The Big Stupid List of Great ARSION Matches
Yumi Fukawa vs. Michiko Ohmukai (4/11)
Mikiko Futagami vs. Rie Tamada (8/31)
Mariko Yoshida vs. Rie Tamada (4/17)
Rie Tamada/Hiromi Yagi vs. Tiger Dream/Ayako Hamada (Twinstar Tag Final, 12/7)
Reggie Bennett vs. Mariko Yoshida (8/31)
Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada (8/31)
Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (6/21)
Aja Kong vs. Michiko Ohmukai (2/18)
Mariko Yoshida vs. Candy Okutsu (Queen of ARSION Title, 12/18)
Yumi Fukawa vs. Candy Okutsu (2/18)
Reggie Bennett vs. Mariko Yoshida (5/5)
Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami (5/5)
Candy Okutsu vs. Mikiko Futagami (4/17)
Michiko Ohmukai vs. Rie Tamada (8/9)
Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Ohmukai (8/31)
Mikiko Futagami vs. Michiko Ohmukai (7/21)
Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (12/18)
Rie Tamada vs. Candy Okutsu (5/5)
Yumi Fukawa vs. Rie Tamada (7/21)
Best ARSION Matches of 1999
1. Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi (2/18)
2. Etsuko Mita/Mima Shimoda vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (12/11)
3. Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami (4/14)
4. Yumi Fukawa vs. Mariko Yoshida (9/26)
5. Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi (5/4)
6. Mariko Yoshida vs. Mika Akino (1/17)
7. Mariko Yoshida vs. Yumi Fukawa (5/4)
8. Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (8/6)
9. Mikiko Futagami vs. Michiko Ohmukai (5/4)
10. Ayako Hamada vs. Mari Apache (7/25)
11. Mari Apache vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25)
12. Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Yumi Fukawa/Rie Tamada (7/25)
13. Mika Akino vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25)
Comprehensive list of the Best ARSION matches of 2000. The really good stuff is in bold.
Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (Queen of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo)
Chapparita Asari vs. Mika Akino (Sky High of Arsion Title, 12/3/00 Tokyo)
Ayako Hamada vs. Mariko Yoshida (Arsion ZION Tournament Finals 10/17)
Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (ZION Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 10/17/00 Tokyo)
Ayako Hamada vs. Mika Akino (SKY Tournament II Final, 7/16/00 Tokyo)
Mika Akino vs. Mary Apache (SKY Tournament II Semi-Finals, 7/16/00 Tokyo)
Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (8/18/00 Tokyo)
Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask IV (P*MIX Grand Prix Semi-Finals, 6/29/00)
Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask vs. Chapparita Asari/Great Sasuke (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/24/00)
Yumi Fukawa/Minoru Tanaka vs. Mariko Yoshida/Alexander Otsuka (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/7/00)
Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (ARS Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 5/7 Tokyo)
Michiko Omukai & Mima Shimoda vs Aja Kong & Mariko Yoshida (ARSION 04/07/00)
Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Faby Apache/Gran Apache (4/7)
Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino vs. Aja Kong/Mariko Yoshida (2/18)
ARSION is such an interesting fed. Pretty much the joshi equivalent of BattlARTS with it's crossover style and tiny roster that they had to use efficiently. With this fed you get the ace run of the mighy Mariko Yoshida, a period of the work or Aja Kong or Lioness Asuka that doesn't get talked about much, and a handful of unexplored workers like Futagami or Rie Tamada that deserve some recognition.
For this project I will go through the Best Of Arsion comp that is floating around and post my Top Matches for each year after finishing. Yes I know that's cherrypicking but for now I want to get the essence of it (judge a style by the best matches it produced etc) and compare to high end BattlARTS/RINGS/UWFi etc. If you know any essential ARSION that's not on the comp feel free to drop a comment.
Yumi Fukawa vs. Candy Okutsu (2/18)
The first ARSION match. It is a very appropriate debut match. They mix the traditional joshi with lucharesu and tricked out submission work, and the whole thing has the flair of two overzealous young workers going all out to show the world especially with the bomb throwing at the end and Fukawa hitting those face-shattering moonsaults that nearly KO'd Candy. I give them a ton of credit because they really delivered a good match that sets the tone. They kept going back to the submissions and really had a hard fought battle to the very end that the crowd got into. Can't remember the last time I watched a „young workers showing the world“ match on this level. Side note, a Cagematch user mentioned that he went to a few ARSION shows and he felt that many guys there went for the pretty workers and the „product“ (apparently Arsion had lots of quality mags, posters etc. for sell) and not the wrestling, so Arsion matches had not as much heat as GAEA. It's not hard to see why especially with Okutsu wearing a ridiculous outfit that made her butt look gigantic but to their credit the wrestling was top notch and on the level of the presentation.
Aja Kong vs. Michiko Ohmukai (2/18)
Michiko Ohmukai was this skinny girl with supermodel looks who worked like Daisuke Ikeda. I have no idea why she's not famous. She threw all those reckless kicks and impressive suplexes and was like a magic ingredient for matches that made everything crazier. Here she slaps Aja right at the bell and Aja just smirks at her and then Ohmukai starts dropping her with those 50 yards football kicks. Hell of an opening for a match. They get into a slugfest like this fucking BattlARTS or WAR and I am in love with this. Then they settle down a little with Aja dominating on the mat through size and Ohmukai trying to topple her. I think Aja was kind of mailing it in in Arsion which is such a disappointment but this match hit all the right spots and was really good stuff like it always is when Aja has someone to work with who brings the fight to her.
Aja Kong/Yumi Fukawa/Michiko Ohmukai vs. Candy Okutsu/Rie Tamada/Mikiko Futagami (2/18)
They end the debut show with a chaotic fast tag team match where everyone runs in and hits their stuff. Kind of pointless main event as the previous matches had done a good enough job to establish everyone, but I guess they had to work around having such a tiny roster to work with. Everyone has had matches before that evening so the execution wasn't at 100% anymore. Fukawa almost fell on her head doing an asai moonsault and then hit another reckless one inside the ring like a lunatic. Aja had solid interactions with everyone and I always get a kick out of watching Futagami work, but this wasn't much.
Mariko Yoshida vs. Rei Tamada (4/17)
WOAH! Apparently this was the debut match of Mariko in ARSION. I was expecting something good, but this was far more than a formative bout. Rei Tamada, for a name that never gets dropped, looked damn impressive. The bout was built around establishing Yoshida's new, signature style, and her focus was to take it to the mat no matter what. Tamada was far more than a piece of luggage for Yoshida to chuck around, however. Tamada could roll on the mat and I really liked her determination to get the match into standing position. I want to emphasize the standing exchanges here were also really good. Tamada hit a mean elbow and tried her darndest to cut Yoshida of, who rolled one submission counter after another out of her sleeve. Even some of the fancier lightweight moves landed as if to shut a door. It created a kind of intensity that I really love in a wrestling match and this was just an absolutely fabulous contest.
3 real hits out of 4 so far. Pretty damn good start for the project. Stay tuned & maybe come out of the woodwork and comment if you are an old ARSION superfan.