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#41 Jetlag

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 05:39 AM

Semi Finals

 

Michiko Ohmukai vs. Mikiko Futagami (8/22)

 

This was a cool match. Ohmukai's always no-selling her way back on offense, so hard to call it more than that. There were still a lot of neat touches and these are two wrestlers with very good offense. They also did a bit of matwork which was nice to see again and played off previous tournament finishes.

 

Mima Shimoda vs. Aja Kong (8/22)

 

This was a bog standard Aja match with Shimoda adding nothing. Shimoda has to be one of the vocally most annoying wrestlers, as she does this constant wailing in her raspy voice.

 

Finals of the Tournament (8/22)

 

Michiko Ohmukai vs. Mima Shimoda (8/22)

 

Battle of the beauty queens. This was horrible. Just mindless bombthrowing. Not even the punches to the face could salvage this mess. Mima at this point was wheezing like a throat cancer patient. This was by far the worst tournament ARSION has done so far.



#42 Jetlag

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 04:53 AM

Chaparita ASARI vs. Hiromi Yagi (Sky High of ARSION Title, 12/11)

 

Common ARSION, give Yagi something to do! But they clip this to shit. We get to see all the spectacular moves, and damn these two have spectacular moves. Flash submissions and highspots. There seemed to be some selling going on between all the killer moves, but we just didn't get to see it. Travesty.

 

Michiko Ohmukai/Magnum TOKYO vs. Mikiko Futagami/Sumo Fuji (12/11)

 

Toryumon invades. Match was mostly hick comedy with Futagami and Fuji perving on their opponents. Yes, they clipped the previous Yagi/ASARI match so we get to see Fuji teaching Futagami the Sumo Stance and Futagami and TOKYO kissing! How's that for you fangirls! The rest of the match was pretty much Toryumon style. A bunch of pretty moves pasted together. The highlight of the bout was the Ohmukai/Tokyo double entrance, with them wearing matching fescennine outfits.



#43 El-P

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 05:24 AM

Agreed ZION 99 was a disapointment compared to what came before.

 

Ah, that mixed-match. I remember that stuff. Futagami was really close to morph into GAMI. Which isn't a very good news although she was legit funny at times. And Chama was getting more and more into the model girl gimmick, which suited her well but was kinda… too magical girl for my tastes (especially with the no-selling).



#44 Jetlag

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:30 AM

Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong (12/11)

 

This was the least of their matches so far. It was still a good match with plenty of neat spots, just underwhelmingly short and not a ton of tension. They didn't emphasize the skill vs. Power aspect much and some things felt like they had no consequence. Annoying because these two really should have a classic together, but I guess they just didn't feel like it that night.

 

Etsuko Mita/Mima Shimoda vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (12/11)

 

Way to salvage the show. For those of you who don't know: this is just out of nowhere turns into one of the goriest matches ever. I dunno how good LCO actually are, but they are pretty effectiv here abusing the young girls and their cheating and not giving Hamakino much offense added a ton to the match. Shimoda leaving a bloody handprint on Aja's shirt was probably the baddest thing she ever did. Ayako and Akino put on an unreal performance – really one of the best „outmatched babyface“ performances I've ever seen. They worked together, and when it was time to bleed, they coated everything in red. Ayako was stunning in particular with her selling of the blood: at one point, she ducked a clothesline and just collapsed, as if she slipped on the blood. When she busted out the scissors and her's Papas signature headbutts as if she was channeling his spirit you know you are watching a classic. Hamakino sticking to flash pins and submissions during the finishing stretch was perfectly believable and produced great nearfalls, especially due to the booking of past matches. Intricate structure and really a total classic of a match, and probably an easy candidate for the best match ever that has two workers in their second year of wrestling.



#45 El-P

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:34 AM

Probably last LCO classic match and a legendary one in our little circle of joshi puroresu fans at the time, as we had heard of it from a friend of us who was there live, before the tape showed up (ARSION had no TV yet and you had to wait for the actual com tape). Amazing bloodletting, it also made Ayako the "star" she was supposed to be since her debut. Classic match.



#46 Jetlag

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:39 AM

Michiko Ohmukai/Yumi Fukawa vs. Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino (Twinstar Tag League '99 Semi-Finals, 12/18/99)

 

The Ohmukai/Fukawa team hasn't really set my world on fire so far. You'd think they'd complement eachother or something, but not really. This was clipped and looked like just a bunch of spots. I guess you can't have blood drenched awesome tags all the time.

