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#21 Jetlag

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 02:13 AM

She has, but she hasn't shown up on my comp yet. Her first appearance is in 1999. Can't find her debut match online either, sadly.

 

Semi Finals of the ZION Tournament

 

Ayako Hamada vs. Mikiko Futagami (8/31)

 

Pretty much a move exhibition where they cram as much as possible into a sub 5 minute match. There were a few swank moves and counters and the execution was good, so, this gets the Full Worldwide Point. Mikiko kind of works like a WCW PowerPlant guy in this meaning she busts out all kind of cool random stuff while Ayako sticks to her game lucha offense.

 

Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Ohmukai (8/31)

 

Finally Yoshida gets a break from having to wrestle big, heavy opponents. This was worked the same as Fukawa/Ohmukai but better because Yoshida always adds a certain uncooperativeness and all these awesome takedowns and mat transitions to a match. Ohmukai wants to play reckless kicker and Yoshida just mangles her legs on the mat. One of the things I like aboutYoshida is that she always maneuvers around and changes positions so her opponent can't get the ropes. Other wrestler will just sit there and let the guy crawl to safety, not so easy with Yoshida. Not that Ohmukai sold any of that, but man I don't even care. Match was short, to the point, and Yoshida looked like a beast.



#22 Jetlag

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 02:24 AM

Finals of the Tournament

 

Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada (8/31)

 

Lil Ayako upset two established wrestlers in the previous rounds. Yoshida just destroyed Ohmukai. What can the Super Rookie do against the Spider Lady? Well, not much, really. This was basically a rookie squash, but damn what a world class match. Yoshida was just dominating Hamada on the ground here. Absolutely nothing Hamada tried looked easy to get in on Yoshida, and that was a big part of the greatness of the match. Especially after watching Ayako in all these spotty matches. Not even her whacky Hamada Special move worked on Yoshida. The moments where she actually slips past Yoshida and catches here are something else, making this a damn great match for a 17 year old girl in her 4th pro wrestling match ever. Also, because Hamada had won the previous tournament match with a flash rollup, all of her rollups here were great nearfalls. After the match they carry off Hamada's corpse while Yoshida hasn't even broken a sweat. What a fabulous wrestler.

 

Ayako Hamada/Tiger Dream vs. Yumi Fukawa/Michiko Ohmukai (Tag League, 10/7)

 

The mysterious Tiger Dream makes her first appearance! (in this review series) My oh my, I wonder who that chunky, pink haired flyer girl could be? It was of course Candy Okutsu who wrestled pretty much like she always does except with 2 or 3 Tiger Mask spots added and she did the legendary Tiger Mask bouncing around. She did the Tiger Feint Kick before she put on the mask anyways. Given how she would go back to just being Candy soon after this I guess the gimmick was merely an excuse to stick her in shiny pants that gave Yoshida's leather grappler outfit a run for it's money in therms of sauciness. As for the match it was clipped to shit and looked like a spotfest. I will see that ARSION spotfests are much more fun than regular spotfests because they have these swank twisty lucha ranas followed by Fukawa rocking it on the mat.

 

Rie Tamada/Hiromi Yagi vs. Tiger Dream/Ayako Hamada (Twinstar Tag Final, 12/7)

 

We move straight to the finals. And also the first appearance of Hiromi Yagi! Apparently in ARSION she was mostly used in tags in 1998, which is a bit of shame because she was pure gold here. She was a feisty harpy cladded in leopard fur and did all these brilliant swank moves, including a chickenwing style suplex and chokehold that really need to be stolen. Watching this match, I was wondering if Arsion with it's reintroduction of lucha into the joshi style was merely a return to those early 80s Jaguar Yokota tags which are heavy on lucha. Because they do all this flying around and ranas and you have Hamada doing headbutts like her Papa, and between that they go into all these brilliant mat scrambles and takedowns and it's just a rush to watch. Of course being it's ARSION the swank lucha rollups lead into shootstyle submissions and legbars and what not. For all you psychology nerds Tamada and Yagi do some fierce isolation work on the plucky babyfaces here, leading to a series of dizzying double teams that actually lead to the finish. Didn't really matter to me because the wrestling on display here was fantastic, breath taking, inspiring, what have you. The first great ARSION tag I've watched so far.



