak link here, she's focused more on the basic stuff she can do well but in a long match like this it gets a bit repetitive after the billionth lariat or power slam. Still, that's a minor fault in an otherwise damn good match. 1st half was made up of the other 3 all working long FIP sections and the 2nd half was all action with Ito steping up for her team to carry the majority of the load. Another great showing vs Shimoda and she worked really well with Suzuka too as it came down to them for the last few mins with the others running interferance. Crazy sit out powerbomb from Suzuka on Ito ends it.
- Miori Kamiya Retirement Ceremony
Pretty big send off for someone who never rose past mid card status, you could def tell the fans & the promotion really had a lot of love for Kamiya. Kamiya gives a teary eyed farewell speach then the usual stuff that happens at these things follows. Lots of old faces show up including Mika Takahashi (looking like a 12 yr old with pigtails), Crane Yu, Lioness & Jaguar. Hokuto & Bull who were on tour in Meixco sent letters to be read. Hotta, Suzuka & Aja also give short speaches. Ito's last up and she nearly breaks down in tears too. Everyone else on the roster gives her flowers her way up the isle. Whole thing goes about 20 mins.
- Sakie Hasegawa vs Tomoko Watanabe
Really good match when it was just them trading holds back & forth. Dug the contrast as Sakie had the more skillful technique, lots of manuvering around from hold to hold whear as Wat was more raw and and simple in her approach. Down the stretch things fall a part a little bit as Sakie seems out of it for some reason, like either she got hurt or gassed out. They get back on track a bit once Sakie starts going for a bunch of STFs that the anouncers make sure to point out is in tribute to her partner Debbie. Fun spot a little later on as Wat teases superplexing her to the floor but Sakie reverses it. A few kicks and suplexes later she gets the win. Good match overall despite a few rough moments.
- Manami Toyota vs Takako Inoue
The big follow up from last months tag title match. Takako waste no time and jumps Toyota in the isle and they fight into the crowd. Toyota tries to take her out with a diving cross body off the stage but wipes out Numata instead, back near ringside Takako tries a dive of her own but takes out another young girl instead. Tak recovers quickly and follows by hauling off on Toyota with a big series of punches then just to be a jerk starts stomping on her hands and pulling hair once she's down. After that Tak makes the mistake of falling back into her old comfort zone, instead of continuing with more aggressive offense she goes back to her old standard of trying to controll the match with a bunch of submissions. She has some success at first but ultimately it fails her. Toyota gets controll of the match and we get a long stretch of her busting out a bunch of holds of her own and when I say her own I mean exclusively her own. At least 4 times during this part Toyota cranks on some strange hold i've never seen anyone do before and that I have no way of describing other then they look hurty as hell. I'm sure Toyota is a pretty clean living woman but if someone told me before some of her matches she liked to pop mushrooms injected with cafine and sprinkled with acid I wouldn't doubt them. It would explain so much Anyways, Tak eventually has enough of being made into a human pretzel and kicks Toyota in the chest a bunch of times to transition back in controll. Doesn't last long as Toyota counters a lariat attempt into the rolling cradle. Toyota hits a bunch of suplexs to follow up and Takako counters with a tombstone for 2 counts. Takako catches Toyota with a top rope choke slam for a mega near fall that wakes up the crowd who thought she had the win. Big Takako chant after that. Toyota getting desperate gets in string of suplexes, cradles and a moonsault all for 2. Last burst of offense from Tak sees her drop Toyota with a big backdrop suplex and then attempt a dragon but Toyota mule kicks out of it, hits 2 more moonsaults and then the JOCS to finally win. Awesome awesome match, between this, the Kyoko match in Jan and the big tags w Hotta, Takako has by far been the standout wrestler of the 1st quarter of 93 as her evolution continues to be one of the most interesting things to follow in joshi. Match had myself and the fans thear really hoping she'd FINALLY be able to get that big win to prove herself but again, she comes close only to fails and be left looking dejected.
- Bat Yoshinaga & Yumiko Hotta vs Toshiyo Yamada & Etsuko Mita
Cool to see Dream Orca reuiniting for the first time in a while here, Hotta & Bat teaming on the other hand always feels wrong, like they really should have been booked as mortal enemies for all eternity. Early portion of this sees Mita getting brutalized with kicks by both. The beating goes on for a while until you're just begging for her to fight back. When Yamada finally does come in she can't do much either. Eventually Mita & Yamada get their act together and start showing some fire. Funny bit sees everyone trading the camel clutch - punt spot back & forth. Finishing stretch is fun, the usual stuff you'd exspect from these 4. Mita eats an accidental kick from Yamada and a Hotta pyramid driver finishes her off. Nothing special overall but a pretty good match.
- Aja Kong vs Kyoko Inoue
So apparently this isn't a title match afterall which it's mistakenly listed as on a lot of tape trading sites, guess this does explain Kyoko getting jobed out a week ago. Still, even as a non title this feels like a really big affair. It's the first major singles match of Aja's reign and the first major singles between these two. Amusing bit early on as the crowds cheering on Kyoko so Aja just glares at them until they shut up. Kyoko tries to start fast but Aja shuts her down pretty quick then goes into her usual routine of grinding ppl down. Kyoko learns the very very very valuable lesson that you shouldn't slap Aja Kong in the face or she will short arm punch you so hard you'll almost cry. Aja's strategy of wearing her down pays off once Kyoko starts to fight back as she's visibly worn down and can't really put a string of stuff together allowing Aja to easily counter attack. Aja smells blood and goes for the kill at this point and turns the match into a brawl, Kyoko tries whiping Kong into the crowd but that only really seems to piss Aja off more and she quickly gets revenge for that. Down the stretch Kyoko continues to do an awesome job putting over the fatigue of the match. She fails to get Aja up for the romero stretch, she goes for a suplex and can't pull that off either. Kyoko tries to do one of her springboard elbows off the ropes but Aja catches her mid move and dumps her with a release german in one of the coolest moments i've seen in a while. Kyoko still keeps fighting back and uses all her strength to get Aja up for the Niagra Driver but only gets 2, she trys for a 2nd but has no energy left. A big uraken and diving elbow from Aja later it's over. Really great match, even though most of what i've talked about was the beating Kyoko took she got in enough of her fair share. Really good job of putting over Aja as an absolute monster without making Kyoko look so bad you couldn't buy her at this lvl or think she had no chance of winning. Post match Aja calls everyone in the ring for a big team rally as they get ready for war vs the world at Dreamslam.
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