 

Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Aja Kong/Rie Tamada (Twinstar Tag League '99 Semi-Finals, 12/18/99)

 

Another clipped match. These standard LCO matches are pretty crap, altough they have some amusing spots. The LCO double chop has to be one of the laziest spots ever though.

 

Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita vs. Michiko Ohmukai/Yumi Fukawa (Twinstar Tag League '99 Finals, 12/18/99)

 

More the same. Fuck this go go shit. This only went 6 minutes anyways. There was no real trace of the stuff that made the previous LCO/Fukawa stuff compelling. Ohmukai threw a few punches and Shimoda blows a spot where she is supposed to dodge an Ohmukai kick and gets kicked in the eye pretty badly. LCO win this in shockingly easy fashion and I'm kind of dreading the further LCO push.

 

BONUS MATCH – Yumi Fukawa vs. Mariko Yoshida (9/26)

 

You can call this a mat spotfest if you will, but fuck it. This ruled. This is exactly what makes Arsion so cool. Ultra smooth, tricked out matwork with plenty of freaky Solar-ish submission grabs, dreadful battling on the ground and Fukawa fighting the big bad spider lady like a fiend. Super enjoyable compact bout.

 

So that, uh, ends it on a kind of whatever note for 1999. This year had some pretty great matches but overall was a bit of a step down from the super interesting stuff that was going on in 1998. Dropping the badass quasi shootstyle hurt for sure aswell as the lousy LCO run. Atleast we got a great bloodbath out of it.

 

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)



#47 Jetlag

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:58 PM

Into 2000 we go.

 

Michiko Ohmukai/Etsuko Mita vs. Mima Shimoda/Yumi Fukawa (1/30)

 

A Parejas Increibles Match! More disjointed pretty girl action! To make this even more disjointed, they clipped a 20 minute match down to about 6. I don't really bemourn this being clipped as it looked like their typical affairs that I wasn't in love with from 1999, plus they didn't really play up the Parejas Increibles aspect. To be fair, some of the exchanges here were kind of fun.

 

Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino vs. Rie Tamada/Mikiko Futagami (1/30)

 

Another clipped match. Hamada and Akino still seem to be working as plucky underdogs. What they show of this was mostly spots and double teams. The stuff looked good and Futagami is really fun in this type of match as she has nice unpredictable submissions and cradles. Still, I'm waiting for something complete.

Aja Kong vs. Candy Okutsu (1/30)

 

Hey look, it's Candy! Haven't seen her in a while. She looked skinnier than before. This was also clipped, but seemed somewhat complete. Another forgettable match where Candy dominated a lot then falls to the usual Aja trademarks. Okay but really nothing to write home about. Candy sold about that she was exerting herself to throw Aja around which was a nice touch, but her dominating so much of the match was kind of stupid.



#48 El-P

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 04:52 AM

Michiko Ohmukai/Etsuko Mita vs. Mima Shimoda/Yumi Fukawa (1/30)

 

A Parejas Increibles Match! More disjointed pretty girl action! To make this even more disjointed, they clipped a 20 minute match down to about 6. I don't really bemourn this being clipped as it looked like their typical affairs that I wasn't in love with from 1999, plus they didn't really play up the Parejas Increibles aspect. To be fair, some of the exchanges here were kind of fun.

 

Oh, this was the beginning of the faction I forgotten all about, expect it was all girlie and shit. You probably won't like where this is going.

 

 

Still, I'm waiting for something complete.

 

In 2000, good luck. Almost everything was edited. They finally got TV in 2001, but by that point, the company was nothing like it's first 18 months.



#49 Kronos

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 09:09 PM

I was just today commenting on a March 2000 Arsion match, saying I wish it'd had more of the grappling that I was expecting. Now I begin to understand from everyone's comments here that by that year things had changed. Oh well, good to know.

#50 Jetlag

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:49 PM

Mima Shimoda/Michiko Ohmukai vs. Etsuko Mita/Yumi Fukawa (2/18)

 

Oh look it's another LCO tag to add to the last dozen we had. The first half was the typical LCO action, but finally, Ohmukai and Fukawa remembered they were in ARSION and salvaged things with a great finishing run full of slick submission counters, deathly suplexes and stiff soccer kicks. It won't blow your mind if you've watched BattlARTS and seen those punches to the face before, but it was nice to see that after so many skippable matches the real ARSION was still left in there somewhere.