#23 El-P

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 05:29 AM

They made kind of a big deal with Candy being "trained" by Sayama before she debuted the Tiger Dream gimmick, but she was just awkward with it, not at ease with the requisite Tiger spots. It shows how lucha influenced ARSION was (and was gonna be even more in the months to come).

 

Hiromi Yagi in ARSION. A wet dream of any respectable JWP fan. Yagi will bring more awesomeness in 1999. And yes, she had the style too.

 

Where the hell are my tapes ?!



#24 Jetlag

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 01:13 AM

Rie Tamada/Hiromi Yagi vs. Michiko Ohmukai/Yumi Fukawa (ARSION Tag Titles 12/18)

 

Uhm... I'm starting to think my brain isn't big enough to process this kind of match. I didn't like the offensive choices in the beginning of the match (X-Factors and Flying Clotheslines and so on). Then the match just kind of went into a spiral. Lots of unpredictable twists and turns, partner interferences and all that. There was one nifty Yagi/Fukawa exchange that I could sink my teeth into, and Ohmukai countered Tamada's Rolling Elbow by punching her in the face at one point. They play off the previous Tag Final match, and I liked some of the stuff near the end. The dead crowd didn't help either. I'll leave it to the joshi experts to judge this match.

 

Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (12/18)

 

Aja Kong: abuses children and gets paid for it. This goes pretty much like you expect it to go. Aja slaps Ayako around a bunch and steps on her bad arm while looking unimpressed by Ayako's feeble offensive attempts. Hamada uses her agility to survive and it builds to Ayako landing increasingly bigger spots on Aja. It develops into a quite good match, even if a little by the numbers and you've seen it a thousand times from Aja before. The thing that sets it apart is that Ayako hits some spots vastly beyond the ability of most wrestler. Ayako didn't have the sharp offense she would develop later to combat a monster like Aja, making the match feel even more one sided. She gave a spirited selling performance, that's for sure. By the end she looked as if pushed beyond her tolerance point but just wouldn't quit.

 

Mariko Yoshida vs. Candy Okutsu (Queen of ARSION Title, 12/18)

 

ARSION with a big title match to close out the year. Candy is back as Candy and debugs another ridiculous outfit. Her necklace even seemed to be giving her trouble. I don't wanna mock any further, because for a match that has a tasseled cowgirl in it this had some super matwork. Candy can handle herself with Yoshida, but it became fast apparent that Candy would want to take this match into a standing position while Yoshida always goes back to the mat no matter what. Candy did a bunch of popping up and got all her shit in while Yoshida tried 7,000 different submissions on her until she got the right one. I mean, it was all high end, innovative work, but a little bloated and felt a little too much like a showcase for both girls rather than a title match. Props to Yoshida however as she was utterly stellar once again.

 

So that's it for 1998! To say ARSION has achieved a lot would be an understatement. They introduced all these wrestlers in their new characters, established it's own style (including educating the audience on submissions), made good use of tournaments and upset wins and delivered a whole bunch of good matches. Earth to indy wrestling promoters: this is how you establish your new company.

 

Best ARSION Matches of 1998

  1. Yumi Fukawa vs. Michiko Ohmukai (4/11)

  2. Mikiko Futagami vs. Rie Tamada (8/31)

  3. Mariko Yoshida vs. Rie Tamada (4/17)

  4. Rie Tamada/Hiromi Yagi vs. Tiger Dream/Ayako Hamada (Twinstar Tag Final, 12/7)

  5. Reggie Bennett vs. Mariko Yoshida (8/31)

  6. Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada (8/31)

  7. Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (6/21)

  8. Aja Kong vs. Michiko Ohmukai (2/18)

  9. Mariko Yoshida vs. Candy Okutsu (Queen of ARSION Title, 12/18)

  10. Yumi Fukawa vs. Candy Okutsu (2/18)

  11. Reggie Bennett vs. Mariko Yoshida (5/5)

  12. Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami (5/5)

