Yumi Fukawa vs. Rie Tamada (ARS Tournament '00 Prelim Round, 5/7 Tokyo)
Another tourament! Tamada has grown wild old locks and acts all devilish now! MORE CLIPPED WRESTLING! Fukawa armbars in a flash! Tamada armbars her back and for a bit you remember what made ARSION work so well in the first place. I noticed Tamada's sleeves have an Anaconda pattern, but instead of crushing submissions she's all rolling elbows and tornado DDTs. This was okay – all 4 minutes of it.
Mikiko Futagami vs. Bionic J (ARS Tournament '00 Prelim Round, 5/7 Tokyo)
Bionic J is the kayfabe sister of Reggie Bennett. Having the initials „BJ“ as a female wrestler seems like a bad idea. This match does not bring the cool matwork, sadly, like past Reggie Bennett matches have. J has some fun power moves. Futagami has dropped her badass shootstyle almost completely and just smacks J around a bunch. This match went 4 minutes so we get to see it aaalmost in full. Bionic J points to her head to show how self-satisfied she is with her cleverness while Futagami climbs to the top rope to add some character. Bionic J deserved better than this.
Etsuko Mita vs. Xochitl Hamada (ARS Tournament '00 Round 1, 5/7 Tokyo)
Xochitl „The Least“ Hamada is the next foreign style woman to get smacked around. This was pretty uneventful and lousy and really a nothing squash.
Mariko Yoshida vs. Mima Shimoda (ARS Tournament '00 Round 1, 5/7 Tokyo)
The first somewhat worthwhile match. Yoshida was Yoshida and showed Shimoda what she thought of her bullshit. I imagine this would have been good if we had gotten the early build, but the action was still solid.
Michiko Ohmukai vs. Yumi Fukawa (ARS Tournament '00 Round 1, 5/7 Tokyo)
These two had a damn good match in 1998. But by 2000 they both seem to have surpassed their creative peak. Execution wise this was good stuff, but as far as structure goes this was pretty much a highlight reel of their stuff which really isn't a type of match I like much. Yes, a nice submission here, a stiff kick there, but the whole picture didn't just quite come together.
Aja Kong vs. Mikiko Futagami (ARS Tournament '00 Round 1, 5/7 Tokyo)
A 3 minute sprint!! It was actually a fun sprint, because these two knew how to put a few exclamation points into it. Both women like to get surely and they smack each other good here. Fun for what it is and this is actually the first match I'm not sour about being short.
Michiko Ohmukai vs. Etsuko Mita (ARS Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 5/7 Tokyo)
LCO Newly teamed up beauty queen duo explodes!! Ohmukai just nails Mita with kicks and punches. Mita fires back some but Ohmukai easily gets this one in her pocket.
Aja Kong vs. Mariko Yoshida (ARS Tournament '00 Semi-Finals, 5/7 Tokyo)
This was good. Good matwork, well executed power vs. Skill story, good match. Perhaps a little drawn out in the finish, but ended before it got excessive. Seems that Yoshida isn't the dominant force anymore that she was in 1998 and 1999, which is a little sad, but she was facing Aja here after all.
Aja Kong vs. Michiko Ohmukai (ARS Tournament '00 Finals, 5/7 Tokyo)
Thankfully, they clipped all the previous matches, so we get the final in full! All 6 minutes of it!! These two had a really good match at the debut show, but this wasn't that. They just threw bombs with no real build to make you appreciate what was going on. The energy was very lacking. Atleast the match was plenty stiff as you'd expect from them.
Okay, that tournament very short and very disappointing. But: Up next is an INTERGENDER TOURNAMENT! Featuring: Alexander Otsuka! Papa Hamada! And others! Stay tuned~