 

Ayako Hamada/Mika Akino vs. Aja Kong/Mariko Yoshida (2/18)

 

Speaking of the real ARSION: These 4. Total corker of a match, easily one of the best tags ARSION has ever done. It was kind of their „roll out of the bed match“ as no one did anything extraordinary here, but they put their stuff together beautifully. Hamada and AKINO faced their biggest test against the top 2 ladies in the promotion, so aside from the numerous cool exchanges and nifty reversals, you also had a story and a game plan going on here. Akino and Hamada had to work together aswell as target Aja's arm and use their quickness to avoid both the deadly bombs from Aja aswell as Yoshida's submissions. Akino may have had her finest performance so far as she matched up great against the veterans, holding her own with a few shooty submissions of her own, while Ayako once again relied on blinding athleticism. Aja worked stiff and Yoshida was demonstrating the top of her submission game, and the counter-and-avoid nature of the match kept it from drifting into overkill. I also really liked how they saved up the big dives for near the end of the match. Great stuff, the first really good ARSION match of the 2000s.

 

Chapparita Asari vs. Mari Apache (3/15)

 

Mari's outfit here was the stuff of nightmares. So many tassles. This was another match that was all chopped up. Wish they had shown us more of the matwork. Mari continues to look really damn good: forceful on the mat, cool power spots, generally great on offense with her chunky flying moves and lariats. She is quickly becoming my most wanted wrestler to see in a real match. There wasn't a ton of selling her but for a 6 minute clip this was fun.



#51 El-P

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:56 PM

HamaKINO vs the Queens of Arsion was indeed the first excellent match of the year. Totally delivered.

 

Yeah. This is the point where Mari Apache got fucking good. And then Faby came back later and she became even fucking better (from memory). The Apache sisters, damn.



#52 Kronos

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:59 PM

The Apache sisters, damn.

 

Yup, any time I see their names on a match, I know I am at least going to enjoy what they do. 



#53 Jetlag

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 11:46 PM

Aja Kong/Mariko Yoshida vs. Rie Tamada/Hiromi Yagi (3/15)

 

For a match with Yoshida and Yagi on opposing sides, this was pretty disappointing. Part of that was the clipping, as the opening of the match was completely chopped up. Second, this was built around Tamada and Yagi as heels, with their second GAMI interfering very liberally, including hitting fucking double stomps and top rope frankensteiners right in front of the referee. Yagi didn't match up very well with Aja either. I guess story wise this was interesting because Kong and Yoshida had previously gone against Hamada and AKINO in a high end wrestling contest and now faced a bunch of cheating witches, but in execution this did very little for me.

 

Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Faby Apache/Gran Apache (4/7)

 

I am stupidly excited about this match! And this was really, really fun. Mostly because, it was, I dunno, 4 insanely sharp wrestlers matching up very well? Everything they did looked great, awesome dives, unpredictable exchanges and great stumpy legged athleticism. The match went 8 minutes, so there was a ceiling to how good it could be, but as far as crowd pleasers/popcorn matches go this was very good. The intergender stuff worked because both Papa Apache and Papa Hamada are barely taller than their daughters (in fact, Gran Hamada seems shorter than Faby and Ayako... you know you are short when your daughter has to get her height from your mexican wife) and added some character to the bout. Fun fun lucharesu action.

 

Michiko Omukai & Mima Shimoda vs Aja Kong & Mariko Yoshida (ARSION 04/07/00)

 

This exceeded my expectations. Mostly because the amount of Shimoda/Omukai was limited, while the champs were in attack mode throughout. Which meant, big ol' bombs from Aja and twisty submission work from Yoshida. I thought Nu-LCO (Omukai had graduated to „Cachorra“ status at this point, right?) getting control was well done and things were difficult enough for them from that point onwards to keep the match interesting. Omukai landing her big crucifix bomb on Aja was a pretty impressive spot for a skinny girl. They timed their stuff fine, and while the action here wasn't anything new I thought it came together very well. Shimoda kind of redeems herself with her performance her by going at it with the submission queen.

 

 

Aja Kong vs. Etsuko Mita (Queen of Arsion Title, 4/20/00, Tokyo)

 

Big title match that is clipped beyond recognition! Awww man. Aja makes jokes about Gran Apache before the match. Clip to Mita's heel minions pushing Aja into the ring. Clip to Mita working chokes on Aja. Clip to Aja being rolled into the ring again. Yada yada... Aja throws a damn stiff backfist. The finishing stretch is slow but seems dramatic. Can't tell anything about this match really.