  13. Candy Okutsu vs. Mikiko Futagami (4/17)

  14. Michiko Ohmukai vs. Rie Tamada (8/9)

  15. Mariko Yoshida vs. Michiko Ohmukai (8/31)

  16. Mikiko Futagami vs. Michiko Ohmukai (7/21)

  17. Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (12/18)

  18. Rie Tamada vs. Candy Okutsu (5/5)

  19. Yumi Fukawa vs. Rie Tamada (7/21)



#25 Jetlag

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 01:53 AM

Mariko Yoshida vs. Mika Akino (1/17)

 

And here is AKINO in her first appearance on the set. Feels a little weird to watch this tiny young girl pop up in a title match less than a year after her debut, , but I ain't complaining! Pretty boss match for what it is. You can totally see the pet project thing with Akino. She wasn't a mat genius or anything, but she gets to survive Yoshida for a while and gets to impress with all these swank. Yoshida pretty much takes her apart twisting from one outlandish submission into another, while Akino goes for rope climbing spots and dives that a rookie really shouldn't be doing. A little robotic from Akino at times she couldn't hit everything cleanly, but her selling was solid enough and Yoshida is stellar just doing all this nifty stuff for 15 minutes. Y'know, I think if there's one thing missing from current junior weight wrestling it's this kind of SWANK. Yes yes I know they do all kinds of crazy spots and dives and 2.99999999999 counts and whatnot, but I can't name a single wrestler active in 2017 as swanky as Yoshida. Maybe Virus or Solar or some other luchador, but nobody elsewhere. I mean look at all these preposterous, twisty leg hooking holds! That fucking wristclutch throw she did just out of nowhere! People talk about DG being spectacular, but fuck that. A basic sweep from Yoshida is spectacular.

 

Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi (2/18)

 

I've seen this match before and felt it was great. But watching all this stuff now has changed my whole outlook on this bout. Proof that sometimes context is everything. We've seen Mariko demolish everybody else on the mat, and everyone tries to beat her standing. But here's Yagi. Hiromi Yagi, in this match, feels like the lost great female worker. Like we all fantasybook Tamon Honda to go to BattlARTS or Carl Greco in U-Style, here is Yagi, an unusual worker in her home promotion, going into an environment that fits her perfectly, and blooming. Nobody was able to do shit to Yoshida on the mat, until Hiromi Yagi came to town. Even the opening move makes sense now: Yoshida catches Yagi and drops her, and this match is business as usual right? Well not tonight, because Yagi goes back in and proceeds to put the fear of god into Yoshida. Yoshida would show weakness and Yagi would throw herself at her, Yoshida would try a move and Yagi would get her into trouble like no one before. Not only can Yagi hang on the mat, she can win. Suddenly all of Yoshida's sweeps and grounding aren't working. Yoshida would go to the mat, and suddenly she would be the one in trouble. The bandaged arm didn't even seem that important now. In a way, knowing that made the lulls/slow parts better as the bout had a type of tension building that I don't recall seeing in many other matches. Now I understand the crowd reaction when Yoshida escapes that armbar but doesn't engage further. For the first time, Yoshida doesn't want to be on the mat anymore. They do a tremendous job teasing the big throws, and Yagi ends up meeting her tragedy. No wonder she didn't want to shake hands after the match.

 

Unbelievable, mindblowing, truely great contest. I've loved it before but now it's in my canon of untouchable superclassics. The swank moves, slick matwork were present as before, but the story that the match told has now been elevated in my mind. Hiromi Yagi, what an astounding young lady.



#26 El-P

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 04:44 AM

Well, I told so so. ;)

 

Cool to see some Yoshida love in 2016. I feel like hearing myself 17 years go, in an odd way.



#27 Jetlag

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 01:00 AM

Hikari Fukuoka/Mikiko Futagami vs. Aja Kong/Candy Okutsu (3/16)

 

We get to see Fukuoka praying before the match while dressed like a cowboy. Uhm... wasn't Fukuoka a former JWP champ at this point? I guess she got to showcase her spots a bit in this match, but other than that didn't seem much special. She bit Candy in the foot at one point. This was a weird match, it wasn't boring or terrible or anything, but there was not much engrossing about the action. There were also a few blown spots. There was some hard hitting early on, and the sections with Aja and Futagami were solid, but, uh... it started to feel like a move exhibition at some point. It was slow, and there were transitions so not a hyperactive type move exhibit. Aja for some reason did a lot of stooging and gets played like a fool a bunch of times... yeah that was interesting. Futagami does a cool tilt a whirl gutbuster thing... hey Cesaro should steal that. And she ended the match with a nice backfist/shotai combo. Candy and Fukuoka each did about 40 top rope moves. Yeah.

 

Candy Okutsu/Ai Fujita vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (4/14)

 

The first appearance of the HamAKINO pair. Also the first appearance of the impossibly perky Ai Fujita, another name that has fallen into obscurity. Candy is quickly starting to annoy me with her tendency to do every top rope move 3 times in a row. When this wasn't Candy hitting her 38th moonsault, it was quite good. The other 3 work this kind of quasi lucharesu style, and they kept it nice and interesting. All the flying, fancy submissions and rollups looked polished and served a purpose. Candy thankfully didn't do much making this match feel like a showcase for the 3 promising workers illustrating how far they've come. The finish further underlines this.

 

Mariko Yoshida vs. Mikiko Futagami (4/14)

 

Jesus CHRIST! The next match that really grows in my estimation through the power of context. So we saw Yoshida destroy all comers. Futagami has no chance, right? Unlike Yagi or Bennett Futagami really doesn't have any overwelming advantage. But Futagami is like this mad wrestling improvisation artist. Crafty and unpredictable! And she ends up giving Yoshida a run for her money. There was not a ton of matwork (who would want to go to the mat with Yoshida at this point), but every single exchange here felt unique and special. Yoshida just goes to kill Mikiko the whole time and Mikiko keeps making up exit doors from nothing like she is a cartoon mouse being chased by at cartoon lawn mower. Not only was the wrestling great, but the timing and selling was brilliantly tricked out. I mean, that is not an easy thing to do when you have these lengthy submission attempts, and the teases and nearfalls were among the best I've ever seen, including one of the hardest struggles for a rope break ever caught on film. They also told the story through their facial expressions, perhaps moreso than in any other match before. By the end Futagami looks mentally scarred, she has made up all this shit and nothing is working, while Yoshida just has a pissed off look on her face and goes for the Air Raid Crash in frustration. It even makes me want to forgive some of the no selling. Brilliant, swanky, unique match. ARSION is on fire.



#28 El-P

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 05:21 AM

Hikari Fukuoka/Mikiko Futagami vs. Aja Kong/Candy Okutsu (3/16)

 

We get to see Fukuoka praying before the match while dressed like a cowboy. Uhm... wasn't Fukuoka a former JWP champ at this point? I guess she got to showcase her spots a bit in this match, but other than that didn't seem much special. She bit Candy in the foot at one point. This was a weird match, it wasn't boring or terrible or anything, but there was not much engrossing about the action. There were also a few blown spots. There was some hard hitting early on, and the sections with Aja and Futagami were solid, but, uh... it started to feel like a move exhibition at some point. It was slow, and there were transitions so not a hyperactive type move exhibit. Aja for some reason did a lot of stooging and gets played like a fool a bunch of times... yeah that was interesting. Futagami does a cool tilt a whirl gutbuster thing... hey Cesaro should steal that. And she ended the match with a nice backfist/shotai combo. Candy and Fukuoka each did about 40 top rope moves. Yeah.

 

From memory it was one of Fukuoka's last matches. She had a neck injury and retired not too long after that. It was a part of her retirement tour, so she'd work with her old friend Candy, who herself retired once (an amazing thing to see BTW, Candy's retirement in JWP) before coming back in ARSION. SO if it felt like an exhibition of moves, it's because that's basically what it was, as a way to say goodbye. Fukuoka had the sickest finisher ever, the insane moonsault footstomp. I really enjoyed that girl. And yeah, Candy was getting a bit annoying at that point.