#54 El-P

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 05:02 AM

Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Faby Apache/Gran Apache (4/7)

 

I am stupidly excited about this match! And this was really, really fun. Mostly because, it was, I dunno, 4 insanely sharp wrestlers matching up very well? Everything they did looked great, awesome dives, unpredictable exchanges and great stumpy legged athleticism. The match went 8 minutes, so there was a ceiling to how good it could be, but as far as crowd pleasers/popcorn matches go this was very good. The intergender stuff worked because both Papa Apache and Papa Hamada are barely taller than their daughters (in fact, Gran Hamada seems shorter than Faby and Ayako... you know you are short when your daughter has to get her height from your mexican wife) and added some character to the bout. Fun fun lucharesu action.

 

Super fun match. Not everyday you see father/daugher tag tea against each other. These four made everything look so smooth and easy.

 

 

Michiko Omukai & Mima Shimoda vs Aja Kong & Mariko Yoshida (ARSION 04/07/00)

 

This exceeded my expectations. Mostly because the amount of Shimoda/Omukai was limited, while the champs were in attack mode throughout. Which meant, big ol' bombs from Aja and twisty submission work from Yoshida. I thought Nu-LCO (Omukai had graduated to „Cachorra“ status at this point, right?) getting control was well done and things were difficult enough for them from that point onwards to keep the match interesting. Omukai landing her big crucifix bomb on Aja was a pretty impressive spot for a skinny girl. They timed their stuff fine, and while the action here wasn't anything new I thought it came together very well. Shimoda kind of redeems herself with her performance her by going at it with the submission queen.

 

Nope. LCO formed a new faction with Ohmukai & Fukawa, with some kind of fashion model gimmick of sorts. And since Fukawa was basically a JTTS at this point, sadly (despite being the second best worker in the company), Chama got all the big matches. I was not a fan of this angle, despite loving pretty much everyone involve (Ohmukai, not as much as the others).



#55 Jetlag

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 06:37 AM

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~



#56 Jetlag

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 02:51 AM

Yumi Fukawa/Minoru Tanaka vs. Mariko Yoshida/Alexander Otsuka (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/7/00)

 

AW YES!!! ARSION TEAMING UP WITH BATTLARTS!!! Gee those cheeky BattlARTS guys really love to show up in intergender matches. This was a ton of fun and a throwback to the early Arsion style, so we get MATWORK. GOOD MATWORK. The male vs. Female sections didn't take up huge portions of the match. Tanaka was a total gent allowing Yoshida to have a friendly mat scramble, which was... not very realistic but I don't expect intelligent work from Minoru Tanaka at this point. The guys weren't exactly breaking a sweat here, but even a half-decent effort from these dudes is pretty good and the Fukawa/Yoshida exchanges were class.

 

Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Mika Akino/Ikuto Hidaka (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/7/00)

 

This was fast paced lucharesu fun where they all mesh really well. Gran Hamada still looks so, so good. His mat section with Hidaka really could have gone 2 or 30 minutes longer. Not much to say about thisother than that it was fast paced, smooth and enjoyable.

 

Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask vs. Chapparita Asari/Great Sasuke (P*MIX Grand Prix Quarterfinals, 6/24/00)

 

This got 20 MINUTES and was worked like a big match. It seems to be from an M-Pro show, but I'll let it count as best of ARSION. The early guy vs. Guy sections were pretty filler and resthold-y. The girl vs. Girl sections were good as in „two wrestlers who have fought eachother a bunch doing their stuff“. For some reason, the guys gave the girls a ton of offense and stooging a bunch. Maybe they were trying to be gentlemen. Yagi did a mix of spaced out lucha armdrags, judo throws and armbars which was cool. Asari did her usual athletic stuff and looked quite good. The finishing stretch was built around guy vs. Girl and then girl vs. Girl sections and pretty fun. This took a bit to get going but for this type of lucharesu action I'd say it got going good.



#57 El-P

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 01:01 PM

I admit I have no idea where the Tanaka hate comes from on (I saw it regularly on this board for a while). He was always super respected and well liked back then until the failed Heat gimmick in NJ.

 

I remember liking this quite a bit, mostly the lucharesu stuff. AKINO & Idaka got so well together. Well, so did Tanaka & Fukawa, but I don't think it was quite the same dynamic.



#58 Jetlag

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 02:04 PM

Tanaka's a guy whose stuff looks good, but he's just deathly dull and spotty. Nowhere close to his wife as far as matwork ability goes. She did the flash armbar shit better too.

 

I always thought AKINO looked like a gender switched Ikuto Hidaka. She did the same "lucharesu moves into shoot submissions" moveset too. They had to have trained together in the BattlARTS dojo or something.

 

Anyways, more from the P*MIX tournament. Also, Ayako getting mauled by Aja.

 

 

Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Hiromi Yagi/Tiger Mask IV (P*MIX Grand Prix Semi-Finals, 6/29/00)

 

WOW!!! Okay let me discuss this match. I was surprised by how much substance this had. I mean, they could've easily had another of these lucharesu-ish quick matches and it would have been fine, but this was different. We get a STORY~ with the Hamadas having to work together to combat the younger, more vicious TMIV and tricked out veteran Yagi. There are a few moments where Ayako has to save her Papa and others where Papa is like, „Okay, I'll let my DAUGHTER handle this!“ and awww that's just adorable. But the wrestling was up to par too! There's a really good Hamada/Yagi mat sequence, Yagi busts out one of the swankiest mat moves I've seen in a while and generally reminds me in this match how damn cool she is acting like a tricky veteran grappler. TMIV and Gran Hamada decide to work all stiff and intense and the old man gets kicked in the face a bunch. Could've gone 10 minutes longer but I was surprised by how much they achieved here. Also: Ayako busts out a badass new Ayakita Special!

 

Ayako Hamada/Gran Hamada vs. Yumi Fukawa/Minoru Tanaka (P*MIX Grand Prix Finals, 6/29/00)

 

This was pretty underwhelming. Which is weird because all the previous matches in this tournament where a ton of fun. Fukawa and Tanaka added almost nothing to this match. Tanaka just ran through his stuff. Did I ever mention I hate that guy? There was one cool moment when Hamada decides to get all lucha on the mat with Fukawa and Fukawa is like „fine“ and they go all IWRG. Sadly that only lasted about 30 seconds. There were also a few blown spots. Fukawa tries countering the Hama-chan cutter and both she and Ayako end up falling on their heads. Eventually Tanaka remembered he's a BattlARTS guy and lands some nasty spinkicks on the older Hamada, and the finish was a feel good moment but the rest of this was just not good.

 

Aja Kong vs. Ayako Hamada (8/18/00 Tokyo)

 

Aw lil puppy Ayako tries to get on Aja's grill. No Aja don't do that she's just a kid! Structurally this was barely different from their 1998 match as it's Ayako going at Aja and Aja just CRUSHING her. Seriously Aja puts a deeply brutal beating on Ayako here even for her standards, just bruising her with kicks and slaps and just impaling her when she tried a moonsault. However, NOW Hamada was little more well-rounded offensively, and more importantly she had all the fire in the world to keep her going. Hamada tried her darndest, even taking the fight to the mat in some neat moments, and most importantly really, really laying it into Aja, throwing hands and kicks that were almost reckless. Seriously, I don't recall many „flyer vs. Powerhouse“ matches where the „flyer“ throws flurries as savage as this. Still not quite there, but she was getting there! This was compact, highly violent, and pretty great.



#59 Jetlag

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:03 AM

More tournaments

 

Ai Fujita vs. Linda Starr (SKY Tournament II Prelim Round, 7/16/00 Tokyo)
Mary Apache vs. Chapparita Asari (SKY Tournament II Round 1, 7/16/00 Tokyo)
Mika Akino vs. Fabi Apache (SKY Tournament II Round 1, 7/16/00 Tokyo)
Kamen Tenshin Rosetta vs. Ai Fujita (SKY Tournament II Round 1, 7/16/00 Tokyo)

Ayako Hamada vs. Sumie Sakai (SKY Tournament II Round 1, 7/16/00 Tokyo)

 

5 matches that weren't that long to begin with get clipped down to about 21 minutes length. Featuring: Swanky rollups! Huracanranas from unusual positions! Twisting flying moves! Mari looking pretty boss again! DIVES!!! Lots and lots of dives. The one complete match we got was Hamada/Sakai at 8 minutes length. There were actual exchanges there so it was an actual match and not just a move exhibition. I wish Sakai had shown up in Arsion 2 years earlier. There was even some cool matwork to boot. Still not a ton of selling there, but it was nice to see a fresh matchup.