 

Fujita never developped into a complete worker from what I remember, but she sure had a look to her. Liked her too.

 

Ah, that Yoshida vs Futagami match was a MOTYC to me back then.



#29 Codysseus

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 06:36 AM

Awesome thread! I love the little I've seen of Yoshida, looking forward to taking the deep dive.



#30 Microstatistics

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:23 PM

Yoshida's 1999 run is pretty insane. ARSION, BattlARTS and RINGS are the saving graces of late 90s pro wrestling. 



#31 Jetlag

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 04:24 AM

Okay, the Fukuoka match makes a lot more sense now. She did get in her Moonsault Doublestomp, and also the Rider Kick. Another great move.

 

ARS Tournament 99 Round 1

 

Hiromi Yagi vs. Rie Tamada (5/4)

 

Tag team partners do battle! They even wore matching outfits to emphasize that. This was all cool as they did all these nifty standing exchanges, and Yagi wasn't playing nice at all and ruthlessly went for Tamada's bandaged leg, leading to some real drama in the last few minutes. Fine as hell 8 minute match.

 

Mariko Yoshida vs. Yumi Fukawa (5/4)

 

Yoshida just got taken to the limit by Yagi, now she faces Fukawa, who doesn't have the judo throws but uses a similiar armbar-centric moveset. And Yoshida still has a weakened arm, so Fukawa goes out of her way to try every armbar in the book on her. Pretty excellent match for what it is. Fukawa's crazy flying armbars always come across as desperate, and every choke Yoshida busts out looks like a potential match ender. I give them a ton of credit for keeping this kind of match so interesting: it wasn't your-turn-my-turn, they would use eachother's momentums against eachother, and Fukawa gets to look great in the process. I also have to say the booking in this company is pretty damn smart, keeping all the rollups and submissions over as potential finishers. I love a promotion that threats rollups and submissions as special.

 

Mikiko Futagami vs. Michiko Ohmukai (5/4)

 

Another fun match in the WCW syndicated way. Futagami continues to bring the personality and the nifty shooty offense to make things special, and Ohmukai has a bunch of fun ways to kick her in the head. Ungodly finishing sequence here. Not a flawless bout but a fun way to spend 6 minutes. Impressive how they could stuff so much into such a short match while making it never feel rushed.

 

Candy Okutsu vs. Aja Kong (5/4)

 

Candy beats Aja with a roll up in less than 6 minutes. Match was far inferior to the previous 6 minute match. On paper this looks like a fine monster vs. Flyer match, but it had zero drama due to Candy being at her most obnoxious. Really nothing to see here.



#32 El-P

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 05:14 AM

That Yoshida vs Fukawa match is still the best 10 minutes match I've ever seen. It was such a cult match in our little circle back then.

 

Yeah, Candy was all obnoxious and shit at this point. I do wonder if her back injury that forced her to retire from JWP didn't come back to haunt her after her first year in ARSION where she worked extra hard though. Because she changed her style with more coasting and more bullshit and retired again in early 2001.

 

I need to find a working VCR sometime… Really cool thread and see some ARSION love in 2016. (yeah, I'm repeating myself, but I'm old)



#33 Jetlag

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:30 PM

Semi Finals of the Tournament

 

Mariko Yoshida vs. Hiromi Yagi (5/4)

 

Re-take of their classic from February. Yagi even wears the same outfit as if to intimidate her opponent. Yoshida is wounded from the previous match against Fukawa, and Yagi pounces on her arm from the beginning. For a match that is „another piece“ in the rivalry this was great in it's own right. Yoshida does some really great selling, including contorting her body in crazy fashion to avoid the armbar, and strategic adjustments when she realizes she is too damaged to do her signatures properly, so modifies a few leg submissions so she can do them without using her arms. Pretty great stuff and shows she could do more than just lock in spectacular submissions. Yoshida had been nigh invulnerable before, and even with her not being at 100% they do a fantastic job making you wonder if Yagi can really do the impossible and beat her. Hard to do that kind of that match that keeps you guessing, but they did it here. Another match that was helped by the booking, as the previous tournament matches had established a match can end at anytime.

 

Michiko Ohmukai vs. Candy Okutsu (5/4)

 

Candy has really done a number in 1999, making me hate her and her bullshit moonsaults. I just wanted Ohmukai to flip out and bash her brains in. And bah gawd she actually did it! Uranage, Solebutt, 1, 2, 3 and it's over.



#34 Jetlag

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 01:52 AM

Finals of the Tournament

 

Michiko Ohmukai vs. Hiromi Yagi (5/4)

 

Yagi just went through a war against Yoshida, not mention her partner in the 1st round. Ohmukai hasn't even done 7 minutes of wrestling that night. This was Ohmukai's kicks and bombs vs. Yagi's flash submissions. Yagi was really the story of the match, as she tried her darndest to beat Yoshika in the Semis and now had to do it again against the fresher, bigger Ohmukai. Fine bout, altough Ohmukai is nowhere near as good as Yoshida at selling submission nearfalls.

 

Rie Tamada/Hiromi Yagi © vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (Twinstar of Arsion Tag Titles, 6/30)

 

The Hamada/Akino story continues. Hard for me to say how good this was exactly – the match had a nice pace, was unpredictable, and everything was hit nicely (aside from Akino falling on her head one time), so I'd say it was good. Hamada and Akino were the story of the match because D'aaaawww look at these little puppies going for the big gold! Akino has some pretty intricate rope climbing moves and Ayako looks like total star material at this point. I'm a little grumpy at the lack of cool matwork and Yagi, however.

 

Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Yumi Fukawa/Rie Tamada (7/25)

 

Las Cachorras Orientales enter. God lord how tall are LCO? Or, how short are Fukawa and Tamada? I suspect Mita is like 5'6, but she looked like Kevin Nash next to the other two. And this was kind of worked like Kevin Nash & Scott Hall vs. Dean Malenko & Billy Kidman. Or one of these NOAH opening tags were a pair of old geezers annoy two rookies. Except uhm, it was kind of... good? LCO's uncooperativeness added a lot to the match as it actually meant something when Fukawa and Tamada got a move in on them. Match was worked slow and stayed in the ring and was shockingly efficient for what it was, drawing big reactions from the crowd. It's crazy that Fukawa's flash armbars can still be this exciting after she has done nothing else for so many matches. Credit to LCO, I knew they were capable wrestler before, but they were perfect here in a completely different way than I'm used to.



#35 El-P

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 04:26 AM

Las Cachorras Orientales enter. God lord how tall are LCO? Or, how short are Fukawa and Tamada?

 

Fukawa is a tiny woman.

 

LCO working ARSION was my favourite tag team getting into my favourite promotion. And did it pay off big time at the end of the year !



#36 Jetlag

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 09:46 AM

Sky Tournament 99

 

First Round Matches

 

Ayako Hamada vs. Tiger Dream (7/25)

 

A flyer's tournament! Kinda mean to separate the flyers from the grapplers, especially considering how awesome Hamada vs. Yoshida was before. This was clipped to shit. The editors still made sure we got to see Tiger Dream falling on her face trying a move. Classy there. Other than that it looked like a solid match. Ayako's always doing something nifty, and there was an impressive spinning headscissor type move. All the high spots looked great. And Ayako easily wins this with her impossibly convoluted, but always neatly applied Ayakita Special Move. Ayako Hamada 1999 Megapush continues.

 

Mari Apache vs. Ring Star (7/25)

 

Match only goes 5 minutes, and they show about 40 seconds of it. Ring Star is some mexican with good execution. The some of this match: swank armdrag and dives, Mari throws bombs and it was done. Full worldwide etc.

 

Mika Akino vs. Gami Metal (7/25)

 

Gami Metal is Futagami in a cheap mask, working kind of quasi-comedic heel, adding a little more character to this match to the previous two. They showed a little more of this match so you could get a sense of it. Some unusual moves, altough execution wasn't top.