 

Mika Akino vs. Mary Apache (SKY Tournament II Semi-Finals, 7/16/00 Tokyo)

 

This was the first clipped up match that looked real good. There was a bit of selling and neat transitions going on elevating this above your standard move exhibition. Instead you had Akino being all spunky underdog, pulling off all kinds of wonky complicated spaceman headscissor type moves and turnbuckle climbing dives. And well, Apache when on offense is just blasting her opponent and they kept things interesting with nifty spots. The best move was Mary countering a weird Akino rollup in mid-air by stopping her, pulling her back up and just splatting her with a fat powerbomb. Akino's a tiny girl but still looked like a freakish spot.

Ayako Hamada vs. Kamen Tenshin Rosetta (SKY Tournament II Semi-Finals, 7/16/00 Tokyo)

 

Ayako squashes the hell out of the masked superheroine. I liked this as it had an actual dynamic: Ayako has the superior striking and submission ability (ignoring the fact that Rosetta is Hiromi Yagi) and is equal in agility. So Rosetta gets a few short, tricky comebacks in but ultimately can't hang. Would've been nice to get a competitive match but this was still better than just a bunch of clips. Impressive how Ayako is acting all big boss now when her debut was 2 years before this.



#60 Jetlag

Jetlag
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Posted 23 April 2017 - 12:25 PM

Ayako Hamada vs. Mika Akino (SKY Tournament II Final, 7/16/00 Tokyo)

 

D'aaawww look it's the little cubs fighting for their first big win! And this was actually really, really good! You could tell this was their „young workers trying their ideas for an epic“ match. Except... their ideas worked? This was closer to a lucharesu match than anything and it had to have been the best singles match in that style since... since... Sasuke/Tokyo from the previous year? Oh whatever. The matwork was real good, the lucharesu exchanges looked great and most importantly, fresh. Ayako had great instincts – just little things like doing a kneedrop while working for a submission add so much. They also played up the fact that Hamada was pretty dominant in the tournament while Akino had gone by using her flash rollups. Making Akino's intricate rollups and wonky twisted headscissors into great nearfalls. That's economic working baby! Awesome nearfalls for ROLLUPS!!! Rollups that actually add to a match! Man fuck why can't we get more wrestling like this and less headdrops and thigh slapping. Terrific little match.

 

 

Mary Apache vs. Lynx (Candy Okutsu) (ZION Tournament '00 Round 1, 10/17/00 Tokyo)
Mariko Yoshida vs. Piko (Commando Boirshoi) (ZION Tournament '00 Round 1, 10/17/00 Tokyo)
 

 

Hey look! Another tournament! More clipped, short, sprints! Also more girls in unnecessary mask gimmicks! Doing these 1 night tournaments without being able to give these matches proper time is probably the one really stupid thing ARSION has done so far. I mean, you have all these awesome wrestlers, but you don't really give them the space to do their thing. That's TNA levels of stupid. For example Piko is Command Bolshoi, and so... Yoshida vs. Bolshoi is a dream match, right? But it's just 2 minutes of clips of a match that was short to begin with and you don't really get a sense of how good the match actually is, even though what's shown looks fun. Lynx is Candy Okutsu and wrestled Candy Okutsu's standard match.

 

Rie Tamada vs. Michiko Ohmukai (ZION Tournament '00 Round 1, 10/17/00 Tokyo)
Ayako Hamada vs. Mima Shimoda (ZION Tournament '00 Round 1, 10/17/00 Tokyo)

 

These are two more interesting Round 1 matches. Ohmukai wore this really goofy pink lingerie getup and I was expecting another shitshow, but instead we got Ohmukai dishing out stiff punches and kicks, almost KOing Tamada a few times. Really liked how Tamada worked her way back into the match by taking out the leg and kept surviving against her more dangerous opponent. Hamada/Shimoda had some interesting veteran touches from Shimoda (especially liked her kicking Hamada in the face when she went for her trademark headbutt) and I really liked the finish where Hamada goes mad and KO's Shimoda with a flurrie of strikes which was a cool way to book the rookie going over the much more seasoned veteran. On the other hand the layout was kind of stupid as Hamada basically turned into supergirl and kicked out of every. Single. One. Of Shimoda's big moves. Shimoda has some damn big moves so yeah that was dumb, altough it also signalled that Ayako Hamada's push was not to be messed with in 2000.







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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