 

Ai Fujita vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25)

 

ARSION really has fully turned into WCW Worldwide. Asari is the girl who did all the weird flips in some AJW tags and once had her nose broken by Aja Kong on Raw. Probably the most prolific name in the tournament. On the other hand, Ai Fujita had the 450 Splash, one of the hottest moves in wrestling at the time. This was all FLIPS and DIVES and also the first match they showed in somewhat full. They kept it together, and the match ended up being cool. Full worldwide point.



#37 Jetlag

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 03:58 PM

Semi Finals of the Sky Tournament

 

Ayako Hamada vs. Mari Apache (7/25)

 

I am stupidly excited for this match. It's the kids of Gran Hamada and Gran Apache battling it out, how can it not be cool? And this match really was that. I imagine some of the exchanges here weren't much different from what their papas would do. The flying and armdrags and dives and all that were above what your average tape watching indy yokel could do. Really graceful, swank and intricate stuff. They hit the mat aswell. Because Mari is chunky, her busting out a fast takedown or twisting around looks double cool. This pretty much ruled.

 

Mika Akino vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25)

 

Another nifty match. Less armdrags, more flash submissions vs. headscissors and pins type of match. Gotta give them huge credits for putting this stylistic cocktail together so well. Some creative spots and exchanges here, and they actually had me guessing who could take the victory home. Akino is the „project“ and seemed highly confident, but Asari didn't let the shooter walk all over her.



#38 El-P

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 04:29 PM

The Sky tournament was the realization that Mari Apache was cool as hell. ASARI also never looked better than during this freelance stint (I believe she had left Zenjo at this point and was working regularly with Yagi in MPro cards around that time too).



#39 Jetlag

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 06:22 AM

Finals of the SKY Tournament

 

Mari Apache vs. Chaparrita ASARI (7/25)

 

Another match that was enhanced by context. Mari has the skill and power advantage and the bombs to put anyone away, but Asari can win via flash pin. Could have been a little more grand, but what we got was fun and made me want to go back and check out more Mari as she has good execution, nice matwork, snug clotheslines, the whole deal. Another swank match. Seems that the title will be mostly used for these types of bouts, which is a nice change from the usual shoot submissions and suplex moves deal in ARSION, but I hope they do a little more with it than just Worldwide matches.

 

Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (8/6)

 

They only show 10 minutes of a 20 minute match. Weird considering it's a title match. What was shown was really good, though. Yoshida's submissions vs. Kong's hard hitting and power moves. Adds some new touches to their 1998 encounter. Great timing and they both do some quality selling to add to it. Feels like a MOTYC if we had the first half – still a great clip.



#40 Jetlag

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 01:51 PM

ZION Tournament 1999

 

First Round Matches

 

Michiko Ohmukai vs. Rie Tamada (8/22)

 

Short match that they clip. Still get the gist of it – mostly Ohmukai kicking the dogshit out of Tamada. The action was fun, but pretty inconsequential. I don't mind these spotty matches because they are kept short.

 

Hiromi Yagi vs. Aja Kong (8/22)

 

About 40 seconds of a 5 minute match shown. This actually annoyed me as what was shown looked quite good. They worked a sprint with a few unique spots. Aja wins with a fucking Magistral Cradle and the mistreatment of Hiromi Yagi continues.

 

Mima Shimoda vs. Yumi Fukawa (8/22)

 

This matchup was interesting due to the previous LCO vs. Fukawa/Tamada tag being so different. However, it didn't have the same allure going for it as Fukawa pretty easily controlled Shimoda most of the match with her flash armbars. They still manage to build some drama for the finish. Solid bout.

 

Mikiko Futagami vs. Rie Tamada (8/22)

 

They show Tamada, Yagi and Fukawa pulling straws and Rie gets another shot in the tournament. This was another clipped sprint. Futagami chokes Tamada out. Kind of pointless.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ARSION, joshi, 90s, Yumi Fukawa, Aja Kong, Rie Tamada, Mikiko Futagami, GAMI, Mariko Yoshida, Hiromi Yagi, AKINO, Ayako Hamada

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